IELTS: Work, Plants, Entertainment, A Comic Actor, Film Stars, Personalities, Famous People, Spending Money

IELTS: first day at work, houseplants, childrens activities, comic actor, famous people & money

These IELTS questions were asked in an IELTS test in Australia yesterday.



What exactly does your work involve?

I work, I’m a petroleum engineer in the oil industry.

My work consists primarily of the design and implementation of installations, primarily in refineries, and other petroleum processing plants.

I also spend a lot of time on site overseeing the actual construction work carried out for the client to ensure that all elements of the installation comply with regulations, etc.

Do you remember the first day you started your job? How was it?

Yes, I do, it was very exciting. I spent most of the first morning with human resources. They oriented me in the company and there was a lot of paperwork to do also.

Then, later, I spent the rest of the day with the senior designer who ran me through how they approach the design of projects and we discussed the project I would be assisting with. It was the construction of a new oil refinery.

He explained all the requirements and what the specific objectives were, and also outlined some of the environmental problems the team had encountered so far, which they were trying to overcome at the moment.

I can remember feeling fascinated, and enthusiastic as well, being able to actually get to work in my profession that I had been studying for years.


What children’s entertainment activities are available in your country?

Well, in general terms, there are the normal things you would expect. There are various TV channels for kids, movies and other programs.

There are also the usual video games, console games, and downloadable games, depending on the age of the kids. As well as more traditional board games, books, etc.

The, there are the entertainment places outside the home, for example, play parks, adventure playgrounds, cinemas, theme parks and so on, and a whole load of other things.

If you can think of it, you can usually find it. My sister took her kids pony riding the other week. And they’ve also been trampolining recently, which they said was great fun. It’s a special trampoline park where they can entertain about 100 kids at the same time – it’s awesome!

Do children easily become bored always doing the same activities?

Generally, yes. Although with some things, no. I have a nephew who probably spends too much time playing games on the computer, hours and hours, and he never seems to get bored. And he’s incredibly fats at playing, it’s impressive!

I guess it depends on what the activity is. It’s the same for adults. Some things aren’t that interesting and others we can do for hours without becoming bored.

How difficult is it for parents to find new activities for their children to do?

It can be a challenge sometimes. My sister has two young children and she’s always going on about how hard it is to keep them entertained.

The thing is there are plenty of activities, but it takes some creativity and time to actually organize them for kids, so it’s not always a priority until the kids start complaining they’re bored, and then you have to come up with something new.

But there are loads of ideas you can get either from other parents or even a quick search online for novel and interesting things to do to keep your kids occupied.

It can be something simple like craftwork or maybe something more challenging outside like a scavenger hunt with other children.

For parents, one of the biggest problems is time. My sister works, and she really doesn’t have so much time to come up with super creative fun activities for the kids every week although she usually tries to do something special with them on the weekends.


Do you like having plants in your home?

I’ve never really thought about it. My mother was fanatical about houseplants and out home was always full of flowers and plants.

But, in my apartment at the moment I don’t have any plants. When I moved in, someone gifted me houseplant, but I forget to water and feed it and it only lasted a couple of months before it was dead.

That was the only plant I’ve had recently. And I’ve not replaced it. My mother commented that my apartment is very bare because there are no plants, but I told her not to bring me any!

Did you take care of any plants when you were a child?

I can remember when I was a small girl I used to help my mother sometimes to look after the plants we had in the house.

But I never did it on my own, I just helped her. She used to tell me about each plant, but I never developed her level of interest in plants and flowers.

Are plants good gifts to give to other people?

If the person likes plants, then yes, they are a good gift. I know my mother loves getting new plants from other people.

But like I said, someone gave me a plant as a gift, and it was a nice thought, but it ended up dying because I forgot to take care of it.

For people who like plants, they’re a good idea as a gift because they last, and maybe even grow bigger, and they’re like a memory of the occasion, or person who gave it.

A plant is a gift that can last a lifetime, or even longer if you look after it, so it seems like a good idea.


Talk about a comic actor who is famous in your country.

You should say:

  • who he/she is
  • what kind of person he/she is
  • how you know about him/her
and explain why you think he/she is popular.

Okay, so there’s a comedian I watched a lot of last year and am now definitely a big fan. His name is Maz Jobrani, and he’s an Iranian/American.

He’s an interesting character because when he was a student, I think he did a Political Science degree originally, but later while doing his doctoral degree he decided that he really wanted of follow his childhood dream.

This is the interesting thing; he had always wanted to be a comedian and to act in movies, and so that’s what he decided to do, abandoning his studies and going in a totally new direction.

He is one of the founding members of a well-known comedy show called the Axis of Evil. This was originally shown on US TV’s Comedy Central channel where it was an instant hit.

Also, he has done a couple of other comedy specials; I think one was called “Brown and Friendly” and then there was another one, I think it was called “I Come in Peace”.

Anyway, he’s done live stand-up comedy all over the world. Surprisingly, a lot of it in the Middle East, and he’s even performed for the King of Jordan.

He’s been on TV a lot and his humor is crazy! He makes some really astute and funny observations about life, people, and the differences between different cultures.

He does a lot of funny voices and mimics the behavior of people. I like him a lot because he’s different. He doesn’t just go on about politics or celebrities or the usual things, he does a lot of contrasting between Americans and Persians, for example, and it’s refreshing to see a comedian with a Persian background, even though he’s now an American citizen.

His refreshing look at life through a different culture is something I like. It’s novel, and his delivery, his presentation of the jokes is flawless.

He’s also well-known because he did the role of Jafar in Disney’s movie Aladdin.

One of the main reasons why he’s so popular is his personality, manner, and the way he acts on stage. He’s so different from many other comedians.

Follow up question:

Are your friends/family members fans of this actor?

Yes, some of them didn’t know about him until I told them, but now they really like him too.


Famous personalities:

Why do you think film stars are so famous?

Probably because they have a global reach, just like musicians and other artists.

Especially if they star in a big blockbuster movie which gets distributed worldwide. An actor can become b=very famous very quickly.

And if the movie is popular and the actor is good, then a lot of people will like them and possibly become fans. Movies, and the actors in them, are big business, so there’s a lot of hype which also makes them famous.

Do you think young people often copy what film stars do?

No, not really. I mean some young kids might like to think they could be Spiderman or another superhero, but apart from that, I think it would be difficult for young people to copy actors because their lives are so different, in general.

They might be inspired to become an actor by watching their favorite actor on the big screen, but very few people become actors compared to those who become doctors or engineers, etc.

So, I don’t think there is really much that young people can copy from actors, maybe a phrase, or certain elements of style, but then actors always change their roles, so it’s difficult to copy all their different looks and personalities.

Are there any advantages or disadvantages to this?

If young people want to try and copy what they see in movies, then it’s not a bad thing because it maybe motivates them to do something they wouldn’t do otherwise.

As for disadvantages, I can’t really think of anything other than maybe a youngster could spend a lot of time thinking about something which is not real and ignore or neglect more practical and important things in life, but I think that’s a rare thing.

Actors and movies are entertainment; sure, sometimes they can be inspirational for people or educational when they deal with certain themes, but apart from that I think most young people are more influenced by fashion or technology than actors in movies.

Do people often get the chance to meet famous personalities in your country?

I don’t think so. I would say almost never unless they are a serious fan and find out where the actor will be appearing on a certain day or at a specific event.

For example, I’ve never seen or met a famous actor in person in real life, or even a sports personality or musician.

Famous people & money:

Are famous people normally very rich in your country?

It’s the same as in most countries. Those who are famous nationally are well off financially, and then those who are famous internationally are like mega rich.

It depends how famous you are how much money you have. Like, some people might think that TV presenters earn a lot of money for the work they do, and they are well-known throughout the country, but when you compare the money they earn to an actor who appears in movies, there’s really no comparison.

What type of things do famous people typically spend their money on?

The same things that we all spend our money on I guess. A nice home, cars, clothes, vacations, travel.

The difference is the things famous people buy are all a lot more expensive than, for example, the things I buy.

But most people are the same, we want to have nice things, and if you have the money to have a nice home and a nice car, etc., it’s fine but there will always be someone who has a bigger, nicer home and maybe various cars and not just one.

Then, of course, a lot of famous people, and even just wealthy people give some of their money to charities or special organizations to do good in the world. Most celebrities have their special cause which they believe in; it’s their way of trying to give back to society.

In your opinion, do famous people spend their money wisely?

Some do, and some don’t. Just like other people. Some famous people are very flashy, and others are not. You can’t really generalize about all famous people, it’s a very individual thing how they spend their money.

And it’s all relative too. I mean you might think that spending millions of dollars on a huge home is excessive, but if that person has the money to spend, what’s the problem? And if that same person also gives millions to charity and helps people and generates employment, then it can’t be a bad thing, can it?

You could argue that regular people spend their money wisely and some don’t; they waste a lot of their money. It’s just an opinion because what’s important for one person might not be so important to another person.

And after all, it’s their money so they can spend it however they want to.

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