Speaking Part 2 Series

IELTS Lessons, written by Sam Morgan and Tom Speed

For part 2 of the IELTS speaking test, you are expected to talk for 2 minutes on a topic after 1 minute of preparation. 

Previously we looked at how to prepare for our talkToday we will study how to begin an answer and add details to our part 2 talk.

Exercise 1

Read the following cue card from part 2 of the IELTS speaking test.
Describe a job you would like to do in the future.

You should say:

  • What the job is
  • How much training is necessary for this job
  • What kind of personal qualities would this job require


And explain why you would like to do this job.

What would you talk about if you were given this topic? Take 1 minute to plan your answer on a piece of paper.
Important tip

​When you plan your talk, don’t write full sentences, just make short notes.

For example, rather than write ‘I want to be a painter.’ just write down ‘painter‘ instead. This will save you a lot of time.


Exercise 2

Let’s compare the beginning of 2 possible answers. Which answer is better?
Examiner:
OK? Remember you have two minutes to talk about the topic. Don’t worry if I tell you to stop, I’ll tell you when the time is up.
Answer 1:
Thank you. Right, well, I’d like to tell you about a job which I am interested in doing in the future. It’s my dream to be a chef…

Answer 2:
Ok, I’d like to be a chef in the future…

The best answer is
answer 1
answer 2

Speaking Test Part 2 Strategy

​Make sure you introduce the topic you are going to speak about. You can use introduction statements such as the following…

  1. I’d like to tell you about…
  2. I’m going to talk about…
  3. I’d like to tell you about…


​Exercise 3

A student is answering each of the 4 questions from the cue card. Which question does each statement answer?

A “I think a good chef needs to be hardworking, pay attention to detail and love his job because…”

B “Well, I love cooking and I think it would be great to have a job which I actually enjoy, since…”

C “As far as I know it takes 2 years of college before you can get a job as a chef but then after that there is obviously a lot of training on the job…”

D “The job I’d ideally like to do in the future is to be a chef. I say this because…”

1.What is the job?
2.How much training is necessary for this job?
3.What kind of personal qualities does this job require?
4.Why would you like to do this job?


​Don’t use just say one sentence to answer each question because you will run out of things to talk about very quickly. You need to give plenty of detail in order to say enough.


A good technique when you are practicing is to imagine the examiner asks why to everything that you say. This will force you to give more detail. Use linking words to give reasons: as, since, because​.


Exercise 4

To add detail, we should ask ourselves ‘why?’ to any important ideas we say. Organise the ‘Why?’ answers below so that they naturally follow on from each other. The first 2 have been done for you.
What is the job? 
The job I’d ideally like to get into in the future is to be a chef.

Why?
Cooking is creative and you get to enjoy what you prepare and better still other people enjoy what you create. It’s great to see the happy expressions of people eating the food which you prepared.

Why?
I’d like to do this job because I did several years of training at culinary school and then I’ve worked as a junior chef at a hotel in my city for a couple of years but also because I love cooking.

Why?
I think everyone likes to see people enjoying the fruits of their labour. It’s just natural, it makes us happy to make others happy.

Why?
To be honest, I have loved cooking since I was really young. 

Why?
My mum taught me how to prepare some simple dishes and  I’ve loved it since.

Examples:
1. What is the job? [The job I’d ideally like…]
2. Why? [I’d like to do this job because…]

3. Why?
4. Why?
5. Why?
6. Why?

The full answer

The job I’d ideally like to get into in the future is to be a chef. I’d like to do this job because I did several years of training at culinary school and then I’ve worked as a junior chef at a hotel in my city for a couple of years but also because I love cooking. To be honest, I have loved cooking since I was really young. My mum taught me how to prepare some simple dishes and I’ve loved it since. Cooking is creative and you get to enjoy what you prepare and better still other people enjoy what you create. It’s great to see the happy expressions of people eating the food which you prepared. I think everyone likes to see people enjoying the fruits of their labour. It’s just natural, it makes us happy to make others happy.

  • There is a lot more detail here than in a simple one sentence answer. Ask yourself ‘why?’ when you present ideas so that in the test you add as much detail as possible.  This will make your talk long and interesting.


​Exercise 5

The speaker uses interesting vocabulary such as adverbs, idioms and phrasal verbs to boost his score for lexis. Find words or phrases with the following meanings.

Good job. Remember to practice these ideas often so that they become natural to you. Our next lesson will look in more depth at how to add more detail in a part 2 answer.