1. Do people in your country celebrate birthdays/have birthday parties?

Answer:   It really depends, you know, sometimes people in China will throw a party to celebrate. Although for some, they will just acknowledge it rather than actually celebrating it because of the reason that they  don’t consider their birthday special especially for those grown ups. But as for me, I can still vividly remember when I was a little boy; I’d like to invite some of my classmates and neighbors to banquet. We ate birthday cakes, played some interesting games and sometimes my parents would prepare some balloons for us. All in all, it was really a memorable moment.

Answer Overview:

  • Long response, Linking phrase (You know)
  • Answer, Linking phrase (Although for some)
  • Reason, Linking phrase (because of the reason that)
  • Example, Linking phrase (But as for me, I can still vividly remember that)
  • Summary, Linking phrase (All in all)


  1. How do they/children celebrate birthdays?

Answer: In my home country, children’s birthday is a big banquet. Parents will always book a room in a restaurant and invite many children’s classmates and close friends. In addition to that, they will then prepare a big birthday cake and some other tasty food like sandwiches, biscuits and fruit juice. You know, children will have a good time there, and the whole process will be recorded by camera. In a word, children in current society really enjoy their childhood.

Answer Overview:

  • Long response, Answer
  • Answer details
  • Additional point, Linking phrase (In addition to that)
  • Additional point, Linking phrase (You know)
  • Summary, Linking phrase (In a word)


  1. Do you think it’s important for people to celebrate birthdays?

–    As an adult, I don’t think it’s essential to celebrate birthdays anymore because of the reason that the birth date is just a reminder that we’re getting a year older,  as opposed to, for some people they religiously celebrate their party by throwing a house party or eating out. In short, the importance varies from people to people.

Answer Overview:

  • Long response, Answer
  • Reason, linking phrase (because of the reason that)
  • Comparative phrase (as opposed to), Second point
  • Summary, linking phrase (In short)



Describe a piece of art (like statue, painting)

You should say:

When you (first) saw this work of art

Where you saw it

What it looked like

And explain your feelings about this work of art when you saw it



Frankly speaking, I am not very keen on painting or sculpture, so this is really a tough topic for me. But the one that comes to my mind first is a painting called Water Lilies, which is a series about 250 oil paintings by French Impressionist Claude Monet. I have learned that Claude Monet’s Water Lilies painting are among the most recognized and celebrated works of 20th century. You know, they were hugely influential to many of the following generations of artists. In fact, the paintings are on display at museums all over the worlds and I was lucky enough to see one of the Water Lily paintings displayed at Guangzhou Art Gallery. If I can vividly recall, I visited this gallery few months ago with my classmate for research. At the first sight of the painting, I was totally amazed by its artful expression. Some may consider impressionist paintings incomplete when comparing them with classical paintings, because of the fact that impressionist paintings include relatively small, thin, yet visible brush strokes. Although, impressionist paintings do not focus on the accurate depiction of a certain subject, it try to capture the exact moment and lighting of the scene. As I said, I am not really fond of painting or sculpture but most importantly I have acquired knowledge from the Water Lily painting. To an extent, the Water Lily painting deeply impressed me and that’s why I choose to talk about this work of art.


Answer Overview:

The Painting topic falls under the category of  an OBJECT/ITEM theme. The context consist of three parts: Introduction, body content and the Summary. Basing from the answer above, you can see several important ideas mentioned such the painting’s name, the painter, facts about the painting, location, emotions towards the painting and painting descriptions. Also, linking phrases were included to connect the sentences better.


Linking Words & Phrases:

  • Frankly speaking, I have learned that, You know, In fact, If I can vividly recall, At the first sight, because of the fact that, although, As I said, but most importantly, To an extent




  1.    Do you like art?

Answer:  Definitely! I love art because of that reason that art is a form of expression from one person to another as art can transcend the boundaries of language and time. First thing is that, I love that art can transcend time. Whether it’s the cave paintings of our most distant ancestors or Homer’s great epics, if art is good it will be lasting. Another point there is that, I also love that there are an unlimited number of interpretations of art. Everyone sees or hears roughly the same thing, but each of us has our own opinion of it. Our experiences throughout life help shape our opinions of art. No two people experience the exact same thing, so our interpretations are bound to vary Overall, life without art would be dull and uninteresting


Answer Overview:

  • Long response, Answer
  • First point, linking phrase (First thing is that)
  • Additional point
  • Second point, linking phrase (Another point here is that)
  • Additional points


  1.     Do you think art classes are necessary? Why?

Answer: Yes of course, it is very essential to many aspects. Almost every field has at least one component in which visual art is a key aspect. First example is Architecture, it certainly requires sketching and so does other product design as well. In addition to that, detailed graphic models are necessary in any application of design or engineering. The buildings and houses we live in started with a plan together with the sketch and details to make it possible without the sketch plan the engineer and architecture cannot visualize the outcome. On the contrary, musical arts are vital, as well since music has long been revered and considered essential for the emotional heal it can provide. For instance, think of a day when you don’t listen to music, life will surely be very dull.


Answer Overview:

  • Long response, Answer
  • First point, Linking Phrase (First example is ..)
  • Additional point, Linking phrase (In addition to that)
  • Second point, Linking phrase (On the contrary)
  • Example, linking phrase (For instance)


  1. How do you think art classes affect children’s development?

Answer: I believe that art influences children in so many ways. One primary effect is their motor skills, many of the motions involved in making art, such as holding a paintbrush or scribbling with a crayon, are essential to the growth of fine motor skills in young children. Another positive influence is their language development, for every young children, making art or just simply talking about it provides the opportunities to learn words for colors, shapes and actions. When toddlers are as young as a year old, parents can do simple activities such as crumpling paper and calling it paper ball.


Answer Overview:

  • Long response, Linking phrase (I believe that..)
  • First point, Linking phrase (One primary effect is)
  • Example, Linking phrase (Such as)
  • Second point, Linking phrase (Another positive influence is)
  • Example


  1.     What benefits can you get from painting as a hobby?

Answer: Well, I can think of several advantages from painting. First of all, painting boosts memory recollection skills and works to sharpen the mind through conceptual visualization and implementation. People who frequently use creative outlets such as writing, painting, and drawing have less chance of developing memory loss illnesses when they get older. More than that, painting allows people to express their feelings and emotions without words. Individuals that paint use art to overcome shyness and convey their personality. Using artwork to tell a story lets someone who is shy let go of normal social reservations.


Answer Overview:

  • Long response
  • First point, Linking phrase (first of all)
  • Additional points
  • Second point, linking phrase (More than that)
  • Additional points


  1. Do you think people’s preferences on arts changed in past few years?

Answer:   I would say that there were so many changes in people’s life for the past few years and that have also changed people’s preferences on arts. The is due to the reason that people’s liking on arts alters because of the development of technology and changes of lifestyle. For instance, if you used to like ancient paintings in the past your preference today will be different it might be possible that you start liking modern abstract painting because of the effect of urbanization. I couldn’t think of more reasons why but I suppose that in the near future there will be changes that will still affect people’s preferences.

Answer Overview:

  • Long response
  • Reason, Linking phrase (This is due to the reason that)
  • Example, Linking phrase (For instance)
  • Honest opinion

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