IELTS Speaking topic - modern problems 2

IELTS Speaking topic – Modern problems #2

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

Talk about a time you wasted at a public office
You should say:

  • what the place was
  • why you had to spend a lot of time
  • how much time you wasted

and say if it was your fault

Model answer

Two months ago I had to go to a delivery company to pick up a shipment that I had ordered. I came to the place well in advance, picked a number from the queueing machine and sat down to wait for my turn. Foolishly, I thought it would only take a minute or two, but little did I know that there were only two people working on that day. I ended up having to sit there for more than an hour. Eventually, my number came up.

When I approached the official to pay for the delivery, it turned out that I had to have an ID to get the shipped item. Being lucky as I was on that day I didn’t have it. Swearing under my breath I went all the way back to my place to grab the ID. When I returned, the officials were kind enough to spare me the waiting part and I finally received my package.

It’s hard to tell who was at fault in this situation. On one hand it makes perfect sense that you need to prove who you are so that the shipment doesn’t get in the wrong hands. On the other they could have mentioned that on their website or the shipment form. I guess I could have avoided all of it if I had done due diligence and took my passport with me

IELTS Speaking Part 3

Spending time efficiently

Why are some people better than others at managing their time?
This is probably a habit or even a trait of character we take from our parents. Like most formative things, the ability to truly value your time is something that comes with experience. It is no secret that learning happens much faster and easier in our younger years, so we tend to observe and imitate things that senior members of society do. It does not matter whether it’s our parents, grandparents or teachers – they make an example for us, unknowingly so in some cases. So, to sum things up, I believe the environment we are brought in is the dominating factor when it comes whether we known how to manage our time well.

What helps people stay productive?
I’d say ambition is one of the prime things that drive people to stay productive. People who aspire to achieve greater things tend to have more energy and enthusiasm. They keep on trying if they encounter a seemingly impossible problem. They endure and persevere – all because of their desire to prove to others and to themselves how much they are capable of. It also helps if one has a dream – and it doesn’t matter whether it’s an upmarket apartment, a fancy car or a trip to an exotic location. With an aim you can feel your effort contributing to your ultimate goal. This thought helps the person focus on the task at hand.

Are there any habits that make usage of time more efficient?
Well, it goes without saying that having a stable sleeping pattern ensures that you wake up early enough to make the best use of the day. I’ve heard things about the morning hours offering most benefits to people who aim to accomplish something. It is because brain is in its most acute state during the early hours. Another logical routine one might have to ensure productivity is to have a timer that helps you measure the time you spend on each activity. It often comes as a rough awakening to the reality – we end up using most of our life on mobile phone games and chatting!

Meaning of time

Why is it important to keep track of time?
They say that time is the most precious resource we have in life, but many do not fully understand the meaning of that simple idea. The concept lies on the surface – the time that we have in life is a finite resource and its value fluctuates all the time. If you have neither a job nor any professional competence, your time is unlikely to cost much. A highly-acclaimed doctor, on the contrary, will definitely value their time much more and this in turn will affect most aspects of their life – the way they work and how they relax. We should therefore be careful with time to become worthy of it. We also have to keep a close eye on this personal and highly valuable resource that dwindles with every second, quite literally.

Who should value their time more – younger or older people? Why?
The overall consensus seems that while younger people feel the life to a greater extent they do not yet have the experience to fully appreciate it. Older people – wise, in-the-know, sometimes even jaded – might not care because they have already seen it all. Therefore, while biologically older people naturally have much less time left, they probably don’t worry about it too much. This might sound like a rough take, but it makes a lot of sense to me.

Modern problems vocabulary

At fault – to be guilty of something. When it comes to kitchen management Manny is always at fault
Do due diligence – to do what you can to make sure that there are no problems and if there are any – to correct them
Prime (adj) – (here) most important, essential
Aspire (v) – to have the ambition to achieve something and to actively try to achieve it
Routine (n) – a set or an order of actions that you do regularly. My morning routine consists of exercising, having a breakfast and reading a newspaper
Finite (adj) – existing in a limited number, not endless. Both oil and gas are finite resources that will run out at some point
Take (n) – (here, informal) an opinion on something that you express

General vocabulary

Shipment (n) – a package from another town, city or country
Little did I know – not a vocab entry. I just wanted to emphasise the importance of such grammar to get higher score. In this case we are using inversion.
Under your breath – to say something either to yourself or very quietly so others won’t hear you
Spare (v) – (here) to save somebody from something unpleasant by not including them in it. Spare me your old stories, I’ve heard them too many times!
Take from (phr v) – to inherit some physical or mental trait from your older relatives. She takes her beauty from her grandmother
Formative (adj) – happening in early years and having great influence on you because of that. I spent my formative years in the country so I learned a lot about nature and farming
Fluctuate (v) – to change unpredictably. Grain prices have been fluctuating for several months now
Dwindle (v) – to fall down slowly, to reduce in number. Like the previous word we mostly use it to talk about numbers, i.e. in statistics
Jaded (adj) – not easily impressed because they have seen too much in their life.

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