Recent Part 2 IELTS questions about Places and suggested responses (July 2017)


One of the major themes in Part 2 is to describe a place, however, there are two types of answer to fit according to the topics. Here’s the first batch of places  that corresponds to this theme:

  1. Describe a time you went to a crowded place
  1. Describe a city you’ve been to
  1. Describe a time you had good experience in the countryside
  1. Describe a popular place where people like to go swimming
  1. Describe a shop that just opened in your hometown

Cue Card

Describe a time you went to a crowded place

You should say:

When you went there

What you did there

Whom you went with

And explain how you felt about it


Answer from 1-5:

As you know, Beijing is the capital city of China which is the center of attraction for tourists, job and business opportunities. Because of its popularity more and more people want to visit Beijing, this is mainly for the reason that Beijing has its beautiful scenery and cultural inheritance. Last month, we went to visit a place called Bird’s Nest which is a huge stadium in Beijing. During this trip, I was with my friends to attend a local band concert. I have learned that, it’s the largest stadium in China and it can accommodate 10 thousand people in total. In addition to that, the sports’ stadium is shaped like a dome with an open roof and with many entrances going inside. This entertainment facility is situated in the city center and it’s the venue for many major concerts, sports events, and a large gathering. However, when there aren’t any major events, it’s open to the public, you know, people can go there to run on the track or play any sports such as badminton or swimming. Perhaps, the primary reason why I visited this stadium is because I love going to concerts, as a matter of fact, I have been to many local stadiums but the Bird’s Nest is the most astonishing stadium I have visited. For the fact that, the place looks very fancy and famous bands internationally or locally hold there concert on this stadium. To sum up it up, I enjoyed going to Beijing learning about it’s history and attending this wonderful concert experience.


Answer Overview:

Beijing stadium topic is suitable for the PLACE theme. You can use the details provided above to describe your cue card, however, you must fit-in the right key points according to what’s given to you. For instance, you are given a topic to “Describe a popular place where people like to go swimming”, you can replace some information above to suit your subject. You can pretend that the stadium is located in Guangzhou (anyhow, the examiner don’t care about the truth, they care about your language) and there’s a huge swimming pool in this place, etc. Same goes with the other cue cards.

Recent IELTS speaking questions and responses Part 3 – Crowded Places (July 2017)

  1.    Do you like large places?

Answer: It’s hard to tell, I don’t have any preference when it comes to this but sometimes it depends on the purpose of liking it. First and foremost, if I talk about my own place at home, of course I would say that I would like to have a huge space because it feels comfortable and cozy to live in a spacious house. As a matter of fact, we just moved in to a bigger house recently and living there seems to feel like heaven. However, there’s an exemption, if it talks about the city I prefer a small city because it is less hassle and way more peaceful compared to large cities. A good example for this is Shanghai, it’s a metropolis where life is fast-paced and cost of living is expensive.

Answer Overview:

  • Introduction/Long response, Linking phrase (It’s hard to tell)
  • First Point, Linking Phrase (First and foremost), Reason
  • Example from the first point, Linking Phrase (As a matter of fact)
  • Second Point, Linking Phrase (However, there’s an exemption), Reason
  • Example from the second point (A good example for this is)


  1.     What event will attract many people in China?

Answer: You know, Chinese people are normally attracted to live concerts. There are several reasons I can tell you to support my point. The first reason is that, Chinese are die hard fans of music and they will do anything to get a ticket and attend the concert of their favorite singer or band. Take me as an example, when I learned that Taylor Swift were coming to Beijing I didn’t hesitate to use my savings to book a concert ticket. On the other hand, club party also appeal Chinese young people because partying is a trend for millennials as they can hang out with their friends and meet new people. One example I can think of is when a new club held their grand opening in my hometown (Guangzhou) me and my friends attended the grand opening where we got really drunk and wasted.
Answer Overview:

  • Introduction/Long response, Linking phrase (You know)
  • First Point, Linking Phrase (The first reason is that), Reason
  • Example from the first point, Linking Phrase (Take me as an example)
  • Second Point, Linking Phrase (On the other hand), Reason
  • Example from the second point (One example I can think of is)


  1.     What place will attract many people in China?

Answer: It is obvious that, there are bunch of places that appeal Chinese people especially natural resources such as the sea, mountains or historical places. Primarily speaking, most people who live in the city like visiting nature sceneries to loosen up from hustle and bustle of city life. Take me as an example, I prefer hiking on weekends or going to the beach to unwind from stress and pressure. While for some, they go to places with great history to learn about the history of a certain place and appreciate its importance to China. Such like Beijing, Beijing is a historical city where you can find historical places such as The Great Wall and Forbidden City.





Answer Overview:

  • Introduction/Long response, Linking phrase (it is obvious that)
  • First Point, Linking Phrase (Primarily speaking), Reason
  • Example from the first point, Linking Phrase (Take me as an example)
  • Second Point, Linking Phrase (While for some), Reason
  • Example from the second point (Such like)


  1.     Do people like crowded places in China?

Answer: The answer is very obvious, of course, nobody want jam packed places. For the reason that,  it is very uncomfortable and uneasy for people to deal with. An example I can give you is the traffic congestion in big cities which affect peoples’ mood  and punctuality at school or at work. Well, I couldn’t think of another reason for this but I can tell you that most cities in China is over-populated, therefore, some people are moving from one city to another.


Answer Overview:

  • Introduction/Long response, Linking phrase (the answer is obvious)
  • First Point, Linking Phrase (for the reason that), Reason
  • Example from the first point, Linking Phrase (An example I can give you is)
  • No second point, an opinion/fact is provided instead, linking phrase (but I can tell you that)


Latest IELTS part 1 questions and suggested responses for Television (July 2017)


  1. What TV programs are you interested in?

Answer: It’s hard to say because like different types of programs that involves entertainment such as reality shows. The main reason why I like reality TV programs, specifically Ellen’s show is because I can learn different aspects of life lessons from different people and point of views. In addition to that, Ellen is very humble and humorous. Therefore, I like this program best.


Answer Overview:

We begin with a linking phrase to introduce the long response (It’s hard o say..) followed by two reasons with a corresponding linking phrase (The main reason why…, in addition to that…). Also, we included a paraphrased summary to formally close the answer.



  1. In China, have television programs changed much in recent years

Answer: That’s an interesting question! To be honest, I have no idea if there are any huge changes about TV programs, this is for the reason that, recently, I don’t watch TV programs at all ever since I got engage in using the internet. But I guess, the changes on Chinese TV shows became more entertaining because of new types of TV shows such as game shows or talent shows. Well, so I can say that there might be few changes in Chinese TV shows.


Answer Overview:

We started with an expression and a linking phrase (To be honest…). As you noticed, the answer was being frank about its idea on the question , also, we included a solid reason why to support its content. But, we included “a guess” (but I guess….) to elaborate the answer and closed it with a summary.  Note that, you can be honest on how you feel or think because this is a way to showcase your language skills and not your academic ability.



  1. When do you watch TV?

Answer: Frankly speaking, in today’s generation TV is out of the game. I personally don’t like watching TV because I prefer to watch something on YouTube or some short clips on Facebook. What is more, I am engaged of some online games and I take part in some social media activities. As a matter of fact, I only watch TV when my parents are around during dinner because they normally watch the news or some talent shows to boost their appetite in eating. So I would say that, I don’t watch TV only when my parents are home for dinner.


Answer Overview:

Linking phrase (frankly speaking..) to start the response and few statement about the person’s activity (this could include, examples and reasons) followed by a linking phrase (As a matter of fact…) of the main answer and a summary with another linking phrase (So I would say that…) to close the response.

Recent IELTS June 2017 speaking questions and guides on how to answer them

The IELTS test is designed to push a candidate to the limits of their language and so learners will at some point struggle. It is useful to look at strategies to deal with this, such as paraphrasing and rephrasing, using the rubric to help answer in Part 2, and asking for time to think about answers – especially useful in part 3, where there can be some complex ideas and so forth. On this article, you will learn simple ways to respond appropriately.

Part 1

Question:  “What type of weather do you enjoy most?”

  1. Start with a long response
  • Hmm. It’s hard to say because I like all seasons but…
  1. Provide your answer
  • I would say summer would have to be my all-time favorite.
  1. Present your reason/example
  • You know, the summer is just great. There are so many things to do outside, you can be near the water, yes…if it’s too hot, it’s better to hang out at the beach. I really love the beach and watersports like surfing…
  1. Conclusion / Closing
  • so, yeah, if I had to choose one, it would be summer for sure.

Complete Answer:

  • Hmm. It’s hard to say because I like all seasons but, I would say summer would have to be my all-time favorite. You know, the summer is just great. There are so many things to do outside, you can be near the water, yes…if it’s too hot, it’s better to hang out at the beach. I really love the beach and watersports like surfing… so, yeah, if I had to choose one, it would be summer for sure.


Part 2

1.Use your 1 minute preparation time wisely and make notes of the points you’d like to make.

  1. The question will help you with the structure of your talk. The introduction can include the item itself and maybe a brief description. The main body of your talk could describe the situation when you acquired the object and go on to explain when you use it. You can then end with an explanation of why the object is so important.
  2. Try to avoid giving a very dry, unimaginative introduction such as ‘The object I’m going to describe is ….‘. Get your talk off to a memorable start with something on the lines of: ‘If I was about to lose everything and could only save one thing it would be my …‘, or ‘I’ve got several things that mean a lot to me but the one that really stands out is my …
  3. If you’re concerned about not having enough to talk about for 1 to 2 minutes or running out of time before you’ve finished, the answer is to practice as often as possible. Time yourself and ask a friend for feedback.







Part 3

Question: How do you think it will change people’s buying habits in the future?

  1. Long response
  • Buying from the internet is becoming more and more popular.
  1. Reason and Example
  • For example, we’ve seen many book shops close down because people can buy online at cheaper prices from sites such as Amazon.
  1. Elaborate your point
  • It makes life much easier if products can be delivered direct to our door, especially with our busy modern lifestyles. I think this will only increase in the future as more people feel safe to buy online and online shops make it easier to purchase this way.
  1. Provide another point
  • Also, I think our lives are only going to become busier, as we are engaged on browsing the internet buying stuff here and there, so more people will choose to shop this way.

Complete Answer: 

  • Buying from the internet is becoming more and more popular. For example, we’ve seen many book shops close down because people can buy online at cheaper prices from sites such as Amazon. It makes life much easier if products can be delivered direct to our door, especially with our busy modern lifestyles. I think this will only increase in the future as more people feel safe to buy online and online shops make it easier to purchase this way. Also, I think our lives are only going to become busier, as we are engaged on browsing the internet buying stuff here and there, so more people will choose to shop this way.

IELTS Speaking – Why is it essential to apply English language in real-life situations? How can I quickly improve my IELTS speaking skills / level?

The IELTS speaking exam is suppose to represent what it is like to talk to someone in a real life situation. You should therefore not practice IELTS past paper topics and just talk normally to someone instead. There are thousands of past paper questions and it is very unlikely that you will be asked any of them in your test.

We strongly suggest that you must find someone to practice your English with and talk about something you are interested in or discuss  the up-to-date topics in your oral exam. This will make it much easier and you are less likely to get bored.

You will learn the language better if you practice it often, we recommend every day. You will probably agree with the idea that the more you do something, the better you will get at it, right?

But, what if you can’t really speak/practice the language? Because you’re in your home country and nobody speaks it. Well, that’s not always true. Check online see if there are some meet-ups or other similar events where people just want to exchange languages. Another method is to talk to yourself, some people do it in the shower,  think about conversations you may have had in this language before or from whatever textbook you use to learn. And repeat it to yourself, then go with other scenarios. Imagine simple day to day conversations, practice the way you would approach them. And if ever you get stuck, you know what the next thing you need to learn is. Just talk, even if it means talking to yourself.

Our strong recommendation is to try to connect with English speaking people. Surely, there are bunch of online school out there who offers variety of courses. Try to enroll and make friends with your online tutor, so you can practice conversational English and IELTS at the same time. You already have plenty of Chinese friends. Now would be a great time to diversify the types of people you associate with. This may seem extremely awkward for you at first, but you should push yourself in that direction for your own good.

You shouldn’t be afraid or embarrassed of speaking the language you are trying to learn. You’re learning the language, you don’t know it yet. You’re going to make mistakes, accept it. Only when speaking the language will you be able to play around with new words or grammar you have learnt. You will get comfortable talking the language, even with mistakes. It doesn’t matter in the end – people will always appreciate your efforts and they will not care about mistakes you might make, because these mistakes are part of who you are and the way you communicate. Embrace them and conversations will flow normally.

Explanation, guidance and tips around IELTS speaking test (how to easily succeed!)

The other day, one of our students came up to us and was completely fussy as it is her third try and still getting the same result. Although, this is her third time she probably has a rough idea about the speaking procedure, yet, she doesn’t have a good foundation about each speaking section. On this article, we will give you an overview to give you a better understanding about your oral test. Do bear in mind that each section has a different purpose in assessing your communicative skills.


PART 1 – Interview

Basically, this is the least complicated section of your exam. The questions thrown at you here are basic questions about your personal life, they might ask you questions about your hometown, family, hobbies, interests, work or studies so the best response is a natural response that provides a little more information than the examiner asked for. It’s like talking to a long time friend in a coffee shop and being detailed about your talk. Remember that one of the aims of this section is to get you talking freely. I suggest that you must prepare vocabularies on these topics, for instance, if one of your interests is scuba diving, make sure that you gain the vocabulary you need to discuss this topic.


Part 2 – Long Turn

This section is generally a description part or story telling, the candidate will be assessed on how well he/she can describe a certain topic in two minutes. Most candidates are usually freaking out when they get into this section test, probably because of lack of ideas in elaborating their subject topic. They key strategy here is to prepare a topic for each major themes, these are subjects about a person, a place, an event/activity/situation, an item/object and a story. Also, make the most out of your 1 minute preparation time, it is still best to write down those important keywords  you will be using to discuss which will keep you on track and to avoid forgetting significant details.


Part 3 – Discussion

Apparently, candidates mistakenly take this part similar to how they respond in Part 1. Well, this section is to evaluate your competence in discussing analytically. It sounds a little nerve-wracking but normally the examiner uses this section to adjust your score, if they think that you didn’t perform well in Part 2 they will ask you a tough question in Part 3 to pull your score. You must provide at least 2-3 main ideas to discuss plus you must provide necessary examples such as personal anecdote to support your reasons. The examiner will mostly ask for your general thoughts on an issue; advantages and disadvantages; problems and solutions; how the issue has changed from the past until now; and how the issue will change in the future.


Learning about the purpose of each parts will help you recognize how to respond appropriately. Preparing for your IELTS Speaking is not just a matter of mastering the language but understanding the objective, this way you can feel at ease for having a lay out about what your speaking exam consist.

IELTS Speaking Exam – tips and advises from an Examiner

As we have mentioned in our previous statement the Speaking exam is not an academic test. You must have a better understanding on how examiners mark your score. What you might not know is that each section contributes to your final Speaking Score by breaking these skills down even further, identifying the key aspects of each. Note, that each criterion consist of 25% which sums up to 100%:

  • Fluency and Coherence (25%)
    Fluency refers to how good the candidate is at keeping talking at the right speed and proper intonation while Coherence refers to how logical you connected your ideas in speech. This is a fairly general criteria which include evaluating the relevance of the candidate’s answers, it refers to the speaker’s need to be able to understand and follow the rules of language at a word, sentence and text level.
  • Lexical Resource (25%)
    This specifies to how much vocabulary the candidate has and how well they use it. As well as the rules of language at a word level, this criteria considers the communicative functions of speech and the social meaning of speech. Idiomatic language is also a plus.
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy (25%)
    Your grammatical score is, obviously, a reflection of your mastery of English grammar. This refers to how many structures the candidate has and how well they use them. Again, as well as the rules of language, this criteria considers the communicative functions of speech.
  • Pronunciation (25%)
    This refers to how well the candidate enunciates individual words. As well as considering the communicative effect of the candidate’s pronunciation, there is an evaluation of how much strain it causes on a listener, and how noticeable their accent is – although accent itself is not a problem.

To sum up, these aspects are relevant to each other to make speech effective in communication. For instance, if you have a thick accent, your control of the grammar and extensive lexicon can support your response. Likewise, perhaps you speak rather slowly and deliberately because your fluency is weak and requires consideration. In this case, it may be a strong vocabulary and well-pronounced words that may keep your message afloat. When you think of it, the way that the IELTS speaking section is marked is pretty genius.

Practical, simple & helpful IELTS Speaking exam tips from a current Examiner

The IELTS Speaking test is basically one of the most difficult parts of the IELTS examination. Most students that have studied with First English dedicate much of their time preparing for their speaking test, they usually formulate answers and memorize it which make it difficult for them to prepare. In which case, they have less understanding how examiners rate their oral capability. Remember that, these exams are challenging and can be very important for your future. Luckily, I’ve rounded up four simple ways to loosen you up.

  1. Speaking test is not an IQ or a knowledge test

Most students can go wrong because they evaluate it like an intelligence test and forget to use good English. Again, this is not an academic test, perhaps, it’s a language test. Know how the exam is marked so you can give the examiners exactly what they want. Here are 4 criteria you must consider:

  • Fluency and Coherence
  • Lexical Resource
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy
  • Pronunciation
  1. Study each section.

  • Part 1: Interview: This is supposed to be a relatively simple, introductory section. The examiner will likely ask your name, where you’re from, how you like to spend your free time, why you’re studying English, etc. Tip: It will be effortless to give “yes” and “no” answers in this section, but do your best to give longer responses. Example: “Do you enjoy learning English?” “Yes (keep going!), I think English is a difficult but entertaining language to learn, and it’s very practical.” The interview will last 4-5 minutes.
  • Part 2: Long Turn: In part 2 you will be given a topic about which you must speak uninterrupted for 1-2 minutes. This tends to be very difficult for most examinees. Tip: You will have one minute of prep time. Don’t try to write out complete answers, just make notes and improvise from them. You will sound more natural this way and you’ll be able to map out your entire response.
  • Part 3: Discussion: In this section of the test you will discuss a topic with the examiner for 3-4 minutes; again, a difficult category. Tip: If you have the chance to make a point through a personal anecdote, this will show you are comfortable and make your conversation more unique.
  1. Acquire the updated topics.

Knowing the food on the table will make a huge difference compared to people who is taken off guard. By learning about the topics you can create hints to each topic, in this way you can excel in spontaneity. You don’t necessarily need to memorize the answers because it is impossible for you to remember and it might sound recorded when you speak it out. Just jot down the main ideas and it will do the trick.


  1. Apply it in real life situation.

Apparently, reading English materials, listening to foreign music or watching foreign films might be a little helpful. Yet, interacting with someone is the best way to apply your oral skills whereas you can form a habit of being comfortable when using the English language. Here’s where tutors come in, practice with someone who could speak good English, they can guide you in so many aspects of the speaking test. Also, you can learn about your strength and shortcomings from your response and can identify which area of your language skills needs improvement.