Speaking Part 1 Topic: Sleep

This is a new topic which has appeared in the least few months in part 1 of the IELTS speaking test. Below are some questions for this topic.


  • How many hours do you usually sleep at night?
  • What time do you go to bed?
  • Do you go to bed at the same time everyday?
  • Do you ever have a  nap during the day?
  • Do you think sleep is important?

Here is a question with a model answer for this topic:

Q. Do you often take a nap during the day?

A. To be honest, I hardly ever nod off during the day but, I suppose, if I’ve had a really exhausting day, which is pretty rare, I may have a short siesta after lunch.

Useful Vocab

  • nap (a short sleep)
  • snooze (a short sleep)
  • nod off (go to sleep – often used for daytime sleeping)
  • drift off to sleep (slowly go off to sleep)
  • deep sleep
  • struggle to get to sleep
  • sleeping pill (medication to help someone get to sleep)
  • 40 winks (short sleep of a few minutes)
  • siesta (short sleep after lunch – Spanish in origin)

The Importance of Sleep is an IELTS reading exercise to practice summary completion for this topic. It contains some more useful vocabulary for you.

Vocabulary for Accurate Data in Writing Task 1

The video tutorial below explains why it is important to give accurate data when describing a chart in IELTS writing task 1 and provides a range of flexible vocabulary to help you achieve a better score. Transcript

Hello my name’s Liz and in this lesson I would like to look at giving accurate data for IELTS writing task 1. Now it’s very important that all the information you give is accurate the examiner will check and any mistakes will lower your band score. Now let’s have a look at an example of inaccurate information and then I will give you lots of vocabulary to help you give better accurate information.

This chart shows the percentage of smokers in England in 2010. We’ve got percentages here. It is divided into men and women and we’ve got three different age group we’ve got 20 -30 30 to 40 and forty-plus. Now here is a sentence: In the age group 20 to 30, 28% of men smoked compared to 30% of women. This is a typical sentence that I get from many students. What is the problem? Can you see any mistake? Well this is the problem here now we can see that women is correct 30 percent but men we can see it is under 30 but we cannot see that it is 28. We don’t know. The number is not given its not clear. So what we need to do is we need to use flexible language to give the accurate information let’s have a look.


  • under
  • below
  • less than
  • just under
  • slightly under
  • nearly
  • almost
  • close to
  • well under
  •  considerably less than


  • about
  • approximately
  • around


  • over
  • above
  • more than
  • just over
  • slightly over
  • marginally above
  • well over
  • considerably more than


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Vocabulary for IELTS Writing Task 1 Line Graph

This lesson looks at some essential words to describe a line graph in IELTS writing task 1. To get a good band score you must show the examiner a range of different words to show upward and downward trends. IELTS line graphs show change over a period of time and you must vary your language when you write your report.

Line Graph Vocabulary

ielts line graph vocabulary

Mistakes when using words will affect your band score. To get band score 6, you must have only some errors with a range of vocabulary. To get band score 7, you must have few errors with a good range of vocabulary.


Fill in the gaps with the vocabulary from the table above. Make sure you adapt the words to make the sentences grammatically correct. The completed paragraph below is an example of a body paragraph for a line graph.

line graph vocab practice

Fill in the gaps with the correct vocabulary. You should use no more than two words for each gap.

The number of cases began at 100 in 1983 and then the figure 1. …………………… steadily to reach 200 in 1987. In the following year, there was 2. …………………… back to 100 before rising to 3. …………………….. 400 in 1989. The number4.  ………… slightly to 350 in 1991 and then 5. ……………….. dramatically to a low of 0 in 1992.

  1. rose / increased / climbed / grew / went up
  2. a fall / a decline / a slump / a decrease
  3. peak at
  4. dropped / fell / declined / decreased
  5. dropped / fell / declined / decreased (it is also possible to use “plummeted” or plunged)


Recommended Lessons

 IELTS Line Graph Model: click here
IELTS Video: how to write a line graph complex sentence, click here
IELTS Video: the 4 main complex sentences, click here
Video Lesson: IELTS writing answer sheet, click here

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Academic vocabulary

Improve your academic vocabulary. Which of the following words are safe to use for your IELTS writing task 2 essay? The meaning for each word is given in brackets

  • Dissonance (discord / difference of opinion)
  • Gist (general idea / essence)
  • Latent (concealed / hidden)
  • Quack (fake / swindler)
  • Falter (hesitate)
  • Partially (not completely / to a degree)
  • Prattle (chatter)
  • Orate (make a speech)
There is only one word which cannot be used in an academic piece of writing and that is the word “quack”. This is slang and is inappropriate to use in formal writing. However, although the other words are acceptable to use, the word “prattle” is unlikely to be used but of course it does depend on the topic of the essay . Furthermore, the word “gist” can be used in formal writing, for example ” the gist of the argument was …” but be careful of other ways of using this word.

IELTS Discussion Essay Video Lesson: Useful Language

Learn expressions to use in your discussion essay for IELTS writing task 2 with this video lesson. It is important to use a variety of language to express both sides in your essay. Being able to have flexible language for giving other people’s opinions is a good way to increase your vocabulary band score.


Hello in this lesson I’m going to look at some expressions that you can use for a discussion essay for IELTS writing task 2. Now when you have a discussion essay you have to support two different sides and this is not about your opinion this is about what other people think, other people’s opinion and you have to support what they think. so here are some very useful expressions to help you show other people’s thoughts and opinions.

Now there’s quite a lot of expressions you can use. I will run through each one but I will tell you now there are two expressions here that you shouldn’t use. can you see which ones? well I’ll tell you at the end of the lesson let’s have a look the first one. “Many people believe that ” this is a very common expression to use for IELTS It is not high band score but its clear and its academic so don’t worry, please use it. The next one “it is commonly believed that” this is a very nice expression because you can see here “is believed” that is the passive and it’s very good to give the examiner some passive tense in your essay. It will improve your band score and you can see this word here “commonly” that means many people so it has the same meaning as this sentence and this word we can change, we could say “it is frequently believed that” or we could say “it is often believed that”. So we could put a different adverb of frequency here. The next one “some people think that”  again it’s very simple but it is academic and its clear. “It is often thought that” here we’ve got another passive, so very nice to use. But “on the side of” or “the other side of the coin is” this is the other opinion, the other side. “It is considered by many that” this is a very nice expression is very academic. It’s very good to use for IELTS and again you have a passive here and you can change this word if you want and you could say “it is considered by some that”. The next one here “many argue that” is very nice very clear. You don’t need to say “many people”, you could say “many argue that “. Another one, “it is argued by some that”, again here we’ve got the passive and you can change this word, “it is argued by many that”. “On the one hand” and”On the other hand”, so that’s the one side of the argument, on the other hand that’s the other side of the argument. The last one “some people support the opinion that” again this is very nice, very academic.

So can you see the 2 expressions that you shouldn’t use? Well, it is these 2 here this one is not very academic, we use it more for speaking, and this one many students love to use this because it is an idiom however it is very informal and we don’t usually use that for an academic essay for IELTS so please don’t use that one in your discussion essay. But all the others are great and when you’re writing your discussion essay it’s very important that you give the simple tense and then sometimes a passive as well and you can keep changing that through your essay to show flexibility. Well that’s all for this lesson I’ll see you again in another IELTS lesson


Discussion Essay Model Answer

IELTS Speaking Part 1: Dictionaries

A new topic in IELTS speaking part 1 this year. Learn some useful vocabulary and ideas for the topic of Dictionaries by watching this lesson.