Speaking Test Part 2 — the long turn

downloadIn Part two of the speaking test you are required speak without interruption from the examiner for 1-2 minutes. If you go over 2 minutes, you will be stopped, as it is otherwise unfair to the other candidate — don’t worry if you are stopped, it just means our time is up.  I will give you some tips, using the following sample card.

Sample card

Talk about a person who was important to you in your childhood.

You should say:

Who the person was

How you knew them

Describe the person’s appearance and character

Why this person was important to you



You have one minute to plan and the examiner will give you a pencil and paper. Do NOT write your plan in sentence form – just jot down some notes. If you try to write in sentences, of course you will run out of time.


Use the question to help you start off. For example you can say “I’m going to talk about…” and then just add the question — I’m going to talk about a Person who was very important to me in my childhood or paraphrase the question : I’m going to talk about someone who meant the world to me when I was a child.

This is a straightforward way to start without hesitating. It is strong, and gives you a second or two to get focused.

Use the prompts

Always remember to use the prompts on the card to help you continue if you run out of ideas or forget whee you are going.

Always check the tense of the question. For example: Talk about an important person from your childhood — You should remind yourself that you are mostly going to use the past tense for this task card because it is about the past. This is very important. If you do the whole thing in the wrong tense, then it will be very noticeable to the examiner and affect your grammar score.

Use Linking Words

After, then, because, so, and, although…etc

Use idiomatic language

Keep in touch, mean the world, keep up-to-date, to have something in common

Sample Answer:

I’m going to talk about someone who meant a great deal to me in my childhood. Her name was Cathy and she was my best friend. I met her when I was nine years old, after I had moved with my family to a new primary school. Cathy was tall, like me and had very blue eyes and sandy hair. We both had a lot of brothers and sisters, so we had that in common, and we both loved to read books. Cathy was important to me because she was a very loyal friend and also a lot of fun to be with. We spent a lot of our school holidays together and also walked home from school most afternoon because we lived in the same neighborhood. Although we have not lived in the same city for many many years, we still keep in touch and keep up-to date with each other’s lives.

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