Model Answers for Speaking Part 3: Topic of Toys

The topic of Toys is currently being used in IELTS speaking part 2 (a childhood toys) and part 3 this month. Below you will find some model answers for this topic for speaking part 3 questions. These model answers will provide you with ideas and vocabulary to use in your answers. You should never memorise my model answers. All your answers must be created by yourself in the IELTS test.

On this page you can find:

  • A) Questions with Model Answers
  • B) Useful Vocabulary with Pronunciation Audio
  • C) Tips for Speaking Part 3

Questions & Model Answers: Toys

What should be considered when buying toys for children?

I reckon one important thing to think about is the age of the child. If a child is only a couple of years old, you shouldn’t give them toys which contain small parts that could be swallowed and cause the child to choke. Another thing to consider is whether the toy will continue to entertain the child for a certain period of time. What I mean is, if the toy will only interest a child for 5 minutes, it isn’t really worth buying. It’s better to choose something that they will enjoy for months or years.

How have toys changed compared to the past?

I guess the main change is in electronic toys or battery operated toys. In the past, people used to only give simple toys to their children that were often handmade. Nowadays, people prefer mass produced toys that are the recent trend. Those types of toys are often exciting electronic toys, such as computer games. Another difference is that toys decades ago were often so simple that children had to use their imagination and creativity to find enjoyment in using them. I think today’s toys stimulate less creativity in children on the whole.

Why do parents buy a lot of toys for their children?

I guess some parents are materialistic. They think that if they buy many toys for their kids, they are being a good parent. Another reason is that children have short attention spans which means that some parents buy toys to keep their child quiet and out of their way. But I think the main reason is probably the power of advertising and peer pressure which drive children to want more toys and pushes parents to buy them.

Is it good for children to play with toys?

Yes, I think so. Some toys that can be bought are educational and are very important for early learning. Educational toys provide a great way for children to develop skills, such as spatial awareness, motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Furthermore, toys can give children a safe way to explore the world and learn about colours, shapes and textures. However, I must admit that some toys for older children, such as computer games, can become addictive and, at that point, those types of toys are not beneficial.


Useful Vocabulary & Pronunciation

Learn useful words for the topic of toys and listen to the audio to learn the correct pronunciation.

  • creativity
  • imagination
  • motor skills
  • social skills
  • spatial awareness
  • choke on small parts
  • battery operated toys
  • recharging batteries
  • computer games
  • wooden toys
  • dolls
  • rules of the game
  • hand-made toys / mass produced toys
  • materialism
  • consumerism
  • to keep someone quiet
  • to keep someone entertained
  • to keep someone out of the way
  • board games, chess
  • educational toys
  • become addictive

Learn more about the topic of toys. See this website about educational toys for children:

IELTS Speaking Part 3 Tips

Length of answer

Keep talking until the examiner interrupts you. The examiner will decide if it is time to change the focus of the answer or to ask a new question completely. Speaking part 3 answers are longer than in part 1.


Explain your ideas and view point. Give examples. You are not marked on your examples or ideas, but you need to show the ability to tackle complex ideas using English.

Avoid talking about yourself

Part 1 and part 2 are about you. However, part 3 questions are mostly about world issues. You need to show the examiner you can talk about more than yourself. You need to show the ability to talk about people and the world in general.

Challenging ideas

The examiner might challenge your ideas. This is a way for the examiner to test your English and check that you are able to defend your view point.


March 2018 IELTS Writing Task 2 Model Essay

Below is a model IELTS writing task 2 answer for an essay question reported in the IELTS test this month. The question was reported in the test on March 3rd.

You will also find on this page:

  • a link to learn plastic bag facts
  • useful vocabulary for this topic

IELTS Essay Question March 2018

In many countries plastic shopping bags  are the main source of rubbish, causing pollution on land and in the water, so people think they should be banned. To what extent do you agree or disagree?


IELTS Model Essay March 2018

Some people think that plastic shopping bags should be prohibited because they are one of the major pollutants of both land and water around the world. I completely agree, but I think there are other measures that can be taken before putting a complete ban in place.

The reason that plastic bags should be banned in the near future is because they do not biodegrade and continue to pollute the environment for hundreds of years after being discarded. Plastic bags are often used only once, and end up clogging the land and polluting the water, causing about 100,000 marine animal deaths each year. Even when plastic does start to break down, it fragments into micro plastic which causes even more damage to all life on Earth. The only way to prevent throw-away plastic, such as plastic shopping bags, from seriously and irreversibly damaging our planet is to prohibit it.

However, it is best to try to change consumer behaviour before completely banning plastic bags. Plastic bags are not a vitally, necessary plastic product, only a convenience and customers should learn to replace them by using bags from home. Another step to deterring people from using so many plastic bags is by putting a high price on them  which will encourage people to reuse them.  Finally, having recycle bins by which customers can get cash back for depositing used plastic bags will also help. By altering consumer behaviour, it is a good way of raising awareness of plastic pollution as a whole and this can lead to more action on other unnecessary plastic products in the future.

In conclusion, an eventual total ban on plastic bags is crucial to preserve life on this planet and protect it from the effects of throw away non-biodegradable products.

Word count – 295

Plastic Bag Facts

Learn 7 amazing facts about plastic bags on this page: Plastic Bag Facts

Useful language List

  • ban / prohibit
  • discard
  • biodegradable / non-biodegradable
  • fragment
  • micro plastic
  • throw away products
  • marine life / marine animal
  • irreversibly damage
  • pollutant
  • consumer behaviour
  • deter
  • recycle bins
  • cash back
  • preserve life

It is also possible to agree with one side only. See other essays posted by students for this essay question – Other Student Essays


Advanced IELTS Writing Task 2 Lessons with Liz: Learn the right techniques for a high score!

Click here: IELTS Writing Task 2 Lessons

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Practice your Essay Writing with March Question

Hi guys,

Below is an IELTS essay question which was used this month, March 3rd, in writing task 2. The essay question below is one of a few questions that were used on March, 3rd. You can see other essay questions from March 3rd on my Recent Exam Questions page.

Post your essay by writing it in the comments box below. This is a chance for you to compare your essay with other students. This is not an offer of free marking – it is a chance for you to practise and compare. I’ll post a model answer tomorrow.

IELTS Essay Question March 2018

In many countries plastic shopping bags  are the main source of rubbish, causing pollution on land and in the water, so people think they should be banned. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

I will post a model answer tomorrow.

All the best



How Nilay Scored IELTS 8.5 Overall

Nilay scored 8.5 Overall in the IELTS Academic test this month. Below are his tips for his great score in IELTS.

Nilay’s Scores: Overall 8.5

  • Listening: 9
  • Reading: 9
  • Writing: 8
  • Speaking: 8

Nilay’s Tips for IELTS 8.5

Nilay here. I am an orthopedic surgeon from India and currently trying to specialize in spine surgery. I appeared for the IELTS to register with the Canadian medical boards for which I needed minimum 7 in each of the four categories. This was the academic version.

To summarize the prep, I gave it around 12-14 days part time. I had been aware of your videos and thought to just concentrate on that during last 3 to 4 days and I attribute a large part of my writing score to your tips. I didn’t opt for paid tutorials but I feel that the content you generously provide is more than enough in most cases. Having said that, I was planning to get your paid tutorials if I couldn’t cross the required threshold of 7/9 in writing; I was reasonably certain I would cross 7 in RW and S. My tips are summarized here.
Reading Tips- As a compulsive reader, I was a bit overconfident when I started out the prep and expected to score a perfect 9 each time. My behind was handed back to me promptly by the No/Not Given dilemma. Your tips on that cleared out the webs and I highly recommend that video to polish the reading score. One thing I realized in the exam is that the reading paragraphs can be difficult and must not be underestimated even if you are good at reading to begin with. I consider myself a very fast reader and still had only 8-10 mins left at the end. I would advise underlining key words and phrases as it makes it easier to fish out the answers.  I wrote in all caps as advised.
Listening Tips – Tricky proposition. I feel that IELTS listening section doesn’t evaluate your listening capability but rather evaluates your presence of mind and multi-tasking ability to listen, note and paraphrase at the same time. I am very well versed with major accents and still made mistakes in answers due to missing plurals, not catching the exact words and sometimes missing paraphrases at the end of tests. I would really advise going through Cambridge practice tests to refine this. They are the real counterparts to the exam. I can’t stress enough on scanning the questions in advance, predicting answers and using the 30 seconds given to go over your last batch of answers to scan the questions ahead instead.  Presence of mind is really important or you would make a mess of it. Also, all caps again.
Speaking Tips –  Didn’t prepare much for it except for going through your tips and speaking to a local instructor I knew. I am fluent but I speak too fast and maybe that reflected on what I consider a lower score on my speaking test. Also, this is a live interaction test and your score will depend upon your rapport with and impression upon the examiner even if they are trained to disregard those factors. I more or less had  a friendly conversation and was asked questions about skilled and unskilled jobs in last part. I think the trick here is to fill up the time allotted and keep on speaking. I attribute the shavings in my score to speed and my roundabout answer to a bizarre question about soft and hard skills. I could have done better here.
Writing Tips – Last but not the least. I have BAD handwriting which live up to all the cliches about illegibility of doctors. This was a big issue for me with IELTS being a written exam. I realized that all my writing skills would be for naught if it looked like someone dipped ants in ink pot and let them loose on the paper. So I ditched the cursive, zoomed in the fonts and increased the space between words and made several people go through it till their satisfaction. I was confident about my vocabulary and grammar, so that helped but this exam is all about sticking to the format.  I can not stress enough how helpful your writing section videos are. I stuck to the outline stressed upon by you for both the tasks and I was rewarded. I made sure to follow the cite-support-example format for body paragraphs on task two; it really eased the though organization process. Task one is straightforward but it’s important not to get mired into details and just focus on major trends and data points. I didn’t have problem with time and word count. But even if you do, I really suggest taking 2 minutes to read the task and then a minute or so to jot down writing points on paper; paragraph wise. Also keep a minute or two at the end to go over your writing. Do not try to correct or improve large sections of a sentence but concentrate on spell check, grammatical gaffes and punctuation marks.
  To conclude [the format ,the format!], I am satisfied with my result and would thank you for your generous online help. I really stress upon test takers to go through your videos which I consider the best resource available online for this test. I hope my experience helps future test takers. Best of luck to you all!
Message to Nilay: Thanks so much for sharing your tips! I know students will be inspired by your results and also grateful for the experiences you have shared. Well done again with your excellent score 🙂

Essay Questions for February

Hi guys,

I have added the list of essay questions for February to my list on this page, click here: Jan & Feb Topics for IELTS WT2.

Please remember that I am still on holiday until May and won’t be answering questions.



IELTS Liz Website Feb Mar & Apr 2018

Hi guys,

This is to let you know that I am taking a break from my website in February, March and April. I will resume posting lessons for IELTS preparation in May. My break starts today until May.

During my break, I will keep up-dating the Recent Questions Page and also the Post Results Page. All other pages will remain open for your use. Please remember I will NOT be answering your questions during my break.

I will post old lessons on my Facebook Page during my break. This will be useful for you all. They will include my video lessons and model answers etc. Please follow my FB page to get them, IELTS Liz FB Page.

For tips, topics , model answers and lessons, go to the RED BAR at the top of the website and select the part of the test you want to learn about. You can also access the Main Pages of this website at the bottom of each page. There are over 300 pages of free tips and lessons on my site. I also offer advanced writing task 2 lessons which can be purchased if you need more help: Advanced Writing Task 2

I wish you all lots of luck in your test! Make sure you read the On the day test tips and also the Test Information Page. Good luck 🙂

See you in May 🙂

All the best



Answers to Reading Practice Caral City

Below are the answers to the reading practice lessons about the ancient city of Caral. If you have not completed this reading lesson, please finish it before looking at the questions below. Click here to complete the lesson: Reading Lesson Caral City

Questions: Are the following statements True False or Not Given based on the passage above?

  1. The city did not include housing for its citizens.
  2. As far as the eye could see, the landscape was arid.
  3. The largest pyramid is 60 feet in height in Caral.
  4. Caral had a bigger population than most cities at that time.
  5. Caral is thought to have provided a prototype for subsequent civilisations.


  1. FALSE
    1. The passage clearly states there were “residential areas”. This means areas for citizens to live = housing.
  2. FALSE
    1. It does not matter where the person is in the city to view the surroundings. The passage shows that the city was “overlooking” a “lush valley”. This means a green, fertile valley was visible from the city. Arid means “dry” so the passage shows the opposite.
  3. TRUE
    1. “six large pyramids (platform mounds) …. The largest of the mounds … is 60 feet high”
    1. There is no information in the passage that compares the population of Caral with other cities.
  5. TRUE
    1. “Researchers believe the model of the city was used by many civilizations that came after the Norte Chico.”.

I hope you found this reading lesson useful. For more reading lessons, click here: IELTS Reading Main Page

All the best


Reading Practice: Ancient City Caral

True False and Not Given reading practice for IELTS students based on a topic that was reported by students in their reading test in January 2018. To see all my reading lessons, click here: Main Reading Page. Other main pages are accessed through the red bar at the top of the website.

Passage: Pyramid City Caral

The Norte Chico civilization of Supe, Peru, was the first known civilisation of the Americas. Their capital was the Sacred City of Caral – a 5,000-year-old metropolis complete with complex agricultural practices, rich culture, and monumental architecture, including six large pyramidal structures, stone and earthen platform mounds, temples, amphitheatre,  sunken circular plazas, and residential areas.

Caral is situated on a dry desert terrace overlooking the lush valley of the Supe River. Exceptionally well-preserved, the site is impressive in terms of its design and the complexity of its architecture. The city’s plan and some of its features, including pyramidal structures and residences of the elite, show clear evidence of ceremonial functions, signifying a powerful religious ideology.

The centre of the Caral complex consists of a central public area with six large pyramids (platform mounds) arranged around a huge plaza. The largest of the mounds, located in a dominating position within the urban plan of Caral, is 60 feet high and measures 450 x 500 feet at the base, covering an area nearly the size of four football fields. From the top of the great pyramid, the rulers of Caral would have been able to monitor the entire city. In total, it is estimated that Caral was home to a population of about 3,000 people. Researchers believe the model of the city was used by many civilizations that came after the Norte Chico. In 2001, the Sacred City of Caral in Supe was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Notice: This passage has been adapted from the website You can read the full passage here: Pyramid City of Caral. The picture above is also from the same article.

Questions: Are the following statements True False or Not Given based on the passage above?

  1. The city did not include housing for its citizens.
  2. As far as the eye could see, the landscape was arid.
  3. The largest pyramid is 60 feet in height in Caral.
  4. Caral had a bigger population than most cities at that time.
  5. Caral is thought to have provided a prototype for subsequent civilisations.

Notice from Liz: I will be taking a break from posting lessons in Feb, Mar and Apr. I will post a notice when my holiday begins. Some pages will be kept open during my break.


The answers to this lesson are now available:

Click here for the answers: Answers to Caral Reading Lesson

All the best