The outline of two heads lit up in neon constantly point at each other in anger. The picture is used to symbolise how a student feels when the examiner interrupts them in the IELTS exam by an examiner

Why did the IELTS examiner keep on interrupting me in the Speaking Test? This is a question that I see time and time again in Facebook groups. Well, actually, it’s not usually a question, but a complaint. An angry complaint that accuses the examiner of ruining the student’s speaking performance.

I think that nothing that fills an IELTS test-taker with fear as much as the idea of being handed a Speaking Part 2 cue card and having NO IDEAS. In fact, just the idea of sitting there for 60 seconds with nothing  but the the sound of your own beating heart in your head and the taste of panic in your mouth is the stuff of nightmares 💀. But, fear not, in today’s blog, I want to show you six techniques that you can use to make sure that you ALWAYS have something to say in your two-minute talk.

A cartoon of the earth at night sits on a background of stars to represent how it is important to think in general in IELTS Speaking Part 3.

In Part 3 of the IELTS Speaking test, you move from the personal to the general. While Part 1 and Part 2 ask you to answer questions based on your life experiences, in Part 3 you are asked to comment about abstract topics. And for me, this this is the part of the test where the examiner really gets to test your language and academic skills.

The shadow of two heads a placed on a green background. In one head there is a white spiral, which loops and connected to a scribbled mess inside the head opposite. The picture symbolises how an IELTS test-taker might not understand the functions they are asked to discuss in the in the speaking exam.

In are recent post, I spoke about how important it was in Speaking Part 3 to speak in GENERAL. However, even more important than this is making sure that you directly answer the examiners question. But, what if you can’t work out what the examiner is asking you to talk about?! Or, more importantly, what if you can’t recognise the type of language they are asking you to produce? Well, my top-tip for this is DON’T WAIT FOR WORDS THAT SHOW FUNCTIONS!

A red heart filled with smaller icons sits on a yellow background. The images inside the heart represent the common topic that students are asked to discuss in IELTS speaking Part 2. In particular, questions that start with the expression "Describe your favourite".

Hey! One of the most common types of Speaking Part 2 topics is talking about your favourite something. On the face of it, it should be easy, so why so many test-takers struggle with these questions? THEY ARE HARD TO CHOOSE!