Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Many IELTS students introduce their Speaking Part 2 answers like… students.

This makes the Examiner likely to give them a band 6.

Today you’ll learn 2 ways to sound more native when introducing your Speaking Part 2.

These will impress the Examiner immediately.

How long should you talk on Speaking Part 2

On Speaking Part 2, you have to talk about one topic from a cue card for 2 minutes.

Is it acceptable to stop after 1 minute?

No, it’s not!

You want to fill that full 2 minutes.

This is the only way to show enough variety of vocabulary and intonation.

How to avoid speaking like a student

You need to sound more like a native to get a 7 or higher.

Don’t begin your answer with, “I’m going to tell you about…”

Natives don’t say this when they begin a story.

It’s difficult because it’s an unnatural situation.

In real life, no one will time you while you speak for 2 minutes.

This is why your study strategies must be specific for the IELTS exam!

Strategies Created By a Former Examiner

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How should you begin a Speaking Part 2 answer?

  • Say what you thought of when you saw the card.

This allows for better intonation.

It gives you the chance to lead into a story.

  • Say what you felt when you saw the card.

One of our students recently posted that a teacher instructed them not to talk about feelings on IELTS.

This is completely false!

You should definitely talk about how you feel, and what an experience made you feel.

How to apply these strategies

Share what you thought as soon as you heard a topic.

  • Describe a time you went to a museum.

Use the sentence starter, “This topic made me think of…”

“This topic made me think of a trip I took to Paris.”

Then, go into detail!

Describe any of the following:

  • The museum you visited.
  • Who you were with.
  • Why you were there.
  • What the weather was like.
  • Your favorite piece of art.
  • How you felt about the museum or specific artwork.

What if you get stuck?

If you are asked a question that throws you off, you have options!

Use the sentence starter, “As soon as I saw this card I was taken aback because…”

Then explain why it’s a difficult question for you.

Don’t forget, you can always invent a story!

The Examiner doesn’t care if you tell the truth.

They just need to see how fluent you are!


Today’s strategies can get you the 7 or higher you need on Speaking.

Don’t start Speaking Part 2 in a stiff, formal way.

Instead, use one of these strategies.

  • Say what you thought as soon as you read the topic.
  • Say what you felt as soon as you read the topic.

This is a much more native way to begin your answer.

Use these to lead into telling a story!

For more strategies to get you the score you need, sign up for 3 Keys IELTS!

And if you’d like to know the score you’d get today on IELTS, take our free 2-minute quiz.

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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