This part of the Speaking section tests your ability to talk fluently about a certain topic in an organized and cohesive way for two minutes. You will be given a cue card, with a topic and questions related to the topic.
The examiner will provide you pen and paper and give you one minute to think about the topic and make notes if necessary. Afterwards, you will be expected to talk continuously for about 2 minutes and the examiner will indicate when you can stop talking. The examiner may ask you some questions based on the topic during or after your talk. While there is no set list of question types for the speaking test, there are some kinds of questions that appear more often than others. You can greatly improve your preparation by familiarising yourself with these common question types. In this article, we will take a look at the different kinds of questions you can be asked in the IELTS speaking part 2 test as well a few sample questions and answers.
We will take a look questions that ask about:
- Describing people questions
- Describing places
- Describing events and activities
- Describing objects
In part two of the speaking test, students are often asked to describe a person such as friends, family members, or even historical figures and celebrities. These people can be from your past, present and in some cases in a future hypothetical situation. Use the wording of the question to determine which tense you need to use during your talk.
For this type of question, you need to mention who the person is, how you met them and why they meet the criteria mentioned within the question. You can also add a physical and character description of the person. To extend your answer you can tell a story about the person that further supports why they are unique, as in why you have chosen them.
Sample Describing People Question:
Describe a friend of your family you remember from childhood.
You should say:
- who was the person?
- how your family knew this person.
- how often this person visited your family
and explain why you remember this person.
In this question type you will be asked to about a particular place which meets the conditions laid out in the main part of the cue card. Some questions ask you to talk about a place from the past, some ask you to talk about a place that you visit regularly in the present. o If you are talking about a place that you’ve only been to once in the past, then you should mention when you went there and why (the reason you travelled there). If you are talking about a place that you visit regularly or often, then you should mention when you usually go there and why. In either case, you also should mention how you get there.
You should start of by mentioning the name of the place and why you have chosen to talk about it. Once you have done that, move on to describing the features of this place, mention its location and anything in particular that is significant about it, for example great restaurants, or historical sites etc. For a place like a building, you would start from the outer appearance and then describe the interior. To extend your answers for the describing places questions, you could add personal examples in story form, about incidents that happened at a particular place.
Sample Describing Places Question:
Describe a restaurant you enjoyed going to.
You should say:
- where the restaurant was
- who you went with
- what type of food you ate in this restaurant
and explain why you thought the restaurant was good.
In this type of question, you will be asked to describe objects or items you own, such as electronic gadgets, clothes, or gifts. This question is an opportunity for you to showcase your wide range of descriptive vocabulary.
You should mention what the object is and what you use the object for. It’s important to be quite clear about why you chose this object. When you talk about what you do with this object you must be as descriptive as possible. Back up whatever you say by adding examples of what can be done with this object. For example, my friends like coming over and having movie-parties, where we watch films on the big TV screen, eat snacks and enjoy the film.
Sample Describing Objects Question:
Describe a special gift or present you gave to someone
You should say:
- who you gave the gift to
- what the gift was
- where you got it from
and explain why this gift was special
These questions usually deal with events that have already occurred in the past like holidays, trips or special occasion. For this type of question, it’s best to tell a story about your experience with a beginning, middle and end. you have to mention three things in particular i.e. who was with you during this event/experience as well as where and when it occurred. It is also important to show how you felt during this event/experience.
Sample Describing Events Question:
Describe a time when you visited a friend or family member at their workplace.
You should say:
- who you visited
- where this person worked
- why you visited this person’s workplace
and explain how you felt about visiting this person’s workplace?