Recent IELTS Speaking Topics 2019

Recent IELTS Speaking Topics 2019

*There was a new IELTS booklet for speaking released in May and the new questions are marked as ‘New Booklet’!

I’ve spent a lot of time talking to IELTS examiners and former candidates to compile a list of all the current IELTS speaking questions in 2019.

There are two booklets for IELTS and they change them once a year so the questions change. Study them now before they start changing!

A quick word about a lot of IELTS forecasts and the importance of the questions below.

A lot of websites will claim to have advance copies of the tests and offer forecasts or predictions about the test. These are 100% lies.

All they have done is take the past speaking questions (which are repeated – though there are 30 possible part 1 speaking questions and nearly a hundred possible part 2 and 3 speaking topics) and predict the writing based on common topics.

Don’t believe them or pay money for them!

It’s still important to practice and have familiarity with topics that will come up. DO NOT memorise answers because this will not work – the questions will probably not come up and you can’t memorise that many questions.

Also, even if the question does come up, the examiner is instructed to mark you down for memorised answers!

Use the questions below to practice your English in general and become more familiar with IELTS in specific.

You can find my speaking model answers and tips here!

 

Speaking Part 1: Personal Questions

In part 1 of IELTS speaking you will first be asked 3 questions about work/study/living area. These are the basic questions that begin every test.

Then the examiner will move on to a personal topic with 4 questions related to it. The examiner can only ask the exact question on the card.

He will not explain any questions if you ask – he will simply repeat the question once and if you don’t understand, then he will move on.

You can ask about the meaning of particular words – for example:

Examiner: ‘What’s your favouriste season?’

Candidate: ‘What do you mean by ‘season’?’

That is ok!

The examiner will ask about 2 topics and then move on to part 2 (combined with the basic intro questions that is around 11 questions in part 1)).

There will be the occasional general question about your country (not about you) and it will usually be the last question about a topic.

Take a good look!

 

Where you Live

  1. Have you lived for a long time in your current city?
  2. What kind of a home are you living in?
  3. How could your living area be improved?

Where you Live (Alternate Booklet)

  1. Where do you live at the moment?
  2. What do you like about your neighborhood?
  3. Are there any parks where you live?

Work

  1. Why did you choose your job?
  2. How much work do you do in a week?
  3. Do you have to work on weekends as well?

Work (Alternate Booklet)

  1. Do you work or study?
  2. Do you like the place where you work?
  3. What would make your work more interesting?

Coffee or Tea

  1. Do you drink coffee or tea?
  2. When did you last drink coffee or tea?
  3. Is coffee or tea more popular in your country?
  4. Which would you offer to visitors who came to your home?

Relatives

  1. Are your relatives or friends more important to you?
  2. When did you last see your relatives?
  3. How do you spend time with your relatives?
  4. Are people in your country usually close with their relatives?

 

Pets

  1. Have you ever had a pet?
  2. What kind of pets do people like to have?
  3. What kinds of pets are common in your country?
  4. Do many people in your country have pets?

Study

  1. What is your major?
  2. Do you like it?
  3. Why did you choose that major?
  4. Which major would you want to change it to?

Seasons

  1. Which season do you like the most?
  2. Is it better to live in a place with 4 seasons or just 1?
  3. What is the weather like in your city?
  4. How do people in your country deal with bad weather?

Teachers

  1. Did you ever want to be a teacher?
  2. Which teacher do you remember best?
  3. What did you like most about your teachers?
  4. Do teachers remember their students in your country?

Crowded Places

  1. Which places in your city are crowded?
  2. Why are those places so crowded?
  3. How do you feel in crowded places?
  4. Have you ever felt comfortable in a very crowded place?

Film/Movie Star

  1. Who is your favourite film star?
  2. Would you like to be a film star?
  3. Have you ever met a film star in person?
  4. Are film stars popular in your country?

Perfume

  1. Do you like perfume?
  2. Do you use perfume?
  3. Would you ever give perfume as a gift?
  4. Do people in your country often wear perfume?

Cinema

  1. Do you often go to the cinema?
  2. What kinds of movies do you like to watch?
  3. Did you like to go to the cinema when you were a child?
  4. Do you prefer to go alone or with friends?

Morning Routine

  1. What is your morning routine?
  2. How is your routine different from when you were a child?
  3. What would you like to change about your current routine?
  4. What is a typical morning routine like for people in your country?

Travelling

  1. Do you like travelling?
  2. What is the most beautiful country you have visited?
  3. Would you like to have a job that demands travelling to other countries?
  4. What problems can occur when travelling?

Cooking

  1. Do you like to cook?
  2. Why do some people like cooking?
  3. Do you usually eat at home or eat out?
  4. What do people in your country usually cook?

Sunglasses

  1. Do you like sunglasses?
  2. How often do you wear sunglasses?
  3. Would you give sunglasses as a gift?
  4. Is it worth it to spend a lot of money on sunglasses?

Music

  1. Do you like music?
  2. Which types of music do you like?
  3. Would you like to learn a musical instrument?
  4. Have you ever been to a live concert?

Plants

  1. Do you like plants?
  2. When you were a child, did you like plants?
  3. Have you ever received a plant as a gift?
  4. Where can you learn about growing plants from?

Boredom

  1. How often do you get bored?
  2. What activity do you do when you are bored?
  3. Do you get bored more now compared to when you were younger?
  4. How do most people in your country deal with boredom?

Colors

  1. What is your favourite color?
  2. What color do you think is good for rooms?
  3. Do you prefer light or dark colors?
  4. What colors do people in your country like to wear?

Sharing

  1. What kinds of things do you share with friends?
  2. Did your parents encourage you to share?
  3. Is there anything you would not share?
  4. Are people in your country in the habit of sharing a lot?

Water

  1. Do you drink a lot of water?
  2. Do you prefer bottled or tap water?
  3. Did you drink a lot of water when you were younger?
  4. Would you say that bottled water is expensive in your country?

Skies

  1. Do you often look at the sky?
  2. Do you prefer to look at the sky during the day or at night?
  3. Have you ever taken a course about stars?
  4. Where is the best view of the sky where you live?

 

Public Holidays (New Booklet)

  1. What public holidays do you celebrate in your country?
  2. Which public holiday do you like the most?
  3. What do you do during that holiday?
  4. Do you think there should be more public holidays in your country?

Shoes

  1. Do you prefer to wear shoes that are comfortable or fashionable?
  2. Do you buy many shoes?
  3. How many pairs of shoes do you have?
  4. What is your favourite pair of shoes?

Handwriting

  1. Do you have good handwriting?
  2. How did you learn your handwriting?
  3. Do you like receiving hand-written letters?
  4. How important is handwriting in your country?

Emails (New Booklet)

  1. Do you communicate via emails?
  2. Do you prefer getting texts or emails?
  3. Have you ever received an email that made you happy?
  4. Is email popular in your country?

 

Reading 

  1. Do you like to read?
  2. When do you usually read?
  3. Did you like to read when you were younger?
  4. Do people read less today?

 

Food

  1. What kinds of foods do you like to eat?
  2. How different is food in your country today from when you were younger?
  3. Which foods do you dislike?
  4. What foods do people in your country buy at the market?

Drawing 

  1. Do you like drawing?
  2. Which types of drawings do you like?
  3. Would you like to decorate your room with paintings?
  4. Have you ever learned about drawing in school?

Smiling

  1. When do you usually smile?
  2. How can you identify a fake smile?
  3. When was the last time you saw a bunch of people smiling?
  4. Do you often smile when taking photos?

Street Markets (New Booklet)

  1. Do you like street markets?
  2. What’s the difference between street markets and supermarkets?
  3. Would you prefer a street market or a supermarket in a foreign country?
  4. How popular are street markets in your country?

Rubbish/Garbage/Litter (New Booklet)

  1. How do you react when you see litter on the streets?
  2. Do you recycle?
  3. How do you help keep the streets tidy?
  4. What would you do if someone else dropped some litter?

 

Mathematics (New Booklet)

  1. Do you like mathematics?
  2. Did you take mathematics lessons?
  3. How do math skills come in handy in daily life?
  4. Have you ever used an electronic calculator?

 

Sleep

  1. How much do you sleep every night?
  2. Do you think it’s a good idea to have a nap during the day?
  3. Did you sleep more in the past than you do now?
  4. Do you think old people need more sleep than young people?

 

Sport

  1. What sport do you like?
  2. Do you prefer team or individual sports?
  3. Who is your favourite sports star?
  4. What is the most popular sport in your country?

Cards and invitations

  1. Do you often send cards?
  2. On what occasions do you send cards?
  3. Do you prefer to receive cards or emails?
  4. Is sending cards common in your country?

Speaking Part 2 – Describe a…

In part 2 of the test, you will be given 1 minute to plan and 2 minutes to talk. If the examiner does not do this, then you can make an official complaint.

The topics vary between personal and more general. Be sure to keep talking the whole time – the examiner will stop you.

At the end of part 2 the examiner will ask a rounding-off question – don’t give another long answer for this. A short answer to this question is best.

The next part of the test will continue with the same topic.

Do some practice with the questions below – here are some ideas for how you can practice alone without a speaking partner.

These are all the current topics that can come up.

Talk about a…

  • person who motivated you to achieve a goal (New Booklet)
  • something that technology has helped you to achieve (New Booklet)
  • trip with your friends that you enjoyed a lot (New Booklet)
  • famous person from another country you would like to meet (New Booklet)
  • quiz or game show (New Booklet)
  • language other than English that you would like to learn (New Booklet)
  • item you brought to your family or friends after a trip (New Booklet)
  • time the internet helped you in your work or study (New Booklet)
  • person that you have not met face to face but have talked to on the phone (New Booklet)
  • someone you know hid the truth from you (New Booklet)
  • person from work or a friend who helped you in your life or career (New Booklet)
  • important event in your country (New Booklet)
  • time you invited a friend to eat a meal with you (New Booklet)
  • water sport that you want to try (New Booklet)
  • favourite band or singer (New Booklet)
  • garden or park in your town or city (New Booklet)
  • something that is good for your health (New Booklet)
  • time you gave advice to someone else (New Booklet)
  • effigy in your town (New Booklet)
  • prize that you would like to win (New Booklet)
  • gift you presented to a friend on a special occasion (New Booklet)
  • market in your city (New Booklet)
  • time when your vehicle broke down (New Booklet)
  • time that you received a telemarketing phone call in public (New Booklet)
  • time when you had to change your plans (New Booklet)
  • time you received false information (New Booklet)
  • time when you found something that you lost (New Booklet)
  • lecture that you attended
  • building that you like
  • comedy that made you laugh
  • person who you would like to meet
  • recent development in your city
  • webiste that you use frequently
  • teacher that you liked
  • subject you did not enjoy
  • poisonous plant you know
  • interesting place in your country
  • activity that you do when you are alone
  • family business that you know
  • person you wanted to be like when you were growing up
  • subject you did not like at school but are interested in now
  • classmate influenced you deeply
  • time you had to ask someone for advice regarding a decision
  • problem that you had with a piece of equipment
  • talkative person you know
  • person who can speak another language well
  • time that you heard a person you didn’t know on their phone
  • sport that you played in your childhood
  • something your borrowed from a friend or family member
  • special date in your country’s history
  • job that your grandparents did
  • place where you would like to travel
  • advertisment you watched and will not forget
  • game you enjoyed playing when you were younger
  • somethin you bought but never use
  • book you recently read
  • intelligent person that you know
  • person who helps other people
  • good law in your country
  • time you wanted to do something but didn’t have the time
  • time when you didn’t tell the complete truth
  • handsome or beautiful person you have met
  • person you know who is doing something to help the environment
  • place where you can study indoors or outdoors
  • family event that you attended
  • searched for something on the internet
  • person that you encouraged to accomplish something
  • piece of clothing that you really like
  • typical food that is eaten at special events in your country
  • time when you received bad service 
  • ideal house to live in
  • thing that helps you get started working or studying
  • time when you got up very early in the morning
  • practical skill that you learned
  • book that you read recently
  • city that you think is beautiful
  • time when you intended to do something but did not have enough time
  • outdoor sport that you would like to try
  • interesting old person you know
  • time when you felt proud of a friend
  • period of history that you would like to learn more about
  • public facility in your country
  • person you know with interesting opinions
  • piece of good news that you saw on television or the internet
  • teenager you know
  • gift of money that you received
  • intelligent person you know
  • party that you attended
  • time when you searched for information
  • sport that you would be interested in trying out
  • remote place you have travelled to
  • time that you gave money as a gift
  • quiet place
  • time when you needed to repair something

Speaking Part 3

Speaking part 3 will begin with the topic from part 2 but expand on it to make it more general and complex.

Most questions will be general so try not to give personal examples or talk about yourself (it is fine if you do this sometimes).

Typically, the examiner will ask between 6 and 10 questions in this part of the test.

The examiner must paraphrase what is in his book (unlike part 1, where he just reads from the booklet). That’s the reason why students will report slightly different wording for the questions –  no two examiners will use exactly the same words but the meaning of the questions will be the same.

The examiner is also supposed to ask one follow-up question for each question in the booklet. These follow-up questions will be different depending on the examiner and if you are a strong candidate the examiner will ask more difficult questions to challenge you.

Read on!

 

Speaking and Listening

  1. What is the difference between a good speaker and listener?
  2. How can someone be a good listener?
  3. Is it more important to be good at listening or speaking?
  4. Why are some people not good listeners?
  5. How important is listening to political leaders?

School Subjects

  1. What courses or subjects do you think will be added into high schools?
  2. What courses or subjects will be helpful in future work?
  3. Is it more effective to read online than in a book?
  4. What do students do after school in your country? 
  5. Do you think students should choose subjects they like?

The Internet

  1. How often do most people use the internet?
  2. Are there drawbacks to its overuse?
  3. What kind of information can people find online?
  4. How has this changed the way that people get their information?
  5. How will the internet change society in the future?

 

Language

  1. Can learning a language help you understand more about a culture?
  2. Why is it so difficult to learn a new language?
  3. How will language learning change in the future?
  4. Should governments invest more in second language learning in schools?
  5. What are the benefits of learning another language for your country?

Study Focus

  1. Why do some people study badly?
  2. Is it a good idea to have a firm plan when studying?
  3. Why are many girls better at concentrating?
  4. Is it better to study online or in a classroom?
  5. What are the advantages and disadvantages of studying in a group?

Making Plans

  1. How do people usually make plans?
  2. Should you get advice when making plans?
  3. Who is the best advisor for big plans?
  4. What plans do governments have to make?
  5. How important is the public in helping governments to make plans?

 

Phones in Public

  1. Why do people talk on their phones on public transport?
  2. Is it common in your country?
  3. Is silence valued in your city?
  4. Why do some people have trouble staying silent?
  5. Is there too much noise from technology today?

 

Friends

  1. What can we learn from making new friends?
  2. How important is it to have a social life?
  3. Why is having good friends important?
  4. What role do friends play in your life as you get older?
  5. Do most people share both good and bad experiences with their friends?

 

Motivation

  1. How can children be motivated to achieve their goals?
  2. Who is more responsible – parents or teachers?
  3. Is it always necessary to set goals to motivate children?
  4. What motivates adults?
  5. Why are some people seemingly much more motivated than others?

 

Gardens

  1. Do people in your country usually have gardens in their homes?
  2. Which age group visits gardens the most?
  3. Is it good for people to take care of a garden?
  4. Why do people grown their own plants at home sometimes?
  5. Is it common for people in your country to grow fruits and vegetables at home?

 

Outdoor Sports

  1. What are the benefits of doing an outdoor sport?
  2. Why do some pople enjoy doing dangerous sports?
  3. Why were dangerous sports created at all?
  4. Is it better to do outdoor sports in groups?
  5. Do both old and young people enjoy outdoor sport?

 

Public Transportation

  1. Do old or young people use public transportation more?
  2. What are the drawbacks of private vehicles?
  3. How could public transportation be improved?
  4. Should city planners consider public transport when designing cities?
  5. What can the government do to improve public transport outside of urban areas?

 

Looking up to People

  1. Do you think kids today grow up differently than in the past?
  2. Are famous people good exampels for children?
  3. What can children learn from bad examples?
  4. Should companies use celebrities to advertise their products?
  5. Do people really trust celebrity endorsed products?

 

 

Competition

  1. How helpful is competition for children?
  2. Is it good to have a competitive attitude?
  3. How are the attitudes of professionals and amateurs different?
  4. How are children awarded competition prizes in your country?
  5. What are the adverse effects of competition on children?

 

Law

  1. Who is most responsible for enforcing the law?
  2. Which international laws are you familiar with?
  3. Why do you think law is important?
  4. Should laws be more universal?
  5. What is the relationship between law and justice?

 

Health

  1. How can people improve their physical health?
  2. What about their mental health?
  3. In what ways can teachers encourage students to do sports?
  4. What is the role of doctors in raising health awareness?
  5. Can social media also play a role?

 

Individuals and the Environment

  1. What are the main environmental problems we face today?
  2. What can individuals do to protect the environment?
  3. How much do politicians in your country care about the environment?
  4. Should nations work together to protect the environment?
  5. What are the roadblocks to this?

 

Old People

  1. What are the advantages of having an elderly person at home? 
  2. Is there anything that older people should learn from the younger generation?
  3. What can the younger generation learn from the older generation? 
  4. What qualities does a person need to take care of older people? 
  5. Do you think elderly people should be allowed to work? 

Arts and Crafts

  1. Why do people undervalue art?
  2. Are artistic skills innate?
  3. Should cities have more art in public spaces?
  4. Why do people admire art and artists so much?
  5. What is the difference between good and bad art?

Truth in Crime

  1. Why do witnesses of crimes sometimes disagree in their accounts?
  2. How can modern technology help solve crimes?
  3. Will teaching children to be honest reduce crime in the future?
  4. Should there be more severe penalties for crimes like libel?
  5. How will the detection of lies change in the future?

Talkative Chidren

  1. Do think being talkative is a good quality for children?
  2. Is it good for children to talk a lot in every situation?
  3. Why do children talk so much?
  4. What makes children talk less as the get older sometimes?
  5. What can teachers do to encourage children to talk more?

Intelligence

  1. Do people with high IQs tend to be selfish?
  2. Can computers improve your intelligence?
  3. What is the difference between intelligence and knowledge?
  4. How much can intelligence change during a lifetime and how much of it is fixed?
  5. Has technology made people less intelligent?

Difficult Jobs

  1. Why do some people see their jobs as very difficult?
  2. Should jobs with high degrees of difficulty earn more money?
  3. What determines the jobs that people choose?
  4. Do companies do enough to train employees for difficult jobs?
  5. What incentives can governments offer for those taking on difficult jobs?

Success

  1. When a person is successful, are they also happy?
  2. What is success?
  3. Do relationships affect success?
  4. Which is more important for success: opportunity or hard work?
  5. What defines success for people in your country?

Classmates

  1. Is it important for children in school to get along with their classmates?
  2. What are the advantages of getting along well with others in school?
  3. Should children be allowed to sit where they want in class?
  4. How has technology changed the way that students interact with each other?
  5. How important is it for children to learn about sharing?

Urban Planning

  1. How important is urban planning for a city?
  2. What are the possible drawbacks of not having a good plan?
  3. How do cities in your country differ?
  4. What effect do businesses have on urban planning?
  5. How can people make their voices heard when it comes to urban planning?

Information

  1. How did people find out information in the past?
  2. How has that changed now?
  3. Do people today rely too much on online information?
  4. Can a personal diary be a reliable source of information?
  5. How do historians verify the information they come across?

Shopping

  1. Do people in your country shop at malls or street markets?
  2. Is online shopping common?
  3. Is it better to shop alone or with friends?
  4. Why is online shopping becoming more popular?
  5. Is shopping a waste of time?

Teenagers

  1. Is the behaviour of teenagers today better than when you were a teenager?
  2. When should teenagers start to take on more responsibilities?
  3. What kinds of responsibilities?
  4. How have attitudes towards teenagers changed in recent years?
  5. What can parents do if teenagers are unwilling to take on more responsibility?

Laughing

  1. What is the importance of laughing?
  2. What is the difference between the laughing of children and adults?
  3. Why do children laugh more easily than adults?
  4. How does it impact students if their teacher is funny?
  5. Is it possible to enjoy comedy from foreign countries?

Business

  1. Do most people in your country work for small or large businesses?
  2. What kind of businesses need the most help?
  3. Should the government help businesses or leave them alone?
  4. How important is regulation of large businesses?
  5. What rights to large companies have?

Decisions

  1. What sort of important decisions do teenagers face today?
  2. What are the difficult decisions that national leaders face?
  3. How can they make these decisions?
  4. Who should be considered when taking an important decision?
  5. Is it better to take your time or make a quick decision?

Websites

  1. What internet sites do people in your country use for entertainment?
  2. Why is more and more news now published on social media websites?
  3. What can we do to stop the spread of unreliable news?
  4. How have websites changed in the last decade?
  5. Should there be tighter regulation on websites?

Online Information

  1. Is online information reliable?
  2. Do you think there is too much information online?
  3. How can people consume online news responsibly?
  4. Is the information provided on television useful?
  5. What’s the difference between news in newspapers and online news?

Time Management

  1. How can people manage their time better now compared to the past?
  2. What are the differences in what people do with their time now?
  3. How has technology helped people to save time?
  4. What are the qualities of a person with good time management?
  5. Will people have more free time in the future?

 

Sport

  1. Which sports are popular in your country?
  2. How can amateurs be attracted to participate in sports?
  3. What are the benefits of doing sport?
  4. How does loyalty help a sport become popular?
  5. What makes a sport popular?

Holidays

  1. Where do most people in your country go for holidays?
  2. Why do some people prefer to spend their holidays at home?
  3. Do you think young people benefit from having a gap-year before university?
  4. How does tourism for holidays affect your country?
  5. What benefits does it have?

Losing Things

  1. Why do people lose things?
  2. Which things do people usually lose?
  3. What should parents do when children bring home something they found?
  4. How can people better remember things?
  5. How important is memory?

Reading

  1. Do people in your country read a lot?
  2. Will reading still be a popular hobby in the future?
  3. Do children read a lot these days?
  4. Is developing a love of reading the responsibility of parents?
  5. How can governments encourage people to read more?

Beauty

  1. What is beauty for you? 
  2. Do you think the media influences our idea of beauty? 
  3. Do you think advertisements portrayal of beauty is correct? 
  4. How has people’s idea of beauty changed over the last few decades?
  5. Do you think beauty only relates to a person’s appearance? 

Fashion

  1. Why are designer bran clothes popular?
  2. Why are these brands so expensive?
  3. How has fashion changed in your country?
  4. Is it important for designers to stay up to date with the latest fashions?
  5. Is fashion more important than adapting your clothes to the weather?

 

Repairs

  1. Why do things break?
  2. Is it worth repairing something instead of buying a new one?
  3. Should we teach kids to repair things?
  4. Does the government have a responsibilty to fix certain things?
  5. How well do people in your country take care of public facilities?

International Events/Parties

  1. What sort of internation events does your country host?
  2. Do you think these types of events divide people?
  3. Why are these events celebrated?
  4. What activities are common for these celebrations?
  5. Are there many events that are celebrated across national borders?

Social Websites

  1. Do you often use social websites?
  2. Why do you use social websites?
  3. Do people spend too much time on social websites?
  4. Would you like to spend more time on these websites?

 

Borrowing and Lending

  1. Have you ever borrowed a book from someone else?
  2. Do you like to lend to others?
  3. Would you ever lend a friend money?
  4. Would you lend someone your phone to make a phone call?

 

Places to Play

  1. Where did you play when you were a child?
  2. Did you often play at a friend’s home?
  3. Did you prefer playing inside or outside when you were younger?
  4. Do you think it’s important for children to play outside?

 

Money and Gifts

  1. Is money a good gift?
  2. What is the difference between buying with cash and a credit card?
  3. What are the advantages of buying with cash?
  4. Should people include receipts when they give gifts?
  5. Is it common to return gifts in your country?

Bad Service

  1. Why do some people not complain about bad service?
  2. What should people do if they receive bad service?
  3. How can companies deal with bad service?
  4. Can bad service ever be a positive experience?
  5. What organisations are famous for bad service in your country?

 

Public Facilities

  1. Are there many public facilities in your country?
  2. What are the benefits of parks?
  3. Should parks be free of charge?
  4. How can parks better serve the poor?
  5. How important is it to have parks in urban areas?

Parties

  1. Which types of parties are popular in your country?
  2. Is it true that everybody likes parties?
  3. Do you prefer receiving emails or birthday cards on your birthday? 
  4. How does alcohol affect the atmosphere of a party? 
  5. Is music important to a party?

Quiet Places

  1. Why do old people prefer quiet places?
  2. What are the main causes of noise in cities?
  3. Why are suburbs quieter?
  4. Why might some people not enjoy quiet places?
  5. Will cities be nosier in the future?

Communication

  1. How important is communication in the workplace?
  2. How does that differ from communication at home?
  3. What different types of communication are there?
  4. How have mobile phones changed the way we communicate?
  5. What is the future of communication?

 

Countryside

  1. Why is the country quieter than the city?
  2. Why do many people prefer to live in the countryside?
  3. Where are the quiestest places in cities?
  4. What will the countryside look like in your countr in the future?
  5. Are there any drawbacks to investing in publich transport in the countryside?

 

 

Comment below any questions that you had on the test, questions about IELTS in general or sample answers to the questions above!

 

Remember to check out my speaking model answers here!

IELTS Speaking Part 1 Model Answer: Talking about School

IELTS Speaking Part 1 Model Answer: Talking about School

There’s a really great chance that the topic of school or education will come up in the IELTS speaking test – here’s my model answer on it!

A couple of key tips for your speaking:

1. If you don’t understand the question, you can ask for clarification of specific words but you can’t ask ‘Can you explain that?’ The examiner will just repeat the question and then move on if you don’t understand.

2. There’s no task achievement for speaking so if you are not 100% sure about the question you can try answering it anyway as long as you get the topic.

3. Don’t talk forever or too little! Aim for about 10 – 30 seconds per answer and 2 – 4 sentences.

You can read some more tips here and about exactly what will happen on your test here.

I have also written some model answers for speaking about friends and free time and phones.

Finally, I did a full IELTS speaking test that you can watch here.

Enjoy!

 

 

IELTS Speaking Part 1 Model Answer: Talking about School by Dave!

Watch more like it on my YouTube Channel.

 

 

Practice Activities!

Listen and fill in the gaps:

What did you like the most about your school?

Well, if you _______________ – if you’re talking about my primary school – the _______________ I liked were my teachers. I don’t know if it was just because I was a kid at the time but they were really warm and friendly – and it was some of my teachers _______________ – that inspired me to have a life-long passion for reading. I remember in particular one teacher – I can’t remember her name – it was Mrs. Riley or something – and she would always encourage me to read books, _______________ me books, talk about books with me. And that really got me _______________ books at a time when I was really _______________ .

Answers:

What did you like the most about your school?

Well, if you put me on the spot – if you’re talking about my primary school – the number one thing I liked were my teachers. I don’t know if it was just because I was a kid at the time but they were really warm and friendly – and it was some of my teachers back then – that inspired me to have a life-long passion for reading. I remember in particular one teacher – I can’t remember her name – it was Mrs. Riley or something – and she would always encourage me to read books, loan me books, talk about books with me. And that really got me into books at a time when I was really impressionable.

Listen and correct the mistakes:

Do you stay in contact with old school friends?

Not really, I’ve got one better friend back in the United States, but we don’t actually walk all that much anymore. He recently got married and we used to be best buddies, we would hang out as school, we’d go buy pizza together, we’d ride around together, we chatted about girls and about school and about our future – all this stuff – but since I’ve moved to Vietnam we’ve kind of known apart and we’re not really as closely as we used to been.

Answers:

Do you stay in contact with old school friends?

Not really, I’ve got one best friend back in the States, but we don’t actually talk all that much anymore. He recently got married and we used to be best buds, we would hang out after school, we’d go get pizza together, we’d drive around together, we chatted about girls and about school and about out future – all that stuff – but since I’ve moved to Vietnam we’ve kind of grown apart and we’re not really as close as we used to be.

Listen and add in the grammar:

What were your best subjects in school?

I – (donot have) that many good subjects at all but I  – (is) really good in literature because I  – (read) a lot so it just  – (come) naturally to me. I  – (is) also good in history. I never  – (study) but I  – (listen) in class and I  – (have) like a, like a brilliant memory, almost like a photographic memory but not quite. And I  – (can) just  – (remember) dates and names and everything – simple! So I never  –  (have) to study but I always  – (get) top marks in history. And besides that I  – (is) good in gym because I  – (is) very athletic but even if  – (you are) not athletic  – (it is) easy to get good marks when  –  (you are) in gym. I  – (is not) good at math or the sciences or anything like that – things where you actually  – (have) to  – (put) in real work, I  – (is) bad at those things.

 

Answers:

What were your best subjects in school?

I didn’t have that many good subjects at all but I was really good in literature because I read a lot so it just came naturally to me. I was also good in history. I never studied but I listened in class and I had – like a – like a brilliant memory – almost like a photographic memory but not quite. And I could just remember dates and names and everything – simple! So I never had to study but I always got top marks in history. And besides that I was good in gym because I was very athletic but even if you’re not athletic it’s easy to get good marks when you’re in gym. I wasn’t good at math or the sciences or anything like that – things where you actually had to put in real work – I was bad at those things.

Choose the correct options:

What do most students in your country do after school?

It’s a big country/county so I can’t really answer for everyone but the school I used to go to – most kids would play sport/sports after school. So girls used to/usually played soccer and depending on the season/reason guys would play basketball or soccer or hockey. If you weren’t doing that, there was like an after-school recreational community ‘club’ where a lot of outcasts in High School could/would go to play computer games or do art or something like that. Some kids would just head/lead home – that’s what I did most of the time. I wanted to get home, play computer games – be alone. So I’d just head home if I wasn’t hanging out with a friend or something like this/that. I think there might have also been some after-school classes but they’re actually not that commonplace/common in America. Most people when they finish school, they’re done with school and they’re moving on to do something fun/funny after school.

Answers:

What do most students in your country do after school?

It’s a big country so I can’t really answer for everyone but the school I used to go to – most kids would play sport after school. So girls usually played soccer and depending on the season guys would play basketball or soccer or hockey. If you weren’t doing that, there was like an after-school recreational community ‘club’ where a lot of outcasts in High School would go to play computer games or do art or something like that. Some kids would just head home – that’s what I did most of the time. I wanted to get home, play computer games – be alone. So I’d just head home if I wasn’t hanging out with a friend or something like that. I think there might have also been some after-school classes but they’re actually not that common in America. Most people when they finish school, they’re done with school and they’re moving on to do something fun after school.

 

 

Key IELTS Speaking Vocabulary:

  • put me on the spot – make me say

  • at the time – back then

  • back then – then

  • inspired me – got me into

  • life-long passion – interest in

  • in particular – especially

  • loan me books – let me borrow

  • impressionable – easily influenced

  • stay in contact – keep in touch

  • the States – America, the USA

  • best buds – best friends

  • chatted about – talked about

  • grown apart – drifted apart

  • came naturally to me – was easy

  • photographic memory – n/a

  • not quite – almost

  • got top marks – straight As

  • put in real work – work hard

  • can’t really answer for everyone – can’t speak for everyone

  • depending on the season – if it was…

  • outcasts – loners, social outcasts

  • head home – go home

Grammar relative clauses with ‘where’:

‘There was like an after-school recreational community ‘club’ where a lot of outcasts in High School would go to play computer games’

If you want to get a band 6 and above for grammar you should include at least one relative clause in your IELTS speaking.

Luckily, the rules for relative clauses are simple and you probably use some already.

There are two main kinds: defining and non-defining.

A defining one is super important for the meaning of the sentence: ‘The place where I met him was really crowded.’

A non-defining one just gives extra information (and uses commas) and is less important – just an extra detail: ‘The club, where my friend also works by the way, was where I met him.’

Some words that you can use for relative clauses include: where, who, what, that, and which

Write some examples of the places you remember well from your childhood:

‘There was a library, where people mainly went to use the internet, and I….’

 

 

Full Sample Answers

What did you like the most about your school?

Well, if you put me on the spot – if you’re talking about my primary school – the number one thing I liked were my teachers. I don’t know if it was just because I was a kid at the time but they were really warm and friendly – and it was some of my teachers back then – that inspired me to have a life-long passion for reading. I remember in particular one teacher – I can’t remember her name – it was Mrs. Riley or something – and she would always encourage me to read books, loan me books, talk about books with me. And that really got me into books at a time when I was really impressionable.

Do you stay in contact with old school friends?

Not really, I’ve got one best friend back in the States, but we don’t actually talk all that much anymore. He recently got married and we used to be best buds, we would hang out after school, we’d go get pizza together, we’d drive around together, we chatted about girls and about school and about out future – all that stuff – but since I’ve moved to Vietnam we’ve kind of grown apart and we’re not really as close as we used to be.

What were your best subjects in school?

I didn’t have that many good subjects at all but I was really good in literature because I read a lot so it just came naturally to me. I was also good in history. I never studied but I listened in class and I had – like a – like a brilliant memory – almost like a photographic memory but not quite. And I could just remember dates and names and everything – simple! So I never had to study but I always got top marks in history. And besides that I was good in gym because I was very athletic but even if you’re not athletic it’s easy to get good marks when you’re in gym. I wasn’t good at math or the sciences or anything like that – things where you actually had to put in real work – I was bad at those things.

What do most students in your country do after school?

It’s a big country so I can’t really answer for everyone but the school I used to go to – most kids would play sport after school. So girls usually played soccer and depending on the season guys would play basketball or soccer or hockey. If you weren’t doing that, there was like an after-school recreational community ‘club’ where a lot of outcasts in High School would go to play computer games or do art or something like that. Some kids would just head home – that’s what I did most of the time. I wanted to get home, play computer games – be alone. So I’d just head home if I wasn’t hanging out with a friend or something like that. I think there might have also been some after-school classes but they’re actually not that common in America. Most people when they finish school, they’re done with school and they’re moving on to do something fun after school.

 

 

Comment below:

What did you like the most about your school?

Do you stay in contact with old school friends?

What were your best subjects in school?

What do most students in your country do after school?

 

IELTS Speaking: How to Talk About Your Friends (Part 1)

IELTS Speaking: How to Talk About Your Friends (Part 1)

Talking about your friends is a common topic in part 1 of the IELTS speaking test.

If you’re anything like me, you probably don’t have any friends. Don’t worry!

Read below for sample questions and answers, vocabulary analysis and practice, sample notes and links!

Be sure to check out my post on what to do in your free time as well!

You can read (and watch) a sample answer talking about school here.

And follow me on Facebook and Instagram if you truly love me….

Sample IELTS Questions: Friends

Before you read the sample answers below, practice answering yourself! If you comment your answers below I will give your feedback.

Do you prefer spending time with one best friend or lots of good friends?

How often do you stay in touch with childhood friends?

What do you typically do when you hang out with your friends?

In your country, is it common to visit friends at their house?

Dave, Former IELTS Examiner, Sample Answer

Here is the audio from my answer. Listen and write down the keywords that I use. Listen again and again and write down as many words as you can.

Audio:

Now try giving my answer again using this vocabulary. Practice it throughout the day and when you go to bed at night – this type of practice is how you learn!

Sample IELTS Answers: Friends

Do you prefer spending time with one best friend or lots of good friends? Read and see if you can remember the vocabulary collocations that I use in my answer. Scroll below for the answers:

To be honest I don’t really have ______________ friends. I have 2 best friends that I usually ______________. One of them, Marcy, is really ______________. So whenever we hang out we go to a ______________ or ______________ usually. My other friend is just a normal guy so we’re more likely to ______________ or ______________ or something. I only really find myself in a large group of friends for work events or if I ______________ with old friends from high school or something.

 

How often do you stay in touch with childhood friends?

I try not to but ______________ I get a Facebook message from an old classmate I’d rather forget about. ______________ a kid I used to ______________ in elementary school sent me a message asking if I wanted to get a cup of coffee so we met up and didn’t have that much to talk about. ______________ actually. If that happens again, I ______________ replying or anything. ______________ where I’m really trying to limit my interactions with people and increase the amount of ______________ I spend with my phone, computer, etc.

What do you typically do when you hang out with your friends?

I told you a bit before but usually we will get a bit to eat or go to the cinema to watch ______________. Sometimes go out for drinks. I know a lot of people like to go shopping with their friends but I can’t stand doing that. I feel bad if my friends are ______________ while I spend way too much time obsessing over what to buy and I don’t enjoy watching them do the same. For me, shopping is a private, boring experience, why ______________ that?

In your country, is it common to visit friends at their house?

Not really. That’s because I’m from Vietnam and most people live with their parents or have roommates so it is a lot more convenient to meet somewhere else, usually a coffee shop or, ______________, a Taiwanese tea shop because those are ______________ at the moment. I guess people spend so much time indoors on their computer nowadays it feels good to ______________. And you have to ______________ if a friend is coming over to visit and no one really wants that ______________. Cleaning gets in the way of my ‘______________‘ time.

 

Vocabulary Notes

‘Loaded’ is the word that I focused on:

IELTS Speaking Vocabulary

IELTS Speaking Vocabulary

You can find more vocabulary notes on my Instagram.

 

IELTS Vocabulary Answers

Here are the answers! All this vocabulary is for getting Band 7+ in IELTS speaking. To practice, go back to the top and try to remember my answers with the vocabulary below:

 

Do you prefer spending time with one best friend or lots of good friends?

To be honest I don’t really have all that many friends. I have 2 best friends that I usually hang out with. One of them, Marcy, is really loaded. So whenever we hang out we go to a decent restaurant or out for drinksmake a night of it usually. My other friend is just a normal guy so we’re more likely to get coffee or catch a movie or something. I only really find myself in a large group of friends for work events or if I catch up with old friends from high school or something.

 

How often do you stay in touch with childhood friends?

I try not to but every once in a while I get a Facebook message from an old classmate I’d rather forget about. The other week a kid I used to bully in elementary school sent me a message asking if I wanted to get a cup of coffee so we met up and didn’t have that much to talk about. Kind of weird actually. If that happens again, I won’t bother replying or anything. I’m at a point in my life where I’m really trying to limit my interactions with people and increase the amount of quality time I spend with my phone, computer, etc.

 

What do you typically do when you hang out with your friends?

I told you a bit before but usually we will get a bit to eat or go to the cinema to watch whatever is out. Sometimes go out for drinks. I know a lot of people like to go shopping with their friends but I can’t stand doing that. I feel bad if my friends are hanging around while I spend way too much time obsessing over what to buy and I don’t enjoy watching them do the same. For me, shopping is a private, boring experience, why bring someone else into that?

 

In your country, is it common to visit friends at their house?

Not really. That’s because I’m from Vietnam and most people live with their parents or have roommates so it is a lot more convenient to meet somewhere else, usually a coffee shop or, lately, a Taiwanese tea shop because those are all the rage at the moment. I guess people spend so much time indoors on their computer nowadays it feels good to get out the house. And you have to clean up if a friend is coming over to visit and no one really wants that hassle. Cleaning gets in the way of my ‘self-care‘ time.

 

Links!

Here is a complete IELTS test that I did so that you can see what it is like for the examiner to take the test:

 

Comment Below!

Do you prefer spending time with one best friend or lots of good friends?

How often do you stay in touch with childhood friends?

What do you typically do when you hang out with your friends?

In your country, is it common to visit friends at their house?

 

IELTS Speaking Vocabulary: Talking about Cell Phones/Smartphones/Mobile Phones

IELTS Speaking Vocabulary: Talking about Cell Phones/Smartphones/Mobile Phones

Phones (cell phones, smarphones, and mobile phones – they’re all the same thing!) are a really common topic on the IELTS Speaking test.

They could come up as personal questions in part 1 (‘How often do you use your phone?’) or in part 2 as personal or general questions (‘What apps are popular in your country?’) or in part 3 as general questions (‘Do people use their phones too much in your country?’).

In order to help you prepare for a smartphones topic, I have answered some questions, analysed vocabulary and grammar, made some notes and provided links to help you think of more ideas for this topic in case it comes up on the real IELTS!

If you want to read more speaking topics you can check out this one on free time or this one on friends, this one on school, or this one on holidays.

The Examiner (Dave) Answers a Question

The question that I’m answering from my YouTube channel is: How many times a day do you look at your phone?

It’s a simple part 1 question, so I give a simple answer:

Here is the transcript:

Personally, it’s the first thing I check in the morning. I can’t live without it. I use it for everything – calling, texting, email, tinder – basically everything!

This isn’t a long or detailed answer. It could be better if I talked more specfically about what I do with my phone. Check the answers below for more detailed ‘show-off’ answers.

But there is still some good vocabulary.

You can use ‘personally’ as a way of starting questions where you answer about your personal habits.

‘The first thing’ is a good way to start lists or talk about your daily routine.

‘I can’t live without it’ is a common expression that indicates to the examiner natural, band 7+ fluency and vocabulary.

 

Sample Answers

My answer was simple and natural but not enough to impress the examiner.

Even if it is slightly unnatural, you should go out of your way to use complex grammar and vocabulary if possible.

Here are some better examples of ‘show-off’ answers:

How many times a day do you look at your mobile phone?

I’m trying to cut back massively on my phone (over)usage. But I can’t get away from it because it seems to have wrapped itself up in my life. I get notifications from friends all the time that kind of pull me back into it. If I had to make a guess, I probably look at it close to 50 times a day. That’s a conservative estimate though.

What do you usually use your mobile phone for?

I have to admit that phones have so many different uses. I message with friends, I have a Facebook chat group that I run for a weekly football match, I check my email all the time on it, I take tons of photos of things around me and selfies sometimes too, for my work I need to make voice recordings so I have an app for that too, if I need a taxi I use a ride-sharing app called Grab, I’m a big fan of Instagram and follow a lot of artists and comedians on there, I manage my finances through a banking app and I’m sure there are a bunch of things I’m missing out on too!

Have your mobile phone habits changed a lot over the years?

For sure. Mobile phones first came out when I was in university, some kids had them towards the end of high school. My first phone was just a cheap flipphone that could (slowly) send messages, make calls and play the earliest little games like ‘snake.’ Pretty soon after that I got a real smartphone for email and all that other stuff. I think I still wasn’t addicted to my phone then though. It wasn’t until the last 5 or 6 years when I got a new iPhone and started using more apps and as businesses and friends have taken on board an overriding digital lifestyle. Now it is like an extra arm or hand to me!

 

Do people in your country use mobile phones a lot?

I’m from the United States but I’ve been living in Vietnam for practically a decade. I imagine people in all countries, including the U.S. can’t put their phones down but I can only speak firsthand about Vietnam where cell phone use is an epidemic. Walk into any coffee shop and you’ll likely see individuals, friends and groups making more of an effort to check Facebook than talk to each other. It’s not uncommon to see people on their phones when they’re driving a motorbike. A lot of my friends here will sit down on Facebook after work or dinner and just scroll mindlessly for at least an hour. It taps into some desire to put our brains to sleep that phone makers and apps like Instagram have exploited, in my opinion.

Vocabulary Definitions

cut back: reduce or use less of

get away from: escape, leave

wrapped itself up in: deeply involved with

notifications: a signal that you have a message or update

pull me back into: bring back

make a guess: guess

conservative estimate: a guess that is not risky, likely to be true

I have to admit: use this to concede that the opposite argument has some truth to it

Facebook chat group: group for talking to each other on Facebook

run: am in charge of

tons: lots of

voice recordings: audio recordings

ride-sharing app: apps like Grab or Uber for booking rides

big fan of: really like/into something

manage my finances: in charge of your money

bunch of things: lots of stuff

missing out on: not getting to do

for sure: definitely

first came out: original appeared

towards the end of: at the end of

flipphone: old cell phones that flip open

pretty soon after that: right after

addicted: can’t stop using it

overriding digital lifestyle: using phones and internet a lot

practically: almost all

imagine: believe/think

speak firsthand: talking about something that you actually experienced

epidemic: all over the place/common/ubiquitous

making more of an effort: trying harder

It’s not uncommon: it is common

scroll mindlessly: look through your Facebook/Instagram/news feed on your phone

taps into: gets power form

exploited: take advantage of

 

 

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks from my sample answer:

How many times a day do you look at your mobile phone?

I’m trying to _____________ massively on my phone (over)usage. But I can’t _____________ it because it seems to have _____________ my life. I get _____________from friends all the time that kind of _____________ it. If I had to _____________, I probably look at it close to 50 times a day. That’s a _____________ though.

What do you usually use your mobile phone for?

_____________ that phones have so many different uses. I message with friends, I have a _____________ that I _____________ for a weekly football match, I check my email all the time on it, I take ____________ of photos of things around me and selfies sometimes too, for my work I need to make _____________ so I have an app for that too, if I need a taxi I use a _____________ called Grab, I’m a _____________ Instagram and follow a lot of artists and comedians on there, I _____________ through a banking app and I’m sure there are a _____________ I’m _____________!

Have your mobile phone habits changed a lot over the years?

_____________. Mobile phones _____________ when I was in university, some kids had them _____________ high school. My first phone was just a cheap _____________ that could (slowly) send messages, make calls and play the earliest little games like ‘snake.’ _____________ I got a real smartphone for email and all that other stuff. I think I still wasn’t _____________ to my phone then though. It wasn’t until the last 5 or 6 years when I got a new iPhone and started using more apps and as businesses and friends have taken on board an _____________. Now it is like an extra arm or hand to me!

Do people in your country use mobile phones a lot?

I’m from the United States but I’ve been living in Vietnam for _____________ a decade. I _____________ people in all countries, including the U.S. can’t put their phones down but I can only _____________ about Vietnam where cell phone use is an _____________. Walk into any coffee shop and you’ll likely see individuals, friends and groups _____________ to check Facebook than talk to each other. _____________ to see people on their phones when they’re driving a motorbike. A lot of my friends here will sit down on Facebook after work or dinner and just _____________ for at least an hour. It _____________ some desire to put our brains to sleep that phone makers and apps like Instagram have _____________, in my opinion.

 

Grammar Analysis: Present Perfect Continuous

‘I’ve been living in Vietnam for practically a decade.’

Present perfect continuous is a great opportunity to use some ‘complex’ grammar that is actually very simple in terms of both its meaning and how you use it – easy points on IELTS!

The meaning of present perfect continuous is an action that started in the past and is still continuuing now in the present: ‘I have been living in Vietnam for 10 years (I still live here),’ ‘I’ve been waiting for more than an hour (I’m still waiting),’ ‘I’ve been having terrible nightmares the last two weeks (I’m still having nightmares even though when I say that sentence I am not literally having a nightmare).’

The way to speak/write with it is also very simple: Subject (I) + have/has been + Verb -ing (living) + prepositional/noun/verb phrase (in Vietnam for 10 years).

Simple meaning! Simple to use!

Just make sure that in your speaking you use the contraction ‘I’ve’ or ‘She’s/He’s’ and in your writing the full words ‘I have been’ or ‘She/He has been.’

Use it for a quick and easy boost for your IELTS grammar score!

 

Grammar Practice

Fill in the blanks with the correct form of the verbs:

Example: Dave _________ ____________ ___________________ (listen) to the same song on repeat for hours.

Answer: Dave has been listening to the same song on repeat for hours.

1. IELTS _________ _________________ _______________ (become) more difficult each passing year.

2. I _______ ____________ ________________ (sit) in this chair for too long.

3. You _____________ _____________ ______________ (read) this post for at least 5 minutes.

Fill in the blanks with more interesting verbs:

Example: IELTS has been making more and more money each passing year.

1. IELTS _________ _________________ _______________ each passing year.

2. I _______ ____________ ________________ for too long.

3. You _____________ _____________ ______________ for at least 5 minutes.

Write sentences about things in your life that you have been doing recently:

Example: I have been watching a lot of boring TV shows on Netflix lately.

 

Grammar Games

This is a simple game that you can use to practice by yourself, in writing or speaking.

When you’ve got a free moment (getting to work/school, in the elevator, at lunch, etc.) write down or say to yourself some sentences.

1. Start with your work (I’ve been working here 5 years. I’ve been sitting in this chair for about 2 hours.)

 

2. Then move on to where you live (I’ve been living here for…)

 

3. Then you relationships with friends/lovers.

 

4. Then write/talk about your hobbies.

 

5. Then about the books/TV shows/music you’ve been listening to/watching.

 

6. Then anything else going on in your life that you haven’t talked about yet.

 

7. Repeat once or twice a day and try to add more detail each time.

Here is another fun game for practicing present perfect continuous that you can do with friends, either in person or by messaging:

Hold up 5 fingers and say sentences about yourself. The other people have to guess whether or not they are true.

If they are right, you must put down a finger. When you don’t have any fingers left, you lose.

For example, ‘I’ve been thinking about getting a new job.’

Of course you have to be honest to play this game!

If they are not sure if you are honest they can ask follow-up questions to try to catch you.

 

 

Links

Watch here about How your Phone is Changing You and here about What a Smartphone is Made of.

 

 

Comment below:

How many times a day do you look at your mobile phone?

What do you usually use your mobile phone for?

Have your mobile phone habits changed a lot over the years?

Do people in your country use mobile phones a lot?

 

IELTS Speaking Sample Test with Dave: IELTS Examiner (Band 9)

IELTS Speaking Sample Test with Dave: IELTS Examiner (Band 9)

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to watch an IELTS examiner do an IELTS speaking test sample?

I did this one on my YouTube channel with an IELTS teacher from Vietnam, Phan Quynh (you can check out her Facebook here).

It’s a lot harder to do the test when you’re one answering the questions! Obviously…

 

 

It was also fun and gave me a window into why students feel so nervous and how that can impact their performance. Just by watching this video you can become more familiar with the test and will feel more comfortable on test day.

But I’ve done a million tests and I was still nervous to do it!

One little trick that I’ve learned (that may or may not) help you is to trick yourself from feeling nervous to excited. (Here’s the video where I heard about it.)

Nervousness and excitement are very similar in terms of how they work in the body mainly because of a faster heartrate.

So trick your body: Say ‘I’m excited!’ and you will feel less nervous – and more excited!

Try that out and let me know if it works!

If it doesn’t then just be nervous.

I’m not sure that being nervous is so bad! Just be IELTS-nervous for a bit then go back to being normally-socially-nervous for the rest of the day! Eventually you’ll be allowed to go to bed…

 

Transcript

 

  • This is the International English Language Testing System for English Conducted on April 27th at BC. The candidate is David Lang. The examiner is Quynh Phan. Examiner number 910874.

  • Good morning.

  • My name is Quynh. Can you tell me your full name please?

  • My name is David Arthur Lang.

  • Can I see your identification please?

  • Here you go.

  • There you are.

  • Thank you.

 

Part 1

 

  • Now in this first part, I’d like to ask you some questions about yourself.

  • Do you live in a house or an apartment?

  • At the moment, I’m living in an apartment.

  • Do you like your home?

  • Yes, I like it a lot. I just started living here the last year. And it’s got three floors. It’s got a roof on the outside as well. It’s a place for me to stay as well as my daughter and an office to work in. So I really think I made a good choice with this house.

  • What kind of home would you like to have in the future?

  • I think in the future I wanna live in more of an Because I’ve always lived in a house, especially in Vietnam. And if you live in a house, there’s a lot you have to take care of. And if you live in an apartment, then everything is easy. You can park below. You can hire a maid. And it just seems like it’s a lot cleaner and simpler to live in a big apartment in a big building.

  • Let’s talk about your birthday

  • What do normally do on your birthdays?

  • Now I don’t really do much of anything. Maybe I’ll go out with family to go get dinner or something like that. When I was younger, it was a bigger deal. Especially in university or high school, you may see your friends or have a party or something like that. But I haven’t had a party for my birthday in … like … 10 years…really…

  • So how important are birthdays to you now?

  • Not very important I’d say, at least my own birthday. I don’t think it’s that important. But other people’s birthdays, I like to go out if they’re having a party or doing something like that. But my own birthday, I don’t really think is a priority anymore in the way that it used to be.

  • Which birthdays are most important in your country? (e.g. 18, 21, 60)

  • In America, I think the most important birthday is probably sixteen. I don’t know exactly why sixteen is important. I think people can start driving around then. We call it “your sweet sixteen”. That’s the most important birthday. And then also when you’re eighteen. Because when you’re eighteen, you’re allowed to vote. So that’s the second one. And then when you’re 21, you’re allowed to drink. So that’s the – probably for most people that’s actually the most important one. When you’re older, I think the 50th birthday, because fifty is a big number. People tend to have a big celebration for their 50th And obviously if you make it, a hundred is probably the biggest one.

  • Let’s talk about advertisements/adverts.

  • Have you ever bought something because of an advert you saw?

  • Yep, all the time, I think I buy a lot of things because of advertisements that I see. I bought my motorbike because of an advertisement that I saw on a website. A friend of mine had recommended it to me and then I saw the advertisement on the website, so I decided to get that motorbike.

  • Do you prefer funny or serious adverts?

  • I think it depends on the products, but in general, funny advertise Because serious advertisements – it’s not like a movie or TV show, you can’t ever really care about an advertisement. So there’s no point in having a serious one. But a funny one, if it’s good, is funny, so it doesn’t even matter if it’s an advertisement or not, because it was funny. But I think most advertisements that try to be funny end up not actually being funny anyway.

  • What do you think about adverts on buildings?

  • On buildings? It’s a strange question but I think… Advertisements on buildings… In general, I guess if there were fewer of them, that would be better. Because usually the building itself should look nice. And it’d be better if there were some art or some street art or graffiti on the building as opposed to advertisements.

  • Now, I’m going to give you a topic and I’d like you to talk about it for one to two minutes. Before you talk, you’ll have one minute to think about what you’re going to say. You can make some notes if you wish. Do you understand?

Part 2

 

  • Here’s some paper and a pencil for making notes. And here’s your topic. Please don’t write anything on the booklet. I’d like you to describe an invention which you think has changed the world in a good way.

  • All right? Remember you have 1 – 2 minutes for this so don’t worry if I stop you. I’ll tell you when the time is up. Can you start speaking now please?

  • Yep, definitely. So I think you probably thought like most people, I was just going to talk about a cellphone or smartphone. But I’ve chosen not to talk about what everyone else talks about smartphone, and instead, to talk about indoor plumbing. Which think is important, basically toilets.

  • And I think it’s definitely changed the world in a good way. I don’t know exactly what life is like before toilets, but I imagine from the movies that I’ve seen and from old historical TV shows that people had to… like… dig a hole in the ground and have an outhouse. Or they had to have like a pot in their bedroom in their house or something like that.

  • Regardless y’know people probably got used to it because you can get used to anything. But I doubt that people really enjoyed that. It was probably pretty terrible, it smelled bad, it’s dirty, you have to clean it all the time. I’m sure people y’know they were used to it, they had to do it everyday, just like there’s lots of things we have to do everyday like our laundry and everything. In the future, maybe they won’t have to.

  • But once toilets were invented I think it changed everyone’s life. Because it was convenient and clean. And the people who were in that first generation – between when they didn’t have toilets and then when they suddenly did have toilets – probably appreciated that a lot.

  • And when their kids were growing for the first time with toilets and they never knew what it was like to not have one. They probably felt that their kids were kind of spoiled.

  • And I think, today, like our whole world is spoiled in terms of indoor plumbing because we just consider it something that we’ve always had. But someone had to invent it, and after someone invented it, someone had to develop it and work on it… and make them better, and make them nicer, and develop a system so there’s thousands of years or hundreds of years… I don’t know… thousands maybe of people developing toilets, and building them and making them, and working on them. Just so that we have that convenience now.

  • Thank you. Does everybody use toilets?

  • As far as I know, yes.

  • Thank you. Can I have the booklet and paper and pencil back please?

 

Part 3

 

  • We’ve been talking about an invention which you think has changed the world in a good way and I’d like to discuss with you a few more general questions related to this.

  • What are the most useful inventions that people have in their homes (e.g. in the kitchen)?

  • In the kitchen, the refrigerator is definitely the most useful invention. Because that’s where you keep your food, keeps it cold… Obviously the stove to cook the food that you have… The freezer part of the refrigerator, if someone has an oven to cook, that’s useful. And then there’s other things like blenders and food processers. But those things maybe aren’t quite as important as the stove, the oven and the refrigerator.

  • And now we’re talking about technology in education

  • Is watching television programs in class can be a good way to learn?

  • It depends on how the teacher uses it, if like, I remember when I was in school and teachers, were just – sometimes they’re lazy and they want to take a day off. I didn’t realize it at the time but later you realize that’s what they were doing, now I’m a teacher, but if you’re just putting on a TV show for kids to watch. It’s boring for the students, you don’t learn much. But you’re using it, if you do some activities before the TV show and you watch a few minutes of it, and you do some analysis and some practice and you watch some more of it and you do some more and it’s a good show, and it’s engaging and you work with it, then it can be. But it depends entirely on the quality of the content as well as what the teacher chooses to do with that content in the classroom.

  • Do you think that the computer will one day completely replace the teacher?

  • Yep, definitely. I mean it’s not gonna be in my lifetime, but it will absolutely for sure – once they have artificially intelligent computers and robots, and tihngs like that, just because it’s more efficient and it’s gonna be cheaper. And some company just like companies like UBER, they develop this really good convenient product, even though people, maybe they don’t want that product. Looking at it from far away, it’s so useful that it ends up becoming totally necessary for everyone. And that’s gonna be the same thing with teachers and computers. They will replace teachers.

  • Why do many people consider the wheel to be the most important invention ever?

  • I think a lot of people might consider the wheel because it’s probably a – it’s a groundbreaking invention… it’s probably one of the first inventions, right? So people invented spears and weapons and tools. And the wheel was probably one of the first biggest innovations. It was like the iPhone of its day. So it was a big innovation. It allowed people to transport and move things. And I think a lot of people consider it the most important because it signaled the beginning of human dominance over the world. It was the first tool that really started to… Before that, we’re just like smart animals that can hunt well. But after that we started to changed the world. And the wheel was the beginning of that.

  • Do you think that the most important inventions have already been developed?

  • Nope, definitely not. The most important inventions are still to come because there’re related to computers and humans and health, and how people will change in the future. And our inventions in the future are definitely gonna be much more important than the ones of the past. Because they’re gonna fundamentally alter how we are as people and change the future and change the world, if you’re talking about space as well, traveling to space and different things like that. They will be much bigger than anything in the past.

  • Thank you very much. That is the end of the speaking test.

  • Thank you.

 

 

And here is some analysis of the vocabulary:

 

hire a maid: pay for someone to clean up after you, lazy

bigger deal: more important

it doesn’t even matter: not important

end up: finish

y’know: nothing, just stalling for time…

depends entirely: nothing else matters

gonna: the correct way to say ‘going to’

fundamentally: completely/totally

alter: change

 

A couple quick tips to follow for your speaking test:

 

Provide a lot of detail in each answer.

It’s easier to provide detail if you are specific, not general! Don’t just talk about the future generally – talk about the specific things you want to do! The more specific the better.

Keep talking for the full two minutes – don’t stop before the examiner stops you! (And don’t try to keep talking after he stops you!)

Be born and live your whole life in a native English speaking country – the best way to do well on IELTS!

 

Comment below – Was it really band 9? How could it be better? Should I do another?

Top 5 Ways to Make a Mean IELTS Examiner Like You

Top 5 Ways to Make a Mean IELTS Examiner Like You

6. Dress Provocatively

This is 2018 and we live in a progressive, modern society. In the past, I would only have recommended women dress up.

Now I would recommend both sexes increase their sex appeal.

If you are truly committed, spend a few months before the exam getting into great shape and show up to the test naked or in a swimsuit.

Just kidding – let’s get on to the real list now!

 

1. Improve the Right Way (No Shortcuts)

What you shouldn’t be doing: studying IELTS for years on end, learning idioms to try to cheat the test, memorising your responses, or going to the test with no knowledge of how IELTS works. If you do those things, you will make a fool of yourself and the examiner will be laughing about you in the break!

Instead you should: spend time improving your English, learn natural English expressions like phrasal verbs, make sure that you practice a lot, learn about IELTS and watch some practice tests online to know exactly what to expect.

Otherwise, it’s like trying to play a sport without knowing any of the rules – it will be obvious you have no idea what you are doing no matter how good your clothes look!

 

2. Follow the Unwritten Rules of IELTS

IELTS is full of unwritten rules, just like real life!

Some real life unwritten rules include:

Wait until everyone gets out of the elevator before you get on.

Don’t stop to read your phone in the middle of the sidewalk.

Turn off your high beams if there are other cars.

Don’t pee right next to someone at a urinal.

Don’t text ‘k’ or ‘kk.’

Say ‘thanks’ to people who open the door for you.

Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.

Don’t speak too loudly into your phone.

 

The unwritten rules of IELTS are:

Don’t tell the examine your life story.

Don’t tell the examiner what score you need on the test.

Don’t ask what your score is at the end of test.

Don’t try to shake the examiner’s hand unless they offer first.

Don’t ask the IELTS examiner any questions.

When the examiner asks a short follow-up question at the end of part 2, give a short answer!

Don’t ask the examiner to explain whole questions, only words, in part 1.

Be as specific as possible in part 3 – don’t be general and don’t give personal examples.

Don’t try to have a long conversation with the examiner after the test ends.

Don’t try to look at the questions the examiner is asking or what the examiner is writing down.

 

3. Clean Yourself

Most of you can just skip this one because you are not an overgrown man-child.

But you’d be surprised by the number of candidates who show up looking like they just climbed out of the nearest garbage bin.

It shouldn’t impact your score. It probably doesn’t.

But still…

It’s bad enough that the examiner probably looks like trash – clean yourself up a bit!

Please do at least the following to spare your examiner: take a shower, wear clothes that look clean, brush your teeth, have a breath mint or two (this is the most important step), don’t vigorously scratch any part of your body during the test or pick your nose (I’m not joking!).

 

4. Be Interesting

Examiners usually have to talk to the same country, asking the same questions, over and over.

Sometimes that can turn out like this:

Candidate 1: Talk about an invention that changed the world in a good way.

“I’d like to talk about the smartphone…”

Candidate 2: Talk about an invention that changed the world in a good way.

“I’d like to talk about the smartphone…”

Candidate 3: Talk about an invention that changed the world in a good way.

“I’d like to talk about the smartphone…”

By the end of the day the examiner is bored to death of the same boring, predictable answers and wishes Steve Jobs had never invented the smartphone!

Being interesting won’t help your score necessarily – it might not make a difference.

But if you have interesting, unconventional answers the examiner will listen more closely and have a much more positive impression of you.

It could even help bump up your score in some cases!

How do you do it if you are not normally an interesting person? Just give more concrete, specific examples.

Don’t speak very generally: I really like movies. When I go to the movies I can relax and have a good time. It’s a nice environment to be in after a long day working and I feel much better after I’ve seen a movie.

Do speak very specifically: I really like movies. Last week I went to see Deadpool 2 and it was really cool. I saw the original too but the sequel was better because the action scenes were better. There’s one part where Deadpool …

5. Be Humble

Nothing turns off examiners more than arrogance (besides body odor or bad breath).

Here are some of the things that you shouldn’t do:

Don’t be late – you might make the examiner wait!

Don’t talk about how rich you are – examiners are poor, lonely, lost souls filled with hatred for people who are more successful than themselves!

Don’t look annoyed or impatient with every question the examiner asks.

Be respectful, listen carefully and don’t be rude at any point.

IELTS tip - Be Humble!

IELTS tip – Be Humble!

 

Comment Below: What was our IELTS speaking test like? Mean or nice examiner?