120_ielts_speaking_topics_parts_1_2_3

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http://www.ieltsspeaking.co.uk

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C ontent
Lesson 1: Holidays ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 3
Lesson 2: Relationships ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 5
Lesson 3: Technology ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 7
Lesson 4: Sport ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 10
Lesson 5: Food ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 12
Lesson 6: Education ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 14
Lesson 7: Work ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 17
Lesson 8: Health ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 19
Lesson 9: Books and Films ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ . 21
Lesson 10: Accommodation ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................. 24
Lesson 11: Clothes and Fashion ................................ ................................ ................................ ....................... 26
Lesson 12: Personality ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 29
Lesson 13: Business ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 31
Lesson 14: Physical Appearance ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 33
Lesson 15: Town and City ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 35
Lesson 16: Music ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 38
Lesson 17: Weather ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 40
Lesson 18: Shopping ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 42
Lesson 19: Environment ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 44
Les son 20: Advertising ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 47


A ls o available at
http://www.ieltsspeaking.co.uk

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IELTS Topic Vocabulary

Lesson 1: Holidays

IELTS Holiday vocabulary
You probably know the meaning of individual words like ‘flight’, ‘tour’ and ‘view’.
However, the key to showcasing your advanced English is to show you are able to
use these individual words in combination with other words to form set phrases and
expressions.
Read the following IELTS -style questions and answers below and pay attention to
the phrases in bold . Use the ‘Definitions’ section at the bottom of the page to check
the meaning of anSKUDVHV\RXGRQWXQGHUVWDQG.
Part 1 -style questions
Examiner: What kind of holiday do you like ?
tourist trap s to get away from it al l Miguel: I try to avoid … I like and prefer
off the beaten trac k the holiday of a going somewhere … last year I had
lifetim e wildlife safar i … a two week in Kenya.
Examiner: What do you like to do when you’re on holiday ?
places of interes t to go sightseein g Anna: I enjoy visiting the local … I like and
guided tour s always sign up for as it’s a chance to be shown around and take
photographs … one of my hob bies.
Examiner: Do you have many tourists in your country ?
holiday resort s Amy: Yes … we have a lot of along the coast that are popular with
package holiday s tourists … most people come on and stay in one of the many
self -caterin g hotels and apartments.
Par t 2 -style task
Describe a beautiful place you once visited. You should say:
 when you went to this place
 where it was
 who you went with

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and say why you liked it so much.
long weeken d Sally: A few years ago I went on a to the Lake District in the UK …
holiday destinatio n it’s a verSRSXODr in the north of England … I went on my
youth hoste l own and had a wonderful time … I stayed in a and met some really
nice people … but the most memorable thing about the holiday were
breathtaking view s picturesque village s the … and lovely … it can get very busy
hordes of tourist s to go out of seaso n with so I decided in the autumn … the
local craft s weather was fantastic and the shops were full of … a really great
short brea k holiday … it’s certainly not the kind of for someone looking for a busy
stunning landscap e nightlife but if you want to relax in the middle of I would
certainly recommend a holiday to the Lake District.
Part 3 -style questions
Examiner: What do you think has led to the growth in the tourism industry ?
Miguel: It’s much easier and affordable to travel now … nowadays you can get
charter -flight s all -in package s a far -off cheap or … to somewhere near or to
destinatio n.
Examiner: How d o people tend to choose a destination ?
travel Anna: The Internet is a great source of information and high street
agent s holiday are still very popular … that’s where I like to go to get
brochure s for the place I’m interested in.
Examiner: People sometimes say flying is the most glamorous form of travel. Do
you agree ?
Amy: I’m not so sure really … flying can be quite boring … queuing up at
check -in des k passport contro l the … going through … sitting for ages in
departure lounge the … then the flight itself can be quite uncomfortable … no …
I’m not sure I agree.
Definitions
 all -in package/package holiday : a holiday where you purchase the travel and
accommodation together
 breathtaking view : an extremely beautiful view
 charter -flight : a cheaper form of flying than a scheduled flight
 check -in desk : the place at the airport where you register for your flight and deposit your
luggage
 departure lounge : where you wait for your flight to be called
 far -off destination : somewhere a long way away
 to get away from it all : to take a holiday to escape a busy or stressful lifestyle
 guided tour : an organised group shown around a place of interest by an expert
 holiday brochure : a glossy publication with details of holiday packages

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 holiday destination : where you go for a holiday
 holiday of a lifetime : a special holiday that you are unlikely to repeat
 holiday resort : a place where lots of people go for a holiday
 hordes of tourists : crowds of tourists
 local crafts : objects produced locally
 long weekend : an extended weekend holiday including Friday or Monday
 out of season : outside of the main holiday period
 picturesque village : very pretty village
 passport control : the place where your passport is checked
 places of interest : sites of interest to tourists
 wildlife safari : a holiday, often in Africa, to observe wild animals
 self -catering : a holiday where you supply your own food
 short break : a short holiday
 to go sightseeing : to look around the tourist sites
 stunning landscape : extremely beautiful countrysi de
 travel agent : a shop that specialises in booking holidays
 tourist trap : somewhere where too many tourists go
 youth hostel : a cheap form of accommodation

Lesson 2: Relationships


IELTS Relationships vocabulary
Read the following IELTS -style questions and answers below and pay attention to
the phrases in bold . Use the ‘Definitions’ section at the bottom of the p age to check
the meaning of anSKUDVHV\RXGRQWXQGHUVWDQG.
Part 1 -style questions
Examiner: Do you see your friends very often?
get on really well have a Louisa: Yes … we meet up most weekends … we all and
lot in common so we’re always happy doing the s ame things and going to the same
places.
Examiner: What do you like about your close friends?
enjoy each other’s company see eye -to -eye on Anna: I think we … we most
fall out with things so we rarely each other.
Examiner: Have you known each other long?
struck up a Am y: Most of them yes … although my closest friend Carrie … we
relationship got on like a house on fire at college and … but yes … my other
go back years friendships to when we were at school.

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Part 2 -style task
Describe a person you are very clos e to. You should say:
 who this person is
 when you met them
 where you met them
and say what it is about them you like so much.
got to know Reiko: I’d like to talk about my boyfriend … Jose … we each other at
University almost 4 years ago … we were in the sa me department … initially we
just good friends were and used to go out in a group with our other friends …
keep in touch with when Jose went back to Spain for the holidays we would each
other … then one year he invited me to come to Spain with him … and t hat’s when
fell for love at first we each other I think … so you couldn’t really saLWZDs
sight hit it off as it had been over a HDUVLQFHZHGPHWEXWZHUHDOOy and by the
time we got back to university in September we were able to tell all our frien ds that
in a relationship we were … what do I like about Jose … well he’s very kind …
well matched very funny … and very supportive … and we’re really in our
popped the question interests … he hasn’t yet though … we’ve talked about
to settle down getting married and I thi nk we’re both ready and have children …
we’ll just have to wait and see …
Part 3 -style questions
Examiner: Do you think marriage is still as important as ever?
Cristine: Yes … it certainly is in my country … I think the problem for some
have their ups and downs peo ple is a lack of commitment … all relationships ….
break up working at but some people prefer to rather than the relationship.
Examiner: What do you think is the ideal time to get married?
Terry: Personally … I think you should wait until you’ve found yourself first …
decided if you want a career … perhaps do some travelling … you should do this
tying the knot fall head over heels in love before … although if Ru plans like
these can easily be forgotten.
Examiner: Is it important to keep in contact with our friends when we’re in a
relationship?
drift apart fall in Maria: Absolutely … it’s so easy to from your friends when you
love to lose touch with … but I think both partners should try not their friends …
healthy relationship that’s the best way to hav e a with your partner.
Definitions

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 to break up : to end a romantic relationship
 to drift apart : to become less close to someone
 to enjoVRPHRQHVFRPSDQy : to like spending time with someone
 to fall for : to fall in love
 to fall head ove r heels in love : to start to love someone a lot
 to fall out with : to have a disagreement and stop being friends
 to get on like a house on fire : to like someone’s company very much indeed
 to get on well with : to understand someone and enjoy similar interest s
 to get to know : to begin to know someone
 to go back years : to have known someone for a long time
 to have a lot in common : to share similar interests
 to have ups and downs : to have good and bad times
 a healthy relationship : a good, positive relationship
 to hit it off : to quickly become good friends with
 to be in a relationship : to be romantically involved with someone
 to be just good friends : to not be romantically involved
 to keep in touch with : to keep in contact with
 to lose touch with : to not see or he ar from someone any longer
 love at first sight : to fall in love immediately you meet someone
 to pop the question : to ask someone to marry you
 to see eye to eye : to agree on a subject
 to settle down : to give up the single life and start a family
 to strike u p a relationship : to begin a friendship
 to tie the knot : to get married
 to be well matched : to be similar to
 to work at a relationship : to try to maintain a positive relationship with someone

Lesson 3: Technology

IELTS Technology vocabulary
The subject of ‘Technology’ frequently comes up in the IELTS Speaking exam.
You may be asked to talk about something you own, your favourite websites, how
techn ology has impacted on education etc. You’ll need to show the examiner your
ability to express yourself using as wide a range of vocabulary as possible.
Read the following IELTS -style questions and answers below and pay attention to
the phrases in bold . Us e the ‘Definitions’ section at the bottom of the page to check
the meaning of anSKUDVHV\RXGRQWXQGHUVWDQG.
Part 1 -style questions
Examiner: Do you enjoy using technology?
a techie computer buff Stephan: Well … I wouldn’t call myself or a but I enjoy

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using computers … I’d like to find out more about how they work … when
computer crashes my I never know what to do.
Examiner: Do you use the Internet for your studies?
video conferencing Sophie: Yes … I’d be lost without it … I do lots of to practise
social media speak ing and like Facebook is a good way to meet up with other
download podcasts students … and I that teach English vocabulary and grammar.
Examiner: Do you have your own computer?
wo rd Tania: Yes … I have a Macbook Pro … I use it all the time … for
processing browsing websites … and catching up with TV programmes I’ve
missed.
Part 2 -style task
Describe an item of technology you have that is very important. You should say:
 what the technology is
 when you got it
 how often you use it
and say how diff erent your daily life would be without it.
gadgets Mattie: I don’t have many … just a computer … a laptop and my mobile
phone … but I’ll talk about my computer as it’s so useful … it’s funny really … 2
send years ago I was still learning to use computers … how to use email …
attachments access websites digital how to … then I decided to do a
editing course for video and photography … and so I bought the laptop when I
desktop PC started the course … my husband had a but it was very slow so I
to upg rade decided to a powerful one because we do a lot of video editing on the
high -spec operating system course … it’s a laptop … verIDVWWKHODWHVt …
boots up it really quickly and it’s fun to use so it makes working a pleasure … I’ve
become a competent compute r user now … if I didn’t have it I daresay I’d have to
spend more time at college using their computers … but on the positive side I
suppose I’d read a lot more if I didn’t have it … I probably waste a lot of
surfing the web time … but hopefull,ZRQW have to be without it …
Part 3 -style questions
Examiner: What do you think are the important things people need to learn when
they start using computers?
to enter a Alejandro: Well … there are things like how to use the Internet … how
web address to navigate websites … how … that kind of thing but it’s also

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to back up important to know how your files in case your computer crashes … and
Internet security all about .
Examiner: What kind of technological developments have made the biggest impact
on our lives?
Faydene: In my lifetime it has to be the Internet of course but I also think wifi has
wireless made a huge difference to how we interact with the Internet …
networks wifi hotspots go online at home and public mean we can easily
access our mail … … log into our work intranet and basically be connected
wherever we are.
Examiner: Do computers make it much easier to study?
Jane: Definitely yes … researching information is much easier with the Internet ..
bookmark webpages you can for future reference and writing essays is much
to cut and paste easier … being able sections of text means you can experiment
with organisation … so yes … compared to years ago when you had a pile of books
on your desk and a pen and paper … it’s now much easier.
Definitions
 to access we bsites/email : to locate
 to back up files : to make a copy of files in case of a computer problem
 to boot up : to start a computer
 to bookmark a webpage : to mark a webpage for future reference
 to browse websites : to look at websites
 a computer buff : an expert computer user
 to crash : to suddenly stop working
 to cut and paste : to move text or images from one place in a document to another place
 a desktop PC : a computer that isn’t portable and remains in situ on a desk
 digital editing : to edit digital materials l ike audio or video files
 download (podcasts) : to save a copy of a file from the internet to your own device
 to enter a web address : to type the address of a website into the address bar of your
browser
 a gadget : a technological tool like a mobile phone or camera
 to go online : to start using the Internet
 high -spec (laptop) : powerful computer with top quality components
 Internet security : Internet safety
 intranet : a network of connected computers within an organisation that is not accessible
by unauthorised v isitors
 to navigate a website : to find your way around a website
 operating system : the software that tells the computer how to work
 send an attachment : send an email with an accompanying file
 social media : media used to interact with other people such as F acebook or Twitter
 to surf the web : to look at a series of websites one after the other
 a techie : somebody who has an interest in technology
 to upgrade : to obtain a more powerful or feature -rich computer or piece of software

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 video conferencing : to see and hear people from different locations using the Internet
 wireless hotspot : a public place where you can access the Internet
 wireless network : a network where users can access the Internet without the use of fixed
cables
 word processing ; producing written te xts on a computer

Lesson 4: Sport
We all have a relationship with sport: we might watch it, play it or try our best to
avoid it. Because it’s such a n important subject you may find yourself being asked
questions about sport in the IELTS Speaking exam.
Read the following IELTS -style questions and answers below and pay attention to
the phrases in bold . Use the ‘Definitions’ section at the bottom of the page to check
the meaning of anSKUDVHV\RXGRQWXQGHUVWDQG.
Part 1 -style questions
Examiner: Do you do any sports?
to take up exercise to Loiuse: Not really … no … I always sa,PJRLQg and try
get into shape but I never seem to get started … I sometim es wonder whether I
a personal trainer a fitness should get … someone who will sort out
programme train hard for me and make me ….
Examiner: How do you spend a typical weekend?
football fan a football Stella: I’m a big and weekends always centre around
ma tch a season ticket … I support FC Utrecht and have so I go to most of
home games away games the and quite a few of the too … I’m reallORRNLQJ
football season forward to the new starting soon …
Examiner: Have you got any hobbies or interests?
do judo play Theo: Yes … I’m really keen on sports … I once a week and
tennis to keep fit in the summer … I think it’s really important … it makes you
feel good and energised for work and your studies ….
Part 2 -style task
Describe a place you like going to in your l eisure time. You should say:
 what this place is
 when you go there
 what you do there

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and say why you enjoy it there so much.
sports centre Maurice: I’d like to talk about my local … it’s a place I spend a lot
sports facilities of time in … it’s a new building with all the latest … I probably
go there at least twice a week … sometimes more often … it’s a huge place …
athletics track football pitches play football there’s an outdoor and some … I so
squash and te nnis courts I’m often out there … there are several indoor that I use
swimming pool occasionally … a big … although I don’t use that very often …
strong swimmer I’m not a very … there’s a gym … lots of things really … whGR
I enjoy going there … it’s just a really fun place to be … there’s a good soci al side
to it all … you can enter competitions … meet up with other people who want to do
the same sports … and because there are so many activities on offer it gets you
interested in different things … for example I was listening to some people talking
to run the marathon ab out training and I’ve decided I might even think about that
go jogging … I a couple of times a week so it would give me something to aim for
… so yes … the sports centre … that’s the place I really like to visit …
Part 3 -style questions
Examiner: Should people be encouraged more to take up sport?
Alejandro: I think young people should be given the chance to discover which sport
they might like … watching sport is sometimes a good way to get people started …
not on TV but actually getting out … take athletics for example … they could go
an athletics meeting to … there are so many different sports on show one might
interest them …
Examiner: Why do some people enjoy participating in sport more than others?
Florrie: That’s a good question … I suppose some people are more concerned about
being out of condition their health … they can’t stand the thought of … other
to set records personal people might be driven to excel … they want or get
bests …
Examiner: Which sports do you think are best for people who aren’t used to
physical activity?
strenuous exercise Julie: Well … I think people like this should avoid so things
circuit training a brisk like are definitely out of the question … maybe just doing
walk every day … or swimming is always a good way to get started …
Definitions
 an athletics meeting : an event where various athletics sports are held
 an athletics track : a running track
 an away game : a football match played in the opposing teams stadium
 a brisk walk : a fast walk

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 to do judo : (not go or play)
 a football fan : someone who likes football
 a fitness programme : a schedule of activities to keep fit
 a football match : a game of football
 a football pitch : the surface on which you play football (as opposed to a stadium, which
is the building)
 a foo tball season : a period in the year when football is played
 to get into shape : to become fit
 to go jogging : to run around the streets
 a home game : a football match played in the teams own stadium
 to keep fit : to stay in good physically condition
 to be out of condition : to not be physically fit
 a personal best : to achieve the best personal result so far in a sport
 a personal trainer : a sports coach that helps you on a one -to -one basis
 to play tennis/football : (not do or go)
 to run the marathon : to run a dist ance of 42.195 Kilometres
 a season ticket : a ticket that gives you entry to most of a team’s home games during the
sporting year.
 to set a record : to achieve the best result in a sport
 a sports centre : a public building where people can do various sports
 sports facilities : the equipment and services needed to do a sport
 a squash/tennis/badminton court : the surface where you play these sports
 strenuous exercise : exercise that needs a lot of physical effort
 a strong swimmer : a good swimmer
 a swimming pool : th e place where you swim
 to take up exercise : to start doing exercise
 to train hard : to train with a lot of effort

Lesson 5: Food
The topic of food of ten comes up in the IELTS Speaking exam. You might be
asked questions about what you like to eat, your favourite restaurants or about a
popular dish in your country.
Read the following IELTS -style questions and answers below and pay attention to
the phrase s in bold . Use the ‘Definitions’ section at the bottom of the page to check
the meaning of anSKUDVHV\RXGRQWXQGHUVWDQG.
Part 1 -style questions
Examiner: Do you like to cook?
ready meals take -aways Mandy: Not really no … most of the time I eat and …
that’s one of the reasons I love visiting my mum … you can always guarantee
home -cooked food lovely …

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Examiner: What time do you usually eat dinner?
main meal starving Michelle: We have our at around 7.00 … I’m usually
hungry grab a bite to eat by then … in fact I often as soon as I get home from
to spoil my appetite college … a sandwich perhaps … but not too much …
Examiner: Are there any types of food you don’t like?
a fussy eater eat like a Lionel: No not really … I’m not at all … actually I
horse work up quite an appetite … I do a lot of sport and …
Part 2 -style task
Describe a restaurant that you like to use. You should say
 where this restaurant is
 what kind of food it serves
 how often you go there
and say why you like eating there so much.
Howard: OK … this is a nice topic to talk about … there’s a restaurant just around
the corner from where I live … it’s an Italian restaurant so as you’d expect you can
a slap - eat various pasta dishes and pizzas and I usually go there with my family for
up meal if we h ave anWKLQJWRFHOHEUDWHLWVTXLWHDSRVKUHVWDXUDQWWKHNLQG
to wine and dine of place you would take someone if you wanted them … we
a 3 -course meal usually order … a light starter then a main dish … and I have
a sweet tooth quite so I always look forward to the dessert … I usually order
makes my mouth water Tiramisu … it just to think about it … I’m always
full up totally by the end … why do I enjoy it there … well … it’s not cheap … my
foot the bill parents always and we couldn’t afford to go ther e regularly so it’s
always a nice treat …
Part 3 -style questions
Examiner: How can we encourage people to eat more healthily?
processed Anna: I think the best approach is to have everything in moderation …
food won’t kill you if you only eat it occasional ly … but people should also be
to eat a balanced diet encouraged … try to cook fresh ingredients at home a few
times a week …
Examiner: Do you think people enjoy their food as much as they should?
a quick Florrie: I don’t know really … I suppose it’s true that peop le will often eat
snack dying of hunger because they’re bored not because they’re … and often
bolt it down they just and don’t savour it … so yes … perhaps we could take more
time over our food …

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Examiner: Do you think cooking is a pleasure or a ch ore for people who have busy
lives?
follow a recipe Julie: Well … whether you or make something up as you go along
… I think cooking is a very creative process … and cooking for other people is a
particular pleasure … there’s nothing more satisfying than s eeing people you
tucking into love something you’ve cooked yourself …
Definitions
 to be full up : to eat to the point that you can no longer eat any more
 to be starving hungry : an exaggerated way of saying you are very hungry
 to bolt something down : to eat something very quickly
 to be dying of hunger : an exaggerated way of saying you are hungry
 to eat a balanced diet : to eat the correct types and amounts of food
 to eat like a horse : to eat a lot
 to follow a recipe : to cook a meal using instructions
 to foot t he bill : to pay the bill
 a fussy eater : somebody who has their own very high standards about what to eat
 to grab a bite to eat : to eat something quickly (when you’re in a rush)
 to have a sweet tooth : to enjoy sugary food
 home -cooked food : food cooked at ho me from individual ingredients
 the main meal : the most important meal of the day, usually eaten in the evening
 to make your mouth water : to make you feel very hungry for something
 to play with your food : to push food around the plate to avoid eating it
 pr ocessed food : commercially prepared food bought for convenience
 a quick snack : to eat a small amount of food between meals
 a ready meal : see ‘processed food’
 a slap up meal : a large meal
 to spoil your appetite : to eat something that will stop you feeling h ungry when it’s meal -
time.
 a take away : a cooked meal prepared in a restaurant and eaten at home
 to tuck into : to eat something with pleasure
 to wine and dine : to entertain someone by treating them to food and drink
 to work up an appetite : to do physical w ork that leads to you becoming hungry

Lesson 6: Education
You’re likely to be asked questions about your studies during Part 1, you might
have to ta lk about a class, a teacher or a school memory in Part 2 or give your
opinions on education in Part 3. Therefore, being able to call on a wide range of
vocabulary to talk about education is very important.

15

Read the following IELTS -style questions and answe rs below and pay attention to
the phrases in bold . Use the ‘Definitions’ section at the bottom of the page to check
the meaning of anSKUDVHV\RXGRQWXQGHUVWDQG.
Part 1 -style questions
Examiner: Are you studying English at a school?
an intensive course private language Michel: Yes … I’m ta king at a local
school attend classes … I three times a week …
Examiner: Would you say you are a good student?
meeting deadlines keeping Susan: I’m OK I think … I’m pretty good at and I’m
up with my studies learn things by heart … plus I find it quite easy to which is
useful when learning a language …
Examiner: When you were younger did you enjoy your time at school?
state school Theo: Yes … I liked school … it was an ordinary … nothing special
a single -sex school … … whi ch I’m not sure I liked … but the teachers were great
played truant … I had lots of friends and I never like some pupils there …
Part 2 -style task
Describe a time during your education that you really enjoyed. You should say:
 when this period was
 where you were
 what you were studying at the time
and say why you were so happy.
a mature Caroline: I’d like to tell you about my time at university … I was
student … I didn’t go to university until I was 25 … and it was my first time away
a Bachelors Degree from my parents so it wa s very exciting … I was doing and it
take a year out was a bit of a challenge … some people but I’d been away from
to work my way through uni education for 8 years … plus I had so I was very
sitting exams busDQd at the end of each ye ar was a new experience for me as
higher education well but I really enjoyed learning about a subject I loved …
history … and the social life was great as well … I don’t think I’ve ever had so
graduation ceremony many friends … I had my last year in the l ocal cathedral and
I know my parents were really proud … so yes … that was a really happy time …
Masters Degree I’m thinking of doing a soon … though that might be
distance learning through as I have a full -time job now …
Part 3 -style questions

16

Examiner: W hat qualities do you think a good teacher has?
subject specialists Anna: They should be patient … they should be and be able to
give feedback explain the subject clearly … they should quickly … for example
not hang on to essay for ages like some of my teac hers …
Examiner: What are the advantages of studying on a distance learning course?
tuition Florrie: It’s a more flexible way of studying especially if you have a job …
fees are usually cheaper … but you have to be very motivated … and I would
fall behind with their studies face -to -face imagine more people compared to
classes …
Examiner: Do all children get equal opportunities in education?
Julie: In my country I think it is quite equal but in the UK I’ve heard that most
public schools people who go to the top universiti es have studied at … you have to
boarding schools be very rich to study in a school like that … theUHXVXDOOy as
well so the fees are enormous …
Definitions
 to attend classes : to go to classes
 bachelors degree : an undergraduate course whi ch usually lasts 3 -4 years
 boarding school : a school where pupils live during term time
 distance learning : a way of studying where tuition is carried out over the Internet or by
post
 face -to -face classes : as opposed to distance learning the traditional way of studying in a
classroom with colleagues and a teacher
 to fall behind with your studies : to progress less quickly than others
 to give feedback : to offer guidance on a student’s work
 a graduation ceremony : an event where a successful student receives his or her
academic degree
 higher education : education, usually in a college or university, that is followed after high
school or secondary school
 an intensive course : a course that offers lots of training in order to reach a goal in as
short a time as possib le
 to keep up with your studies : to not fall behind
 to learn something by heart : to memorize it
 a mature student : a student who is older than average and who has usually returned to
education after a period at work
 masters degree : a period of study which o ften follows the completion of a bachelors
degree or is undertaken by someone regarded as capable of a higher -level academic
course
 to meet a deadline : to finish a job or task in the time allowed or agreed
 to play truant : to stay away from classes without permission
 private language school : an independent school run as a business concern
 public schools : exclusive independent schools in the UK

17

 a single -sex school : a school where only boys or girls attend (as opposed to a mixed -sex
school)
 to sit an exam : to take an exam
 state school : a school paid for by public funds and available to the general public
 subject specialist : a teacher who has a great deal of knowledge about the subject they
teach.
 to take a year out : to spend a year working or travelling before starting university
 tuition fees : the money paid for a course of study
 to work your way through university : to have a paid job whilst studying to support
yourself financially

Lesson 7: Work
If you’re employed, getting the necessary qualifications for a job, or still trying to
decide what kind of career you’re interested in, you’ll need to be able to tell the
examiner about this if you’re asked questio ns about work.
Read the following IELTS -style questions and answers below and pay attention to
the phrases in bold . Use the ‘Definitions’ section at the bottom of the page to check
the meaning of anSKUDVHV\RXGRQWXQGHUVWDQG.
Part 1 -style questions
Exa miner: What do you do?
do a job -share Sasha: I with a friend in a boutique … I enjoy it … I like working
temporary work one of the perks of with customers … unfortunately it’s only but
the job is I get a discount on the clothes …
Examiner: Do you have any career plans yet?
be my own boss Carly: Yes … I’d like to one da,PLQWHUHVWHGLQ
programming and I’d like to create apps for myself or for other companies … I
self employed nine -to - know being would be a challenge but the idea of doing a
five job doesn ’t appeal to me at all …
Examiner: What do you see yourself doing in 10 years time?
a high -powered job Marie: I’d hope to be working … not … but I’m quite a
work with my hands creative person so something where I can would be nice …
stuc k behind a desk in a dead -end as long as I’m not doing something boring
job I’ll be happ…
Part 2 -style task
Describe your ideal job. You should say:

18

 what this job is
 whether you would need any qualifications
 whether it would be easy to find work
and say why you would enjo y this job in particular.
Max: I’ve always loved watching wildlife programmes on TV and often thought
how much I’d enjoy working with animals … perhaps in a safari park … something
calle d for an like that … you’d probably need a degree to have any chance of being
interview full -time jobs and whether there are many I don’t know … I’m sure a lot
voluntary work of parks rely on so it might not be easy … and it probably
well -paid job wouldn’t be either but money isn’t everything … I’d get so much
satisfaction stuck in a … I can’t imagine it being the kind of job where RXJHt
rut … and I think I’d be good at it as well … I’d love to work with animals I
manual work a good team player working enjoy and I’m … so even though the
conditions might not be the best I t hink that would be my ideal job …
Part 3 -style questions
Examiner: If there are a limited number of jobs available who should be given
priority, young people or older people with more experience?
Anna: Things are so different these days … a few years ago o lder employees would
take early retirement part -time contracts often or go onto and there were always
opportunities for younger people but now jobs are so scarce … I think younger
people need to be given the chance whenever possible …
Examiner: What are so me of the important things a candidate should find out
before accepting a job?
Ali: Well … you’d need to know about your area of responsibilitDQG\RXU
holiday entitlement maternity or salary of course and then there are things like …
paternity leave … if you’re thinking of having children … and what the situation
sick leave is regarding … that kind of thing …
Examiner: What are the advantages of having your own business rather than
working for someone else?
Julie: Well … unfortunately being an employee at the moment is very stressful …
heavy workloads meet people have very … they’re always under pressure to
deadlines running your own business … isn’t easy … but I do think it would be
far more satisfying …
Definitions
 to be called for an interview : to be invited to attend an interview
 to be your own boss : to have your own business
 a dead -end job : a job with no promotional opportunities

19

 to do a job -share : to share the weekly hours of work with another person
 a good team player : somebody who can work well w ith other people
 full -time : the number of hours that people usually work in a complete week
 a heavy workload : to have a lot of work to do
 a high -powered job : an important or powerful job
 holiday entitlement : the number of days holiday allowed
 job satisfact ion : the feeling of enjoying a job
 manual work : work that requires physical activity
 maternity leave : time off work given to a woman about to have a baby
 to meet a deadline : to finish a job by an agreed time
 a nine -to -five job : a normal job that consists o f an 8 hour day (approximately)
 one of the perks of the job : an extra benefit you get from a job
 part -time : working less than full -time
 to run your own business : see ‘to be your own boss’
 to be self -employed : see ‘to be your own boss’
 sick leave : time allo wed off work when sick
 to be stuck behind a desk : to be unhappy in an office job
 to be/get stuck in a rut : to be in a boring job that is hard to leave
 to take early retirement : to retire early (retire: to reach an age when you are allowed to
stop working f or a living)
 temporary work : work done for a limited time only
 voluntary work : to work without pay
 to be well paid : to earn a good salary
 working conditions : the hours, salary and other entitlements that comes with the job
 to work with your hands : to do ma nual work

Lesson 8: Health
During the IELTS Speaking exam you may be asked questions to do with health
and fitness. Read the following IELTS -style q uestions and answers below and pay
attention to the phrases in bold . Use the ‘Definitions’ section at the bottom of the
page to check the meaning of anSKUDVHV\RXGRQWXQGHUVWDQG.
Part 1 -style questions
Examiner: Have you got a relation RXUHSDUWLFXOa rly fond of?
as fit as a Sinita: Yes … my granddad … he’s 94 years old but generally he’s
fiddle goes down with … we’re very close and see each other a lot … whenever he
a cold is under the weather or I make a point of visiting him …
Examiner: Do you do an y sport?
Jon: Yes … I’m keen on skateboarding … but I haven’t done it for a while … I had
pulled a muscle cuts and bruises a bad fall recently and and had a few … but
on the mend I’m and hope to be doing it again soon …

20

Examiner: Is there anything you’re p articularly afraid of?
have a Davide: The dentist … I hate going to the dentist … I only ever go if I
toothache have a filling have a tooth out so it usually means I have to or even …
I really don’t like it …
Part 2 -style task
Describe a time when you were ill. You should say:
 when this was
 what your symptoms were
 how long the illness lasted
and say how it affected your life at the time.
Pierre: This is a tricky one really as I’m usually quite healthy … I’ve never been
aches and pains catch seriouslLOOOLNHHYHU\RQHHOVH, sometimes get a few or
a cold a … I can remember a few months ago I had to have time off work with
heavy cold a blocked nose sore throat … I had the usual symptoms … … … it
lasted quite a while … about 2 weeks I think though I didn’t have that much time
feeling poorly over the worst of off work … for a few days I remember but I was
itafter a few daVDQGZHQWEDFNWRZRUN,DOZD\VILQGLWVEHWWHUWREHDFWLYH
when you feel ill as it keeps your mind off your symptoms … I think my fam ily get
a little fed up with me when I’m ill though … I tend to feel sorry for myself and lie
m at death’s door on the sofa all day as if I’ … but as I said earlier … on this
occasion it was nothing serious and didn’t really cause me anSUREOHPV…
Part 3 -style questions
Examiner: What costs are involved when you are ill in your country?
prescription charges Anya: Well … people have to pay which can be quite
go expensive … but fortunately general healthcare is free … unless you want to
private of course and then you can pay a fortune for your treatment …
Examiner: In your experience are people too quick to take time off work when
they’re ill?
Alicia: Yes .. I’ve got friends who have a day off work if theZDNHXSZLWK
runny nose to make a speedy recovery a … and in most cases they se em after
phoned in sick theYe …
Examiner: Do women pay more attention to their health than men?
GP check -up Julie: I think so yes … women are more likely to see their for a if
they’re concerned about something … men tend to avoi d facing up to any health

21

chesty cough problems they have … my dad always seems to have a very but
make an appointment refuses to go to to see the doctor …
Definitions
 aches and pains : minor pains that continue over a period of time
 to be a bit off colour : to feel a little ill
 to be at death’s door : (informal) to be very ill indeed
 to be on the mend : to be recovering after an illness
 to be over the worst : to have got through the most serious or uncomfortable stage of an
illlness
 to be under the weather : (in formal) to not feel well
 a blocked nose : when the nose has excess fluid due to a cold
 to catch a cold : to get a cold
 a check -up : a physical examination by a doctor
 a chesty cough : a cough caused by congestion around the lungs
 cuts and bruises : minor injuri es
 to feel poorly : to feel ill
 as fit as a fiddle : to be very healthy
 to go down with a cold : to become ill
 to go private : to choose to be treated by commercial healthcare rather than by services
offered by the state
 GP : General Practitioner (family doctor )
 to have a filling : to have a tooth repaired
 to have a tooth out : to have a tooth removed
 a heavy cold : a bad cold
 to make an appointment : to arrange a time to see the doctor
 to make a speedy recovery : to recover quickly from an illness
 to phone in sick : to call work to explain you won’t be attending work due to illness
 prescription charges : money the patient pays for medicine authorised by a doctor
 to pull a muscle : to strain a muscle
 a runny nose : a nose that has liquid coming out of it
 a sore throat : in flammation that causes pain when swallowing

Lesson 9: Books and Films
It’s quite possible that the examiner will ask you questions about your readin g
habits or ask you to say something about a book you’ve read or a film you’ve seen.
Read the following IELTS -style questions and answers below and pay attention to
the phrases in bold . Use the ‘Definitions’ section at the bottom of the page to check
the m eaning of anSKUDVHV\RXGRQWXQGHUVWDQG.
Part 1 -style questions

22

Examiner: Do you like to read books?
to be engrossed in Marie: Yes … I love reading … I like nothing more than a good
take out from book … I regularly books from the library and usually read the m
cover to cover in no time … and I can’t go to sleep at night without some
bedtime reading good …
Examiner: How often do you go to the cinema?
Jemma: Unfortunately we don’t have a cinema near us so we have to go into the
to catch the lat est movie box -office nearest town … I usually avoid seeing popular
hits low -budget films sci - which I’m not always keen on seeing … I prefer …
fi showings especially … and there’s a great cinema I go to that has frequent of
films like these …
Examiner: Do you prefer rea ding books or watching films?
a big reader heavy -going Louisa: I’m not really … I find books quite … so I much
special effects soundtrack prefer to see a film … perhaps it’s the or the … I don’t
know … I just prefer a film …
Part 2 -style task
Describe a bo ok you have read or a film you have seen. You should say:
 what this book or film was
 when you read or saw it
 why you decided to see the film or read the book
and say if you enjoyed it and why.
Pauline I like reading … especially English novels … it’s a gr eat way to improve
your vocabulary and there are so many fantastic authors to choose from … one
came highly recommended book that by my teacher was The Mayor of
Casterbridge … I was studying at a school in The UK at the time and she said it
would give me a picture of what life was like years ago in the area I was living …
a real page -turner well I have to say I absolutely loved it … it was … it’s
historical novel the setting a and was a fictional town called Casterbridge … but
based on actually it was a to wn near where I was studying called Dorchester … it
plot it tells the story of had such a great … to cut a long story short the downfall of
the central character a man called Henchard who lives during a period of great
social change around the time of the industrial revolution … the reason I enjoyed it
so much … apart from the great story … it gave me a picture of what life had been
couldn’t put it down like in the place I was studying at the time … I really … a
fantastic story …
Part 3 -style questions

23

Exam iner: Is reading as pleasurable in digital format?
paperback hardback Alise: Personally I prefer reading a or … especially if I’m
a classic e-book reading which I don’t think feels right as an … but I can see it can
e-reader be good for others … my grandmother has an and she loves the way you
can enlarge the text …
Examiner: Do you think bookshops will survive the digital revolution?
flicking through Thomas: I think so … at least I hope so … I love books in a
bookshop … online shopping is useful … finding o ut on Amazon if a book you
got a good review want has … maybe getting one that is difficult to find … but I
still love the experience of being in a bookshop …
Examiner: Statistics show that visits to the cinema are up despite the availability of
DVDs and online downloads. Why do you think this might be?
to see a Jamie: I think it’s the whole experience that the cinema offers … going out
film goes on general release on the big screen when it … and seeing it is more
watching the film an action exciting than at home on TV … especially if it’s
movie … and watching it with others makes it even more special …
Definitions
 an action movie : a film with fast moving scenes, often containing violence
 to be engrossed in : to be completely focused on one thing
 bedtime read ing : something to read in bed before you go to sleep
 to be a big reader : someone who reads a lot
 to be based on : to use as a modal
 a box office hit : a financially successful film
 to be heavy -going : difficult to read
 a blockbuster : a film that is a big comm ercial success
 to catch the latest movie : to see a film that has just come out
 the central character : the main person in a film or book
 a classic : of the highest quality
 to come highly recommended : to be praised by another person
 couldn’t put it down : wasn ’t able to stop reading a book
 an e -book : a digital book
 an e -reader : a device for reading e -books
 to flick through : to look quickly through a book
 to get a good/bad review : to receive positive or negative feedback
 to go on general release : when a film can be seen by the general public
 hardback : a book with a rigid cover (see ‘paperback’ below)
 a historical novel : a story set in the past
 a low budget film : a film made with a small amount of money
 on the big screen : at the cinema
 a page turner : a book that y ou want to keep reading
 paperback : a book with a flexible cover (see ‘hardback’ above)
 plot : the main events in a film or book

24

 to read something from cover to cover : to read a book from the first page to the last
 sci -fi: science fiction
 to see a film : to s ee a film at the cinema (see ‘watch a film’ below)
 the setting : where the action takes place
 showings : performances of a film
 soundtrack : the music that accompanies a film
 special effects : the visuals or sounds that are added to a film which are difficult to
produce naturally
 to take ou t (a book from the library) : to borrow a book from the library
 to tell the story of : to outline the details of someone’s life or an event
 to watch a film : to watch a film on TV (see ‘to see a film’ above)

Lesson 10: Accommodation
The examiner may ask you to talk about the place you live or would like to live in
the exam. Read the following IELTS -style questions and answe rs below and pay
attention to the phrases in bold . Use the ‘Definitions’ section at the bottom of the
page to check the meaning of anSKUDVHV\RXGRQWXQGHUVWDQG.
Part 1 -style questions
Examiner: Do you live in a house or an apartment?
on campus single room halls of residence Callum: Actually I live … in a in … all
first year students are encouraged to do that as they’re close to the university …
student digs next year I plan to move into in town …
Examiner: Tell me about where you live.
in the suburbs moved Julia: I live wit h my parents of Madrid … we only
in house -warming party recently … in fact we had a just a few weeks ago …
Examiner: What kind of accommodation do most people live in in your city?
apartment blocks Maria: In the city itself the majority of people live in … that’s
terraced what surprised me about England … most people seem to live in
houses back gardens with lovely …
Part 2 -style task
Describe a house or an apartment you would like to live in. You should say
 what kind of accommodation it would be
 where it would be
 who would live there with you
and say why you would enjoy living in this place.

25

Paolo: I think most people when answering this question would say they’d like to
detached house spacious rooms live in a big with … views of the co untryside and
ideal home so on … but actuallPy would be a lot different … I’ve always loved
mobile home all the mod the idea of having a … a really expensive one with
cons … so I could live wherever I wanted or at least have lots of holidays and be
home comforts able to take all my with me whenever I travelled … I realise this
permanent address would have to be a second home as I’d need a base … a … but
the mobile home would be the accommodation I’d find it exciting to live in … I
to get on the property suppose once I settle do wn and have children I’ll want
ladder to put down a deposit … I’ll be like everyone else … saving up on a house
or an apartment … I don’t think my family would want to live in a mobile home …
dream home but I like to think I’ll still keep that in mind …
Part 3 -style questions
Examiner: Is it better to own your own home or to rent?
rented accommodation Ana: I think both have their advantages … living in isn’t
tak e necessarily a bad thing … you don’t have a huge debt like you do when you
out a mortgage property market but I suppose the offers you an investment for
to own their own home the future … I’m sure that’s why most people prefer …
Examiner: What options are available to young couples looking for accommodation
in your country?
first -time buyers Ton i: If theZDQWWREX\WKHLURZQKRPHLWLVQWHDV\IRr …
rented mortgages are hard to get so most people live with their parents or in
accommodation pay … but that can also be very expensive … you often have to
rent in advance fully furnished … and if t he accommodation isn’t you have the
expense of buying furniture …
Examiner: What are some of the pleasures involved in making a home for
ourselves?
house -hunting Suki: I suppose it starts with … finding your ideal home … some
doing up an old property people enjoy … giving a property that’s old and tired a
new lease of life … others like making wherever they live feel like home with
home comforts some …
Definitions
 (all the) mod cons : technology at home that makes jobs easier such as a washin g
machine, dishwasher etc.
 apartment block : a large building made up of smaller units of apartments
 back garden : a garden at the rear of the house
 detached house : a house that is not physically connected to another property
 to do up a property : to repair a n old building

26

 dream home : a home you regard as perfect
 first -time buyer : someone buying a property for the first time, especially when taking out
a loan (mortgage)
 fully -furnished : a rented property with all furniture included
 to get on the property ladde r: to buy a property with the aim of buying another bigger or
more expensive one later in life
 hall of residence : a college or university building where students live
 home comforts : things that make a home feel comfortable to live in
 house -hunting : looking for a property to live in
 house -warming party : a party to celebrate moving into a new home
 ideal home : a perfect home
 to live on campus : to live on the university or college grounds
 mobile home : a home that can be moved by a vehicle or one that has its ow n engine
 to move into : to begin to live in a property
 to own your own home : to have bought the property you live in
 to pay rent in advance : weekly or monthly rent paid at the beginning of the week or
month
 permanent address : a fixed address
 property market : the buying and selling of land or buildings
 to put down a deposit : to pay an amount of money as the first in a series of future
payments
 rented accommodation : property owned by someone else and for which a person pays a
fixed amount to live in
 single roo m : a room for one person
 spacious room : a large room
 student digs : student accommodation
 the suburbs : a residential area on the edge of towns or cities
 to take out a mortgage : to borrow a large amount of money, paid back over several
years, in order to buy a house
 terraced house : a house connected on both sides by other properties

Lesson 11: Clothes and Fashion
The examiner may ask you to talk about t he clothes you like to wear or your
attitude towards fashion. Read the following IELTS -style questions and answers
below and pay attention to the phrases in bold . Use the ‘Definitions’ section at the
bottom of the page to check the meaning of any phrases y ou don’t understand.
Part 1 -style questions
Examiner: Do you enjoy buying clothes?
a slave to Pedro: I used to … yes … like most young people I was a bit of
fashion must -have and I’d always have to buy that shirt or pair of shoes … I’m not
old so bothered now though … I wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing something
fashioned but I’m not as bothered as I used to be about what I wear …

27

Examiner: What kind of clothes do you like to wear?
casual clothes getting dressed up Marco: I prefer actually … I hate for spe cial
to look good in occasions … personally I think it’s possible a pair of jeans … but
fashion icon that’s my opinion … I don’t think my wife would call me a that’s for
sure …
Examiner: Are there many clothes shops where you live?
Sylvia: Yes … there are lots in my town … apart from the big chain stores we’ve
vintage clothes got a couple of really nice shops that sell … old clothes but in
classic style go out of fashion a that never really … I love going there …
Part 2 -style task
Describe someone you know who dresses well. You should say
 who they are
 how you know them
 what kind of clothes they wear
and say why you like the way they dress.
Tomoko: I’d like to talk about one of my teachers … Miss Evans … she teaches us
English in the school I go to … we alwa ys look forward to seeing what she’s going
well dressed takes a lot of to wear when our lessons start … she’s always very and
pride in her appearance smart clothes … it’s not that she dresses in very … she
dressed to kill doesn’t come to school or anything like that … but what she wears
suits her sense of style really … and she has a great as well … we often ask her
off the peg where she gets some of her clothes and most of the time theUHMXVt …
designer labels and she says she’s not interested in or anyt hing like that … she
keeping up with the latest fashion doesn’t seem too concerned about … she just
timeless wears clothes that are … yes … Miss Evans is the person I think looks
great in the clothes she wears …
Part 3 -style questions
Examiner: What factor s do you think affect the clothes we choose to wear?
Maki: It depends … where we are or where we’re going is a big factor … if you are
to dress for the occasion going out to a club or party you’re going … and then
on trend there are those who think it’s important t o look like theUe … they’ll
want to wear the latest fashions … there are lots of factors really …
Examiner: What kind of things determine what is in fashion and what we should be
wearing?
fashion houses fashion show s Martin: I suppose the big and must have an effect

28

on the catwalk but the clothes you see don’t always reflect what normal people
wear … so I suppose it will be things like what singers are wearing in videos or
models are wearing in magazines … that kind of thing …
Examiner: Is it pos sible to look good without spending lots of money on clothes?
having an eye for Corinna: I’m sure it is … yes … I suppose it’s about what looks
to mix and match good … knowing how different items of clothing that go well
together … I think you can pick up great bargains in charitVKRSVVRPHWLPHV
hand -me -downs for youngsters even can look good …
Definitions
 to be on trend : to be very fashionable
 casual clothes : not formal
 classic style : a simple, traditional style that is always fashionable
 designer label : a well -known company that makes (often expensive) clothing
 dressed to kill : wearing clothes that attract admirers
 to dress for the occasion : to wear clothes suitable for a particular event
 fashionable : in fashion
 fashion house : a company that sells (usua lly expensive) new styles in clothes
 fashion icon : a person who is famous for their sense of fashion
 fashion show : an event where modals show off the latest in fashion designs
 to get dressed up : to put on nice clothes, often to go out somewhere special
 to go out of fashion : to not be in fashion any more
 hand -me -downs : clothes that are passed down from older brothers or sisters to their
younger siblings
 to have an eye for (fashion) : to be a good judge of
 to have a sense of style : the ability to wear clothes that look stylish
 the height of fashion : very fashionable
 to keep up with the latest fashion : to wear the latest fashions
 to look good in : to wear something that suits you
 to mix and match : to wear different styles or items of clothing that aren’t part of a set
outfit
 must -have : something that is highly fashionable and therefore in demand
 off the peg : clothing that is ready made
 old fashioned : not in fashion any more
 on the catwalk : the stage that modals walk along to show off the latest fashions
 a slave to fashion : someone who always feel the need to wear the latest fashions
 smart clothes : the kind of clothes worn for a formal event
 to suit someone : to look good on someone
 to take pride in one’s appearance : to pay attention to how one looks
 timeless : someth ing that doesn’t go out of fashion
 vintage clothes : clothes from an earlier period
 well -dressed : to be dressed attractively

29

Lesson 12: Personality
D uring the IELTS Speaking exam you may be asked to talk about someone’s
personality or character. Read the following IELTS -style questions and answers
below and pay attention to the phrases in bold . Use the ‘Definitions’ section at the
bottom of the page to check the meaning of anSKUDVHV\RXGRQWXQGHUVWDQG.
Part 1 -style questions
Examiner: How would you describe yourself?
take after laid -back Paula: Everyone tells me I my mum as I’m quite … I think
good company I’m but you should ask my friends if they ag ree …
Examiner: In which ways are you similar to your friends?
introverts painfully Manuel: I seem to be attracted to … not people who are
shy reserved but most of my friends are a little … and I think that’s what I’m like

Examiner: Are you similar or di fferent to your brother(s)/sister(s)?
fun -loving Mira: I think my brother and I are very similar … I’d say we’re and tend
extroverted the life and soul of the party to be a bit … my brother is certainly …
I’m not sure that applies to me …
Part 2 -style task
Describe a teacher you once had who you enjoyed being taught by. You should say
 who this person was
 when they were your teacher
 which subject they taught you
and describe what it was about their character that you liked.
Carolina: I’d like to describe my English teacher from school … Miss Thomas …
this was a few years ago now and she was my teacher at a time when I was getting
a little bored with being at school … unlike some of the other teachers Miss
lost her temper easy -going Thomas never … she was very calm and … she was
broad -minded also very … we were able to ask her questions about lots of subjects
that some other teachers would refuse to discuss which made us respect her even
sense of humour more … she had a great too … she’d laugh at our jokes as well as
bend over backwards making us laugh … and she would also to help us with our
put us first work … she always and often stayed around at the end of class to talk
with anRQHZKRQHHGHGKHOSDSSDUHQWO\VKHZDVKLJKO\UHVSHFWHGZLWKLQKHU
hid her light under a field but y ou would never know as she was the type that

30

bushel self -effacing … she was very modest and … so yes … Miss Thomas was a
teacher I have fond memories of …
Part 3 -style questions
Examiner: Which personal qualities do you think we most want to pass on to our
children?
self -confident self - Martin: I certainly would want my children to be and
assured … I really believe that people who feel good about themselves are in a
good position to face what life has to offer them … and I’d hope the wouldn’t
self -centred be … but remembered to think about others …
Examiner: Which characteristics do you think are the least appealing in a person?
narrow -minded Marianne: Well … people who are very are difficult to get on with
… it’s nice when someone is open to other people’s opinion and willing to think
two -faced about their own views … and people who are can be a little irritating …
relationships are built on trust and without honesty there’s not much left …
Examiner: Which personality types do you thin k are less likely to suffer from stress
or anxiety?
thick -skinned Sol: Probably people who are … who don’t let people or problems
fair -minded affect them too much … and if you are you’ ll be less likely to
quick -tempered overreact to situations or be …
Def initions
 to be the life and soul of the party : a fun person, someone who is the centre of activity
 to bend over backwards : to try very hard to help someone
 broad -minded : prepared to accept other views or behaviours
 easy -going : relaxed and not easily worrie d about anything
 extrovert : an energetic person who likes the company of others
 fair -minded : to treat people equally
 fun -loving : to enjoy having fun
 to hide one’s light under a bushel : to hide one’s talents and skills
 good company : enjoyable to socialise w ith
 good sense of humour : the ability to understand what is funny
 introvert : someone who is shy
 laid -back : see ‘easy -going’
 to lose one’s temper : to suddenly become angry
 narrow minded : opposite of ‘broad -minded’ (see above)
 painfully shy : very shy
 to put others first : to think of others before yourself
 quick -tempered : to become angry quickly
 reserved : shy
 self -assured : confident
 self -centred : thinks only of oneself

31

 self -confident : believes in one’s own ability or knowledge
 self -effacing : to not try to get the attention of others (especially in terms of hiding one’s
skills or abilities)
 to take after : to be like (often another member of the family)
 thick -skinned : not easily affected by criticism
 trustworthy : can be trusted
 two -faced : not honest or sincere. Will say one thing to someone to their face and another
when they are not present.

Lesson 13: Business
During the IELTS Speaking exam you may be ask ed to talk about the subject of
business. This might involve describing a business you know well or talking about
your own ambitions. Read the following IELTS -style questions and answers below
and pay attention to the phrases in bold . Use the ‘Definitions’ section at the bottom
of the page to check the meaning of anSKUDVHV\RXGRQWXQGHUVWDQG.
Part 1 -style questions
Examiner: Do you work or are you a student?
run my own business Hati: I actually … I have an online business selling
set up th e business working cosmetics … I 5 years ago and I’m really enjoying
for myself …
Examiner: What is your ideal job?
to go it Kaori: I don’t think I’d enjoy working for a big company … I think I’d like
alone self -employed and be … I’m not sure what area of business it wo uld be but I
drawing up a business plan think I’d enjoy the process of and seeing if I could be
successful …
Examiner: Is your town a nice place to live?
Monique: It’s OK … the main problem we have is our local high street … it used to
gone bust to be a busy centre but lots of shops have … it must be very difficult
make a profit when you have huge supermarkets in the area and a lot haven’t been
cut -throat competition able to survive with such …
Part 2 -style task
Describe a business you know that you admire. You should say
 what this business is
 what the business sells
 how long you have known about the business

32

and say why you like it so much.
Magda: Actually I discovered a business very recently that I like so much I’d like
niche business to do something similar in the futu re … it’s a small that runs
courses in how to cook … especially bread … the owner uses his kitchen for the
went into business with courses and a local community shop and sells a lot of the
bread and cakes they make in the shop … I first got to hear about the business last
year … my wife paid for me to do one of the baking courses and I got to know the
lifestyle business owner during the training … it’s a really … he doesn’t have
to take on employees earning a plans or expand into new areas … he’s happy
living doing the thing he loves … I really admire what he does and I’m sure a lot of
has a web presence people would love to do something similar … he … in fact
to that’s how we got to find out about his company … and he uses social media
raise the company profile running the … but he’s the only person involved in
business so he’s in complete control of where the business goes … that’s
to something that must make it really satisfying … as long as he’s managing
balance the books cash flow and the is healthy I’m sure he must be verSOHDVHG
with what he has achieved …
Part 3 -style questions
Examiner: Why do some people decide to set up their own business?
Marion: I suppose it’s the idea of being in control of your own destiny … or of
believing in a product or service idea you may have … plus it must be very exciting
launching products winning contracts sales … … … and seeing your
figures improving must be wonderful …
Examiner: What are some of the dangers involved in starting a business?
Hiro: Well … obviously you need to have a good idea … some people say you need
do market research to beforehand so you know what the market wants … if you
go under don’t do this you could … and if it is a good idea the chances are
stiff someone else is doing the same thin g so you could end up facing
competition …
Examiner: What are some of things you have to do when running your own
business that might not appeal to everyone?
taking out a business Katy: Personally i don’t like being in debt so
loan cold calling wouldn’t suit me at all … and I know a lot of companies do to
drum up business laying people try and … that’s something I’d hate to do … and
off if the business gets into trouble … that would be horrible …
Definitions
 to balance the books : to not spend more mo ney than you are earning

33

 to be self -employed : to work for yourself/to not work for an employer
 to cold call : to make a sales call to someone without asking them for permission first
 cut throat competition : when one company lowers its prices, forcing other companies to
do the same, sometimes to a point where business becomes unprofitable
 to do market research : to do research into what potential customers would or wouldn’t
buy
 to draw up a business plan : to write a plan for a new business
 to drum up business : to try to get customers
 to earn a living : to earn money
 to go bust : when a business is forced to close because it is unsuccessful
 cash flow : the money coming in and going out of a business
 to go into business with : to join another person to start or expan d a business
 to go it alone : to start your own business
 to go under : (see ‘to go bust’)
 to have a web presence : to have a website or social media profile that showcases your
business
 to launch a product : to start selling and promoting a new product
 to lay someone off : when a company ends an employee’s contract of employment
 lifestyle business : a business that is set up to bring in a sufficient income and no more
 to make a profit : to earn more money than it costs to run the business
 niche business : a busine ss that serves a small, particular market
 to raise a company profile : to make more people aware of a business
 to run your own business : to have a business of your own
 sales figures : a report of the income a company generates through sales of products or
se rvices
 to set up a business : to start a business
 stiff competition : strong competition from other companies in the same area of work
 to take on employees : to employ people
 to take out a loan : to borrow money
 to win a contract : when a business gets legally -binding work with an individual or
company
 to work for yourself : (see ‘to be self -employed’)

Lesson 14: Physical Appearance
During the IELTS Speakin g exam you may want to talk about what people look
like. This might involve describing their physical appearance or the type of clothes
they like to wear. Read the following IELTS -style questions and answers below and
pay attention to the phrases in bold . Use the ‘Definitions’ section at the bottom of
the page to check the meaning of anSKUDVHV\RXGRQWXQGHUVWDQG.
Part 1 -style questions
Examiner: Do you look like any other people in your family?
cropped Carlo: No … not at all … take my brother for example … he h as short

34

hair pointed face fair -skinned and has quite a … he’s also quite compared to me

Examiner: Tell me about your family.
s getting on a bit in his 60s looks very young Andrea: My father’ … he’s … but he
for his age well -built … he still does lots of exe rcise and is quite …
Examiner: What does your best friend look like?
shoulder -length hair fair hair Mandy: She’s the same age as me … she has … …
slim figure medium height she has a and is …
Part 2 -style task
Describe a person whose appearance y ou like. You should say
 who this person is
 what their relationship is to you
 what they look like
and say what it is about their appearance you like.
Monique: OK … I’d like to talk about my aunt … her name’s Marta and she’s
s middle -aged youthful appearance quite a character … she’ but has a very …
overweight round she’s a little I suppose but not too much … she has a friendly
face thick blonde hair complexion framed by … she has a lovely and she’s
well -turned out always … she actually always looks like she’ s going out for the
s never a hair out of place evening to somewhere special … there’ … I’ve always
bears a striking resemblance to thought she someone on TV … I can’t remember
wears glasses the name now … she and always seems to have a different pair on
ev ery time I see her … I like the way she looks because she wears clothes that are
right for her age and manages to look glamorous without it looking like she’s too
done up … yes … I’ll be happy if I look like her when I’m her age …
Part 3 -style questions
Ex aminer: Is it important to dress well whenever we go out?
get done up Mark: It depends where RXUHJRLQJ,NQRZVRPHSHRSOe just to go
to the shops … but I don’t see the point … you shouldn’t go out
scruffy disheveled hair getting looking with but I really don ’t see the point in
dressed up to the nines unless you’re going somewhere special …
Examiner: Do people worry too much about their appearance as they get older?
go Mira: I’m sure they do … yes … but it happens to all of us doesn’t it … we all
grey hard of hearing to lose our figure eventually and get … we start … that’s

35

to grow old why plastic surgery is so popular … personally I think we just need
gracefully and not worry too much about how we look …
Examiner: Is attractiveness a quality worthwhile aiming for?
Phoebe: I’d like to saQRLWVKRXOGQWPDWWHUZKDWZHORRNOLNHLQWHUPVRIRXU
physical appearance … but unfortunately it seems women especially are taken more
good looking a slender figure make up seriously if they are with with perfect and
so on …
Definitions
 to bear a striking resemblance : to look very similar to
 cropped hair : very short hair
 disheveled hair : untidy hair
 to dress up to the nines : to dress very smartly or glamorously
 fair hair : light -coloured hair
 to be fair -skinned : ligh t skinned
 to get done up : to dress smartly
 to be getting on a bit : to be getting old
 to go grey : to have hair that is turning grey
 to be good looking : to be attractive
 to grow old gracefully : to act in a way that embraces the fact you are getting older
 to be hard of hearing : to find it difficult to hear
 in his/her 30s/40s : to be 20/30 something
 scruffy : dressed untidily
 to look young for your age : to look younger than you are
 to lose one’s figure : to have a figure that has lost its toned shape
 complexion : n atural skin colour and texture
 make up : cosmetics
 medium height : average height
 middle -aged : approximately between 45 -65
 to never have a hair out of place : perfectly styled hair
 to be overweight : to weigh more than is regarded as healthy
 pointed face : the opposite of a round face
 shoulder -length hair : hair that comes down to the shoulders and no further
 slender figure : a figue that is tall and slim
 slim figure : attractively thin
 thick hair : a lot of hair
 to wear glasses : to use spectacles
 to be well -built : to be muscular
 to be well -turned out : to look smart
 youthful appearance : to look young

Lesson 15: Town and City

36

In the IELTS Speaking exam you may b e called upon to showcase your vocabulary
to describe towns and cities. Read the following IELTS -style questions and answers
below and pay attention to the phrases in bold . Use the ‘Definitions’ section at the
bottom of the page to check the meaning of any phrases you don’t understand.
Part 1 -style questions
Examiner: What is it like where you live?
residential area Christiane: I live in a of a busWRZQLQWKHVRXWKRI6SDLQZH
public transport shopping have all the facilities you need … good … a good
ce ntre … it’s nice …
Examiner: Do you like living in the city?
lively Andrea: Yes I do … I like going out with my friends and there are lots of
bars and restaurants within walking distance of my apartment … I’m a bit of a
culture vulture as well so it’s grea t to have access to art exhibitions and that kind of
thing …
Examiner: Do you get many tourists visiting your area?
inner -city run down Mandy: Not really no … I live in the and the area is a little …
high -rise flats boarded up it’s basically a lot of and many of the shops are … so
nothing to interest tourists really …
Part 2 -style task
Describe an interesting town or city in your country that visitors might enjoy. You
should say
 what the place is called
 where the place is
 what the facilities are like
and sa y why visitors might enjoy going there.
Monique: Anyone who comes to my country really should spend some time in
sprawling Barcelona … it’s a beautiful place … it’s not what you would call a
city … it’s quite compact really and you could walk across the c ity in a couple of
public transport hours … but there’s no need to do that as we have a fantastic
system to get around so it’s easy … there are various districts all with their own
upmarket shops character … you have the in the centre … you’ll find lots
chain stores of you’ll recognise from your own countrEXWDOVRORFDOEUDQGVDV
fashionable well … we have the narrow streets in the Gothic district with lots of
boutiques tourist attractions and … there’s the Olympic area and the beaches
public spaces along the coast … a nd dotted around the city are some lovely …

37

city centre on the outskirts parks and squares in the and of Barcelona where
pavement people relax with their friends and family … and of course
cafes places of interest everywhere … all that and some great historical … so a
great destination for tourists …
Part 3 -style questions
Examiner: What are the advantages of living in a city or big town?
local facilities Carrie: I think it’s having access to really … local shops as well as
shopping malls access to larger in the citFHQWUHDQGLI\RXUHZHOl -off you can
in the suburbs afford to live away from the busy traffic …
Examiner: In your experience are city centres usually attractive places?
Mary: Some can be yes … especially those with a historical interest … but
office blocks multi -story car parks sometimes they’re full of ugly … … and
poor housing residents living in … it depends on the city doesn’t it?
Examiner: What are some of the challenges facing towns and cities?
traffic cong estion out - Penny: I suppose is a major problem … and the growth in
of -town supermarkets and retail parks mean lots of town centre shops
closing down are … plus a shortage of good quality housing … I think these are the
major challenges …
Definitions
 boarded up shops : shops that are no longer doing business
 chain stores : well -known brands with shops in multiple cities
 to close down : to stop doing business
 fashionable boutiques : fashionable clothes shops
 to get around : to travel around
 high -rise flats : multi -story apartments
 inner -city : the central part of a city where people live and where conditions are often
poor
 in the suburbs : the outer area of large towns and cities where people live
 lively bars/restaurants : bars or restaurants with a good atmosphere
 local facilities : lo cal buildings or services serving the public
 multi -story car parks : car parks on several floors
 office block : a large building that contains offices
 out of town shopping centre/retail park : large shopping centres outside of the town or
city
 pavement cafe : cafes with tables outside on the pavement
 places of interest : buildings that have a particular interest for visitors
 poor housing : housing that is not in good condition
 public spaces : areas in a town or city that are open to the public
 public transport sys tem : public vehicles such as buses and trains that operate at regular
times on fixed routes

38

 residential area : an area where people live
 run down : old and of a poor standard
 shopping centre : an area consisting of multiple shops
 shopping malls : large indoor shopping centres
 sprawling city : a city that has grown over time and which covers a wide area
 tourist attraction : a place of interest to tourists
 traffic congestion : heavy traffic making it difficult to move around a town or city
 upmarket shops : expensive fashionable shops

Lesson 16: Music
In the IELTS Speaking exam you may be asked questions about the music you
listen to or instruments you play. Rea d the following IELTS -style questions and
answers below and pay attention to the phrases in bold . Use the ‘Definitions’
section at the bottom of the page to check the meaning of anSKUDVHV\RXGRQW
understand.
Part 1 -style questions
Examiner: What kind o f music do you listen to?
classical music Katherine: I’m a big fan of … it doesn’t make me very popular
taste in music with my children … their is completely different … theDOZDs
rock bands want to listen to their favourite …
Examiner: Do you play any i nstruments?
taken up a musical instrument Jamie: No I don’t … I’ve always wished I’d … I’d
tone deaf love to be able to play the guitar … but I think I’m a bit so perhaps I’d
find it hard …
Examiner: Have you got any hobbies or interests?
live music music festivals live Marco: I’m really into … I go to a lot of … I think a
performance always sounds more exciting than a recorded version … as long as the
performers can sing and plaZHOORIFRXUVH…
Part 2 -style task
Describe a song you like to listen to. You should say
 what the piece of music is called
 how long you have liked it
 when you like to listen to it
and say why you like it so much.

39

Millie: Well … I’m a little older than most students and when I was young Abba
pop group the Swedish were very famous … I don’t think it was cool to like them
huge following even though they had a but I think now people have realised what
piece of music wonderful songs they wrote … one in particular is called ‘Slipping
massive hit through my fingers’ … it wasn’t a but I lo ve it … it’s a song for
slow parents and it’s all about how quickly our children grow up … it’s a
number catchy tune and like a lot of their songs it’s a very … the two women in
sing along to Abba had great voices and it’s the kind of music you can also ea sily
sing - … even if you don’t have a great voice … I listen to Abba when I feel like a
song … and I especially like to listen when I’m doing the housework … it stops me
thinking about the hard work …
Part 3 -style questions
Examiner: Is the Internet a good or bad thing for the music industry?
musical talent Thomas: On the one hand it’s good for marketing new or particular
download tracks bands but it’s so easy to share and for free I think it is costing the
industry a lot of money …
Examiner: Should music b e treated as seriously as subjects like maths or sciences at
school?
Carla: I think it should … I don’t think it should be taught in a boring way … I
read music mean making children … but I do think they should be encouraged to
play things by ear play instruments and to perhaps … to keep the lessons fun …
Examiner: Where do people usually enjoy listening to music?
background music Sally: In lots of ways or places … as when they are doing
goes on tour something else … at concerts when a band … or in clubs or discos …
Definitions
 adoring fans : people who love a particular band or singer
 background music : music that is played while something else is happening
 a catchy tune : a song that is easy to remember and makes you want to sing it
 classical music : music tha t is regarded as part of a long, formal tradition

 to download tracks : to obtain music from the Internet
 to have a great voice : to sing well
 to go on tour : to go on a planned series of performances around a region or country
 a huge following : a large number of fans
 live music : music that is listened to while it is performed (not recorded)
 live performance : (see live music)
 a massive hit : a record that sells lots of cop ies
 a music festival : music performances at a venue often over several days
 musical talent : skilled at music

40

 to be/sing out of tune : to not be in harmony/to sing the wrong notes
 a piece of music : an item of music
 to play by ear : to play without reading the musical notes
 a pop group : a small group of people who play or sing pop music together
 to read music : to understand and follow written musical notes
 a rock band : a group of musicians that play rock music
 to sing along to : to join in singing
 a sing -song : t o sing informally, often with other people
 a slow number : a song with a slow tempo
 to take up a musical instrument : to begin learning a musical instrument
 taste in music : the music someone likes
 to be tone deaf : to be unable to distinguish the different no tes in music

Lesson 17: Weather
In the IELTS Speaking exam you may be asked questions about the topic of ‘the
weather’, perhaps the weather in your country or when RXYHWUDYHOOHGWRRWKHU
countries. Read the following IELTS -style questions and answers below and pay
attention to the phrases in bold . Use the ‘Definitions’ section at the bottom of the
page to check the meaning of anSKUDVHV\RXGRQW understand.
Part 1 -style questions
Examiner: What’s the weather like in your country?
changeable clear blue Katie: It’s quite really … we have periods of time with
skies torrential rain. then all of a sudden we’ll have
Examiner: Which months have the best weather in your country?
Ernst: Well … I suppose it’s a matter of personal taste really … I like it around the
heatwaves end of October and November … I’m not fond of the we often get
freezing cold during the summer … it’s not during these months and we st ill get
sunny spells. lots of
Examiner: Does it bother you much when it rains?
get caught in the rain get drenched Junko: It depends … if I and I I don’t like it
a drop of rain … but I’m a gardener so is good for my plants.
Part 2 -style task
Describe a tim e when you experienced extreme weather conditions. You should say
 when this was
 where you were
 what the weather was like

41

and say how you felt about the experience.
I was studying English in a language school a few years ago … we were in
not a cloud in Cornwall in the UK … we’d been enjoying lovely sunny days …
the sky a change in the weather … when all of a sudden there was … we were in
to pour down town walking around the shops when it started … I’d never seen
heavy rain such before … within about 10 minut es the roads were full of water …
flash flood tropical I think they call it a … it was like being in the middle of a
storm weather forecast … the water was almost up to my knees … the hadn’t
predicted it so everyone was taken by surprise … I’m not sure you could call it
to clear up the sun came ‘extreme’ weather as a few hours later it started …
out and slowlWKHZDWHUOHYHOZHQWGRZQEXWDORWRISHRSOHVKRXVHVZHUH
flooded so it would have been extreme for them … I found it all quite exciting … in
mild climate my country we generally have a very and don’t often get floods like
this so it was quite an experience for me.
Part 3 -style questions
Examiner: Do you think the weather affects how people feel?
cold spell Tierre: Absolutely … yes … I don’t mind the occasio nal but I think the
winter months can make you feel down. I hate having to leave the house in the
thick fog bitterly winter … there’s often a every morning and we sometimes get
cold winds … the winter certainly makes me feel a little depressed … though
blanket of snow. having said that … it’s always nice to see the town covered in a
Examiner: Do you think the weather is changing due to global warming?
Ceri: I don’t know if it’s due to global warming or not but the weather in my
mild winters country is certainl y changing … we’ve been getting quite lately …
below freezing the temperatures are sometimes but only occasionallDQGWKHQ
boiling hot during the summer it can get with a lot of older people even suffering
heatstroke from .
Examiner: In whic h ways are weather forecasts useful?
Sinita: Well … if RXUHSODQQLQJDWULSRUJRLQJRQKROLGD\LWVLPSRUWDQWWRNQRZ
dress up warm whether you’ll need to or take an umbrella … farmers need to
long -range forecast know what the is so they can plan their work … I suppose
rained people who organise outside events need to know as well in case things get
off .
Definitions
 to be below freezing : below zero degrees Celsius
 bitterly cold : very cold and unpleasant
 a blanket of snow : a complete covering of snow

42

 boil ing hot : very hot (informal)

 changeable : weather that often changes
 a change in the weather : when weather conditions change
 clear blue skies : a sky without clouds
 to clear up : when clouds or rain disappear
 to come out (the sun) : when the sun appears out of a cloudy sky
 a cold spell : a short period of cold weather
 to dress up warm : to wear warm clothes to protect yourself against wintry conditions
 a drop of rain : a lit tle bit of rain
 a flash flood : a sudden and severe flood
 freezing cold : very cold (informal)
 to get caught in the rain : to be outside when it rains unexpectedly
 to get drenched : to get very wet
 heatstroke : a serious condition caused by being too long in ho t weather
 a heatwave : a period of very hot weather
 heavy rain : intense rainfall
 long -range forecast : the weather forecast for several days or weeks ahead
 mild climate : a climate without extreme weather conditions
 mild winter : a winter that isn’t particular ly cold
 not a cloud in the sky : see ‘clear blue skies’ above
 to pour down : to rain heavily
 to be rained off : to be cancelled or postponed due to poor weather
 sunny spells : short periods of sunny weather
 thick fog : a dense fog that makes visibility very poo r
 torrential rain : see ‘heavy rain’ above
 tropical storm : a storm typical of ones that you find in tropical climates
 weather forecast : a TV/radio programme or section in a newspaper/magazine which
predicts weather conditions

Lesson 18: Shopping
It’s possible the examiner may ask you questions about your shopping habits in the
IELTS Speaking exam. Read the following IELTS -style questions and answers
be low and pay attention to the phrases in bold . Use the ‘Definitions’ section at the
bottom of the page to check the meaning of anSKUDVHV\RXGRQWXQGHUVWDQG.
Part 1 -style questions
Examiner: Do you often go shopping for personal items?
Maxine: When I can afford it yes … my college is in the city centre and I do a lot
window shopping on a tight budget to of … but being a student I’m so I have
be careful with money …

43

Examiner: Are there many shops where you live?
local shops independent stores Jenny: We’ve got a few nearby an d a few but none
high street names of the big … I have to go into town for them …
Examiner: Do you enjoy shopping?
Marco: It depends … I hate it when the sales are on … crowds of people all trying
snap up a bargain shop to … I find it all a bit stressful … I also get annoyed when
assistants give me the hard sell try to when all I want to do is look around …
Part 2 -style task
Describe a time when you bought something for someone. You should say
 when this was
 what is was you bought
 who you bought it for
and say how you felt about buying it for them.
Coleen: I’d like to tell you about the time … about four years ago … my husband
and I bought a computer for our daughter … she was about to go to university and
we’d promised her we would trea t her to one … at the time there had been a
advertising campaign big for the latest Apple Macbook and our daughter was
value for money very keen to have one … she kept telling us theZHUe … even
to shop around though theVHHPHGYHU\H[SHQVLYHWRXVDQ\ZD\ZHWULHd to
pick up a bargain summer see if we could … this was in the middle of the
sales prices were being slashed big brand names and wherever you went on …
to pay the full but unfortunately not Apple products … we ended up having
price … I remember my daughter justifying the cost by pointing out how nice the
carrier bag customer Apple was … but it was lovely to see her so excited and the
service she’s received during the four years she’s had it has been excellent … so it
was value for money after al l …
Part 3 -style questions
Examiner: Do you think we will stop using paper money in the future?
to pay in Louisa: I think it’s almost certain … at the moment it’s still possible
cash to get but I’m sure this will change … the problem is people are more likely
into debt run up a credit card bill and when this happens.
Examiner: How do companies encourage the consumer to spend their money?
Peter: Well … a recent development in my country is something called ‘Black
to shop u ntil they drop Friday’ where people are encouraged and buy the

44

must -have products loyalty cards latest … then there are things like to get the
customer back in the store …
Examiner: What do you think shops need to do to create a positive shopping
experience?
Tania: The main thing for me is n ot being pressurised to buy … I appreciate that
on commission shop assistants are probably but if I’m looking for clothes for
to try something on example I like to take my time … … and to ask for help if I
need it …
Definitions
 advertising campaign : a seri es of advertisements to persuade people to buy something
 big brand names : large well -known companies or product names
 to be careful with money : to not over -spend
 carrier bag : bags (usually plastic) supplied by shops

 customer service : the degree to which customers are treated well
 to get into debt : to owe money
 to give someone the hard sell : to put pressure on someone to buy something
 high street names : well -known shop s
 independent stores : small shops independent of large companies
 local shops : community shops
 loyalty card : a card issued by a shop to allow customers to save money on the basis of
what they spend
 must -have product : a product that is very popular that a lo t of people want to have
 to be on a tight budget : to have a limited amount of money to spend
 to be on commission : to pay someone in relation to the amount they sell
 a pay in cash : to pay for something using coins or paper money
 to pay the full price : to pa y the full amount for something
 to pick up a bargain : to buy something much cheaper than the normal price
 to run up a credit card bill : to owe money on a credit card
 to shop around : to try different shops to find the best deal
 shop assistant : the person wh o serves customers
 to shop until you drop : to do a lot of shopping
 to slash prices : to reduce prices a great deal
 to snap up a bargain : to buy something quickly that is being sold cheaply
 summer sales : a period in the year when things are sold cheaply
 to t ry something on : to see if an item of clothing fits or is suitable
 to be value for money : to be worth the cost
 window shopping : to visit a store to look at items without the intention of buying
anything

Lesson 19: Environment

45

You may be asked questions about the environment or environmental problems in
your country. Read the following IELTS -style questions and answers below and
pay attention to the ph rases in bold . Use the ‘Definitions’ section at the bottom of
the page to check the meaning of anSKUDVHV\RXGRQWXQGHUVWDQG.
Part 1 -style questions
Examiner: Are there any environmental problems in your country?
pollution levels Kelly: Yes … we have a serious issue wit h in some of our big
exhaust fumes cities … from cars and lorries are definitely one reason for the
heavy industry problem but we also have a lot of in some areas and this
air quality also results in poor …
Examiner: Do you take an inter est in nature?
get back to Jenny: Well … I’m a city person through and through and don’t
nature the very often I’m afraid … but like everyone else I’m fascinated by
natural world and I like watching documentaries showing wild animals in
natural habit at their …
Examiner: Do you or your family take steps to help the environment?
impact on the Mira: My parents have always tried to make us aware of our
environment energy conservation … they’re really into … and always try to
environmentally friendly buy products if they have the chance …
Part 2 -style task
Describe an environmental problem that has been in the news. You should say
 when this was
 where the event happened
 what actually took place
and say how you felt about this problem.
Martin: Well … this is an in teresting question … there are so many issues I could
natural disasters think of … like earthquakes and floods seem to be in the news
almost every year … but there was one story recently about some animals that
under threat were … it wasn’t focused on one place in particular … it was
become extinct looking at various animals that could actually in different African
countries … if we don’t take steps to protect them … these were really iconic
animals like gorillas … leopards … rhinos … and apparentlWKH\Ue
endangered species now listed as … what made it really depressing was they were
loss of habitat in danger thanks to us … in some cases it was due to a either
because people need more agricultural production … or even worse I think

46

poaching future generations … because of hunting an d … I hate to think of being
natural environment robbed of the chance to see creatures like these in their …
wildlife conservation it’s lucky we have lots of organisations that focus on …
hopefully with their help we can put pre ssure on those in power to do something to
dying out stop creatures like these …
Part 3 -style questions
Examiner: What do you think is the main danger the world faces in terms of the
environment?
climate change flash Spencer: Well … is a real issue … in my coun try we have
floods global warming and heatwaves on a yearlEDVLVVR\HV,WKLQk is the
biggest issue.
Examiner: What examples are there of how we damage the natural world?
toxic Stella: There are so many examples … there are factories that empty
waste oil spills into rivers and oceans … that damage the coastline … the way we
fossil fuels destroy vast areas of land and rain forests in search of or to increase
agricultural production …
Examiner: In which ways do we respond well to environmental pr oblems?
Mathius: Well … on the one hand there are various worldwide agencies that are
humanitarian aid man -made always the first on the scene with after natural and
disasters pressure groups … and on the other hand we have environmental that
are constan tly raising awareness of issues and trying to stop disasters happening …
Definitions
 air quality : the cleanliness of the air we breathe
 to become extinct : to no longer exist
 to be under threat : to be in danger of becoming extinct
 climate change : the change in worldwide weather patterns
 to die out : see ‘to become extinct’

 endangered species : categories of animals or plants that are in danger of becoming
extinct
 energy conservation : the careful management of energy resources to ensure they last as
long as possible
 environmentally friendly : behaviour and products that do not harm the environment
 exhaust fumes : the toxic gases given off by vehicles powered by petrol
 flash floods : floods that happen quickly
 fossil fuels : energy resources like gas and oil that are produced deep below the ground
over millions of years
 future generations : the people who live after us
 to get back to nature : to live a life that is closer to natur e

47

 global warming : the increasing temperature of the world brought about by gases such as
carbon dioxide
 heavy industry : the manufacture of heavy articles and materials in large numbers
 humanitarian aid : the act of showing support to people struggling to su rvive
 impact on : the effect on
 loss of habitat : the decline in areas of land where animals and plants would normally
exist
 man -made disaster : widespread damage or loss of life brought about by the action of
humans
 natural disaster : an event such as an eart hquake, flood or hurricane which causes
widespread damage or loss of life
 natural environment : the place where animals and plants would normally be found in
nature
 the natural world : the world of nature
 oil spill : waste usually deposited in the seas and o ceans after an accident at sea
 poaching : to hunt and kill wild animals illegally
 pollution levels : the amount of toxic waste
 pressure group : a group of people who try to raise awareness of issues and try to affect
the views and actions of people and organi sations
 toxic waste : poisonous, unwanted rubbish often produced by industrial processes
 wildlife conservation : to protect animals and plants and their habitats

Lesson 20: Advertising
You may be asked questions about advertising in your country. Read the following
IELTS -style questions and answers below and pay attention to the phrases in bold .
Use the ‘Definitions’ section at the bottom of the page to check the meaning of any
phrases you don’t understand.
Part 1 -style questions
Examiner: Are there any TV channels in your countrWKDWGRQWKDYe adverts?
commercial channels show adverts Loraine: No … they’re all and all day long …
product placement too many really … and there’s also a lot of going on …
especially in soap operas where they place an item just behind the actors.
Examiner: Do you enjoy watching adverts on TV?
commercial breaks Karin: No … not really … I hate during a film … it really
prime time spoils the flow … and during viewing they seem to squeeze even more
celebrity endorsements ads in than usual … also get on my nerves … everyone
knows they’re only doing it because they’re getting paid.
Examiner: What are the best ways for ordinary peop le to advertise something they
want to sell in your country?

48

place an advert classified Marianne: The simplest way is to in something like the
ads section of a local paper … or there’s the Internet of course … there are lots of
buy and sell sites like eBay where you ca n things online.
Part 2 -style task
Describe an advert you once saw that was very effective. You should say
 where this advert appeared
 when you saw it
 what it was advertising
and say why you thought it was so effective.
Max: OK … well this was about 4 years ago … I was looking for some software to
mailing list create videos … one da,JRWDQHPDLOIURPa I’d signed up to … there
press release was a link in it to a … a company had written something about a new
product that was similar to what I was looking for … at the end of the press release
sales page there was a link to the … I hadn’t heard of the company but I was
interested and clicked the link to the ad …. what caught my attention immediately
were the number of testimonials from people wh o had bought the software … I
word of mouth think testimonials are like the online equivalent of advertising and
are really persuasive … anyway … when I got to the bottom of the page there was a
call to action great big button inviting me to buy … I was to tally persuaded and
ended up making a purchase … what made it so effective I think was the power of
those testimonials … they’d been written bSHRSOHYHU\PXFKOLNHPHWKH’d
had a need and the software had obviously turned out to be just what they were
looking for … when you think that this was a newish company they wouldn’t have
brand awareness had any at all … they probably wouldn’t have had much of a
budget for advertising … obviousl\RXZRXOGQWDGYHUWLVHDSURGXFWOLNHWKLV
mass media advertising through the on TV … they probably didn’t even have an
agency brand to support them …and yet they’d managed to create a great deal of
loyalty from previous customers … I think that was really effective.
Part 3 -style questions
Examiner: What is it that make s an advert effective?
launches a product Spencer: Well … when a company they have to consider the
social media Internet … especially how it can be used to spread the word on … so
goes viral in this context a video that is probably the most effective type of advert
you could make.
Examiner: What are the advantages to companies of advertising on the Internet
rather than TV?

49

target Stelios: I’d imagine the main advantage is you can reach your
audience niche product much more effectively … if you bring out a for example
advertising budget … or you have a tight … you can advertise on particular sites
that the people you want to reach visit … that’s not something you can do on TV.
Examiner: What things do advertising companies do that might give it a bad name?
cold calling Ra ol: For me the most irritating is … we must get two or three of these
junk mail every day at work … then there’s that gets posted through the letterbox
spam emails … and of course the online equivalent of this … … I think it’s this
kind of adv ertising that tends to annoy people.
Definitions
 advertising agency : a company that creates adverts for other companies
 advertising budget : the amount of money a company decides to spend on advertising
 brand awareness : how well people know a particular bra nd
 brand loyalty : the degree to which people continue to buy from the same brand
or company
 buy and sell : often used to refer to the buying and selling of items between individuals

 call to action : something that encourages someone to take a particular action, such as
making a purchase or clicking a link on a website
 celebrity endorsement : to have a well -known person promote a product
 classified ads : small advertisemen ts often put in a newspaper or magazine by individuals
 to cold call : to call someone with the aim of selling something without them asking you
to do so
 commercial break : the short period during TV programmes when advertisements are
shown
 commercial channel : TV channels that make money from showing advertisements
 to go viral : to quickly become extremely popular on the Internet through social media
 junk mail : unwanted promotional leaflets and letters
 to launch a product : to introduce a new product
 mailing lis t: a list of names and contact details used by a company to send information
and advertisements
 mass media : large media outlets like TV, newspapers and magazines
 niche product : a product that is aimed at a distinct group of people
 to place an advert : to pu t an advert somewhere
 press release : something written by a company for newspapers and magazines and
websites to share and publish
 prime time : the time during the viewing schedule when most people watch TV or listen
to a broadcast
 product placement : to adv ertise a product by using it as a prop in a TV show or film
 sales page : a page specifically used to promote a product or service
 to show adverts : to display adverts on TV
 social media : websites that enable users to create and share content or to participat e in
social networking.
 spam email : unwanted, promotional email

50

 target audience : the people a company want to sell their product or service to
 word of mouth : recommendations made by individuals to other individuals about a
product of service
X