Types of Films: Vocabulary

It is common to be asked about films / movies in all parts of the IELTS speaking test and therefore it is necessary that you have plenty of examples of films ready to tell the examiner.

Listening Practice: Film Types

Below is a list of film types and a listening recording.

Film Genres

  • action films
  • comedies
  • romantic films
  • rom-coms
  • adventure films
  • musicals
  • dramas
  • period films or historical dramas (films set in another historical time)
  • real life films
  • war films
  • horror films
  • science fiction (Sci-Fi or SF)

Listen and decide which type of film is being described from the list above.

There are 12 descriptions. Get your paper and pencil ready!!


Click below to reveal the descriptions and the answers. The descriptions contains very useful vocabulary.

Written Descriptions
  1. These films are serious and plot driven (story line motivated) with realistic characters and lots of character development as well as character interaction.
  2. These films usually have high energy, stunts and quite a few fights.
  3. These films contain both romantic and very amusing elements.
  4. Often set in another world or on another planet, these films are full of imagination.
  5. These films are based on a life event that actually happened with characters that really existed. Portrayal is supposed to be accurate but that isn’t always the case.
  6. The plot of these films is mainly based around a conflict between two countries or two groups and is usually set on land, in the air or at sea.
  7. These films are exciting and often follow a search or an expedition to find something.
  8. Not all people like these films in which words are often sung rather than spoken.
  9. These films confront our hidden fears.
  10. These films have you in stitches with tears rolling down your cheeks.
  11. The story in these films is heartwarming and often preferred by women.
  12. Often set in the past in a well-known time and usually depicts a famous historical character or event.

Listen to the recording below to hear the answers. This will also help you with your pronunciation of the vocabulary.

  1. dramas
  2. action films
  3. romcom
  4. science fiction
  5. real life films
  6. war films
  7. adventure films
  8. musicals
  9. horror films
  10. comedy (have you in stitches = make you laugh very much)
  11. romantic films
  12. historical films


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  1. Iracema Improta says

    Thank you for this wonderful lesson plan!

  2. you are a wonderful teacher , I hope you have healthy life because you deserve the best .
    I have a question
    can I talk about documentary film for example “a documentary about New scientific discoveries ”
    thank you

  3. Thanks a lot madame

  4. Precious says

    Thank you so much ma

  5. Ezzatollah Rahimi says

    Thanks alot Liz
    I learned so much.

  6. Dear Liz,
    Please tell me what is the avenue to get band score 9 in each skills?
    Best Wishes.

  7. Natalia Andrade says

    Hello I need an overall scored of 7. Reading, listening and speaking I think are ok. But I have a lot of problems in writting I dont know how to fix them.

  8. thanks a lot

  9. Dhawal kothari says

    Hii Mam I am planning to give ielts exam in december from i month i am practising i am getting 19 and 20 in reading i cannot recognize why it is going wrong again and again i want overall band 7 pleasee help me

  10. Asif Mostafa says

    Hi Liz,
    I am going to start my IELTS preparation but having difficulties as I am confused where to start. Would you please help me?

  11. What is rom-coms

  12. Thanks for all of your instuction as well as efforts.
    But it seems that there is a slight difference between dramas and real life films. I WONDER IF YOU COULD ELABORATE ALLITLE BIT ABUOT THIS POINT?

    • A drama is usually story based – could be true or it could be fictional. However, real life films are films that are based on real events that happened in the past.

      • Highly appreciated. But another question if you please :Let’s say that I’m watching amovie about the so called Hitler.Ok ? Is it a historical or a real life movie?
        I’m looking forward to hearing from you
        Kind regards

        • If it is based on real events, then it is a real life movie. It is about whether the actual events happened, not just the name of people.

  13. Amanpreet Singh,
    hi Liz and everybody.My question is for liz is that i am weak in reading module at the previous exam i got only 4.5 in reading but my overall score is 6.0.would you please tell me the way or technique to find the answers easily and correct.so i can achieve good band score in reading on 19th may 2016 exam.

  14. Zia Abbasi says

    U truly are an angel of help… How compassionately you are helping the aspirants around the world.. May Allah Almighty shower on you countless blessings.

    Zia Abbasi

  15. Its awesome

  16. How can i take videos?

  17. Hello Liz
    which book you are prefer for improving vocabulary really I want to get 7.5 and I have just four month for preparation.
    Best regard,

    • Try the Vocabulary for IELTS book or just go online and look up vocabulary for different common topics. See my speaking page for topics.
      All the best

  18. Hi Liz,

    thank you for the vocabularies and thank you especially for the interesting course. I got one question . for band 7 and above they say use of less common words. Is it possible you prepare a course on the less common words that can help score a band 7 or 8.

    • There are too many topics to write such a list. You won’t get a band 7 if you use 5 less common words but all your other words are inaccurate or lower level. If your level of English is band 6 and you write a few high score words, it won’t change your score. The examiner can see when students try to do that. Just use your own language and keep it accurate. If you want higher level English, you will need to study for a few months and review grammar and vocabulary.

  19. Mam ielts tip very nice…

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