THINGS TO THINK ABOUT WHEN SPEAKING
(1) Aim for THREE sentences in Part One. This gives you time to (i) state your main idea (ii) add some details/explanation (iii) show some topic-related vocabulary
(2) Your main idea in Part One can just be a natural (short) response to a question you might be asked in a normal conversation (e.g. “I think so” “Not really” “Definitely” etc.) Just make sure you explain your first statement with a couple more sentences of information.
(3) Pretend that Part One is a first date in a cafe or catching up with a friend you haven’t seen for a long time. Don’t be too formal. Don’t speak for too long.
NOTE – The following questions are adapted from a recent IELTS exam. Each question contains two sample answers: a simple one and an advanced one. Extra comments and tips are featured after some answers. Useful linking vocabulary is included in italics and advanced/topic-specific vocabulary is included in bold. The advanced version is written at a Band 9 level.
QUESTION ONE – Do you like taking pictures?
SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple) – “Not really. If I’m out and I see something interesting I might take a photo with my phone so I can show my friends, but I don’t own an actual camera – I mean – one that’s separate from my phone.”
COMMENT – Aim to speak in a casual but clear way. For example, if you want to clarify what you mean by “actual camera”, then just say it in a simple way.
SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced) – “I went through a phase where I was obsessed with photography. I got my parents to buy me a nice camera with a high-end lens, and I would go out every chance I got to try and take the perfect picture. Now I don’t have much time and I normally just snap some pictures with my phone.”
COMMENT – Using advanced/topic-specific vocabulary is great. Just make sure your speaking flows and the vocabulary is used to make your ideas clear rather than using the ideas to show off your vocabulary but being difficult to understand or sounding like a robot!
QUESTION TWO – What do you do with the pictures you take?
SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple) – “If it’s a good one, I might post it on social media – like on Instagram or Facebook. But – often – they just stay on my phone and I forget about them. It’s so easy to take a picture nowadays.”
COMMENT – Always try to explain general terms (e.g. “social media”) with specific examples. This will make your answers longer and clearer.
SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced) – “Well, the vast majority I delete. I don’t like the way I look in photos – I’m really not photogenic – normally I’m squinting or only one eye is open. My friends sometimes take group selfies and post them online, but I only do that every now and again.”
COMMENT – When you use advanced vocabulary (e.g. “photogenic”), try to show you are confident with the meaning of that word by explaining it in more detail (e.g. “squinting” “both eyes closed” etc.)
QUESTION THREE – Do you like to take photos with your phone or a proper camera?
SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple) – “Well, the only camera I have is on my phone and I’ve never used an actual camera. My phone camera is really convenient – I can just pull it out of my pocket and take a picture wherever I am. A big camera seems kind of awkward to carry around everywhere.”
COMMENT – Talk about yourself. If you’ve never owned a camera, say that and why. You can get a good mark with simple vocabulary if you are clear and give details for your main ideas.
SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced) – “Phone cameras are so good now – the resolution is as good as top-of-the-line standalone digital cameras used to be – so I think it’s hard to tell the difference. For me, my phone camera is always right there, which makes it much more appealing than lugging around a bulky camera.”
QUESTION FOUR – Do you have any plans to learn photography
SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple) – “Not at the moment. I think photography – like any art – needs a lot of time to get good, and I’m not really interested enough to spend that much time on it. I just use some of the filters on my phone and it looks good to me!”
SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced) – “I don’t think so. My phone seems to do a good job of making sure the picture is in focus. Then, there’s all the filters you can apply to make the photo how you want it to look. I think you have to devote a lot of time to becoming good at something like photography and I don’t have the passion or the patience.”
YOU MAY FIND SOME OF THE FOLLOWING RELATED POSTS USEFUL
FEEL FREE TO LEAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS YOU MAY HAVE