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IELTS Speaking Part 2 & 3: Cue Cards & Two-Way Discussion

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Updated on Apr 18, 2024, 06:22

The easiest way to master IELTS Speaking is to become familiar with the IELTS Cue Cards. Not sure what cue cards are? Well, you’re in the right place.

 

On this page, we’ll discuss all there is to know about IELTS Cue Cards or the Individual Long Turn Round.
 

On This Page

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1. IELTS Speaking Part 2: What is an IELTS Cue Card?

IELTS Cue Card, also known as the IELTS Individual Long Turn, falls under part 2 of IELTS.

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2. IELTS Speaking Part 3: Two-Way Discussion or Follow-Up Questions

The final part of IELTS Speaking consists of follow-up questions regarding your topic from Part 2. The last part is considerably easier but differs from parts 1 and 2. Part 3 of IELTS Speaking evaluates your ability to express your thoughts and justify arguments.

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3. List of IELTS Speaking Cue Card 2024 Topics

Here is a list of the most commonly asked IELTS cue cards, follow-up questions, and sample answers.

 

List of 60+ Cue Card Topics & Samples

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4. IELTS Speaking Marking: Scoring Criteria

IELTS scores on a band scale of 0 to 9, combining individual scores of all four modules. The Speaking section also receives a score of 0-9.
 

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5. Tips to Ace IELTS Cue Cards

If you're preparing for the IELTS Speaking test, knowing how to excel in Cue Card topics is essential.

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6. Brief Recap

The IELTS Speaking Test is an essential part of the IELTS exam, and the IELTS Speaking cue card section is one of the prominent parts of the test.

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1.

IELTS Speaking Part 2: What is an IELTS Cue Card?

Side note, If you’re still unclear about what IELTS Speaking is, now would be a good time to brush up on your basics. However, if you are familiar with the nitty-gritty of IELTS Speaking, dive straight ahead. 


 

Leap to Learn: Word of the moment!

Nitty-gritty: the most important aspects or practical details of a subject or situation.

 

IELTS Cue Card, also known as the IELTS Individual Long Turn, falls under part 2 of IELTS. This section is the heart of the speaking test and requires you to speak about a given topic on the spot.

 

This section assesses your ability to speak fluently, organise your thoughts, and use various vocabulary and grammatical structures. To ace the cue card round, you must focus on the following factors: 

 

  • Speaking in a flow
  • Pronouncing your words right
  • Using words correctly and in the right context 
  • Providing relevant answers

 

The Cue Card topics cover many subjects, from personal experiences to abstract concepts. The IELTS Cue Cards typically revolve around people, an occasion, an object, a study or experiences. The topics may be as simple as ‘Talk about your dream house’ or ‘Someone from your family that inspires you.’ 

 

Here’s how the cue card round works: 

Here’s an example of a commonly asked cue card for your understanding! 

 

IELTS Speaking Cue Card Sample With Answer

 

Topic/Cue Card: Discuss a person who has significantly impacted your life.
What you should say:

  • Who is the person?
  • How did you meet this person?
  • In what ways have they influenced you?
  • How has your life changed because of them?

 

Context: You'll have one minute to prepare for the topic, and then you'll need to speak about it for approximately two minutes. 

 

Sample Answer:

 

First, state who the person is and your relationship with them.

"My grandfather has significantly impacted my life. He has been a constant presence in my life. He has influenced me in numerous ways as he has always guided me whenever I lost track of things, and I am grateful for his guidance and support."

 

Then, provide the details of your relationship and how they influenced you.

"My grandfather has always been a role model for me. He is a kind and compassionate person who always puts others before himself. He has taught me the importance of hard work, honesty, and integrity. He has encouraged me to pursue my dreams and never give up."

 

"One of the ways my grandfather has influenced me is by teaching me how to be a good listener. He always takes the time to listen to what I have to say and offers his advice and support. He has also taught me the value of patience and understanding."

 

Lastly, summarise your answer and ensure you have covered all the pointers in the cue card. 

"My life has changed in many ways because of my grandfather. He has helped me become a better person and has given me the confidence to pursue my goals. I am grateful for his love and support, and I hope to be able to repay him someday."

2.

IELTS Speaking Part 3: Two-Way Discussion or Follow-Up Questions

The final part of IELTS Speaking consists of follow-up questions regarding your topic from Part 2. The last part is considerably easier but differs from parts 1 and 2. Part 3 of IELTS Speaking evaluates your ability to express your thoughts and justify arguments.

 

As we mentioned, Speaking Part 3 is closely related to the IELTS Long Turn or the Cue Card round. For instance, if your cue card is ‘Describe your dream house’, the two-way discussion will be about living preferences, the type of houses in your country, and how houses have evolved over time. 

 

Part 3 usually takes the focus away from specific and personal ideas towards more general and abstract ideas. 


 

Leap to Learn: Tip of the Moment!

The main intention of part 3 is to test if you can speak on general topics as well. Try using phrases like this to impress the examiner!


  • Typically, the people in my country feel that…
  • I have seen that in my country, people are more likely to…
  • Taking my hometown as an example…

 

Here are some possible part 3 topics for the most commonly asked cue cards.

 

IELTS Cue Cards

Possible topics for IELTS Two-Way Discussion

Describe a Place you Visited Where the Air was Polluted

Pollution, Environmental Impact, Health Effects, Government Policies 

Describe a Dinner you Really Enjoyed

Food preferences, Food & Travel, Healthy Eating, Dining experiences

Describe a Story or Novel That Was Interesting to You

Impact of Literature, Movies VS Books, Genres of Literature, Importance of Writers

Talk About an Interesting Old Person you Met Recently

Ageing, Life Experiences, Health and Well-being of the Elderly 

Describe a Skill That you Can Teach Other People

Hobbies, Self-Learning, Problem Solving, Teachers, Education

3.

List of IELTS Speaking Cue Card 2024 Topics

Though it is impossible to predict the topic you will receive during the IELTS Cue Card round, you can increase your chances of speaking fluently by practising the most commonly asked cue cards. 

64 samples available

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1

Describe a skill that you can teach other people

 

You should say

 

  • What is it?
  • How did you learn it?
  • How can you teach others this skill?
  • How do you feel about this skill?


 

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2

Describe a place you visited where the air was polluted

 

You should say

 

  • Where is the place?
  • When did you visit?
  • Why was the air quality poor?
  • How did this experience make you feel?


 

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3

Describe a famous person that you are interested in

 

You should say

 

  • Who this person is?
  • How do you know about the person?
  • What sort of life did they have before they became famous?
  • How did this person become famous, and explain why you like this person?


 

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4

Describe a course that you want to learn.

 

You should say:

 

  • What is this course?
  • When do you want to learn it?
  • Where can you learn it?
  • And explain why you want to learn it.


 

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5

Describe a person who solved a problem in a smart way

 

You should say: 

 

  • Who is this person?
  • What was the problem?
  • How did he/she solve it?
  • What about the solution makes it smart?


 

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6

Describe a prize that you received
 

You should say:

 

  • What was it?
  • When did you receive it?
  • What did you do about it?
  • And explain how you felt about it.


 

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7

Describe a volunteering experience you have had
 

You should say

 

  • What it was?
  • Where was it?
  • Why did you volunteer?
  • How did you feel about it?


 

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8

Describe a piece of good news
 

You should say

  • What was it?
  • When did you receive this news?
  • How did you receive this news?
  • Why do you feel it was good news?


 

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9

Describe something you taught to your friend
 

You should say

  • What did you teach him/her?
  • When was it?
  • How long was it for?
  • And explain how you felt about it.


 

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10

Talk about an interesting old person you met recently

 

You should say

  • Who is this person?
  • How did you meet him?
  • How do you know him?
  • What do you do with this person?
  • Why did you find this person interesting?


 

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11

Describe a dinner you really enjoyed
 

You should say

  • When was it?
  • What did you eat?
  • Who were you with?
  • Why did you enjoy it?


 

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12

Describe a story or novel that was interesting to you
 

You should say

  • What story or novel was it?
  • Where did you come to know about it?
  • When did you read it?
  • How did you feel about it?


 

View Sample Answers

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13

Describe a Time When You Shared Something with Others
 

You should say
 

  • What did you share?
  • Who did you share with?
  • Why did you share?
  • How is it special?

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14

Describe a Toy You Liked in Childhood
 

You should say
 

  • What kind of toy was it?
  • When did you get it?
  • Did you share it with others also?
  • How did you feel about it?

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15

Describe an Interesting Neighbour
 

You should say:
 

  • How long have you known this neighbour?
  • What do you think of your neighbour?
  • Do you hang out with your neighbour often?
  • What kind of relationship do you have with your neighbour?

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16

 Describe a competition you would like to take part in
 

You should say

  • What kind of competition it is?
  • What would you do in this competition?
  • Why does this competition interest you? 


 

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17

Describe an Interesting Activity That You Remember Enjoying Most in Your Primary School

 

You should say

  • Where is the place?
  • When did you visit?
  • Why was the air quality poor?
  • How did this experience make you feel?


 

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18

Describe Your Childhood Friend
 

You should say
 

  • Where did you meet this person?
  • Is this person from your neighbourhood or your school?
  • How did you become friends?
  • What kind of relationship do you have after growing up?

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19

Describe an object you find particularly beautiful
 

You should say

  • Where is the artwork/object?
  • How was it made?
  • What does it look like?
  • And explain why you find it particularly beautiful.


 

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20

Describe a place where you are able to relax
 

You should say

  • Where is it?
  • What is it like?
  • How often do you go there?
  • And how do you feel about the place?


 

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21

Describe a person you know who likes to talk a lot

 

You should say

  • Who is this person?
  • How do you know him/her?
  • What does he/she like to talk about?
  • And explain how you feel about this person.

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22

Describe a period when you were busy
 

You should say

  • When was the period? 
  • Describe the tasks that kept you busy. 
  • Explain how you managed your time during the period. 
  • Share how you cope with these busy schedules. 

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23

Describe a Long-Term Goal You Would Like to Achieve
 

You should say
 

  • What the goal is? 
  • How long have you had this goal? 
  • How would you achieve it? 
  • Explain why you set this goal.

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24

Describe a Place Where You Would Like to Relax
 

You should say
 

  • Where is it?
  • When would you like to go there?
  • What would you like to do there?
  • Explain why you would like to go to that place.

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25

Describe a situation when you helped someone

 

You should say

 

  • What was the situation where you helped someone?
  • How did you come to know about the need for help?
  • What did you do to help?
  • What was the outcome of your help?

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26

Describe a Job You Would Not Like to Do in the Future


You should say

 

  • What is the job?
  • How do you know about it?
  • Whether it is an easy or difficult job?
  • Explain why you would prefer to do something other than do it.

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27

Describe a Time When You Used a Map


You should say

  • When was it?
  • Why you used it?
  • Was it challenging to use?
  • Explain how you felt about it.

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28

Describe a Skill That You Learnt in Your Childhood


You should say

  • What skill did you learn?
  • When did you learn the skill?
  • How did you practise and develop this skill?
  • Why do you think it's essential to learn such skills?

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29

Describe an Unusual Holiday You Had


You should say

  • What holiday was it?
  • Who were you with?
  • What did you do?
  • Explain why it was unusual

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30

Describe An Exciting Activity That You Experienced With Someone Else


You should say

  • What the activity was?
  • Who did you do it with?
  • Where and when you do it?
  • Why did you choose it, and how did you feel during the experience?

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31

Describe a Person Who Is Good at Making People Feel Welcome in His/Her Home.


You should say

  • Who Is This Person?
  • How Do You Know Them?
  • How Do They Make You Feel Welcome?
  • Explain How You Feel About This Person.

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32

Cue Card Topic: Describe A Time You Successfully Did Something Difficult

 

You should say

  • What was the task or challenge you faced?
  • How did you approach the situation?
  • What were the difficulties you encountered during the process?
  • How did you feel after completing the task?

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33

Cue Card/Topic: Describe Something in Your Country That You Are Interested In
 

You should say

  • What is it
  • How do you know about it?
  • Why you are interested in it?
  • Explain whether you would like to know more about it.

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34

Cue Card/Topic: Describe a Beautiful City
 

You should say

  • Where is the city?
  • How did you know the city?
  • What buildings does the city have?
  • What is it famous for?
  • And explain why you think this city is beautiful.

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35

Cue Card Topic: Describe Something You Do Regularly That Helps You Work And Study Better
 

You should say

  • What is it?
  • When did you apply it?
  • How has it helped you?
  • Explain how you feel when you do it.

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36

Cue Card/Topic: Describe a Photo That You Took and Are Proud Of
 

You should say

  • When did you take this photo?
  • What type of camera did you use?
  • Who was in the photo?
  • Explain why you are proud of this photo.

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37

Cue Card/Topic: Describe a Party That You Enjoyed.
 

You should say

  • Whose party it was and what it was celebrating?
  • Where the party was held, and who went to it?
  • What did people do during the party?
  • Explain what you enjoyed about this party.

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38

Describe a Useful Object in Your Home That You Can’t Live Without.


You should say

  • What is it?
  • How often do you use it?
  • How do you use it?
  • Explain why you can’t live without it.

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39

Describe a Good Advertisement That You Think Is Useful.


You should say

  • Where you can see it?
  • What did it show?
  • Why do you think it is useful?
  • Explain how you feel about it.

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40

Describe an Occasion When Someone or Something Made Noise.


You should say

  • Who/What made the noise?
  • What the noise was like?
  • What did you do?
  • Explain how you felt about it.

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41

Describe a Sportsperson That You Admire


You should say

  • Who the person is?
  • What sport does he or she do?
  • When did you first hear about this person?
  • Why do you admire him or her?

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42

Describe Something That You Picked up That Was Thrown by Someone Else


You should say

  • Where was it?
  • When was it picked up?
  • What did you do after you picked it up?
  • How did you feel?

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43

Describe A Time That Something Changed Your Life In Good Ways


You should say

  • When and where it happened?
  • What happened?
  • How did you feel about it?
  • Explain in what positive ways this event changed your life.

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44

Describe a Successful Person Who You Once Studied or Worked With.


You should say

  • Who this person is?
  • When did you study/work with this person?
  • What did you do together?
  • What did you do to become successful?
  • Explain how you felt about studying or working with this person.

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45

Describe A Film that Impressed You A Lot.


You should say
 

  • When and where did you watch it?
  • What was the movie about?
  • Why did you choose to watch it?
  • How you felt about it? And explain why it made you think so?

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46

Describe a Person Who Enjoys Cooking For Others.
 

You should say
 

  • Who this person is?
  • What he/she likes to cook?
  • Who he/she cooks for?
  • And explain why he/she enjoys cooking

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47

Describe A Job that You Think is Interesting
 

You should say
 

  • What is it?
  • Why do you think it is interesting?
  • What skills does it need?
  • How did you feel about it?
  • And explain why it made you continue doing it?

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48

Describe an invention that is useful in daily life.
 

You should say
 

  • What is the invention?
  • What can it do?
  • How popular is it?
  • Is it difficult or easy to use?
  • And explain why it is useful.

View Sample Answers

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49

Describe an occasion when you got incorrect information.
 

You should say
 

  • When did you get it?
  • How did you get it?
  • How did you find it was incorrect?
  • And how do you feel about it?

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50

Describe An Unusual Meal That You Had.
 

You should say
 

  • Who were you with?
  • Where did you go?
  • When did it happen?
  • Why was it unusual?
  • How did you feel after eating it?

View Sample Answers

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51

Describe your best friend.
 

You should say
 

  • Who is he/she?
  • When and how did you two meet?
  • How do you spend time together?
  • And explain why you like this person.

View Sample Answers

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52

Describe An Adventure You Would Like To Go On.
 

You should say
 

  • With whom do you want to go?
  • When do you want to go?
  • What do you want to do?

View Sample Answers

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53

Describe An Activity That Made You Feel Tired.


You should say
 

  • When and where it takes place?
  • Why did you take part in it?
  • What was the activity?
  • Explain why it made you feel tired?
  • How did you feel after doing the activity?

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54

Describe A Person Who Always Has Interesting Ideas or Opinions.
 

You should say

 

  • Who is this person?
  • How do you know this person?
  • What interesting ideas/opinions this person has?
  • Why do you think that the ideas/opinions of this person are interesting?
  • How did you feel after meeting this person?

View Sample Answers

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55

Describe A Piece Of Good Advice That You Gave To Someone


You should say

 

  • Who did you advice?
  • What was the advice?
  • Why did you give the advice?
  • How was it helpful, and how did he/she feel about it?

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56

Describe an occasion when you waited a long time for a nice thing


You should say

 

  • When did it happen?
  • What was the nice thing?
  • How long have you waited?
  • Why do you wait for a long time?
  • Explain how you felt about the experience.

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57

Describe a place in your country that you think is interesting


You should say

 

  • Where is it?
  • How did you know it?
  • What special features does it have?
  • And explain why you think it is interesting.

View Sample Answers

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58

Describe a time when you were late


You should say

 

  • When was it?
  • Why were you late?
  • How do you feel about being late?
  • Explain how you managed the situation.

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59

Describe a sports program you like to watch


You should say

 

  • What is it?
  • Who do you watch it with?
  • When do you watch it?
  • Why do you like to watch it?

View Sample Answers

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60

Describe A Person Who Inspired You To Do Something Interesting.


You should say

 

  • Who is this person?
  • For what did he/she inspire?
  • Why was he/she inspired?
  • How do you feel about it?

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61

Describe A Piece of Technology That You Find Difficult To Use.


You should say

 

  • When did you get it?
  • What did you get it for?
  • How often do you use it?
  • How do you feel about it?

View Sample Answers

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62

Describe a website which helped you to do something


You should say

 

  • Which site is it?
  • How did you know about it?
  • How did it help?
  • Why do you visit it often?

View Sample Answers

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63

Describe A Bad Service You Received In A Restaurant Shop.


You should say

 

  • When and where it happened?
  • What happened there?
  • How was it solved?
  • How did you feel about it?

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64

Describe a time when you had a problem with using the computer


You should say

 

  • When did it happen?
  • Where did it happen?
  • What was the problem?
  • How did you solve the problem in the end?

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4.

IELTS Speaking Marking: Scoring Criteria

You are assessed based on the 4 criteria mentioned below. 

 

1. Fluency and Coherence: Evaluate your ability to speak English smoothly and clearly without pauses, repetitions, or interruptions.

 

2. Lexical Resource: Focuses on your vocabulary, including the range of words used and their appropriateness in context.

 

3. Grammatical Range: Evaluate the grammatical structures used in your speech, including the correct use of tenses, parts of speech, and sentence structures.

 

4. Pronunciation: Assesses your ability to pronounce English words correctly, including sounds, stress, rhythm, and intonation, regardless of their native language.

5.

Tips to Ace IELTS Cue Cards

Here are some tips to help you:


1. Understand the task: Ensure you understand what you're asked to do. Read the cue card topic carefully and take note of any specific instructions.

 

2. Plan your response: Take a few moments to plan your response before you start speaking. Think about what you want to say and how you want to say it.

 

3. Use the prompts: The cue card topic will include some prompts to help you structure your response. Make sure you use these prompts to guide your answer.

 

4. Speak clearly and confidently: Speak clearly and confidently, and maintain a natural pace. Take your time with your response, but pace yourself.

 

5. Use Examples: They support your points and make your response more interesting. This will also help you to demonstrate your language skills.

 

6. Practice: Practice as much as you can before the test. Record yourself speaking and listen back to identify areas for improvement.

 

Remember, the IELTS Speaking Test assesses your ability to communicate effectively in English. By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to achieving the IELTS Speaking cue card Topics and a high test score.

6.

Brief Recap

The IELTS Speaking Test is an essential part of the IELTS exam, and the IELTS Speaking cue card section is one of the prominent parts of the test. A huge chunk of your band score depends on it. 

 

By understanding the three parts of the IELTS Speaking Test, familiarising yourself with the different cue card formats, and following the tips provided, you can prepare yourself accordingly and increase your chances of success. 

 

Remember to practise as much as you can before the test and speak clearly and confidently during the test. Staying relaxed is the key! 

 

Good luck! 

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IELTS Speaking Practice Test

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IELTS Reading Practice Test

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IELTS Writing Practice Test

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IELTS Important Information

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FAQs

Q. Do IELTS Cue Cards repeat?

A.  Yes, IELTS Cue Cards can be repeated. However, the topics may vary slightly or have a different focus. The IELTS Speaking Cue Cards are refreshed every four months, meaning the topics may change or be updated. It’s crucial to stay up-to-date with the latest Cue Cards and prepare for various topics to perform well in the IELTS Speaking Test. Preparing for a wide range of topics is essential to increase your chances of success in the IELTS Speaking Test.

Q. How can I practise the IELTS cue card?

A. To practise the IELTS Cue Card, you can start by selecting a random topic and giving yourself one minute to prepare before speaking for two minutes. 
Record yourself and listen back to identify areas for improvement. You can also practise with a partner or a tutor to receive feedback and improve your speaking skills.

Q. What are the topics for IELTS Cue Card speaking?

A. The IELTS Speaking Test consists of three parts, with the Cue Card section being one of the most challenging. It requires you to speak on a topic given to you on the spot for 2 minutes, followed by a discussion with the examiner for another minute. The Cue Card topics cover many subjects, from personal experiences to abstract concepts—for instance, family, friends, achievements, study, work, etc.

Q. How do you prepare Cue Cards easily?

A.  Prepare IELTS Speaking Cue Cards effectively by understanding the test format and potential topics. Create a list of diverse subjects, practice speaking on them, and record yourself for self-assessment. Focus on speaking confidently, using varied vocabulary and grammatical structures. Anticipate follow-up questions, preparing thoughtful responses. Regular, targeted practice ensures familiarity with different themes and boosts confidence in articulating ideas during the exam.

Q. What happens if I speak for less than 2 minutes in IELTS?

A. If you cannot speak for the full two minutes during IELTS Speaking Part 2, it may affect your Fluency score, an essential factor in achieving a score of 7 or higher. While there is no specific penalty for not speaking for the full two minutes, speaking as much as possible is recommended to demonstrate your language proficiency.

Q. How can I start IELTS practice at home?

A. You can start by acquainting yourself with the test’s format and organisation. Access online resources that offer sample test papers and practice materials. Enhance your English proficiency by reading books, watching English films, and listening to English podcasts. Regularly practice speaking and writing in English to refine your language skills further.

Q. Is it OK to speak slowly in IELTS?

A. Maintaining a moderate pace while speaking during the IELTS Speaking Test is important. Speaking too slowly can lead to a lower score as it limits the amount of language you produce. However, speaking too fast doesn’t necessarily indicate good fluency. It’s recommended to speak naturally and avoid rushing through your responses.

Q. What are some of the most common IELTS Speaking Cue Card topics?

A. Some of the most typical IELTS Speaking Cue Card topics include describing a person who has influenced you, discussing a memorable childhood event, discussing a book or movie you enjoyed, describing a place you have visited, and discussing a current social issue. It is important to prepare for various topics to be ready for any cue card that may be given during the IELTS Speaking Test.

Q. How do you talk for 2 minutes in IELTS?

A. To talk for 2 minutes in IELTS, you must structure your response and organise your thoughts coherently. 

  1. Start by introducing the topic and giving a brief overview. Then, provide supporting details and examples to elaborate on your main points. 
  2. Use a variety of vocabulary and grammatical structures to showcase your language proficiency. 
  3. Finally, conclude your speech by summarising your main points and providing a final thought. 
Q. What are the 3 parts of the IELTS speaking test?

A. The IELTS speaking test consists of three parts. In Part 1, the examiner asks general questions about your life, interests, and experiences. In Part 2, you are given a topic to speak about for two minutes, after which the examiner asks follow-up questions. In Part 3, the examiner asks more abstract questions related to the topic in Part 2, allowing you to demonstrate your ability to express opinions and ideas more complexly.

Q. How do you prepare a Cue Card in 1 minute?

A. Make the most of the one-minute preparation time by brainstorming ideas about the topic you will be discussing. Jot down any relevant keywords that come to mind during this time. This is your chance to plan the content you want to cover in your speech, so use it wisely.

Q. How do you crack the IELTS Speaking Cue Card?

A. To excel in the IELTS Speaking Cue Card section, one must prepare meticulously in advance. This involves understanding the test format and the types of topics that may appear, practising speaking on various subjects and recording oneself to identify areas for improvement. It is important to speak confidently and fluently during the speech, using a range of vocabulary and grammatical structures. In the follow-up discussion, be prepared to answer questions related to the topic and share your opinions and ideas.