IELTS: Asking Directions, Talkative Person, Communication Skills, Negotiating, Where You Live, Favorite Room, Childhood, School, Best Teacher, Maps

IELTS: a talkative person, asking directions, communication, negotiations

How to answer IELTS questions about:
  • where you live
  • your favorite room
  • childhood
  • teachers
  • asking directions
  • using maps
  • talkative people
  • communication skills
  • negotiating


Where you live:

What is your hometown like?

It is small, with only about half a million people living there. It was mainly a farming area, that was the local industry.

But it was a nice place to grow up, and I have a lot of fond memories of my hometown.

Do you like where you live at the moment?

Yes, I do. I’m sharing a house and it’s nice and big and it’s in a very nice residential area, which is quiet and safe.

It’s almost perfect, I really like living there. And will probably continue to live there until the end of next year.

Which is your favorite room? Why?

I guess I would have to say the living room. It’s the place where we all kind of gather and socialize and spend most of our time.

We all have our individual rooms, but we seem to spend a lot of time in the general living room. People come and go throughout the day, as some of us are working and others are studying, so we all have slightly different schedules during the week.

I like this room best because it’s normally more interesting when there are more people around, and we’ve had some good times together there.

It’s the most social room in the house because it’s the most public one, so I guess that makes it more interesting than the others.

Would you like to live somewhere else in the future?

Like I said, I’ll probably stay here until the end of next year, but my plan is to go to Australia and continue my studies there, so I will eventually have to leave and look for someplace else to stay.

Once I have all the details planned for my trip to Australia, I’ll contact my friend who is already there and see what options there are for accommodation near where she is living.

Childhood & school:

Who was the best teacher you had at school?

That would probably be my science teacher. She was always so happy, and she made her classes super interesting. I always enjoyed spending time in her classroom because there was always something interesting to see or do.

I had her for two semesters and she was my all-time favorite teacher of them all.

Can you remember something extraordinary you were taught at school?

So many things I learned at school… something extraordinary… okay, so at the time I remember thinking it was kind of special, even though now it’s just a fact, like many others, but I’ll always remember the science class when I learned about the law of forces, Newton’s 3rd law, that for every force in nature there is an equal but opposite force.

So, literally, the floor is pushing up against my feet, that’s how I remember my teacher telling me. At the time I thought it was amazing!

How have teachers nowadays changed from in the past?

Well, it’s a while since I was in school, but they are generally less strict than they were in the past.

There is more focus on educational outcomes now than just behavior and learning things by memory.

Generally, there seems to be a lot more creativity in the classroom nowadays, and of course, today’s teachers have the advantage of all the new technology and the internet to help them make classes even more interesting for their students.

Have you ever thought of becoming a teacher?

No, not really. I think it might be an interesting job for some people, but I was never attracted to the idea of working with young people every day.

I think it’s one of those jobs you do because you have a real passion for it, not just because you think it might be interesting; you have to love kids and want to help them develop.


How often do you use maps?

Nor very often. I guess maybe once or twice a month maybe.

What are the differences between paper and digital maps?

Some obvious differences are the size, ease of use, cost and the fact that digital maps get updated more often.

I think digital maps are easier to use, as long as you have a good connection to the internet.

But the biggest advantage of digital maps is that you can literally have them all on your phone, in your pocket, and take them everywhere you go.

Old-fashioned paper maps were difficult to use and if you needed a lot of them for traveling, they took up a lot of space.

Have you ever asked for directions from someone when you were visiting a place for the first time?

Yes, once or twice. Just last week I was driving in [name of place] and was trying to find a factory. I just asked one of the locals on the street and they pointed me in the right direction immediately. It was faster than even taking out my phone and looking at the map.

Is it a good idea to ask for directions? Why?

Sometimes, it is, yes. It can be faster than looking at a map, even a digital map.

Of course, it’s a good idea as long as the person you ask knows where the place you are trying to find is located. If they don’t really know or give you bad directions, then you can end up wasting a lot of time and getting frustrated.

But the last time I asked for directions, I was glad I did – it was easy.


Describe a person who you think is talkative.

You should say:

  • who the person is
  • how you know him/her
  • what they talk about
and say why you think they are so talkative.

Sample Answer

OK so my aunt is a very talkative person, she seems to be able to talk about absolutely anything and everything if you give her the opportunity.

So, she's my aunt, that’s how I know her, and whenever we’re together she's talking about something that's happening either in the community or something she’s seen on the news, something that somebody told her about, it could be anything, it could be a big news story, it could be just something one of the neighbors told her, some gossip, absolutely anything.

But she can talk and talk and talk and talk about it for hours and hours and she's got an opinion, she gets everybody involved in talking about some of these things and it really doesn't matter what it is, um it could be absolutely anything.

She can seem to expand her opinion and attention and talk about other things kind of related but not really and like I said, literally, she can go on for hours and hours and hours.

Every time I see her she's busy talking about something or somebody. She's famous, well she's got a reputation, in our family for being extremely talkative and she has to be the most talkative person I've met for sure.

It's not just that she likes to talk about certain things, she talks about absolutely everything it doesn't even matter if she's if she knows a lot about the topic or the subject.

She can still manage to talk about it and get other people involved asking them about their opinions and then agreeing with them or disagreeing with them and discussing things.

It's actually… it's fascinating to watch how she jumps or switches from one topic to another or like goes on about things are kind of related.

She just keeps going, it's because she loves talking she loves being around people, she's very sociable and most people like being with her as well coz she is actually very interesting.

She has a lot to say and she always has something interesting to say or has an opinion that you probably never thought of or you might not agree with a lot of the things that she says but she certainly has an opinion on absolutely everything whatever it is that's happening in life.

She can talk about absolutely everything, as I've said.

I think one of the reasons why she's talkative is because she's a little bit lonely sometimes… her husband died a few years ago and she lives by herself now.

Although she was always quite talkative before, she's become more talkative in the last few years she talks to herself as well that's quite normal behavior for her.

She has kind of little mini conversations with herself about anything and everything and, for example, going shopping with her is an amazing experience because the discussions that she has while walking up and down the supermarket aisles discussing products and what she's going to buy why she should buy it, why she's not going to buy something else, it’s absolutely amazing to listen to her.

It's just like the flow of her thinking but it comes out… she actually speaks what she thinks; most people would just think these things, but she actually speaks them and it's fascinating once you get used to it.

It's a bit weird or strange at first, some people have commented on that in the past, it can be a little bit strange but once you get used to it it's actually quite a fascinating process to watch and listen to.

I think that's why she's talkative, I think she likes hearing the sound of her voice, it helps calm her and helps her make decisions and that's just how she is.

It's part of her personality, she's always been like that, but she's definitely become a little bit more talkative in the last couple of years.



What are some of the difference between formal and informal discussions?

Probably one of the biggest differences is that in a formal discussion, depending on whether it’s between two people or a larger group, there are usually turns.

So, one person might speak first and say something, and then another person will say something in reply, and during the discussion, all people will get a chance to say what they think about the topic being discussed.

But in informal discussions there is no kind of turn-taking, people tend to just jump in as they think of something and if two people have opposing views they might actually have an argument for a while and the others in the group just listen until they’ve finished arguing.

Informal discussions are a lot less structured and tend to happen between groups of friend or at least people who know each other really well.

How important is it to learn good communication skills at school?

Personally, I think is very important probably know it is one of the most important skills because if you can't communicate your ideas to other people then you will have problems in the future.

There is a lot of emphasis nowadays on collaborative working, working in teams, more so than in the past and that's another reason why it’s essential for young people to develop good communication skills so that they can participate efficiently and effectively in the workforce and contribute to their team, the company, or whatever project they might be working on

Why do people need to have good communication and presentation skills?

Like I said, the need for communication skills and presentation skills is greater than ever before.

This is because when people leave school and enter the workforce or the labor market, they are expected to be able to do certain things. Among those things is the ability to communicate ideas, either through speaking or in written form, and also share ideas, creative ideas, creative input, with other people.

That's typically in the form of some kind of presentation either with graphics or audiovisual material, but again the most important thing is that if they can't clearly articulate their ideas the concepts to the people then it is very difficult for other people to become interested in pursuing those ideas any further.

So, developing good communication skills and tactics and keeping them well-honed is something that all young people should do because it's so important today to be able to communicate and persuade people.

What other things do you need to become a good communicator?

I guess you could say some of the things that you need to have or possess to be a good communicator would be a certain degree of self-confidence, especially if you are going to speak in front of people, you need to be able to organize your ideas, you need to be able to articulate those ideas in a way that the people listening will be able to grasp what you're saying, understand the message, and relate to it.

If your message is not relevant, not crafted in the right way, or not easily understood by those who are listening, then your communication, presentation or delivery of the message is not going to be so effective.

So, self-confidence, being organized in how you present or deliver your idea or message, and I think, as well, you need to be good at doing research or identifying who your target audience is.

The more you know about the people that you will be speaking to or communicating with the better you will be able to design or craft or create the message or the content that you going to communicate or deliver to those people.

The better designed that content is the better those people will receive it and the more successful the communication will be


Why do people need to be able to act differently in different situations when negotiating?

Alright, there are a couple of reasons people might need to act differently or change their behavior depending on the circumstances in which they find themselves.

If the negotiations are extremely formal, serious high-level negotiations, then a certain type of behavior will be expected from the people participating.

However, if the negotiations are less serious, less formal, then a more relaxed approach can be taken by the people negotiating. A lot depends on exactly what is being negotiated as to how long or how difficult the negotiations will be.

If the negotiations happen in one or two short meetings then the way people behave, or act might be very different from if the negotiations happen over a period of several days or several weeks because people get to know each other a little bit better, which will have an impact on the negotiations.

People also need to be able to adapt when negotiating to achieve the best possible negotiation outcome.

For example, if you want to and are able to modify your behavior in a way that gives you an advantage against the person you are negotiating with or makes the negotiations easier in terms of the other party, the other people that you're dealing with, then that could be beneficial in terms of getting a good outcome for the negotiations.

Are negotiations between people more or less difficult when they don’t know each other? Why?

I don't really think it makes much difference whether or not people know each other really well when they negotiate.

If you don't know someone, then you go in prepared for any possible eventuality and you will have to take some time to learn a little about that person.

You’ll need to learn how much you can manipulate or maneuver or how you can best negotiate with them so that you are both satisfied with the outcome.

When you know the other person quite well and you're negotiating sometimes you can make assumptions about the negotiations based on your knowledge of the person or your relationship.

When negotiating, this can be a mistake because you should never assume something because that person, the other person, might not actually act in that way. Because you think you know them, it can sometimes make you think that one thing will become possible in negotiations but in reality, maybe that thing is not possible.

However, on the other hand, if people know each other very well and they are just trying to get the best possible mutual outcome from the negotiations, then the fact that they know each other quite well and they know each other’s negotiating style, strong points, their weaknesses, etc. means that it could help.

It would probably take a lot longer to achieve the same outcome or final solution if they didn't know anything about each other before they started the negotiations.

Why are international negotiations between different countries often difficult?

There are a couple of reasons why international negotiations between countries can be challenging.

Firstly, usually the topic of negotiations is serious; it might be economic related, trade-related, finance related or diplomatic, etc.

But the stakes are usually very high when it comes to negotiations between two or multiple different countries because they could either make a lot of money or lose a lot of money or it could be very beneficial or not very beneficial in other terms as well, not just economic terms.

Another reason why it is quite challenging is the long-term nature of most international negotiations between countries.

There are very few deals, whether it's trade, finance, economic, or other matters that are set up for short-term periods.

Most are long-term agreements, to help with planning for the future, and so the consequences of the negotiations, plans, agreements or treaties that are negotiated between the countries can have lasting consequences for several generations within the countries in question.

Finally, another reason why they can be challenging is that of the history between certain countries. In certain parts of the world, some countries have a long history of conflict or problems between them and this can sometimes get in the way of negotiating a successful outcome for the current talks or negotiations under the larger geopolitical climate.

At the same time, it can also make negotiations difficult because there are always many factors, political, economic, and others that play a part in shaping the outcome of international negotiations between different countries