IELTS GT Test – Speaking Mock Test # 1
[The examiner asks the candidate about him/herself, his/her home, work or studies and other familiar topics.]
Q. What types of music do you like to listen to? [Why?]
A. I mostly like rock music, country song and blues. However, I am not a fan of a specific type of music as I believe good music can be found in all genres, and as a music lover, I often try music from genres that I have little interests in. Thus I also try different artists and music bands. To illustrate, I am a great fan of Pink Floyd, whose songs have transcendent lyrics and that does not deter me from listening to Shania Twain, who has a completely different lyrics type.
Q. At what times of day do you like to listen to music? [Why?]
A. I usually listen to music when I am on the road and have to sit idly due to bad traffic or walk in the morning. However, I do not have any specific daytime when I tune on to my favourite songs. In general, evening time suits me and I love to listen to music at that time. The reason I pick the time is that I can feel the transformation of the day into night and it is quite sensational. I feel an urge to listen to music to make the feeling more intense and enjoyable.
Q. Did you learn to play a musical instrument when you were a child? [Why/Why not?]
A. I once tried to play the guitar and that’s primarily because I often noticed my younger uncle play it. I did not want to be a famous musician and never went to a music school. That’s why I had not developed the skill of playing a musical instrument. Though I tried to mimic my uncle and tried to learn to play the guitar, that did not go far.
Q. Do you think all children should learn to play a musical instrument? [Why/Why not?]
A. I think music is a great way of expressing someone’s feelings and creating a harmony that others would love. But not all children show talents in music, nor do they aspire to. This is why we should not impose music classes or lessons to learn a musical instrument for all children. We must, however, foster those children’s passion who express interests in music and give them an opportunity to learn to play musical instruments of their choice.
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.
Describe a shop near where you live that you sometimes use.
You should say:
- what sorts of product or service it sells
- what the shop looks like
- where it is located
and explain why you use this shop.
Cue Card Answer:
I feel lucky to have this cue card topic. In fact, it would be comfortable for me to describe a shop I often go to, the type of products it sells, its location, and finally expressing why I love to go to this particular shop.
Well, to begin with, the shop I often go to is called ‘The Daily Shop’ and it is located just a few blocks away from my home. It is a super mall, so it sells every household item including groceries, frozen food, beverage, clothing items, shoes, toys, fruits, kitchenware, gift items, crockeries and the list goes on and on. Sometimes I wonder what this shop doesn’t sell!!! The range of merchandises this mall has is overwhelming and in the past, I often found items there that I never expected them to have.
The shop looks like any other large shopping malls from outside. It is a five storied building and has parking spaces in front of it. The building looks different at night since it is decorated with colourful decorative lights at night.
Once you are inside, you’ll find that the interior is incredible and it always looks new to me, though the mall is at least 3 years old. I have never seen a shopping mall that has a collection of some really great paintings. The entire floor is not stacked with products, rather it has well-furnished seats for customers to relax, except on the floor where they sell vegetables and fishes. On top of that, every floor is painted with the colour that seems perfectly suitable with items they are showcasing. What I like most about the shop is that they have plenty of checkout points and professional staffs and the combination minimises the waiting time while checking out from the shop.
As I have already mentioned, this shop is only a few blocks away from my home. If I walk from my home, it will take me 10 minutes, but if I take my car, it will take less than 5 minutes to reach this shop. Anyone who is trying to get to the shop should ask someone about the city community centre as the shopping mall is exactly on the opposite side of it. Someone new to this area should look for the Eastern University campus and walk straight ahead for about ten minutes and then take a left turn to reach the community centre and finally to the shopping mall.
Well, I visit this shop for many different reasons. First and foremost, it’s located near my home and it’s convenient for me to reach there. Another reason why I frequently visit this shop is the range of products they have. They have a rich collection of commodities and I can buy everything I need from a single store. They offer the customer loyalty program, big sale before major festivals, reward points, discounts for regular customers and a convenient shopping experience that I really love about them. Perhaps another reason I often go there is the gift items they have in their collection. Finally, they offer a reasonable price and a great shopping experience that customers like me really love.
Discussion topics: Local business
Q. What types of local business are there in your neighbourhood? Are there any restaurants, shops or dentists for example?
A. Well, I live in a residential area which is more like a combination of a residential and commercial area. So the restaurants, gift shops, dentists, hospitals, electronic shops, grocery shops and so on are just a few steps away from my house. For instance, the block we live in has more than 6 or 7 restaurants and fast food shops. We only need to walk for 2 to 3 minutes to reach the nearest restaurant. The same can be said about other amenities and stores which are also within walking distance.
Q. Do you think local businesses are important for a neighbourhood? In what way?
A. Yes, I believe local businesses are important for a neighbourhood and its residents. It’s convenient to have the necessary amenities and services nearby as it saves citizen’s valuable time. Moreover, it creates employment opportunities for many and thus fosters our economy.
When residents can avail products and services in their neighbourhood, they would refrain from travelling to other parts of the city and thus contribute to reducing traffic congestion. On top of that, business opportunities in a neighbourhood enable many women and less fortunate people start their own businesses and this, in my opinion, is really important for the advancement of a country.
Q. How do large shopping malls and commercial centres affect small local businesses? Why do you think that is?
A. Mega shopping malls and large commercial buildings that house a large number of shops and stores at a single place often pose threats to local and small business entities. As they offer shopping experience under the same roof, most of the renowned brands find their place in such a large commercial complex. As a result, shoppers often prefer visiting these mega shopping complexes instead of small shops which are scattered in different parts of a neighbourhood.
It’s quite natural that people would like to do shopping from a modern place that offers better security, better amenities, and entertainment facilities rather than browsing products at small shops at various locations. From my experience, I can say that large shopping malls in my city, in some cases, have been the reason many small business owners went out of business or have been forced to relocate in a large shopping complex.
Discussion topics: People and business
Q. Why do some people want to start their own business?
A. Business is often preferred by many over a job with a fixed salary, and the primary reason is that business offers more freedom and flexibility. When an employee is forced to be present at the office from 9 to 5, and sometimes even more, a business person can decide when to work and when to take leaves. Moreover, the earning from a job is fixed and it grows very slowly over the year. On the contrary, the possibility of a successful businessman is virtually unlimited. A flourishing businessman can earn a lot more than a successful employee in an office.
To many people, running a business is equivalent to working for a passion while doing a job is like obeying commands of the employer. I believe these are the primary reasons why people prefer running their own businesses to be their own boss than getting a job at a company.
Q. Are there any disadvantages to running a business? Which is the most serious?
A. The great benefits of running a business do not come without bigger risks and responsibilities associated with it. The inherent risk of running a business can be far more daunting than we can imagine. A failed business could be a bad enough reason for becoming bankrupt.
When a service holder is assured to receive his salary at the end of a month, a business person has to make a profit from his ongoing operation to bring any excess money home. Moreover, many businesses often fail to sustain due to increasing competitions and shifting market demands.
However, the worst of all is that a business person can be financially broken anytime and can’t start a new business without a significant amount of money and time unlike a service holder, who can be fired from his job today and get a new job tomorrow.
Q. What are the most important qualities that a good business person needs? Why is that?
A. I believe proper business planning is an important quality that every business person should have. In fact, proper planning for a new or a running business makes all the differences. Moreover, to be successful in a business, a person has to be dedicated and hardworking. Commitments to a business and it’s consumers drive everyone engaged in the operation to be sincere and service-oriented. Besides, hardworking is sometimes considered the mantra to success.
As far as I believe, successful businesses are planned by great visionaries like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates or Warren Buffett who could plan ahead of their contemporaries.
Finally, I would like to conclude by saying that both the promising and successful business persons have to take advantages of technology, especially in this digital era, to reach the global customers and be ready to take challenges of any kind.