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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…

If you want to both improve your English and feel comfortable, I now offer online lessons complete with feedback, videos, workbooks and more – you can learn more here!

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…




  • 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?

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