Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"
EX-IELTS Examiner Fiona

Today you’ll hear a conversation between two Ex-IELTS Examiners!

Today we are lucky to have guest Fiona Wattam on the show from IELTS Made Easier.

Fiona and Jessica discuss what Examiners are looking for on Speaking Part 2.

They share what they’ve learned through years of experience to help you prepare for your Speaking test.

What is a misconception about Speaking Part 2?

Many people believe you have to answer the bullet points provided with the topic.

This isn’t true!

These bullet points are meant to provide ideas if you are struggling with planning.

Examiners don’t usually look at the bullet points.

They only care that the topic is vaguely touched on.


For a 7 or higher in fluency and coherence, you don’t have to be perfect!

Fluency means to keep communicating in a natural way.

It doesn’t have to be extremely organized, and it doesn’t need a conclusion.

Use transition phrases!

Show that you know a variety of grammar structures.

  • I wish I’d never done it.
  • I hadn’t thought of it.

You must speak for 2 minutes!

If the Examiner has to stop you, that shows you are fluent and had more to say.

Go on a tangent!

Tell a story and don’t hesitate to ramble, or go on tangents.

  • As a side note, I think…
  • I’m going to go on a tangent here.

You can talk about anything related to the topic.

A recent Speaking Part 2 question was:

Describe a time you wore something smart.

It might be hard to describe the clothing for a full 2 minutes.

However, you can talk about anything related.

  • the occasion you wore it
  • where you purchased it
  • how much it cost
  • why you attended
  • who you went with
  • what you did to get ready
  • what time you left

Strategies Created by a Former IELTS Examiner

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Try a Speaking Challenge!

Record yourself speaking for a full 2 minutes about many different topics.

You can find Fiona’s Speaking challenges here.

The more you practice speaking aloud in English, the more natural it becomes.

Increase the difficulty by choosing topics you are less familiar with.


It is vital to know what the Examiner is looking for on the IELTS exam.

They are listening for specific things.

Practice speaking aloud while using transition phrases and high level vocabulary.

This way you will be ready on test day!

The Speaking module in 3 Keys IELTS will give you all the strategies you need.

Sign up today!

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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