What different types of IELTS Speaking Part 2 tasks are there?
As you probably know, in IELTS Speaking Part 2 you are given a speaking topic on a task card and one minute to prepare before you have to talk about the topic for between one and two minutes.
What you may not know is that the IELTS Speaking Part 2 task could be to describe a past experience, something that you like or like doing, a person, a possession, a place or an event.
IELTS Speaking Part 2 task: a past experience
The most common type of IELTS Speaking Part 2 task is probably to describe a past experience, e.g. a restaurant or party you enjoyed going to.
Watch the video below to see a candidate, Alvin, describe a restaurant he enjoyed going to and then hear me talk about a common mistake that IELTS candidates make in this type of IELTS Speaking Part 2 task.
IELTS Writing Task 2 questions in 2015 have often been on the topic of school or university education
As you probably know, in IELTS Writing Task 2 (Academic and General Training), you have to write an essay of at least 250 words on a particular topic.
From what IELTS candidates have reported about their IELTS tests in 2015, two of the most common IELTS Writing Task 2 topics have been school and university education.
If you’re planning to take an IELTS test in 2015, it would be a good idea to look at the following examples of writing tasks on this topic, decide what ideas you would write about for each task, and focus on some vocabulary you may need to use in your writing.
Examples of IELTS Writing Task 2 questions from 2015
IELTS candidate statistics show around US$440 million spent on IELTS tests per year
The latest IELTS statistics show that over 2.2 million IELTS tests are taken every year – a dramatic increase from the 43 000 IELTS tests taken twenty years ago in 1995.
If we take the average cost of the test as US$200, IELTS candidates spend around US$440 million on taking the test each year! (IELTS test fees vary from country to country – you can find out how much an IELTS test costs in your country here).
Use linking words and phrases in IELTS Speaking Part 2 and improve your band score
As you probably know, in IELTS Speaking Part 2 you have to talk about a topic for one to two minutes. What you may not know is that it’s important to use linking words and phrases (also called discourse markers) so that it’s easy for the examiner to follow what you’re saying.
Watch the video below to see me explain how an IELTS band score 5.5 candidate could use more linking words and phrases to get a higher band score.
In the first part of the video, the candidate, Kyuwon, talks about an IELTS Speaking Part 2 topic. In the second part, I explain what discourse markers Kyuwon needs to use to get a band score 6.0.
Have look at the following IELTS Speaking Part 1 questions from the book Cambridge IELTS 7 and think about how you would answer them. (You could use these topics to get some IELTS Speaking practice with some other IELTS candidates or English-speaking friends.)
Keeping in contact with people
How do you usually contact your friends?
Do you prefer to contact different people in different ways?
Do you find it easy to keep in contact with friends and family?
What kinds of thing make you laugh?
Do you like making other people laugh?
Now, watch the video below to see an IELTS band score 7.0 candidate, Asaka, answer the same questions, and think about whether you could have answered the questions as easily as she does.
A question I often get asked from IELTS candidates is whether it is necessary to write an overview in IELTS Academic Writing Task 1: a summary of information shown in a graph, chart, table or diagram (or more than one of these).
For those of you new to IELTS, an overview is a statement that summarises the main features shown, and it can come at the beginning of your summary after your introduction or at the end of your summary as a conclusion.
To answer the question of whether you need to write an overview, I’d like to show you what it says in the public version of the official IELTS descriptors for this writing task.
IELTS band score 7: “[Candidate] presents a clear overview of main trends, differences or stages”
IELTS band score 6: “[Candidate] presents an overview with information appropriately selected”
As you can see, you need to include an overview in IELTS Academic Writing Task 1. If you don’t include an overview, you won’t be able to get a band score 6.0 or above for the content of your writing.
Here’s a sample answer for the chart above with the overview after the introduction: Continue reading →
An example of what you shouldn’t do when writing an introduction in IELTS Writing Task 2
As you probably know, in IELTS Writing Task 2 you have to write an essay on a particular topic of at least 250 words. What I’d like to show you is what you shouldn’t do when writing your introduction, i.e. the first paragraph of your essay.
First, have a look at the following IELTS Writing Task 2 question and think about how you would introduce the topic.