Recent Part 2 IELTS questions about Places and suggested responses (July 2017)


One of the major themes in Part 2 is to describe a place, however, there are two types of answer to fit according to the topics. Here’s the first batch of places  that corresponds to this theme:

  1. Describe a time you went to a crowded place
  1. Describe a city you’ve been to
  1. Describe a time you had good experience in the countryside
  1. Describe a popular place where people like to go swimming
  1. Describe a shop that just opened in your hometown

Cue Card

Describe a time you went to a crowded place

You should say:

When you went there

What you did there

Whom you went with

And explain how you felt about it


Answer from 1-5:

As you know, Beijing is the capital city of China which is the center of attraction for tourists, job and business opportunities. Because of its popularity more and more people want to visit Beijing, this is mainly for the reason that Beijing has its beautiful scenery and cultural inheritance. Last month, we went to visit a place called Bird’s Nest which is a huge stadium in Beijing. During this trip, I was with my friends to attend a local band concert. I have learned that, it’s the largest stadium in China and it can accommodate 10 thousand people in total. In addition to that, the sports’ stadium is shaped like a dome with an open roof and with many entrances going inside. This entertainment facility is situated in the city center and it’s the venue for many major concerts, sports events, and a large gathering. However, when there aren’t any major events, it’s open to the public, you know, people can go there to run on the track or play any sports such as badminton or swimming. Perhaps, the primary reason why I visited this stadium is because I love going to concerts, as a matter of fact, I have been to many local stadiums but the Bird’s Nest is the most astonishing stadium I have visited. For the fact that, the place looks very fancy and famous bands internationally or locally hold there concert on this stadium. To sum up it up, I enjoyed going to Beijing learning about it’s history and attending this wonderful concert experience.


Answer Overview:

Beijing stadium topic is suitable for the PLACE theme. You can use the details provided above to describe your cue card, however, you must fit-in the right key points according to what’s given to you. For instance, you are given a topic to “Describe a popular place where people like to go swimming”, you can replace some information above to suit your subject. You can pretend that the stadium is located in Guangzhou (anyhow, the examiner don’t care about the truth, they care about your language) and there’s a huge swimming pool in this place, etc. Same goes with the other cue cards.

2017 May IELTS Exam questions

IELTS Writing questions

    • giving detailed description of crimes in newspaper and on television…media should be restricted”(what extent you disagree or agree)
    • In some countries, people can get variety food transported from other countries 。to what extent the benefits outweigh the drawbacks?
    • Some people think living in big cities is bad for people’s health. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
    • In some countries around the world men and women are having babies late in life. What are the reasons?/Why? Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?
    • Young people who commit serious crimes, such as robbery or violent attacks should be punished as adult. To what extent you agree?
    • In some country, people prefer to rent a house for accommodation, while in other country people prefer to buy an own house for living.
      Is renting house has more advantages or disadvantages than buying a house?
    • Public celebrations (such as national day, festivals) are popular in many countries. But some people think government should spend money on more useful things. Do you agree or disagree?

IELTS Speaking Exam questions

Part 2
Explain a situation when you have waited too long for something.
Explain about-
1. Situation
2. When and Where
3. What did you do after this?

Part 3
1. Are people like to wait nowadays? Why?
2. Why don’t younger people like to wait to compare with older people?
3. Why don’t people have patience nowadays?
4. What is your opinion about having patience? Is it good or bad?
5. Are children are good in waiting than older people?

Part 2

Which sport do you like ?
When did you first watch this sport ?
Whom do you watch this sport with ?
How do you enjoying watching this sport ?

Part 3

What are the other sports you follow ?
What are the other sports people follow in your country ?
Do you prefer watching sport at home or outside ?
How is the environment like when you watch the sport outside ?
How did the commercials impact the professional sports ?
Are some players paid too high ? Do you support large payments to some players ?

IELTS Speaking – can I change the topic?

Many students have asked us if it is possible to change the topic during the IELTS speaking exam. They also asked us why the examiner continues to ask questions about a particular topic that they have answered, which they don’t like. We are here to explain to you 🙂

Changing the topic in IELTS speaking

At no time can you ask the examiner to change the topic. You must prepare enough information and vocabulary on common topics so you can talk about a range of topics.

If the examiner asks you “Do you like art?” and you answer “No, I don’t.”, the examiner will continue to ask you questions about art. Just because you don’t like the topic, doesn’t mean you can’t talk about the topic in English. This is an English language test and high level students should be able to talk about a wide range of topics that you like and also don’t like. Below is an example of how you can still talk about a topic you don’t like.

Part 1

The questions are often simple in speaking part 1. Even if you don’t know much about the question, you can still answer it. Here are some examples:

Q: What kind of art do you like?

A: As I don’t like art, there isn’t one type of style or art form that I particularly like. Of all the art forms, I really don’t like modernist paintings.

Examiner Comment: The student gave a clear and concise answer. The answer was an appropriate length for part 1 and it contained a clear explanation. This answer contains complex sentences which helps the grammar score.  The answer also contains a good range of vocabulary such as “art form”, “style” and “modernist paintings”.

Q. What kind of extreme sports are popular in your country?

A: I don’t know anything about extreme sports so I can’t say which ones are popular. Most people just play regular sports like ball sports and water sports.

Examiner Comments: This reply gives a direct answer and also adds more information. It helps with the criterion of fluency. Although this candidate didn’t give examples of extreme sports, they gave examples of other sports which is appropriate to the topic. This is a strong answer.

More Tips

  • Part 2 –  Try to talk about the topic as closely as you can. If you do not understand it, talk about something similar. Don’t worry if you don’t use all the prompts on the card.
  • Part 3 – If you really don’t have any ideas for the answer, explain that. The most important thing is to use your English to express yourself.  You can still get good marks for using strong English in your answer. Below is an example of a part 3 question when the candidate can’t think of a clear answer or ideas:

Q: How do you think sports equipment will develop in the future?

A: I have no idea really but I guess that as technology develops, equipment will also change. That is clear from the development of equipment over the past 50 years and the introduction of new materials.

Examiner: Although the answer didn’t go into details, the candidate was able to offer an answer which used both future forms and past tenses which would give a strong score in grammar.

  • Don’t expect the examiner to change your topic because you don’t know much about it. This is a language test and the examiner must test how well you cope talking about different topics.
  • Prepare a range of topics for your IELTS test. Prepare ideas and vocabulary.
  • There are no marks for a right or wrong answer in IELTS speaking. There are only marks for your use of English language (so hint hint, do throw in plenty of linking phrases!)

IELTS Speaking: Can I ask Examiner Questions?

Can I ask the examiner questions during the exam?

This page explains to your questions you should and shouldn’t ask examiners in each part of the IELTS speaking test. Take a moment to go through 🙂

Asking Questions in Speaking Part 1

Of course, you can ask the examiner to repeat the question in IELTS speaking part 1 (Could you repeat that, please?) but that’s about all you can ask. You can’t ask other questions. The examiner is limited to asking questions only in speaking part 1 and can’t help you or explain. The examiner can’t explain questions and can’t explain words.

Asking Questions in Speaking Part 2

You can’t ask any questions in part 2. And you definitely won’t be able to ask the examiner to change the topic. You must use the topic that has been given to you and try your best to talk about something related to your cue card. If you don’t understand a word on your cue card, the examiner can’t help you. You need to follow the topic on your card and follow the prompts you understand. You can add any other information you want to your talk to make it longer which relates to the topic. Remember to use plenty of LINKING PHRASES!!
The examiner will tell you when to start talking and when to stop. You don’t need to ask.

Asking Questions in Speaking Part 3

You can ask the examiner to explain words and to explain the question in IELTS speaking part 3.  This is useful because the examiner will rephrase the question using different words and make it easier to understand. You can also ask the examiner to repeat the question, the same as part 1.

Here is the list of questions you can ask in speaking part 3:

  • Could you explain that, please? (the examiner will rephrase the question)
  • What do you mean exactly? (the examiner will rephrase the question)
  • Could you explain what X means, please? (for a specific word)
  • What does X mean? (for a specific word)

Don’t ask the examiner the following questions:

  • Have you been there?
  • What do you think?
  • Where do you come from?
  • Do you agree with me?
  • Can you change the question?
  • Can you give me an example?
  • Can you give me a different topic?
  • What are your opinions?

Thinking Time

Sometimes you need to time to think about the question and think of your answer. One way to do that is to ask the examiner to repeat the question. It is a useful way to gain time to think. Alternatively, you can say “It’s an interesting question. I’ve never really thought about it before. I suppose” You could use that method for difficult questions in part 3.

Will I lose marks if I ask the examiner to repeat the question?

No, it won’t affect your score. Your score is calculated on fluency, vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation. There is no score for understanding or comprehension. So, it is fine to ask the examiner to repeat one to two questions in part 1 or to explain a question in part 3.