IELTS GT Test – Speaking Mock Test # 21
[The examiner asks the candidate about him/herself, his/her home, work or studies and other familiar topics.]
Topic: Cold weather
Q. Have you ever been in very cold weather? [When?]
A. Yes. In fact, this occurred to me several times. My first encounter with extreme cold weather was when I was only 9 years old and went to meet my grandparents in Manitoba, Canada. The latest one was a year ago when I travelled to Saint Petersburg, Russia as part of a college expedition. The weather was not simply cold, it was ruthless- beyond my imagination.
Q. How often is the weather cold where you come from?
A. I am from China and the Chinese climate varies from region to region since the country is massive. I come from Fujian Province which is located in the southeast part of the country and we have plenty of rainfall, semi-tropical summers and cool winters. The cold is moderate in our area and in December to January the temperature drops to around 4.5° C. We have winter for around 4 months or so from October to January.
Q. Are some parts of your country colder than others? [Why?]
A. China is a massive country with roughly 9.6 million km² area – the 3rd largest in the world. So it is not unusual that some part of it is hot while are parts are freezing cool. Mohe, Heilongjiang is an extremely cold area with -62.1° Fahrenheit temperature during the winter. Fuyun, Xinjiang is another cold place. While the Northeast part of the country has a hot summer the winters are freezing cold. The north and central regions have moderate winters.
Q. Would you prefer to live in a hot place or a cold place? [Why?]
A. I would say I prefer to live in a location that has a moderate temperature. There has to be summer to enjoy the beaches but the temperature should not be extremely hot. Reversely, I enjoy snow in winter but I hate freezing cold. I guess I am accustomed to a moderate temperature and that’s why my preference includes such a location.
[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 competition (e.g. TV, college/work or sports competition) that you took part in.
You should say:
- what kind of competition it was
- how you found out about it
- what you had to do and what the prizes were
and explain why you chose to take part in this competition.
Cue Card Answer:
I am not a huge fan of taking part in competitive sports and that’s probably because I do not have any inherent skills in games and sports. I have sometimes participated in debate competitions in my schools, have never been on a TV programme and I am yet to start my job. So today I would like to talk about a table tennis tournament that I took part in my college and unbelievably won the second prize! But before that, I would like to thank you for letting me talk about this topic. This reminds me of my college days, which I still miss a lot.
The table tennis competition (which we mostly refer as ping pong games) was arranged by the college authority as part of our annual sports tournament. I have played ping pong in my school days and when Mr Lee, our math teacher, insisted me to participate, I enlisted. I later found out that around 8 competitors would be participating in the tournament.
I knew that ping pong is included in our college sports competitions but I would not have joined had it not been for Mr Lee. I was not confident to take part in it but could not say no to my teacher. I probably enlisted in the competition for Mr Lee’s sake.
Well, it was proven a great decision later on as I ended up being second in the tournament and won a certificate and a silver medal. This is a rare accomplishment for me as a sports participant and I cherish this memory. Mr Lee, by the way, was very happy with my achievement.
I had to practise a lot before the tournament began. I practised for around a week and then took on my competitors. At the beginning I had no confidence, however, when I reached the top 4, I realised I could reach the top. I lost the game to a senior student in our college only by a marginal difference and was awarded the second prize, nonetheless.
Discussion topics: Competitions in school
Q. Why do you think some school teachers use competitions as class activities?
A. I think their main objective is to instil a great skill among the students. Things learned in childhood have a paramount impact on our future life. When school teachers employ pupils to work in a group or compete with each other, they are actually helping us to learn some basic skills we will need throughout the rest of our life. Competitions help us try harder, bring out the best in us and work in a team. So the teachers who use competitions as class activities are doing so deliberately to enhance our skills to work as a team and survive in a highly competitive world.
Q. Do you think it is a good thing to give prizes to children who do well at school? Why?
A. I think this is an excellent idea. Teachers and school authorities should encourage students to try their best in academic performance, sports, manners, disciplines and humanitarian causes. Prizes encourage these youngsters to do their best. Recognition like praiseworthy comments and prises can uplift the pupils’ desire to achieve success and that’s why I think this is an outstanding approach.
Q. Would you say that schools for young children have become more or less competitive since you were that age? Why?
A. I believe that schools these days are more competitive for youngsters than they used to be in our time. This competition begins even before they get admitted to a school. We did not take part in an admission test and had fewer subjects and exams in school. Children these days have more academic subjects, class tests and other activities than that of our era. The expectations of parents have skyrocketed. For instance, our parents were happy to find us doing good in academic exams. These days, parents want more. I guess it is natural that competitive real world would be reflected in school activities, but there should be a balance as not to ravage the childhood of these youngsters.
Discussion topics: Sporting Competitions
Q. What are the advantages and disadvantages of intensive training for young sportspeople?
A. Well, this is a complex issue to deal with especially as it is a double-edged sword.
While intensive training for aspiring youth sportsmen foster health benefits, keep them on track and help them hone their sporting skills, it has severe negative aspects as well. Young athletes who undergo intensive training and high-level competition from an early age often suffer from stress-related issues and psychological problems.
I believe measures should be taken to keep a balance to avoid the deleterious effects of intensive physical activity on these youth athletes.
Q. Some people think that competition leads to a better performance from sports stars. Others think it just makes players feel insecure. What is your opinion?
A. I have a mixed opinion on this issue. I believe that without competition and either-win-or-defeat scenario, sports would lose its charm and appeal to its audience. That’s why sportsmen should go through tough competition, practice and challenges to actually perform well in a real sporting tournament as it hones their performance.
When I wholeheartedly believe that competition should be a tool to train sportsmen, I cannot deny how high-level competition and stress can negatively affect an athlete’s psychological well-being. I would say it should be systemic and proper symmetry should be maintained in it.
Q. Do you think that it is possible to become too competitive in sport? In what way?
A. I would say it is possible but it should not be the case. Too much competitiveness would actually spoil the personal life of the sportsmen and would create pressure on their psychology which is incomprehensible and unexpected in the long run.
Sometimes it goes beyond control. The conflicts among the rival sports team and fans are not something sports lover expect to watch. And all that misconduct originate from the high-level competitions.