« IELTS Writing Task 1: process diagram summary | Main | IELTS Grammar: correct the mistakes »

February 24, 2012


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Hi there,
Both these topics are instrsting and we can speak very well on these topics. It's an easy when we talk about our family or our job letter or univesity admission letter. I think so we can speak about 2 min on these both topics because I had one topic in my IELTS exam..tht Talk about an important letter that you received and I spoke about my an abroad university admission confirmation letter.

Hi Simon,

Good points! The smartest thing is to choose something with a lot to say, and I think this goes for both speaking and writing!

At least in their own language, students should go over all the sample questions they can get and prepare ahead by thinking about what to say for each topic. Perhaps you are really good at fluency, grammar, vocabulary, etc., but without good ideas, you still may not be able to get a high score.

However, just to contradict myself, some students have very limited ideas but are somehow able to make it into an interesting story with a combination of their creativity and good speaking skills.

Mastering a language is certainly not an easy task and it requires lots of hard work... so being well-prepared is the minimum a student should do if he or she wants to get a high score.

Good luck everyone!


I had in my speaking part 2
Describe something has changed city or town you know it,where,what was it like it,and what happend , its effect>

Hello Martin!
I have read your some of your comments and pieces of advice, and I am very grateful for your help and feedback, that is really helpful (especially your reccomendation about writing sentences using new words and the model speaking answer,it would be great if you continue providing us with further help!)
I don`t know whether you have already mentioned something about your first language, so I would like to find out it now! (if I may, of course =) )
P.S. Thank you that you share your experience here, this anicdotal evidence with your profound knowledge in English proofs one more time that it is possible to acquire it , without being a native speaker!
Looking forward for your answer,

Describe a photo that you like.??

I would like to talk about the photo taken about 5 years ago. In fact , that one not only is a photo , but also reminds me many things. Let me tell you why? 5 years a ago our friends decided to go a journey cave. A dark dank cave with many stalagmites and stalactite attracts all tourists from all around the world. We hired a boat and put our staff on it. As I’d always had a thirst for adventure and often get itchy feet so I could hardly contain my excitement when I asked my fellows to go darker side. Sara opposed me as we didn’t know a cave very well , but I felt like an intrepid explorer from another century in some unexplored wilderness. soddenly , we crashed the rock and I fell into freezing water. I was lucky that wore life vest then a friend of mine saved me. All of my dress became wet. In this moment Sara took a picture of me at that situation. I didn’t feel that what she did. Last week she published those pictures on the board and all students laughed at me when they were seeing me. I got quite angry then I started struggling with Sara that why she did it. We were not speaking with each other up 2 weeks. However, I felt that this just a picture and I would have not be upset about it. Finally, we made reconciliation . Now she is my wife and I hang out that picture on the wall. Amazing picture!!!

Simon I have question, in speaking part 2 I should speak 2 minutes ?
What if I speak one minute and 20 second dose it affect the score ?

Hi Radmila,

Thanks for your message!

I'm not sure whether I have mentioned about my mother tongue, but since you are asking, I will reveal this little secret... ha!

I was actually born in Taiwan, but my entire family moved to Argentina when I was very little... so I would say that both Chinese and Spanish are my native languages. To be honest, I now feel more comfortable with English than the other languages I know because I have been constantly using it for the last 10+ years.

I perfectly know how difficult it could be to master a foreign language. Thanks to Simon, I can share my experience in this blog hoping that more and more students can quickly improve their English skills.


Good day Martin!
Thank you for your kind response!
Wow! It is praiseworthy that you are fluent at three languages.
It is really good luck, that I have found Simon`s blog in the web space =)
I am anxious to your new feedbacks and sharing experience Martin.

I have question, in speaking part 2 I should speak 2 minutes ?
What if I speak one minute and 20 second dose it affect the score ?
Can anyone answer my questions?

Dear Simon,
What should I present in part 2 if I am given a topic relating to the fields I have no idea? For example, talk about the political leader whom you like. Actually, I don't know much about politics or economics...
Thanks a lot, Simon!

Dear Simon,

Thank you so much for preparing such a fantastic forum.
Would it be possible to provide some SPEAKING tips for those applicants who have already scored 7.0 in their previous exam and willing to improve it up to 7.5.
Thank you for your consideration in advance.


Hi Simon
I really appreciate that you put so useful information on this website.
I would like to know how to describe a wedding..
Thanks a lot.


I think some people missed my message about not being able to answer every comment individually. I do still read all comments, and I try to answer some of them in a lesson on Saturday or Sunday.

Here's the original message:


Hi Simon,
I guess some people pretend not to see your message about not being able to answer all the questions!
I suggest you to make such message permanent on top of the main page so that old and new visitors and easily see it.

Here I'm going to try to comment on some of the questions posted in this lesson.

To Dodi:
I think your question is a matter of "quality vs. quantity". I believe you can still get a good score if you speak "good quality" English for 1 min and 20 secs. However, it is recommended to speak as much as you can or until the examiner stops you.

To Miracle:
The IELTS exam doesn't expect anyone to be an expert on any topic, but you are expected to have some kind of idea or opinon for ALL questions. That's why I always tell my students to read/listen/watch all sorts of materials on the Internet and expand their general knowledge. About the political leader, I would personally choose to talk about President Obama or Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Governator)... perhaps you don't have any feelings toward neither one of them, but I think you can easily lie about that, right?

To Jinyao:
If you are still not married or have never attended a wedding ceremony, perhaps you can talk about the widely viewed Royal wedding that took place last year: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Wedding_2011... just an idea.


Please read Martin's comment above if you posted questions here.

Thanks again Martin, perfect answers as usual!

Many thanks to Simon and Martin.

You are more than welcome!

Hi Simon,
As long as I have the time, I will continue and answer some of the students' questions with the best of my knowledge. Please feel free to let me know if/when you disagree with my ideas.
Thanks again for giving me the opportunity to contribute in your amazing website!


Decribe a photo that you like.
I would like to talk about a photo, which was taken in 1989 at farewell party of my graduation. That is not only a photo, but it captures amazing moments. My class teacher,Mr.Fasiuddin, was very interesting and pleasant nature person. In this photograph, he is the third person sitting beside me from left. He was always illustrating on many occasions." No body is perfet in this whole universe, except a donkey" Whenever I remember my farewell party, whole senario comes in my mind. That is why I have hnged this picture on the front wall of my drawing room.

Dear Simon and Martin,
I just dropped by your website and found it useful.I visit this website every day to improve my English.
I don't want to disturb you with my comments here. But I really want to show my thankfulness to Teacher Simon and your contribution, Martin.
Moreover, I feel touched by what you are doing.
I am still very young now, I hope in the future I can also do something like this in order to share knowledge with others.

Thanks for your kind words Miracle.

the picture is really i cant forget was in my wedding day about 5 years ago, i want to tell u something about my mother,she never have be gotten by camera except in passport she thinks she is ugly in photo and she always say i am not photogenic
what happened in my wedding that the photographer said to daddy to have a family picture the bride with her parent and mammy kept saying no no no i dont want so my father pull her suddenly to stand by me and tell the photographer to take it quickly it like funny picture for family memory.

Hi, I'm just wondering, if ever I'll discuss those two questions in these manner:

You could describe a photo of your family on a special occasion (e.g. a birthday party). This would allow you to talk about the members of your family and tell the story of what happened at the party when the photo was taken. Alternatively, you could describe a holiday photo of a place you visited. Then you can talk about the place and what you did there.
If you have a job, you could describe the letter you received telling you that you got the job. You could talk about the job interview, how you felt when you received the letter, and what you now do in your job. On the other hand, if you are a student, you could say that you received a letter confirming your place on your degree course.

Wouldn't it mean irrelevance or beyond the topic? I need to be enlightened. Thanks

hi simon,i write down about a letter u received
The letter i received with so much excitement and happiness that was my job appointment letter in saudi arab as a resident doctor in obsteric and gynaecology department.i still remember the date was 1st march,2009.Actually i tried a lot to get a job in this country as my husband previously started working there.So we were separated for a time being that i cant forget.However, that appointment letter gave us the opportunity to be together all of us.Though the salary was not make a difference but we all happy to receive the letter as it united my family after a long time.I was a little bit nervous on the day of interview but i was confident about my experinces and qualification.i am so happy now with my job and also i spend time with my family but sometime i recall the day,i received the letter..i cant express in any language my feelings and happiness.

pls tell me something about this speaking topic..am i ok

what ids the role of traditional art and craft in ypur country ?kindly is there anyone who answer this?

I would like to thank you simon because you are helping to entire ielts participating guys to score good marks.
And keep it up!


Hi Martin,

It has always been great to read your comments for everybody and I'm now glad to figure out your backgrounds, efforts and contribution towards English.

I'm not Taiwanese but I've been living in Taipei, Taiwan at the moment, and trying to study hard and pass an IELTS exam here in order to finally fulfill my dream to study a Master's degree in the UK from this September.

I'm from other country (neighbor from Taiwan!) but I've been always glad how Taiwanese people are so kind to me and sincere whenever I am stuck in some problems.

Hope to see you thank you in person someday somewhere if possible in the near future.

Best regards xx

Hi Simon,

i am going to sit in speaking test tomorrow, but the main problem is that I am Stutter, so will i get bad score?

Hi Jibran,

You should tell your test centre about that, so that the examiner knows.

The comments to this entry are closed.