This is a sample response for IELTS Speaking Part 2 and 3. In addition to the model answer there are highlighted words and phrases. Teal is for vocabulary relating to this topic, yellow is for generally useful words and phrases.
IELTS Speaking Part 2
You should say:
- when and where it was
- what you think made you feel that way
- how long the feeling lasted
and say whether it was a pleasant feeling or not.
It happened during lunchbreak at work last year. We were sitting at the cafeteria of the office building on the ground floor, talking shop and having coffee. The topic of discussion was mobile phones and applications. I was at the table with a couple of younger colleagues who were all too eager to tell me about the latest model they have pre-ordered and how it has the best camera and a battery that lasts all week. Applications for phones was also a major talking point, apparently nowadays they have an app for everything, ranging from dating and dieting and ending with learning how to knit.
It felt like their zeal and enthusiasm were wasted on me. They had so many things to tell one another, myself included, but it was all buzzwords and drivel to me. I felt a bit self-conscious, clutching my 6-year old phone in my pocket, wondering if it can do any of the things they were discussing. I only use it for calls, texts and as an alarm clock, you see. It made me feel really old and out of touch. It was not pleasant at all.
IELTS Speaking Part 3
What kinds of health issues do old people in your country face most often?
My country doesn’t seem to be an outlier in this regard. Despite free healthcare, older people face a number of afflictions. Senior citizens usually suffer from joint pain, hearing and sight loss, various heart problems – predominantly cardiovascular diseases – those that affect blood vessels. Senile dementia is a common case as well – that’s when their ability to process and use information gets impaired. For instance, they might fail to recognize you or can be unable to perform basic actions like pouring a glass of water. Most of these drastically reduce their quality of life, often to the point when they have to be looked after by someone – either a nurse or a younger relative.
Do you think healthcare should be free in every country? Why/Why not?
This makes total sense from the human rights point of view. But there are many factors to keep in mind. First, the healthcare services are provided by qualified personnel who have to get paid. Secondly, more often than not treatment involves various medication that are naturally not free – on the contrary, they can be quite expensive. If healthcare becomes free, both expenditure items will have to be paid from state budget, which effectively means taxpayers’ pockets. It is a well-known fact that you can’t get something from nothing, and this is one of those cases. Therefore, “free” healthcare will actually means everybody pays for health issues of others. An ethically complex subject, it makes sense to help others less fortunate, but I can also see how some might not be happy with arrangement like that. People might see themselves as paying for others’ mistakes and poor decisions, and justifiably so. To sum up, I struggle to find a cut and dry answer to this question.
Is being a doctor prestigious in your country?
People look up to you if you are a doctor. Doctors are naturally very educated, well-read people. They are down to earth and easy to get along with. Their line of work doesn’t pay much though, at least until they get several years of experience under their belt. So it all comes down to the understanding of the word “prestige”. They are respected, but most of them don’t really make bank. Addressing the latter, they are an integral part of society and I believe this should find reflection in their financial compensation.
Quality of life
What are some of the most important factors that contribute to a high quality of life?
When you think of such matters, a sense of security and community come to mind first. If you are surrounded by like-minded people, you start feeling like you truly belong to the place, you feel one with it. Similarly, when you sense no possible threat, either physical or psychological, your minds shifts gear and focuses on higher things. Secondly, it’s healthcare quality and availability. It makes sense for this aspect to take priority, but I tend to think fitting in and feeling comfortable in your own skin is more important short-term, whereas staying healthy is a more of a long-term arrangement. Finally, it’s education, again, in no particular order. By education I don’t mean practical things but rather a fundamental knowledge that gives you better understanding of the world around you and how it works. These three things combined make up for the bulk of the eerie concept we refer to as “quality of life”.
Is high income necessary to have good quality of life? Why or why not?
Many thing that constitute quality of life come at a price. Healthcare, education and of course accommodation can all get very pricey indeed. Some, if not all of it can be acquired through government programs such as grants, subsidies and many others. These take some effort, knowledge of how things work and ultimately, they never last. It does seem that money is the easier way out, but how easy to get the required sum is a whole different question. The answer therefore is quite straightforward – money does indeed seem to be a prerequisite for better quality of life, all other things being equal.
Are there any specific areas or regions in the world that are known for living happier lives? If so, what are they and would could be the reason people are happier there?
Scandinavian countries like Denmark, Sweden and Norway always lead the these happiness charts. Naturally, happiness is difficult to quantify, so a number of metrics has to be used to get a clearer picture. Parameters like gross domestic product, access to quality healthcare, corruption and life expectancy are one of the main ones when calculating the happiness index. Many people believe that weather and climate are serious contributor to one’s mood and well-being. Interestingly enough, this index does not factor it in. Maybe if it did, the results would be skewed towards territories with mild equatorial or warm continental climates, so they didn’t include it for that very reason. All things considered, it makes perfect sense for people who make enough money to afford things, have easy access to professional healthcare and live longer.