en English

Speaking test part 2 topics and tips

In part 2 of the speaking exam, you will be given a prompt card that asks you to talk about a particular topic.

Included under the main topic sentence, are four additional prompts telling you what areas to include in your talk, to help you keep talking for between 1 and 2 minutes.

For example, from Cambridge IELTS 10 Test 4:


Here is a list of 38 Speaking Test Part 2 topics I have compiled from my collection of IELTS practice test textbooks. See below for Part 2 tips (Do’s and Don’ts).


an interesting historical place
an interest or hobby you enjoy
a river, lake or sea which you like
a useful website you visited
a well-known person you like or admire
a song or piece of music you like
one of your friends
a festival that is important in your country
someone in your family who you like
something healthy you enjoy doing
a game or sport you enjoy playing
an important choice you made
a party that you enjoyed
an idea you had for improving something at work or college
a competition you entered
a useful piece of electronic equipment
a questionnaire or survey you gave your opinion in
a restaurant you visited
a meeting you had
a family friend you remember from childhood
a market you visited
a new or exciting activity you did
a journey [by car, plan or boat] you went on
someone who has done a lot to help people
someone you know who does something well
a shop you often go to
a child you know
something you want
a house or apartment of someone you know
a writer you would like to meet
a day when the weather was perfect
an interesting documentary
one of your favourite places you like to visit
a famous entertainer you like or admire
someone who has taught you something useful in your life
a common leisure activity in your country
a friend that you spend a lot of time with
a local facility (e.g. sports centre, mall, cinema, park) that you often use


Test tips (DOs and DON’Ts):

  • Don’t wait for the examiner to say “You can start preparing now”. You may start writing notes the moment they finish saying “I’d like you to describe [insert topic]”.
  • Don’t worry if the examiner remains silent when you can’t think of anything more to say during your 2-minute period. He/she is giving you a chance to talk more.
  • Don’t worry if the examiner stops you when your two minutes are up. This will not affect your score.
  • Don’t spend too long answering any follow-up question the examiner asks you. Just 1 or 2 sentences is enough. Marks normally come from your initial 2-minute long turn (unless you finished it way earlier than normal).
  • Don’t worry if the examiner stops you while you are answering any follow-up question. He/she is just trying to keep within the time limits.
  • Do try to talk for the maximum time permitted (2 minutes) because the examiner needs a large sample of your vocabulary/grammar to give you a higher score.
  • Do talk on each of the four prompt points for as little or as long as you want.
  • Do let the examiner know if you have nothing further to say during your 2 minutes (e.g. “And that’s it”), so he/she will not wait silently for you to keep talking.
  • Do pile all the materials together (the booklet, paper, pencil and eraser) and quickly hand them back to the examiner when he/she asks you to.

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