IELTS Speaking Sample #11


In the IELTS Speaking module, you may need a few seconds to think before you speak.
Use phrases like: "Well, let me think about that for a moment" or "Thatís an interesting question!" to give yourself time.
When you answer, give more than just one-word or very short answers. You have to show that you can communicate in English.

Good morning. May I have a look at your passport?


Could you tell me your full name please?

My first name is Sarah, which means Princess. My family name is Burton.

All right Sarah. In this first part I am going to ask you some questions about yourself. Let's talk about your work. Where do you work?

I work part-time at a bookstore.

Do you enjoy your work?

Yes, very much.


Itís an interesting job, because I get to deal with the publics and they are often quite colourful characters, and I like my boss.

What kinds of tasks do you have to do at work?

Sometimes I have to open the store, I have a set of keys. I have to deal with the public and thousands of books and sometimes I have to place orders for books that we donít have.

Have you ever been late for work?

Yes, not often, but I was once very late.

I'd like to move on now to talk about fashion. Tell me about the popular clothes and fashions in your country?

Thatís quite difficult because people have different tastes, but younger people tend to wear a lot of denim, which you wouldnít see on somebody who, say, is 60 or 70 years old.

What sort of fashion shops do you have in your country?

Again, quite a variety. Some big chain stores, and there're also smaller and more independent shops.

Have fashions changed very much since you were younger?

I think they have changed quite a lot, but it is interesting to see how some fashions reappear maybe 20 years later.

Is it important for you to be in fashion?

Yes, not desperately so, but I do like to be quite fashionable.

Let's move on to the topic of the internet. How often do you use the internet?

I use it almost every day but mainly just in the evenings.

Does everyone in your family use the internet?

Yes, well, everybody apart from my Dad, he doesnít like it very much. But we are slowly persuading him to use it more.

What do you use the internet for?

I use it mainly to check my emails, Iíve got friends all around the world. So I like to keep in touch with them by email, and I also use the NET to look up information.

When did you last use the internet?

I used it last night, I needed some travel information, Iím thinking about flying to America next year, and I also have some work to do on my history project.


If you donít know the word for something, you will need to express it in an indirect way. For example, if you don't know the term brochure, instead of We looked in a travel brochure, you could say We looked in a magazine with information about all kinds of holidays.

When you are making your notes, try not to write too much. It is important to use this time to think and note down ideas or words, but you also need to be able to quickly look at your notes during your talk and easily find your next idea. Try to find a way that helps you do this (e.g. organise your ideas clockwise on your page, rather than in a random order).

Ok Sarah. Iím going to give you a topic and Iíd like you to talk about it for one to two minutes. Before you talk, you'll have one minute to think about what you're going to say. You can make some notes if you wish. Here's some paper and a pencil, for making notes, and here's your topic.

Don't worry if I stop you , I'll let you know when the time is up.

Describe a place that you would like to visit.

You should say:

  • where it is
  • when you would like to go there
  • who you would like to go with

and explain why you would like to visit this place.

All right. Can you start speaking now, please?

OK. Iíve always wanted to go to China ever since I was a little girl. Iíve never been and it is a long way, which might mean it is too expensive. But Iím going to look into it. I think the best time to go would be before Chinese New Year, with all the celebrations happening, which I believe is at the end of January. But thinking about it, it might be quite cold at that time of the year. Iíve heard that China can be very cold in the winter, and very crowded as well, because of people having the same idea. So actually, maybe I should go in the summer, although it might be too hot then. So maybe the autumn, yeah, Iíd like to go China in the autumn. I really like to take my boyfriend, his family is from China, so that would be really good. He is always wanted to go as well. And when we get there, I think, itís be a shame not to see the Great Wall. Thatís something we do really like to do, and also, spend some time in rural areas in the country side, and try if we can to get talking to some people, because I really like languages. It would be great if we could learn some Mandarin, perhaps. We both like cycling, and I believe there are some great places to cycle out there.

Do you think that youíd go to China soon?

I hope so.


One way to put emphasis on something in English is by adding do/does/did to affirmative sentences in the present simple and past simple. Doing this expresses a contrast or a strong feeling.

- I do like visiting big cities but I also don't mind spending some time in rural areas in the country side. (a contrast)
- I do think it is a great idea to learn something of the language of the country youíre going to. (a strong feeling)

We've been talking about a place you'd like to visit and I'd like to discuss with you one or two more general questions related to this.
So, let's consider first of all the idea, as a student, of having a gap year.

How important do you think it is for young people to visit different places before they go to university or college?

I think itís really important. I think itís a really crucial time to get some life experience that is independence of home and family. Seeing things that your are not familiar with, may seem to be scary, but in the long run, I think would build your confidence. And also I think itís always a good thing to get experience of different cultures.

What sort of challenges do you think you'd have, going on a gap year as a student?

I think there might be language challenges, and financial challenges as well, because obviously as a student, I donít have much money. So, I would have to think about whether or not I would work, in order to fund that study.

Do you think it's useful to work, for other reasons as well, besides money?

Besides money, yes, I think itís another way of getting beneath the surface of the different countriesí culture. And I think by working, you more likely to coming to contact with people, which will help with your languages and also your understanding, not only of work ethos, but also the culture in general.

What sort of jobs do you think would be the best sort of jobs to do?

I think it would depend whether there were language barriers. If it was somewhere, where they needed you native language, you could be quite valuable to them, but if you didnít speak their language, then youíd be fairly useless as, say, a translator or interpreter. And you might have to do more ground level work, like working in a restaurant or a bar.

What sort of preparation should a student make before they go on a gap year, do you think?

I think it depends where youíre going. If itís an area, where you might need vaccinations, then you need to get proper medical preparations, like Malaria tablets or the vaccinations you might need. Also, if you need to work to fund the travelling, then it would be a good idea to write to potential employers in advance.

OK. Let's move on to the topic of travelling to less familiar places. What sort of advantages are there to reading about a country before you visit it?

I think you can make more effective use of your time if you know where to go before you get there rather than wondering about and wasting time on places that wonít worth it.

Some people choose to have a guide, when they go to a very unfamiliar place. Do you think that improves the quality of a travel experience?

Yes. I think anybody with local knowledge is going to, quite literally guide you towards some real ďdonít miss these areasĒ type places. So, if you can afford a guide, I think it would be a good idea.

How can you make sure you get the most from your travels?

I've always thought learning something of the language of the country youíre going to is the best possible way of benefitting fully from your holiday. That way, the local population aren't so likely to see you as an outsider, but rather as someone who has made the effort of learning some words and expressions and so has an interest in their culture.

Thank you Sarah. Your speaking test is over now.

Thank you.

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