Cambridge IELTS Book 12 Full Speaking Tests & Answers




Did you enjoy doing art lessons at school when you were a child? [Why? / Why not?]

Actually, I did; I used to love art classes and enjoyed learning about different things such as perspective, shading, and color palettes, but my favorite part was photography and learning how to compose pictures, edit them, and so on.

Do you ever draw or paint pictures nowadays? [Why? / Why not?]

No, not anymore, I haven’t done any sketching, drawing or painting since I left school. Apart from with my niece, who is only six years old, and that’s just for fun. Honestly, I just don’t have the time anymore, I used to have a sketch book where I used to draw some ideas I had, but when I went to university I lost the habit, and have never done it since.

When was the last time you went to an art gallery or exhibition?

The last time was while I was a student. My friends and I went to gallery where a friend of ours was showing some paintings they had done. It was like a special show for new undiscovered artists, and she’s very good. We went along to support her and also to see the work of the other artists.

What type of art or paintings do you like to have in your home? [Why?]

In general, I prefer abstract art with lots of bold colors and interesting shapes, I’m not so keen on still life or portraits or stuff like that, I like to see splashes of color or interesting angles which make you think about what you’re seeing in the painting.


Describe a time when you visited a friend or family member at their workplace.

You should say:
  • who you visited
  • where this person worked
  • why you visited this person’s workplace
and explain how you felt about visiting this person’s workplace.

A couple of months ago I went to meet my best friend for lunch and she works in a design company, so I met her at her office and she showed me around it before we went out to eat.

She is a fashion designer, and her office, or studio, is in a converted industrial building. I think it might have been a warehouse or factory or something like that a long time ago, but it’s since been converted into commercial office space which is rented by various companies.

Anyway, she has a large studio which overlooks the street outside; it’s a corner location so she can see the main intersection of two busy streets and the park on the other side of the main road, so she has a great view, and lots of inspiration watching people go by each day.

Her office is quite spartan, not much office furniture, but plenty of open space, with a large designer’s drawing desk, an ergonomic chair, some bookshelves with plants, books, and other objects on them. There are lights which hang down from the ceiling which illuminate the different work areas she has organized within the space – it’s very open and airy and she loves working there.

I have to admit that I was quite inspired, and envious, when I first saw her workspace, I mean my office is nothing like that, it’s more like a cubicle, the usual corporate style, but then I’m not a designer. I would love to have a workplace like my friend’s – I think it would be such a nicer environment to work in, especially on long work days, which I have a lot of every month, when I have to work late.

In fact, I prefer to take work home when I’m very busy at work because I don’t like spending so long in my own office, it’s a bit drab and boring. I’d much prefer to have something like my friend has.


Different kinds of workplaces

What things make an office comfortable to work in?

It will vary from one environment to another, and it will also depend on what kind of work you do I suppose, but in general, you need a good desk or table to work at, and an ergonomically designed chair that gives you enough lumbar support, because most people who work in offices spend many hours sat at their desk, and unless you have a good chair, you can experience backache and other back-related problems after some time.

Then, there are also other aspects such as the general environment and air quality, which shouldn’t be too hot or too cold, and the air should be fresh and clean, preferably cleaned and filtered to ensure a high quality of air within the office building.

And good lighting is also essential, there should be sufficient illumination to see clearly whatever it is you have to do, but the lighting shouldn’t be so bright that it irritates your eyes. It’s best if there’s controllable lighting so you can set the illumination level according to your work needs.

Why do some people prefer to work outdoors?

I suppose there might be various reasons. Some people just don’t like being indoors, they feel cooped up, or they don’t like working in an artificially vented environment.

Working outside can be more invigorating and refreshing, especially if you’re working in the countryside, the air is generally more refreshing. You can feel the sun and the breeze on your face and the whole dynamic is just better than being stuck indoors.

I guess that people who work outside generally move around more than people who work in an office, for example, so they are probably healthier and don’t suffer from many of the common ailments that office workers do.

Do you agree that the building people work in is more important than the colleagues they work with?

Not necessarily, if you work with great people, the work environment might be less important. If there is a good atmosphere and everybody works together and enjoys what they are doing then I think that’s probably more significant than just being able to say you work in a nice office or similar place.

On the other hand, though, if you don’t get along well with your colleagues, or there isn’t much collaboration as part of your work, then you might place more importance on the actual surroundings in which you work.
It’s a balance; the better the relationship with your colleagues the less important the actual work environment is, but obviously the building still needs to have all the basic amenities and functions for you to be able to carry out your work well.

The importance of work

What would life be like if people didn’t have to work?

I suppose most people would be happy about it. But it could be problematic also, because people would have so much more free time to fill, and they might get bored.

Of course, if they had plenty of money, then they would be able to do anything they wanted, but if they had limited money, they might have difficulty thinking of things to occupy their time with every day.

Then you have to think about what other aspects of life would be like; I mean, if nobody worked, how would the world function? How would all the food arrive in the supermarkets? How would all the other products and things we need be supplied?

It’s difficult to say what life would be like if people didn’t work unless you explain how all these functions that people perform would be replaced. Would we expect life to continue as now, or would we abandon technology and go back to growing our own food and making our own clothes?

Most probably, people would be less happy than now, it sounds strange but many people are less happy now than in the past, even though many people have more money and can buy many more things, it doesn’t automatically make people happy. For many people, work is important because it gives them a sense of purpose in life, even though they might not enjoy it all the time.

Are all jobs of equal importance?

You could argue that they are. Most jobs exist because they are necessary, in some cases essential for life to function. You might think some jobs are more important, like being a doctor, for example, but unless the doctor has a hospital in which to work, they won’t be able to attend their patients, so the jobs involved in constructing the hospital are also important.

The people who clean the hospital are also important, just as the people who work in the supermarket where the doctor buys their food, because if they didn’t eat, they wouldn’t be able to do their job.

So, you could say that, even though a job might seem insignificant, if it wasn’t done, it would affect many other things and eventually something would not be available to us, or someone else would not be able to do their job.

We all depend on many other people to enable us to live our lives and do what we do every day. We rarely meet these people, and we may never even think about them, but all jobs, and the people who do them, are equally important.

Why do you think some people become workaholics?

There could be various reasons. Some people consider the term workaholic to be negative, but if a person is passionate about what they do and wants to immerse themselves in their work, what’s wrong with that?

Some people become workaholics because they love their work, it’s the single most important thig in their lives, it’s what they invest all their time in, all their energy and resources. And these kinds of people are usually highly successful and experts in their professional field.

Other people might become workaholics because it’s a distraction from other things which they would like to avoid. For example, if a person has an unhappy family life, they might choose to work more than normal to avoid spending time at home.

Some people throw themselves into their work following a bad emotional situation, such as the loss of a spouse or following a divorce or relationship breakup, because it gives them a sense of purpose and stops them wallowing in pity or feeling sad.

Work serves as a diversion, which allows them to avoid dealing with what might be a sensitive or highly emotional issue, because they’re not ready, or willing, to deal with at the time. Such behavior can become a habit over time, and work fills the void left by the person they lost or broke up with.

So, I guess it can be an emotional coping mechanism, or simply the person is extremely passionate about their work and loves what they do, and that’s why they spend so much time working.

Share these IELTS Speaking Tests




Is it important to you to eat healthy food? [Why? / Why not?]

If you catch a cold, what do you do to feel better? [Why?]

Do you pay attention to public information about health? [Why? / Why not?]

What could you do to have a healthier lifestyle?


Describe an occasion when you had to wait a long time for someone or something to arrive.

You should say:
  • who or what you were waiting for
  • how long you had to wait
  • why you had to wait a long time
and explain how you felt about waiting a long time.


Arriving early

In what kinds of situations should people always arrive early?

In your country, how important it is to arrive early?

How can modern technology help people to arrive early?

Being patient

What kinds of jobs require the most patience?

Is it always better to be patient in work (or when studying)?

Do you agree or disagree that older people are more patient? Why do you think that is the case?



Songs & singing

Did you enjoy singing when you were younger? [Why? / Why not?]

How often do you sing now?

Do you have a favorite song you like listening to? [Why? / Why not?]

How important is singing in your culture? [Why?]

Part 2

Describe a film/movie actor from your country who is very popular.

You should say:
  • who this actor is
  • what kinds of films/movies he/she acts in
  • what you know about this actor’s life
and explain why this actor is so popular.

Part 3

Watching films/movies

What are the most popular types of films in your country?

What is the difference between watching a film in the cinema and watching a film at

Do you think cinemas will close in the future?


How important is the theatre in your country’s history?

How strong a tradition is it today in your country to go to the theatre?

Do you think the theatre should be run as a business or as a public service?




Where do you buy most of your clothes? [Why?]

How often do you buy new clothes for yourself? [Why?]

How do you decide which clothes to buy? [Why?]

Have the kinds of clothes you like changed in recent years? [Why? / Why not?]

Part 2
Describe an interesting discussion you had about how you spend your money.

You should say:
  • who you had the discussion with
  • why you discussed this topic
  • what the result of the discussion was
and explain why this discussion was interesting for you.

Part 3

Money and young people

Why do some parents give their children money to spend each week?

Do you agree that schools should teach children how to manage money?

Do you think it is a good idea for students to earn money while studying?

Money and society

Do you think it is true that in today’s society money cannot buy happiness?

What disadvantages are there in a society where the gap between rich and poor is very large?

Do you think richer countries have a responsibility to help poorer countries?

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