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

Do you have a good sense of direction?

Questions come up often on IELTS about travel and directions.

Today we answer Part 2 and Part 3 Speaking questions from a recent IELTS exam.

Today you’ll hear band 9 sample answers about getting lost and following directions.

You’ll also hear filler phrases to use when you need a minute to think!

Part 2 question

Describe a time you got lost in a place.

Jessica first talks about her general tendency to get lost easily.

  • nooks and crannies: small or remote parts of a place

We visited all the nooks and crannies of the city.

  • prone: verb meaning having a tendency to

I’m very prone to getting lost!

Tell a story!

As part of her Part 2 answer, Jessica then tells a story.

This is an excellent strategy, and is the best way to fill 2 minutes!

She tells a story about getting lost with her son.

  • serendipitous: happening by chance or randomly
  • mouth-watering: so delicious it makes your mouth water

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Pro-tip: -something

When sharing the number of countries she had visited, Jessica said “30-something.”

This means about 30.

This is a great native expression for giving a general number.

It’s also a great strategy, because you don’t want to hesitate trying to think of an exact number.

Instead, say a number that’s close and add “something” after.

The Examiner doesn’t care if you’re giving the exact or correct answer!

If you pause and hesitate and try to think of the right number, your fluency score can go down

The closing question

There’s a question you’re asked right after you finish your Part 2 answer.

This question doesn’t matter!

It’s just a transition from Part 2 to Part 3.

Answer it with just one sentence.

Keep it brief and simple.

Part 3 Question: maps and apps

Your Part 3 questions will always be related to your Part 2 question.

This is helpful because you know the general topic and can be in the right frame of mind.

Do you think the use of maps and other apps help to reach a destination accurately?

Aubrey immediately tells a story about trying to find a destination before GPS was available.

Part 3 Question: travelling to new places

Why do people like travelling to unknown or new places?

Aubrey hadn’t thought about this.

The question is not just asking why people like to travel.

It’s more specific to why a person would choose new, unknown destinations.

Aubrey narrated her thoughts and used filler phrases as she considered her answer.

I really have to look to myself and think about why I like to visit new places.

The importance of filler phrases

Some IELTS questions are weird!

You may not have considered them before, or at least not recently!

You need strategies to keep your fluency score high.

Practice using filler phrases and narrating your thoughts while you consider an answer.

You can find many filler phrases on our blog, both formal and informal.

Takeaway

Travel is an extremely common IELTS topic.

You need to know how to talk about directions and all aspects of travel.

Today’s sample answers provide good examples of intonation and high level vocabulary.

Practice giving your own answer to these questions!

Learn several filler phrases so you have something to say and can avoid pausing.

For all the IELTS Speaking strategies you need, sign up for 3 Keys IELTS!

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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