Updated  Nov. 2, 2014

Notes about some Questions (Page 9)


If some of the notes on this page are possible in an answer to a question, be very careful about speaking those exact same words, especially the same word combinations, in the test. If several people speak the same sentences in the test, the examiners will eventually know that these sentences are not your original words. This will seriously damage your score! Some examiners might even read this website. Examiners don't like answers that candidates learn, word for word, from a book, a website or from the blackboard in a class because such answers are not real, natural communication. The best idea is to adapt the ideas below (if you want to) by making your own sentences and speaking naturally in the test. Completely memorized answers are usually not spoken in a very natural way by candidates. Try to avoid letting the examiner know that you have read this website!!


Previous Pages of Notes










Part 2 Topic 552 - Family Celebration


Part 3

Do people in your country celebrate the same public holidays that people celebrate in other countries?

Although you see some Christmas decorations etc. in Asian countries at Christmas time, it is inappropriate to say that people in most of Asia celebrate Christmas (except for the Philippines and, to some extent, South Korea.) This is because Christmas is originally and primarily a religious celebration, for Christians and Christians comprise only a small percentage of the populations of most Asian countries. It is true that Christmas has become commercialized in many cultures that traditionally celebrate it and it is true that religious belief is much weaker today than in the past, but this does not change the basic (i.e., the traditional) significance of Christmas.

Of course, people from different counties who share the same cultures or religions have the same or similar traditional celebrations.

Possibly the only public holiday that is celebrated worldwide is New Year's Day (January 1) but those few cultures that mainly follow a different calendar do not celebrate it very much.

Caution! 小心!


Part 3 Topic 555 - School

Which do you think is better, a big school or a small school?


Do you think school students today are overburdened?

It's possible that the examiner asks that question without specifically including what the students are overburdened with. In this case, the candidate needs to say what the students are overburdened with. Is it -


the amount of material to learn in class?

the number of subjects they study in school?

the difficulty of materials to learn?

the frequency/difficulty of tests?

the amount of information that is available in everyday life as a result of media such as the internet? (i.e., "information overload")

overburdened with demands on his or her time in general? (e.g., not enough time for sports, friends, hobbies etc.)

Or, overburdened with high expectations from their parents or from society?


Part 3 Topic 557

Children's play

If the examiner just says "play" without adding the word, "games" then the meaning is different to playing games. It is not certain that the examiner does ask questions about "children's play", although someone seems to have reported that he or she got these questions.

Children's play is what children do when they are not doing something like reading, practicing the piano etc. Usually they do it with friends or siblings and / or with toys ("play with toys".)  Often, children's play is a form of role-playing, playing the roles that they imagine adults play in real life. For example, little girls pretending to be mothers with their dolls, and little boys pretending to be driving their toy cars or pretending to fight with guns or swords etc. Western psychologists say that children's play is an important part of childhood development. By pretending to play roles, the children are exercising their imagination. Other play might involve physical games or activities and this exercises their bodies. Children play for enjoyment but certain ("educational") games, puzzles, toys etc, can also involve the children learning something new. In addition to that, when children are allowed to play in (or explore) new environments, or with new things, they naturally learn many things because children are naturally curious.

See also . The English on that page is quite advanced but various other languages are available on the left of that page.

Caution! 小心!


Part 3 Topic 565 - Animals

Do you think all wild animals should be protected?

Caution! 小心!


Part 3 Topic 567 - A Place for  a Home

What are the advantages and disadvantages of living in traditional houses compared to living in modern ones?

If the word, "traditional" is used (not just "old"), then it refers to that type of house that people were living in two hundred years ago, and for hundreds of years before that. Traditional styles of homes evolved over many years to best suit the climate of each place as well as the social environment of each place, such as the family structure and the type of work that people did. (Think of the type of houses that people lived in in hot humid places such as Guangzhou in China, which allowed for free-flowing air in summer, or houses that have steeply pitched roofs in places where it snows a lot.)

It is possible to have a traditional style of house today (or even a house that is actually hundreds of years old) that has all the facilities and conveniences of modern houses such as electricity, indoor toilets, running water, heating and air-conditioning. Basically, a "traditional" style of house not only looks similar, from the outside, to houses of hundreds of years ago but also has a similar internal design to houses of hundreds of years ago and is usually built using similar building materials to those earlier homes, or has the appearance that it was built using the same materials. With modern air-conditioning and heating, there is less need today to have traditional designs of homes.

Modern-style apartments (flats) are not really "traditional" to any place, although some places, such as some European cities, have had apartments buildings for several hundred years. Of course, those buildings were usually less than 6 storeys (floors) high because those buildings didn't originally have lifts (elevators).

Caution! 小心!


Part 3 Topic 569

Should there be any restrictions on the travel business?

If you get any of these questions about "restriction" or "regulations" about travel, most likely the question is seeking an answer connected to the scientifically fraudulent idea that mankind's production of CO2 is producing dangerous global warming - see here. (Of course, all industries should be governed by some regulations.) People who have been fooled by this fraud say that airline travel produces too much CO2 and should be restricted, and this does not just refer to business travel. It's your choice what you say. Read some background information at the link above and the links below.




Part 3 Topic 572 - A Sport You Like

Do you think there should be any restrictions on advertising during the Olympic Games?


Part 3

Who do you think is better suited for promoting sport, governments or private companies?  

Who do you think is better suited for promoting fitness among the general population, governments or private companies?

  • Only the second of those two questions was reported.

  • You need to be aware that "sport" can be divided into different categories. "Spectator sport" and the sport that people actually take part in are obviously different.

  • For the second question, you need to understand that "fitness" is similar to "general good health" although "fitness" is achieved mainly through exercise while "general good health" is achieved by exercise, diet and other good habits (or avoiding bad habits such as smoking).

  • For also need to understand that "exercise" and "sport" are not exactly the same thing in English. You get exercise by walking up three flights of stairs in a building but that is not sport.

  • For the first question, you need some knowledge, some opinions and some English vocabulary to talk about and possibly compare socialism or state-owned enterprises with capitalism or private enterprise.


Part 3 Topic 573

Do you think the government should encourage more people to travel abroad?

If the examiner does not include the word, "abroad" then the answer could be quite different.

As with most questions that ask, "Do you think the government should ....?", the key point in your answer should be explaining why you believe this is (or should be) one of the responsibilities of government or not.