IELTS Speaking Real Test: Part 3 – Complaints

Complaints 5
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT WHEN SPEAKING

(1) In Part 3, you should organize your answer like a Task 2 essay body paragraph. Aim for a clear main idea with some explanation and an example (if you can think of one).

(2) However, speaking is less formal than writing. Try to speak in a natural way and add ideas as they come to you. Just make sure you clearly link your ideas with suitable vocabulary (e.g. “By that I mean” “On the other hand” “Another thing is” “It’s kind of like”

(3) Part 3 topics can be difficult and you might not know what the “right” thing to say is. Focus on giving an answer that is clear and well-organized. If you don’t know anything about the question, then explain why. The speaking test is a speaking test – not a test of general knowledge.

(4) If you don’t understand a question, you can ask the examiner to repeat it or clarify a part. However, the examiner cannot help you with ideas.

NOTE – The following questions are from a recent IELTS test. Each question contains two sample answers: a simple one and an advanced one. Useful linking vocabulary is included in italics and advanced/topic-specific vocabulary is included in bold. Extra comments and tips are featured after some answers. The advanced answers are at a Band 9 level.

Complaints 1

QUESTION ONE – What do people usually complain about in your country?

SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple) – They normally complain about the weather. In the summer, it’s really hot and humid and it makes everyone feel tired, so people normally talk about how hot it was that day and how they wish it was cooler. People also complain about the government a lot, although I don’t really know much about politics.”

COMMENT – Notice how each point (“weather” and “government”) is clearly stated and then followed by a little bit of explanation. This is all you have to do!

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced) – “Where I live, the weather is often grey and depressing and people are always grumbling about it. It’s understandable because a lack of sunshine puts most people in a bad mood – when the sun comes out everyone instantly cheers up. Then, of course, there’s politics, but I think that’s a common source of complaint in most countries.”

Complaints 2

QUESTION TWO – Do younger people complain more than older people?

SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple) – “I think most people complain about the same amount – they just complain about different things. Young people are often unhappy about how much homework they have or not being allowed to go out with their friends, while older people like to complain about young people and how the world is different now from when they grew up.”

COMMENTS – Speaking in long fluent sentences will help you overall score. Make sure you use a mix of long and short sentences. Short ones are best for main ideas and longer ones for explanation.

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced) – “Not really. I think it’s more that they get upset by different things. I think young people can get frustrated with their workload at school or not being allowed to socialize when they want to. For older people, they often get mad that things are changing at a rapid pace and they don’t like some of those changes. They complain about not being able to use new technology or get offended by new trends.

Complaints 4

QUESTION THREE – Do some people complain more than others?

SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple) – “I think so. Some people complain about every little thing and it is almost impossible to make them happy. Their food is always not quite right, the weather is too hot or too cold. They can never be happy because they always focus on the negative things rather than the good.”

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced) – “For sure. I think everyone knows someone who is never satisfied and always finds fault with something. I think these people are just naturally pessimistic – they always see the negative things and can’t see or ignore the positive. It’s a shame because it makes them unpleasant to be around, which makes people avoid them, and that gives them even more to complain about!”

COMMENT – In the two answers above the question is answered first with just a few words (“I think so” and “For sure”). This is good because it is a natural way of speaking.

Complaints 3

QUESTION FOUR – Is it possible for a child to learn how to complain?

SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple) – “Um, I guess they can. Children learn many things from their parents, so if their parents are always complaining then maybe they will complain more too. Sometimes, you have to make a complaint and there is a polite way to do it, and I think children can be taught this.”

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced) – “I guess it depends if you mean learn how to make a complaint when you need to or be conditioned to be someone who complains all the time. When we encounter a problem in our life, like maybe we ordered a vegetarian meal but there’s meat in it – we have to be able to make a complaint in an appropriate and constructive way in order to resolve it. On the other hand, if someone grows up surrounded by people constantly complaining, then maybe they will learn that habit too.”

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IELTS Speaking Real Test: Part 3 – History

IELTS Speaking Part 3 (Real Test): Making Decisions

IELTS Speaking Part 3 Real Test: Public Speaking

 

FEEL FREE TO LEAVE ANY COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS YOU MIGHT HAVE

GOOD LUCK!

 

IELTS Writing Task 1: Tables – Mobile Phones

T1 Tables - Mobile Phones
THINGS TO REMEMBER BEFORE WRITING

(1) Make sure your writing is well-organized. Include an introduction, an overview, and body paragraphs. DON’T write one big block of words.

(2) Your Task 1 report MUST include an overview. Look at the chart/table/graph/etc and try to work out what are the main details. Look for the biggest, the smallest, any big changes,  anything that stays the same, or anything else interesting.

(3) You are not expected to be an expert on the topic. Do NOT give your opinion.

(4) Make sure you make some comparisons. DON’T just list data.

(5) Tables have a lot of information (this one has 21 data points). You will NOT have enough time to write about every point. If you try, you will just list the data with no analysis/comparisons. Only mention data that supports your overview or makes the information clearer.

NOTE – The following contains two sample answers: a simple one and an advanced one. Each answer contains useful linking vocabulary in italics and advanced vocabulary in bold. Extra comments can be found within each sample answer. The advanced answer is written at a Band 9 level.

Phone Features

SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple)

T1 Tables - Mobile Phones

The table above shows the percentage of mobile phone owners using various mobile phone features. Write a report of at least 150 words, summarizing the information and making comparisons where relevant.

The table gives information about the proportion of mobile phone users that used different features on their phones in 2006, 2008, and 2010.

COMMENT – Always try to use synonyms for words in the title. Common words like “show” and “various” should always be changed. You can use synonyms for the subject (i.e. “mobile phone users” –> “owners”) but be careful that you have chosen a suitable synonym.

Overall, making phone calls was the most commonly used feature, while searching the internet and recording video became much more popular once they became available in 2008.

In 2006 and 2008, all phone owners used their phones to make calls, although this figure dropped slightly to 99 percent in 2010. The next most popular feature was texting, which had a small increase over the period, climbing from 73 percent of users in 2006 to 79 percent in 2010. Taking photos also had a similar rise, with a 10 percent increase from 66 to 76 percent over the four years shown.

The biggest increases were for the remaining features. Playing games and playing music both more than doubled in popularity. The percentage of people playing games on their phones was 17 percent in 2006 and just over 40 percent in 2010, while playing music grew from about one-eighth of phone users to a little over a quarter.

Finally, searching the internet went from being unavailable in 2006 to 73 percent of phone owners using this feature in 2010. While recording video also became a new feature at the same time, only around one-third of people used this feature by 2010. (199 words)

Phone Features 1

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced)

T1 Tables - Mobile Phones

The table above shows the percentage of mobile phone owners using various mobile phone features. Write a report of at least 150 words, summarizing the information and making comparisons where relevant.

The table provides a summary of the changes in the most-used mobile phone features in three different years: 2006, 2008, and 2010.

A brief examination of the table reveals that, while commonplace phone activities such as making calls and sending texts were the most frequently used features, there were significant increases in less traditional uses of mobile phones.

The entirety of phone owners made calls on their devices in 2006 and 2008, although the percentage dipped slightly to 99 percent in 2010. After that, texting was a function used by about three-quarters of phone users, with a small increase over the period shown.

COMMENT – When you’re writing about percentages, try to present some of the data as a related fraction (e.g. “75%” –> “three quarters”). This is good for variety.

Just behind texting, the ability to take photos was a feature employed by 66 percent of mobile owners in 2006, and by 2010 this figure had grown to 76 percent, making it almost as popular as texting. Searching the internet also had similar levels of popularity in 2010, despite not being available until 2008. Another new feature implemented in 2008 was the ability to record video, which was used by just over a third of people by 2010.

Finally, using a mobile for entertainment purposes, specifically playing games and listening to music, became considerably more popular, with the frequency of both more than doubling. The former rose from 17 percent to 41 percent, while the latter climbed from around one-eighth to just over a quarter. (211 words)

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FEEL FREE TO LEAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS YOU MIGHT HAVE

GOOD LUCK!

 

IELTS Speaking Real Test: Part 3 – History

History 1

THINGS TO REMEMBER BEFORE SPEAKING

(1) Part 3 is more formal than Parts 1 and 2. Think of it like a body paragraph in a Task 2 essay. This will help you to organize your answer and make sure you speak for 3-5 sentences.

(2) Like in a body paragraph, make sure that your main idea is clear. This can be answering the question in a few words (e.g. “Yes, I agree” “I’m not about that” “I think there are two reasons” etc.)

(3) Like in a body paragraph, try to answer the examiner/reader/listener’s questions about your main idea. Why? How? Can you give an example?

(4) Try to include some topic-specific vocabulary if you can. In the examples below, words like “monuments” and “artifacts” are used, which make a big difference to your score. If you don’t know these words, try to explain your ideas as best you can.

(5) Remember that the speaking test is about speaking. It is NOT about being an expert in history (or any other subject). If you are not sure about an answer, then say why. The only way you will get a bad mark is if you don’t say anything or you talk about something else!

NOTE – The following questions are taken from a recent IELTS test. Each questions contains two sample answers: a simple one and an advanced one. Both answers contain useful linking vocabulary in italics and advanced/topic-specific vocabulary in bold. Extra comments and tips are featured after some answers. The advanced answers are at a Band 9 level.

History 3

QUESTION ONE – How do students in your country study history?

SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple) – “Where I live – like in most countries – students study history in school – well – only in high school. Many students don’t like history because of the way it is taught. By that I mean, we just learn a lot of names and dates, so it’s kind of boring.”

COMMENT – (i) You can get a good mark with a simple answer as long as it is clear and well-organised. Use phrases like “By that I mean…” to provide explanation for your main ideas (ii) Always try to paraphrase the question. Notice how “in your country” has been changed to “where I live”.

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced) – “In high school – well most high schools – history is a compulsory subject. It is mainly focused on significant periods and events in Vietnamese history, like the Hung King Dynasty, or national heroes, such as Tran Hung Dao or – of course – Ho Chi Minh. Unfortunately, studying history here often revolves around memorizing names and dates, so it can be a little tedious and dry.

History 2


QUESTION TWO (Advanced) – Who should pay for the maintenance of historical buildings and objects?

SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple) – “I think that the money for maintaining important buildings and objects from history should come from the government and from visitors buying tickets. I think it is important to look after things from the past so that we can remember what life was like and also learn from the mistakes that were made, so everyone should pay their share.

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced) – “From my perspective, it seems that the preservation of historical buildings, monuments, and artifacts should be the responsibility of everyone. In other words, their upkeep should be funded from tax revenue and also from visitors paying a small entrance fee to view them.”

History 4


QUESTION THREE – Why don’t people like to study history?

SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple) – “I think it’s mainly because of the way it’s taught. Like I said before, learning history in school is quite boring because your just have to learn a lot of names and dates. Maybe if it was made more exciting then people would be more interested in studying it. Although, to be honest, I’m not sure how to do that.”

COMMENT – Link to things you mentioned in previous questions using phrases like “Like I said before” or “As I mentioned earlier”. This will help to make your speaking seem more connected and make you seem more confident instead of like you are just repeating things you have memorized.

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced) – “I think there are two main factors. First off, there is a problem with the teaching methodology. Students are simply expected to rote-learn – to learn by heart – a huge pile of names and dates and just spit these out in a test. Second, I think many people just lack an interest in the past. They don’t think it is relevant to their lives now, so they simply don’t care.”

COMMENT – Explaining what you mean by one phrase by using another advanced phrase can be a great way to show off your vocabulary (e.g. “rote-learn” –> “learn by heart”). Just try to make sure it is in the natural flow of speech and not like you’re trying to add as many “big” words as possible!
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IELTS Speaking Part 3 Real Test: Public Speaking

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IELTS Speaking Part 3 (Real Test): Historical Places

FEEL FREE TO LEAVE ANY COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS YOU MIGHT HAVE

GOOD LUCK!

IELTS Speaking Real Test: Part One – Cooking

Cooking 1
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT WHEN SPEAKING

(1) Have you spoken for at least THREE sentences? The examiner can’t give you a good mark if you don’t say enough. Don’t speak for too long either. THREE well-structured sentences is normally perfect.

(2) Have you shown your vocabulary by accurately using some relevant advanced or topic-specific vocabulary? In other words, if the topic is about “cooking” then have you included words like “kitchen” “cuisine” “mouth-watering” etc.

(3) Have you explained things clearly and given details/explanation to support your main ideas? Remember you should try to answer any questions the examiner has about your main idea. This is the same for writing. Many questions in Part One are “Yes/No” questions. If you don’t give extra details, you haven’t answered the question properly. Always say “How” “Why” or give an example.

(4) Have you spoken in a relaxed, casual way? Part One tests your ability to speak about everyday topics, so DON’T speak like you’re giving a speech or reading an essay! Try to be cheerful and enthusiastic about what you’re saying.

NOTE – The following questions are taken from a recent IELTS exam. Each question has two sample answers: a simple one and an advanced one. Each question has useful linking vocabulary in italics and advanced/topic-specific vocabulary in bold. Comments and tips are included after some questions. Read them and apply them to all of your Part One speaking! The advanced answers are at a Band 9 level.

The start of something delicious

QUESTION ONE – Do you like cooking?

SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple) – “Yes, I like to cook. Although, to be honest, I’m not very good in the kitchen and sometimes the result doesn’t taste good. Actually, the last time I cooked something, I left it for too long and it got burnt.”

COMMENTS – (i) Words and phrases like “To be honest” and “Actually” are great ones to use to make your speech clearer and more natural. (ii) Always try to change the structure of the question even if it is in a simple way (e.g. “like cooking” –> “like to cook”)

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced) – “Not really. I always find it easier to buy pre-made food – I mean stuff that’s ready to eat – you just have to heat it up. I should probably learn how to cook because it’s good to be self-sufficient.”

COMMENT – You can explain some of the words you used in a clear but casual way. Just like you’re explaining something to a friend. For example, the speaker above gives a simple explanation of what they mean by “pre-made food”. This can be a good way to show you know what you’re talking about rather than just repeating memorized answers.

Cooking 2

QUESTION TWO – How often do you cook?

SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple) – “I normally make dinner a few times a week. The rest of the time I order food or go out to eat. It depends if I’m busy with work or school or not. If I have time, I like to do it because I find it quite relaxing and a good way to unwind.”

COMMENT – a well-organized answer with mostly simple vocabulary (like above) is nearly always better than an answer that tries too hard to include too much advanced vocabulary. Especially, be careful of idioms. It can sound very unnatural to use idioms every sentence!

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced) – “Like I said before, I’m not really a big fan of cooking. I find it quite boring and I have a short attention span, so I normally forget to keep track of the time and end up burning something. At least I know my smoke detector works.”

COMMENTS – Linking your answers back to things you have said earlier (e.g. “Like I said before..”) is a good way to show your control of speaking and your ability to adapt (ii) Being relaxed and having a sense of humour (“At least I know my smoke detector works”) can make a huge difference in the speaking test!

Cooking 3

QUESTION THREE – When was the last time you cooked?

SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple) – “I cooked myself breakfast this morning. It was quite simple – just eggs and toast – but it was really good. I like it when the – the yellow part of the egg is – not totally cooked and I eat that with the toast.”

COMMENT – If you are not sure of an exact word, then try to explain it the best you can. This is something that even native speakers will do! For example, the yellow part of an egg is called the “yolk”, and when the yolk is not fully cooked, you say it’s “runny” (or “soft-boiled”). However, even thought the speaker does know these words, they can explain them in their own words and be understood.

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO – “Um, let me think, it was probably awhile ago. Oh, that’s right, I made my mum breakfast in bed for Mothers’ Day last year. It wasn’t necessarily high cuisine, but I made an extra effort to not burn anything. She said it was good, but maybe she was just being nice.”

YOU MAY FIND SOME OF THE FOLLOWING RELATED POSTS USEFUL

Speaking Part One: Real Test Questions: Time

IELTS Speaking (Real Test): Part One – Sharing

IELTS Speaking Part One (Real Test 2018) – Children, Money, and Chores

 

FEEL FREE TO LEAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS YOU MIGHT HAVE.

GOOD LUCK!!!

 

IELTS Real Test Essays: Advantages and Disadvantages: Small vs. Big Stores

Small Big Stores 1

In some countries, small town-centre shops are going out of business because people tend to drive to large out-of-town stores. As a result, people without cars have limited access to out-of-town stores, and it may result in an increase in the use of cars. Do the advantages of this development outweigh the disadvantages?

THINGS TO REMEMBER BEFORE YOU WRITE

(1) This is an advantages and disadvantages essay. Therefore, you MUST write about the good AND the bad sides.

(2) Moreover, the question has several parts, and you need to write about all of them to meet the Task Response requirement. Make sure you say something about (i) small shops going out of business (ii) people without cars (iii) an increase in the use of cars. Not all points have to be covered in the same amount of words, but at least mention them. Remember that you only have 40 minutes and 250 words, so you can’t mention every point you might think of.

(3) The easiest structure for an advantages/disadvantages essay is a FOUR-paragraph one. In the introduction, state the topic and state you will discuss the good and the bad. In the body, have one paragraph for the good things and one paragraph for the bad (the order does NOT matter). In the conclusion, give YOUR view (i.e. does the good outweigh the bad or not) and briefly say why.

(4) This is one of the more difficult IELTS essay topics. If the topic is really hard, try to think of some simple ideas and use them as your topic sentences. Then, explain those ideas with more complex sentences and specific examples you can think of.

NOTE – The following contains two sample answer: a simple one and an advanced one. Useful linking vocabulary is included in italics. Advanced and topic-specific vocabulary is included in bold. Pay attention to the range of grammatical structures (comparatives, participial clauses, complex sentences, etc.) The advanced version is written at a Band 9 level.

Small Big Stores

SAMPLE ESSAY ONE (Simple)

In some countries, small town-centre shops are going out of business because people tend to drive to large out-of-town stores. As a result, people without cars have limited access to out-of-town stores, and it may result in an increase in the use of cars. Do the advantages of this development outweigh the disadvantages?

As cities have grown larger and spread out, there has been an increase in the number of large stores located away from the central city, which forces people to drive to them. This creates issues with smaller stores going out of business, people not having access to these stores, and growth in the use of cars. This essay will look at the benefits and drawbacks of this situation.

On the positive side, large stores are often able to offer cheaper prices, which is good for the buyer. Similarly, having many products available for purchase in one place is more convenient. Moreover, as cities spread out, many people will actually live closer to a large store or mall in the suburbs than a smaller one in the city center.

However, there are also some downsides. For one thing, encouraging people to drive increases traffic congestion and air pollution, while also making it necessary to build more roads, which makes the problem worse. Furthermore, small stores are often family-run businesses, whereas large stores are often owned by huge corporations that do not give back much to the community. Another issue is that people without private vehicles will have fewer options and be forced to buy whatever is available close to them.

Overall, it seems that the negative effects of large stores outweigh the positive ones. Although large stores may be convenient, they harm local businesses and affect the lives of people who live in the area whose communities end up being built around these large shopping centres. (255 words)

Small Big Stores 2

SAMPLE ESSAY TWO (Advanced)

In some countries, small town-centre shops are going out of business because people tend to drive to large out-of-town stores. As a result, people without cars have limited access to out-of-town stores, and it may result in an increase in the use of cars. Do the advantages of this development outweigh the disadvantages?

As a result of urbanization, cities are now surrounded by suburbs, and these areas often feature a large mall or shopping centre. The concentration of products in one location make these retail outlets attractive destinations for consumers, who almost without exception drive to them. Despite the benefits of these all-in-one locations, there are some notable drawbacks that should be considered.

Beginning with the positive aspects, it is clear that a gigantic mall offers more choice to the consumer. Moreover, the large chain stores that populate these shopping centres generally offer cheaper prices due to economies of scale. A further convenience is that a considerable amount of the population resides in suburban zones, so these large shopping centers are actually closer to people than traditional stores situated in the central business district.

Nevertheless, there are some highly undesirable effects of this situation. For one, large stores and malls are operated by monolithic corporations who run small shop owners out of business, while not returning much to the local community. In fact, Walmart, one of the largest mega-stores in the United States receives a massive amount of government welfare, while locally-owned businesses are forced into bankruptcy and even Walmart employees are paid minimum wage and often rely on government handouts. Not to mention, the almost ubiquitous practice of driving to malls and large chain stores puts a strain on local transport infrastructure, increasing traffic congestion and contributing to air pollution.

Overall, while having everything available in one location is undeniably convenient, the harm to local communities is similarly clear. As the saying goes, ‘You can’t have your cake and eat it too’, and in this instance it seems that the benefits of large stores is outweighed by the economic and social harm they cause. (292 words)

YOU MAY FIND SOME OF THE FOLLOWING RELATED POSTS USEFUL

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IELTS Speaking (Real Test): Part One – Sharing

Sharing 1
THINGS TO REMEMBER BEFORE SPEAKING

(1) Try to have a relaxed attitude in Part One. Aim to show your vocabulary and fluency, but don’t treat it too formally and speak like a robot or like you are reading an essay aloud.

(2) Pretend that you’re on catching up with an old friend or on a first date(!) in a cafe and you’re trying to let the other person know some things about you.

(3) Aim to speak for three sentences. This means that your answer can be organized like (i) Answer the question simply and directly (even just a “Yes” or “No” or “I think so” or “Definitely” are good opening sentences because they are natural) (ii) Explain your main point (iii) Give an example or more details. Practice speaking like this with a range of questions and it will become natural and easy for you.

NOTE – The following questions are taken from a recent IELTS exam. Each question contains two sample answers: a simple one and an advanced one. Both answers contain useful linking vocabulary in italics and advanced/topic-specific vocabulary in bold. The advanced answer is at a Band 9 level. More comments and tips are shown below.

Sharing 2

QUESTION ONE – Do you like sharing things with other people?

SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple) – “Yes, sharing things with others is a good feeling. I think – especially – if you have a lot of something and someone doesn’t have much – or any – then it’s a wonderful thing to be able to share something with them, even if it’s just some food or a smile.”

COMMENT – Remember to try and paraphrase (say the same thing in different words) the question if you can. In the example above, “other people” has simply been changed to “others”. This is a simple and effective way to show the flexibility of your speaking. Also, make sure you control the speed of your speech and emphasize (say more strongly) important words (e.g. “especially”)

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced) – Definitely. I think that the act of sharing with other people enhances your own enjoyment of something. Most of the highlights or milestones in our lives are more special – more memorable – when we experience them with someone else. It also shows that we care about others and not just our own selfish interests. Like the saying goes, “Sharing is caring“.

COMMENT – Using idioms and common English expressions can be a great way to show your vocabulary. However, you must use them correctly and appropriately. Do NOT try and use an idiom in every answer as this is unnatural and one of the most common mistakes that test takers make.

Sharing 4

 

QUESTION TWO – What do you usually share with others?

SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple) – “I normally share simple things with my friends. For example, if I buy a snack, I will give some of it to my friend, and they will normally do the same for me. I think it even tastes better when you share it with someone else.”

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced) – “I usually share everyday stuff like food, and I guess also experiences. Like when I go on a trip with some friends and we encounter a spectacular view or a funny scene, it’s something that we will always remember and look back on fondly because we had that moment together.”

Sharing 3

QUESTION THREE – Did your parents teach you about sharing?

SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple) – “I think so. When I was little, my parents would always make me and my brother and sister share our toys and make sure that no one had more or was treated better than anyone else. I’m glad I learned the importance of sharing from them.”

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced) – “I think, like most people, I picked up my values from my parents from the way they set an example and gave me and my siblings guidance. I remember that my mum would make me let my little brother have a turn playing video games, which was really annoying at the time. Although, now I’m glad I learned that sharing is must more satisfying than being self-centred.”

YOU MAY FIND SOME OF THE FOLLOWING RELATED POSTS USEFUL

IELTS Speaking: Part 1 – Studies

IELTS Speaking (Real Test): Part One – Sleep

Speaking Part One: Real Test Questions: Time

 

IELTS Reports: Line Graphs – Clothing Exports

T1 Line Graphs - Clothing Exports

The graph above gives information on the differences in clothing exports from three different countries. Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

THINGS TO REMEMBER BEFORE YOU WRITE

(1) You must write at least 150 words. Answers that score high marks are normally closer to 200 words, although it is possible to achieve the maximum mark in 150 words.

(2) Make sure you use paragraphs. If your writing is one big block of words, you will score poorly for coherence and cohesion.

(3) Try to think of as many different ways you can to write about the repeated words you will use. For example, in this task, you will be repeating words like “clothing” and “exports”, so try to use variations like “clothes”, “exported”, “exporting”. Similarly, change the grammatical structure of the countries (e.g. “Colombia” –> “Colombian”, “Japan” –> “Japanese”). However, remember that if you are not sure of a synonym DON’T use it.

(4) To achieve a high vocabulary score, you should aim to NOT repeat describing words. For example, if you use “increase” then next time something “increases” use “climb”, “rise”, etc.

(5) Try to organise your answer in a clear way and make sure you make comparisons (i.e. which is the biggest, which is the smallest, etc.) In a line graph, you have two main ways to organise your answer. One is to organise your body based on the years. This means you will talk about the data for each country in each year. The other way is to organise it based on the countries. In the sample answers below, the first one is done based on year, and the second is done based on the countries. You can decide which is easier for you.

(6) In Task 1, you MUST include an overview. This can come after your introduction or as a conclusion, but you MUST tell the reader what are the main/key/overall points. For a line graph, this is normally whether the lines “went up”, “went down” or “fluctuated” or whether they were higher or lower at the end than they were at the start.

NOTE – The following contains two sample answers: a simple one and an advanced one. Both samples contain useful linking vocabulary in italics and useful vocabulary in bold. Each answer also contains some tips to help you write your own reports. The advanced version is written at a Band 9 level.

Clothing Exports

SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple)

T1 Line Graphs - Clothing Exports

The graph above gives information on the differences in clothing exports from three different countries. Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

The line graph shows data about exports of clothing in millions of dollars per year in three countries from 1999 to 2003.

Overall, the value of clothing exports in the three nations varied during the period, and the country with the highest amount of clothes exported also changed.

COMMENT – Notice how the overview gives the reader the overall picture. In other words, how did the lines change and which was the biggest.

In 1999, Japan was the biggest exporter, with a figure of around 580 million dollars. Colombia’s exports were about 100 million lower, while Myanmar’s exports were almost zero. However, in the following year, Myanmar’s exports rose dramatically to just over 800 million dollars, making it the largest clothing exporter. Colombia’s exports also climbed to around 520 million, whereas Japan’s dropped slightly to about 540 million.

COMMENT – Notice how a range of vocabulary is used (“biggest” vs. “largest) and how the adverbs (“dramatically” and “slightly”) are used to show the changes more clearly.

In the next year, Myanmar’s exports increased even more to about 950 million, which was the highest figure in the whole period. Colombia’s exports also continued to rise to a little over 650 million, while Japan’s grew again to around 600 million. However, while Colombia’s exports kept going up in the next year to 700 million, Japan’s dropped again to about 570 million. Furthermore, Myanmar’s exports experienced a huge fall to around 350 million. Nevertheless, in the final year, Myanmar’s exports recovered a little to about 430 million, while Colombia’s fell to just over 600 million, and Japan’s declined again to just under 500 million. (201 words)

Clothing Exports 1

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced)

T1 Line Graphs - Clothing Exports

The graph above gives information on the differences in clothing exports from three different countries. Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

The line graph presents an overview of the variations in the value of clothing exports between 1999 and 2003 in three nations: Colombia, Japan, and Myanmar.

Overall, there were some major fluctuations in the value of clothing exported from these three nations, with the largest exporter changing hands multiple times.

The largest exporter in 1999 was Japan, with exports of approximately 580 million dollars. However, in the following year, Japanese clothing exports dipped slightly to around 540 million, before recovering in the next year to a figure of 600 million. Nevertheless, in the final two years, the value of clothes exported from Japan fell once more, and by the end of the period it stood at marginally under 500 million.

COMMENT – Notice how all the information given is linked with a range of transition vocabulary (“However”, “Nevertheless”, etc.)

Colombia was second on the list in 1999, exporting clothing worth around 470 million dollars. This figure continued to rise, and by 2002 it stood at 700 million, making Colombia the biggest exporter at that time. In contrast, in the final year, Colombian exports dropped noticeably, finishing at a little above 600 million.

Finally, in 1999, Myanmar’s clothing exports were almost non-existent. However, over the next year, they soared to 800 million, then continued to climb to around 950 million in 2001. Conversely, 2002 saw a massive drop to just 350 million, meaning that in one year, Myanmar went from by far the largest exporter to easily the smallest. Nonetheless, in the final year, the export value of clothing manufactured in Myanmar regained some its previous losses, ending the duration at about 440 million dollars. (236 words)

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IELTS Speaking (Real Test): Part One – Sleep

Sleep 1
THINGS TO REMEMBER BEFORE YOU SPEAK

(1) Aim for THREE sentences. The questions are made for answers of this length. If you say less than this, the examiner cannot rate your speaking ability accurately.

(2) Try to use synonyms for the words you hear in the questions and also add some topic-specific vocabulary. For example, in the sample answers below, words like “drowsy” and “nap” are used to show specific vocabulary about sleep.

(3) Part One gives you a chance to show your speaking ability with some “getting-to-know-you” questions. Try to be relaxed and not too formal, but also pay attention to your grammar and pronunciation.

NOTE – The following questions are taken from a real IELTS test. Each question contains two sample answers: a simple one and an advanced one. Both answers contain useful linking vocabulary in italics and advanced/topic-specific vocabulary in bold as well as some tips. The advanced answers are written at a Band 9 level.

Sleep 2

 

QUESTION ONE – How many hours do you sleep a day?

SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple) – “I normally sleep for about six hours every night. I go to bed about midnight and I have to get up at 6am. I know you’re supposed to sleep for eight hours, but I find it hard to sleep for that long.”

COMMENT – Notice how “sleep a day” in the question is changed to “every night” in the answer. This is a good way to show your vocabulary.

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced) – “I try to get the recommended 8 hours of sleep every night, but my sleep habits are not great. I tend to use my phone in bed and the bright screen makes it difficult for me to fall asleep. On an average night, I probably only get about 6 hours of sleep.”

QUESTION TWO – Do you think it is enough? Why?

SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple) – “Um, no, I don’t think so. Like I said, we’re supposed to sleep for eight hours every night, but I only sleep for around six. Often in the mornings I’m tired and normally drink some coffee to wake up, so I don’t think I sleep as much as I should.”

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced) – “No, I don’t. In the mornings, I often feel lethargic and my head is cloudy. I don’t fully wake up until I’ve had a cup of coffee and moved around for a bit. So, I definitely need to get more, but staying up late is a hard habit to break.”

COMMENT – Notice how in both answers, the first sentence is short, simple, and answers the question directly. After that, you can give some more complex details to support your main idea.

 

Television Addict

 

QUESTION THREE – What do you do to improve sleep quality?

SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple) – “At the moment, I don’t think I do anything. But, I know that not using a phone or laptop before going to bed can help you sleep better. Also, not drinking too much coffee and getting regular exercise might help me to sleep better.”

COMMENT – Linking your ideas with simple words like “also” makes a big difference to how clear your answer is.

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced) – “Recently, I’ve been trying to avoid using my phone or any other device an hour before I go to bed. This helps my brain to switch off and I wake feeling more refreshed. I do drink a lot of coffee though, and caffeine is one of the things that make it hard to get a good night’s sleep, so I should probably cut back on that too.”

QUESTION FOUR – Do you like sleeping during the day? Why?

SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple) – “Not really. Often in the afternoon I feel sleepy and take a short nap, but normally when I wake up I feel even worse, so normally I just have a cup of coffee after lunch and keep going.”

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced) – “Sometimes, I feel so drowsy in the early afternoon that I can’t help but take a nap. Although, normally when I wake up I feel groggy and even more tired than I did before, so I don’t really like it and try to only sleep after the sun has gone down.”

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IELTS Speaking (Real Test 2019): Part 3 – Health

Health 1
THINGS TO REMEMBER BEFORE YOU SPEAK

(1) You may notice that Part 3 speaking questions are similar to Task 2 writing prompts. Part 3 is more academic than the first two parts, so try to organise your body like a Task 2 essay body paragraph (i.e. a clear main idea, clear explanation, maybe an example).

(2) Aim to give an answer that is 4-5 sentences. Make sure you link your sentences with suitable vocabulary (e.g. “One thing to remember is…” “On the other hand…” “However..” “If…then..but if…then…”

(3) Build your vocabulary. Part 3 often requires a good vocabulary to be able to give clear answers of a good length.

(4) Try to answer the question with a simple topic sentence. For example, if the question asks you to give your opinion, you can just say – “I definitely think that’s true…” “Well, it depends…” “For sure…” “Of course…” “Actually, I’m not too sure about that…” etc.

NOTE – The following questions are based on the report of a candidate who has take a recent IELTS exam. Each question contains two sample answers: a simple one and an advanced one. Both answers have useful linking vocabulary included in italics and advanced/topic-specific vocabulary included in bold. The advanced versions are written at a Band 9.0 level.

Health 4

QUESTION ONE – Do you think education plays a role in people’s health?

SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple) – “Sure, I think that’s right. If someone has a good education they can know what is healthy and what is not. For example, most of us learn that too much sugar is bad for us, so we shouldn’t eat too much of it. Although, many smart people aren’t very healthy – like – there are some doctors who smoke. I guess being educated can help to be healthy, although not always.”

COMMENTS – Remember that Part 3 is academic, but it is also less formal than writing. You want to aim to speak naturally, so you can introduce examples with simple words like “like” (example above) and “of course” or “yeah” (example below).

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced) – “I definitely think that’s generally true. People who live in lower socio-economic areas usually have higher rates of obesity and other health problems, and – of course – these areas normally have a lower level of education. Unhealthy food is often heavily advertised as an everyday food option, and if you aren’t aware of the dangers of consuming it, you will suffer the health consequences. So, yeah, education can play a big role in our health.”

Health 3
QUESTION TWO – Do you think teachers encourage students to be healthy?

SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple) – “Um, I’m not sure. Teachers have a big influence on their students’ lives because they spend so much time with them. But not all teachers are healthy, so I guess it depends on each teacher. If a teacher is healthy, then they might make their students want to be healthy, but if they’re unhealthy, they might set a bad example for their students.”

COMMENTS – You are not expected to be an expert on all topics. If you’re not sure about an answer, then say that and give any ideas that you have in a clear, well-organised way.

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced) – “I think it depends on the individual teacher. Teachers can certainly have a powerful influence on a student’s life, but this cuts both ways. If the teacher is outgoing and positive about good health, then this might make a strong impression on their students and encourage them to take care of themselves better. Of course, if the teacher is out of shape or chain-smokes, then this will have the opposite effect.

Health 2

QUESTION THREE – Do employers look after the health of their employees?

SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple) – “Um, I’m not really sure because I’ve never had a full-time job. I think it depends if the employer cares about their employees or not. Some bosses expect their workers to come into work everyday, even if they are feeling sick. On the other hand, many companies provide their employees with several days off per year if they are sick. So, really, I think it depends.”

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced) – “It’s hard to say what’s true for every employer. I think some bosses couldn’t care less about their workers health, while others provide generous sick leave in their employment contracts as well as offering health insurance. Although, this is sometimes required by law, so I don’t know if they do it out of the goodness of their hearts of only because they are forced to.”

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IELTS Essays: Cause and Effect – Sleep

Lack of Sleep 1

TOPIC: People nowadays sleep less than they used to in the past. What do you think is the reason behind this? What are the effects on individuals and people around them?

THINGS TO REMEMBER BEFORE YOU WRITE

(1) This is a ’cause and effect’ essay. Aim for TWO causes and TWO effects.

(2) Organize your essay with a FOUR-PARAGRAPH structure: (i) Intro (ii) Causes (iii) Effects (iv) Conclusion

(3) Make sure you have some synonyms ready for the repeated words (e.g. “cause” –> “reason” “factor”, “effect” –> “consequence” “result” “outcome”

(4) In ALL essays, try to make your main ideas clear. You need to use a wide range of sentence structures, but try to keep your main ideas/topic sentences clear.

(5) Try to include ONE specific example in your essay. If you can’t think of a real one, make one up. As long as it supports your main point, it will be fine.

(6) It is VERY important that you answer ALL parts of the question in order to get a good mark for Task Response. Make sure you write about the effects for individuals AND those around them!

NOTE: The following contains two sample essays: a simple one and an advanced one. Comments and tips are added at the end of some paragraphs. Useful linking vocabulary is included in italics, while advanced/topic-specific vocabulary is included in bold. The advanced essay is written at a Band 9.0 level.

Lack of Sleep 2

SAMPLE ESSAY ONE (Simple)

People nowadays sleep less than they used to in the past. What do you think is the reason behind this? What are the effects on individuals and people around them?

In the past, people used to get more sleep than they do now. This essay will look at the causes of this and then assess the consequences for people who are not getting enough sleep as well as those around them.

COMMENT – (i) Remember that you have to paraphrase the topic. A simple and effective way to do this is to change the grammatical structure. Compare the first essay of the introduction to the topic for a good example (ii) Notice how “reason” and “effects” are changed to “causes” and “consequences”.

One of the main causes of a lack of sleep is modern technology. Before smartphones, tablets, and other similar devices, people would usually watch TV or read a book before going to bed. However, now a person might spend hours in bed staring at a bright screen, which makes it difficult to fall asleep. Another major factor is that many people have to wake up early to go to work or school. For example, young people might stay up late using their phones, but then they have to wake up at 6am to go to school. Of course, this means that they will be tired and struggle to study effectively.

COMMENT – To make your grammar more complex, use “which” clauses to provide explanation or add extra details.

The effects of a lack of sleep can be extremely harmful. For individuals, it might cause them to feel low in energy and make it difficult to concentrate at work or school. Furthermore, a lack of sleep can also effect people around us. Friends and family might lose their temper faster if they are tired and say or do something without thinking because their mind is exhausted. Moreover, tiredness can lead to someone accidentally killing another person. The thousands of road accidents every year caused by sleepy drivers is a good example of this.

Overall, a lack of sleep is mainly caused by new forms of technology and the pressure of modern life. The effects can range from small to huge, so it is very important that people get enough sleep. (283 words)

Lack of Sleep 4

SAMPLE ESSAY TWO (Advanced)

People nowadays sleep less than they used to in the past. What do you think is the reason behind this? What are the effects on individuals and people around them?

While experts agree that everyone should aim to get a solid eight hours of sleep every night, the reality is much different. People are sleeping less and this is resulting is a range of alarming outcomes. So, what are the reasons for this shortage of sleep and how does it impact our lives and the lives of those around us?

Modern technology can should shoulder much of the blame for the current dearth of sleep. The screens of our phones, and other devices, emit a high volume of blue light, which tells our brains it is daytime. Obviously, if we use a phone in bed before we try to sleep, it will be much harder for our nervous system to know it is time to sleep. Another principal cause is the organization of our work and school lives. In other words, society is organized around an early wake-up time, and if people are not getting to sleep on time, they will struggle when they have to get out of bed at dawn the next day.

From the perspective of the individual, not sleeping enough can lead to physical and mental problems. Our bodies use sleep to repair themselves and consolidate what we learn during the day, so it goes without saying that only a few hours of sleep every night will lead to a broad spectrum of health issues. For those in our vicinity, the worst possible outcome is death. Traffic statistics showing a high percentage of fatal crashes caused by drowsy drivers are a sobering reminder of the effect sleep can have on the wider world.

In summary, the lack of sleep many of us suffer from can be attributed to the modern world and the technology we rely on. It is blindingly obvious that this sleep shortage has potentially disastrous effects and requires urgent attention. (306 words)

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