Speaking Part 2 - Self Presentation

Take a look at an IELTS Speaking cue card below! There are four questions that you need to answer. Before answering the questions, you have one minute to prepare you speech (you can take a note using paper and pen given to you by the assessor). After that, you will be given two minutes to speak without any interruption.

Illustration for party

Describe a party that you have attended
You should say:

  • What party it was
  • Where the party was held
  • Who attended the party
And describe what you did in that party

Possible Answer:

I ever attended a wedding party, it was my cousin's wedding party. The party was quite so long ago, but I still remember most details of the party because it was very memorable. I thought the party was gonna be very fun, for most part at least. It was quite surprising because the party turned out to be very formal. It was very formal and traditional, and I had to behave almost all the time.

The party was held in a ballroom in the city. It was because there were so many people invited to the party. A large room was needed to accommodate the people. The entire ball room was full of decoration. I remember seeing a table full of food and beverage. I was particularly interested in that, I was a kid after all.

All family members were coming to the party, as well my cousin's friends. Some of them even came from other city. Among the guests, I saw several kids running around and laughing. I also saw some people who looked very formal with tuxedo and everything. I thought they were my cousin's colleagues.

It was a very traditional party, and there were a lot of ceremonies involved in the party. I was involved in some of the ceremonies, like when the bride and the groom were walking down the aisle and I walked behind them. Actually, I felt a little bit uncomfortable because I was so dressy at that time. The tradition requires me to wear some clothes that really restrict my movement. That was probably one of the serious parts of the party I was involved in. Although the party was quite formal, I also enjoyed the more fun things like eating the food and talking to some guests.

I went around to give my relatives a warm greeting. They were a little surprised to see me growing up so fast. They began asking about my school and everything. It was very nice talking to them, since we don't meet so often. They live in other cities, and this wedding party is the right moment to reunite with the family and distant relatives.

Speaking Part 3 - Two Way Discussion

Follow up questions

  • What are the differences between serious party and friendly party?
  • Why are some people late for parties intentionally?
  • Why do some people like party while others hate it?
  • What do we need to do to make a party more alive?
  • Will there be many more people to attend parties?

Possible Answer:

Q: What are the differences between serious party and friendly party?

A: Friendly party is far different from serious party for several reasons. First, friendly party is usually open for anyone. The people attending friendly usually wear casual clothes. The party is generally for fun only and the people are free to do anything they want, from talking with other guests to enjoying food, snack and beverages. The activities are not arranged based on strict schedule like that of most formal parties. There are usually games and singing and dancing. Te people do anything if they feel like doing it.

Serious party is quite contrary. The kind of guests being invited to serious party is usually important people such as colleagues and business partners. These people always wear formal attire and behave in a very formal manner. They don't discuss trivial thing but instead, talking about business. They may talk casually, but that's only for common decency before turning back to the main topic of business, networking or any other things alike. 

It is possible to have certain entertainment in serious party, like singing and dancing. However, the entertainment is usually that of classy type of entertainment. They have it merely for expressing their interest in art and culture, one of many good ways to show their social status.

Q: Why are some people late for parties intentionally?

A: Some people are coming late to parties on purpose, and I will try to explain why. This is really just a personal opinion, though. A significant number of people is simply not interested in some parts of the party that they regard as boring. This may include the opening speech and some other ceremonial things. People tend to love the eating-and-drinking or singing-and-dancing part of the party and decide to come late just to skip these uninteresting parts. 

Q: Why do some people like party while others hate it?

A: The fact that some pepole like party and some others hate it may be due to the different personality. Some people are very outgoing, they are talk active and really enjoy social engagement. Typical party goers will always try to spend some time around other people, even if it is only on the weekend. Nevertheless, there are some people who like being alone to spend their me time, instead of attending parties. These people are very introverted and don't like being in a crowd. They even avoid small talk because they deem it unnecessary.

Q: What do we need to do to make a party more alive?

A: A party can be alive if everyone is having fun. However, there are some people who are very shy even to start a small talk with other guests. To cheer up the party, the party holder needs to make sure that everyone is comfortable enough to talk, eat, dance and get along with other people. A good party holder usually walks around to say hi to their guests, at least. Even if they don't do it by themselves, they usually ask the MC to live up the party.

Q: Will there be many more people to attend parties?

A: In my personal opinion, there will be more and more people attending parties nowadays. This is due to several reasons. First of all, there is a tendency that people now are working harder. There is a higher standard of life and this has put a burden on most people shoulders. They really struggle to live by certain standard. The burden can only be reduced by means of entertainment. There are more people looking for entertainment, and party is a definitely a good way to lighten a little bit. 

Secondly, parties are now like primary necessity. This is due to the fact that  there is a considerable number of younger generations who prefer to have experience rather than buying material things like shoes or clothes. The growing number of clubs and cafes is a clear indication that 'parties will not end very soon'. Many businessmen are aware of this phenomenon, and they compete to provide the coziest place to party, whether it is the formal one like a wedding party or the more casual one like sweet seventeen party.

Tips for IELTS Speaking part 2 and 3

a. Focus on your explanation
There are some test takers who are too afraid to answer simply because they are not so sure about the validity of the information they are about to give. This is not good. 

In IELTS test, it is important to note that one thing that becomes the focus of the marking is the way you explain your ideas. Thinking before you speak is good, but do not take too much time thinking about what to say. This will result in a very long and painful pause, making your speech sound less spontaneous and less natural.

b. Give some real life examples
This will make it easier for you to justify your claim. Using personal experience as an example will also make it easier for you to remember some detailed information. In fact, giving real life examples is essential when you deal with topics which are quite abstract, like happiness, for example. Take a look at a question below:

Q: How would you define happiness?
A: Happiness is the state when someone feels contentment. This usually happens when someone achieves something in their life, or when they get something that they want.

That's a real definition of the word happiness, as well as some of the reasons why people feel happy. But if you use it to answer the question above, it would sound pretty much like a circular argument. It is quite inevitable that even with some reasons, the explanation is yet to be satisfactory. This kind of question usually needs a little personal touch. Now, pay attention to a sample answer below:

Happiness is a the state when someone really knows about their passion, turns it into real actions, successfully achieves their goal, shares it with their beloved ones and eventually finds the truest meaning in their life. 

The most common example would probably the kind of job that people have for living. Some jobs become some sort of real satisfaction. People who find their job to be something that they love tend to do anything wholeheartedly. They are committed to giving their best effort and this is often followed by other types of satisfaction such as prosperity, stability, as well as many other things like good social relationship at work. 

Moreover, happiness is usually quite contagious, and people who already feel such contentment will usually radiate positive vibe or even inspire other people to strive, achieve their goals, and feel the same contentment. Those who are able to do this will more likely be happy and live their life to the fullest.

The sample answer above may be too personal and emotional, but the concrete examples given by the speaker will make it easier for the assessor to understand the point of his/her explanation.

c. Improve your vocabulary score
This can easily be done by using wide range of vocabulary and maintain its accuracy. From the sample answer related to happiness above, you can see that the speaker uses several words whose meaning is actually the same with happiness, such as:
  • contentment
  • satisfaction

You can also paraphrase the word 'happiness' with these words:
  • Pleasure
  • Joy
  • Bliss
  • Peace of mind
It is important to note that you must not use the same word over and over again because it will reduce your score in lexical resource.

Other than some questions that have been listed above, there is also a possibility that the assessor will shift the topic and ask you these questions:

  • Describe a birthday party you have attended
  • Describe a party that you enjoyed
  • Describe a party that you have attended and you don't like
  • Describe a family event that you remember
  • Describe an occasion where you meet new people
  • Describe your experience of throwing a party

To read the complete sample answers for IELTS Speaking Section about party, click here 

Here are some other examples of IELTS cue card:

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