ielts-yasi.englishlab.net

Updated Dec. 2, 2018

 

IELTS Part 2 and Part 3 Topics and Questions

Page 179

901A Skill You Learned  (Sep 2018)

902.  An Activity You Do Alone  (Sep 2018)

903.  A Talk or Speech  (Sep 2018)

904.  A Family Business  (Sep 2018)

905A Gift You Really Wanted  (Sep 2018)

 

RETURN TO PART 2 TOPIC INDEX

FQ = frequent question = a question that has frequently been reported = a question that is probably in the examiner's question book

* = my guess at a question

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901A Skill You Learned  (Sep 2018)

Describe a skill that took you a long time to learn.

               You should say:

 what it was

 when you learned it

 how you use this skill *

 and explain why it took you a long time to learn it.

              .

Notes

  • This looks like a new topic.

  • Of course,"a long time" is a relative concept. For some people or for some skills, 2 weeks can be called a long time while other people might think a year or more is called, "a long time". And does "the time" mean the total numbers of hours spent learning the skill, or the time period over which one learns the skill? For example, most of us learned the skill of riding a bicycle in just a day or two by spending perhaps a total of 2 hours practicing it. No-one would describe that as a long time. On the other hand, another person might spend only 3 minutes a day learning to ride a bicycle and need two weeks before he or she can be described as having learned the skill.

  • There are certain skills that all of us learn as part of the natural process of growing up. The time for these skills is usually a long time but this depends on what point you choose to say that a person has fully learned the skill, or depending on how well the person can do the skill. These skills include learning to speak, learning to walk, and even psychological or social skills such as learning how to be patient, learning how to cooperate with others, learning how to communicate well with others etc. See Note 1 for more examples of skills.

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Possible follow-up questions:

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Part 3

Past topics about a skill are:

846, 730, 708, 683, 602, 525, 375, Topic 325, 281, 224, Topic 154 & 17

Learning Skills

  • Can you give any more examples of skills that take a long time to learn?

  • Can you explain why some people need a long time to learn a skill?

  • In general, how do you think people feel after they have learned (or, mastered) a skill?

  • Some people are not willing to learn new skills. Can you suggest why?

  • Would you say it takes a long time to learn a language?  See Note 2

  • Do you think there are any people who have a natural (inborn; innate) ability (or talent) for some skills?

  • Why do think talented athletes still need to spend so much time training?

Social Skills / Work Skills

  • Can you give any examples of what can be described as "social skills"? *

  • Can you give any examples of jobs that require people to be patient with others?

  • Would you say that elderly people are more patient than teenagers?

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902.  An Activity You Do Alone  (Sep 2018)

Describe a free-time activity that you do alone. *

               You should say:

 what activity it is

 how often you do it

 where you do it

 and explain why you do this activity. *

              .

Notes

  • This seems to be a new topic.

  • There's something about the first line that leads me to believe the words, "... that you do alone" possibly might not be actually part of the wording. It might be a follow-up question, such as, "Do you usually do that activity alone?"

  • The last line might be, "and explain why you like to do this activity".  That's not the same as what is written above. For example, people wash their clothes in their free time; it's not an activity they do at work or as part of their studies. On the other hand, some people might say that housework is not a free time activity because it is a type of work. The point is, not many people would say they actually "like" washing their clothes, even though we all like to wear clean clothes.

Overall, it's probably best to describe a leisure activity (such as a hobby) that you do. In this case, it's your choice of what to do so you probably do like doing it.

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Possible follow-up questions:

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Part 3

Free Time

  • What do young people in your country usually do in their spare time?

  • Do you think high school students in your country should have more free time (than they have now)?

  • Do you usually plan what you will do in your free time, such as what you will do tonight or next Sunday? *

  • How do you plan what you will do in your free time?

  • How do you choose what to do in your free time? *

  • Why do you think some people prefer to spend their free time outdoors while others prefer to do indoor activities?

  • Would you say people nowadays are living at a faster pace than they did in the past (e.g., several decades ago)?

Work

  • Would you say that (young) people in your country now work longer hours (per week or per day) than in the past?

  • What would you say are the advantages and disadvantages of having a flexible work time?  See Note 3

  • Would you say that busy people at work are always more productive than people who are not so busy?

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903.  A Talk or Speech  (Sep 2018)

Version A

Copy of Topic 778

Describe an interesting talk or speech you heard.

            You should say:

who gave the speech

where it was

what it was about

            and explain why you thought (or, think) it was interesting. *

 

 

Version B

Describe an interesting talk or lecture you heard (or, attended). *

            You should say:

who was speaking / who spoke  (or, who gave the talk or lecture)

where it was

what it was about

            and explain why you thought it was interesting.

 

              .

Notes

  • This is probably a repeat of one or more of the following topics: 778, 473 and 185. That is shown as Version A.

  • This Topic 903 might be a new variation of the previous topic, shown as Version B. That includes the choice of talking about a lecture, not a speech.

  • Of course, university students have to attend many lectures.

  • If the first line says "you heard" but does not include, "you attended" then it might be possible to describe a lecture, talk or speech you heard on the radio, TV or the internet.

  • It's quite important both for Part 2 and Part 3 that you know the differences between, "a talk", "a lecture" and "a speech".

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Possible follow-up questions:

  • Have you told anyone else about this talk (or lecture / speech)?

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Part 3

See also 778, 473 and 185

Public Speaking / Speeches

Lectures  Or  Listening to A Public Speaker  Or  Listening to Other People

Giving a Talk to Children

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904.  A Family Business  (Sep 2018)

Describe a family business (or, a small business) that you know. *

               You should say:

 what business it is

 how you know it

 who the customers (or clients) are

 and explain what you think of this business. *

              .

Notes

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Possible follow-up questions:

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Part 3

Previous topics called "A Small Business" or similar topics are: 744, 720, 651, 615, 508, 398, 378, 306, 98, 79 & 37

Big & Small Companies

Running a Business

International Business

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905A Gift You Really Wanted  (Sep 2018)

Describe a gift you received that you really needed (or, wanted). *

               You should say:

 what it was

 who gave it to you

 .................

 and explain why you really needed (or wanted) it. *

              .

Notes

  • Two versions of this have been reported, "a gift you really needed" and "a gift you really wanted". They more or less mean the same thing but what we want is not always what we need. If either of those is true then this is a new variation of previous topics about a gift you received. However, I would not be surprised if the words, "you really wanted" or "you really needed" are not in the wording on the card but are actually a follow-up question or a Part 3 question. After I look at more data, I might change this wording a little. For now, you should assume that the wording above is (more or less) accurate.

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Possible follow-up questions:

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Part 3

The topic of "a gift" (either given or received) is almost always in the test. The following are the past topics:

793, 743, 637, 588, Topic 539, Topic 423, Topic 364, 298, Topic 221, Topic 233, Topic 160, Topic 85 and Topic 54

Consumerism (Buying things)

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Note 1

Some Other skills: Learning to do basic arithmetic; learning how to cook a typical meal in your country; learning how to use a computer or smartphone; learning how to swim; learning how to read and write in your language; learning how to drive a car; learning how to program in a computer programming language; learning how to play a sport such as football or basketball; learning how to play a musical instrument, learning how to sing, learning how to draw or paint etc.

Chinese people could certain use the example of learning how to read and write in your language! But if an exceptionally large number of test candidates say that then the examiners might start to suspect you are speaking a rehearsed, memorized answer that possibly you learned in a classroom or on the internet.

Note 2

Would you say it takes a long time to learn a language?

This is certainly a question that requires a person to give a somewhat detailed, qualified answer, such as saying, "It depends on ..."  This is one of the things that Part 3 is trying to test, i.e., your ability to use English to accurately define the meaning of the question while giving your answer.

For example:

At what point do we say the language is fully "learned"? Is it a foreign language or one's native language? Does it include all the four skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing? At what age is the person learning the language? Are we talking about the overall time period for learning a language or the total number of hours required to learn it?

Note 3

In some countries and in some workplaces or industries, people are now able to start and finish work at times that are flexible. For example, these people might be able to start work at any time between 7 am and 10 am and finish work 8 hours later. Quite often government office workers are able to work  this "flexitime". One of the main reasons for having this arrangement is to relieve the pressure on the transportation systems that exists when everyone starts and finishes work at the same time. Another advantage is that parents of young school-age children might be able to start and finish work early, allowing them to pick up their child from school at about 4 o'clock in the afternoon.

Note 4

So far, it is not clear if these questions are referring to such situations as one-to-one conversations or whether the questions refer to situations when someone a large group is listening, such as listening to a lecture (at university), a talk, or a speech by someone famous, important etc.