What If I Go Off Topic in IELTS Speaking Part 2?
- 1 So, do you lose marks for going off-topic in Speaking part 2?
- 2 So, how to talk about the topic for 2 minutes straight without going off-topic?
- 3 Is it necessary to talk in part 2 according to the prompts on your cue card?
- 4 Does the examiner mark you in your ability to use the prompts on the cue card?
Many students wonder if sticking to the prompts are going to get them high band scores or do they lose marks in IELTS Speaking part 2 if they go a little off-topic. So, let’s find out.
Let’s take a look at what IELTS Speaking Part 2 incorporates.
The IELTS Speaking part 2 is a cue-card round, where the examiner asks you to speak for one or two minutes on a topic given in cue cards.
- A cue card topic will be given to you by the examiner. On the cue card, there’ll be a brief topic on the card and some ideas for what to include in the answers.
- The examiner will give you one minute to prepare your talk. After one minute, the examiner will ask you to speak on the topic.
- The examiner will not interrupt you when you are speaking.
- After you finish speaking, the examiner might ask you questions about the topic to check your English language skills.
So, do you lose marks for going off-topic in Speaking part 2?
No, you do not lose marks if you go off-topic. The cue cards are given to help you build your conversation. You can add whatever information you like in your answers, must make sure it is relevant to the topic.
Let’s assume that you’re given a cue card on the topic “cake” in Speaking Part 2, but you don’t know anything about cakes. Then you go a little off-topic by discussing a party, event, or any occasion and briefly mention the cake that was there in the event and its details like its taste and size, and style. However, if you completely avoid talking about cakes and discuss the party’s decorations, then it is going off-topic. So, if you completely avoid the topic and never mention it, then the examiner will mark you low.
So, how to talk about the topic for 2 minutes straight without going off-topic?
To speak for 2 minutes, build your answer. Consider adding extra information in your answer when you are given time to prepare and think about supporting ideas or contexts that could be relevant to your topic. Giving extra information is not going off-topic. It is expanding your topic with supporting ideas.
Is it necessary to talk in part 2 according to the prompts on your cue card?
Yes, it is necessary. The prompts are provided to assist you in elaborating on the topic. Ofcourse, you can choose the prompts you want to use, but you cannot avoid using them altogether. It is better to address all prompts. Furthermore, you can choose to talk about anything as long as it is relevant to the topic.
Does the examiner mark you in your ability to use the prompts on the cue card?
No, It is the way you connect your ideas that matters in the IELTS speaking test as it marks you on your fluency and coherence skills. However, it is recommended that you use all the prompts given on the cue card and add more extra information if you like. If you try to avoid the topic, it will give the impression to the examiner that either you lack the vocabulary or misunderstood the task.