Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

In this article, you’ll find out how your IELTS scores connect to Speaking Part 2 bullet points.

Even though we’ve mentioned this on the podcast and in some YouTube videos, there are still students asking me this question:

You say to tell a story in Part 2. But what happens to my score if I don’t talk about the bullet points?

Let’s clear up this issue!

There is NOTHING in the scoring system that relates to the bullet points in Speaking Part 2.

In fact, most examiners don’t even bother to read the bullet points. They only focus on the cue card topic.

This topic always begins, “Describe…“.

It is that topic you must discuss for 2 minutes.

The topic will be:

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The only way your Speaking score will decrease is if you completely ignore the topic given, and talk about something unrelated.

Telling a story is the best way to develop a coherent, fluent response in Part 2, because it is organized chronologically, using linking words, and you have details to provide which aid in vocabulary exhibition as well.

The fact is, if you develop a story around the topic, you will naturally end up including some or all of the bullet points anyway.

What happens if you do focus on the bullet points?

If you only brainstorm about the bullet points:

  • You probably won’t have enough to say for 2 minutes.
  • Your answer will be choppy and unorganized.
  • Your answer will lack a variety of transition phrases (you’ll just say ‘and..and…and’).
  • You will have pauses as you glance at the bullet points.
  • You won’t have a variety of interesting or specific vocabulary, because your answer will be too general.

So, why are the bullet points there, then?

Honestly, they’re only there to help students think of stuff to say for 2 minutes. That’s it.

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