THINGS TO REMEMBER WHILE SPEAKING
(1) Think of Part One as a casual conversation where you need to say about THREE sentences for each question. Try to speak in a relaxed way and don’t be too formal.
(2) Try to include some topic-specific vocabulary. For example, there questions are about “pets”, so try to use some words, like “breed”, “soft and fluffy” (for a cat’s fur), etc. But remember that your first job is to be clear. DON’T try to use big/advanced words before you can give a clear answer.
(3) Try to make your first sentence short and clear, then follow up with two longer sentences to explain your main idea/point.
NOTE – The following questions are from a recent IELTS exam. Each question has a simple and an advanced answer. Both answer have useful organizing vocabulary in italics and advanced/topic-specific vocabulary in bold. The advanced versions are written at a Band 9 level.
QUESTION ONE – Do people in your country like pets?
SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple) – “Yes, I think most people like pets. In the past, it was less common, but now more and more people have a pet. Normally, they own a dog or a cat. I think pets make a good friend and give people company when they’re lonely.”
SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced) – “I think most people like pets, and pet ownership is becoming more common in my country. It used to be that animals were a source of food – even animals normally associated with pets – or they were a source of labour – like a buffalo to plough the fields. Now that people are wealthier, they often like to have a pet for companionship.”
COMMENT – If you don’t know a word like “plough”, then explain what you mean in a more simple way. For example, “a buffalo to work in the fields”.
QUESTION TWO – What animal don’t you like? Why?
SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple) – “I like most animals, but I get scared of some insects and spiders. I don’t like the way they move. Like, if I have to get up in the night and there’s a cockroach running across the floor, I hate it.”
COMMENT – Even using one piece of specific vocabulary (e.g. “cockroach”) can make your answer stand out.
SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced) – “I would describe myself as an animal lover, but I get freaked out by snakes. I think it’s a primal fear that everyone kind of has because they’re emotionless – just evolved to hunt. I also don’t really like slimy things – you know, like snails and slugs – they’re just kind of gross.”
COMMENT – Using informal language (e.g. “freaked out” “gross”) is a good way to show your conversational skills and vocabulary range.
QUESTION THREE – What kind of pet would you like to have? Why?
SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple) – “I’d love to have a cat. Kittens – especially – are so cute. But my mum is allergic to cats, so I’ll have to wait until I have my own place before I can get one. Cats have fur that is so soft and fluffy.”
SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced) – “If I could have any pet…? I’d love to have a pet tiger – as long as it was friendly and well-trained. I love cats, so having a huge one would be amazing. But I think an animal like that is always a little wild, so one day it would probably remember its natural instincts and eat me.”
QUESTION FOUR – What animals do people in your country have? Why?
SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple) – “For pets, people have common ones like cats and dogs mostly. They have them as a friend or for protection. Some people have fish or a bird. On farms, there are many types of animals raised for food, like cows, goats, sheep, pigs, chickens…”
SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced) – “In farming and agriculture, there are the typical animals like cows and chickens, and even buffaloes are still used to plough the fields. For pets, there are the normal domesticated animals, like cats and dogs. Actually, nowadays more and more people are getting expensive breeds of dog as a status symbol – I mean to show off how wealthy they are.”
COMMENT – You can show your vocabulary range and general speaking skill by explaining what you mean by key phrases (e.g. “status symbol”). Use phrases like “By that I mean” or “In other words” to begin your explanation.
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