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#1:Describe a story or a novel that was particularly interesting to you

You should say:

  • What the story/novel is
  • What it is about
  • Why you find it interesting


I would like to talk about my favorite classic novel called The Godfather, which is written by a well-known Italian author, Mario Puzo. I came across this novel when I was trying to find a dictionary at a bookstore. It was published in hard-cover version and there was a colourful illustration on the front which caught my eye.

At first, although I was not much impressed by the novel’s preview, I still bought it and started to read the story right after getting home. Surprisingly, the more I read “The Godfather”, the more it appealed to me. This novel told the story of an Italian imaginary character named Vito Corleone, who was a mafia boss in America after World War I. What attracted me in this story was the way the author described Vito’s tricks to survive in a chaotic society.

Thanks to this novel, I learned a lot about the course of American history in that lawless period. After finishing this book, I read some more novels by Mario Puzo and they were all fascinating. I realize that reading books is a good way to gain knowledge; therefore, everyone should get into the habit of reading.


ü classic: [adjective] accepted as being one of the best or most important of its type. Example: The story of Romeo and Juliet is a classic tale of love and revenge.

ü come across: [phrasal verb] to meet or find somebody or something by chance. Example: Yesterday, I came across some old photographs in a drawer.

ü hard-cover: [adjective] with a stiff cover which does not bend. Example: The hard-cover version of the book is expensive, so I am waiting for the paperback version to be published.

ü caught my eye: [expression] attracted my attention. Example: As I looked at the shop window, a dark blue jacket caught my eye.

ü right after: [adverb] immediately after. Example: Yesterday, I spoke to the teacher right after the class.

ü appeal to: [phrasal verb] attract or interest someone. Example: The company‟s new website is designed to appeal to people of all ages.

ü chaotic: [adjective] confused and without any order. Example: At busy times, the traffic situation is chaotic in New York.

ü lawless: [adjective] where laws do not exist or are not obeyed. Example: Chicago was known as a lawless city, controlled by gangsters and the mafia.

ü fascinating: [adjective] very interesting. Example: She has written a fascinating book about the history of crime in America.

ü get into the habit of: [expression] do something regularly, so that you do it almost without thinking. Example: My sister has got into the habit of turning on the TV when she arrives home.

#2:Describe an ambition that you have not yet achieved.

You should say:

  • what your ambition is
  • when you first had this ambition (or, how long you have had this ambition)
  • how you plan to achieve it
  • (possibly) what you have done towards achieving this ambition
  • and explain why you have not achieved it yet

Band 9.0 Sample Answer:

One of my ambitions that I have not yet achieved is to be able to communicate in Japanese.

I just got this idea a year ago because I realized that nowadays, knowing more foreign languages is an advantage not only in our daily lives but also in work environments.

In order to achieve this, I registered for a Japanese class for beginners, twice a week. I also downloaded an application named Duolingo on my iPhone which helps people study foreign languages, so that I can study on my own at home. For the first two months, I did not skip any classes, and spent at least 30 minutes every night studying Japanese on Duolingo at home.

Unfortunately, I could not keep up with the schedule for long since I was working full time, not to mention that I had many other social activities that distracted me from studying. There were days when I was so busy that I had to work overtime to finish my job. As a result, I wasn’t able to go to class and I definitely didn’t have any time to study at home. Moreover, my friends complained that I had been ignoring them, so I needed to arrange time to hang out with them. Just like that, I gradually lost my ambition to study Japanese and until now, I can only remember one alphabet table, even though Japanese uses three types of alphabets.


ü ambition – a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work. “Her ambition to become CEO of the company amazes her boyfriend.”

ü not yet achieved – to not yet reach a goal or to succeed in doing something that you really want to do. “He has not yet achieved his goal of getting an 8 on the IELTS writing exam.”

ü to realize that – to become aware of something, to know or come to understand something for the first time. “His mom didn’t realize that she wouldn’t be able to visit him while he was studying in Germany.”

ü to be an advantage – something that offers you a better opportunity at something is an advantage or benefit to you. “As an employee, it is an advantage to be fluent in English these days.”

ü to register for – to sign up for something like a class or workshop; to put your name on the list and pay your money. “He has only five days left to register for the conference.”

ü to skip classes – to miss a class or not go to a class for some reason. “His teacher said that if he skipped any more classes, he wouldn’t receive any credit for the course.”

ü to keep up with – to be able to perform at a certain level or to be able to continue to do something as planned. “She had a difficult time keeping up with all of the homework that her English professor gave her.”

ü not to mention that – used to add additional information when you are explaining why something did or didn’t happen, used to introduce an additional fact or point that reinforces the point being made. “She can’t go to the meeting on Friday because she is ill, not to mention that she has already put in twice as much time as everybody else has this week.”

ü distracted me from – used to talk about when you go off task or stop working on something because your attention goes elsewhere. “Her funny jokes distracted me from getting my homework done.”

ü they complained – to complain means to tell someone that you don’t like something for some reason. His friends didn’t like that he wasn’t spending time with them, so they complained to him. “His wife complained that he was working too many hours.”

ü to ignore someone – you ignore someone when you don’t respond to their phone calls, messages, emails, etc., you don’t pay attention to them. “He thought I was ignoring him because I didn’t answer his text, but I was just in a meeting and couldn’t text him back.”

ü to arrange – to organize or to schedule something. “She needed to arrange a time to meet with the accountant.”

ü to hang out with – to spend time with someone. “They liked to hang out with their friends on weekends.

#3:Describe a polluted place/Describe a place you visited that has been affected by pollution.

You should say:

  • What the place is
  • What type of pollution it is/ are
  • Cause and effect of pollution

and explain how can this pollution be controlled.


It is regrettable that ABC, where I’m living, is negatively affected by pollution and the major environmental problems it is facing are water pollution, air pollution and noise pollution.

There are various reasons why this city is badly polluted. Firstly, due to modernization, more and more vehicles such as cars and motorbikes are used. This leads to an increase in exhaust emissions which contaminate the atmosphere, not to mention the rising level of noise pollution. Secondly, factories and industrial zones in the city have discharged a huge amount of untreated waste into rivers, causing death to many fish and other aquatic animals.

In fact, pollution makes people here less healthy, and some even suffer from life-threatening diseases such as lung cancer, skin cancer, and so on. Therefore, the government must deal with this problem right away. Cutting down on vehicle use is the best way to reduce air pollution and noise pollution. We can do this by encouraging people to use public transportation. Besides, those who litter should pay a heavy fine. Finally, I think the best solution is to raise awareness and educate people to protect the environment.


ü regrettable: [adjective] something that you are sorry about and wish that it had not happened. Example: It is regrettable that only a minority of people are concerned about the environment.

ü exhaust emissions: [noun phrase] waste gases that come out of a car or other vehicle. Example: Exhaust emissions from big trucks cause serious air pollution in my city.

ü contaminate: [verb] make a place or thing dirty, by adding a substance that is dangerous or polluting. Example: Every day, more and more vehicles enter the city centre and contaminate the atmosphere with their exhaust emissions.

ü discharge: [verb] when somebody discharges a gas or liquid, they release it and it goes into the water or the air. Example: The factory was fined for discharging chemicals into the river.

ü aquatic: [adjective] living in water Example: Rivers which are clean have a lot of aquatic life, such as fish and frogs.

ü life-threatening: [adjective] likely to kill someone. Example: Aid workers in poor countries often have to deal with difficult, life-threatening situations.

ü cutting down on: [phrasal verb] reducing the size, amount or number of something. Example: You will improve your health by cutting down on cigarettes.

ü awareness: [noun] knowing that something exists and is important. Example: In schools, campaigns about awareness of road safety are essential for young children.

#3:Describe a time you received terrible service

  • When was it?
  • Where did this happen?
  • What did you do about it?

Model Answer

I’m going to talk about this time when I got wrong results for one of my IELTS tests.Apparently there’s a 13-day wait before the result is out, and almost every test-taker feels nervous, hopeful and worried at the same time during this period. I was no exception. I did pretty well and was hoping for an 8 or 8.5. So you can imagine how disappointed I was when I received a message from the test organiser (IDP) first thing in the morning telling me that I got a THREE. A freaking THREE.

I wasn’t overconfident and I knew I couldn’t have gone lower than 7. So I immediately called IDP and complained. But the person on the other side was pretty rude to me. She didn’t even let me finish my sentence and insisted that the result was correct. I had nearly lost my temper when she told me to wait for some time so she could check with the head office. She came back to me a few minutes later announcing that there was a ‘systematic error’ and I would need to wait for a further 2 weeks to get the result.

Although I was happy with the final IELTS scores, I can’t say the same for IDP.

#4:Describe an exciting sport you know.

You should say:

  • what sport it is
  • How you know about it
  • How difficult you think it is
  • and explain why you think it is exciting


Of all the different types of sports, I find figure skating the most exciting.

I first learned about the sport when I watched an Olympic competition in 2012. I found it very interesting. I don’t think that figure skating is a sport for everybody since it requires great balancing skills. In addition, the person has to be very flexible and courageous while taking part in this sport.

Coming from a tropical country, I don’t get to experience ice and snow, thus, figure skating was new to me. Watching the athlete’s elegant performance on ice mesmerised me. I couldn’t imagine how people could do such things since just walking with ice skates is so difficult. These athletes danced on ice without even tripping. They must have spent a great deal of time practicing and preparing for their performances. Also, I found it very beautiful, as their costumes were so elegant. I even enjoyed the background music they used during the performances. In comparison to other sports, figure skating is a delectable feast for both the eyes and the ears.


to be interested in – to like or to enjoy. “She is interested in figure skating and he is interested in soccer.”

I found this sport to be very interesting – I thought this sport was very interesting. “He found the work to be too easy for him.”

It requires – something that needs to be done. In this sentence it means that figure skating can only be done by people who have good balance, and not everyone does.

It’s something necessary to have to do well at figure skating. “This job requires you to work 60 hours per week.”

Flexible – in this context it means that the person can do many things with his/her body, like putting your foot above your head while you are skating. “Yoga teachers are very flexible and can get themselves into all kinds of crazy positions.”

Courageous – brave. In this case you have to be brave to be a figure skater because itcan be dangerous. “The mountaineers are courageous for climbing so high.”

Elegant performance – describing the performance as elegant means that you thought it was very beautiful or gorgeous; it was pleasingly graceful and stylish in appearance or manner. “The dancers gave an elegant performance this evening.”

Amazed me – surprised or shocked me. In this case it was incredible to see the skaters do such things. “It amazed me that he received a 9 on his first IELTS exam.”

To trip – to fall down while you are walking or running or doing something else like dancing or skating. “She tripped and hit her head on the table. Ouch!”

A feast for the eyes and ears – something pleasant to watch and listen to. “The Taylor Swift concert was a feast for the eyes and ears. It was incredible to watch the show and I love her music.”

#5:Describe an enjoyable/unforgettable experience you had in the countryside

You should say :

  • what the activity was
  • when you did it
  • who you did with it
  • why it was enjoyable

Sample Answer

It was two years ago when I had my very first motorbike trip with my friends to the first and most ancient village which is located in the Southern [our country]. It is an unforgettable trip that I’ve ever had.

Our group had three people, Jack, Jenny and me. We chose to visit that village because we wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and get off the beaten track. Moreover, the village is also the birthplace of my grandparent, and I felt excited to visit the village and get a closer insight into the lifestyle of local people as well as my grandparent.

We set out for a day trip to date back to the tradition of our country very early. I’m always a night owl, not an early bird, so leaving the city at 5 a.m made me feel like I was deprived of sleep. However, I was deliriously happy shortly after embarking on the trip to the village. It was because on the way to get there we admired the breathtaking landscapes which is different from the city we are currently living in. After an hour’s drive, we got to the picturesque village, which made me feel over the moon. We rented some bikes to cycle around the village with a lot of small alleyways filled with green grass. After riding a bike to the paddy field to get the vibes of the village, we visited some 400-year-old ancient house which made of mud and laterite and had a look at communal houses where the local people gathered for festival celebration or public meeting. After that, we had lunch with much scrumptious food which is locally and organically grown. In the afternoon, we joined a cooking class with the villagers who were extremely friendly and talented at making traditional cakes. The highlight of the trip to the village was going to the paddy fields to help the farmers harvest the crop. It was such a once-in-a-lifetime experience which I enjoyed.

That was our first motorbike trip to the outskirt of the city, and the first time in the countryside so we enjoyed every single moment there. Jenny was like a dog with two tails while Jack and I were also on cloud nine. We relished everything in the village from the fresh air, cozy ambience to beautiful landscapes such as small houses or paddy fields. We were very much hope that we can embark on a more extended trip to the countryside down the road if we have more spare time.


Hustle and bustle (phrase) Noisy and confused activity.

Example: He goes to the park regularly to be away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Off the beaten track (phrase) far away from the places that people usually visit.

Example: Kim’s family planned to go somewhere off the beaten track during the summer vacation

Get insight into (phrase) gain an accurate and deep understanding of the subject.

Example: The book gave a deep insight on the plight of workers in coffee plantations.

Night owl (phrase) someone who enjoys going out at night or does not go to bed until it is late.

Example: He was at the party till 4:00 AM in the morning. He’s such a night owl.

Early bird (phrase) someone who gets up early in the morning.

Example: Oliver was always an early bird.

Deliriously happy (collocation) very very happy.

Example: Jack was deliriously happy when he heard the news.

Embark on (verb) to start a new project or activity, usually one that will be difficult and will take time.

Example: ABC Company decided to embark on overseas expansion.

Breathtaking (adj) extremely impressive or beautiful.

Example: The landscape in Scotland was breathtaking.

Picturesque (adj) a picturesque place or scene is attractive, especially because it is old and interesting.

Example: It was a picturesque lake.

Over the moon (idiom) very happy.

Example: Juilet was over the moon when the Romeo proposed to her.

Alleyway (noun) a narrow street or passage.

Examples: There are two big cars parked in this tiny alleyway.

Feel the vibe (phrase) a general feeling that you get from a person or place.

Example: I could feel positive vibes in the house.

Laterite (noun) a kind of brick.

Example: The soil is composed of laterite and hence is not very suitable for cultivation.

Have/take a look at (phrase) look at with attention.

Example: The Engineer sent three assistants to take a look at the bridge.

Communal (adj) relating to a particular community.

Example: It was a communal riot.

Scrumptious (adj) very delicious.

Example: Scrumptious food was served at the party.

Once-in-a-lifetime experience (collocation) very special experience because you will probably only have it once.

Example: Travelling to the Himalayas is once-in-a-lifetime experience.

#6:Describe a singer that you like/ Describe a foreign star you want to meet.

You should say:

– Who he/she is

– Where and when you heard him/her sing for the first time

– What types of song she/he sings

and explain why you like his/her music


I’ve recently got into Ariana Grande’s music, so I’m going to talk about her. Ariana’s been around for quite some time now, debuting in 2013, achieving some success with that first album.

However, although her songs have always been catchy, her voice sweet and tender, she wasn’t really a top star until recently. Her latest album is what launches her into superstardom, with the lead single “Thank u, next” topping music charts all around the world.

I think the reason the song catches on is that she has put her personal stories into it, being a kiss-off anthem, full of post-breakup nostalgia and hopeful sentiments at the same time.

I want to meet her just to see her in person, and maybe talk a bit about how she writes her songs. I know this is a long shot, but she did flirt with the idea of touring in my country once. Hopefully she’ll come here some time in the future.

#7:Describe a time when you made a mistake

To be honest, I have lost count on how many times I have acted on impulse and caused troubles for not only me but also others. One time when I was in high school, I played truant from class for a week and finally got caught at an Internet store nearby playing Audition, the most popular online game among teenagers during that time.

It was an embarrassing and forgettable experience when you were escorted by the school’s supervisor all the way from the Internet store to the principal’s room. It was even worse when all of that happened in broad daylight when everyone could see and I could have sworn my face was as red as a lobster. That was not my first time absent from school but was the first time I got caught and my parents were involved. Fortunately, they didn’t make a fuss about it in public but kept regard me with disappointment and suppressed anger in their eyes, which made me felt guilty and ashamed at the same time for my thoughtless action. The exchange with the principal was swift, yet serious when I got an after-school detention for a week and had to work on all of my assignments the week before.

After everything had been sought out at school, it was kind of tense on our way home. Unlike what I had expected, my parents didn’t raise their voice or keep nagging me about my misconduct. On the contrary, we had a so-called “peer to peer” conversation in which we shared our concerns. After all, I learnt my lesson the hard way and truly appreciated my parents’ reaction when dealing with a teenage girl like me. Bottom line is our parents love us no matter what, therefore, I’ve tried ever since to give them less headache.


Play truant (phrase) to stay away from school without permission

Example: Parents often don’t know their children are playing truant.

Escort (verb) go somewhere with another person to protect them or to prevent them from escaping

As red as a lobster (expression) very red

Make a fuss about (expression) become angry or complain

#8:Describe a birthday celebration that you attended recently.

You should say:

  • Whose birthday it was
  • who attended the party
  • where did it take place

and describe the party.

Sample Answer:

I have attended so many birthday parties, but the one I remember the best is the birthday of my grandfather when he turned 80. That celebration is one of the best memories I can keep about him.To people in our country, 80 years old is a special milestone in everyone’s life as the old people are respected for their experience and wisdom. Thus, in 80th birthday celebration, people often hold a big and extremely memorable party, inviting a lot of people to attend. Among invitee list, there are a lot of our relatives, neighbors, friends and local authorities.

My grandfather’s 80th birthday celebration took place in a convention near his house. It was such a quality time for my whole family and all our beloved relatives and friends to sit together. Everyone tried to choose a special gift for my grandpa. I was a little bit astonished when I saw the number of gifts my grandpa received, which meant how much my grandpa was loved. People also sent greetings to him, which are mostly about health. Then, people enjoyed the party with delicious and well-prepared food.

However, the most lovely part of the celebration was the time after party. When all of invitees had left, our family gathered together and took a trip down memory lane. It reminded me of the good old days, when I was knee high to a grasshopper and still a little stubborn girl who always got into trouble. No matter how big a problem I got into, I could always ask my grandpa for helps or advice as he would never turn his back on me.


Time flies so fast, but memory still lasts. Grandpa and his 80th birthday celebration would definitely be among my sweetest memory.


  • turn 80: reach the age of 80.

Ex: I was considered an adult since I turned 18

  • milestone: an action or event marking a significant change or stage in development.

Ex: The speech is being hailed as a milestone in race relations

  • wisdom: the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise.

Ex: A stoic is a person who combines the qualities of wisdom , upright dealing, and courage.

  • take place: happen or occur

Ex: When will this party take place? It’s taking place right now.

  • Quality time: time that you spend with someone, usually your partner or child, doing enjoyable things together so that your relationship remains strong
  • astonished: greatly surprised or impressed; amazed.

Ex: He was astonished at the change in him

lane: To reminisce over memories of past events,especially happy ones

Ex: Our family spend more time taking trips down memory lane when we have dinner together.

  • knee high to a grasshopper: very young

Ex:  I haven’t seen him since I was knee-high to a grasshopper

  • turn one’s back on somebody: to refuse to help or be involved

Ex: How can we turn our backs on people who have no homes, no jobs, no hope?


#9:Describe a successful small business that you know.

You should say :

  • what the business is
  • where it is
  • who runs the business / how you know about this business
  • and explain why you think it is successful.

Band 9.0 Sample Answer:

Nowadays, there is a  booming [1] trend of start-ups[2] in my city; however, not all of them are successful. One of the businesses that I think is the most successful is a chain[3] of restaurants and café boutiques

I remember that 2 years ago, they only had one business in our city. It quickly became one of the favorite spots for the youth to get together. Now they have expanded with franchises [5] in almost every corner of my city. The fame of X has spread by word of mouth[6] and in my case, a friend told me about it.

The owner of the chain is a young woman, who is only 31 years old. Since I have always been interested in opening up a small café/restaurant of my own, I admire her work a lot. She has successfully created a brand name[7] for real food, in the modern era. Every time I have visited this restaurant, it has always been full and this applies to all other locations in our city.

Recently, the group announced that it had raised a 5.5 million-dollar investment[8] from overseas funds. This proves that X could be considered to have great potential in developing further and becoming more successful in the future.

Useful Vocabulary and Expressions For IELTS Speaking :

  • booming: [adjective] having a sudden increase in business, wealth and success.

Example: The owner was able to buy new machinery because his company was booming and he had money to invest.

  • start-ups: [noun] companies that are just opening.

Example: Many start-ups fail because they do not have enough money to survive their first year in business.

  • chain: [noun] a group of businesses owned by the same company.

Example: There are about 6 large chains of supermarkets selling food in the UK.

  • boutiques: [noun] a small business that sells fashionable products.

Example: A famous street in London is full of small boutiques selling all the latest styles of clothes.

  • franchises: [noun] businesses that have been given permission by a company to sell its products in a particular area.

Example: The largest restaurant franchise in the UK is McDonald’s.

  • word of mouth: [expression] The chain is famous because people have talked about it to each other.

Example: The news of the accident spread by word of mouth, hours before it was reported on TV.

  • brand name: [noun] the name given to a product by the company that produces it.

Example: The brand name of the most famous trainers is NIKE.

  • investment: [noun] a sum of money that you lend to a business, expecting that you will make more money over a period of time.

Example: The investment of money by the bank enabled the business to expand.


#10:  IELTS Speaking Part 1 ,2 & 3 : Unhealthy habits

Sample Answers

Part 1

  1. Do you have any unhealthy habits?

Sadly, a big yes. Because I work until 9 pm and won’t be back until 10 pm, I often stay up late, very late. Besides, I’m also quite busy so I don’t usually cook. I eat ready meals instead.

Ready meal :(phrase) a prepackaged, fresh or frozen meal that only requires heating (often in a microwave) before being served

  1. In what ways do you try to stay healthy?

I love working out at the gym. I do a lot of squats, plank as well as weightlifting. In addition, I try to have a balanced diet and often have checkups with our GP. Therefore, I’m always as fit as a fiddle.

GP: General Practitioner (Family doctor)

Balanced diet:  (phrase) healthy diet

Go for a check-up: (phrase) health check

As fit as a fiddle :(idiom) in good health

  1. What are the health benefits of playing a sport?

I think playing sports benefit us both physically and mentally. When you play sports, you are giving your body time to build muscles, and to burn fat. Therefore, you will be fitter and stronger. Also, you are giving your body time to relax. That’s why I enjoy working out so much.

Speaking Part 2

Well, I’ve never been seriously ill, but I can remember a couple of weeks ago, I had  taken leave for 3 days because I was under the weather.

I was walking back home from work and it suddenly started to rain cats and dogs, so I got wet. The next day when I woke up, I was a bit off color. I still remember feeling poorly, even I got a headache, a sore throat, chesty cough, and a blocked nose.  I decided to see my GP for a check-up. My GP said that I caught a heavy cold and had to take a lot of medicines. I was in charge of a project presentation at that time, and due to the situation, I had no choice but to phone in sick and reschedule the presentation until this week. But thank God, I was over the worst of it and made a speedy recovery after 3 days of suffering.

Take leave: to use time permitted to be away from work

to be under the weather: (informal) to not feel well

Rain cats and dogs: rain heavily

a blocked nose: when the nose has excess fluid due to a cold

to be a bit off color: to feel a little ill

a sore throat: inflammation that causes pain when swallowing

Chesty cough: a cough caused by congestion around the lung

Catch a heavy cold: have a bad cold

to be in charge of: take over something; responsible for something

to phone in sick: to call work to explain you won’t be attending work due to illness

to be over the worst: to have got through the most serious or uncomfortable stage of an illness

made a speedy recovery: to recover quickly from an illness

Part 3:

  1. Do women pay more attention to their health than men?

I believe so. Well, whenever I feel poorly, I will arrange an appointment with my GP for a check-up. But things don’t seem to go the same with men. For example, my dad doesn’t think he is sick until he is at death’s door. Maybe it’s because we think that women are more vulnerable than men.


  1. Could governments do more to promote healthier lifestyle options?

I think there are still a lot of things that governments can do to encourage a healthier lifestyle. People should be both physically and mentally healthy. Therefore, both of the aspects should receive attention equally. For physical health, governments can raise taxes on junk food and invest more in public exercise equipment. For mental health, I believe most of the mental problems result from stress. Therefore, governments should come up with ideas to reduce the working hours of employees as well as the workload of students. Of course, this reduction must be accompanied by an increase in productivity and quality.

  1. Do you think most people worry more about their health as they get older?

Obviously, people will pay more attention to their health problems when they go grey. The reason is that when we are older, our immune system will weaken. And as a result, we’ll get sick more easily. Besides, the sickness will also affect us more badly.