REMEMBER – (1) When you hear the question, think about the tense you should use (2) Aim for 3 sentences (3) Try to make your main idea (first sentence) simple and clear (4) Try to use a conversational tone for Part One i.e. be relaxed and don’t speaking like you’re reading from an academic essay. Imagine you’re talking to an old friend in a cafe or someone you’ve just met and are getting to know.
NOTE – The following questions each have TWO sample answers: a simple one and a more advanced one. Always focus on giving a clear answer first – then try to add more advanced vocabulary and structures.
QUESTION ONE – Did you use to save money as a child?
SAMPLE ONE (Simple) – “No, I didn’t use to save money when I was little. I would always spend it on things like candy and toys. Although sometimes my parents would take some of my money and save it for me.”
COMMENTS – (i) You can show you vocabulary range (even simple vocabulary) when you rephrase the question as a statement e.g. change “as a child” to “when I was little” (ii) In English, stress is essential, so practise saying common phrases like “use to” so you say “USE-tuh” not “Use-TOO”. This helps to emphasise the important parts of your speech (iii) whenever you say something general like “things”, try to add at least one example.
SAMPLE TWO (Advanced) – “Actually, I always wanted to spend my money, but my parents encouraged me to save it. They bought me a piggy bank and I would put any money I got from doing chores or on my birthday in there”
COMMENTS – This answer is clear and uses some higher level (“encouraged”) and also topic-specific vocabulary (“piggy bank”). Using vocabulary related to the topic is always a good thing.
QUESTION TWO – Should parents give money to children?
SAMPLE ONE (Simple) – “I think parents should give their children some money, but only if they do something to deserve it. Like, maybe, doing some housework or something like that.”
COMMENTS – (i) Remember to be careful with plurals and (un)countable nouns in English (“housework” is NOT “houseworks” although “chores” are “chores”!) (ii) If you can’t think of any extra idea to add, then try to finish in a natural way by saying “or something like that”. This is the normal way people speak in a conversation.
SAMPLE TWO (Advanced) – “I think that if children are given pocket money, they should have done something to deserve it – like helping around the house or maybe for good behaviour. This teaches them the value of money and hard work, so they won’t grow up expecting to get something for nothing”
COMMENTS – (i) In Part One, you have no time to think of your answer. This answer is coherent and fluent, which is difficult even for a native speaker to do if they haven’t thought about the question before (ii) Always focus on having a clear structure to your answer – try to answer any questions the listener might have by giving a brief example or more explanation (iii) The answer has some good topic-specific vocabulary (‘pocket money”)
QUESTION THREE – Should children help parents at home?
SAMPLE ONE (Simple) – “I think so. It can teach them about the importance of working hard and also it is their home too, so they should help to keep it tidy, especially if their parents are busy at work.”
COMMENTS – (i) Often it’s a good idea to have a simple main idea that is just something like “I think so” or “Yes/No”. Then you can give 1-2 sentences supporting your view and you’re done!
SAMPLE TWO (Advanced) – “Of course. Not only is it good for them to help out around the house, but it will also prepare them for when they’re older and they have to take care for themselves. Lots of people move out of home and don’t know how to cook or even do their laundry.”
COMMENTS – (i) Again, this answer has a very brief main idea (“Of course”) and then explains why the answer is obvious (ii) It has some good synonyms e.g. “help out around the house” instead of “do housework” (iii) It explains to the listener why it is important to do housework (people won’t know how to take care of themselves).
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