Which song reminds you of a time in the past? How Do You Feel When You Listen to This Song?

This IELTS speaking test includes questions about: your work, where you live, vegetarians, reading, reading in English, talking about a song, local singers & musicians, songs & language, the music industry, and the globalization of music.

IELTS Speaking Test Part 1

What is your full name?

My name’s ….

Can I see your ID?

Yes, here it is…

Where are you from?

I’m from [name of city].
I’m from [name of city] in [name of country]. * If you come from a different country from the one where you are doing the IELTS test.

Do you work or study?

I work.

What do you do?

At the moment I’m working for a research institute as a Research Assistant.

Where do you live now?

I live in [name of city] with my parents.

Is it a house or an apartment?

It’s a house, in the suburbs of the city, where my family have lived for a long time.

Which room in your house do you like the most? Why?

I suppose it would have to be my room, it’s probably where I spend most of my time when I’m at home. I like reading there and also studying because it’s nice and quiet. The rest of the house can be a bit busy and noisy at times because we have a large family so there’s always lots happening and people coming and going.

Why do you think some people are vegetarians?

Because it’s their personal choice, they choose to avoid eating animal products either because they think that it’s cruel or they maybe consider that it’s not healthy.

In your opinion, are there any health benefits to being vegetarian?

I really don’t know. I don’t have any friends that are vegetarian so I really don’t have any first-hand experience of whether there are any benefits or not.

I’ve heard some people say that they feel better and healthier, but that’s more their opinion rather than any scientific research supporting the idea. I think if you have a healthy balanced diet, with a variety of food, sufficient vegetables and fruit then you can be healthy.

Like I said, I really don’t know that much about it, but I think it’s more of a personal lifestyle choice because of animals being involved rather than it actually being healthier for you.

Do you like to read?

Yes, I absolutely love reading. I probably read at least for a couple of hours almost every day.

Do you read books in English?

Yes, sometimes, but I probably read more magazine and website articles in English rather than books.

When you read in English what do you prefer to read? (magazines articles, websites, books)

Really, a mixture of all, sometimes I like to read a novel in English, but that usually takes me a lot longer to complete, but I enjoy reading a lot of stuff on the internet every day in English and articles in magazines too whenever I come across something interesting, so I don’t really prefer just one more than the others, it depends on why I’m reading and what the material is.

How often do you read in English?

As I said, it’s usually something every day; sometimes it might just be one article or even as little as a few paragraphs online, and other times I’ll relax and read a couple of chapters of a book in English, but I usually read something in English every day.

IELTS Speaking Test Part 2

IELTS Speaking Test Part 2 Cue Card Topic Questions

Talk about a song that reminds you of a particular time in the past.

You should say:
  • what song it is
  • who the singer is
  • what it reminds you of
and explain how you feel when you listen to the song.

IELTS Speaking Answer | A song that reminds you of a particular time in the past

Okay, so a song that I have listened to over the past four years or so is called Friendship to Last by Two Steps from Hell and features Merethe Soltvedt. It has to be one of my favorite songs of all time and I first heard it back in 2011 when it was released on the Archangel album.

It has what I can only describe as a haunting melody and the lyrics are in Gaelic which makes it even more interesting and kind of mystical to listen to. I remember the first time I heard it, I was on a long distance flight and after about 30 seconds of it I was mesmerized by the sound and the feeling it gave me.

At the time I was looking out of the window of the plane and we were flying through lots of big white clouds and there were some patches of really bright blue sky as well, so the scenery was quite impressive.

During the flight I listened to this particular song several times as well as the other tracks on the album, but every time this particular song came on I just got this really amazing feeling, I had to stop reading or whatever I was doing and just listen to it.

I shared it with a friend recently, and they’d never heard it before, but they listened to it and it had the same effect on them too. They told me later that they had listened to it about 20 times consecutively – it’s like it was addictive, surreal, like time stands still, and you’re in another world.

That’s pretty much what I felt like the first time I heard it too – like the world just stopped and I was transported someplace else, to a different time, a different world – it’s a really powerful piece of music.

I still listen to it regularly because I like a lot of the other songs from Two Steps from Hell – but each time I hear this particular song, it still stops me – and I find myself thinking about flying through the sky again like the very first time I heard it.

IELTS Speaking Test Part 3


Why do you think that some local singers or musicians aren’t as successful as some from other countries?

Well, there might be several reasons, for example, not all singers or musicians are interested in creating commercial music and that’s the main kind that the music industry promotes because there’s a lot of money involved.

Then there’s the issue of language, English is the main language of the most successful and most promoted popular music and English speaking countries such as the USA and the UK in particular have a long history of creating and exporting music all over the world and the music industry has grown up based on this.

So although there may be some local singers and musicians who are excellent musically and extremely popular in their own country – they never become famous worldwide either because their music doesn’t have a universal appeal or their songs are not in English.

Do you think that the language of the song matters? Why do you think that?

Yes, maybe it shouldn’t but it does seem to matter in terms of the amount of commercial success that the artist enjoys. For example, take Shakira, who was tremendously popular in her own country and the rest of Latin America, but became even more famous and sold more songs when she began to sing in English.

She appealed to more people than when she used to sing in Spanish only. The English speaking market for songs is the biggest globally so it makes sense that if you want to sell as many songs as possible worldwide – you sing in English.

But some artists don’t want to and that’s okay too. The music industry is a business and there’s a lot of marketing involved apart from just creating music because it’s your passion.

Do you think the Internet has affected the music industry? In what ways?

For sure, having music available online through various different platforms has made it easier than ever before for people to discover many more singers and artists and that’s good for them and their fans. It’s also changed the way that people consume music. In the past you had to buy a CD bit now you can download a song or music to your phone to other device and it’s so much easier.

Another way it has changed the music industry is that artists can be discovered without the music industry being involved, as they used to be the ones who would scout out new talent. Now, through media like YouTube, talented musicians can get exposure without the need to have an agent or a manger – that’s what happened with Justin Bieber; he had millions of fans on the internet before he actually signed a contract with a music company.

Do you think there will be further changes in the music industry in the future?

Yes, I think that more and more popular music will be produced by the same people and companies and sold to young music consumers. This is already happening and will only become more common in the future.

Technology has now replaced a lot of the talent which was associated with creating music. Most pop songs today are created by a computer algorithm which creates a song in such a manner that it is instantly likeable and memorable, because it contains certain key elements which all popular songs contain, and then an artist is selected to sing it, or present it.

This is one of the reasons why so many pop songs sound very familiar, it’s because many of them have been created using the same formula.

Do you think the music young people listen to in your country is becoming more globalized? Why/Why not?

Definitely, thanks to the internet more and more young people are sharing the same culture across the world. Nowadays, you can be living anywhere and listening to the same songs and music and watching the same movies and TV shows as another person on the other side of the planet.

In the past, that wasn’t possible; culture, and music was much more localized, but technology now allows the same culture to be shared across the globe and this is one of the aims of big business, to distribute their products on a global scale, in a global market, through the creation of global culture – it’s better business for them.

How would you answer these IELTS speaking exam questions?