Prepare some model answers
In addition to preparing language about the common topic areas of people, places, things, activities, experiences; a good way to prepare for Part Two is to prepare a model answer for each of these common topic areas for a couple of reasons:
- If you prepare for a question about a person, let’s say your best friend, you could apply this answer to other questions about people. For instance, if you are asked to describe an adventurous person you could talk about your best friend and explain why he or she is adventurous in some way. And, let’s say you get asked to describe a good teacher; if you are good at telling stories, you could even pretend your best friend was your teacher!
- No matter what the topic, you should be able to say something about people, places, and things. By preparing some vocabulary and ideas about these topic areas you will essentially be preparing for any question.
NOTE A COUPLE OF THINGS:
- You should not prepare too many model answers. The idea is to just prepare a few for each of the common categories [people, places, things, activities, experiences].
- Before you take your test you should practice using your model answers to respond to different questions. Look at different Part Two questions and think which of your model answers could best fit it. And, if none of them perfectly fit it you might have to start off your answer by directly answering the specific topic, and then moving onto one of your prepared topics, or even use parts of different prepared answers.
- You may need to customize the answer to fit the specific question. For instance, if you have prepared the topic about your best friend and the question is about your neighbour then at the start of your talk you either need to say that your best friend is your neighbour, or else just pretend that your best friend is your neighbour without actually saying it.
- With practice you should be able to answer almost any question with just a few model answers that you can customize to answer specific questions. Note that this is an excellent way to increase your score because you will be familiar with the topic which will enable you to speak fluently and if you prepare the topic well it will have high-level vocabulary and grammar in it.
How many words are needed for a model answer?
You should ideally speak for 2 minutes. A native speaker speaks at about 145-160 words per minute and then there are pauses between ideas. A non-native high-level speaker may speak a bit slower perhaps 110 words per minute. A lower level speaker may speak at fewer than 100 words. You might want to work out your speaking speed, to get an idea of how many words you will need to speak. If you plan your model answer to be 250 words, that will be more than enough.
See some model answers for part 2 speaking here