Unusual IELTS speaking part 1 topics

IELTS speaking part 1 topicsTricky or strange IELTS part 1 speaking topics.

Part 1 of the IELTS speaking test is actually the easiest. The topics are nearly always about you and your experiences. Usually, the topics are pretty easy everyday topics such as Job/studies, hobbies, food, travel, hometown, music, daily routine and so on. The examiner asks between 9 to 12 questions around 3 topics and this part of the test lasts around 5 minutes.

However, sometimes the examiner might ask you questions around an unusual topic. This is quite normal as the examiner wants to check whether you have memorised answers to the most common topics and needs to evaluate your true ability. Do not memorise stock answers as the examiner is trained to spot these and you could lose marks.

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IELTS Writing task 1: Diagrams with a model answer

IELTS Model answer for 3 diagrams over 3 time periods

Here is a tricky looking task. It consists of 3 maps/diagrams over 3 time periods showing changes that have taken place. Actually, it is easier than it looks as long as you logically group the information. So for this model answer, I have 3 main body paragraphs. Each main body covers the map for each year.

Planning is important in IELTS writing task 1 just as it is in the essay section writing task 2. Spend about 3 minutes planning a task 1 as you must analyse the task, think of what comparisons you have to make, the language needed and decide on a logical structure.

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IELTS opinion essay about wealth

Model answer for an IELTS essay on the topic of wealth and helping others.

Before writing anything we must always analyse the task. Take 2 minutes to do this and underline keywords and decide what exactly you need to write about. In this stage check the instruction words too.

It might seem obvious but this is a crucial stage before even planning or writing. I have seen so many essays go off-topic because the student did not spend the time at the start analysing the task Let’s see the task question below.

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Paraphrasing in IELTS Speaking

IELTS speakingThe key to a higher score in IELTS speaking is paraphrasing.

You are probably aware that paraphrasing is a crucial skill to master in IELTS writing and is important for a Band score of 7 or more, but what about in Speaking?

In the IELTS speaking Band descriptors for Band 7 lexical resource, it says: ‘uses paraphrase effectively’ and for Band 4 lexical resource it mentions: ‘rarely attempts to paraphrase’. So clearly this is important to consider when in the speaking exam.

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IELTS General Writing Task 1: Formal letter model answer

A letter to your boss asking for time off

In the IELTS general training, you will need to write a letter in writing task 1. It will be either formal or informal. Take a look at the model answer below for a formal letter asking for time off from your boss. This is written in a formal tone because a letter to your boss is always formal.

To see a lesson on using formal language in IELTS letters click here

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IELTS Listening lesson: Maps

Labelling a Map in IELTS listening.

Listening to directions for a map can be quite tricky for some people. In IELTS listening you often get a map where you have to listen to someone giving directions and then label that map. This lesson should help you when you are faced with this in the exam.

The main language you need here is location language and prepositions of place.

This kind of task comes up usually in part 2 of the listening section but you could also get it in other sections of the listening test. Nearly always it is one person speaking, such as a tour guide or someone showing people around a building.

Sometimes you will be given a list of words to match the gaps with. Other map tasks just have a gap, so you will need to pick up the words from listening only.

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IELTS Grammar: Conditional sentences.

How to use zero, 1st, 2nd and 3rd conditionals (if sentences)

There are four kinds of conditional sentences. The zero conditional describes real or specific situations, while unreal Conditionals describe unreal, imaginary situations or hopes for the future. With unreal conditionals there is a difference in the likelihood of them happening, however, they don’t refer to the past. The 3rd conditional is for past regret, how something could be different or a past hypothetical situation.

Conditional sentences are very useful structures in IELTS as they are seen by the examiner as complex sentences and are often included in a natural conversation. This comes in very handy in the IELTS speaking section when talking about your daily life, talking about possibilities and expressing regret or a hypothetical past.

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9 Tricky IELTS Part 2 Speaking topics

Tips and ideas for difficult IELTS Speaking part 2 topics.

Sometimes in IELTS speaking, you will get a tricky topic to answer in part 2. It can cause anxiety if you go into the exam and get presented with one of these. The important thing here is to use your imagination if you cannot think of a story.

Be prepared with a few ideas beforehand as that will go a long way to easing your nerves. I haven’t given any model answers here because there are so many variations on how you could answer these. Click the blue buttons to see the tips and ideas.

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Writing task 1: Process diagram about recycling aluminum

ielts process diagramModel answer for a process diagram on recycling drinks cans.

Process diagrams are some of the easiest tasks in IELTS Academic writing task 1 as you are logically explaining a process using sequencers and passive grammar. The data is obviously static so there are no trends to report on, it is pretty straightforward with enough practice.


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IELTS General writing task 1: Letter to a friend

informal writing ieltsModel answer for a letter to a friend about exercise.

In the general version of IELTS writing task 1, there are 2 types of letters, Informal and formal. Some teachers say there is a third semi-formal style but if the task is a letter to a friend it is informal, while everything else would be formal.

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