Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 2)

There are many ways of preventing crime that are much better than prison. Do you agree or disagree with this view?

Being sent to prison is a form of punishment given to people who break the law. If people know that there is a possibility of being put behind bars for a crime they might not go through with it. In some countries there are severe forms of punishment such as capital punishment to ensure that criminals don’t commit serious crimes.

Some people might say that the idea of prison is not a way to prevent crime. Perhaps criminals don’t believe that they will ever get caught. When prisoners have served their time, they are likely to re-offend when they get out. Due to the fact that the environment inside prison is harsh, it is not the ideal place for a person to reflect on their actions and reform.

Increased security might prevent crime. Cities like London are full of CCTV cameras. Londoners know they are being watched constantly and that footage can be used in court. Many crimes have been captured on camera so this might make criminals cautious.

Capital punishment exists in some states in America and prisoners who commit serious crimes are executed. If someone knows they could lose their life for their wrongdoing they might think twice before taking that risk. There are of course much lighter sentences such as community service for less serious crimes, in which case an offender might not feel the weight of his wrongdoing.

Offenders are sent to prison after they have broken the law. It is the result of their actions rather than a preventative measure for crime. If the government wants to prevent crime they need to take other measures and look into the reasons behind criminal behavior and think of ways to increase security and safety.

Question taken from IELTS for Academic Purposes Student's Book p.33

Monday, 27 May 2013

Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 2)

In many countries very few young people read newspapers or follow the news on TV. What do you think are the causes of this? What solutions can you suggest?
Many youngsters have a poor general knowledge of what is happening in their country and about world events because they do not follow the news. This is sad because it leads to apathy and it means they are not interested in decisions that affect their daily lives.
There are so many distractions and ways for young people to spend their free time that it’s hardly surprising that they don’t follow the news. They would rather be doing something else like shopping, going out with their friends or travelling than listening to all the depressing information broadcasted on TV. Young people have a different attitude towards the news with many of them believing it is boring or it has nothing to do with them, or perhaps their parents never encouraged them to take an interest in the world around them when they were children.
It is now possible to read newspapers online and watch live updates minute by minute on the internet. This change in direction of mass media might attract young viewers' interests as they spend a great portion of their time surfing the web. Perhaps leading newspapers and networks can use smart marketing tactics to increase clicks on their sites from young people. If they make news bulletins interactive, allowing some form of interaction (like tweets) and comments, young people are likely to take an interest.
If a young person is not interested in following the news that is their personal choice. The internet however has increased involvement in shaping events by allowing people to share what interests them and allowing them to voice their opinions.
Question taken from IELTS for Academic Purposes Student's Book p.77

Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 1)

The table shows how many millions of people speak six languages either as a native language or as an additional one.

The language that is spoken the most by far is Mandarin reaching a total of 1,051 billion speakers of which 873 million are native speakers. English follows with 810 million speakers in total but it is mainly spoken as an additional language (470 million). Of the 490 million Hindi speakers, only 120 million speak it as an additional language. 70 million less people speak Spanish with 20 million less native speakers compared to Hindi speakers.
Arabic speakers surpass Portuguese speakers by 17 million and 3 million more speak it as a native language. Portuguese is not popular as an additional language. It has 10 million speakers.
Mandarin is spoken the most as a native language however English ranks the highest in terms of number of speakers who use it as an additional language. On the other hand, Portuguese is spoken the least on all accounts.
Question taken from IELTS for Academic Purposes Student's Book p.28

Friday, 24 May 2013

Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 1)


The bar chart show how much energy was consumed in the UK and the USA over a six year period, using five types of energy sources.

35% of energy consumption in the USA in 2000 came from oil and coal whilst the UK consumed 5% less. The UK used around 5% more gas, nuclear power and other renewable resources than the USA at 20%, 15% and 10% respectively.

Six years later the USA consumed 40% oil and the UK 10% less. Coal consumption dropped and reached 25% in the USA and 15% in the UK. Gas usage increased for both countries and reached 38% for the UK and 25% for the USA. The consumption of nuclear power and other renewable sources was less than 10%.

In 2000, oil and coal were consumed the most (by both countries) while coal consumption fell six years later giving rise to gas usage (mostly used in the UK).  The usage of other renewable resources remained relatively stable and nuclear power was used less.
 

Question taken from Achieve IELTS p.25

Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 1)


The pie chart show government spending on the arts in 1995 and 2005 and the bar chart shows the number of participants in these two time periods.

In 1995, the government spent about half of its arts budget on music, approximately a quarter on visual arts, less than a quarter on the theatre and the smallest proportion on literature. Ten years later it spent equal amounts on the theatre and music (around 40%) and equal amounts on visual arts and literature.

The number of people participating in visual arts in 1995 and 2005 were around 50,000 whilst for literature there was considerably less participation (about half of this ). Over the ten year period theatre participation remained relatively stable, between 80.000 - 90.000. Music was popular with 120,000 participants in 1995 and 30.000 more in 2005.

We can see that the government favoured spending money on music in both years and participation levels were highest for this art form. In contrast, very little was spent on literature resulting in lower participation numbers.

Question taken from Achieve IELTS p.61



Thursday, 23 May 2013

Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 1)


The table shows four reasons why adults in the UK attended the arts over a 20 year period.


To begin with, over half of the attendees listed their desire to see a specific artist as their most important reason for attending an event in all the time periods. To be more precise, 58% gave this as their reason 20 years ago, 55% ten years ago and 1% more today. Attending the arts to celebrate a special occasion dropped over this time span. Whereas the figure was 27% twenty years ago this percentage has fallen to 9% today.

In contrast, accompanying children and attending for business reasons increased.  9% of the adults cited accompanying children as the motive behind going to an arts event 20 years ago. This percentage went up to 15% ten years ago and grew to 24% where it stands today. Finally, only 6% of UK adults went to an arts event for business reasons twenty years ago. This rose to 10% a decade later and a further 1% today.

To sum up, UK adults wanted to see an artist and that was the main reason behind attending an arts event while very few adults attending for business reasons. Many more adults began attending the arts in order to accompany their children whilst there were fewer who opted to go to an event as a way to celebrate an occasion.

Question taken from IELTS Academic Purposes Student's book p.27

Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 1)



The information shown in the bar graph relates to Science qualifications in Italy and Germany.

Most people in Germany and Italy have no qualification in Science at all. In other words 60% of Italians and 55% of Germans are without a Science qualification. In Italy 30% have passed school leaving exams in the Sciences whilst this qualification stands at 25% in Germany. More Germans than Italians have a Science Bachelor’s degree. This accounts for 15% in Germany and 8% in Italy. Finally, the number of Science Master’s degree holders are the same for both countries, approximately 3%.

It is clear to see that Science qualifications do not rank highly in these two European countries. More than 50% have no qualifications in Science and about half this number have passed school leaving exams in this area. Although the Germans have a greater number of people with a Science Bachelor less than 5% have a Master’s degree in this subject.

Question taken from IELTS for Academic Purposes Student's book p.67

Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 1)


The diagram provided shows a method of producing coffee from the initial stages of hand sorting through to the final stages of packaging and sales.

The dry method to produce coffee begins with sorting the beans by hand. Once the sorted beans have been cleaned with the help of a sieve to filter out any impurities they are left out in the sun to dry for a duration of 4 weeks. The next step involves raking and turning the dry beans. Prior to being sent to the mill they are stored. At the mill they undergo a process known as hulling which involves crushing the beans manually. The finer coffee beans are then graded, bagged and sold to manufacturers in bulk. The manufacturers then need to roast the coffee, pack it and sell it to consumers.

The dry method used to produce coffee is lengthy and time consuming. It requires many steps for its completion before consumers can enjoy it and manual labour is required.

Question taken from Achieve IELTS p.80

Monday, 20 May 2013

Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 1)


The table shows savings as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in three time periods, 1990, 2000 and 2008 in seven countries.
In 1990 Singaporean's savings where the greatest at 43.6%. South Korea and China also had high percentages at 37.7% and 35.6% respectively whilst the USA had the lowest percentage at 15.3%. The savings of the remaining 3 countries ranged between 20 and 25%.
In the year 2000, Singaporeans saved the most at 46.9%. Once again China and South Korea followed with 37.3% and 33.6% respectively. Even though Americans saved 2.4% more in 2000 they still saved the least. Indians saved 0.8% more whilst Germans saved less (5.1%) as did Italians (0.2%).
In 2008 China’s savings as a percentage of GDP was over 50% with Singapore a little less. India saved 10% more this year and Germany 6%. Italians and South Koreans saved slightly less.
To conclude, China and Singapore’s savings were high in 2008 in relation to their GDP, whilst the United States had the smallest percentage. Germany and India had an increase in savings as part of their GDP while Italy and South Korea’s percentages were reduced.

Question taken from Focusing on IELTS Academic Practice Tests p.92

Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 1)



The diagram illustrates the process of extracting hot underground water in order to produce electricity.
The initial stage of the cycle begins by pumping hot underground water to the surface. This water is delivered to a heat exchanger using a pipe. The heat exchanger is able to use the heat from the water to run a power station which in turn produces electricity. This electricity is forwarded to the national grid and is used to serve our electricity needs.
Once the heat is taken from the water, the cool water is returned back through the layer of hot rock where it will heat up again.
To sum up, using geothermal energy to produce electricity is relatively easy and requires extracting heat from layers of hot rock in the form of hot water. This is a renewable form of energy as the water is returned back to the ground and re-heated to be used again.
Question taken from Focusing on IELTS Academic Practice Tests p.90

Friday, 17 May 2013

Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 1)



The line graphs show how many children and young people there are in Australia and this figure in percentages, beginning from 1958 until 2038.

To begin with, there were 3 million children aged 0-14 in Australia in 1958. This number rose steadily and is expected to reach 5 million in 2038. A little over 1 million 15-24 years olds resided in Australia in 1958. This figure is predicted to increase to 3.5 million in 2038.

The 0-14 year olds represented 30% of the population in 1958 with the percentage showing a gradual downward trend. A 10% drop is predicted for 2038. The percentage of 15-24 year olds is more or less the same, fluctuating between 14 and 17%. The 2038 percentage is likely to be the same as that of 1958 at 14%.

In conclusion, there are more 0-14 year olds in Australia than 15-24 year olds and there is likely to be more of both groups in 2038. However the percentage of children will drop and that of young people will remain relatively stable.

Question taken from Focusing on IELTS Academic Practice Tests p.88

Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 1)


As shown by the bar graph there are four major stress causes in Canada for those aged between 25 and 75 and over.

Working too much causes stress for 26% of those aged 25 to 54. Money worries account for 15% while 5% of this group have no particular reason for stressing and only 4% are worried about their health. 55 to 64 year olds stress for no particular reason (17%) while 2% less overwork and this causes them stress. Money and health account for 10% of the stress experienced by this group.

The greatest cause of stress for 65 to 74 year olds is 'no particular reason' (32%). 25% have their own health problems to worry about. Working too much causes very few people in this age group to stress (3%). Finally the oldest age group also stresses for no particular reason the most (34%) and their own health (24%). Not having enough money and overworking are not important stress factors ( less than 5%).

To sum up, the elderly stress for  no particular reason and worry about their health while the youngest age group stresses due to overwork.

Question taken from Focusing on IELTS Academic Practice Tests p.86

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 2)

Some countries have laws that prohibit animals being used in circuses or other forms of entertainment because it is cruel to keep animals in an environment that can cause them stress. Should all countries have laws to prevent animals being used in circuses and similar forms of entertainment?
Animals can be seen in circuses performing various tricks, in races like hound and horse races and in fights like cockfights. In the later cases they are used for entertainment and gambling. They are taken outside their normal environment, trained and then forced to perform for humans.
There is no reason why animals should be used in circuses. It takes many years of training to tame a lion to jump through a hoop or to make an elephant follow a standard routine. These are wild animals that need to be hunting in the jungle and not entertaining young children. Circuses are crowd pleasers and they attract a great audience and use bright lights as performances are usually held in the evening. This environment is stressful for animals and they are put under great pressure. Similarly, horses that are used for show jumping may be injured if they fail to clear the obstacles placed before them.
What is more, animals are expensive to upkeep and transport from one location to the other. They need to be drugged when taken on a plane which is stressful for them. Humans are able to put on an impressive performance in circuses without the need to employ animals, for example there are clowns, acrobats, human cannon balls and trapeze artists.
I believe it is selfish to use animals for our entertainment and amusement by placing them in situations that they would not normally find themselves in. If a law was passed prohibiting animals from being used to entertain us, then circus managers would come up with creative solutions and acts without animals.
Question taken from Focusing on IELTS Academic Practice Test p.93

Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 2)

In some large cities, people have to pay a fee when they drive their cars into the city centre, in a policy to reduce the number of cars in the city. Give reasons in support of and opposing this policy and give your own opinion.
Londoners are aware that if they venture into the city centre, a camera will read their car number plate and they will receive a bill for this later. This system was thought of as a solution to traffic congestion and has been successfully implemented.
City centres are crowded areas because businesses and shops are located there. Using a car to get there is a major cause of pollution. Making motorist pay a fine will encourage them to use public transport. Large cities have efficient and cheap public transport as well as an extensive network. Fewer cars on the road results in a clear environment in the city which benefits all residents. Other types of problems like finding a parking space, being late for work, paying for the expenses associating with owning a car and road rage will be reduced.
On the other hand, some jobs require driving into the city centre on a daily basis to deliver merchandise to shops, to maintain stock levels etc. These types of essential forms of car usage should not be restricted. Companies will find their expenses increasing if they are charged every time they need to deliver an item to a central address. This policy will also put off tourists or business travelers who are planning to rent a car.
Our world has become polluted as a result of carbon dioxide emissions that are released from cars. Owning a private car is a luxury and driving into the city when there are cheaper alternatives and environmentally friendly options should result in a penalty for drivers.
Question taken from Focusing on IELTS Academic Practice Tests p.89

Monday, 13 May 2013

Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 2)

Every government has a duty to provide free health care for its people. What are the advantages and disadvantages of government providing free health care?

During the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in 2012 in London there was a presentation on the National Health Service (N.H.S) which is provided free to all citizens. The U.K is proud of this system and wanted to show it to the rest of the world.

Many people have financial problems and are unable to pay for a check-up and medication, so the availability of free health care will benefit the public. If citizens are entitled to free services they are more likely to use them, leading to improved health. This results in a healthy productive workforce and population which will ultimately be advantageous for a country. What is more, it keeps the fees of private doctors and clinics in check because people know they have an alternative.

On the other hand, tax payers are burdened with the cost of maintaining such a system. Doctors and medical staff need to be paid, equipment purchased, free medication given out and buildings maintained. This constitutes a large expense. Secondly, because services are provided for free, the system will not be efficient leading to waste. There is a lot more control of resources in the private sector where the aim is to make a profit. Hospitals which provide free health care like those in England tend to be understaffed with staff members working longer hours than they should to meet the great demand of patients. Exhausted staff will make more mistakes in a sector where an error can lead to a death. Finally, there are long waiting lists and delays in operations when care is free.

Although people’s health and pockets may benefit from free health care the government needs to consider whether it can economically support such a system.

Question taken from Focusing on IELTS Reading and Writing skills p.195

Speaking IELTS - Part 2 & 3 (Model notes)

PART 2

Describe a house or an apartment you have lived in and which you liked.
You should say:
  • When you lived there (year, period of your life etc.)
  • How it looked inside (furniture, rooms, decoration, colour, size, design etc.)
  • What kind of area it was in (city centre, suburbs, residential area, quiet neighbourhood)
  • and explain why you liked living there (comfortable home, good area, facilities in the area, convenient etc.)
PART 3

FINDING A PLACE TO LIVE

How do people usually find a place to live in your country? (signs outside buildings, estate agents, word of mouth, newspapers, internet)

What factors do you think determine where people choose to live? (cost, convenience, safety, facilities, income)

What is it like to live in an apartment compared to living in a house? (houses are spacious, for family and pets, have a garden and parking, no common expenses or problems with neighbours but are more expensive to buy)

HOME OWNERSHIP

Do most people rent their homes or own their homes where you’re from? (rent as owning a home is expensive and you need a big down payment)

Could you compare the attitudes of someone who’s renting a home and someone who owns their own home? (people who are renting don’t feel responsible for the property so don’t look after it. They treat it as something temporary)

Should the government help people buy their own homes? (the government could provide low interest loans for families seeking to buy homes)

RESIDENTIAL AREAS

Why do you think some residential areas are more pleasant to live in than others? (greener, safer, facilities close by, friendly neighbours)

Could you compare living in the centre of the city and in a suburban area? (city centre is crowded, polluted, noisy, dangerous, busy)

What are the benefits of planning a residential area before people start living there? (save on expenses to make changes later, able to make the area attractive to potential buyers)

Questions taken from Focusing on IELTS Academic Practice Tests p.101

Speaking IELTS - Part 2 & 3 (Model notes)

PART 2

Describe a time when you complained about something you had paid for (e.g. a restaurant meal, a product in a shop).

You should say:
  • Why you complained (faulty product, late service, misleading information etc.)
  • How you complained (face-to-face, email, asked to speak to the manager etc.)
  • Whether it was useful to complain (problem was resolved, got a refund etc.)
  • and explain how you felt after you had complained (satisfied, relieved, stood up for yourself, got what you paid for etc.)
PART 3

COMPLAINING

What are some things people often complain about these days?
(almost everything from not having enough money, the weather, bad decisions, delayed public transport)

What is more effective – complaining by writing an email or by talking face to face with the person responsible? (face to face is faster, direct and can solve the problem immediately but written communication might lead to greater compensation)

Are there situations when it’s better not to complain? (when something is too small to matter or make a difference, when complaining will not change anything)

BEING PATIENT

Could you describe some situations in daily life when people need to be patient?
(when waiting in a queue to be served, waiting for exam results, waiting for a bus or train to arrive)

Do you think technology such as email and mobile phones have made people less patient?
(yes as people expect an immediate response to everything)

What are some benefits of being impatient? (you get what you want sooner than expected, you get taken seriously)

BEING SATISFIED IN LIFE

Would you say most people are satisfied with their lives? (people compare themselves with others and look for ways to improve their situation in life, so are never satisfied)

Do rich people tend to be more content than poor people? (rich people do not have to worry about money but material products lose their value when they can be bought easily)

Do you agree that, in general, humans tend to be dissatisfied rather than satisfied? (most people are pessimistic and have a negative outlook to life. Very few are content with what they have)


Questions taken from Focusing on IELTS Academic Practice Tests p.115

Friday, 10 May 2013

Speaking IELTS - Part 2 & 3 (Model notes)

PART 2

Describe a film you have seen that made an impression on you.
You should say:
  • What it was about (plot)
  • How popular it was (blockbuster, low ratings, independent film)
  • What you thought about the actors (performed well, convincing)
  • and explain why it made an impression on you (storyline, acting, settling, special effect etc.)

PART 3

THE IMPORTANCE OF ENTERTAINMENT

What kinds of entertainment are popular in your country?
(cinema, theatre, clubs, restaurants, caf├ęs, watching sports, paintball etc.)

Could you compare types of entertainment children like and adults like?
(children like fun activities where they are physically involved, activities that involve colour, music and other children)

Why is entertainment important in people’s lives?
(need time to relax and break-away from daily routine, time to forget their problems for a while)

FAMOUS ACTORS

Why do you think people are interested in the private lives of famous actors?
(gossip, believe their lives are better and more exciting than their own, time pass)

In your own opinion, is the amount of money earned by film stars justified?
(they earn too much for pretending to be other people, important life-saving jobs are not paid as much)

What would it be like to be a famous actor?
(receive a lot of attention but under pressure to maintain a public image, have money, power and influence but no private life)

GLOBAL CULTURE

How much influences does American culture have in your country?
(youngsters copy the language, dress style and music they find in Hollywood films and American music)

What are Hollywood films like in comparison with films produced in your country?
(Hollywood has a huge budget, professional actors, special effects and a great international audience so the films produced locally can’t be compared)

How can a country avoid being dominated by a foreign culture?
(they need to be isolated like North Korea, have no contact with the outside world, restrict movement of people)

Questions taken from Focusing on IELTS Academic Practice Tests p.123

Speaking IELTS - Part 2 & 3 (Model notes)

PART 2
Describe a river, lake or beach that you know.
You should say:
  • Where it is (location)
  • What it looks like (sandy, busy, clear water, deep, has fish etc.)
  • What people use it for (fishing, swimming, water sports, transport etc.)
  • and explain whether you like it or not (enjoy relaxing there/overcrowded, polluted etc.)
PART 3

HOLIDAYS NEAR WATER

Could you tell me about some places near water where people like to take holidays in your country? (resorts, camping sites, on house boats)

What are some activities people can do when they have a holiday near water?
(fishing, water sports, white water rafting, sun tanning)

Why do you think people often find it relaxing to be near water?
(the color and sound of waves is relaxing, water has a calming effect on people)

TRANSPORT ON WATER

How important is water transportation these days?
(useful to transport heavy containers and products like oil to and from islands and for cruises)

Could you compare travelling on water and travel by road?
(less traffic on water, sea sickness, few boat accidents)

In the future, how important do you think travel by water will be?
(same as today but people prefer to use planes)

WATER POLLUTION

What are some of the causes of water pollution? (factories, sewage, ships)

What can governments do to prevent water being polluted?
(limit activities that involve dumping waste into water)

What would happen if there were a global shortage of clean water?
(we cannot live without water or air. The value of water would exceed gold and it would become a rare commodity)

Questions taken from Focusing on IELTS Academic Practice Tests p.125

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Speaking IELTS - Part 2 & 3 (Model notes)

PART 2

Describe a website you have used.
You should say:
  • How you found that website (by accident, saw an advertisement, a friend told you about it )
  • What that website is about (all the features found on the site)
  • How often you access it (daily, weekly etc.)
  • and explain how you feel about that website (useful, informative, user friendly)
PART 3

USING THE INTERNET

What are some of the main reasons people use the Internet in your country?
(information, communication, social networking, to find out the news, advertising)

Could you compare looking for information on the Internet and in a book?
(information in a book is limited, time consuming to read, difficult to locate exactly what you need)

How do you think the Internet might change in the future?
(accessed by more people, faster, more applications, free connection)

FINDING RELIABLE INFORMATION

Do you think we can generally believe what we see on the Internet?
(depends on the source)

Where can we find the most reliable reports: on the Internet, on TV or in a newspaper?
(most people have access to a TV and independent channels are reliable)

How is it possible to check whether information you receive is correct or not?
(you need to cross-check sources, review comments, use well-know sites)

MISUSE OF THE INTERNET

What are some ways people use the Internet to trick or deceive other people?
(fake profiles on social networking sites, steal credit card information, use false information)

What can governments do to try to stop Internet fraud?
(work with other governments, block certain sites, inform citizens about fake sites and dangers)

Do you think that misuse of the Internet will lead to less trust between strangers in the future?
(it is difficult to trust individuals or companies that don’t have a strong reputation)

Questions taken from Focusing on IELTS Academic Practice Tests p.119

Speaking IELTS - Part 2 & 3 (Model notes)

PART 2

Describe something interesting that you are going to do in your free time.
You should say:
  • What it is (a sport, a hobby, a trip)
  • When you’re going to do it (month, year)
  • Why it will be interesting (something different, enjoyable, the first time you’re doing it)
  • and explain how you feel about it doing it (excited, looking forward to it)
PART 3

MAKING PLANS

What are some things in life that people need to plan for carefully?
(studies, career, old age, wedding, family)

Are there any important things that people cannot prepare for?
(being a parent, unforeseen circumstances)

Why do you think some people don’t like making plans?
(they like to be impulsive and live for the moment, take things as they happen)

HOPES

In your country, what are some things that many people hope to achieve in life?
(personal success, professional success, to have family and friends)

Could you compare these with the hopes and ambitions people had when your parents were young?
(older generation placed importance on health and wished the best for their children)

Why do people need to have hopes and dreams?
(in order to have something to look forward to and work towards)

ATTITUDES TO THE FUTURE

Could you compare people who are optimistic and people who are pessimistic about the future?
(optimistic people have positive thoughts and believe things will be better while the opposite is true with pessimists)

How does a person’s attitude to the future affect their life?
(it affects their current life as their mental attitude has an impact on the decisions they make)

Do you think that people should be optimistic about the future of the world these days?
(we are bombarded with bad news and negativity daily so it is difficult to be optimistic but people will be healthier with positive thinking)

Questions taken from Focusing on IELTS Academic Practice Tests p.121

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Speaking IELTS - Part 2 & 3 (Model notes)

PART 2

Describe an occasion when you bought a special gift or present for someone.
You should say:
  • What you bought [Describe the gift – size, color, price, use]
  • Where you bought it from [Shop]
  • Why you chose that present [Person likes that item, reasonable price, fashionable]
  • And explain how you felt when you gave the present to the other person [Happy to see their reaction, satisfied that choice was good]

PART 3

GIVING PRESENTS

When do people give presents in your culture? [Birthdays, graduation, New Year, weddings, Christmas etc.]

What kind of presents do you think adults should give children? [Small gifts, age appropriate, safe]

Is it ever acceptable to give money as a present? [At weddings, Chinese New Year, when a person needs money, when you don’t know what to get someone]

RECEIVING PRESENTS

What are some ways people show gratitude when they receive a present?
[Say 'thank you', invite you for a meal, give you something in return]

Is there anything people should avoid doing or saying when they receive a present in your country?
[It’s not polite to open a gift in front of someone or saying that you don’t like it]

Are there any situations where a person should not accept a gift?
[When the gift is given to bribe someone]

WHY PEOPLE GIVE AND RECEIVE PRESENTS

Would you agree or disagree with the statement that “people sometimes give expensive presents instead of spending time with a person”?
[Today people compensate for not spending enough time with a person by buying an expensive gift]

Do you agree that, when people give presents, they usually expect something in return?
[When they are celebrating an event they expect a gift in return]

Does giving and receiving presents sometimes have negative rather than positive results?
[Sometimes a person doesn’t want to accept a gift from someone especially if it is very expensive and they feel uncomfortable when it is offered to them]

Questions taken from Focusing on IELTS Academic Practice p.117