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March 15, 2019
IELTS Speaking Part 1: 'neighbours' topic
Here are some part 1 questions from Cambridge IELTS book 8, with my sample answers. How would you answer these questions?
1. How well do you know the people who live next door to you?
I know my neighbours quite well. They're really nice people, and I always stop to talk whenever I see them.
2. How often do you see them?
I see my neighbours at least a few times a week. We usually see each other when we're leaving for work in the morning or coming home in the evening.
3. What kinds of problem do people sometimes have with their neighbours?
I think the most common problem is probably noise. It's difficult to live next to people who have a dog that barks at night, or who play loud music.
4. How do you think neighbours can help each other?
Neighbours can do little things like watching your house if you go on holiday or taking a delivery if something arrives by post when you're not at home. I think these little favours are a good way for neighbours to help each other.
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Dear sir, thank a lots sir, for your helps in order to improve our English abilities.
Posted by: Pachu | March 16, 2019 at 03:36
does anyone have ideas about the fact-checking of writing task 2?. In writing task 2 we sometimes put some survey result or estimate number or fake examples( not true for everyone). The inquiry has risen when I saw some exams board have fact-checking criteria.
Posted by: Raju | March 16, 2019 at 04:19
WE need to have some unseen mock tests in our Language center for holding standard mock exams for our IELTS applicants . As some students aim to get high band scores in the IELTS , e.g PHD applicants and medical students,They have done all Cambridge IELTS Test Books and all available books available here .Would you please kindly introduce some official tests which are completely new and unseen which we can provide for them .
Thanks and Regards
Posted by: Arash | March 16, 2019 at 15:14
We need to have some unseen mock tests in our Language center for holding standard mock exams for our IELTS applicants . As some students aim to get high band scores(7+) in the IELTS , e.g PHD applicants and medical students,They have done all Cambridge IELTS Test Books and all other available books here .Would you please kindly introduce some official tests which are completely new,trusted and unseen to help us in this regard.
Thanks and Regards
Posted by: Arash | March 16, 2019 at 15:20
The marking criteria require the essays to:
1) present, extend and support main ideas
2) avoid over-generalizing
3) supporting ideas to have focus.
Sometimes people write sentences like this:
there is no denying the fact that online shopping has become more popular than in-store shopping.
In my view, there are two issues with such a sentence.
a) Anyone can deny the fact, so the first phrase is untenable.
b) Considering the queues of shoppers at supermarkets, the assertion about "online shopping being more popular" seems highly unlikely on the face of it.
So to me, the entire sentence would be an over-generalization, and thus undermine, not boost, the scoring.
The following version would be more appropriate, with a toned-down stance:
online shopping seems to be becoming increasing popular when compared to in-store shopping. Note that this is the same idea, but stated in a more tentative way.
Posted by: Oleg | March 16, 2019 at 19:44
I recently had the IELTS exam and scored 7 in speaking, 7.5 in both listening and reading, 6 in writing, in the speaking part 3 she asked me about the food industry and how can it change peoples eating habits, my answer included advertisement and food campaigns, can you please show me if i was on task or not and what could be the suitable ideas
Posted by: Omaima Hussein | March 19, 2019 at 14:07
Being on task is not one of the specific assessment criteria for the Speaking exam. Band 9 states: "uses vocabulary with full flexibility and precision in all topics", and "develops topics fully and appropriately".
The examiner is far more interested in your ability to put your point across than whether the point precisely answers the question, or is slightly tangential.
Posted by: Kata | March 19, 2019 at 20:34
You always seem to have a simplified approach to answering IELTS questions, be it writing or speaking.I was under the impression that in order for a student to surpass band 7, he must demonstrate a sophisticated structure or high-level vocabulary. More often than not student tend to go for the latter.
What's your take?
Posted by: Andrew | March 20, 2019 at 20:33
"High-level" (vocabulary) is nowhere mentioned in the marking schemes, but a 'wide range of vocabulary' is.
Similarly, "sophisticated structure" is not mentioned, but "a wide range of structures" is.
It must also be remembered that half the marks are for answering all parts of the question and presenting a well-developed response in a coherent and cohesive manner.
Checkout the following link:
To me, the best approach is to logically organize information and ideas; and make sure there is clear progression throughout. This will automatically drag in appropriate topic vocabulary and phrases.
Setting out to include some (memorized) formulaic general phrases or "advanced" grammatical structures might serve only to muddy the waters, and simply point up knowledge deficits as to appropriate and natural usage.
Posted by: Oleg | March 21, 2019 at 01:16
Putting it another way: "attempting to use less common vocabulary but with some inaccuracy" = Band 6.
So for Band 7: don't use it unless you know how, when, and where to use it.
Posted by: Oleg | March 21, 2019 at 01:27
Also check the lesson below and follow the link thereon:
Posted by: Oleg | March 21, 2019 at 20:07
You have highlighted a key aspect of my approach. I've written many blog posts in which I advise against trying to be "sophisticated" and "high-level". There's no point in students trying to show off or write at Shakespeare level if they can't do the basics well.
To get a band 7 (or even a band 9), you just need to follow my "simple, clear, coherent and accurate" approach.
Posted by: Simon | April 12, 2019 at 11:46
hi. simon can you explain how can I improve my speaking without travelling to another countries.
Posted by: sabohat | June 08, 2020 at 19:44
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