IELTS Speaking Section

Good News and Bad News of Speaking Section

Speaking is the last section in IELTS and for me personally, is the most casual section in IELTS. This, however, does not always happen that way. In some cases, several problems may appear and we may find it a little bit difficult or even, frustrating. I have been discussing with some test takers one problem that they usually have during the Speaking Section is avoiding the long pause and painful silence. This usually happens when we are running out of ideas. Sometimes, it can also happen when we already have the ideas and know what to talk about but we are still processing like finding the equivalent English words or dealing with grammatical accuracy. In this case, a real quick processing is highly needed and the way we arrange our ideas (using certain layout) will often determine our overall fluency.

Problems related to IELTS Speaking - Arrangement of ideas

For your information, the arrangement of ideas in Speaking (especially part 3) actually resembles the layout of your Writing Task 2. Speaking is therefore like the spoken version of your writing. The thing is, you can prepare your answers in writing by doing a brainstorming and you can always revise your writing. And in the speaking, you are not supposed to give prepared answers and thus, the challenge is that you have to be spontaneous. You probably agree with the fact that it is sometimes hard to arrange ideas on mental state really quick without giving a clue to the assessor that you are still processing.

To cope with this problem, you need to use a simple layout that includes:

a. Answer

b. Reason

c. Example


a. Answer

b. Example

c. Reason


In answering the questions, you have to be highly relevant and for you to do this, keywording will be extremely important.


In some cases, you may find it difficult to think about the answer since the process is only in your head. To make it easier, you simply have to find a concrete example.


Reason is the part that is often misunderstood. Somebody once asked me: "The assessor does not ask us to give reason for each answer, so is it relevant if we give reason without being asked?". And the answer is: We need to give reason even if the interviewer does not ask for reason. It is really important that we develop our ideas and the easiest way to do it is by giving reason. This specifically happens in part three since it sounds a bit like an argumentative speaking for me.

Let's take a look at this example:

Topic: Occupation

Question: What kind of jobs the people have for living in urban area?

First of all, We need to pay attention to the keywords so that our answers will be relevant to the question.

What kind of jobs [keyword1] the people have for living in urban area [keyword 2]?

Secondly, we need to find a concrete example. There are so many jobs in urban area and it is not possible for us to mention them all. So we need to give a limitation for the answer and find a real concrete example of jobs (two examples are preferable), like:

People in big cities usually work in economic and business sector such as an entrepreneur or those having small shops. There are also some people who work in service sector.

Thirdly, sometimes it is really helpful to give examples that can be easily compared like when we divide jobs of people living urban area into:

a. entrepreneur x employee

b. selling goods x providing services

c. private sector x government officials/civil servant

and so on....and so on...

By doing this, we can use a layout that is almost similar to that of our Writing Task 2 in which we provide:

a. Argument 1

b. Contrasting statement

c. Argument 2

Hence, the answer for sample question above will be:

Argument 1

In many big cities, there are more and more people working as an entrepreneur [Answer], such as those opening a small shop or even big retail and franchise [Example]. They prefer to an entrepreneur because they feel like running their own business rather than working for other people. Sometimes, passion in business makes it more enjoyable for them to face challenges rather than doing a routine like most employees do everyday [Reason].

Contrasting statement

However, this is not always the case that people want to run their own business.

Argument 2

In some cases, people prefer to work as an employee [Answer] such as those working as an accountant working for private a company or probably a legal consultant [Example]. They prefer to be an employee because they feel like it is safer. They can earn decent salary and do not have to deal with the risks like fraud or bankruptcy. It is okay for them to work for other people and have the same routine every day. Employees are usually people with certain skill and knowledge and it is more likely for them to have a job that is related to their expertise [Reason], although it is still possible for them to have a shift in career and finally become an entrepreneur, especially when they are already prepared and have enough capital to start a business. This is probably another common case that happens nowadays, where people are competing to be successful in start up business by relying on their skill in..for example, the case of people in silicon valley, with their skill in computer programming that eventually start a business of their own [Example].

By doing this, we already meet the criteria number 2, 4, 6, and 8 explained in this material

Lastly, you just need to take care of other criteria explained in the speaking material above and I hope that you will get high mark on your IELTS Speaking Section.

For Writing Task 2 Material, please go to this link below

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