How to Develop Ideas for IELTS Speaking

IELTS speaking developing ideas - who-what-when-why-where

Quick Tips for Developing Ideas for IELTS speaking

Many IELTS test takers sometimes struggle with ideas when speaking during the test. Here are some quick tips on how to improve and develop your ideas for IELTS speaking.

Ask questions:

You are given a topic – first, ask yourself some simple questions about the topic to help stimulate your mind and generate some ideas. Here is an example:

Topic: Transport problems

Simple Questions to ask yourself:

  • How? How big is the problem? Is it serious / severe / disastrous / a crisis?
  • Who? Who causes the problem? Who suffers because of the problem? Who could solve the problem?
  • What? What causes the problem? What is the problem exactly? What is the solution? What are possible solutions?
  • When? Is the problem all the time? When does it happen?
  • Where? Where is the problem? Is it local/national/global?

Simply by thinking about the problem like this you can begin to develop a clearer idea, or more ideas related to the topic.

Here’s an example from Part 3 of an IELTS speaking test:

[Examiner] Let’s talk about transport in your city. Are there any transport problems?

Sample answer:
Yes, there are several areas which suffer from congested traffic and sometimes the traffic simply comes to a standstill. It’s serious because whole sections of the city grind to a halt at rush hour.

The main cause of these traffic jams is the fact that many of the old roads are just not wide enough to accommodate the quantity of traffic that is on the roads these days. Many drivers are stuck in traffic for a long time and this gives rise to road rage sometimes when tempers flare because of slow or stationary traffic.

It would be so much better if the local authorities would invest in widening the main roads into and out of the city and also banning commercial or heavy goods vehicles in the downtown area during rush hour because this would alleviate the traffic jams and help traffic flow uninterrupted through the city.

Underlined words and phrases are topic-specific or related vocabulary normally used by native speakers, which helps boost your IELTS score.

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