IELTS: Sunglasses, Spending Habits, Work, Help You Received, Owning Things, Materialism

IELTS questions & answers


IELTS SPEAKING EXAM PART 1


Work/studies:

Where is your job located?

It’s here in [name of place]. I’m based in the main company office.

What things do you do as part of your job?

Well, as I’m responsible for the architectural projects being developed in the city, I have a lot of supervisory tasks.

There are a lot of meetings I need to attend to keep up to date and informed about proposed building projects and also those which are already underway.

Then I also have a team of people under me which I need to mentor and motivate, so my days are very busy.

Why do you like working there?

Because it’s challenging and there is always something new happening. I’ve been working there for about seven years now and I love the people I work with and the type of work I do.

It’s not always perfect, but on the whole, it’s a great job, with an excellent company, and it’s given me lots of opportunities to develop and grow as a professional over the years.


Sunglasses:


Do you often wear sunglasses?

When it’s sunny outside, yes. I usually have a pair of sunglasses with me or in my car in case I need them.

What are the main reasons for wearing sunglasses?

So that your eyes aren’t dazzled by the sun, and also to protect your eyes from glare if you’re outside for an extended period of time.

Trying to protect your eyes from the sun without sunglasses is awkward and just annoying, and it can also lead to wrinkles from screwing your eyes up all the time.

Do you think more young people wear sunglasses nowadays than in the past? Why do they?

Yes. I think that’s probably true. We know more about the dangers of exposure to the sun nowadays, so it makes sense to protect your eyes from the sun’s glare if you spend a lot of time outside or even if you’re just driving every day and it’s sunny.

I also think that it’s more of a fashion thing nowadays too. I mean, sunglasses are more common now because they’re easier and less expensive to buy and normally people have several pairs in different styles to suit different occasions.

Have you ever given sunglasses as a gift to someone?

Yes, I have. I gave a pair of sunglasses to my sister last year for her birthday, among other gifts.

She had seen them in a store a couple of days before when we were out shopping, and she said how much she liked them, and so I decided to go back and get them for her as a special surprise.


Spending habits:

Where and how do you usually do your normal shopping?

When I shop for food, I usually go to a supermarket near where I live. It has everything I need, and I can get all my groceries and other household things in one place and then just load them into my car.

It’s easy and convenient for stuff like that, so that’s why I use it.

When I shop for clothes and other things I sometimes shop online and at other times I go out with my friends and we go around the shops looking for interesting things to buy.

Do you like to save some of your money? Why? / Why not?

It’s something I do. I’m not sure I can say I like doing it, but it’s essential to save some money for special things, emergencies or other projects.

If you don’t save anything then it’s difficult to do anything in the long term.

For example, if I hadn’t saved in the past, I wouldn’t have been able to buy my apartment.

And now, I’m saving up to go to Australia next year, so I have plenty of motivation for saving some of my salary each month.

Based on your own experience, what do young people nowadays like to buy in your country?

It depends, some young people like to spend all their money on clothes, fashion, and tech gadgets or gaming, stuff like that.

Then there are others, especially guys, that like to buy motorcycles or cars, and then they spend more on improving them.

Also, young people buy food in restaurants and they buy tickets for the cinema and concerts, etc. There are a lot of different things young people like to buy when they have enough money to spare.





IELTS SPEAKING EXAM PART 2

Talk about a person who helped you by giving you something that you really needed.

You should say:

  • what the item was
  • who gave the item to you
  • why the item was important
and explain how you felt after receiving it.


Sample Answer

Okay, so a couple of years ago I bought my first apartment. It wasn’t easy, and I had to save a lot of money for a long time just to have a good deposit, as a down payment.

When I finally moved in I didn’t have a lot of things because I didn’t want to take all the old furniture from my parents’ house.

So, one of my friends had an old sofa bed, which they gave to me so that I would have something to sit on and sleep on for the first few weeks or months until I managed to arrange something more permanent.

It was surprisingly comfortable and extremely practical because I could use it as a sofa during the day and then unfold it and use it as a bed at night.

After about a month I managed to buy a new sofa and some chairs for the living room and so I moved the sofa bed into my bedroom and used it as my bed for a while.

Then, eventually, I replaced it with a new bed and some matching bedroom furniture.

Now, I keep the sofa bed for any guests who would like to stay overnight, for whatever reason, as it’s really convenient to just unfold it and let them use it, and it doesn’t take up much space.

I also use it as a second sofa when people are visiting so that there are more seating options.

I was very grateful to my friend when she gave it to me because it really did solve a problem I had at the time, because I didn’t have enough money to buy all new furniture for my apartment as soon as I moved in to it, so she was very kind, and I will try to repay her someday for that kindness.

I can remember at the time I was extremely happy to have something comfortable to sleep on when I moved in.





IELTS SPEAKING EXAM PART 3

Ownership:

Who did you tell about the item you received? (item received in Part 2)

Well, I told my parents and some other family members and friends because they also offered to give me some things for my new apartment, so I had to explain to them I already had a sofa bed, and who had given it to me.

In your opinion, why is the idea of ownership important for many people?

That’s difficult, but I think it’s because we attribute owning things to building wealth and patrimony, to progressing in life and planning for the future.

Owning things gives people a sense of accomplishment, whether it’s buying a car, an apartment, house, or simply things you need.

Being able to buy and own things means that we have a certain level of financial stability and spending power and that can be very rewarding for people.

Ownership is like some kind of reward system, for studying and working hard, you get to own things eventually which have a value and reflect how well you are doing in life.

What is the impact of ownership on society?

Looking at it from a physical perspective, I guess you could say that people desire to own things is an economic driver. It drives various sectors of the economy such as the construction of houses, manufacturing of automobiles, and so on.

Then there are the auxiliary industries or service sectors which help support ownership of assets, like lawyers, advisors, sales agents, auto dealerships, etc.

And from a psychological perspective, because owning things has so much importance in our society, as an indicator of social status, wealth, etc. ownership plays a significant role in motivating people to work, study, develop their career, and look for opportunities to improve their lives.

You can argue about if it is right or not, but society still judges you primarily by what you own, your house, car, belongings, etc. so ownership has a considerable impact as a social motivator.





Materialism:

Why do you think many people like to accumulate material objects?

It’s partly tradition and we have a tendency to become attached to things after a while.

We live in a material world still, in which many people judge others by what they have or what they own, even though that might not be the best way to act.

Material things are seen as rewards for effort, be it at work, or in business, or otherwise; the fruits of your labor, if you like.

We also tend to become attached to objects. I know my mother, for example, has so many things she no longer uses and whenever I suggest to her that she gets rid of some of them she always says something like “but it reminds me of when…”

We become sentimental about things and so we have a hard time parting with them sometimes.

Is this type of materialistic behavior desirable, or should it be discouraged?

It’s been considered normal for centuries, to accumulate things, wealth, belongings, and pass them down to your children.

I don’t think it’s something which is inherently bad, but it can cause problems when it becomes the only reason for doing something.

For example, when someone becomes so focused on having things rather than enjoying the people around them and the events happening in their lives it’s can be a problem.

When people obsess about having a certain item to the detriment of their family or own wellbeing, they need some help to recover a healthier life balance.

Sure, having material things is important, but it’s not the be all and end all of life.

Some people say that the younger generation is less materialistic than their parents. Do you think this is true? Why do you think that?

Yes, there’s some truth in that I think. Millennials seem to be more concerned with the world, nature, the environment, etc. rather than owning things.

Just look at the success of Uber and other asset sharing technologies. Why buy a car when you can just tap your phone and share a ride?

The changing world economy has also had an impact on how much young people earn and can save, and some might say that it’s more difficult to buy a house or a car nowadays for many young people.

Education has been pushed as the best way to get ahead in life for young people, but a good education is expensive, and many young people have a lot of debt in terms of student loans which they will have to pay off someday.

Buying expensive assets like a house might not be a priority for a young person who is interested in following their passion and not simply working to earn a lot of money to buy a lot of things, which was the basic model in the past.

Since the global financial crisis, access to credit has become somewhat more difficult also. Banks and other financial institutions are not so ready to lend to young people as they were in the past. That’s another reason why young people are delaying major purchases and exploring other options.





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