IELTS March 2017
[more sample answers coming soon!]
IELTS Speaking Test 2Can you tell me your full name please?
Yes, of course, it's [first name] [second name] [family name/surname].
Can I see your ID please?
Sure, here’s my ID card.
Do you work or do you study?
I’m a student at the moment, here in [name of city]. I’m doing a diploma course in International Entrepreneurship.
Why did you choose that particular subject?
Well, I graduated a few years ago with my MBA and I’ve been working in a large multinational since then, but I kind of feel that it’s not what I want to do in the long run. I think I’m more interested in starting my own business and helping others do the same, so I decided to do this diploma course to gain an insight into global trends in entrepreneurship in the hope that it will be useful for me in the future.
Which of your high school subjects did you enjoy the best? Why?
I liked social sciences a lot when I was at high school. It was probably my favorite subject because it dealt a lot with things in the real world, you know, because math and some other subjects are a bit abstract sometimes, but a lot of topics in social sciences you can relate to more easily because they’re related to our daily lives.
What do like best about the subject you are studying now?
Well. I’ve learned a lot more about the origins and variations of entrepreneurship globally and how cultural differences and even geo-political differences can influence or hinder the formation of many small businesses. I also find the lectures really interesting because they’re all based on recent case studies and current trends rather than historical data, so it feel really up to date.
In your hometown, what are some interesting things people can do?
So, my hometown isn’t that big really, but there’s a large park which is really nice in the summer, and a lot of people go there, especially on weekends. There’s also a movie theater, several restaurants and cafes, a bowling alley, and various sports you can do.
Then there are some other activities you can do if you travel just a little outside the town, there’s a gliding school, a place where people do motocross, and also a lake where you can swim, sail, water-ski, and stuff like that.
Is the public transportation system in your hometown good?
I guess so, I’ve never really thought about it. There are the regular buses and taxis, but no train. I only ever used to use the bus occasionally, and it was okay.
What are the common forms of public transport in your country?
The usual; buses, trains, and taxis. Buses are probably the most common as a lot of people use them, then, taxis in the cities because they’re more convenient than having your own car sometimes, and trains are good for intercity travel because they’re cheaper than flying and much quicker than driving.
Are there any benefits of using public transport? What are they?
For one, if more people use public transportation it’s better for the environment because the pollution emitted is less to move to same number of people from one place to another.
It also helps reduce traffic congestion in the rush hour because there are fewer private vehicles on the roads at peak times, so traffic flow is much better, which stops everybody getting frustrated or angry, especially in the larger cities, where traffic congestion downtown can be a serious problem.
Part 2 Cue CardTalk about a well-paid job that you think you would be good at.
You should say:
- what the job is
- the qualifications needed for the job?
- why you would be good at it
IELTS CUE CARD ANSWERI can’t really think of a regular job that I would like to do and that is well-paid, but for example, in the future I’d really like to be able to be an investor in start-up enterprises.
If you’ve ever seen the TV program Shark Tank; something like that I guess, but I’m not interested in being on TV, just the idea of investing in new companies, supporting creative individuals in their pursuit of bringing their ideas and products to market.
Not all entrepreneurs are great business people, some of them are great at coming up with ideas but lack the experience or knowledge to execute the business side of things to become really successful. That is something I’d be really interested in doing.
It’s a high stakes job, which has potentially big rewards, as well as the risk of failing, but I don’t mind risk; it’s part of the challenge. And if an idea or product is extremely good, the financial return can be millions of dollars. I believe it would be a job with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction, and a lot of variety as well, and many such entrepreneurs enjoy an amazing level of financial independence which isn’t available with many regular jobs.
I also think I’d be well-suited for something like that because I’m creative and analytical and have studied business and know how to execute a good idea when I see one; I’ve already created a few products and marketed them successfully, so I think I would be a really good fit.
I’m also a self-starter, you know, good at self motivation and getting things done, which are important qualities if you’re going to work for yourself, and I also think I would enjoy the diversity and non-routine nature of such work – for me that’s one of the main benefits – it’s an incredibly dynamic environment.
Part 3What are some other well-paid jobs in your country?
The usual ones; doctors, lawyers, bankers, and business people with their own companies, even some accountants, dentists and architects get paid well if they have their own successful practices. There are also highly-paid positions such as CEOs or senior management in multinational companies.
What is your opinion regarding different jobs and the different payment received for doing them?
It’s something that’s normal I think; jobs which can be done by anyone don’t usually pay much, simply because so many people can do them, employers don’t need to pay more than the absolute minimum.
Then there are jobs which only a few people can do, either because of the skills or knowledge required to do the job, and employers have to pay more for these types of jobs because the higher payment reflects the scarcity of individuals who are able to do them.
It’s basically the law of supply and demand, just as it would apply to any other product. The labor market is subject to the same law, the more common the job skills are, the less the job pays, and the rarer the job skills are the more the job pays.
Is it possible to eliminate this kind of discrimination?
Unless all jobs are made the same – the answer is no, different pay rates will always apply to different jobs depending on the level of expertise needed. Clearly an easy job which requires little or no training or education will never pay as much as a difficult or dangerous job which needs the individual to be highly trained or educated to do it.
Nothing in life works like that.
What are some of the motivational factors for workers to perform well in
I suppose the most common ones are money, satisfaction, recognition and personal self-esteem. Different people are motivated by different factors and while we all like to be paid for the work we do, it’s not always the most important factor. There are many people who put social factors such as being part of a team, contributing, and helping others as greater priorities than simply earning money.
Then there are people who perform well in the hope that their efforts will be recognized by management or their boss, or they simply take pride in doing their job well, or they seek promotion or greater responsibility within the company.
In your opinion, where does such inner motivation come from?
Sometimes it comes from a need, such as wanting to prove to others that you can do something well or better than other people. Some people are naturally competitive and it is this which drives them to perform better than other people at work.
Many people who come from humble backgrounds are motivated to perform well at work so they can build a better life for themselves and their family in the future.
In other cases, it may simply be just a desire to earn more money so they can be financially better off in the future.
So inner motivation can originate from family circumstances, physical needs, emotional needs, such as improving self-esteem, or be based on another psychological need such as proving your ability to your parents or other people, for example.
How do you think companies could improve the job satisfaction levels of underpaid workers?
I’m not sure that’s possible. I mean, if they are underpaid, they obviously get paid less than they think they should, but employers are not going to pay more than is absolutely necessary for any employee – most low paid jobs can be done by almost anyone, so investing additional resources to try and make employees happier makes the cost of the employees higher.
Sadly, it is easier for employers to simply employ a new person to do the job and then let them leave when they become unhappy or dissatisfied after a certain time.
Personally, I think it’s up to the individual to find their own motivation for doing a job. If you think you are worth more money, then prove it. Work harder, faster or better than all the other employees and prove you are worth more pay or able to do something better within the company.
Alternatively, do your job as required, and put your extra effort into learning a new skill which will enable you to find a better-paying job in the future.
IELTS Speaking Test 1Part 1
What is your full name?
It’s [first name] [second/middle name] [surname/family name], but you can call me [the name people normally use to address you].
Where are you from?
I’m from [city] in [region].
Are you working or studying?
I’m working. I’m an architect.
Where do you live?
Here in [name of city], in [name of area/neighborhood].
Do you live in a house or apartment/flat?
I live in a house; I’m staying with my parents at the moment.
Would you like to live in the same place in future?
No, not really. I plan to move to Australia soon and would like to live there.
Have you seen any TV programs about robots?
Actually, I saw a short video just the other day about an amazing parkour robot which was able to maneuver and jump and even carry heavy loads. It was incredibly agile and versatile.
It was a big difference from some of the earlier robots that were produced. I can imagine all sorts of applications for this type of robot technology.
Are you interested in robot technology? Why? Why not?
I’m not an expert or anything, but I can imagine that we’ll have a lot more robots in our lives in the future – it’s just natural evolution. So I’m interested in knowing about what’s happening and some of the potential areas which robots might be used in and that sort of thing, but not so much the details of the robot technology.
I think that the fusion of man and robots will be difficult in some cases and there will be a lot of resistance to it by some people but it’s going to happen and it’ll be interesting to see the transition as we become more open to the possibilities which modern robot technology offers us.
Do you think people are becoming more comfortable with the idea of robots in society? Why? Why not?
Slowly, yes, I mean you can’t ignore that it’s happening. We have manufacturing plants which are equipped with robots doping the work that men did just 10 or 20 years ago. Robots are used in science and medicine and the applications in our daily lives are growing all the time.
One of the factors which will make it even easier to accept is the fact that we all rely on technology so much nowadays just to live. From computers to the internet and so on, automation is a natural process and so it’s only a matter of time before everything which can be automates is – even though some people might not like the idea initially.
I think that once driverless cars are introduced and become widely accepted, that will open the door for robot technology to enter into all spheres of our daily lives, and then there will be no limits.
What things do you normally take with you when you go out?
I guess the usual things, my phone, keys, purse, bag, and whatever else I might need depending on where I’m going.
Are there any differences between the things which you take with you during the day time and evening time when you go out?
No, not really. The biggest difference is in what I might wear. I’m going out for the day then I’ll usually wear something comfortable, or practical, but if I’m going out at night, especially to socialize, then I’ll usually dress up more and wear clothes appropriate for wherever I’m going – and who I’m going with.
But I’ll still take the same things with me; my phone, keys, etc.
Part 2Describe a café you visited recently.
You should say:
- when it was
- where it was
- what it was like
IELTS Cue Card | A cafe You VisitedSo about a week ago I was out with my friend, we were spending the afternoon in [name of city] and while we were strolling around we decided to stop and have something to eat and drink.
As we were walking along we noticed what seemed to be a small café on the street corner which seemed to be full of people, so we thought it must be popular and went in to give it a try.
From the outside it didn’t look that big but once inside it was enormous, I mean it stretched almost the full length of the block and there must have been hundreds of people inside and outside on the sidewalk.
We found a table and sat down and spent a few minutes looking around us at the décor and the other people and just chatting; then a server arrived at our table with menus and told us about the ‘specials’ of the day.
I glanced at the menu to get an idea of the sort of food and drink they served, and it was an extensive choice, they seemed to have a lot of my favorite dishes and also drinks.
Then, we quickly ordered what we wanted and while we were waiting we began to notice the many old photographs on the walls of the café. They all depicted scenes from the city in the past, from the last century and earlier. Most of them were old, you know, like black and white photos, showing landmarks in the city and a good few were of the café itself showing how it had evolved over the years.
Anyway, the atmosphere was buzzing with all the people and there was some background music playing too. People were coming and going and the sound of conversation was everywhere. It was a really dynamic place.
I really liked it, the food was great and the service too, and the ambience was amazing, just full with energy, and so many people. I’ll definitely be visiting it again the next time I go back to [name of city].
Part 3In your country, are social functions normally held at home or in a place outside the home, such as in a restaurant or other place?
A lot depends on the type of social function. If it’s a small family event like a birthday or an anniversary then it’s quite usual to just organize a party or family get-together at home and invite family and close friends.
If it’s something else, a larger event like a graduation or wedding, then many people would usually organize such an event in a venue such as a restaurant or maybe even a hotel or someplace similar which can accommodate more guests, provide catering and take care of everything necessary.
Do you like to invite people to your home or do you prefer to meet them outside somewhere?
Personally I like to invite my best friend to my home because it’s no problem, she just comes over and we do whatever we fancy doing. And I don’t mind cooking something for her and things like that.
But if we’re planning to meet up with other people I prefer to meet them somewhere outside like a café or restaurant. It’s just so much easier to go out, and then at the end of the evening someone else takes care of cleaning up and all that sort of stuff and I can just go home. I guess I’m just lazy when it comes to entertaining.
Are there any advantages to inviting people to your home? What are they?
My mother is a big fan of inviting people home or entertaining people at home. She loves entertaining guests and preparing something for them to eat and everything else. She just loves having people in the house to fuss over. I’m the complete opposite.
She says she loves it because she loves having different people at home, and loves making them feel comfortable and looking after them while they visit. She also says it’s more relaxing than going out, and more intimate and personal rather than just meeting people at a café or restaurant.
What are some of the reasons people might prefer to attend social functions in a venue outside the home for example, in a hotel or restaurant?
Like I said before, those places are typically bigger so they can accommodate more guests, and then there’s the big advantage that someone else organizes everything and cleans up at the end of the event.
Another advantage would be that if there’s a lot of guests invited then it avoids anything in your home getting damaged, because someone always knocks something over or drops a glass or something like that, you know, accidents, even small ones often happen when you get a lot of people together in one place. So organizing a social event outside the home avoids any of those problems.
IELTS February 2017
What is your full name?
It’s [first name] [second name/middle name] [surname/family name]
Can I see your identification please?
Sure, here’s my ID card.
Where are you from?
From [name of city] in the [area/region] of [name of country]
Do you work or study?
I work, I’m an agricultural engineer.
Do you think you work too hard sometimes?
Yes, sometimes, but it’s not that often. There are times when I take work home with me, usually when I have to finish a research report because I find it easier to write at home than when I’m at work. I also do quite a bit of reading for work at home because there are fewer distractions.
But overall, I don’t usually have too much work to do. I get most of my weekends free and only sometimes have to stay late to finish something if it’s extremely urgent.
What do you do after work?
It depends on what I need to do. Sometimes I visit my parents, although I prefer to do that at the weekends when I have more time. Normally, I’ll go home first, maybe have something to eat if I don’t have any plans to go out, or arrange to meet up with some friends at a restaurant or to do something fun, and then later on in the evening maybe do some reading related to my work, or just relax for a while.
Do you prefer comfortable shoes or nice shoes?
If I’m at work, I prefer to wear comfortable shoes because I can be on my feet for hours on end some days. But when I go out socially, like dancing or to a restaurant for a meal, I prefer to dress up and wear heels.
Do you buy shoes online?
I have done, but normally I prefer to go shopping for shoes with one of my friends and make an afternoon of it. We usually have a wander around the shops and try on different styles and then maybe have something to eat as well and catch up with what’s been happening.
Do you prefer to have a lot of friends or just one best friend?
I’ve never really thought about it. I suppose I know a lot of people, but only have one or two really close friends, best friends; the others are just people I would talk to at work or elsewhere because we know each other, but I wouldn’t really confide in them or imagine asking them for help or advice if I needed it.
Do you hang out with your friends often?
I try to – but in the last year or so we’ve all been very busy. We used to be inseparable, and spent lots of time together, but nowadays we manage to get together maybe once a week or every other week, which is always great. But we are in constant contact by phone, so it’s not like we miss much of what the others are doing, even though we don’t see each other as often as we used to.
What do you do with your friends?
I guess the normal things people do; we chat about our lives, boyfriends, work, life, and go out together either for social events, activities or, like I said, to just meet up and go shopping and grab a bite to eat.
For example, last weekend the three of us went to visit a new restaurant which has just opened in the city. We all love food so we were really excited about it and it was a great evening.
The following day we met up to take my friend’s dog for a walk in the park, and we spent a couple of hours just strolling around, enjoying the fresh air and chatting, so we do lots of different things.
Cue Card AnswerLike I was telling you I sometimes go to meet my friend and we walk her dog together. We usually go to a park which is close by to where she lives and there’s one particular section of the park which is always nice and quiet. There hardly seems to be anyone else there – I’ve never figured out why.
It’s really peaceful there because there’s no background noise from the traffic, and almost nobody else goes there, all you hear are the birds and sometimes the leaves in the trees rustling in the breeze, and of course my friend’s dog when she’s barking – but apart from that it’s almost silent.
There’s a small river which runs through this part of the park and sometimes we just sit by the river and chat for ages, or sit on the small bridge which crosses the river and watch the water flowing below us.
One of the reasons I particularly like this pace is because it is so quiet. It’s like a little haven from the busy real world - an escape - and it’s almost like walking into a room and closing the door and all the normal noise is shut out.
I love to go there if I’m feeling a bit stressed out or have been working hard and want to relax. The smells, the colors and the silence make me feel really relaxed and I’m always in a better mood when I’ve spent some time there.
Do you think people prefer to work with some noise or not?
I’m not sure if they prefer it – but it’s normal. I mean, if you’re in an office and you listen carefully, you can always hear some noise in the background; it might just be the sound of the air condition. People’s fingers clicking on keyboards, phone calls, phones ringing or the sound of people receiving texts, there’s always some degree of ambient noise.
I think if people worked in an environment which was actually 100% free of noise they would feel it was extremely strange – almost surreal!
What are some sources of noise which can be a distraction when working?
Excluding the typical background noise, like I was saying before, noise which is out of the ordinary is a distraction; it might be loud traffic noise, construction work or any kind of noise which is irregular and not normally present in that particular environment.
Some people find other people’s conversations distracting or don’t want to hear music while they work, so a lot of it depends n the individual and what level of background noise they are accustomed to or able to accept without it becoming a distraction.
Personally, I don’t mind some noise, but anything which is irregular irritates me – like when somebody laughs and then stops but then laughs again a couple of minutes later and it goes on and on for a long time. If they just laughed all the time I would be able to block it out, but the irregularity of it make it a distraction, does that make sense?
What are other sources of noise apart from traffic?
External noise? I suppose that might include construction work, airplanes flying over the building, the sound of heavy rain falling on the roof or windows, or if you’re in a manufacturing or industrial environment, or close to an area like that, there could be a whole range of machinery-related noises which are common.
Should the government put a policy in place to regulate noise?
There are already many regulations regarding acceptable noise levels in public places, to try and curb noise pollution, and I believe that in industrial environments there are also strict regulations about the level of noise which is permitted in certain areas or zones.
That’s why workers in such places have to be issued with PPE (personal protective equipment) such as sound-deadening ear plugs, and things like that.
And even cars aren’t permitted to make excessive noise; there are limitations on the noise which can be emitted from the exhaust of your car.
So unless there’s a new noise problem, the government has already legislated for most noisy environments and other sources of noise pollution. I’m sure if another problem related to noise is identified, governments will act to implement relevant regulations.
IELTS Speaking Test 4
What is your full name?
My name is [first name] [second/middle name] [surname/family name]
Can I see your identification, please?
Yes, of course, here’s my ID card.
Which part of the country do you come from?
I come from [name of city] in the south of the country.
Is where you live an interesting place?
Yes, it’s a beautiful place and it’s very popular for tourists and locals, especially on holidays. It has many interesting places and things to see, especially some of the old historic buildings which are there.
Do you normally help with housework around the house?
I have to admit I hardly do any housework, although I usually try and help out after meals by washing the dishes and tidying up the kitchen. My mother usually takes care of most of the household tasks and she has a helper for the heavy cleaning and things like that.
Are there any specific tasks you dislike doing around the house? Why?
Yes, I hate having to clean my room, but I have to do it every now and then. I don’t mind organizing my things but I prefer if someone else does the actual cleaning.
When you were a child, did you help with work around the house?
I used to help my mother in the kitchen quite often but that was about it really. As long as I can remember our family has always had a helper to do most of the cleaning and laundry and other jobs like that. So there wasn’t much that I was asked to do around the house, but I used to enjoy helping my mother cooking and baking in the kitchen.
Do you think that parents should ask their children to help with household chores?
It can be a good thing to teach children some responsibility but if it’s not necessary then there are other more interesting and important things to be doing. I was always encouraged to study and concentrate on my school work rather than doing work in the house.
How can they best achieve this?
I guess that parents should teach their children the importance of housework and show them how it is done so that they at least understand what is involved. They could also pay them to do it I suppose or reward them in some other way.
Do you know how to play any musical instruments?
Nowadays, I don’t but I did in the past – I spent several years learning to play the piano. I became quite good at it, but I was never really talented, just quite good. Now I don’t really have much time to practice but I do play sometimes when we have family get-togethers and special family occasions.
Do you think it’s important for parents to encourage their children to learn how to play a musical instrument?
It’s important that parents can offer their children the opportunity to at least try and learn how to play a musical instrument, or more than one. But if the child isn’t interested then there’s not much point in forcing them to do it.
They might be more interested in sports or other activities, or they might have other talents which they would like to develop such as artistic or creative talents.
What do you think is the best way for them to do this?
I suppose parents should try and find out if their children are interested in music first, and then if possible which instruments they find most interesting, and then find a good teacher who can make the learning a fun experience for them. If the child isn’t inspired to learn, then they will probably not be very successful. It’s important that they are well motivated to learn how to play an instrument because it takes quite a long time to become good at it, so they need a lot of patience, and a lot of practice.
Part 2 Cue Card
There was a time about a year ago when I had a major disagreement with one of my colleagues at work. He was pushing very hard for the company to take on a particular contract, which on the face of it seemed extremely lucrative. But the problem was, in my opinion, that we didn’t have the right resources to deliver the project in the way we would have liked to.
I thought it would be better to be honest about this and explained that if we took this contract on, we could experience serious problems because it would stretch our available resources beyond their limits, and if anything unexpected happened, we wouldn’t be able to deliver the quality of service the company was renowned for.
Anyway, in the end it wasn’t my decision and my colleague didn’t agree with my evaluation and managed to persuade the client that we would be able to deliver what they wanted. I still had my reservations about taking in the project, but there was nothing I could really do at the time.
We hadn’t ever had a disagreement like this before and it left a rather bad taste and some ill feeling between us because he felt that I hadn’t been supportive enough of his efforts to bring this new client onboard, which was a big achievement for the company.
Well, unfortunately, things didn’t turn out so well, as I had feared. It wasn’t long into this new contract that we had the first problem, which we managed to resolve, but it was just an indication of what was to come. Before long there was another issue which had to be resolved, and then something else came up. Just as I had thought previously, we had bitten of more than we could chew for the available staff we had.
In the end, it was all a bit of a disaster, as one of the less experienced employees we had used as a temporary stopgap made a really stupid and serious mistake which ended up costing the company a lot of money.
The whole project ended badly, and I know that my colleague knows that I was right about what I said about taking on too much – but he’s never agreed that he was in fact wrong. We’re okay, but it’s just a topic we avoid speaking about so as not to relive the argument all over again.
Follow up question: Would you say that you disagree with other people often?
No, not really, in fact it’s rare that I disagree with others. It only happened in this case because my colleague was just too ambitious with his plans, but normally I get along with most people and only occasionally have any disagreements or arguments.
Why do you think some people find it difficult to make decisions?
Probably because some people are indecisive by nature; they find it hard to choose between different options or think about the consequences of an action. Alternatively, they probably haven’t had to make many decisions, so it’s not something they’re comfortable with.
You know, it’s like a skill that you have to practice. Someone who is used to making lots of decisions every day won’t think twice about making another decision. But if you don’t normally make decisions – then even making a small decision can seem like a big deal, and so making bigger and more serious decisions seems so much more difficult.
In your opinion, what are some qualities that good decision-makers typically have?
They typically have an ability to weigh the pros and cons of a situation or a range of options or choices. They tend to be analytical and less emotional. They also have an ability see beyond just the obvious choice and consider possible longer term consequences of taking a particular decision.
Do you think it’s better to take decisions with others or by yourself?
I suppose it would depend on the decision. I mean, if other people will be affected then it would make sense to include them in the decision-making process. So let’s say you need to make a decision about something which will affect your family; it makes sense to include the other family members in the discussion about what the options are and see what they think would be the best decision – if necessary they could vote on it.
But if it’s just a personal decision then there’s probably no need to involve others in the process. In fact, it might even complicate things unless they are aware of all the facts and understand you really well and what’s important for you. Even though it might be a good idea to listen to some advice or ask a friend what they think – at the end of the day - it’s your decision.
What are some things that parents could do to help their children to become good at making decisions?
For one, they can encourage them to make decisions, even small unimportant decisions such as what clothes they want to wear or what they’d like to eat for lunch.
Giving them choices and letting them learn from their decisions teaches them responsibility for their actions and the decisions they take, so allowing them to experience this and learn from it can help them to develop the skills necessary to make good decisions and this will definitely help them later in life.
They can also discuss how to make decisions with their children, and even ask their opinion as part of their own decision-making process when it’s appropriate. This allows the child to see the importance of asking for help or advice when you’re not sure about something.
IELTS Speaking Test 3
Part 1What is your full name?
Can I see your ID please?
Where do you come from?
Are you a student or do you work?
What do you like most about your studies?
Why do you think people often use a mirror before going to school / university / work?
Is personal appearance important in your country?
Why do celebrities often wear very expensive watches?
Do you (or did you used to) usually wear a watch?
How did you feel about wearing a watch during your school days?
Follow up question: Can you give me some possible suggestions for reducing such riots in society?
Part 3What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of riots?
How do such riots affect the social context?
How do people get over the effects of such riots?
Are there any ways in which such riots can be avoided?
IELTS Questions January 2017
This IELTS cue card question was asked in an IELTS speaking test just a few days ago.
Talk about a time when you got angryYou should say:
- when it was
- what happened
- why it made you angry
IELTS Speaking Cue Card AnswerSomething happened just a few days ago which made me angry. Looking back on it now – it was stupid to get angry but at the time it was just how I felt. I had been experiencing a problem with my internet service, it had become intermittent over the last couple of days and then when I woke up that morning it was just dead – no signal at all – nothing.
At first I thought it might just be another internet outage and that it would come back on in a few minutes, but eventually I decided that I would call the customer support hotline and find out what the problem was.
So, as is common nowadays, the internet service provider has one of these irritating automated menus which you have to listen to before selecting the option you want by entering the correct digit. I listened to the first menu and selected the option which was most relevant, which then presented me with another menu and I selected another option, and then had to wait – and wait – and wait.
I actually began to time it – and after 5 minutes I just hung up after listening to the most terrible music I’ve ever heard. I couldn’t stand it anymore. I decided that I would go and do something and then try calling a little later.
About half an hour later I grabbed my cell phone and tried calling the number again. This time I got a message which explained that they were experiencing a ‘surge in calls’ at the moment and that if I wanted to leave my number they would call me back.
At first I thought this was a much better option – not having to wait and they would call me. So according to the instructions all I had to do was press 1 at any time and then enter my contact number.
That was it – no further instructions – so I entered my phone number and I couldn’t believe what I heard. The message informed me that I had entered an incorrect menu option!
By this time I was losing my patience, and just wanted to speak to a customer service representative, so I tried calling again and had to go through the entire menu procedure yet again. When it came to the part about leaving my contact number I listened extremely carefully to see if maybe I’d missed something the first time around...but I followed the instructions to the letter and it happened again. After entering my contact number, the message told me again that I had entered an incorrect menu option. This had to be one of the most stupid and annoying messages I’ve ever heard.
It wasn’t a menu option I had entered – it was a phone number, and second, the number was correct, and third, this was an internet company which couldn’t even make sure its customer service menu options functioned correctly.
I eventually hung up again, not having spoken to anyone, and felt completely frustrated and angry with the whole process – it shouldn’t be that difficult to report a fault and get some help.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, I eventually managed to speak to someone after calling another couple of times – and they sent a technician out to fix the problem, which he did, but even that wasn’t as smooth as it should’ve been – I had to call back again later before the internet signal was fully functioning.
The whole experience just made me feel completely irate because it should have been so simple and quick – and it wasn’t.
Part 1 Questions
- What is your full name?
- Can I see your ID?
- Where are you from?
Are you working or studying?
I’m working in Human Resources at the moment.
What type of work do you do?
Well, I’m involved in various areas of human talent management, but my main responsibility is for compensation and benefits for employees in the company.
Tell me about your job.
So I’m involved in a lot of personnel reviews and performance evaluations as well as providing induction packages for new employees, and dealing with employees retiring or leaving the company, their severance pay, and benefits, and so on.
I’m also part of a team which reviews staff costs on an annual basis and makes recommendations to the financial department regarding budgets for salaries and benefits.
Do you prefer to have one best friend or a few friends?
Personally, I only have one friend who I would actually call my best friend, and a few others who I would call close friends. I’ve known them all for different lengths of time and we met in different places.
Why do you like having a few friends?
I think it’s good to have different people to talk to and spend time with because everybody is different and we don’t all share the same interest, so it’s good to share some interest with one person and enjoy doing something else with a different friend.
Some of them I see very often and others maybe only a few times per year because we don’t live very close to each other, but we stay in touch constantly.
Do you often go out with your friends?
Honestly, we used to go out together a lot more a few years back, but we’re all so busy now and some of my friends have gotten married and settled down.
Most of us are busy with our respective careers and that doesn’t leave us as much time as we used to have for going out during the week or at weekends.
But I guess that every couple of weeks we usually spend some time together or go out to eat something or maybe to an event or something like that.
What do you typically do together?
It varies depending on which friend I spend time with. With my best friend, we usually go shopping together or to eat something, or maybe just watch a movie together, but with other friends I might go to a special event like a show or spend a weekend with them and visit an interesting place.
Do you think that you will have more friends in the future? Why? Why not?
That’s hard to say, but I suppose so. I have different friends now from those I had when I was a child, so I guess that as I go through life I will probably meet many more people and possibly strike up a friendship with some of them.
Do you like watching TV?
Yes, when I have the time, which isn’t that often at the moment, but I like to spend a couple of hours a week watching a movie or maybe a good TV show.
What kinds of programs do you like to watch most?
Generally, if I watch a TV show, I like those ones which are about conspiracy theories, or maybe political thrillers; really, anything which has an element of drama, mystery and intrigue about it but a touch of reality also.
Do you prefer to watch TV alone or with someone else?
I usually watch it alone, but sometimes with my friend, it just depends what else is going on at the time. I sometimes catch the news while I’m eating or something like that, but I don’t really consider that as watching TV, it’s just keeping up to date with what’s happening in the world.
Part 2 Question / Cue card
IELTS Cue Card | A popular well paid jobOkay, so in recent years on of the most popular career choices has been to become an Industrial Engineer, and here it can be very well paid if you can secure a position in a good company and develop your skills and experience.
One of the reasons that being an industrial engineer is popular is that the discipline covers a wide variety of industries and sectors and therefore the career prospects for graduates are extremely good. Companies are always interested in improving efficiency and reducing costs and those are two key components of industrial engineering.
It’s a well paid job basically because the types of companies which tend to employ Industrial Engineers are large national and multination or even global companies and therefore they have more resources than smaller firms. They tend to have a graduate development program and a well defined career path for those young professionals who are interested in developing their career.
It’s quite competitive though because it’s popular it means that there are usually more graduates each year than there are employment vacancies, but because it’s a professional discipline which spans across various sectors, most graduates tend to find a suitable position eventually.
As far as the requirements are concerned, there are a variety of different bachelor degrees in Industrial Engineering available, but personal characteristics normally required include critical-thinking skills, analytical and problem-solving skills, creativity, math skills, and excellent communication skills.
Follow up question: Do you think you would like to do this type of work?
I actually considered studying to become an Industrial Engineer, but in the end I opted to study Business Administration and major in International Business. I think that working as an Industrial Engineer could be interesting, but I’m happy working where I am at the moment in Human Resources, I find it very satisfying.
Part 3 QuestionsChoosing a job, earning money, saving money, accumulating wealth, happiness
- What do you think makes a person choose a particular job, apart from the salary it offers?
- Once a person begins working in a profession, how can he/she earn more money?
- How important is it for people to save money regularly for the future?
- What are some of the advantages of accumulating wealth?
- Many people equate being wealthy with being happy? Do you think that this is true or not? Why? Why not?
IELTS Speaking Test Part 1
What is your full name?
My name is ...
Can I see your ID?
Yes, sure, here it is.
Where are you from?
I'm from [name of city].
Work / Studies
Are you working or studying?
I'm a student, in my final year of a postgraduate course in International Business.
What do like most about your course?
Well, there are a couple of things I can think of; for example, I like the fact that it has a global perspective and that a lot of what I learn applies to any business anywhere in the world nowadays.
Also, it has helped me develop my critical thinking and strategic planning skills immensely. Although there's a lot of business related theory to learn, there is also a great emphasis on being able to apply such theories and strategies to real life business situations. So it's very practical in its approach.
Is this a popular choice for a career in your country?
Yes, I believe it is. There are about 40 of us on this particular course. I originally studied Business Administration and specialized in Marketing, but International Business seems to have become increasingly popular as a career for young people.
I think that may be due to the fact that it truly does offer you the opportunity to develop an international career, and is not just limited to your own country, as would be the case if you studied law or something which was particular to one country.
Do you like holidays? Why? Why not?
Yes, I do because they give me a chance to relax and switch off for a bit. It's always nice to have a break from the normal routine - especially when a holiday falls on the day after the weekend, which usually means that you have three days away from work or studying.
Even though I like to relax on a holiday, I always try to do something different as well or something which I wouldn't normally have opportunity to do normally, so that I make the most of the day off or days off.
Why do you think people consider holidays to be important?
I suppose one of the main reasons is, as I said, it's a nice break from the normal daily routine. For families it can also be important because it's a time when they can spend more time together, which can sometimes be difficult when everybody is so busy nowadays.
Of course, there are also some holidays which are special, such as Independence Day, and religious festivals, which have a special meaning for many people, so these days are important for cultural reasons, not just because it's a day off from school or work.
What do you normally like to do on weekends?
First, I like to sleep a little later than normal, just because it's more relaxing not to have to get up early like I usually do, but I don't like getting up too late in the day because then I feel like I've wasted some of the weekend.
I also like to have lunch or at least one meal with my parents over the weekend, depending on what I'm doing, and what their plans are. Then, sometimes, I like to visit my grandparents, who live in the next town whenever I have enough time at the weekend. Usually I manage to see them at least every other week at the weekends.
Why do you think many people consider the weekend to be important?
I guess it could be for some of the same reasons that people think holidays are important - the weekends are a change of pace from during the week, and many people get a chance to do things they wouldn't have time to during the week. For example, people play sports, visit relatives, or travel to other places.
People generally have more time at the weekend so they spend more time with people they love or doing things they really like rather than just studying or working. And, of course, it's an opportunity to recharge your batteries before returning to work or whatever you do during the week, feeling more energized and ready to face up to the challenges again.
What would your ideal weekend be like?
Never ending! But seriously, I suppose it would include some time with my friends and family and maybe doing something special such as visiting a new place or trying a new activity with my friends.
It would be interesting, but not too busy to be tiring, and I would like to have enough time to chill and relax too. It's hard to be more exact, because there are so many possible things you could include in a weekend which would be fun.
IELTS Speaking Test Part 2Describe a recent holiday you went on.
You should say:
- where you went
- when you went there
- who was with you
IELTS Cue Card | A recent holidayI recently went on holiday with my friends for a week. We decided to go to a small village on the coast because one of my friends has a relative who owns a small hotel there, and we thought it would be an interesting place to visit and relax also.
So, this would be about two months ago, maybe, when we had all finished university for the year. That was one of the main reasons we thought it would be a good idea to get away from everything for a while and see and do something different.
We had all been extremely busy with exams and some of us were more stressed out than others, so the idea of a holiday sounded great when my friend suggested it to us. Especially when she told us that her uncle owned a hotel near the coast where we could stay.
We traveled by car, there were four of us, and we booked a couple of rooms at the hotel for a week. When we got there it was amazing. The hotel had a view of the ocean and the beach was just a few minutes away – so after saying hello to my friend’s uncle and his wife, we strolled down to the beach to see what it was like.
The beach was beautiful and there weren’t many people there at that time of year as we had gone in the off season, not the most popular time of the year, but it was good for us because we just wanted to do something different.
On the first evening there my friend’s uncle and wife invited us all to eat with them and they prepared a superb meal which we all enjoyed very much; they were extremely hospitable. The following day we got some tips on what else we could do and see while we were there and went off to explore a few places close by.
The whole week was a lot of fun and it was so good to see a new place and do some different things, especially with my friends there too. It was one of the most enjoyable weeks I’ve had in a long time, and I’d love to go back there again sometime in the future.
IELTS Speaking Test Part 3children playing, learning skills, individual/team games
Where do children normally play in your country, inside or outside?
It depends on the time of year, and also the age of the children. When the weather is nice, children usually like to play outside most of the time, but in the winter it’s often too cold most of the time to spend a lot of time outdoors, so children tend to do more indoor activities.
Playing inside is also normal if the children are very young and can’t go out without their parents, so they play at home, maybe with other children while their parents are there to supervise and look after them. Older children might be allowed to go out with other children, but even then sometimes they prefer to stay in and play video games or something inside.
What are some of the benefits of playing indoors or outdoors?
I guess when it comes to playing indoors, the major benefit is that it is not weather or time dependent, and won’t normally have to involve a parent. Children can play inside at any time and they don’t have to worry about if it’s cold or rainy outside.
Also. Children don’t have to get ready or change their clothes, or make sure they have eaten before playing inside but if they go out someplace to play, especially if it’s some distance from their home, then their parents might have to get them ready and prepare more before leaving – the parents might even have to accompany the children depending on their age.
As for playing outdoors, I suppose the best thing is it’s probably healthier because children can typically be more active outdoors than indoors; they can run around a lot more and maybe climb on things and get more physical than they would normally when they are playing indoors.
It might also be a bit more of an adventure for them, going outside to play; again a lot depends on the age of the children and exactly what the play activity is.
What skills do children learn while playing?
Playing can be responsible for children learning both physical and cognitive skills. If they are participating in physical activities outdoors, for example, this can help develop their motor skills, coordination, balance, stamina and other physical attributes.
If they are involved in creative playing activities indoors, for example, this can help them develop their fine motor skills, creativity, critical thinking and analytical skills.
And of course then there are other social skills they can learn such as sharing with others, caring about others, collaborating, and even just how to have fun doing something with other children
In your country, is it more important that children participate in games as part of a team or individually? Why do you think that is so?
What’s important, in my opinion, is that children are given the opportunity to try both. They should experience being part of a team, and all that being a member of a team involves, and they should also experience doing things on their own, whether it’s playing games or other activities.
Most children, in fact most people, have their own preferences. Some like to be part of a team, and perform better when they are with others, while other people prefer to do stuff themselves and don’t feel so comfortable when in a team because they can’t just do whatever they want; they have to collaborate with and respect the other members of the team.
So what’s important is that children experience playing games as part of a team and also playing them on their own against another player or opponent. Sure, they might have their own preference, but it’s good for them to learn the different ways of engaging and how to do both when required.
IELTS Speaking Test Part 1Watches
- Do you often wear a watch?
- Have you ever received a watch as a gift?
- Can you tell me about some indoor games that are popular in your country?
- Do you like these kinds of games? Why? Why not?
- Would you be interested in learning new indoor games?
- Tell me about a family member you were proud of, and why?
- Do you think that nowadays people easily feel proud?
- Is it a good or bad thing that people feel proud about their possessions?
IELTS Speaking test Part 2Describe a small business you would like to run.
You should say:
- what the business is
- what you would need
- where it would be
Follow up question:
- Do you think it is better to work for someone or to have your own business?
IELTS Speaking Test Part 3Business & Success
- Which is more important to be successful in business: practical experience or academic education?
- What are some of the characteristics of successful business people?
- How do you think most people measure success in their professional lives?
- Which kinds of businesses do you think will be most successful in the future? Why?
Part 1 Questions
- What is your full name?
- Can I see your ID, please?
- Where are you from?
Work / Studies
- Do you work or are you studying?
- Are you required to work hard in your job?
- What do you normally do after working hours?
- Which indoor games do you like to play?
- Which indoor games did you used to play when you were young?
- Do you use public transport to go to work? Why? Why not?
- When did you last use public transport for a journey?
IELTS Speaking Test Part 2
Describe an experience you had with foreign foodYou should say:
- when you first ate it
- where you ate this food
- how you felt about it
IELTS Speaking Test Part 3
- How important is it that people know which country the food they eat comes from?
- What are some of the differences between locally made food and imported food?
- What are some of the popular imported food products in your country? Why do you think these particular food products are popular?
- How important is international trade between countries? Why?