model answers-ielts-speaking-test-questions-part 2

IELTS speaking questions and model answers, part 2, for 2021.
Part 1 and Part 3 are also available.

DESCRIBE A POLITE PERSON YOU KNOW
You should say:
Who the person is
How you know this person
What this person is like
And explain why you think he or she is polite

I’d like to describe a very courteous person I know.
This person is a male friend of mine. I got to know him a few years ago when I was introduced to him by another friend of mine.
I’d describe him as a very friendly person and have always found him to be very considerate of other people.


He is also very generous and he often tries to help people if he can see that they are doing things tough. For example, he likes supporting a lot of small business in his local area because he knows their businesses are struggling right now. He will also often buy something for you that he knows you need at the shops to save you having to go to the shops yourself. Just the other day he bought me a bag of oranges when he was down at the shops because he knows I like oranges.

Another reason why I think he is polite is because he is a very considerate host. He is an extrovert and always likes meeting new people too and often he will invite them back to his place. He will offer them something to eat or drink upon entering his house. He also likes to make sure you are comfortable and will always ask you if you are too hot or cold. If you are, he will adjust the temperature to your liking.


Giving things away to other people is another considerate thing he does. If he has no use for things anymore he’ll ask you if you’d like to have it.
I think this person is polite for many reasons. He is very friendly and welcoming and considerate of others. He is also very patient and a good listener and will not butt in when you are in the middle of saying something.
I often hear him say, ’please’ and ‘thank you’ a lot too, or, ‘you’re welcome’ whenever you’re talking to him and he likes helping others out when he thinks they may need something.
Overall, I’d say he’s the most polite person I’ve ever met.

Language
Courteous: paraphrase of polite.
Do things tough: (Idiom) Struggle to make enough money to live off.
Help out: (Phrasal Verb) Help someone or a group of people do something.

Part 2
DESCRIBE A LIVE SPORT MATCH THAT YOU HAVE WATCHED
You should say:
What it was
When you watched it
What it was like
And how you felt about it

I’d like to describe a live sports competition I watched a few years ago.

In October of 2019, I watched a live sports event that I really enjoyed.

It was a quarter-final game, in the Rugby World Cup, between Australia and England.
The event was held in Japan where I lived for a number of years and I’m a mad rugby fan so I was especially interested in this game.

I went to this game with a friend who was also a keen rugby fan and we had been looking forward to this game very much in the week before kickoff. We knew the bar would be full so we made sure we got there several hours early so we could get a good seat that had a good view of the game. The game was streamed live on TV in a bar in my local area in Thailand.

There were banks of TV screens on every wall in the bar. All up we counted forty TV screens. Some TV screens were medium sized and some were so big they took up almost an entire wall. We were lucky as we were able to get a good seat in front of the biggest TV screen in the bar. The bar was bursting at the seams and there were people there from many countries, especially people from the UK and Australia.

There was so much interest in this game from the many expats that live in my local area that just before kickoff the staff had to stop letting new customers enter the bar as it was becoming very uncomfortable and dangerous inside. The atmosphere in the bar was electric and whenever something exciting happened in the game from either team there would be a loud roar from the many fans in the bar. The noise at times was deafening.

I have to admit though that even though I enjoyed the game I often felt little uncomfortable because there were so many people in the bar and so much noise it was hard for me to talk to my friend or concentrate on the game.

Language

Competition: rephrase of match

Mad fan: a really keen fan

Expats: people living outside of the country of citizenship

Bursting at the seams: (Idiom) Something that is completely full or overflowing with people or things.

Deafening: (Adj) Something that is so loud it’s impossible to hear any other thing or person.

DESCRIBE AN ART EXHIBITION YOU HAVE SEEN
You should say:
When you went there
Where it was
What it was like
And explain how you felt about it

I’d like to describe an art display I’ve seen.

A couple of years ago I went to a local art exhibition at an art gallery in Brisbane with a friend.

At the gallery many local artists displayed their works and there were many people there viewing the art. Many of the art works were acrylic paintings, others were oil paintings. There was also an even mix of darker and lighter tones in the art pieces on display and most of the art was of cityscapes or landscapes. Many of the paintings on display were from young up and coming artists trying to make a name for themselves in the industry.

There was a stark contrast of styles of paintings too. Some of the paintings featured bright daylight scenes, others were of night scenes. Some also featured heavy shadows set against a bright backdrop of either bright street light or bright sunshine.

The art gallery was quite full of people, and everyone who entered was well dressed as there was a dress code. Many people viewing the art seemed like they were quite wealthy and from a higher social class. Some people also seemed to be very knowledgeable about art and in particular this type of art as I could overhear some of them talking amongst themselves.

There were also staff going around offering people glasses of red and white Australian wine as well as pieces of cheese and canapés so the atmosphere felt very relaxing.

Inside the art gallery it was very modern and dark and all of the art pieces were displayed on walls with special lighting surrounding each piece to bring out the best features of every painting.

There were too many pieces of art on display so we didn’t have time to view all of the pieces but after a few hours we thought we’d seen enough. By the end of the day we both felt quite tired. Many of the more expensive pieces of art were quickly snapped up by professional art collectors and dealers who were bidding for the art online.

In general I felt it was a very eye-opening experience even though I didn’t end up buying any paintings as most of them came with quite hefty price tags.

Language
Display: paraphrase exhibition

Up-and-coming: (Idiom) promising, rising.

Make a name for oneself: (Idiom) become well known.

Backdrop: (Noun)) background, setting.

Bring out: (Phrasal Verb) highlight something.

Canapés: a type of snackfood

Snap up: (Idiom) buy something quickly or eagerly.

Eye-opening: (Idiom) unexpected, surprising.

Hefty: (Adj) high, considerable.

DESCRIBE A SKILL THAT YOU THINK YOU CAN TEACH OTHER PEOPLE
You should say:
What it is
When you learned it
How you can teach others
And explain why people need this skill

I’d like to describe how I can teach people how to swim freestyle which is the most basic swimming stroke. I learned this skill in elementary school where it was compulsory for all the students in my school from grades four and upwards to be able to swim one hundred meters freestyle.

Regarding how I would teach this, off the top of my head, I would start off by getting them to work on their kicking action. To do this I would tell them to place the upper part of their body onto a paddleboard and get them to try to propel themselves forward using the torpedo kick which I would teach them. While they are doing this I would make sure they are moving forward in the water as straight as possible.

I would then teach them the correct way to use their arms in a freestyle stroke to gain maximum speed and efficiency through the water. Again I would tell them to place their upper body onto a paddleboard while they practiced the correct arm action.

Once I could see their kicking action and their arm strokes were good I would then take the paddleboards away from them to see if they could swim one length of the pool using the correct kicking action and arm stroke. As for breathing, I would just tell them to turn their head out of the water on their favorable side to take a breath every four strokes.

If their breathing technique wasn’t very good I would then teach them the most efficient way which is by rotating the hips to the side first before the head comes out of the water. I would then tell them to do one length of the pool by using the correct kicking action, arm strokes and breathing technique.

I think everybody should learn how to swim, mainly because I think it’s a great form of physical exercise that uses almost every muscle in the body. Learning how to swim well could also save your life if you were to ever find yourself in trouble in the water. By practicing your swimming technique every day you could quite quickly be in the swim of things.

Language

Freestyle: a style of swimming

Off the top of one’s head: (Idiom) without careful thought.

In the swim of things: (Idiom) to be involved in and knowledgeable about something.

DESCRIBE A TIME WHEN YOU TOLD YOUR FRIEND AN IMPORTANT TRUTH
You should say:
Who your friend is
What the truth was
What your friend’s reaction was
And explain why you think it was important to tell your friend the truth

I’d like to describe a time I gave a friend of mine a reality check about being rich.

I have a friend who thinks that money will buy him happiness. I met this friend about twenty years ago and ever since I first met him he’s always tried so hard to make money and he never stops talking about it. He keeps saying all the time, Once I get rich I’ll be as happy as a pig in mud.’

I have always noticed he has never been very successful at this so one day I asked him if he liked what he was doing every day to, which he said no. I said back to him, think about this carefully. You’re spending all day, every day, doing something you don’t like in order to try to make money which will probably not bring you much happiness at all in the long run.

My friend’s reaction was to try to justify making a lot of money by saying it buys you complete freedom which I agreed was true. While I certainly agree with the fact that having enough money can make your life less stressful, I don’t believe it will make you deeply happy in the long term.

I told him I believe that having enough money to be able to cover your living expenses comfortably is obviously a good thing. So is being able to afford enjoyable experiences and so is having nice things without having to be concerned about the cost.

I also think money can buy you freedom from a job you hate and it can buy you more time with loved ones, but that’s where it stops. Then I said to him, money can’t buy you love or friends or family, it also can’t make people like you and it certainly won’t buy you peace of mind. I also said accumulating expensive things won’t make you happy either as they will only bring you temporary satisfaction. In fact if you have a lot of money you will probably only become greedier and want more when you already have more than enough.

In the end having a lot of money will bring you some stress relief but it will not solve all your problems in life. He agreed with me and then said, ‘I can’t talk right now as I’m busy now trying to make money.’

399 words

Language

Reality check: reminder of the state of things in the real world.

As happy as a pig in mud: (Idiom) Happy because of your situation.

peace of mind: a mental state of calmness or tranquility, a freedom from worry and anxiety.

DESCRIBE A PIECE OF INTERNATIONAL NEWS YOU RECENTLY HEARD
You should say:
What it was about
Where and when you heard it
What you were doing when you heard it
And explain how you felt about it

I’d like to talk about a some news I heard recently about the coronavirus.

In the news story there were reports of a new strain of the coronavirus called (B117) which is apparently about seventy percent more contagious than the original strain. In many major countries of the world including in the UK and the US this newly mutated strain of the virus is taking hold. These countries according to the news report are having to go into hard lockdown in order to try to reduce the numbers of people getting it.
Any new breakout of the virus is announced to the public, in daily news reports, and anyone who was present in any areas mentioned in the news story, where the virus may have been spread to, needed to do a mandatory two week self-quarantine at their home.

I heard it about four weeks ago. At the time I was in Sydney doing my Christmas shopping when I decided to go to a coffee shop to take a break from my shopping. Actually I read a news report about it and then watched a short video news story about it on my smartphone.
The news story made me a little bit depressed to because it seemed to me that this virus was not going to go away anytime soon I thought. Even though I was encouraged to read an earlier news report that said the vaccinations were beginning to be given to people all throughout Australia I also wondered how effective the vaccinations were in stopping the virus and what reactions they may cause in some people and whether I should get vaccinated myself.
I feel it will be quite a long time before the world gets back to normal again and that economies all around the world will fully open up again. I also feel sorry for anyone whose life had been badly affected by the virus like anyone who had lost their job or anyone who had become very sick or even died.
I hope that things will become much better in the future for everyone all around the world and that the world will be a better place after it’s all over.
Language
Strain: (Noun) Type
Contagious: (Adj) As of a virus or a bacteria that is easily able to infect people
Mutate: (Verb) A virus that is able to change its form to become stronger.
Take hold: (Phrase of hold) Have an effect on people or things.
Breakout: (Noun) Start to spread
Mandatory: (Adj) Something that is required by law, compulsory.
Vaccination: (Noun) To treat someone with a vaccine to enable immunity against a disease.
Self-quarantine: A situation where your movements are restricted if it is thought you have become exposed to a contagious disease.
Have one’s doubts: Not sure or confidant of something happening.

DESCRIBE A TIME YOU NEEDED TO USE YOUR IMAGINATION
You should say:
When it was
Why you needed to use imagination
How difficult or easy it was
And explain how you felt about it

I’d like to talk about a time I needed to use my creativity to shop online.

About four years ago I was shopping online for some new shoes. I wanted shoes that would last a long time and be as comfortable as possible. Unfortunately even after doing exhausting research online I was not able to make up my mind on what kind of shoes to buy. I was at my wits end as to what to do.

So, I came up with a plan to save me a lot of time. Instead of continuing to look for good shoes or good shoes stores online I decided to turn off my phone and my computer and use my imagination to guide me. I first asked myself, which building in my local area would have a good selection of shoe stores. I immediately envisioned a building that had a big shoe store in a certain building that I saw a few years earlier.

I remembered from a few years earlier that the shoe shop was on the ground floor of a building close by to where I lived, so I went there and the shoe shop was still there to my surprise. Then I went up to a sales person who I imagined was the nicest person in the store and not one who would want to try to push me into buying expensive shoes that really didn’t suit my needs.

I chose a lady in the store who I imagined to be very pleasant. As soon as I started talking to her she seemed very sweet and laid-back. I told her the kind of shoes I was looking for and what I was prepared to pay for them.

She bought out three pairs of shoes, all in the medium price range. I tried them all on and walked around a little in them to test them all out and decided on a pair. I had to imagine which ones might last the longest. It was not an easy decision.

I eventually chose a pair, paid for them and walked out of the store. All up it took me only about thirty minutes to buy the shoes.

Language

Creativity: paraphrase of imagination

Wits end (Idiom) Not know what to do, be confused and annoyed at something or someone.

Push (Verb) Try to overly persuade someone to do something against their will.

Laid-back. (Idiom) Easy-going, easy to get along with.

DESCRIBE A TIME WHEN YOU CHANGED YOUR OPINION
You should say:
When it was
What the original opinion was
Why you changed it
And explain how you felt about it

I’d like to talk about a time I changed my view about a restaurant.
A few weeks ago a friend of mine called Mike told me he’d discovered a new place in my local area that severed the best breakfast he’d ever eaten for a reasonable price. In his own words he said, ‘it’s the best breakfast deal in town.’
I immediately believed him because I’d always thought Mike was a good judge of what a good breakfast needed to consist of. Then, one day out of the blue he sent me a text message saying he wanted me to try out this great new breakfast deal and I immediately said yes. So, in no time I was on my way to this particular restaurant.
At the restaurant I ordered the same breakfast he’d been raving about for weeks. Initially, after I finished it I thought it was as good a breakfast I’d ever eaten for the price. It consisted of a full English breakfast with all the trimmings. So I gave it the thumbs up. On top of that they had a great coffee deal too. If you ordered one large cup of black coffee, the second one was on the house. I thought, what a great deal! It was so good in fact that we agreed to meet up at the same restaurant the next week to have the same breakfast.
So, the next week, there we were again eating the same breakfast, except this time the food wasn’t up to the standard of the previous week. I like my English breakfasts a certain way. For example, for me, a good English breakfast needed to consist of two eggs that were not to hard or too soft. There also needed to be four rashes of bacon and two large Cumberland sausages. Anything less than this was not a good breakfast in my mind.
The original breakfast I tried a week earlier lived up to my standards of a good English breakfast. This time however, the breakfast came up short. The eggs were too soft, there only two rashes of bacon and they sausages weren’t Cumberland sausages.
I felt like I was ripped off the second time and left the restaurant feeling disappointed.


I immediately believed him because I’d always thought Mike was a good judge of what a good breakfast needed to consist of. Then, one day out of the blue he sent me a text message saying he wanted me to try out this great new breakfast deal and I immediately said yes. So, in no time I was on my way to this particular restaurant.
At the restaurant I ordered the same breakfast he’d been raving about for weeks. Initially, after I finished it I thought it was as good a breakfast I’d ever eaten for the price. It consisted of a full English breakfast with all the trimmings. So I gave it the thumbs up. On top of that they had a great coffee deal too. If you ordered one large cup of black coffee, the second one was on the house. I thought, what a great deal! It was so good in fact that we agreed to meet up at the same restaurant the next week to have the same breakfast.
So, the next week, there we were again eating the same breakfast, except this time the food wasn’t up to the standard of the previous week. I like my English breakfasts a certain way. For example, for me, a good English breakfast needed to consist of two eggs that were not to hard or too soft. There also needed to be four rashes of bacon and two large Cumberland sausages. Anything less than this was not a good breakfast in my mind.
The original breakfast I tried a week earlier lived up to my standards of a good English breakfast. This time however, the breakfast came up short. The eggs were too soft, there only two rashes of bacon and they sausages weren’t Cumberland sausages.
I felt like I was ripped off the second time and left the restaurant feeling disappointed.

Language
Out of the blue: (Idiom) Suddenly, by surprise.
Try out: (Phrasal Verb) Try something new.
Rave: (Verb) Give high praise to something or someone.
In no time: (Idiom) Quickly, promptly.
Trimmings: (Noun) Extras, small rations added to a meal.
The thumbs up: (Idiom) A good rating.
On the house: (Idiom) Something that is free of charge for customers.
Come up short: (Idiom) Not up to one’s expectations.
Rip off: (Idiom) Cheat someone out of money or a good deal.


DESCRIBE AN OLD FRIEND THAT YOU GOT IN CONTACT WITH AGAIN
You should say:
Who he or she is
What he or she is like
How you got in contact
And explain how you felt about it

I’d like to describe an old friend I got in contact with again recently.

This person was a British guy who I’d met in Japan many years ago. I knew this person in Japan he was an English teacher working at the same company as I used to work at.

I’d always thought he was good company because he’d always been social and easy going in the past.
He was also quite slim when I knew him in Japan and he always looked very young for his age I thought. He is an extrovert and always good at telling jokes and making people laugh.

Initially he got in contact with me on Facebook and said he was coming to Thailand and they when he got here he’d let us know. Sure enough, a few weeks later he contacted me on Facebook again to say he was in my local area and said he’s like to meet up at a bar somewhere.

I suggested we meet at a certain bar where the beer was reasonably priced and the food was of good quality. He told me to look out for him in the bar as he was planning to get there before me. When I arrived at the bar however I couldn’t find him as I couldn’t see anyone there who was slim and young looking.

Then I noticed someone who looked similar to him sitting in the corner of the bar. To my surprise it was him. I was totally shocked when I saw him. He’d become much fatter and he wasn’t looking so young anymore. He also didn’t seem to be the same jovial person I knew in Japan. He seemed much more serious this time.

He was still working at the same company but he had burned out from working too hard. To make matters worse, he said he was burning the candle at both ends and partying too hard and all that hard living had caught up with him.

It was great to catch up with him again but I felt quite shocked that he’d changed so much. He wasn’t the same happy go lucky person I knew in Japan and he wasn’t that funny anymore.

Language
Good company: (Phrase) Interesting, pleasant.
Easy going: (Idiom) Relaxed, tolerant, easy to get along with.
Extrovert: outgoing person
Jovial: (Adj) Happy, cheerful, friendly.
Burn the candle at both ends: (Idiom) Go to bed late and get up early every day to work and live life.
Party: (Verb) To enjoy oneself, to celebrate typically but drinking and socializing with people.
Happy go lucky: (Adj) Cheerful. Carefree, easy going.

DESCRIBE AN AMBITION THAT YOU HAVE HAD FOR A LONG TIME
You should say:
What it is
What you did for it
When you can achieve it
And explain why you have this ambition

I’d like to talk about a goal I’ve had for a long time.

I’ve always liked the idea of working for myself rather than having to rely on working for someone else to make a living. I’ve always wanted to be my own boss and not have to take orders from other people. This is an ambition I’ve had for a long time but have never had enough time to do it.

Right now I have a job that I love and I would certainly not want to lose it but someday in the future that may not be the case. If that day ever comes, then what would I do I often ask myself.

So, recently I’ve thought about running my own business just as a side hobby at first to see if I liked it, but one day in the future I may decide I want to be serious about it. The type of business I would like to run would be an online business with my own website. It could also be a virtual store online with a major platform like say, Amazon.

If I chose the first option I would need to do certain things first, like learn how to build a reliable and secure website, choose a reliable host for my site and decide what it was that I wanted to sell online.
I’d like to learn many other things too like the best way to do online marketing and the best way to get a lot of traffic to my site and of course I’d have to come up with a name and logo for the company.

I wouldn’t be looking to make a windfall, not at all, just enough so that I could live comfortably. I figure it would take me about a year to a year and a half to get the business up and running. If I did decide to go ahead with my plan I would outsource any kind of technical tasks to experts I think. Things like building the website or maximizing my search engine optimization and so on would examples of tasks I’d outsource.

Language

Make a living: (Idiom) Be able to earn enough money from doing something.

Be my own boss: (Phrase) Work for yourself.

Traffic: (Noun) Customers visiting a website.

Come up with: (Idiom) Think of a plan or idea.

Windfall: (Noun) A sudden increase in one’s wealth.

Up and running: (Phrase of up) Working properly, operating properly.

Go ahead with: (Idiom) Start something.

Outsource: (Verb) Hiring another person or people to produce goods or services for a business.

Search Engine Optimization: (Noun) The process of attracting as many visitors to a website as possible.

DESCRIBE A TIME WHEN YOU ATE SOMETHING FOR THE FIRST TIME
You should say:
What you ate
When you ate it
Where you ate it
and how you felt about it

I am adventurist when trying different international cuisines from around the world. I have sampled French, Italian, Middle East, Indian and Asian dishes and many more. I like the taste of different ingredients and spices. Just last year I was invited to join a good friend’s birthday party that was being held at a Japanese restaurant that featured high-end sushi rolls which I had not tried before. I was apprehensive about consuming raw fish and shellfish, as I was worried about my sensitive stomach reacting negatively. I started with a California roll, which contained processed crab. Dipping it into the sauce provided I was introduced to the spicy and hot wasabi for the first time. Wow it was overpowering and overwhelmed the flavour of the roll content. I learned to use the wasabi sparingly.

I shared a tuna roll and a Dragon roll which contained eel. Both were delicious. As the evening progressed, I was more adventuresome and join others in more exotic sushi is and Maki dishes the sushi chef was very informative about the ingredients, which included rice and seaweed with seafood including tuna smoked salmon eel crab and shrimp with vegetables like cucumber and avocado and some were rolled in fish roll. My favourites were tempura shrimp and spicy tuna rolls.

As is the Asian way of dining, which is a slow leisurely event, we exchanged some stories and told some jokes. The party was not only about the dining as I got to hang out and make some new friends. I had a great time and enjoyed the food and company.

DESCRIBE A TIME WHEN YOU GAVE ADVICE TO SOMEONE
You should say:
When it was
Who you gave the advice
What the advice was
and explain why you gave the advice

A few weeks ago a colleague asked me about IELTS mock test he had taken on the Internet. He asked for some tips and suggestions to improve he score as he had not done well on his last test. I advised him to do a few mock pretend test himself with an IELTS teacher as they had helped me immensely and they would provide practice and help him prepare.

I mentioned some of the suggestions my teacher made like reducing vocal fills and not using informal words like yeah and you know, which will also improve intonation and rhythm. In addition, questions may ask about when you’re a child and I suggested phrase is like when I was in elementary school or secondary school. This would give the listener a timeframe you’re going to speak about and may add to your vocabulary mark.

Another suggestion my teacher made is that when asked about the future to have a good start like, it’s difficult to predict what might happen in the future. However, I believe, making this a compound sentence with a good conjunctive. Then I went on to suggest he preparing practice his openings for part two descriptions for a person, a place, thing, and an activity. These preparations will enhance his answers.

I mentioned that my teacher suggested using alternate words that are not in the question to demonstrate vocabulary. Also to look up words expressing emotions and feelings make answers more interesting and improve vocabulary score. These are some of the suggestions I helped implement during my next test and get a good mark.

DESCRIBE AN UNFORGETTABLE BICYCLE TRIP YOU WENT ON
You should say:
When it was
Where you went
Who you were with
and explain why you think it was unforgettable

Last summer I met up with some friends at a local café to relax and hang out for the evening. There are cycling enthusiasts that would, weather permitting cycle to local villages and sites of interest most weekends as they shared their stories I found them interesting and asked frequent questions. Sensing my interest, they invited me along on their next trip to a nearby village. I tried to beg-off stating I didn’t have a bicycle but my friend Chad offered to lend me his extra wheels. I agreed to borrow the bike and join them on a next excursion.

It was a great bike, black in colour, with all necessary equipment, including headlight taillight water bottle holder and saddlebags. I hadn’t ridden a bike since secondary school, but soon became comfortable riding around the neighbourhood. Before the scheduled ride, I purchased a helmet and riding clothes for safety concerns hoping I would conform stylewise with the guys.

Saturday arrived and I met up with the group and we started our trip. It was not a race to the finish, but rather a leisurely pace, and I was easily able to keep up. It was pleasant to escape the hustle and bustle of the city refresher and feel the wind on my face. We stopped along the way to rest and chat and I had a great lunch at our destination.

This was my most memorable trip as it started my enjoyment of riding for the sheer pleasure of it. I enjoyed the experience so much that I bought Chads spare bike and ride with the group most weekends.

DESCRIBE A TIME WHEN YOU GOT CLOSE TO WILD ANIMALS
You should say:
Where it was
What the animals were doing
Who you were with
and describe your feeling when seeing the wild animals

Last summer I met up with some friends at a local café to relax and hang out for an evening. They were cycling enthusiasts that would, weather permitting cycle to local villages and sites of interest most weekends. As they shared their stories I found them interesting and asked frequent questions. Sensing my interest. They invited me along on the next trip to a nearby village. I tried to beg-off stating I didn’t have a bicycle, but Chad my friend offered to lend me his extra wheels. I agreed to borrow the bike and join them on their next excursion. It was pleasant to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Breathe fresh air feel the wind on my face and I have joined them on many rides since.

During one trip, as we were riding single file for safety should a car or truck need to pass us, the leader raised his hand to signal stopping. He pointed to a bush and to my surprise and amazement we’d spotted two deer a doe and a fawn, quietly grazing about 15 m from where we stopped we must’ve been up wind from them and as we were quiet, we didn’t startle them. I was fascinated to watch them bending down to grab foliage and raise their heads and chew. I was overwhelmed by their grace and beauty. Unfortunately we only got to watch them for just over five minutes before an automobile passed us and scared them off. I have rarely seen wild animals and I was delighted to observe the deer.

DESCRIBE YOUR FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL
You should say:
When it was
Where you were
What happened
and explain how you felt during that day.

Frankly, I don’t remember preschool and elementary school entrance days. However, I remember my first day at secondary school. My new school was a significant contrast as it was huge compared to my grade school. My elementary school was a single level building with eight classrooms compared to my new school being two stories with near 40 classes. I was overwhelmed and nervous on my first day and felt last when moving from classroom to another between courses. As we were assigned lockers I fortunately had seen previous classmates, who, like myself, were nervous but appeared to know their way around. So I just followed them.

I quickly figured out the class numbering systems and found it less daunting. I found out that there were different labs for physics, chemistry and computer science and I was very excited to attend those labs. At noon we went to the cafeteria. It was huge, with larger tables and chairs with a good selection of dishes that one could purchase. After lunch we explored the gymnasium, which featured basketball hoops and a lot of exercise equipment.

During the afternoon we continued to our classes. All the teachers were welcoming and gave introductions to the courses that they would teach us. A few of us agreed to hang out after class and meet at the sports field. It was very impressive with a centre track around the perimeter for track and field sporting events and football goal posts for team events. It was an impressive introduction to the school and I have very fond memories of attending high school.

DESCRIBE A SHORT TRIP YOU OFTEN TAKE BUT DO NOT LIKE
You should say:
Where you go
When you go there
Why you go there
and explain why you do not like about the trip

Probably the most tedious trip I need to take every day is my commute to and from work. After waking up and getting ready to leave, I check the weather forecast and dress accordingly. It is a short walk to the bus stop. The bus usually runs on time, but the way can be miserable in foul weather. As the bus approaches, I hope it’s not too crowded, and I will have a seat rather than having to stand. My city has good transportation options with sky trains and buses and the trip usually takes half an hour if traffic is not congested. While on the bus. I read or use my phone exploring the Internet, playing games, or catching up with friends on social media to pass the time.

The route goes through the city so there’s not much to see and stops a couple of blocks from where I work. Again, if the weather is bad, the walk is unpleasant. Recently I purchased a bicycle to take weekend rides with my friends to local sites of interest and nearby villages. It is pleasant to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, breathe fresh air, feel the wind on my face. Since buying the bike I ride to work now which takes about the same time as by bus. I save money and get some needed exercise. Although riding allows me to view the shops along the way it is still boring with few interesting stops. I do occasionally stop to buy groceries and necessities.

DESCRIBE A TOY YOU LIKED IN YOUR CHILDHOOD
You should say:
What kind of toy it is
When you received it
How you played with it
and how you felt about it

I was especially looking forward to my 10th birthday as many of my friends and family, some I had not seen for some time, would attend. I was hoping for a model train and I was not to be disappointed. Traditionally in my family the routine is a meal first, with some of my favourite dishes followed by cutting the birthday cake. I was grateful and excited to share the special day with everyone.

Finally, I got to open my gifts. Mum and dad’s gift was first and as I unwrapped it, I felt excited and a bit apprehensive that I might be disappointed. I was almost in tears when it was revealed that it was the train set that I desired comprising a locomotive, three cars, and a caboose. The party guests must’ve been told I was getting a train set as I got additional track and model town buildings.

My cousins joined me and played with the gifts putting the track in different arrangements. I believe they may have been a bit jealous and some got train sets as gifts from their friends and family after my birthday. I spent many hours constructing the building models and rearranging the track to visit the model buildings. My interest in trains grew and I would search railroad history on the Internet. I would save up and purchase additional cars and buildings. Many hours of play and building were some of my favourite memories.

DESCRIBE A SPECIAL HOTEL YOU HAVE STAYED IN
You should say:
Where it is
What it is like
Why you went there
And explain how you felt about it

A couple years ago my cousin suggested a trip to our home to visit with friends and family. I agreed it would be a good time since it was summer, and I miss hanging out with my friends there. My cousin booked a couple of rooms and bus tickets. We went by bus both to save money and enjoy the scenery along the way. The bus trip was uneventful and I watched the world go by and read a book, as there was no Internet service available to use my smart phone. On arrival in the early evening we grabbed a taxi and headed to the hotel. I expected a modest place, but to my surprise it was a four-star hotel.

The building was set back from the road and the grounds were decorated with ornamental trees which were lit up as darkness set in. It was very impressive. As we entered the lobby, which was spacious with a fountain of to the side and a comfortable sofas to sit and relax. We were shown to our rooms which were not spacious but were clean and had the necessary features including bad wardrobe at a desk with flat TV. We called our parents and stated we were weary and would visit the next day. Then we called our friends to meet with by the pool in the courtyard and hang out and exchange stories.

The hotel food and service was excellent and we booked another night. During the next day we relaxed and swam in the large pool at the back of the hotel. All in all, it was a great trip and we were able to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and relax.

DESCRIBE A TIME YOU MADE A PROMISE TO SOMEONE
You should say:
What the promise was
Who you make a promise to
Whether you kept the promise
and explain why you made it

As the covid 19 pandemic spread through the country my parents had me promise to isolate and not leave home unless absolutely necessary until a vaccine was available. They were especially concerned about their parents, my grandparents, as they were in a high risk category and had some underlying medical issues. If they got infected, there was a high probability of serious illness and maybe death.

I rarely make promises as I am afraid I might accidentally spill the beans, but this was one I would keep. At first it was difficult to stay hold an adventure adult only to buy groceries and necessities. I was so bored, but kept in contact with friends on the Internet, read and exercised in order to stay in shape. I would phone my grandparents every day and find out if they needed anything. If they did I would leave packages on the doorsteps being very careful with washing my hands and wearing a mask.

They were very grateful for my calls and help. I was informed during my isolation that one of my friends had contacted the virus and being young and healthy would recover. But I was grateful that I had not met up with him and spread the virus to my family. It has been almost a year since I made that promise and my grandparents are scheduled to receive vaccine as soon as it is available. I look forward to visiting them again.

DESCRIBE SOMETHING YOU BOUGHT THAT YOU FELT SATISFIED WITH
You should say:
What you bought
Where you bought it
What it is for
and explain why you felt satisfied with it

One of the hardest items to learn and become familiar with was my first smartphone I purchased some years ago. I had a transition from a simple cell which are used for texting and the odd phone call to in my opinion to a complicated and unnecessary luxury. My friends would chuckle as I pulled out my all phone as they all had the newest technology. I resisted their teasing and recommendations to keep up with the times. There was a time, however, when my cell phone service provider updated their equipment and would no longer support my older technology.

Deciding which phone to buy was difficult as there was many specifications and features I did not understand. I read reviews and listen to advice from friends and finally decided on the make and model I wanted. Fortunately the desired phone was coming on sale. I made my decision to purchase the latest Samsung model from the Samsung retailer at my local shopping centre.

The challenge started with a gadget that was totally unfamiliar to me, but with the Internet and help from my friends I overcame the difficulties. I have upgraded the software and applications a few times over the years, use it daily, and never leave home without my phone. I still have and use my first smartphone to text make calls and explore the Internet and play games. I especially like to stay in touch with friends and family social media posting videos, pictures, and having video conversations. I am very satisfied with my phone.

2020 Questions

Describe a family member you spend a lot of time with
You should say:
• Who this person is
• What kind of person he/she is
• What you usually do together
And explain why you spend a lot of time with him/her

Of course, when I was young, I lived with my parents and spent most of my time with them. However, when I met my cousin, Chan, at a family gathering, we became best friends very quickly. Chan was the son of my father’s sister and my aunt and uncle lived in a nearby village so Chan and I did not attend the same elementary school. We did however keep in contract by texting and talking on Wechat and I was always excited to meet up with him at family get-togethers and parties.

As my village was small, it didn’t have a secondary school and so we ended up attending the same high school. We were inseparable, so much so that many people thought we were brothers. I would bicycle five kilometers to school and we would meet up before class and hang out talking about friends and family.

After classes, we would play football on the school playground where we became quite skilled, competitive and athletic.  One day some older students were hanging out and watching us play. They suggested we try out for the school football team. Being younger than the other team players, I didn’t we would make the team however the coach did invite us to play. We both made the team and the following years were starters. I was so proud of our red and gold jerseys and enjoyed the team spirit and comradeship. Chan and I still hang out and chill on a regular basis and stay in touch with many players.

Describe a person in the news who you want to meet
You should say:
• Who this person is
• How you know about him/her
• What he/she is like
And explain why you want to meet him/her

I would be most interested in meeting Leonardo Dicaprio who is not only a famous actor but is an outspoken environmentalist. I am a Hollywood movie fan and have watched all his movies. He has won many awards including Academy and the Golden Globes as lead actor in many successful movies including Titanic, the Aviator and Blood Diamonds.

Dicaprio is also identified as one of the most active celebrities in the climate change movement and has established a foundation promoting environmental awareness. He has been an active supporter of numerous environmental organizations and sat on the board of the World Wildlife Fund, , and THE International Fund for Animal Welfare.  He has also met with world leaders including president Clinton and Pope Frances. Although many have been critical for his environmental impact of his private jet and yacht, he has electric cars and a solar powered home.

He is newsworthy due to his high recognition, environment fund raising and opinions. DiCaprio’s personal life is the subject of widespread media attention. He rarely gives interviews and is reluctant to discuss his private life. I think he is a fascinating individual and I would love to meet and discuss his movie career and his accomplishments.

Describe a person who taught you something
You should say:
• Who this person is
• What he/she is like
• What he/she taught you
And explain how you felt about him/her

I enjoyed my time in high school even though studies were difficult and we were saddled with lots of homework. I would make my way to school and loved hanging out with my friends before and after class.  However one of the most interesting and dynamic individual was my history teacher in high school. He was our modern history teacher and having lived through a lot of the international and domestic events in his lifetime he shared a lot of the stories and experiences.

One of the main thing that has stuck in my mind was his assignment that we should read the news every day and be prepared to discuss it in class the next morning. His motto was “today’s news is tomorrows history”. He would listen to our descriptions and interpretations of the news articles and then provide his take on the articles.

This not only made history interesting but also encouraged us to keep up to date on current affairs. Allowing everyone to participate in discussions helped boost my self-confidence to speak in front of the class. I am not too stressed about public speaking and expressing my opinions. Today I still follow his teachings and read the news every day and on occasion I will discuss the news with friends and colleges and exchange opinions.

Describe a time when you helped someone
You should say:
• Why you helped
• How you helped
• Where you helped him/her
And explain how you felt about it

At end of my commute home a couple of months ago, I discovered the electricity was off and as my apartment hasn’t got a backup generator, to my dismay, the elevators were not working. I live on the ninth floor of a fourteen floor apartment and rather than wait for the power to return, I chose to take the stairs.

During my accent I caught up with an elderly lady who was struggling up the stairway. She had a couple of grocery bags and I offered to help her. She smiled and gracefully took me up on my offer.  I carried the groceries in one hand while she held onto my arm and we made our way up the stairs ever so slowly.

It took some time to climb to the seventh floor where she lived. She was so grateful and offered me a cold beverage, but I politely declined. I believe people should help those less able and fortunate. I felt good being of assistance for her and I believe karma will repay me in the future.

As we live in the same complex, we sometimes see each other, she always gives me a sincere smile and we sometimes talk about things that are happening in the apartment and in the community.

Describe a time when someone apologized to you
You should say:
• When it was
• Who this person is
• Why he or she apologized to you
And explain how you felt about it

 Last month I was riding my motorcycle home and I was in a rush as I was tired and hungry. Also I had a lot of studying to do to prepare for an upcoming English test. Wouldn’t you know it; I ran into heavy traffic and had to wait for the flow to resume.

As I was waiting, I was hit from behind by a car that caused me to fall. I scraped my knee and had some minor bruising but I was not seriously injured. I was sure thankful I was wearing a helmet as especially I felt my head hit the pavement. I might have suffered a concussion or worse.

Before I even had a chance to pick myself up, the lady driver ran over and apologized profusely, offering to take me to the hospital and pay for any expenses and damages. People nearby helped me up and righted my bike. I inspected my knee which hurt but not bleeding and since I had a first aid kit at home, I could easily bandage it. I accepted her apology as she was sincerely concerned and apologetic.

On reflection I could have asked for restitution of my pains and minor scratches on the motorbike, but accidents do happen and thankfully no one injured badly.

Describe a piece of important news you got by text message or email
You should say:
• What it was
• When you got it
• Who you got it from
And explain how you felt about it

With today’s technology we get inundated with countless news stories, texts, advertising and spam. I usually wait until I have lots of spare time on my hands to weed through the messages as I prefer to reply through my computer rather than my smartphone.

A couple of months ago, however, I had a nagging feeling that some communication was wanting my attention so I went online during my coffee break to check my messages.

While scrolling through the list of senders and subjects that I would reply to that night, there was one email that stood out as it was from a friend that I had not seen for a long time.  It was a short message that said he would be in my neck of the woods that day and we should meet up.

Our past communications have mainly been casual birthday and holiday wishes so I was excited to catch up with him. I emailed back to him and invited him to meet at a restaurant that evening.

Our meeting was great as we had a terrific meal and exchanged stories and adventures. The importance of this communication is I learned about many past acquaintances and vowed to do as my friend had done, contact some of the past friends that I had not communicated with recently.

Describe a team that you were a member of
You should say:
• What the team was
• Why you joined it
• What you did in it
And explain how you felt about being a member

I met my cousin, Chan, at a family gathering and we became best friends very quickly. Chan was the son of my father’s sister and my aunt and uncle lived in a nearby village so Chan and I did not attend the same elementary school. We did however keep in contract by texting and talking on Wechat. As my village was small, it didn’t have a secondary school and so we ended up attending the same high school. We were inseparable, so much so that many people thought we were brothers. After class we would play football on the school playground where we became quite skilled, competitive and athletic.  One day some older students were hanging out and watching us play. They suggested we try out for the school football team. Being younger than the other team players, we didn’t think the coach would invite us to play. However, we both made the team and worked very hard to improve and skill and score as often as possible.  The following year we were starters. It was a challenge but we were successful in scoring and helping our team.  I was so proud of our red and gold jerseys and enjoyed the team spirit and comradeship. Chan and are still good friends and hang out and chill on a regular basis. We also stay in touch with many of the players from our football club.

Describe an important journey that was delayed
You should say:
• What the purpose of the journey was
• Why it was important
• How it was delayed
And explain how you felt about it

Last year was very excited to return to my village from Beijing during Chinese New Year in reunite with my family and hopefully meet and hang out with a few of my friends from high school and University. Knowing that traveling at that time of the year especially during that event can be very busy on the transportation system. I booked my ticket to leave early and arrive as early as I could in my village.

Everything went smoothly although the train was very crowded during the first leg of my trip. When transferring to the bus however things changed.  I bus I was scheduled to take had been delayed and would be at least two hours late. Since I started my trip early, I still had plenty of time and wasn’t worried that I would get home late.

The bus finally arrived, three hours behind schedule, was loaded up and I continued on my trip. Difficulties compounded when an hour into our journey the bus skidded off the road. Although there was some panic, fortunately there were no injuries and we had to wait for the bus to be pull back onto the road. With no apparent damage, we continue our way, finally reaching my stop without any other incidences.

As I waited for My Dad to pick me up at the bus station I was thankful and relieved that I had arrived safely. In the village many people had arrived already and some were in transit so I missed very little of the celebrations.

Describe an occasion when you could not use your mobile phone
You should say:
• When it was
• Where it was
• Why you could not use your mobile phone
And explain how you felt about it

A few months ago, I don’t know how, but i lost my smart phone. I was on the subway and after I disembarked I discovered it was gone. I didn’t know if I was the victim of a pickpocket or it had just slipped out of my pocket. Early the next morning I went to the transit station to see if it had been turn in, but it had not. Deciding on a replacement phone to buy was difficult as there were new specifications and features available. I read reviews and listened to advice from friends and finally decided on the make and model I wanted. Fortunately the desired phone was coming on sale and I made my decision to purchase the latest Samsung model from the Samsung retailer at my local shopping center.

Now I don’t know about you, but I rely on my mobile a lot to keep up to date on the news, stay in touch with friends and receive my emails and texts. Also I find it handy to search for information online an occasionally play some games.

I felt isolated and alone without my phone and disappointed the I would have to spend considerable funds on a new phone.

The day of the sale I rushed down to the Samsung store, made my purchase and returned home. Fortunately my pictures, videos and contacts were saved to the cloud online but it took some time to reinstall the applications I use.


Describe an occasion when the weather prevented a planned activity
You should say:
• When it was
• Why it prevented your activity
• What you did instead
And explain how you felt about it

It was Friday afternoon and the weather forecast for the weekend looked promising. I decided a visit with my parents in the village would be my plan for the weekend as I had not seen them for a long time. I phoned my Mom an invited myself over to spend the weekend. I also mentioned that I would invite my cousin for a visit so we could catch up and hangout.

However the weather can be unpredictable and during my commute home, the skies opened up and torrential rain started. I got soaked just on the travel home so I called my mom to explain that I would have to make it another time. She agreed as it was raining heavily there too and understood my postponement.

I live in a large apartment complex and casually know a few people living there. I thought it would be a good idea to invite some people over to listen to some music and socialize. After a few calls, four of my neighbors agreed to come over at 7 O’clock.

As is traditional in China they brought some food and drink to share. We ate and drank while sharing some stories and it turned out to be a very enjoyable evening.

Describe a change that could improve your local area
You should say:
• What it is
• How the change can be made
• What problems it might bring
And explain how you feel the area will benefit

I believe the number one issue that needs addressing in China is pollution. Even back in my village, we get poor air from the large cities and air pollution in the cities is worse.  

Pollution has increased due to industrialization as economic growth seems to be the priority over the environment.  It has been reported that “hundreds of thousands of premature deaths and incidents of serious respiratory illness have been caused by exposure to industrial air pollution”.

Also seriously contaminated by industrial discharges, has made many of China’s waterways unfit for direct human use.

Other symptoms of pollution include millions without safe and clean drinking water and large sections of oceans are without marine life.

The government needs to enforce stricter regulations with severe penalties on polluters. As individuals our carbon footprint can be reduced, for example by driving less, recycling more and reducing plastic use.

On a positive note, China recognizes the problems and is taking steps to make improvements by reducing fossil fuel consumption with alternate energy sources including wind and solar power.

Describe a time when you were excited
You should say:
• When it was
• Where you were
• Who you were with
And explain why you were excited

One of the most exciting and memorable occasions was my graduation from university. I was celebrating the end of my student life with classmates, friends and family.

In China, as you may know, education matters a lot. It is a very stressful and labor-intensive experience and parents are anxious to see their child certified with high honors and embark on their career. As such, getting your diploma is quite a big deal in China, both for parents and graduates.

While I attended university, I lived in the dormitory but this day I stayed with my parents who lived in the suburbs. I was comfortable to be at their home and away from the dorm and especially away from the hustle and bustle of the city. I was looking forward to all the activities planned for me on this special day.

We drove to the University for the Graduation Ceremony and speeches. The auditorium was full with the graduates up front and the friends and family sitting towards the back. The commencement speech was delivered by the Dean which was long but very inspiring.

Next up was dinner at a buffet restaurant where there was a huge variety of dishes and desserts. I stuffed myself on my favorite foods.

I went back to my dormitory to change into casual clothes, before going to the after grad party. At the party we talked about our futures. Some graduates had job prospects and some were returning to school to further their education. All in all it was an exciting but very exhausting day.


Describe a crowded place you went to
You should say:
• Where you went
• Who you went there with
• Why you went there
And explain how you felt about this place

Back in November I wanted to attend the 70th anniversary of the Chinese Republic. It promised to be a spectacular display of military, culture and celebration events. I was especially looking forward to the fireworks that would likely surpass the display at the winter Olympics. I managed to book transportation to Beijing and accommodation online and started my journey early in the morning. The train into Beijing was filled to capacity. It was so crowded that many had to stand for the trip.

Once I arrived in the capital, I found my hotel and checked in. After freshening up, I headed to the ceremonies. The public transportation was as crowded as the train with standing room only. It seems everyone was going to the same destination.

The celebrations were spectacular and I enjoyed the military display but more so the cultural presentations.  It was standing room only as the fireworks thundered in the sky and the fireworks were breathtaking. During trip back to my hotel I noticed the bus and trains had long waiting lines and were filled to capacity and they move the crowd away from the celebrations. At the hotel, I enjoyed a quiet meal in the hotel restaurant before retiring for the night. The trip was very worthwhile and entertaining and I enjoyed myself immensely.


Describe a difficult challenge you met
You should say:
• What the challenge was
• When you met it
• How you responded to it
And explain why you think it was difficult

A few months ago I updated my smart phone. Deciding which phone to buy was difficult as there were specifications and features I did not understand. I read reviews and listened to the advice from friends and finally decided on the make and model I wanted. Fortunately the desired phone was coming on sale and I made my decision to purchase the latest Samsung model from the Samsung retailer at my local shopping center.

One of the main features I wanted was improved photos and videos capabilities and my new phone had better optics. I was amazed at the better quality and sharpness. Previously I would share the occasional picture and videos with friends and family, but now with better quality results I wanted to be more creative with my posts.

Therefore I took on the challenge of exploring audio and video editing software and making more interesting presentation. I downloaded and tried many free software programs but I didn’t get the results I wanted.

Eventually settled on a package that was not too expensive, would not over burden my computer and gave good results. The program provides the usual clip, cut and paste features and also has numerous text features, transitions, overlays and elements that can be added to my presentations.

Although perhaps not important in the overall video experiences on the internet, it is important for me as I have a learning challenge and providing better videos for my friends.

Describe a new skill you learned recently that you think is important
You should say:
• What it is
• How difficult it was to learn
• How you learned it
And explain why you think it is important

[same as the answer to the previous question]

A few months ago I updated my smart phone. Deciding which phone to buy was difficult as there were specifications and features I did not understand. I read reviews and listened to the advice from friends and finally decided on the make and model I wanted. Fortunately the desired phone was coming on sale and I made my decision to purchase the latest Samsung model from the Samsung retailer at my local shopping center.

One of the main features I wanted was improved photos and videos capabilities and my new phone had better optics. I was amazed at the better quality and sharpness. Previously I would share the occasional picture and videos with friends and family, but now with better quality results I wanted to be more creative with my posts.

Therefore I took on the challenge of exploring audio and video editing software and making more interesting presentation. I downloaded and tried many free software programs but I didn’t get the results I wanted.

Eventually settled on a package that was not too expensive, would not over burden my computer and gave good results. The program provides the usual clip, cut and paste features and also has numerous text features, transitions, overlays and elements that can be added to my presentations.

Although perhaps not important in the overall video experiences on the internet, it is important for me as I have a learning challenge and providing better videos for my friends.

Describe a uniform (in a school or company) you have worn
You should say:
• Why you wore the uniform
• What it looked like
• Who bought it for you
And explain how you felt about wearing it

Uniforms are a common part of the schools in China. Almost all secondary schools as well as some elementary schools require students to wear uniforms. They are practical, wear-resistant and dirt-proof.

 Most importantly, a uniform means students don’t have to worry about peer pressure when it comes to their clothes and fashion. When everyone is dressed the same, worrying about what you look like isn’t so important. Also getting ready for school you don’t have to be concerned about what to wear.

Online shopping was not popular when I was younger so my mother and I went to the recommended store to purchase my uniforms for high school. It consisted of a white shirt with a light blue collar with light blue trousers to match. We also bought a matching sweater for cooler days. We returned to the store in late winter to buy a similar set of uniforms of lighter material and shorts for the warmer spring and summer.

I was proud of my school uniform as it represented my school which had a good reputation for academics and had a good sporting record. It also let us recognize fellow student on the way to and from school and we would socialize on the way.

Describe a live performance you have seen
You should say:
• What it was
• When you saw it
• Who you were with
And explain why you watched it

Recently my cousin and I went to the Cirque du Soleil or which translated means Circus of the Sun, performance as recommended by a Canadian friend.  Cirque du Soleil is a Montreal, Canada based entertainment company and the largest contemporary circus producer in the world with tours and permanent venues around the world including North America, Europe and now Asia.

When I was in elementary school, my parents took me to a circus. I was in awe and excited with all the performance and animals. I discovered later that many animals were mistreated and stressed by circus work. Cirque du Soleil uses no animals in their acts which suits me just fine.

Cirque du Soleil also caters to the Chinese desires by providing a Western brand of entertainment and respecting the Chinese culture. Over fifty percent of the performers are Chinese. The shows have nonstop music and action with acrobatics and vivid colors.

We were memorized by the stunts and acts presented and it was definitely an entertaining experience that I would recommend to young and old. They are planning a show next year and I am sure that I will see that one too

Describe an article on health you have read
You should say:
• What it was about
• Where you read it
• Why you read it
And explain how you felt about it

I recently read an article on what foods to eat and avoid for a healthy body and it provided recipes for the healthy food ingredients. The article also suggested that eating better would improve my energy level, so I searched for exercise and fitness.

Scanning my search results I found an article on outdoor exercises as opposed to a gym workout. The article outlined the advantages of outdoor exercise. For example “you will likely enjoy it more”,”save a lot of money “and “benefit from the sun”.

All exercise workouts start with the warm up by stretching, squats, and pushups to warm up your muscles. The routine suggested a brisk walk and since and needed to go to the market to buy those healthy food items I had read about earlier, I grabbed my shopping bag and walked to the market. With three kilos more weight I was carrying, I returned home at a slower pace. “Climb stairs” they say. Well my apartment is on the third floor so I had no choice. When I finally got to my place, I was winded and felt I had done enough for the first day.

I read the rest of the article and found it very interesting with other exercises and routines that I  tried  on other days. I believe these lifestyle changes are improving my health and well being.

Describe a time you saw an interesting animal
You should say:
• What it looked like
• Where you saw it
• What it was doing
And explain why you think it was interesting

A fascinating creature I went to observe recently was the giant Panda at the Bejing zoo.

 In China, the Panda is a magnificent national treasure, reflecting the country’s gentle nature, uniqueness and ancient culture. It is also has a unique species found only in China and unfortunately is classified as endangered with fewer than two thousand remaining in the wild as humans have encroached on its habitat.

People around the world recognize it as a symbol of China having been featured as an Olympic mascot in Beijing and as a symbol of the World Wildlife Foundation.

The giant panda has a body shape typical of bears. It has black fur on its ears, eye patches, muzzle, legs, arms and shoulders. The rest of the animal’s coat is white.

The giant panda’s diet is primarily herbivorous, consisting almost exclusively of bamboo but will eat meat, fish, and eggs when available.

I am not a fan of zoos as I believe it is cruel to cage animals, denying them their freedom and placing them in a boring and unnatural environment however the zoo would be the only opportunity to view a panda.

As I approached the Panda hall, I was pleased to see a huge enclosure where I could see a panda first hand.

I was excited and watched in amazement as they quickly feasted on bamboo and supplements provide by the zoo keepers

It was a worthwhile, informative and interesting visit.

Describe something you bought that was difficult to use at first
You should say:
• What it was
• Where you bought it
• Why it was difficult to use at first
And explain how you felt about it

One of the hardest item to learn and become familiar with was my first smart phone, I purchased many years ago. I had to transition from my simple cell which I used for texting and the odd phone call, to in my opinion, a complicated and unnecessary luxury.

My friends would chuckle as I pulled out my old phone as they all had newer technology. I resisted their teasing and recommendations to keep up with the times.

There came a time however, when my cell service provider updated their equipment and would no longer support my older technology.

Deciding which phone to buy was difficult as there were specifications and features I did not understand. I read reviews and listened to advice from friends and finally decided on the make and model I wanted. Fortunately the desired phone was coming on sale and I made my decision to purchase the latest Samsung model from the Samsung retailer at my local shopping center.

The challenge started with a gadget that was totally unfamiliar to me, but with the internet and help from my friends, I overcame the difficulties. I have upgraded a few times over the years, use it daily and I never leave home without my phone.

Describe a job that you would not like to do in the future
You should say:
• What it is
• How you know about it
• Why you think it is undesirable
And explain why you would not like to do it

As I was walking to the super market recently to purchase some items for dinner, I noticed a section of road near the sidewalk that was blocked off with traffic cones and rope. The traffic was backed up as it maneuvered around the obstacle.

Curiosity got the best of me, so I stopped to see what was happening. I observed a sewer maintenance crew wearing dirty coveralls and hard hats working on the sewer system. They had the sewer cover off and I saw one crew member climbing down the pipe.

Although they actually get paid very well, that job would be the most undesirable that I could imagine.

I’m not a physical person and prefer to work in an office so this kind of work would not appeal to me. I am sure it would be very warm in the summer and extremely cold in the winter to work in a wet and enclosed environment. For me, working outdoors without the comfort of air conditioning and central heating would be hard unbearable. And I could only imagine how filthy the crew would be after a day’s work and how bad the locker room would smell where the crew would shower and change clothes before their commute home.

During this time watching the men work, I had to take a step back as I smelt the stench coming from the system. I can only imagine how filthy and smelly the crew would be after a day’s work.

I am sure there are worse jobs but I would dislike that one the most.

Describe a successful small company you know about
You should say:
• What sort of company it is
• How you know about it
• Why you think it is successful
And explain how you feel about it

When I was still attending university, I asked my dad if he knew of any part-time jobs that might be available to help with my expenses. He had a friend that had a warehouse and retail business that might have a vacancy. He called his friend and enquired about possible employment. Asking me when I might be available for an interview, he made an appointment for me.

When I arrived at the warehouse, I noticed that it was substantial but not huge. The owner outlined the product mix that included pet and farm animal foods, fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, farm and garden tools and supplies like fencing wire and posts.

My job was to be working on the weekend and during holidays in the warehouse loading pallets with feed and other items that local famers had ordered for delivery.

It was backbreaking work but I soon built up my body and stamina and worked in the warehouse until my graduation.

The owner offered me a job working in the office making up packing slips for the warehousemen and invoicing and accounting after I had graduated.

I would say the owner and his sons are workaholics as they are on site from morning to night. Their business has grown due to good customer service, prompt delivery and a well stocked operation with the necessary products for pet owners and farmers.

Describe an ideal house or apartment that you want to live in
You should say:
• Where it is
• What it is like
• Who you would like to live there with
And explain why you think it is ideal

Location would be important for the perfect residence for my needs. I would near to be where I need to commute, preferable within walking or bicycling or at least near quick public transportation. It would also need to be near green spaces to relax and chill out and have easy access to amenities like shopping, restaurants and entertainment complexes.

As for the structure, I would desire a three bedroom rancher style townhouse in a quiet subdivision.

Let me provide more detail. I prefer a subdivision because it is away from the main traffic areas so is quieter and you can meet easier with neighbors. A townhouse community also usually has a smaller land size thereby reducing maintenance and has shared facilities, for example a community swimming pool with food and beverages available.

Three bedrooms would be adequate with a master bedroom and one for a child’s room and the other for a quest room that can also double as a quiet computer desk.

The living room would be modest with simple wall hangings and comfortable furniture. I would prefer a western kitchen with a stove and oven, refrigerator and it would have ample counter space.

DESCRIBE AN IMPORTANT FESTIVAL THAT IS CELEBRATED IN YOUR COUNTRY
You should say:
• what festival it is
• why it is important
• what do people usually do on that festival
and explain how important it is for you personally

The festival that I would like to talk about is Chinese New Year, which is one of the most essential and widely celebrated festivals in my country. This is the occasion that people celebrate with great joy, hope and festivity with their beloved ones. One of the most integral moments that is expected by all people is the stroke of midnight according to Lunar Calendar.

It is often celebrated with fireworks and people send each other their best wishes for an awesome year ahead. In my country, people often get careful preparation for Lunar New Year in order to ensure that every single thing is perfect for welcoming a new year. On the last night of the year, people stay awake, reunite with their family and wait for the very first sacred moments of the year.

According to the conventions, people dress smartly on the following days, pay their relatives, friends a visit and send them the beautiful regards for the upcoming year. It is also traditional in my country to go to sacred places like pagodas or churches with the aim of praying for peace and happiness in the future. In people’s belief, red is considered as the lucky color in the new year. That’s why people often choose to dress in vivid color as the way to eliminate bad luck and welcoming good things. My country also has some unique traditions like lucky money, preparing homemade food or decorating home in the first days of the year. It is also a precious time for family reunion, resolution and relaxation after a hard-working year.

VOCABULARY

integral=essential
conventions=ways of doing things
sacred places=religious  places
eliminate=get rid of
unique = special and only one

DESCRIBE A POSITIVE CHANGE THAT YOU MADE TO YOUR LIFE
You should say:
• what the change is
• why it was important to  make the change
• how you made the change
and explain how important this positive this change is

The positive change that I would like to talk about is getting up earlier. They say old habits die hard, which made perfect sense to me when I first started to get rid of my unhealthy routine. There were so many temptations during the night time that kept me awake for hours. And it could be anything such as the latest episode of The Walking Dead, a music video that I had been counting down for weeks to be released or I simply wanted to meet a deadline because I had been procrastinating for a month and so on. As a result, going to bed after 1 or 2 AM was inevitable. It took me long enough to be fully aware of how destructive this sleeping habit could be for me, both physically and mentally, especially in a long run. Therefore, I had no choice but to give up that kind of toxic habit.

I have learnt a lot since starting waking up early in the morning. The key is starting small and taking one step at a time. It was so tiresome and torturing at the beginning that I tended to get irritated whenever anyone approached me about 10 minutes into my running session. However, everything has its own way of getting better and so is my temper. I now feel fully energized and extremely refreshing in the morning and even more productive at work.

Vocabulary

Accomplish: to succeed in doing or completing something
early riser: person who wakes up early in the morning
old habits die hard: People find it difficult to change their accustomed behavior
make sense: to be clear and easy to understand
get rid of: to remove or throw away something unwanted
procrastinate: to delay doing something that you should do, usually because you do not want to do it
inevitable: that you cannot avoid or prevent
tiresome: making you feel annoyed

DESCRIBE AN ATTRACTIVE OUTDOOR PLACE YOU VISITED AS A CHILD.
You should say:
• where this place is
• when and how you went there
• what the place looked like
and say what you found attractive about this place.

I’m going to describe a really beautiful park I used to visit when I was a child. It is a national park about 100km away from my hometown of Ho Chi Minh City.

With regards to the question of when I used to go there, my parents and I often went there whenever we had a long weekend. Since, it’s not far away we used to drive our car. We would set off in the wee hours to avoid the hellish rush hour traffic of my city. I am not an early bird so I usually slept during the journey… and woke up in paradise!

Now concerning what this place looks like, I really felt over the moon every time I went there. It is a wonderful place with fascinating and marvelous natural beauty. There is a large salt lake in the centre of this park with extremely clean water, in which I could see the reflection of the blue sky, white clouds and green hills.

Another thing that really attracted me was that there are many kinds of fish in this lake, such as carp and trout. We often went boating and fishing in the lake. Once I even caught an angelfish, which is a beautiful fish with long fins. I wanted to bring it home as my pet, but I was afraid that I couldn’t take care of it, so I just set it free.

Finally I’d like to mention that the most attractive feature is that the lake there is surrounded by a variety of tropical fruit trees, including lichi trees, durian trees and mango trees. Usually, after fishing we would have a BBQ for our lunch under those fruit trees. In the afternoon, we would rent a tandem bicycle and ride together on a small path around the lake, enjoying the tranquility and fresh air.

DESCRIBE A PIECE OF GOOD NEWS THAT YOU RECEIVED
You should say:
• what the good news is
• how you heard about it
• why this news was good
and explain how important this news is for you personally

The good news that I would like to talk about is the time I received an offer letter to attend a national conference for young leaders and individuals who are passionate about international affairs last summer. The program called Youth Model United Nations was held in NY City 3 days and was one of the most exciting journeys I’ve ever experience. It’s safe to say that being elected as one of the candidates for a national scale event where brilliant, dynamic and ambitious young people gathered gave me some sense of confidence and satisfaction.

The recruitment process was not terribly complicated but highly competitive. We had been through 3 different rounds where we were tested about our knowledge of international affairs in general, our solutions for various issues like environment and sustainable energy as well as English proficiency. Though it required time and effort to actually get tuned into the world’s current status and to provide relevant answers, the result was immensely rewarding. I recalled it was 9PM in the evening and our family were all in the living room for some quality time when I got an email from the organizer.

I was speechless, then shouted my heart out because that was a fully-funded trip and I would be able to travel alone for the very first time. Even though my parents had been worried and against it at first, I managed to convince them that if they didn’t allow me to step out of my comfort zone and explore the world, I would forever dream small and be small.

Eventually, everything went smoothly and the conference was a blast. It was an eventful and memorable 3-day adventure where I made friends with people from diverse backgrounds and became more independent in every decision and action that I took – a better version of myself. Hence, I wouldn’t mind receiving good news like this more often in the future.

Vocabulary
– Passionate: having or showing strong feelings of enthusiasm for something or belief in something
– Competitive: used to describe a situation in which people or organizations compete against each other
– Rewarding: worth doing; that makes you happy because you think it is useful or important
– Shout one’s heart out: to shout with vigor or intensity
– Eventful: full of things that happen, especially exciting, important or dangerous things

DESCRIBE A SPECIAL GIFT YOU HAVE GIVEN
You should say:
• what the gift was
• who you gave this gift to
• why you gave this gift
and explain what was most special about this gift

The gift that I would like to talk about is a scarf. It was my mom’s fiftieth birthday that my sister and I managed to surprise her with our gift – an exclusive emerald green scarf tailor-made by the most renowned tailor in town.

Mom is the most warm-hearted and forgiving person I’ve ever known and should be given “Mom of the Year” award if there is one. However, since there isn’t, my sister and I decided to give her the best she deserved when she turned 50 – a milestone in one’s lifetime and it was her birthday after all. Therefore, we started saving money from our part-time jobs 4 months before D-day and met up with Joe – the talented tailor who was most well-known for his remarkable collection of beautifully handmade scarfs: from silk to wool with a variety of unique patterns.

Our choice was the long and emerald one which was made in silk charmeuse, allowing it to show off saturated colors so well. The smooth texture felt like a soft touch on your skin and depending on how you tied it, you could emphasize on the shiny side or the matte. We chose it not only because of its elegance and affordability in comparison with others but also its usage. It matched perfectly with different kinds of clothes and was not too thick for daily use in a tropical country.

Our mom fell in love with the scarf at first sight because it was in her favorite color or simply just because we were her favorites in the whole world. She bragged about it to all her friends and family days after that and we didn’t mind, not even the slightest as there was nothing as precious as the smile that lit up her face.

Vocabulary
– exclusive: of a high quality and expensive and therefore not often bought or used by most people
– tailor-made: made for a particular person or purpose, and therefore very suitable
– renowned: famous and respected
– remarkable: unusual or surprising in a way that causes people to take notice
– elegance: the quality of being attractive and well designed
– affordability: the fact of being cheap enough that people can afford to buy it or pay it; how affordable something is
– brag: to talk too proudly about something you own or something you have done

DESCRIBE A GOOD FEATURE OF YOUR PERSONALITY
You should say:
• what the feature is
• why it is a good feature
• how this feature has benefited you
and explain how important this feature is for your future

he good feature that I would like to talk about is my non-judgmental attitude.

The state of being non-judgmental is not to pass judgement on anyone or anything too quickly without full acknowledgementIt’s an unhealthy habit as well as a sign of people with a fixed mindset that hinders them from truly perceiving the surroundings as what they are. Therefore, I try to avoid it at all cost, which is not impossible because, fortunately, it has imprinted in my mind at early age that everything has its own reason for existence.

An ability to be fair and to reserve my comments on everything around has opened up my eyes and afforded me an opportunity to actually reach out to people and learn about their inner desire and motivation. For example, if you have a classmate who breaks the school’s record for the number of times him being late, you could presume that he is a lazy boy who spends the whole night playing Play Station 4.

However, little do you know that he wakes up at 4.00AM every morning to deliver milk and newspapers in a nearby neighborhood. No, you don’t. You just want to be right and don’t have a heart to dig deeper. That’s exactly where things go wrong. As a result, I’ve made a promise to myself that no matter what the situation is, I would look into it with the eye of an outsider, someone who can view it in different angles. Admittedly, it’s easier said than done. Once in a while, your emotion will cloud your common sense. Still, practicing non-judgmental attitude is one step closer to perfection.

DESCRIBE THE PERSON WHO YOU MOST LIKE TO SPEND TIME WITH
You should say:
• who the person is
• why you like to spend time with them
• how much time you spend with them
and explain why this is the person you most like to spend time with

I’m grateful to have such a supportive family and a large circle of friends who are always be there for me no matter what. I spend most of my free time surrounded with my beloved friends and family. Even though I love them all to the moon and back, my younger sister, Kate, is the one that’s closest to me.

Kate is seven years younger than me, which might create some sense of generation gap, yet, we still get along well, or at least most of the time. She is in high school now and has a dream of becoming a doctor one day. In term of appearance, we have little in common. By that I mean while I’m kind of tall, she’s relatively short; while I take after my father, she’s my mom’s spitting image. Same thing with our characteristics. I am peopleoriented and a true free spirit, Kate, on the contrary, is quite introverted and into stability. Hence, that came as a huge surprise when others acknowledge our strong bond. We’re like 2 sides of the same coin.

No matter how different we are, we have never neglected or abandoned each other. In fact, we are partners in crime in so many impulsive and silly acts that our family has lost count. Once, I tried to play the victim with my uncle as I accidentally broke a crystal vase that my aunt adored, Kate backed me up as we put the blame on our poor cousin. What a shameful act! But that was years ago and we learnt our lesson in a hard way. Another time when my sister’s teacher asked to meet our parents because Kate had ditched class. To her defense, that subject was boring and I was the one who talked to her teacher. In the end, Kate had to serve more time at the library and we kept this from our parents and so were other things. We got each other’s back and we always will because that’s what sisters do and simply because I love her.

DESCRIBE A GIFT YOU RECEIVED THAT MADE YOU HAPPY
You should say:
• what the gift is
• who gave it to you
• how you used the gift
and explain why this gift made you happy

The good gift that I would like to talk about is a book I received my best friend who is now residing in England. It was an utter surprise since I thought she had forgotten it because she didn’t once mention it during our conversion the previous night. What inside the box intrigued me more. It was a book called “How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie, one of the most classic books of all time and has been my bible ever since.

The book was first published about 60 years ago but still holds the same value until today. It was also one of the most influential self-help books that provided wonderful, yet practical advice on how to become a social person who earned respect from as well as was well-liked by others. My version was the 14th edition with a hard, black cover which was engraved with the title in gold script. The book comprised 6 main sections, each focusing on one aspect varying from handling people, presenting yourself in a proper way to influencing others. Those were timeless lessons that were widely applied on a daily basis as and especially formal occasions.

There was plenty to take out from “How to win friends and influence people” but the one thing that I found most applicable and everyone should practice it was “6 ways to make people like you”. It might sound as easy as pie and inevitable truth like smiling and being a good listener, however, few had mastered it or took it seriously since they failed to acknowledge the importance of simple but powerful act. I’ve read the book countless time but still struggled to bring those philosophies into life. But practice makes perfect.

DESCRIBE SOMETHING OLD THAT YOUR FAMILY HAS KEPT
You should say:
• what the thing is
• what it looks like
• what it is used for
and explain why your family has kept this thing for a long time

The old thing that I would like to talk about is an astonishing pearl necklace that belonged to my great grandmother. It has been there for quite a long time as a family heirloom on my mom’s side, which, I guess, would become mine when the time comes. Though I haven’t seen neither my Grannie nor my mom wear it, the necklace still holds an underlying meaning and is always treated with greatest care and love.

The pearl necklace is super classic and simple, just like what it represents: pure beauty. The strand was hand-strung with a notch between each pearl to avoid them rubbing against each other. Even though it has been carefully preservedthe shiny surface of each pearl is no longer at its best; instead, a few scratches have appeared and the bright white color has started to get dull. It was on our great grandparents’ wedding that my great grandfather presented his beloved wife this precious gift and it immediately became her favorite. She wore it whenever there was an occasion, which means practically every time she went out. This was proven by the number of pictures we found her wearing the chain years later.

My Grannie inherited it after her mom passed away but almost never touched it unless to clean or move it from box to box. She said she wanted to keep its true spirit and the beautiful story behind as it was meant to be. As a result, years has gone by but that delicate pearl chain has always stayed untouched inside the jewelry box and will still be there in many years to come as a sign of respect and reminder of the good old days.

Vocabulary:

Astonishing (adj) very surprising, amazing
Heirloom (noun) a valuable or special possession that has belonged to a family for many years
underlying meaning (expression) are the real or basic meaning, although they are not obvious or directly stated
inherit (verb) to receive property or money from someone who has died

delicate (adj) attractive with many small details


To just see a list of the speaking questions see here:
https://www.ieltsanswers.com/current-ielts-speaking-test-questions-2021.html

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top