Look at your Notes in IELTS Speaking Part 2

Many students ask me if it is ok to look at your notes during your IELTS speaking part 2 talk. Let me explain…

Looking at your Notes

It is important to look at your notes during your talk. You can’t remember everything and this is the reason why you have 1 mins to plan and write notes.

Checking your notes will make sure you keep a logical order and also make sure you don’t forget to talk about something.

Does it lower my score to look at my notes a lot?

No, it doesn’t. You will not get a lower score if you look at your notes a lot.

Of course, it is good to have eye contact with the examiner because it shows confidence. But it won’t affect your score. Your score is based only on your level of English language: fluency, vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation.

Liz’s Advice

Keep checking your notes during your talk. But also look at the examiner. When students talk with their head in their notes, they often lose intonation and don’t speak naturally. So, try to aim for a balance – look at your notes as often as you need but also make sure you speak naturally by looking up at the examiner.

IELTS Speaking Tips & Answers

See my page of speaking tips and model answers for IELTS speaking: IELTS Speaking Main Page

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Question about Speaking Part 2 Notes

Hi guys,

I would like to know how much you understand about IELTS speaking part 2 and using your notes.

Please answer these questions:

  1. Is it ok to look at your notes in IELTS speaking part 2?
  2. Will you get a lower score if you look at your notes frequently during your talk?

Answers

Post your answers below in the comments box.

I’ll post my response with tips tomorrow.

All the best

Liz

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Model Answers for Yesterdays’ Speaking Topic

See the model answers for current topic used in IELTS speaking part 1. I’ve written a few model answers for each question so you can see the usual length of answers.

I’ve also written a list of useful words below.

Questions

  1. Do you often have dreams?
  2. Do you usually remember your dreams?
  3. Do you think we can learn something from dreams?

Model Answers

  1. Do you often have dreams?
    1. Yes, I do. I have quite vivid dreams about things that are going on in my life at the time and I even have nightmares sometimes.
    2. No. I usually sleep very deeply and so I don’t dream at all.
    3. I used to dream all the time but in the last few years I’ve hardly had any dreams at all.
    4. I usually have dreams when I’m upset about something. I guess it’s my subconscious trying to work things out. But other than that, I don’t often dream.
  2.  Do you usually remember your dreams?
    1.  No, they’re usually very vague and I only remember the odd thing or image. But I can never remember the entire dream as they are too abstract.
    2. No, luckily I don’t remember them as they are almost always nightmares.
    3. Yes, I do. I remember almost every dream I have. I keep a dream diary so that I can analyse them later.
  3. Do you think we can learn something from dreams?
    1. No, I don’t. I think dreams are nonsense and not based in reality so I don’t think people should waste their time trying to find a meaning in them.
    2. No, I don’t. I think most people dream because they are not relaxed enough and are not able to enter deep sleep. I don’t think there’s any meaning in what people dream.
    3. Yes, I do. I think our subconscious is trying to figure things out and we can find clues by analysing our dreams.
    4. Yes, I do. I think dreams can reveal hidden messages if we know how to interpret them correctly.
    5. Yes, I do. I know dreaming of a snake means that enemies are close. And if you dream of your teeth falling out, it means a big change will happen in your life. I think dreams are very symbolic.

Vocabulary:

  • disturbed sleep
  • deep sleep
  • peaceful sleep
  • nightmare
  • daydream
  • vivid dreams
  • vague dreams
  • abstract dreams
  • subconscious thinking / subconscious mind
  • symbolic
  • analyse our dreams
  • nonsense
  • dream diary
  • reveal messages
  • interpret dreams

See all my IELTS Speaking Tips & Model Answers

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IELTS Speaking Part 1 Topic

Hi guys,

A speaking part 1 topic this summer is the topic of Dreams. Below you will see some questions for this topic.

Instructions

In speaking part 1, you will be asked about 12 questions in 4 to 5 mins. This means you will probably be able to give about one or two long sentences for each answer. Always answer directly and always add a bit more information so that the examiner can hear your English.

Questions

  1. Do you often have dreams?
  2. Do you usually remember your dreams?
  3. Do you think we can learn something from dreams?

Answers

I have posted model answers on this page: Model Answers to Dream Questions

 

IELTS Speaking Tips

Get all my IELTS speaking tips: IELTS Speaking Tips & Model Answers

IELTS Recent Exam Questions

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IELTS Speaking Topic for May 2017 with Sample Answers

Below is an IELTS speaking topic for this month, May 2017. It was reported by a few students in their speaking part 1 test.

Robots: IELTS Speaking Part 1 Topic

  1. Do you like robots?
  2. Did you like to watch cartoons about robots when you were a child?
  3. Would you want a robot to work in your home?
  4. What do you think about a robot driving your car?
  5. Would you ever buy a robot?

Sample Answers

These are possible answers to the questions. In IELTS speaking, there is no right or wrong answer. So, I’ve given you three different answers so you can learn technique.

  1. Do you like robots?
    1. Yes, I do. I think, on the whole, they can be very useful as they’re able to do work we can’t do.
    2. No, not really. I’m not very keen on advanced technology and robots take jobs away from normal people.
    3. Definitely. I’m into all kinds of gadgets and robots are top of my list for sure.
  2. Did you like to watch cartoons about robots when you were a child?
    1. Yes, I did. I was huge Transformers fan when I was little. I collected the figurines and even as an adult I love the films.
    2. No, I can’t say I was very interested in cartoons at all. I was so into sport that I didn’t have much time for TV.
  3. What do you think about a robot driving your car?
    1. There is no way on earth I would want a robot in the driver’s seat of my car. They are never 100% reliable.
    2. I think it would be great. I’d be able to sit back, do nothing and enjoy the ride.
    3. I think I’d be continuously nervous waiting for it to break down. I mean, it could cause a serious traffic accident if that happened.

You can find other sample answers and ideas for the other questions written by students in the comments boxes. Notice: Never memorise answers. Just use the ideas and some vocabulary – always express your ideas in your own way.

Vocabulary for the Topic of Robots:

  • breakdown / short circuit / stop working / malfunction
  • never 100% reliable
  • time efficient / able to do work others can’t
  • accurate / more precise than humans
  • able to calculate quickly
  • inexhaustible
  •  driving: quick reaction time / good at steering and manoeuvring vehicles / will not violate road rules / a way to avoid human error /
  • some robots can be easily replaceable / they can be expendable
  • they are obedient and don’t answer back / they follow instructions
  • can be programmed to do different tasks / can be programmes not to hurt people

Examples of Useful Robots Current and Future:

Space Exploration: Robots are sent into space to explore and gather information or materials. They are able to go deeper into space than humans can.

Domestic Chores:  Might one day be useful in doing housework such as hoovering and washing up

Medical Robots: Able to do precise surgery without getting tired or losing concentration. More precise in their movements.

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How I Scored 9 in IELTS Speaking

Nouman got Band Score 9 in IELTS Speaking this year, 2017. Below he shares his experience and tips of how he got 9 in IELTS speaking. You can find useful links for IELTS at the end of this article.

All students taking GT or Academic IELTS will take the same speaking test. There is only one speaking test for all students.

Band Score 9 in IELTS Speaking

How I scored Band 9 in IELTS Speaking

I believe I managed to score a 9 with continuous practice and being myself in the test. The best thing is not to feel shy when you speak about any particular topic. Do not think that your thoughts might be too little or simple to express.  Some of us may believe that if we are not full of knowledge, we may not be able to impress the examiner.  In speaking module however, knowledge of the topic is not a big deal. The thoughts presented may just be of a lay man and do not need to reflect an in-depth understanding of the subject.

I never crammed any specific topics however; I did gather my thoughts for topics which I would have found difficult to talk about. For example, I have not been visiting many historical places in the past. The one or two that I have visited, I made sure that I gather sufficient thoughts about those places to talk about. Important thing is that those thoughts were purely my own and not learnt from a book or Wikipedia. Gathering own thoughts in your own words is important.

Well done to you, Nouman, and thanks so much for sharing your tips!!! Liz

Liz’s Comments and Summary:

Nouman’s band score 9 advice is excellent. Here are his points in a list with some extra tips for IELTS Speaking:

  • don’t be shy
  • enjoy the chat with the examiner
  • your ideas are not important – your knowledge is not being tested
  • say your ideas with confidence and showcase your language skills
  • simple ideas explained using excellent English can get you band score 9
  • review topics
  • think of your experiences relating to the topics
  • if the topic is a museum, think of museums you have been to or would like to go to
  • remember your past experiences
  • speak from the heart – your English is better when you do that
  • learn to express yourself using your own language
  • imagine talking about your experienced and your views

Scoring 9 in Reading

Learn how one student scored band score 9 in IELTS reading: How I Scored 9 in Reading

Useful Links for IELTS Speaking

Click on the links to open them:

  1. Tips: Should I speaking fast or slow?
  2. How to start your talk in IELTS speaking part 2
  3. Asking the examiner questions
  4. Tips & Answers: All IELTS Speaking Model Answers & Tips

Main IELTS Pages

Develop your IELTS skills with tips, lessons, free videos and more.

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New IELTS Speaking Topic February 2017: Riots

Riot: New IELTS Speaking Topic Feb 2017

The topic of Riots is a new IELTS speaking topic for February 2017. It appeared this month in IELTS speaking part 2 and part 3. Below are sample questions and ideas for the topic.

I’ll upload a pdf file to download later this week with the vocab and tips below.

Meaning: Riot & Demonstration

Lets look at the meaning of “riot” and “demonstration”.  Below you can see two pictures, one of a riot and one of a demonstration.

Riot:a violent disturbance by a crowd of people (in public areas), sometimes a violent protest

ielts riot topic 2017

Demonstration or street protest: an action by a mass or group of people in favour of or against something. This is often in the form of a peaceful march (a walk) with signs and messages.

deomonstration vocab ielts

Connection between demonstrations and riots

As you can see there are similarities, they both involve a group of people gathering in public. A demonstration might start peacefully but as strong emotions rise and people become angry, it may turn violent and become a riot.

Most people go to demonstrations because they want to share their message to the world and have peaceful intentions. However, some people go there because they want to start violence and their intention is not related to a message but an opportunity to start trouble. So, people’s intentions and aims are deeply involved in the difference between riots and demonstrations.

Reasons for riots

  1. people are provoked by police and turn angry
  2. society has broken down and rules no longer count
  3. an opportunity for violent people to enjoy themselves and cause trouble
  4. poverty and unemployment which creates desperation and anger towards the government and state
  5. government brutality towards a person or a group of people causing anger and violent protests
  6. once there is a trigger and anger turns violent, it starts building and grows in violence becoming a riot
  7. sometimes violent people see this as a chance to be violent because their identity is hidden in a group

Recent Riots and Demonstrations Worldwide:

France Riot: Violent protests over alleged police brutality that began in the mainly immigrant suburbs earlier this month spread to central Paris and other cities on Wednesday night (15th February 2017) and 49 people were arrested. Link: A newspaper article with video about this riot: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/16/french-police-arrest-49-people-violent-protests-spread-paris/

Greece: A protest which turned violent due to austerity measures in Greece, Dec 2015. Link: A newspaper article: http://www.ibtimes.com/greece-anti-austerity-protests-2015-video-photos-athens-riots-break-out-tear-gas-2181485

USA: Protests and demonstrations caused by Trump’s inauguration as President. Link: World Wide Protests: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/01/20/donald-trump-inauguration-world-reaction/96834322/. Riots in America: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/trump-win-sparks-riots-across-9225317

Sri Lanka: The information below was written by a student called Thoshanka, who posted it on my Recent IELTS Exams Questions page. Thanks, Thoshanka.

Sri Lanka

I would like to share the following on riots if it may help anyone for their speaking test. I’m from Sri Lanka. My country accounts for a tale of woe in riots in 1983. In brief, the dominating ethnic group in the country Singhalese started attacking the minority of Tamils in the country based on the reason where an ambush by the LTTE (Tamil militant group) killed a number of Army soldiers. 

The violence in the country created such horrific consequences on people they burnt people’s houses and it was called “race riots”. People encountered great inconveniences due to the curfew that was imposed every now and then. It was an era of darkness until the Govt intervened and took necessary measures to control the situation.

Vocabulary and Collocations for Riots and Demonstrations Topic:

tear gas = gas that irritates the eyes and is sometimes used by police in riot control

police brutality = violence by the police

the protest drew people = the protest attracted people

normal life skidded to a halt = normal life stopped abruptly

molotov cocktails = a bottle which contains liquid that is flammable and acts like a fire bomb

looting = stealing goods from shops and houses during a riot or war

clash (between police and protesters) = violent confrontation

placards = signs which are carried and contain a message

outbreaks of violence = sudden occurrence of violence

participate in a demonstration = take part in …

This topic is very difficult to deal with in IELTS speaking so you definitely need to prepare for it. Hopefully the above comments will help you in part 2 and 3. Below are typical questions with some suggestions for ideas.

Riots: IELTS Speaking Part 2 Topic 2017

Riot: IELTS Cue Card February 2017

A time when you heard about riots in another country

  • what did you hear
  • when did you hear it
  • how did it make you feel to hear about it
  • what suggestions can you make for reducing riots

what you can talk about in your talk:

  1. talk about the news program when you heard about it or a person who told you about it
  2. talk about what happened in the riot
  3. when you heard it, where you were, who was with you
  4. talk about how you felt (confused, angry, frightened) and why you felt that
  5. talk about if you agree with riots or think they are wrong
  6. talk about why demonstrations are better as a way to deal with social problems and problems of justice
  7. talk about common attitudes in your country toward violence
  8. talk about how social problems or justice problems can be solved to reduce riots
    1. increase employment
    2. increase benefits
    3. investigate injustice
    4. control and monitor known violent people who participate in riots and encourage others to violence
    5. better police training to deal with riots and violence
    6. harsher punishment for those who participate in violence

You can add any information you want to your talk. Although there are only about 4 prompts, my suggestions create 8. Always expand your talk.

What happens if you can’t remember any riots in speaking part 2?

You can choose to talk about something close to the topic but explain that at the start of your talk “I haven’t been following news and don’t know about riots, so I’m going to tell you about a problem which happened recently in my country…” You won’t lose marks for doing this!!

Riots 2017: IELTS Speaking Part 3 Questions & Sample Answers

What are the advantages and disadvantages of riots?

There are few advantages but one is that sometimes social or injustice problems are solved quicker and more attention is brought to the issues. On the whole, riots are wrong and this is because they disrupt social order, cause damage to property, can result in deaths or serious injury. Also there are economic drawbacks, such as businesses having to close and lose business or tourists deciding not to go to that country.

Notice: If you think there are no advantages, just say that. The examiner is looking for you to take control of the question and express your views clearly – that will give you a high score.

How do riots affect society?

Riots have a really negative impact on society. People feel that rules are breaking down which means they feel threatened and feel less confidence in their police or government. Another problem is that riots can increase prejudice against groups of people which in turn can make people feel unsafe and sometimes lead to more violence.

IELTS Tips and Model Answers

You can find more useful IELTS tips and model answers on the main pages of my website:

Main IELTS Pages

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kids or children/ teens or teenagers? Which is best to use in IELTS?

Should you use formal or informal vocabulary in your IELTS writing and speaking?

For example, in IELTS writing task 2 and speaking, should you use…

  • kids or children
  • teens or teenagers?

IELTS Writing Task 2

You should always use formal vocabulary in your IELTS essay. This means you can’t use “kids” or “teens”, you must use “children” or “teenagers”. If you use informal vocabulary, you will be marked down.

IELTS Speaking

Your IELTS speaking test is informal. All parts are informal. Part 1 is based on short answers questions, part 2 is a talk and part 3 is a discussion. It is all informal, friendly and chatty.

This means you use all kinds of language in your speaking test. You can use children and kids. You can use teens and teenagers.

Paraphrases

  • children = youngsters, minors
    • an infant or a toddler is not a strong paraphrase for child because it refers to only very young children
  • teenager = juvenile, adolescent, youth, minor

General Training Writing Task 1

In the General Training test, there are two main types of essays: formal and informal. In an informal letters, which means a letter to a friend or someone you know well (not a boss), you can use informal vocabulary, such as kids and teens. See this page for more tips about GT writing task 1

IELTS Writing Task 2 Tips & Model Essays

See this page for IELTS Writing Task 2 Main Page

IELTS Speaking Tips & Model Answers

See this page for IELTS Speaking Main Page

IELTS Vocabulary

See this page to learn useful IELTS vocabulary

IELTS Band Scores

Learn about IELTS band scores in listening, reading, writing and speaking

All IELTS Information & Tips

See the main pages below and click on the link you need:

Main IELTS Pages

Develop your IELTS skills with tips, model answers, lessons, free videos and more.

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