IELTS Speaking Test Part 2 Preparation Time

Many of my students have problems dealing with Part 2 of the speaking portion of the IELTS exam. Some of them get nervous and make mistakes but for many students the problem is they just do not know how to properly make use of their one minute preparation time.

As a result, I developed a technique that I teach to every one of my new students right before they do their first IELTS Speaking Part 2 question. I call it….The Logic Tree.

The Logic Tree starts off by answering the Part 2 question in a very simple manner. Once you have done that you have to ask yourself questions. The answer to each of those questions is a bit of information you will then use in your 2 minute answer.

The first thing you need to learn is the 5 W’s. I realize it is actually six and one of them is actually an H and not a W but nevertheless, we call them the 5 W’s.

The 5 W’s – Question Words

  1. Who?
  2. What?
  3. When?
  4. Where?
  5. Why?   (Most common for Part 2)
  6. Which?
  7. How?

Now that we have that out of the way let’s see what we will do with them. The first step is as I mentioned above. You have to answer the original Part 2 question very simply.

Make sure you do the logic tree in your head and not on paper. Remember you only have 1 minute to prepare your answer so you have to make every second count. We will go into this in more detail later.

Let’s look at an example.

Example IELTS Speaking Test Question

Q. What is the most interesting class you have ever taken?
A. History Class

Q. Why is this the most interesting class you have ever taken?
A. I enjoy learning about ancient cultures and the various wars throughout history.

Q. Why else is history class the most interesting class you ever taken?
A. I have had several very good history teachers while in school. Mrs. Smith and Mr. Jones are among the best.

Q. Why are these two teachers the best?
A. Because they were both very knowledgeable, they engaged the class in conversation, and Mr.Jones always had activities that seemed to bring history to life.

As mentioned earlier we would not be able to think about all of that AND write it down during our one minute preparation time. So we would have to do the logic tree in our head but write short, simple, concise notes down on our scratch paper.

Written notes for the above example.

  1. History
  2. Enjoy – ancient cultures & wars
  3. 2 good teachers – Smith & Jones
  4. Knowledgeable, engaging, & activities – Brought history 2 life.
  5. Julius Caesar

One thing you may have noticed is that I did not bother trying to write correctly when taking notes. An example, is when I used the number 2 in place of the word “to” because it is easier and quicker to write the number.

Once again, your notes should always be short and simple. The purpose of the notes is to remind you of what you were thinking about during the preparation time. When you are giving your answer you can use your notes as a reference or a reminder and that is all they should be.

An added bonus
Something else you can do with your notes, while giving your answer, is to use them as a checklist. Every time you mention something from your notes in your answer you can cross it off or put a check mark next to it to show that you have said it. This will reduce the chances that you will repeat information.


Now it’s time to put this technique into practical use and practice doing it. Feel free to use some of the IELTS Practice Questions listed below or, if you prefer, use your own.




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