Sometimes the part 2 task looks difficult but there's an easy way to answer. Here are three examples:
1) Describe something that you collect.
Most students panic because they don't collect anything. But this question is easier than you think. If your hobby is listening to music or reading books, just tell the examiner that you collect CDs or novels. You could talk about your "collection" of clothes or shoes. Everyone has a collection of something, even if you don't call yourself a collector.
2) Describe an important decision that you made.
Easy. Just talk about the subject you chose to study or the career you decided to pursue. If you moved to live/study in a different country, you could talk about that.
3) Describe an important letter you received.
Use the answer you gave for number 2 (with a few small changes). Talk about the letter you received confirming your place on a university course, or confirming a successful job application.
Here are three types of linking (cohesive devices) with some examples from last week's 'maps' answer for types 2 and 3.
1) The 'normal' linking words that everyone learns
and, but, because, while, whereas, by contrast, however, furthermore etc.
2) Using pronouns and determiners to refer to a previous idea
- three main modifications were made... These involved - there were three bus stops... These were - the addition of a bus station... This bus station - the car park, which was situated... this original car park
3) Using synonyms or paraphrasing to connect ideas
- some changes were made... three main modifications... the changes - the hospital's transport infrastructure... the hospital's vehicle access - at the intersection... at the junction - parking facilities... parking areas... car park... area for parking - public... visitors... members of the public
Read the following passage and choose the best title.
The modern English alphabet is a Latin alphabet consisting of 26 letters, each having an upper- and lower-case form. It originated around the 7th century from the Latin script.
English is the only major modern European language that requires no diacritics for native words. Diacritic marks mainly appear in loanwords such as naïve and façade. Informal English writing tends to omit diacritics because of their absence from the keyboard, while professional copywriters and typesetters tend to include them.
As loanwords become naturalised in English, there is a tendency to drop the diacritics, as has happened with many older borrowings from French, such as hôtel. Words that are still perceived as foreign tend to retain them; for example, the only spelling of soupçon found in English dictionaries uses the diacritic. However, diacritics are likely to be retained even in naturalised words where they would otherwise be confused with a common native English word e.g. résumé rather than resume. Rarely, they may even added to a loanword for this reason, as in maté, from the Spanish yerba mate but with the é to distinguish from the English word 'mate'.
You don't really need to impress the examiner with 'less common' vocabulary in part 1 of the speaking test. However, without trying to show off, I used some nice words and phrases in the answers that I shared yesterday:
I'd like to think that = I hope
in ten years' time = ten years from now
I can't imagine changing profession (imagine + ing)
field of work
research is being done
is published in English
see more of the world (see the world = travel to many countries)
it would be nice to
at some point
when I'm retired
in terms of my home life
what technologies come along (come along = appear / emerge)
in the next decade or two
Notice that I tend to highlight collocations (groups of words) rather than individual words e.g. "make progress" (verb + noun collocation) instead of just "progress".
Here's the map task that we've been looking at, with my band 9 sample answer below it.
(Cambridge IELTS 13)
The maps illustrate some changes that were made to a city hospital's transport infrastructure between the years 2007 and 2010.
It is noticeable that three main modifications were made to the hospital’s vehicle access. These involved the building of a new bus station, new roundabouts and new parking facilities.
Looking at the changes in more detail, we can see that in 2007 there were three bus stops on either side of Hospital Road. These were no longer present in 2010, and instead we see the addition of a bus station on the west side of Hospital Road. This bus station is accessed via two new roundabouts; the first roundabout is at the intersection of City Road and Hospital Road, while the second is at the other end of Hospital Road, at the junction with the hospital ring road.
The two maps also show that changes were made to public and staff parking areas. In 2007, staff and visitors used the same car park, which was situated to the east of Hospital Road and accessed via the ring road. However, by 2010 this original car park had become a designated area for staff parking only. A new car park, located on the east side of the ring road, provided parking for members of the public.