Part 2 – Long Turn

Part 2 – Long Turn


Task Format


Part 2 is the individual long turn. The examiner gives the test takers a task card that asks the test takers to talk about a particular topic, includes points to cover in their talk, and instructs the test takers to explain one aspect of the topic. Test takers are given one minute to prepare their talk and are given a pencil and paper to make notes. The examiner asks the test takers to talk for 1 to 2 minutes, stops the test takers after 2 minutes, and asks one or two questions on the same topic.

Using the points on the task card effectively, and making notes during the preparation time, will help the test takers think of appropriate things to say, structure their talk, and keep talking for 2 minutes.

Part 2 lasts 3–4 minutes, including the preparation time.

Task Focus


This part of the test focuses on the ability to speak at length on a given topic (without further prompts from the examiner), using appropriate language, and organising ideas coherently. It is likely that the test-takers will need to draw on their own experience to complete the long turn.

Useful information and tips to help learners prepare:

  • In IELTS Speaking Part 2, you give a talk.
  • You should be prepared to speak for 2 minutes (the examiner will ask you to speak for 1 to 2 minutes: ignore this! Aim to speak for 2 minutes.)
  • It’s your chance to show the examiner how well you can talk for an extended period.
  • Many people call it “The Long Turn” because it is your turn to speak for a long time.
  • 2 minutes doesn’t seem like a long time, but if you’ve never done it before, it can seem like forever! Even for native speakers. So practice speaking for 2 minutes!

IELTS Speaking task 2 topics are related to personal experiences and life events. Typical topics include:

  • school, study, and work
  • important events or changes in your life
  • places you’ve been to or want to visit in the future
  • hobbies and free time activities
  • goals and ambitions


  • Make notes before you talk.
  • Memories a good opener, eg. “Well, there are many good teachers who I could talk about, but I suppose the favourite teacher I’ve had was…”
  • Paraphrase the topic.
  • Don’t speak too quickly.
  • Ask for clarification.

Learning strategies that will help the learners achieve better results:

You MUST take notes!

This is a crucial part of being able to fill two minutes in a fluent, cohesive way.

On the test, the examiner will first give you the directions for Speaking Part 2, then give you a topic card, a pencil, and a piece of paper.

Then, you will have one minute to take notes on your answer.

  • Practice brainstorming- it’s a skill, and like any skill, it must be practiced.
  • Do not take notes in your native language- only write in English. Otherwise, when you have to start speaking, you will also have to start translating your notes while you talk.


Teacher example and activities to prepare the learner:

Download the PDF in the “Materials” tab