IELTS Speaking topic - studying 2

IELTS Speaking topic – Studying #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 school subject or activity you didn’t enjoy
You should say:

  • what it was
  • the reason you didn’t enjoy it
  • how you felt about taking part in it

and say if you think you would have enjoyed it now

Model answer

Whenever I look back to my school years, my PE classes are one of the memories I can’t help but wince at. We would have those on Fridays, right after the lunch recess. I dreaded Fridays for that reason because PE meant doing the impossible tasks like chin-ups or relay races. Young me was really hopeless at that, but the PE teacher insisted on me trying over and over again without giving any feedback. I think he only succeeded in making me loathe each and every form of physical activity.

Needless to say, I never looked forward to attending these classes. The truth is, I would skip these classes with and without reason. I would often feign illness at the nurse’s office and she would let me go home. If that didn’t work, I’d outright play truant – wait the class out either in the library or the school yard.

I think I would have liked to have these classes nowadays. I’m in better shape now, running and chin-ups wouldn’t be much of a problem today.

IELTS Speaking Part 3

Studying and career

Is is better to spend your twenties studying or working?
According to widely-available data, people with college degrees have a staggering 70% higher salaries than those who only have high-school education. This data is fairly consistent across most employment spheres. Moreover, highly-qualified graduates report higher job satisfaction levels, which in turn lead to lower stress and psychological fatigue at the workplace. Therefore, unless your circumstances require you to start earning as soon as you can, dedicating several years to ensure higher professional skills and employability is likely to be the better choice.

Many prestigious employment spheres like engineering and finance get more and more competitive nowadays. Is it a positive or a negative development?
On one hand, this situation seems to guarantee that only the best professionals find their way into the industry. However, before they even get there they naturally have to get the degree first. This is where the trouble begins.

As the ever-increasing number students apply for the select, highly-desirable degrees with limited admission numbers, the costs of getting said degrees rises accordingly. The results of this development can be witnessed already – sky-rocketing tuition costs for these sough-after degrees. This creates unfair advantage for the more financially comfortable families, effectively preventing possibly more talented individuals from enrolling if they lack the necessary funds. Such bias in the field is impossible to make right unless the government steps in with a scholarship-like programme that would allow high-scoring students to have their tuition costs paid by state.

Do you agree that studying while you are young is much more effective?
Well, yes and no. Experts in the field believe that while it is much easier for younger learners to take in and process new information, they tend to be more forgetful. It mostly comes down to the ability to focus on the matter at hand – learning, in this case. Youngers’ mind is more prone to wandering, they say. Conversely, while older students, say in their thirties are not as swift at remembering and mastering something new, they are much more intent and focused on it, and are less likely to forget things they set out to learn.

Teaching and studying

Some parents insist on their kids learning a foreign language from a very young age. Is this always a good idea?
It is common knowledge that learning a foreign language offers a plethora of benefits. Without mentioning the immediate practical advantages of being able to communicate in said language, there are many others. Learning a language develops your mind, broadens your horizons, it even offsets senile dementia. So one should start learning it as soon as possible, right? Not necessarily.

I believe there is such a thing as starting to learn a foreign language too soon. And before we get into this, I want to point out that it only applies to learning in the traditional meaning – attending classes with a teacher. Learning as a part of being in the natural environment is another story as it happens organically.

The main concern I would have when exposing a very young child to foreign language is that it might interfere with mastering their native language. If we talk about really young age, we probably mean a toddler that has only started speaking. This is why I have doubts about some parents’ fervent desire to expose their offspring to other languages as soon as possible.

Teaching is often seen as a female profession. Why?
I have to say that personally I disagree with this assumption – I believe this commonly held misconception has several underlying reasons. First of all, female teachers constitute a majority of academic force in primary and secondary schools. As a result of this overrepresentation people get the mentioned idea.

Secondly, a more constructive reason is that women in general are seen as more empathetic. In other words, they find it easier to put themselves in other people’s skin to understand their needs. This is an essential skill for anyone aiming to teach, instruct, impart knowledge or information in any other way.

Finally, women are traditionally seen as child minders, and indeed this has been the case in the past. Centuries of looking after kids and the resulting experience has certainly seeped into the teaching practices. Hence, women might find it easier to keep a large group of underage students disciplined.

Studying vocabulary

Recess (n) – chiefly an American English word, here it means a long lunch break at school
Chin-up (n) – a kind of exercise performed on a horizontal bar where you have to lift your chin over the bar using your hands
Relay races – a team running exercise where participants run a part of a course with a baton that they hand from one runner to the next one
Feedback (n) – a useful information that you get in response to your question or actions
Play truant – to skip classes on purpose
Admission numbers – the amount of student admitted (accepted) to a school, college or university
Enroll (v) – (here) to apply and get officially registered as a student at a school or university
Mind is more prone to wandering – if someone is prone to something, they are more likely to be affected by it. If your mind wanders it means that you are not focused on anything in particular
Overrepresentation (n) – when a certain group of people (of particular gender, nationality or background) makes up a much larger share than the rest in a business, a school or any other institution
Constructive (adj) – consisting of suggestions on how to make something different rather than criticizing
Empathetic (adj) – able to relate to other person’s feeling, to put yourself in their shoes
Child minder (n) – a person who looks after kids, especially other people’s kids

General vocabulary

Wince (v) – to twist your face or to grimace without meaning to do so, either out of pain or shock
Loathe (v) – pretty much the opposite of “to love”
Each and every – just a fancy replacement for “all”
Feign illness – if you feign something it means you pretend to do it or have it while in reality you don’t
Outright (adv) – completely, openly or instantly
Staggering (adj) – astonishing, impressive or shocking, often used with numbers
Fatigue (n) – accumulated tiredness, either mental or physical
Select (adj) – chosen carefully as the best
Sought-after (adj) – very desirable because of rarity, quality or other reasons
Step in (phr v) – take part in a difficult situation to help
Process (v) – to analyse in order to understand
Matter at hand – something that one needs to deal with right now rather than later
Plethora (n) – a range or a big number of
Senile dementia – a condition affecting the elderly that affect memory as well as mind function in general
Organically (adv) – naturally, fittingly
Interfere (v) – to get involved without being asked, often to a bad effect
Fervent (adj) – passionately involved in something
Misconception (n) – long-held misunderstanding of something
Seep into (phr v) – to find its way into other spheres. “Mark’s attention to detail really seeps into his work as an accountant – he will not let a single mistake in his documentation”

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