IELTS Speaking Test Sample #17

IELTS Speaking Sample #17

Part One - Introduction

[The examiner asks the candidate about him/herself, his/her home, work or studies and other familiar topics.]

Cold weather:

Q. Have you ever been in very cold weather? [When?]
Answer: Yes, I have been in very cold weather about a few years ago when I visited Manitoba, Canada. We all know, of course, Canada is one of the coldest countries in the world. But, then, Manitoba is also one of the coldest places in Canada! Now, imagine how cold I really felt! Of course, the snowfall was just too beautiful to watch!

Q. How often is the weather cold where you come from?
Answer: Where I live, we mostly have mild to moderately cold weather, and the winter season runs from November to March. November and December have mild cold weather while January and February are usually the “coldest”, but certainly nowhere close to the “bone-chilling” cold winter of Canada!

Q. Are some parts of your country colder than others? [Why?]
Answer: Yes, some parts, especially the northeastern part and the northwestern part, of my country are colder than the rest of the country because of their close proximities to some of the coldest mountains in the world. But, thankfully, this cold wave doesn’t usually continue for long.

Q. Would you prefer to live in a hot place or a cold place? [Why?]
Answer: I would rather prefer to live in a place which is neither cold nor hot, but unfortunately, nature chooses to behave in its own terms without worrying about what humans prefer or wish. But, if I am asked to choose, I would go for a “moderately cold place” mainly because putting a few warm clothes on my body is a much more “respectable” thing to me than remaining “semi-naked” in order to avoid extreme heat and moistures.

Part 2 - Cue Card

[The topic for your talk will be written on a card which the examiner will hand you. Read it carefully and then make some brief notes.]

Describe a competition (e.g. TV, college/work or sports competition) that you took part in.

You should say:

  • what kind of competition it was and how you found out about it
  • what you had to do
  • what the prizes were

and explain why you chose to take part in this competition.

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]

Model Answer 1:

After leaving university about 7 years ago, I didn’t really feel interested in taking part in any kind of sport competition. But all that changed when my current office decided to organize an inter-departmental annual indoor sports competition a year ago and kind of “pushed” me to take part in this competition because there were not enough people to compete in my accounting department, where I work a senior accountant.

Anyway, my office organizes this kind of competition pretty much every year, but I always somehow had managed to stay away from this annual interdepartmental competition on the ground that I was and is never a competitive minded person. But, last year, when I was convinced that my participation would mean a lot for my fellow employees, I decided to take part in it. After all, I also told to myself that this was really tough to work round the year without any meaningful break from the monotonous work schedule.

So, anyway, different competitions, like volleyball, sprint, music completion and table tennis, were held marking the event. Needless to say, I took part in table tennis because that I thought was easiest sport which required minimum physical effort. Of course, I could have taken part in the music competition, but I was pretty sure that I would scare a lot more people with my musical voice than actually drawing them close!

By the way, the prizes were attractive, as the company arranged for some attractive looking electronic home appliances for the winners, including a large screen TV set for the first prize winner, an expensive microwave oven for the runners-up and a nice looking toaster for the third position.

Well, I took part in the competition for a couple of reasons. The prime motivation, of course, was to make my fellow employees happy since they couldn’t make a full team without me. I took part in this annual tournament also because I wanted to check if I was still as energetic as my college years.

Sample Answer 2:

It was an inter-department annual indoor sports competition at my office and a circular was issued for all notifying the issue. I am an accountant and work for a locally reputed manufacturing company in Argentina. The company manufactures plastic materials for daily use. I feel lucky to have this cue card topic and I will explain the matter briefly.

I took part in an indoor game. My office organizes the competition annually to make the employees feel relaxed. In fact, this is really tough to work round the year without any reliable break. So, different competitions were held marking the event. I took part in chess and cards. There were some other competitions like passing the pillow for the female employees. Table tennis was the other important competition that I did not dare to take part in. However, the prizes were attractive. The company arranged for home appliances for the winners – a large screen television set for the first prize winner, a washing machine for the second and a microwave oven for the third position. But all the participants received some other awards for their participation. Actually, the authority did not disappoint anyone of the participants. I won the third prize and another small prize for my participation. It was an enjoyable event indeed.

I took part in the competition for some reasons. The prime motivation behind participating was to check my skills in indoor games. I was skilled in chess when I was a student but had not been in practice for a long time. The notice for the annual competition brought the chance for me to repair my skills. Moreover, I enjoy playing chess and cards. And participating in the competition was enjoyable too. Considering the reasons, I took part in this competition and won two prizes.

More Ideas to talk about this Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card topic:

Topic: Describe a competition (e.g. TV, college/work or sports competition) that you took part in.

1. Participation in a badminton championship was tough for me. But luckily I have obtained a prize for participation. The competition held by several other competitors and I had to defeat them in matches. I got a smart amount of money as the prize. I participated in competitions because I love to play badminton. But this time I had some difficulties as I did not have enough time to get prepared for the matches.

2. In my school days, I took part in a storytelling competition. I had to submit a story and unluckily, I did not get a prize for my participation. The winners got books of different local Russian writers. I decided to take part there to judge my skills. In fact, I used to tell stories in classes after listening from my grandma. But I did not have ideas that those were not unique and everyone had familiarity with these stories.

3. Playing chess is difficult and the complexity level rises when the player is a newbie. A similar thing happened to me. I took part in an inter-class chess competition at my college in Melbourne. It was very hard for me to get a prize. The winners were awarded trophies and medals. I took part in the competition because of my friends’ encouragement. They actually instigated me and however, it was a tough experience.

4. If you have skills, you can be a winner in table tennis. But if you are a newbie, chances are little to win the game. And it was a failure for me. I was the later one. I lost in the game that took place in my college in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. The winners were awarded different types of prizes like certificates and small gifts. Just to check my skills and how my physical fitness is, I enrolled in the competition.

5. I was never fond of basketball and got an altering view about the game after I took part in. In fact, I did not have the slightest idea how to play it and I just enjoyed the matches. But last month, I had to take part in a basketball match as part of my college team. Luckily, my team became the best one in Hokkaido, Japan, for outstanding performance. Just to meet the curiosity and with direct inspiration from my surrounding students and teachers, I took part in the competition.

Part 3 - Two-way Discussion:

Discussion topics:

Competitions in school:

Q. Why do you think some school teachers use competitions as class activities?
A. Some school teachers use competitions as class activities in order to bring out the “best” among their students, as well as to realize their “full academic potentials”. Besides, they believe that the sense of “healthy competition” among the students, if used effectively, will help them remain engaged and interested in their lessons, not only in the schools but also at home since children just love winning things.

Q. Do you think it is a good thing to give prizes to children who do well at school? Why?
A. No, I don’t necessarily think that it is a good thing for teachers and the school authority to offer prizes to children who do well at school primarily because the practice goes against the “spirit” of healthy competition. In fact, those, who fail to receive prizes, generally feel “inferior” to the prize-receiving children, which certainly is not good for the tender minds of those young children. Besides, children should be encouraged to do well, with or without prizes because they should be able to understand that there just may not be ‘prizes’ always for the things they will do in their lives when they grow up.

Q. Would you say that schools for young children have become more or less competitive since you were that age? Why?
A. I would say that schools for young children have become more competitive since I was of the same age primarily because of the “commercialization” of education in general. Besides, the children and their parents these days expect more from schools, in terms of more tests and more activities, even if it means compromising with the “quality” of education as well as the “quality” of “after-school” life of the young children.

Sporting competitions:

Q. What are the advantages and disadvantages of intensive training for young sportspeople?
A. There are a number of advantages of intensive training programs for young sports people, but the main one is that it helps them become physically and mentally tough to face the challenges in the real world. These training programs also help bring great team spirit among the young people by making them more helpful and generous to others in general. However, one of the major disadvantages of such intensive programs is that they can inflict serious bodily injuries, sometimes life-threatening, on young people. The young people may also suffer from a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety due to the serious nature of these intensive training.

Q. Some people think that competition leads to better performance from sports stars. Others think it just makes players feel insecure. What is your opinion?
A. Feeling a certain degree of “insecurity” in our physical world is a human reality whether there is a competition or not. Therefore, in my opinion, when there is a competition, it is only natural that the players will feel insecure because they try to prove something to someone by performing better than others. And, unfortunately, it is the very pressure of “performing better than others” which makes players feel insecure in life in general even if they succeed in displaying better performance from time to time.

Thus I believe that “healthy” competition should be encouraged in a positive way to bring out the best among the sportspeople.

Q. Do you think that it is possible to become too competitive in sport? In what way?
A. Of course, I think that it is possible to become “too competitive” in sports since some “players” would want to win at any cost even if it means using some “unfair means” to achieve their goals. And, that’s exactly why we get to hear the news of “performance enhancing drugs”, used by some sportspersons, almost on a regular basis. In fact, it is because of this type of “too much competitiveness” sometimes that we see “players” abusing each other physically and verbally on the fields, which is absolutely an unacceptable behavior by any standards.

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