Going Off Topic in IELTS Speaking Part 2

Is it wrong to go off topic in IELTS speaking part 2? Will you get a lower band score if you go off topic? Do you get a higher band score if you stay with the topic and follow the prompts given in IELTS speaking part 2? See the tips below to learn how your IELTS speaking is marked.

  • Is it essential to follow the prompts on your cue card for speaking part 2?
    • No, it isn’t. The prompts on the cue card are guidelines and support to help you build your talk.
  • Will you get a lower score if you don’t complete the cue card prompts?
    • No, you won’t. You can choose which prompts you want to use. You can ignore some and use others. You don’t get a lower score if you don’t complete the cue card prompts.
  • Are there questions to answer on the cue card?
    • No. There are no questions on your cue card. There are only prompts which are suggestions that will help you give a full talk. It is your choice to use them or not.
  • Can you add information in speaking part 2 that isn’t on the cue card?
    • Yes, you can. It is recommended that you add information to expend your talk. You will not get a lower score if you go off the topic by adding extra information that is not on your card.
  • Is the examiner marking your ability to use the prompts on the cue card?
    • No. You are not marked on ideas at all. You are only marked on your use of English language.
  • I heard that going off topic will reduce your score. Is that true?
    • Not for IELTS speaking. It is true for IELTS writing. In IELTS writing, you are marked on your response, ideas and being on topic. This is not the case for IELTS speaking. You can learn how band scores are marked on the links below.
  • Should you follow the prompts on the card?
    • I recommend that you use the prompts and also add extra information. The prompts are useful and provide a structure to your talk which will help your score. Adding extra information is a useful way to showcase your English language for a higher score.

Learn about how your speaking and other skills are marked: IELTS Band Score Explained

Prepare ideas for Common IELTS Speaking Part 2 Topics

Learn more tips for IELTS Speaking on the Main IELTS Speaking Page of this website.

Learn How to Start your Part 2 Talk

Main IELTS Pages

Develop your IELTS skills with tips, lessons, free videos and more.


  1. Hi Liz,

    You are great and your blog is truly awesome.

    I would like to know that, if i get corrected by the examiner because of not answering the right question, how many marks i would be deducted?

    I really need this answer, as i made this mistake in my real exam.


  2. Edagobo Believe says

    Hello, Good day Liz!
    I just finished my speaking test and I’m a bit worried I might get a reduction because I kind of went out of topic in part 3. The examiner asked a question about artists. He said does artist of the past and now have same ratings. Why or why not. Previous questions on the topic artist were about art (paintings) but for this particular question, I spoke of music instead of painting. What do you think?

  3. Hi teacher
    I had speaking test today
    The topic was: “an experience that the Internet helped you to solve a problem”
    It was difficult for me to talk about a certain problem so I spoke on an experience of having problem with finding a result of a soccer match and i got hold of that informition through a website.
    The examiner pointed by her pen at the problem (on the paper) while I was talking.
    Is it wrong to talk about that occasion?! Unfortunately she thought it was wrong and I will get a low grade.

    • It is not wrong at all. You are not marked on your ideas. You are not marked on task response or task achievement. Only the language you speak is marked for fluency, grammar, vocab and pron. The examiner cannot mark you down for not talking about the problem involved. In fact, the examiner should not have pointed to that on the paper at all.

  4. Hi Liz,
    I gave my speaking test today. In part two, it says: give an example of achievement that you celebrated.
    What is that achievement
    Who’s with you
    What did you do for the celebration

    I was so nervous that I cannot think much, so I said it’s my mom’s 60th birthday.. and I just continuously talking and realizing that my answer is far from the task.. so what I did was adding statement that I don’t have many achievement that I celebrated, this time my achievement was when I gave my mom a present on her birthday with my hard earned money.
    Do you think it affects my score as i know my answer was off topic from what is expected.

    • Sounds to me like you explained why you diverted slightly from the topic – all fine. It would have been a problem if you had decided to talk about the weather instead of an achievement or celebration. As being on or off topic isn’t marked, the examiner is only worried about people changing the topic because they want to present a memorised answer or a topic they have prepared. You haven’t done this. Don’t worry. Wait for your results and let me know how it went 🙂

  5. Hi liz,
    On 5th September i took my ielts speaking
    I struggled in part 1 when examiner asked me about perfumes where there are 3 questions about it
    Rather than that i answered rest of the questions and part 2 and part 3
    How much that part 1 questions will effect for my band in speaking

    • It might show that you do not have a wide range of vocabulary, but that you have an adequate range of vocabulary for common topics. But even so, your score will be based on your overall performance rather than one topic.

  6. Shiv hansoti says

    Hey… 24th August was my ielts speaking test from idp and I was asked in que card about handsome person I met…..
    My response :-
    4 days ago I was having video conversation withy brother. It flabbergasts to see how he transformed himself. Because, before an year he was the person who got punished for his impudent behavior. He was having an inveterate tendency to procrastinate his work, but today he is the most proactive person I know. Being curious, I asked what made you transform. He described his perilous journey across the mountains of hurdles in meticulous detail. He taught me one thing It’s ain’t about how hard you hit, it about how hard you can get and keep moving. Life will put you down but its up to is to stay there or stand up and punch into the face of the problem. And according to me I like the person who is more beautiful from inside. Apart from it, he was having weigh of 140kgs and reduced it to 80 KGS. He worked hard for building his physic, which made him more fit and handsome. He told me one story, once a guy went to google and asked what should I do to become successful like you google replied you must wake up at 4 am and meet me at the beach
    After it my test taker stopped me saying thank you.
    If follow up questions I answered some wrong questions in terms of content. So I very afraid that how much would I get.

    • I don’t usually comment on answers. However, I will post a few comments that everyone can benefit from:

      One of the main problems here is language. You are trying to put in so many high band score words – unfortunately, some are not well chosen and not suitable for the context. This means they are not examples of high band score words – they are examples of mistakes. This is something you all need to be very aware of. Don’t try to impress. Vocabulary is only worth 25% and each time you use a word incorrectly, it will lower your score.

      Below I have correct this talk:

      4 days ago I was having video chat in real time with brother, who I hadn’t seen for over a year. I was flabbergasted to see how he had transformed himself. Because, when I last saw him, he was quite different both in physical appearance and behaviour. He used to procrastinate in his work, but today he is the most proactive person I know. Being curious, I asked “how did you make the change”. He described his how he overcame his problems. He taught me one thing – it isn’t about how many times you fall, it is about how often you get up and keep moving forward. Life will put you down but it’s up to you to keep fighting in the face of your problems. I personally think that a person is more beautiful from the inside than the outside. Apart from that, he used to weigh 140kgs and now he is just 80 KGS. He worked hard at building his physique, which made him healthier and much more handsome. He told me one story, once a guy asked god how to become successful. God replied you must wake up at 4 am and meet me on the beach.

      I changed the last two sentences about god, not because of religion, but because google is a search engine and would not reply in that way – also I couldn’t fully understand this sentence.

      There are no questions on your cue card. You task is not to complete them or to follow them. The prompts are there to help you. They provide a useful structure – that’s all. It is your task to add a lot more to your talk – description, comparisons, superlatives, conditional statement, past memories, future hopes, common opinions etc etc.

      Please do not ask for band scores – that is not the aim of my website. I hope this comment will help you and also all other test takers 🙂

      • So would it make a lot of negative impression on my grading? And sorry it was typing mistake It’s google
        And thanks for your time and consideration.

        • The main problem I see is that you were not careful with vocabulary and as I explained vocabulary counts for only 25% of your marks. Also your use of grammar tenses wasn’t strong. Grammar counts of only 25% of your marks. However, your score is not based on part 2 only, it is an overall score based on your performance throughout the whole test. I hope you get the score you want. If you don’t and if you need to take the test again, make sure that you practise at home the right way and focus on the right things.

  7. hi liz,

    today I gave speaking test and they have asked in part 2 “tell about any old interesting person you have meet”. while speaking for 2 minutes, I have said he is 40 years of age. will affect my score?

    • Wow, if 40 years is considered old, I must be ancient !! Very funny 🙂 It will have no impact on your score at all – don’t worry. Your ideas and information are not marked.

  8. Hi liz,
    I gave my speaking test today.I was happy after giving the test because I gave fluent and accurate answers. Later, I realised that it might be the case as I have answered a wrong cue card because I just looked over for the word INTELLIGENT PERSON rather reading the whole question! Will it affect my band scores?(if yes,how much)

    • There are no questions on the cue card and there are no marked awarded for being on or off topic in IELTS speaking. You will be marked on the language you produce – nothing else affects your score. Don’t worry – it’s all fine.

  9. Hi Liz ,

    I had my speaking test this afternoon, and cue card prompt was “a person i know who is protecting the environment” I spoke about a public figure who is protecting wildlife. Have I gone off topic and will this lower my score

    • Please read the page above to learn about “going off topic”.

    • Hello liz,
      I had speaking test. Cue card was given to describe about a important thing i burrow, however i described about a thing i bought? How much does this affect if fluency, lexical resources, grammar and pronunciation are mostly ok with very few error?

      • The fluency, lexical resource, grammar and pron of the English you speak are the only things that are marked. Nothing else affects your score. So, don’t worry. The only time it would be a problem is if the examiner thinks you changed the topic on purpose because you wanted to talk about a topic you had already prepared at home.

  10. Hi Liz
    Hope you are doing well. I just wanted to ask a questio from you; I just took my speaking test today, I don’t wanna brag but I was on fire (at least I thought so). In part 2, however, oddly enough I missed a question. I actually didn’t see it. I should let you know I have this very bad flu and I guess it kinda affected my concenteration.
    The feedback of face expressions I was receiving from the examiner throughout the test was quite positive. She actually, noting I’m all over the place and am going to miss the last question in part 2, asked the question herself directly!! So I answered it finally but I originallt missed the question myself.
    I know task completion is quite important, whereas considering I was doing pretty well (at least I think so myself), how much of a drop should I be expectung in my final score for speaking? For example, if it was to be 8 or 8.5, what do I get now you reckon?

    • Task completion is irrelevant in IELTS speaking – only writing has that marking criterion. Also there are NO questions on the cue card – not a single one. There are prompts which you can use or not use as you wish. Good luck with your results

      • Thanks Liz, really thanks alot you just made my day. Now I look forward to get my results.
        Also thanks alot for your wonderful website. It helped through speaking and writing alot.

  11. Shobhit Kwatra says

    If I don’t know anything about the topic, do I have the option to request examiner to ask another cue card?

  12. I’m so weird about my speaking test , part 1 was good until last question I couldn’t hear the examiner well , I asked him twice then he skipped the question.
    After that , part 2 I felt my tension about that my answer of topic-off , about comic actor I misunderstand it and talked comedy actor.
    Part 3 I tried to take my breathe again and I answered all the questions in good way hopefully .
    Does it mean I totally sucked in it because I need good score min. 5 or 5.5

    • As this page shows you, you are not marked down for being off topic. As long as your talk was closely related, it’s fine. Your topic was comedy and you talked about comedy – fine. Your score will be based on the range and accuracy of your English language.

      • Thank you for fast reply .
        what about the skipped question at part 1?
        In your opinion , Is it better to take the test again?

        • Your score is based on an overall performance. You only decide to take the test again after you see your results. Good luck!

  13. Lan Anh To says

    Hi Liz,

    Today I got a cue card which was about: “Describe a comic actor…” but I changed it into a comic character (a character in a comic book) because I’d misunderstood it and I developed it to a totally different topic at the end of the talk. Would it affect the score seriously? My speaking part 1 and 3 were quite fluent and contained some less common vocab. Thank you so much!

    • It is 100% fine to adapt the part 2 topic as long as you stick closely to the main topic – you did that and it’s fine.

      • Lan Anh To says

        Thank you so muchhh. I was totally disappointed about myself :(. But actually, I have mentioned the comic book that he’s appeared and also mentioned the content of the story at the end of the talk, that’s quite far from the main topic. Hope that it’ll be fine after all. Once again, thank you. Lots of love!

  14. Hi Liz ,Iam Rahul . I’ve been watching your website content and you tube videos for a long time ,it really helped me in the writing modules ,Thank you so much for that I’m having my speaking exam tomorrow and I have one question that is.., In speaking Part-2 cue card session ..,can i say the answers in any order irrespective of the order given there..,Is it acceptable ..,Please help me regarding this.

    • There are NO ANSWERS to give because there are NO QUESTIONS on your cue card. Look carefully and you will see they are prompts, not questions. This means they are there to help you if you want. You can use them or not use them – as you wish – it doesn’t impact your score. My advice is to use them as you want, in any order, but also add your own prompts to expand your talk – add your own past experiences, your opinions, descriptions, comparisons, future hopes etc. Good luck tomorrow!

  15. Hi Liz, today I had my speaking test. I got the topic as Describe someone you gave money as a gift but I misunderstood the topic and I gave the answer for Describe someone who gave money to you as a gift, will this effect for my score? Will the examinar give 0 marks for me to the part 2 ? Blna cause I need to get minimum band 6.5

  16. Hi Liz, thank you for your website, it is really helpful. I have a question about the second part of the speaking exam. Do they look at the notes I make in the 1 min preperation time? and do the notes need to be in English? If i make notes in my language am I going to loose score? Thanks!!

    • Of course they do not look at your notes. It is a speaking exam and marks only the words from your mouth. You can use the paper in any way you want.

  17. Sahar samee says

    Hi Liz I’ve done my speaking exam today… the cue card was about a cloth I wear in different occasions… but instead i answered about a dress that I got when I was young and I liked it very much… to what extent will my score be affected?

    • Your topic was about clothing and you talked about a dress – what’s the problem? All fine. You do not need to follow all the prompts. You are not marked on task response or task completion in IELTS speaking.

  18. i got the cue card on ..quiet place you visit ..but i spoke on quiet place i will visit in future ..also i was not able to cover 1 question among 4 ..will it affect my band score

  19. Tayyeba Nauman says

    Liz, I had my speaking test today and my topic was your favorite building. I had to define the structure and what it is used for. I started well with part 1 but somehow I freaked out in part 2. I took long pauses and started looking on the notes I had made for the topic and then I could speak only for a few secs and the examiner stopped me. Part 3 was kind of ok. Will any of this affect my score? I freaking out. RWL is tomorrow pls wish me luck 😞

    • At this point, you need to forget your speaking test. It’s over. Your score will be based on your performance overall, not in each part. Now, it’s time to focus on the next part of the test. You need to be able to concentrate for 2 hours and 40 mins without a break. Get rest and be fresh for your test!! Good luck!

  20. Hey Liz!
    I have got yet another query I need to get answered. Tomorrow, I am taking my speaking test and I was wondering if it is okay to have contradicting answers.
    Say, for the answer to my first question I said I don’t like coffee.
    And at some point during the test I said I love coffee.
    Will that be affecting my score?

    • Using English is about being able to present precise meaning. Why would you give two confusing answers? Just be open, natural and friendly – be honest.

      • What I meant was I may need to cook some answers up during you test as I may not have experienced everything they ask me. Coffee was just an example.
        What I meant was, while making up answers is it okay to contradict or will I get lower band score?

        • As I said, be honest. There are no trick questions. This isn’t testing your knowledge or your experience. This is testing your ability to explain yourself using English. If the question asks you what your favourite museum is – don’t lie. Just say “I haven’t been a museum, but if I did go to one, I’d probably go to one that focuses on culture because ….”. Don’t confuse the examiner which shows a lack of understanding in your English.

  21. Sukhdeep Singh Chowdhry says

    Today was my speaking test the Q question was
    Describe a period in history which has always interested you
    I misunderstood the question and spoke about my history teacher when I was in class 8 class
    How I first met her
    Her personality
    How she teaches history
    Turning point etc

    • Did you misunderstand? Or did you change the topic because you had prepare the topic of a teacher? The examiner doesn’t mind if you misunderstand and it doesn’t affect your score. But if the examiner believes you changed it to give a memorised answer, it can impact your score.

  22. my topic was – a situation when u had to be polite .. i spoke about a situation where i kept calm. i did not use the word polite . How many bands are deducted for this?

  23. Kawalpreet kaur says

    Hii today’s is my speaking test I was off track in it . Now what will happen . Is my band score will be reduced .

  24. Hey Liz!
    Love from Nepal.
    It’s really nice and helpful site you got here. But I couldn’t find an answer to my problem.
    The problem actually is with my speaking. While taking the mock tests for IELTS, the examiner asked me to use more idioms.
    Is there any threshold or some minimum numbers of idioms that’s supposed to be used in speaking test?

    • No, In fact, idioms are not often used. However, idiomatic language is used. There is a difference between idioms and idiomatic language. Idioms are only one type of idiomatic language. The best idiomatic language to use is phrasal verbs and you are probably using them anyway.

  25. Hi Liz,
    I took my Ielts speaking exam today( 3/06/2018). The cue card topic given to me was to talk about “Recent development in my city”. I talked about a shopping mall which was opened recently in my town. Is this going off the topic? Just worried about if i have talked completely different to the topic.

  26. Arun Rawat says

    My speaking test cue card went completely off the topic and examiner also told me that u were off tge topic. Should i book another exam or can i get at least 6….?

    • It’s ok to branch off topic in part 2 by adding extra information. But it isn’t ok to change the topic.

  27. Hi Liz,
    In my speaking test,I gave 2 examples of a time when I helped someone. One from my University time / education and one from my professional / work related.
    I think that I completed 2 minutes, as the examiner interrupted me.
    Shall I get low score for not sticking to one example only?
    Please guide.

  28. Liz, i was asked to speak about a sport which i only watched and wold like to try in future.
    But when i started speaking about the topic, unfortunately, i said that i have watched cricket in so and so ground and i am very keen about cricket and i have played it my scholl and would like to play in futrue. Point is i didnt understand the question that i need to talk about the sport which i only watched. But in my answer i said that i played and want to play in future as well. I know it will impact my band score, but want to know to what extent it will impact?

  29. Hi liz💕 I took the ielts speaking exam but when i was talking i just said one word that was not english but i use it alot in my daily conversations it was not obvious it is like a linker but i covered it up quickly will this make me lose many marks?

    • It’s fine. It’s best to avoid using foreign words, but it’s fine. As long as the examiner could understand the content of your answer.

  30. my topic for q card was talk about a person who helped u in your work/study place. and i spoke about an activity that held in my home town and my friend help me to overcome my problem of glossofobia. is it ok? or i may loose marks for this?

    • As you can read on this page, you are not marked down because you are off topic in speaking.

    • Quote from Ex-examiner Simon:
      Friday, December 08, 2017
      IELTS Speaking Part 2: using the prompts
      An IELTS teacher asked me the following questions:

      Is it compulsory for candidates to address all of the prompts on the cue card? What happens if candidates ignore the prompts but speak well about the topic anyway? And what happens if the candidate misunderstands the question and speaks about a different topic?

      Here are the answers that I gave the teacher:

      I tell my students to use the prompts because they help you to structure your answer. However, it is still possible to get a very high score even if you don’t address all of the points e.g. if you speak well about the topic but miss the last point or two. I don’t recommend ignoring the points completely, because there’s a danger that you’ll go off task if you do that.

      If you misunderstand the question and give an unrelated answer, I’m afraid you’ll get a very low score. The reason is that candidates could memorise a perfect answer if off-topic answers were allowed.

      Dear Liz, I am a bit confused here. Please help us distinguish the difference between going off-topic and expanding one’s ideas. Thanks a lot.

      • Let me explain…

        1.Expanding your talk and going off topic: Here is an example: A food you like (what it is, how it’s made, when you eat it and why you like it). You can expand this topic to talk about the last time you ate it, the first time you ate it, who you were with when you usually eat it, if there are special events when it is eaten (what people wear and do in these events). You can compare the food to other food or foreign food. You can add suggestions to improve the food etc. You can tell a funny story about your friend who likes this food etc You can expand in any direction you want and add any kind of information that is loosely related to the main topic: special food. When you tell your story about food, you might describe a person, describe the weather on the day you ate it – it’s all fine. It’s part of the detail and the talk. This is fine and you will get a good score.

        2. Giving an unrelated talk: This is something you should not do. Example: a traditional product (what it is, how it is made, who buys it and why it is popular) but instead you tell the examiner you don’t know any products and you will talk about your favourite movie. The topic of movie is not connected in any way to product and you are choosing to change the topic to your advantage. This means you changed the topic 100% in order to talk about a topic you prefer. Students do this because they have prepared the topic of movies and they want to give a memorised or very prepared answer. This is wrong and will lower your score. The examiner will always be very wary of anyone who gives a memorised answer. Memorised answers are not accepted in IELTS.

        In conclusion, it is fine to go off topic, such as talking about your friend who likes particular food or clothes worn when people eat the food – that is a way to expand the given topic. If the topic is “your favourite book” and you talk about “your favourite magazine” it’s fine – it’s the same topic more or less. But you can’t alter the topic completely. You can’t alter the topic completely.
        Do you understand now the difference of going a bit off topic when you expand and completely changing the topic?

  31. Nisha Therasa says

    the cue card does say: you SHOULD say before the cue prompts..does it not make it compulsory?

    • No, it is not compulsory. I advise all students to use the prompts because they provide an easy structure but to add your own prompts in order to decide which language skills to showcase.

  32. Nisha Therasa says

    Hi LIz,
    if I were to prepare some common cue card topic talks, say “a favourite activity” and i happen to get a cue task to talk about an expensive activity that i do…assuming that I’m able to mask my “pre-rehearsed feel” and speak out the (memorised) favourite activity, of course with a few additions to indicate its expensive’ness’..would it affect my score assuming that fluency, vocal, grammar and pronunciation are good?

    • Do NOT memorise sentences. The examiner is trained to spot them and will not count those sentences. It is a 100% waste of your preparation time!

  33. Hi Liz, I found my examiner very strange in the part 3. And today I saw my score of speaking is 5.5, which was really shocking. ( With 6 in writing, 8 in both reading and listening.)

    At first she asked me: ” What kind of job do you think need a good driving skill?” I thought the answer was obvious and the question was a little too silly. So I answered drivers and extended the answer with my best.

    Then she asked:” What kinds of driver need a good driving skill?” I said: “I believe all the drivers need a good driving skill. For example, the drivers of the restaurant, they have to transfer the food from supplier to the costumer. They must be very careful.”

    She seemed unhappy and continued to asked the same question: “What other kinds of driver need a good driving skill?” I said: ” The driver of the chairman need a good driving skill. Because the chairman decides the affairs of the country. If the chairman bumps into a car accident, in my country, the driver will get into prison.”

    However, she was not satisfied and asked: “Don’t you think the bus drivers and taxi drivers need good driving skills?” Until that moment, I realized answers like “bus drivers” and “taxi drivers” were what she wanted. However, I think I am totally allowed to show my own opinion and I shouldn’t be judged by my speaking content.

    Do you think is there anything wrong in my answer? Should I give an answer which exactly the examiner wants?

    • You are 100% correct. You don’t need to show knowledge and you can have your own opinion. In this case, you have only one option. You must say “I didn’t say taxi driver or bus driver because that’s too obvious. I was trying to think of more interesting options.”. That way you show that you understood the answer but didn’t use the words because you chose not to. The examiner is basically testing your vocabulary – do you know these words? So, you need to reply – yes I didn’t use them because .. (indirectly of course). Your score is based on more than just one answer. It is based on grammar, vocab, fluency, pron – it is possible to you didn’t demonstrate the right language skills in your test. However, you must decide for yourself and decide if you want to go for a remark.

  34. Hello mam
    My topic was change in life(in school or college) but I told about how I change my college and experienced the change . Was it correct or not?

  35. Hey Liz
    Just now i came back home after completing the speaking test and the immediate thing i am doing is messaging you. So the examiner asked about my happiest experience in my childhood and i ended up saying my bitter experience in my childhood but at the beginning i told him that it is not so happy experience but i wanted share because it is more satisfying…actually my plan is to tell how the bad experience turned out to be good but i was stopped because i ran out of time😑

    Please tell me is it off the topic am i going to loose score😣

    Anyways Thank you so much for all the wonderful work in your website😊

    • IELTS speaking scores are language based, not ideas based. So, even if you go off topic, you will get points for the language you used. Going off topic doesn’t affect your score. Good luck with your results 🙂

  36. Aziz Radjabov says

    Hi Liz
    Today I was at speaking exam.My question in part 2 was about thing that I bought and was happy.I said about it and I also added information about nowadays-how I use it.She emphasised that I shoud use past tenses, after that I told about past a bit.Will it affect to my score?Explain me please

  37. hi liz
    do I loose marks if i go off topic in speaking part 3,assuming the examiner had to call me back after rounding off?

  38. Dear Liz,

    I’ve had the speaking test today. In the third section, I went off some topics by giving a slight different answers, for e.g: when the examiner asked me what I like about my speciality, I answered by stating the reasons why I like my speciality. Will this affect my score? Thanks in advance.

  39. Pardeep Dua says

    Just a few minutes back I completed my speaking round. In my cue card I was asked to explain about countyside life/visit but I explained the urban visit. it seems completely away from track, will my marks be deducted for not understanding?

  40. Hii mam today was my speaking exam
    My cue card was describe a product or service you got for free

    I went off the track ….and talked that I was going to Manali ( a place in India) my car got punchered and somebody give me lift ….and he started talking to me ….at last I told him that I want to pay but he refused

    Plz tell mam what will happen
    I think my marks will get affected bcoz of this

    • You are not marked on your ideas. You can take your talk in any direct you want.

      • But the thing I talked is help not service ..right ??
        I am very tensed

        • One thing more

          Mam in writing is it right to write
          Without any qualm or without any qualms ….

          Is s will make any difference ??

        • You are not marked on your ideas. You are not marked for being on topic. You can be off topic and it won’t affect your score. Your score is based on fluency, grammar, vocab and pronunciation – nothing else affects your score.

  41. Dear Liz,
    Thank you a lot for your helps. I had speaking test today and the cue card of part 2 was about inventions that changed the world. but I confused the word invention with convention and the whole 2 minutes I spoke about international conventions. As it is obvious, my answer was ABSOLUTELY IRRELEVANT to the cue card and I had talked completely about another subject (conventions instead of inventions). Do you think that I would lose a lot of scores on that?

    • It will not impact your score at all. Having relevant ideas is not marked in IELTS speaking. It is essential in IELTS writing, but not in IELTS speaking. The examiner will know you mistook the word and your whole talk will still be marked as usual based on the language you produced. So, relax 🙂

      • Tnx a lot liz, such a relief, I will let you know of my score. tnx again.

        • Sumi devkota says

          How much you scored? Coz today i spoke off topic as well. They told me to talk about countryside but i spoke about city area. I was confused whether countryside represent urban area or rural area. So worried

  42. Hii
    I had speaking today .My topic was Free service from company like ticket product etc. But I went complete off topic .I spoke about ticket received from my uncle for journey.
    Will it affect my band?

  43. Rajshree Sable says

    Hi Liz,

    I had a speaking test today. For PART 2 of speaking test, topic given to me was DESCRIBE GIFT WHICH YOU WOULD LIKE TO GIVE TO SOMEBODY. But in my case, I went complete off topic. I spoke about GIFT WHICH I RECEIVED FROM SOMEBODY. I am so anxious now regarding band score for this. Kindly guide me how much will this affect my SPEAKING band.

    Thank you.

    • As this page explains, going off topic won’t affect your score in speaking.

      • Rajshree sable says

        Thank you so much Liz for your guidance. It was really helpful.

      • Parth latel says

        Hey !
        MY TOPIC WAS



        • You are not marked on your ideas or the information you provide or going off topic. You are marked on your language only.

  44. dear liz
    can u please assess my ielts essay… m going to appear for the test on 21st of this month

  45. Victor Chidiebere says

    My kind regards to you. keep it up.

  46. Thank you so much Liz for all your work. It helped me greatly with my preparation for the exam. You are amazing!

  47. Yassir adam says


  48. Ahmed Mohammed says

    I highly appreciate all your outstanding dedicated hard work here.I still can’t figure out your answer regarding following the prompts on the cue card.If the prompt instructs to describe a gift in your life is it OK if the candidate describe his/her favorite family member.Just asking.
    Best regards

    • You are given a topic with prompts and the advice above is about using the prompts, not about changing the topic completely. Design your talk around the topic but develop the prompts and use the prompts in any way you want – add your own prompts.

  49. Hi Mrs Liz

    Should i use capital letter in all reading answers?


  50. Anil pandey says

    I am confident by yours support..thank you

  51. Hany Youssef says

    Thank You for all useful information & efforts. you are a great help.

  52. jaswinder kaur says

    thank you my respected Liz mam

  53. Arif Equbal says

    Thanks Liz.

  54. Thanks

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