In this tutorial, you will learn
- 3 tips for making notes in Part 2 of the IELTS speaking test
- 3 things you need for a high band score in IELTS speaking Part 2
- why some students are stuck on 6.5
This will help you in your exam because:
- Effective notes will improve your speaking performance and IELTS score.
- Notes help you focus on what’s important.
- You’ll learn how to get a speaking band score of 7.0 in IELTS.
There are 3 speaking sections in the test. In Part 2, you have to talk about a topic for 1-2 minutes. The topic is given on a cue card. Topics are usually based on your personal experience.
- Describe something you liked very much and bought for your home
- Talk about a very difficult task you succeeded in doing as part of your work or studies
- Describe a website you have bought something from
In Part 2 of the IELTS speaking exam, you should:
- show the examiner that you can talk at length on a topic
- organise and develop related ideas
It’s also a good opportunity to demonstrate the range of your vocabulary.
The IELTS examiner will hand you a topic card/candidate task card. On this card is the topic you need to speak about and some bullet points. The bullet points are prompts to help you plan your talk.
The examiner will give you instructions and paper and a pencil to make notes. You have 1 minute to plan your talk before you begin to speak.
Use this minute to think about the topic and the bullet points/prompts on the topic card. Make notes to help you plan the flow of your talk.
TIP 1:Do not write complete sentences – you don’t have enough time!
Cue card example
Talk about a book you recently read that you enjoyed.
You should say:
- the name of the book
- why you read it
- what you thought about it
and explain what you enjoyed about reading the book.
- 12 rules for life by Jordan Peterson, psychology, philosophy, self-help
- recommended, good reviews
- practical, insightful, different, good for self-improvement
- self-reflection, learning, better understanding, thought-provoking
TIP 2: As a guide, 20-25 words should be enough for your notes.
When the examiner asks you to begin speaking, you should speak on the topic for 1-2 minutes. Don’t worry about the time. The examiner will tell you when the 2-minute time limit is up.
You must try to speak about the topic for at least 1 minute. If you don’t it can affect your speaking score negatively.
At the end of the time, the examiner will ask you a couple of closing questions related to the topic and what you said.
Part 2 of the speaking test only lasts for around 3-4 minutes.
Why is making notes for IELTS Speaking Part 2 important?
Your talk should be organised. There should be a logical flow to your ideas and how you develop them during the time you speak.
Think of it as a short presentation. There should be:
- an introduction, setting the scene
- the main part of the talk which expands on the topic
- an ending which shows you have finished talking
If your talk is not organised well, it will be difficult for the examiner to follow what you’re saying.
You will not get a high score!
How can I score more than 6.5?
A portion of the marks awarded for Part 2 speaking is based on coherence and fluency.
What is coherency?
When you speak coherently, your talk has a logical order that the listener can follow easily.
What is fluency?
When you speak fluently, you do pause for longer than is natural while speaking. You need to show that you can think and speak at the same time.
To score Band 7 in coherence and fluency, you need to demonstrate that you can speak at length with ease and without losing coherence.
In contrast, to score Band 6, you are willing to try speaking at length, but sometimes lose coherence, repeat yourself, self-correct, or hesitate while speaking.
Notice the difference?
TIP 3: Coherence and fluency are the two easiest aspects of your speaking you can improve rapidly.
Your score depends on organising your ideas, speaking confidently, and in a logical way. You can increase your score for coherency and fluency without advance grammar or excellent pronunciation!
If you want to increase your score from 6.5 to 7.0, then focus on improving:
- Note making skills
You can do this quickly with just practice! But to improve your grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation you need more knowledge.
Does making notes help?
Yes, making clear notes will help you get a better score in IELTS speaking. If you don’t plan your talk, you might end up speaking about the topic in a very general way. Also, you might not cover all the points given on the topic card.
Making notes will help you keep track of what you want to say and help you follow a logical flow of information while speaking. It helps you stay focused on the topic. If you start talking about irrelevant things, the examiner might think you are unable to talk about the topic well.
TIP: Don’t start speaking immediately! The examiner will expect you to use the time wisely to prepare. Use the 1 minute preparation time to plan your talk before you speak.
How do I make notes?
Look at each bullet point and write one or two words to help you organise your ideas. Don’t write full sentences! Think of key vocabulary or facts that will help you remember what you want to say.
Try to use key nouns, adjectives or adverbs for your notes. Don’t worry about writing connecting words or prepositions. You will need these in your talk, but you won’t have enough time to write them all in 1 minute.
TIP: Do not write on the cue card/task card. Write on the sheet of paper the examiner gives you.
It’s best to write your notes like a list, following the order of the bullet points on the task card.
While you speak you can glance at your notes and follow them in order. This will help you maintain a logical flow of ideas that the examiner can follow easily.
Doing this will also ensure that you address all of the points given on the cue card.
Should I memorise answers?
No! Examiners are trained to identify a memorised answer or a response that seems prepared. It sounds unnatural and it will negatively affect your IELTS speaking score.
Each candidate task card used in IELTS is unique, although some appear very similar. It’s almost impossible to give a completely rehearsed answer because you don’t know exactly what the prompts on the cue card will be.
But you should practice before your IELTS test!
How should I practice my speaking for Part 2?
Use examples of IELTS Part 2 cue cards to practice speaking for 1-2 minutes on a variety of topics. This will help develop your fluency and coherence, and confidence! Try to use authentic IELTS practice materials as part of your IELTS preparation and look at some model answers.
Use mock tests and make notes on each topic in 1 minute. Plan your ideas, and try speaking for the maximum time of 2 minutes. After a few attempts, you will feel more focused and confident. You will also get an idea of how much information you can include in just 2 minutes.
TIP: Record yourself during your speaking practice. Then listen and analyse your answer. The more speaking topics you try to answer, the better!
Remember, Part 2 is where you get to impress the examiner with your English language skills. Make the most of the opportunity!
We offer a great online course to help you tackle your IELTS speaking and Writing preparation.
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