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The interview: section two

Task description
In this section the interviewer will move onto one or more topics of general interest. You may need to speak longer (take longer turns) than in the first section and you may need to describe or explain.

Sample questions
It is not possible to predict what topics may be discussed at this point in the interview; however, some standard topics are:

  • Traditional or modern buildings in your country
  • Tourism and tourist sites
  • Celebrations and cultural activities
  • Family and family relationships
  • Schooling and the education system in your country
  • City and country living
  • Modern and traditional lifestyles

If the interview does not take place in your country of origin, you may be asked to compare your country’s architecture, level of tourism, culture etc with those of the country you are living in.

What is being tested is your ability to:

  • take longer turns in a conversation
  • give information involving description and explanation

Strategies for approaching the task


Carefully consider what you know about each of the topics above. Try to think of all the questions that someone who was trying to get to know you might ask, and make sure that you have all the vocabulary you need to discuss the topics in depth. Check and practise the pronunciation of any new vocabulary. Where there are contentious issues, try to develop an opinion.

You will perform better in the IELTS interview if your speech is fluent. And you’re likely to be more fluent if you have already thought about the topic and have some ideas to express. This doesn’t mean memorising or rehearsing a speech because you can never be sure exactly what the questions will be, and also the examiner will immediately ask a different question if s/he suspects that your answer is memorised.


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