IELTS Speaking Test # Skill

IELTS Speaking Test
The speaking test in IELTS consists of three parts.
Duration 11-14 minutes
One examiner + one candidate
Part 1 (4-5 minutes): The examiner asks a number of questions about familiar topics such as the candidate’s studies/work, hobbies, interests etc. Normally 8-9 questions are asked in this part.
Part 2 (3-4 minutes): The examiner gives you a topic to talk about. The topic is written down and includes some bullet points to guide you. After a minute’s preparation, the candidate speaks for two minutes on the topic provided by the examiner.
Part 3 (5-6 minutes): The examiner and the candidate discuss some general questions based on the theme of the Part 2 topic.
In this post I will focus on Part 2 and Part 3.

Part2 Cue Card

Describe a skill (for example, driving, speed reading etc.) you have learned successfully
You should say:

  • what skill you have learned!
  • why you learned it!
  • who helped you learn it!

and explain what helped you to become good at the skill.

Sample Answer

Skills play a defining role in our life. They make us more efficient and productive. Today, I am going to talk about a skill that I learnt successfully.
Two years ago, I learnt how to drive a car. I live in the countryside and my workplace is about 20 km away from my home. When I started working, either my father or my sister used to drop and pick me up at the office every day. But, after a while, this daily duty became an unnecessary burden for them as they have their own jobs. In general, I am a confident person but this dependency on others affected my self-esteem. So, I immediately decided to take driving lessons.
There is a well-known driving school near my home. I contacted the school and took two months’ training. The trainer was very friendly. He always gave clear instructions and prepared me really well for the driving test. Later, I successfully passed the driving test and obtained my driving license.
Driving is a skill which takes a lot of time to master. But, once you overcome the fear of driving on crowded roads, it gives you immense satisfaction and pleasure. The same thing applies to me. To improve my car driving skills, I drove daily to my office and to other nearby locations. I used to make mistakes at the beginning but I always took a note of them and tried not to repeat them.
In short, my commitment, perseverance and dedication helped me become a skilled driver.

Part2 Part 3 Follow-up questions

Skills and everyday life
Q. 1 Can you compare the skills that are important nowadays with the skills that were important 20 or 30 years ago?
Sample answer: Twenty/thirty years ago, traditional skills like weaving, knitting, sewing and earthenware pottery making were an integral part of people’s lives. But, nowadays, computer, management, language, and data analysis skills are given more importance.
Q. 2 What skills are valued most in your country?
Sample answer: My country is a developing nation and there are many sectors such as banking, manufacturing, information technology and tourism etc. In almost every sector, basic computer skills and communication skills are of utmost significance.
Q. 3 What kind of skills might be important in the future?
Sample answer: This is an interesting question. Considering the amount of data generated every day, I think that in the future the demand for research and data analysis skills will rise considerably.
Skills and training
Q. 4 What qualities does a good trainer need to have?
Sample answer: In my opinion, a professional trainer should have a wide range of skills. Firstly, he/she should possess an in-depth knowledge of his field. Secondly, he/she must be friendly, punctual and impartial. Thirdly and most importantly, he/she should lead by example.
Q. 5 Why should companies invest a lot of money in training?
Sample answer: Training programs are vital for the growth of a company. A company with the trained staff is more likely to outperform its competitors. Regular training sessions upgrade the knowledge and skills of employees which in turn leads to higher productivity and profitability. For this reason, many companies spend a major part of their annual budget on different types of trainings.
Q. 6 Do you think schools and universities prepare young people well for the future employment?
Sample answer: Not really. I think that secondary schools and universities in most parts of the world focus too much on conventional academic subjects like mathematics, science and history etc. Professional skills are often neglected. This imbalance between theoretical and practical knowledge has a negative impact on the future job prospects of young people.

IELTS Latest Essay # Road Safety

Some people believe that the age limit for the drivers should be increased to ensure road safety. To what extent do you agree or disagree? Write at least 250 words.

Sample Answer

Everyday thousands of people across the globe succumb to road accidents. Many of these crashes involve young drivers. Some people argue that the age limit for driving should be raised to tackle this situation. Although this is a feasible solution, in my opinion, several other measures can be more effective in curbing traffic deaths and injuries.

Raising the legal driving age means that there will be fewer novice drivers on roads. This would certainly make roads safer as young motorists are accountable for about 20 percent road accidents globally. But, how to prevent the other road mishaps which are not caused by teenage drivers. Furthermore, we should keep in mind the fact that the more you resist someone, the more they go against it. Thus, this solution can lead to unauthorized driving by teenagers. This is particularly true for some Asian countries where traffic rules are flouted in broad daylight.

 age limit

On the other hand, if we focus on the precautionary measures, I believe that road safety can be improved considerably. Firstly, the governing bodies should change the standards for giving driving licenses. Only qualified individuals must be issued a license. Secondly, driving penalty such as small fines, license suspension, drive awareness courses and even prison sentences should be introduced for those who disobey traffic laws. Thirdly, authorities should pay attention to safe road design. For instance, warning signs for bumps, sharp bends and cameras to monitor the speed limit of vehicles can be of great help. Finally, higher investment in public transport by local councils or governments can be fruitful as it will reduce the number of private cars on roads.

In conclusion, altering the legal age limit to drive can definitely make a difference. Nonetheless, other measures are equally vital, without them it is almost impossible to combat road fatalities. (301 words)

IELTS Writing Task1 # Stone Axes

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.
The diagrams below show stone hand axes from two different paleolithic periods.
Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.
Write at least 150 words.

stone IELTS band7

Sample Answer:

The diagrams compare the features of two paleolithic hand axes crafted by early humans in two separate periods of the stone age, the middle and the later. Two view points, face on and edge on, are given for each axe.
As it can be seen from the first figure, the middle stone age axe had an irregular leaf shape. Its length was approximately 6 cm and its base width was comparatively less, only about 3.5 cm. Its thickness was about 2.5 cm. The shape of the middle line in the edge on view suggests that one face was thicker than the other.
Focusing on the later stone age axe, changes in the shape and size of the tool are clearly visible. It had a more streamlined triangular shape with a broad base and a pointed tip. It was about 1.5 cm longer and 1 cm thinner than the middle stone age hand axe. Interestingly, the thickness of both faces was roughly the same.
Overall, the shapes of the stone hand axes were similar in both periods but the hand axe crafted in the later paleolithic period was relatively smoother and slimmer. (191 Words)



Writing Task 2 Essay # Traditional food

Academic Writing Task 2
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
Convenience foods will become increasingly prevalent and eventually replace traditional foods and traditional methods of food preparation. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience
Write at least 250 words.

Sample Answer

Recent years have witnessed a dramatic change in the type of food people consume. Nowadays, convenience foods or most commonly known as processed foods form a major part of most people’s diet, especially in developed countries. Considering the strong influence of this trend on global food habits, it is often claimed that the popularity of such foods will rise substantially in the future and traditional foods will disappear. I completely agree with this statement.

There are two main reasons why processed foods are likely to become more popular in the coming years. Firstly, the decline in family size and the increase in single-adult households have rendered cooking unnecessary. In the past, people lived in large families where one person looked after time-consuming domestic tasks such growing and preparing food.  Definitely, this way of living was more economical in those times. But, in today’s fast-paced world, where nuclear and single parent families have become the norm, preparing food daily is often seen as a useless and boring activity.

Secondly, the number of full-time working mothers is increasing day by day. Maintaining a fine balance between personal and work life has become a herculean task for many females. Most of them, therefore, prefer to use the fastest means of satisfying their children’s hunger. Since convenience foods take less time to prepare, they generally turn out to be the easiest option. Undoubtedly, this trend is a serious threat to the existence of traditional foods as our young children are highly likely to imitate what they see every day.

To sum up, I strongly believe that there is a close relation between our way of living and food habits. In this modern world, people are choosing ready to eat foods over conventional foods for two main reasons mentioned above. If this trend continues, I have no doubt that traditional food will become a thing of the past. (313 Words. IELTS Band 9 Standard)

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