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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.

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!

 

 

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?

 


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