Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Even in Part 2, when the examiner gives you a topic card, you have no choice about what the examiner gives you.

Plus, the examiner has loads of questions to choose from, and they do not use the same topics from one student to another.

Recently, there have been some notably bad responses from IELTS candidates on exam day, and this is very frustrating for the examiner.

Basically, you cannot respond with, “We don’t have that in our country. I have nothing to say.”

Or, “I can’t talk about this because I don’t know.”

You CANNOT say this!!!

Although some topics are difficult for a lot of candidates, such as art and museums, you must still be able to communicate ideas about this!

In Part 1 for example, the examiner must ask you 4 questions about each of the 3 topics. So, if you are asked about something you don’t like, don’t be negative.

Keep a positive attitude throughout the Speaking test.


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If you find yourself in a pickle on exam day, and you are asked about something you are not used to talking about, what do you do?

  1. Don’t be negative and say, “I don’t like this, I don’t know about it, I don’t want to talk about it.”
  2. Listen to our episodes about what to do if your mind goes blank.
  3. Answer honestly, such as, “To be honest, I was kind of afraid this topic was going to come up, because I don’t have a lot of experience with this topic!”
  4. Follow it up with an action plan, such as, “But, I do have a plan to visit the Portland Art Museum next week, because I am interested in learning about this part of your culture.”
  5. Use this opportunity to be honest with the examiner about a gap in your knowledge, and express the desire to learn.

What do you think of today’s advice?

Please leave us a message in the comments section below!

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