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

IELTS Speaking Part 2 intimidates, frightens and freaks out many IELTS candidates.

Are you one of these people?

Not to worry! Today, you’ll get all the information to not only complete IELTS Speaking Part 2 with confidence, but also fulfill the examiner’s expectations for a high score.

What does the examiner want?

The examiner is listening for very specific things in Part 2.

Fluency and Coherence

The first category that the examiner will grade you on is fluency and coherence. This mainly has to do with linking words. This is the coherence part.

You must use a variety of linking words to organize your ideas in Speaking Part 2, not just, “and, and, because because.”

Also, the examiner will be listening to your fluency. Here, you simply need to keep speaking for the whole 2 minutes. Do not stop talking, until the examiner asks you to stop.

The best strategy for getting a high fluency score is to tell a story about the topic. When you tell a story, your pronunciation, fluency, and vocabulary scores all increase.

Stories are naturally organized in your mind, and they are an event that is personal and memorable. This allows you to add more specific detail and be more expressive.


In order to score highly for vocabulary, you must use interesting and idiomatic language.

This should be easy to slot in during your Speaking Part 2 answer, because you have plenty of time to be descriptive, using interesting adjectives and idioms.

There are many idioms and phrases that express opinion, and you will naturally do this while you are speaking for 2 minutes.


Don’t worry about grammar!

Basically, in order to get a 6 for grammar, you need to use a variety of sentence structures- simple, compound and complex.

However, you can still have quite a few mistakes and still get a 6. As long as the examiner can still understand you, even though you are making mistakes, you can get a 6 here.

In order to move from a 6 to a 7, you have to produce a high percentage of error-free, perfect, sentences. For most students, this is impossible.

It would take a year, at least, for most students to move from a 6 to a 7 in grammar.

Therefore- don’t waste your time! Invest your time wisely by improving your scores in the other categories.


Here is your golden opportunity to improve your score quickly!

Pronunciation is the easiest category in which to achieve a 7 or higher.

The examiner wants to hear your personality. She/he wants to hear your voice go up and down (intonation) and your stress on important words.

This should be very fun to practice, actually.

  • You can create a whole confident character for yourself who enjoys speaking English with confidence.
  • You can also watch hilarious sitcoms, and try to copy the exact way the actors speak.
  • Also, you can read out loud every day for 5 to 10 minutes, and this will help you increase your fluency and your connected speech patterns.

It all leads you to a higher score.

For more information on Speaking Part 2, including example answers, check our our podcast, and check out our IELTS course, the 3 Keys IELTS Success System.

Do you have any questions about what the examiner wants to hear in Speaking Part 2?

Leave us a comment below.

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