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.

IELTS Speaking Exam – tips and advises from an Examiner

As we have mentioned in our previous statement the Speaking exam is not an academic test. You must have a better understanding on how examiners mark your score. What you might not know is that each section contributes to your final Speaking Score by breaking these skills down even further, identifying the key aspects of each. Note, that each criterion consist of 25% which sums up to 100%:

  • Fluency and Coherence (25%)
    Fluency refers to how good the candidate is at keeping talking at the right speed and proper intonation while Coherence refers to how logical you connected your ideas in speech. This is a fairly general criteria which include evaluating the relevance of the candidate’s answers, it refers to the speaker’s need to be able to understand and follow the rules of language at a word, sentence and text level.
  • Lexical Resource (25%)
    This specifies to how much vocabulary the candidate has and how well they use it. As well as the rules of language at a word level, this criteria considers the communicative functions of speech and the social meaning of speech. Idiomatic language is also a plus.
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy (25%)
    Your grammatical score is, obviously, a reflection of your mastery of English grammar. This refers to how many structures the candidate has and how well they use them. Again, as well as the rules of language, this criteria considers the communicative functions of speech.
  • Pronunciation (25%)
    This refers to how well the candidate enunciates individual words. As well as considering the communicative effect of the candidate’s pronunciation, there is an evaluation of how much strain it causes on a listener, and how noticeable their accent is – although accent itself is not a problem.

To sum up, these aspects are relevant to each other to make speech effective in communication. For instance, if you have a thick accent, your control of the grammar and extensive lexicon can support your response. Likewise, perhaps you speak rather slowly and deliberately because your fluency is weak and requires consideration. In this case, it may be a strong vocabulary and well-pronounced words that may keep your message afloat. When you think of it, the way that the IELTS speaking section is marked is pretty genius.

Practical, simple & helpful IELTS Speaking exam tips from a current Examiner

The IELTS Speaking test is basically one of the most difficult parts of the IELTS examination. Most students that have studied with First English dedicate much of their time preparing for their speaking test, they usually formulate answers and memorize it which make it difficult for them to prepare. In which case, they have less understanding how examiners rate their oral capability. Remember that, these exams are challenging and can be very important for your future. Luckily, I’ve rounded up four simple ways to loosen you up.

  1. Speaking test is not an IQ or a knowledge test

Most students can go wrong because they evaluate it like an intelligence test and forget to use good English. Again, this is not an academic test, perhaps, it’s a language test. Know how the exam is marked so you can give the examiners exactly what they want. Here are 4 criteria you must consider:

  • Fluency and Coherence
  • Lexical Resource
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy
  • Pronunciation
  1. Study each section.

  • Part 1: Interview: This is supposed to be a relatively simple, introductory section. The examiner will likely ask your name, where you’re from, how you like to spend your free time, why you’re studying English, etc. Tip: It will be effortless to give “yes” and “no” answers in this section, but do your best to give longer responses. Example: “Do you enjoy learning English?” “Yes (keep going!), I think English is a difficult but entertaining language to learn, and it’s very practical.” The interview will last 4-5 minutes.
  • Part 2: Long Turn: In part 2 you will be given a topic about which you must speak uninterrupted for 1-2 minutes. This tends to be very difficult for most examinees. Tip: You will have one minute of prep time. Don’t try to write out complete answers, just make notes and improvise from them. You will sound more natural this way and you’ll be able to map out your entire response.
  • Part 3: Discussion: In this section of the test you will discuss a topic with the examiner for 3-4 minutes; again, a difficult category. Tip: If you have the chance to make a point through a personal anecdote, this will show you are comfortable and make your conversation more unique.
  1. Acquire the updated topics.

Knowing the food on the table will make a huge difference compared to people who is taken off guard. By learning about the topics you can create hints to each topic, in this way you can excel in spontaneity. You don’t necessarily need to memorize the answers because it is impossible for you to remember and it might sound recorded when you speak it out. Just jot down the main ideas and it will do the trick.


  1. Apply it in real life situation.

Apparently, reading English materials, listening to foreign music or watching foreign films might be a little helpful. Yet, interacting with someone is the best way to apply your oral skills whereas you can form a habit of being comfortable when using the English language. Here’s where tutors come in, practice with someone who could speak good English, they can guide you in so many aspects of the speaking test. Also, you can learn about your strength and shortcomings from your response and can identify which area of your language skills needs improvement.