IELTS Speaking Part 2 Topics and Questions

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The IELTS Speaking topics for IELTS Speaking Part 2 can seem intimidating at first. After all, it’s the one part of the interview where you need to give a long solo speech.

Fortunately, Magoosh is here to help! Right below, we have a PDF that includes IELTS Speaking Part 2 topics you can practice with, and a great video tutorial from Eliot. And right after that, you can read on for plenty of additional help with IELTS Speaking topics Part 2.

Download the Magoosh IELTS Speaking Topics PDF

(NOTE: This post and its featured PDF are great supplements for anyone who’s following an IELTS study schedule with Magoosh. As a matter of fact, we specifically mention this article as a resource in our one-week IELTS study plan.)

Table of Contents

 


 

IELTS Speaking Part 2 Topic Card: Main Features

In IELTS Speaking Part 2, you will receive a “topic card” that contains a detailed, multi-part question. Take a look at this official IELTS Speaking topics sample prompt, script, and recording of a Task 2 question to get a sense of what to expect. You will have one minute to prepare a short speech in response to the topic card. Then you should speak for 1-2 minutes.

Preparing for Part 2 can really pay off. As noted above, Magoosh offers a great list of Part 1 and Part 2 IELTS Speaking topics to use as you practice. Obviously, it is impossible to predict the exact questions you will receive on exam day. However, the structure of Part 2 questions is very consistent. Each Part 2 card has three basic features that you should know well:

Feature 1: Topic Introduction

Feature 2: 3 Detailed Points

Feature 3: Discussion

The right side of the card below shows the typical appearance of a Part 2 question. The notes on the left (not included on an actual IELTS topic card) highlight the three main features of this question type.

Go back to the top of our IELTS Speaking Part 2 tutorial.

 

Sample IELTS Speaking Part 2 Questions and Answers

Below is a sample IELTS Speaking Part 2 question and response. And for more example IELTS Speaking Part 2 questions, with answers, consider a subscription (or a 1 week free trial) to Magoosh IELTS.

Speaking Part 2 Topic Card

Feature 1 →



Feature 2 →




Feature 3 →
Describe a time when you gave someone advice.



You should say:
      to whom you gave the advice
      what the advice was
      whether that person took your advice

and explain why you gave the person that advice.

Notes and Preparation

You have one minute to plan your response before you speak. That may not seem like a long time to think of a response to all of these questions, but fortunately, planning a Part 2 response is simpler than it may look at first.

You will be provided with a pencil and some paper to plan your response. I advise students to read Feature 1 and Feature 2 first BUT to avoid writing notes about these questions. The best approach is simply to use these points on the card as reminders about what you need to say. At the beginning of your short speech, go through each point one by one with a brief response.

You should use most of your one-minute preparation time to plan your response for Feature 3. This point requires more detail and depth than the other talking points on the card. As you prepare, your goal should be to come up with at least two main points for Feature 3.

Hopefully, you can also think of some details and examples to support these points during your one-minute prep time. Keep in mind that you won’t have time to write detailed notes with complete sentences. Just write down a few words as reminders of what you plan to say.

Below is a sample of some notes related to the topic card above. For clarity in this blog post, I added more language on these notes than you would have time to include on the real exam.

Sample Notes:

The Situation/Who I gave advice to

  • friend was failing school
    • Future in danger: almost kicked off basketball team, risk of not getting into college
    • Had ability: knew answers in class, but not doing homework

What advice was

  • friend should apply herself
    • take more time on homework
    • watch less TV, play fewer video games

Did friend take advice?

  • Yes
    • got to stay on team
    • got into college
    • kept good study habits in college

Sample Response

Here is a sample response to the topic card shown above.

“When I was in secondary school, my best friend was doing very poorly in her classes, and she definitely needed some advice. She was about to be kicked off the basketball team for her low grades, and I was worried she might not get into college.

She wasn’t struggling from lack of ability. Actually, she was smart and always knew the answers in class. The problem was that she hated homework and often wouldn’t do it; instead, she would instead watch TV all evening. I told her she needed to take her studies more seriously and spend more time on her homework.

I suggested she could get that extra time by watching less TV. I’m happy to say she took my advice, and it really helped her. She was able to keep her grades up and continue playing basketball on the school team. She also got into uni, and she kept her good study habits in her college classes. I feel proud that my advice helped her.”

This simple response answers each of the questions listed in all three features of the topic card directly. Without much planning or thought, you can go down the list and supply the necessary information to cover these points. Once you start expressing these points out loud in complete sentences, it’s not as hard to fill 1 to 2 minutes as you might think!

Go back to the top of our IELTS Speaking Part 2 tutorial.

 

IELTS Speaking Topics for Part 2

Now, let’s look at a number of other possible topic cards (these come from our IELTS Speaking Topics PDF). You can use the tips from this tutorial as you practice these topics.

1. Free Time

Describe an activity you enjoy doing on the weekends.

You should address:

  • What the activity is and what it involves.
  • When you first started doing the activity.
  • Whether you do the activity alone or with other people.

And explain why you enjoy the activity.

2. School

Describe a class you took that was very memorable.

You should address:

  • When you took the class.
  • Where you took the class.
  • The subject of the class.

And explain why the class was so useful.

3. Travel

Describe your favorite method of travel.

You should address:

  • What the method of travel is
  • How often you travel by this method.
  • Whether this travel method is cheap or expensive.

And explain why this method of travel is your favorite.

4. Work

Describe your dream job.

You should address:

  • What the job is.
  • The job requirements.
  • The activities that are done on the job.

And explain why this job is your dream job.

5. Family

Describe an important tradition in your family.

You should address:

  • What the tradition is.
  • How it’s celebrated.
  • When it’s celebrated.

And explain why the tradition is important to your family.

6. Hometown

Describe a place you enjoy going to in your hometown.

You should address:

  • Do you prefer to spend time at places in your hometown, or explore new places elsewhere?
  • How often you go there.
  • What you do there.

And explain why you enjoy going to this place.

7. Friends

Describe your best friend.

You should address:

  • Who this person is.
  • How you met your best friend.
  • How often you see this friend.

And explain why this person is your best friend.

8. Seasons

Describe your favorite season of the year.

You should address:

  • Which season it is.
  • What the weather is like during the season.
  • What you like to do during the season.

And explain why this season is your favorite.

9. Food

Describe a snack food you enjoy.

You should address:

  • What the food is.
  • What it tastes like.
  • How often you eat it.

And explain why you enjoy this food.

10. Music, Movies, Books, Television

Describe a song that’s very meaningful to you.

You should address:

  • The name of the song.
  • Who sings it.
  • What the song is about.

And explain why the song is meaningful to you.

11. Recreation, Exercise, Sports

Describe a sport you find interesting.

You should address:

  • What the sport is.
  • Whether you play the sport, watch the sport, or both.
  • How long you’ve been interested in the sport.

And explain why you think the sport is interesting.

12. Holidays

Describe a holiday that you celebrate with other people.

You should address:

  • What the holiday is.
  • Who you celebrate the holiday with.
  • How you celebrate the holiday.

And explain why you celebrate this holiday with other people.

13. Technology, Internet, etc….

Describe a technological device you recently purchased.

You should address:

  • What the device is.
  • What it can do.
  • Whether you use the device for fun, for work, or both.

And explain why you purchased the device.

14. On a typical day…

Describe something you usually do at the beginning of the day.
You should address:

  • What you do.
  • Why you do it.
  • How important it is.

And explain why you do this thing at the beginning of the day.

15. Household

Describe an important piece of furniture in your house.

You should address:

  • What the piece of furniture is.
  • How long you’ve had the furniture.
  • Where it is in the house.

And explain why that piece of furniture is important.

16. News and Current Events

Describe a recent news story that surprised you.

You should address:

  • What happened.
  • When the story happened.
  • Where the story happened.

And explain why you found this news story surprising.

17. Shopping

Describe a place where you often go shopping.

You should address:

  • Where this place is.
  • What you can buy there.
  • How often you go there.

And explain why you often shop at this place.

18. Decisions

Describe a good decision you made.

You should address:

  • What the decision was about.
  • What you decided to do.
  • Why you made the decision.

And explain why you feel you made a good decision.

19. Art

Describe a piece of art that you think is good.

You should address:

  • What kind of art it is.
  • What the art looks like.
  • Where you saw the art.

And explain why you think this piece of art is good.

20. Gifts

Describe a gift that someone gave you.

You should address:

  • Who gave you the gift.
  • What the gift was.
  • When you received the gift.

And explain why the gift was given to you.

21. Kindness

Describe a kind thing you did for someone.
You should address:

  • What you did.
  • Why you did it.
  • How the person or people responded to your kind act.

And explain the reasons that the act was kind.

22. Language Learning

Describe a time you had difficulty in learning a new language.

You should address:

  • What language you were learning.
  • What the difficulty was.
  • Whether or not you overcame the difficulty.

And explain why you found learning the language so difficult at the time.

Go back to the top of our IELTS Speaking Part 2 tutorial.

 

IELTS Speaking Part 2: The Takeaway

Ultimately, timing is key to IELTS Speaking Part 2. The most common challenge my students face with these IELTS Speaking topics is either not speaking enough, or speaking too much and running out of time. Do practice responses and time them. This will help you figure out how to write notes that really do fill at least one minute of time, but less than two. Above all, take advantage of the flexibility of the timing. You have one or two minutes to speak, and that’s a really nice range that allows for a variety of answers.

And remember, the topic IELTS Speaking Part 2 is also the basis for Part 3 of IELTS Speaking. But Part 3 is formatted a bit more like Speaking Part 1, because you give conversational responses rather than giving a “long turn” speech. You can also read about the “big picture” of these three parts by looking at our complete guide to common IELTS Speaking topics. And for general advice on how to navigate the entire IELTS Speaking section, check out our top 10 IELTS Speaking tips!

By the way, improve your IELTS score with Magoosh!

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Author

  • David Recine

    David is a Test Prep Expert for Magoosh TOEFL and IELTS. Additionally, he's helped students with TOEIC, PET, FCE, BULATS, Eiken, SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT. David has a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and an MA from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. His work at Magoosh has been cited in many scholarly articles, his Master's Thesis is featured on the Reading with Pictures website, and he's presented at the WITESOL (link to PDF) and NAFSA conferences. David has taught K-12 ESL in South Korea as well as undergraduate English and MBA-level business English at American universities. He has also trained English teachers in America, Italy, and Peru. Come join David and the Magoosh team on Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram, or connect with him via LinkedIn!

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