IELTS Speaking Samples and Answers

IELTS Speaking Sample 54

IELTS Speaking Mock Test # 54

Part 1 Topic: "Games".
Part 2 Topic: "Describe an open-air or street market which you enjoyed visiting".
Part 3 Topic: "Shopping at markets" & "Shopping in general".

Part One - Introduction/interview

[In this section, the examiner asks the candidate about him/herself, his/her home, work or studies and other familiar topics.]

Topic: Games

Q. What games are popular in your country? [Why?]
Answer: Thank you for the question. In Kuwait, football is the most popular form of sport. In fact, Kuwait has a great national football team and the volume of success of this team is also remarkable. Football has become popular in Kuwait for many reasons and people love to watch the game on the playgrounds as well as live on their TVs. Other popular sports in Kuwait are basketball, cricket and hockey.

Alternative Answer: Cricket, field hockey and football are some of the most popular games in India. However, cricket is by far the most popular among them, followed by field hockey, simply because we are really good at playing both of these games. In fact, we have become Cricket World cup champion three times in the past while Hockey world Cup champion once. Indians are very passionate about cricket and we love to watch hockey games whenever possible. 

Q. Do you play any games? [Why/Why not?]
Answer: Yes, I do play different games and sports in my free time. I take part in basketball, which is my favourite sport and I play football sometimes. Both are interesting sports, and I find them more interesting due to the health benefits associated with them. Apart from that, I play handball, table tennis and chess once in a while.

Alternative Answer: Yes, I do play “Cricket” because it is one of most favourite hobbies I have. I started playing this game from my early childhood also because my elder brother encouraged me to do so. By the way, my elder brother is a great cricket player. Besides, I play this magnificent sport also because it doesn’t only keep me fit and healthy, but it also makes me “popular” within my friend circle!

Q. How do people learn to play games in your country?
Answer: Umm…. actually, people in Kuwait learn to play games and sports from their childhood and their relatives and friends often teach them how to play a game. And the educational institutions play the greatest role here. The children go to the playground and take part in different sports and their parents have an unparallel contribution to that activity as well.

Alternative Answer: People usually learn to play games in my country by playing with others in the same neighbourhood when they are still children of young age. However, they also learn to play sports at their schools as young kids, and some of them join a sports academy in order to become professional players.

Q. Do you think it's important for people to play games? [Why/Why not?]
Answer: Yes, it is absolutely important for people to participate in different games and sports. In fact, they play an important role in keeping our physical fitness and mental well-being. Games are also important to refresh our minds and to eliminate our worries. Besides, competitive sports which are played in a team teach us how to become a team member and how to devise strategies to win. This has a profound impact on our decision-making ability and success in life. So, I think it is important for everyone to take part in different games and sports.

Alternative Answer: Yes, I think that it is very important for people to play games since it is really good for their physical and mental fitness. Besides, sports also prevent people from getting involved in anti-social activities such as crimes and drug addiction. Finally, playing sports also prepare people to face bigger challenges in life successfully.


Part 2 - Individual long run (Cue Card/Candidate Task Card)

Describe an open-air or street market which you enjoyed visiting.

You should say:

  • where the market is/was
  • what the market sells/sold
  • how big the market is/was

and explain why you enjoyed visiting this market.

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]

[Examiner: All right? Remember you have one to two minutes for this, so don't worry if I stop you. I'll tell you when the time is up. Can you start speaking now, please?]

Sample Answer:
My recent visit to Hong Kong was extremely pleasant and exciting, and I will always remember my time there, especially for the unique experience I had in this city. I did some shopping at the "Temple Street Night Market" and I had never seen anything like this before or after!

It is an open-air market in Hong Kong and comes with a great variety of products and commodities for the people. This is the liveliest market in the city of Hong Kong which is quite large and diverse in my opinion. This is a great place for bargain hunters, and shoppers can get products of their choice at a reasonable price.

When the sun goes down, the traders lay out their wares, and the opera singers and fortune tellers begin to emerge. It was named after a "Tin Hau" temple located in the centre of its main drag, and a place so steeped in local atmosphere that it has served as the backdrop to many memorable movies.

This is a street market where you will get anything, absolutely anything, you need. Footwear, trinkets, teaware, cookware, electronics, clothes, electronic gadgets, DVDs, watches, menswear, jade and antiques are scrutinised and haggled over, while clay pot rice, seafood, noodles and other treats are consumed with gusto.

The market is big enough and holds a huge number of shops. The market starts from "Temple street" and covers a few other streets in different directions. The shops are arranged in a well-managed way and there are sections for specific goods and products. The shops are set in different directions under the sky and in case of rain or other disastrous conditions, they are covered with makeshift sheds.  

Earlier, I had no idea how a traditional Chinese open-air market was, especially one that operates at night. So, it was a great experience for me and I was thrilled to see how the buyers were bargaining with the sellers and after a satisfactory haggling, they were purchasing the desired goods. I also loved the street food stalls in the market. I bought a few souvenirs from the market and enjoyed a few traditional Chinese dishes which were mouth-watering.

"Temple Street Night Market" is an enduring example of the theatre and festivity of a Chinese market and it’s on show nightly. Being there was something extraordinary; and how can I ever forget my experience of this exhilarating place!?


Part 3 - Two-way Discussion

Discussion topics: Shopping at markets

Q. Do people in your country enjoy going to open-air markets that sell things like food or clothes or old objects? Which type of market is more popular? Why?
Answer: Umm… the number of open-air or street markets in my country is pretty low. You can, however, notice many small to large-scale shopping malls covered with walls or glasses and those are mostly air-conditioned. Since Kuwait has a really hot summer, shopping complexes are more comfortable for shoppers than those of street markets. Rich people mostly prefer those large shopping centres.

However, the traditional markets still continue to attract business in Kuwait. The souk area of Central Kuwait City retains some of its labyrinths of covered streets, with the passageways lined with shops and stalls. The shops specialize in particular items, including hardware, clothing, and spices, that are still open for business.

Moreover, several open-air Friday markets operate from early morning till evening on Fridays, selling everything from second-hand furniture, to clothes, carpets, livestock of various types, and more.

Alternative Answer: Yes, people in my country do enjoy going to open-air markets that sell various food, clothing items and old objects. In fact, most Indian markets traditionally are open-air street markets, apart from the “supermarkets” and “city markets” in some kind of building structures in the cities. These traditional markets are very popular among the Indians for centuries. These open-air markets enjoy huge popularity among Indians mainly because all commodities sold there are mostly very affordable. Besides, food and vegetables at these marketplaces are popular also because of their freshness.

Q. Do you think markets are more suitable places for selling certain types of things? Which ones? Why do you think this is?
Answer: Yes, markets are suitable places to sell some particular types of products. In fact, such markets are more convenient for sellers and buyers who prefer open and large spaces than a building. Thus livestock, second-hand furniture, different spices, vegetables, fruits, carpets, and street food are more suitable to be traded on an open market than in a confined shopping complex. In particular, different types of livestock can't be purchased and sold inside a building and a market is more suitable for it.

Alternative Answer: Yes, traditionally, markets are more suitable places for selling, not just certain types of things but all kinds of things, mainly because of the conveniences and benefits they provide. In fact, it is not realistic to expect that the buyers will visit from place to place for hours and days in order to find and buy what they need. Selling everything at markets also ensures that both the sellers and buyers are getting the “fair” market prices of their products and commodities since there is always some room for “bargaining”. Besides, when it comes to monitoring and regulations, it is much easier to monitor and regulate markets by the government authorities for all kinds of smooth transactions, monetary or otherwise.

Q. Do you think young people feel the same about shopping at markets as older people? Why is that?
Answer: No, I do not think that the feelings of young and older people are the same while shopping in a market. Basically, young people want to have a comfortable shopping environment and feel luxury while shopping - at least in my country. They also want to have several other amenities like a food court, playground and theatre in a shopping mall. They do not like to bargain much and thus they often avoid going to an open market. A luxurious shopping mall is their first preference.

On the contrary, older people want to get the value for the money they pay and compare a product from different sellers. Since markets offer this facility they prefer markets over luxurious shopping malls.

Alternative Answer: I don’t really think that young people feel the same about shopping at markets as older people mainly because it is not that convenient to shop in a market. At markets, one has to go from one place to another to buy certain things, which is a time-consuming and frustrating affair at times, while young people usually prefer to hang out with friends in one place and have fun these days. While older people would rather prefer to save some money, because of their traditional beliefs and lifestyles, by buying things at markets, young people these days may not actually be that enthusiastic about saving money in this way.

Discussion topics: Shopping in general

Q. What do you think are the advantages of buying things from shops rather than markets?
Answer: Well, "convenience and comfort" is the first thing that comes to my mind whenever I think of buying something from a large shopping mall. Products in such a shop are found in a well-organized manner while a market sells various types of goods together and you will need to search extensively to get the product you want for you. A shopping mall is cleaner and more comfortable. Besides, a large shop sells products at a fixed price while it is almost impossible to purchase something from a market without bargaining.

From my personal experience, I can say that sellers in a market try to push goods to the customers which I really dislike.

Alternative Answer: One of the greatest advantages of buying things from a shop, rather than markets, is that buying at shops is much less time-consuming since many/all commodities can be purchased pretty much from the same shop. Besides, buying things at shops is much more convenient since one doesn’t really have to struggle with the heat of the sun, cold or rain in the open as opposed to purchasing things at markets. Finally, it is better to buy things from shops because some of those things actually remain well-preserved and healthy most of the time which may not be the case when buying things from markets.

Q. How does advertising influence what people choose to buy? Is this true for everyone?
Answer: Advertisements try to influence people in some creative and some tricky ways. Frequent adverts on different media cast an impact on our minds, particularly on our subconscious minds. So, when we go to buy something, we remember the advertisement and ask the seller if they could provide us with products of a particular brand. Since advertisers always publicise the benefits of a product, we tend to believe that those products are far better than others.

Being influenced by advertisements is a common phenomenon but this is not true for everyone. Many people do not rely on advertisements, they rather take decisions based on their real-life experiences and recommendations from people they trust.

Alternative Answer: Advertisers spend tons of money by presenting things in a very colourful and tempting manner on different media outlets in order to influence people in their purchasing habits. For example, when a particular clothing company “dresses” up a very famous and beautiful actress or model and make her look really happy in that dress, made by the company, on television or in magazines, the chances are that some young women out there in the market would also want to look the same by purchasing that particular dress because it is our human psychology to identify ourselves with somebody “famous and beautiful”. But, does this human psychology apply to everyone? The answer is “no” since we all are different with different kinds of tastes, preferences and judgments.

Q. Do you think that any recent changes in the way people live have affected general shopping habits? Why is this?
Answer: Yes, the modern lifestyle has some profound impacts on our shopping habits in general. Most people are now fond of renowned brands. They try to get the branded products for their regular use and they do not care about the price of such products at all. I think this has happened due to the extensive advertisements all around us.

Besides, people nowadays buy products online more than ever before. The old way of "touching and feeling a product before deciding to purchase it" is no longer applicable to the young generation. They order their favourite pizza online and wait at home to eat it with friends. I believe technological advancement and our busy life schedules are somewhat responsible for this.

Alternative Answer: Yes, I do think that recent changes, in the way people live, have considerably affected general shopping habits. In fact, our expectations have increased in many folds since, these days, we prefer more convenience, comfort and luxury than our “conventional, moderate and economic lifestyles” can offer. For example, we are not really happy and satisfied with a “regular” affordable clothing item, made by some unknown local company, rather we look for some expensive clothing items made by some famous international brands because we most probably want to feel more “valuable” and stylish than the “average”. Besides, we have too many choices and we have created a throwaway society with our consumerism habits.

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