IELTS Speaking Samples and Answers

IELTS Speaking Test Sample 97

IELTS Speaking Test # 97

Part 1 Topic: "Flowers and plants".
Part 2 Topic: "Describe a review you read about a product or service".
Part 3 Topic: "Online reviews" & "Customer service".

Part One - Introduction

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

Topic: Flowers and plants

Q.  Do you have a favourite flower or plant? [Why/Why not?]
Answer: I love flowers. They are the purest form of beauty that nature can present to us. And they represent joy, vibrant colour, love, beauty, devotion, spirituality, and freshness. And of course, I have a favourite flower which is none other than the "Tulip". This cup-shaped gorgeous-looking flower is breathtakingly beautiful, and when I first saw it as a child, I fell in love with its majestic beauty and magnificence. And, ever since, the tulip is my favourite flower. 

Alternative answer: As a grade one child, perhaps at the age of 6, when I learned that plants give us oxygen without which our existence would be impossible, I learned to love them. And when it comes to my favourite plant, it has to be "coconut plants". We had these tall plants at our grandparent's house, and I have many loving memories surrounding these plants; like - making toys with their leaves, waiting to devour the refreshing water of green coconut and so on. Different foods and delicacies are made from coconuts which I also enjoy a lot.

Q.  What kinds of flowers and plants grow near where you live? [Why/Why not?]
Answer: Our country has a wide variety of flowers, and it would take researchers months to list and talk about them all. Here, however, I would like to tell the name of a few common flowers that grow in my hometown. They are tulips, jasmine, lotuses, roses, orchids, daisies, iris, and sunflowers. Many plants grow well in our neighbourhood including coconut trees, palm trees, mango trees, different flower plants, guava trees, flame trees, and cherry trees.

I believe that it has something to do with the local weather and soil that favour those trees and flowers to grow in plenty in our area.

Q.  Is it important to you to have flowers and plants in your home? [Why/Why not?]
Answer: It is quite a common trend for many people in my country to decorate their home with flowers when they have a special occasion to celebrate. Had flowers been cheaper, many of us would like to have them every single day. People have flowers on special occasions in their homes because flowers are the symbol of beauty, devotion, purity and freshness. They also enhance the appeal of the house and make it look more beautiful.

In my hometown, like most other places in my country except for a few metropolitan cities, there are hardly any houses that do not have some sort of plants or trees. Having plants is important to protect the house from storms, thunder and other natural calamities while also getting fruits, flowers or other benefits from the trees.

Q.  Have you ever bought flowers for someone else? [Why/Why not?]
Answer: I can recall at least a hundred occasions when I bought flowers for someone as a gift or a token of good wishes. Last month, I went to attend the marriage ceremony of a relative, and on that day, I bought a bouquet and an electronic item as gifts for them. A few months ago, I visited a sick friend at her house when I bought a few roses of different colours for her.


Part 2 - Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card

[The topic for your talk will be written on a card which the examiner will hand you. Read it carefully and then make some brief notes.]

Describe a review you read about a product or service.

You should say:

  • where you read this review
  • what the product or service was
  • what information the review gave about the product or service

and and explain what you did as a result of reading this review.

[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.]

Click here for the answer to this Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card


Part 3 - Details Discussion / Two-way Discussion:

Discussion topics: Online review

Q.  What kinds of things do people write online reviews about in your country?
Answer: People, in my country, pretty much write reviews about all sorts of products and services. When it comes to writing reviews about hotels, a place or food, people seem to have something to say every time they dine in a restaurant or stay in a hotel. They also are very active in writing reviews about fashion items, dresses, electronic items, jewellery and shoes to name a few.

Q.  Why do some people write online reviews?
Answer: I believe some people are active when it comes to sharing their experiences with a service or a product. These people share both their positive and negative experiences. Some might write reviews to let their relatives and friends know that they went to visit a place or bought something expensive. For such people, writing reviews are a secondary motive while letting others know it is the primary reason. Finally, some people go online and write reviews only when they are very dissatisfied with something. They intend to warn people about the possible downside of a product or service or become vocal about their frustrations.

Q.  Do you think that online reviews are good for both shoppers and companies?
Answer: Yes, I do believe that online reviews are good for both customers and businesses. As consumers, many shoppers first read honest reviews by real customers before deciding to buy something or visit a place. It gives them a genuine picture of the product or service that they are planning to have. Since every vendor advertises their products to be excellent and superior in quality, only from real customer reviews we can get the validity of it. From the company's perspective, except for some rouge merchants whose intention is to make more profit from low-quality products, online review allows businesses to get insights into customer opinions and expectations to improve their products and service to gain and retain more customers.


Discussion topics: Customer Service

Q.  What do you think it might be like to work in a customer service job?
Answer: Since I had been in the customer service job for approximately three years before switching to a financial sector job, I have a good idea about it. Most of the time, it was rewarding and fulfilling as I could solve someone's problem or help them to make them happy. It was satisfying even though I sometimes felt that I had been working really hard to constantly offer service to our potential or existing customers. But sometimes I got demotivated and frustrated to face an angry or rude customer who would never listen to any logic or reasoning. But you know, they are all parts of the job!

Q.  Do you agree that customers are more likely to complain nowadays?
Answer: I do believe that modern people have become more conscious of their rights as consumers. Online platforms also allow them to connect with other consumers who they do not know personally. Finally, the range of options for them to lodge a complaint has also increased. For instance, they can call, email or simply tweet their complaints. As a result, companies are getting more complaints these days - which does not reflect that modern people complain more often or product and service quality is not good. It simply reveals that people know about their rights and know when and how to complain easily unlike in the past when filing a complaint was a tiresome and time-consuming process which deterred many not to complaining at all.

Q.  How important is it for companies to take all customer complaints seriously?
Answer: If a company wants to thrive and do bigger and better business, it has to take every single customer complaint seriously. In fact, the main difference between a successful business and a failed business is how they handle complaints made by their customers. A silly, sometimes even irrational complaint, made by a customer reveals that that person is an existing customer and took the time and effort to lodge the complaint. Whether he or she is going to be a future loyal customer or stop using the product or service altogether depends on how the complaint is handled. And a good company always know that an angry or dissatisfied customer wouldn't just stop using their products and services, but also talk negatively to others in every possible opportunity for the rest of their lives.

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