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IELTS Speaking Practice | #2 The Topic Card (with model answer)

After you've completed speaking part 1 of the IELTS speaking exam (the personal interview), the examiner will give a topic card. It will have 3-4 questions on it. The topic can be unpredictable, but usually, it will ask you to describe a place, event or a situation from your own experience.

You have 1 minute to read the topic card, take notes and prepare a short speech about the items on the card. You should speak for approximately two minutes. At the end of speaking part 2, the examiner might ask you a couple more questions.

Here is a typical IELTS Speaking exam topic card:
Describe a journey you have been on.

In your answer you should include:

* Where you went
* Why you went there
* What you did
* Whether you enjoyed the journey or not and why


How would you answer the questions on the topic card? Try it!  :)

Sample Answer:

"I would like to tell you about a trip I went on last year. My wife and I took a weekend trip to Amsterdam.

We have both wanted to visit Amsterdam for a long time. We'd heard so much about how beautiful it was, from our friends. So, I finally decided to buy some tickets and book a hotel. I kept it a secret from my wife though. She was very excited when I told her!

I did a lot of research before the trip, looking for interesting places to visit during our stay. I really wanted to visit the Amstell Beer museum and my wife had mentioned that she wanted to take a cruise down the canals. Amsterdam is a cool place, I wish we had had more time to explore and see more things. However, we had a lot of fun. We'd definitely visit again."

TIP:  It's difficult to know if you've been speaking for the required time. How do you know if you've been talking for long enough....or too long?

There are 4 points on this topic card to cover. If you divide 2 minutes by 4, you have approximately 30 seconds to talk about each point. Record yourself answering the questions on the card. Replay the recording and check the time of the audio. 

It is not necessary to answer all of the questions on the card, they are just a guide to help you . As long as you can talk for at least two minutes, you'll be fine.

Keep practicing like this and you will find that you can naturally feel when to stop talking and move on to the next point.

Remember the 1 minute prep time at the beginning of the test? Use it wisely! That one minute is very important. Check the questions on the topic card carefully for ideas, and prepare good keywords and prompts for your speech.


Sep 18, 2016 10:24 PM
Comments · 3

@Yousaf    Hi Yousaf. I sent you a message.


September 19, 2016

Hi Neil. I want to attend class with you now regarding IELTS speaking. R u available?

September 19, 2016

Thanks for sharing this post. I'm sure many IELTS candidates will find it useful. 

By the way, I have something to add:

You must make sure to answer all of the points on the card during your speech.

This is NOT a must. Those bullet points are there just to guide the candidate. Indeed, they are served as suggestion. A candidate may choose to talk about every single point or simply skip some of them. The candidate will NOT lose mark if they do not talk about one or some of the points.  

September 19, 2016
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin)