IELTS GT Test – Speaking Mock Test # 23
[The examiner asks the candidate about him/herself, his/her home, work or studies and other familiar topics.]
Q. What kinds of thing make you laugh?
A. Well, that’s an interesting question. Anything funny that is not intended to hurt anyone’s feelings makes me laugh. I often laugh out loud when I find a child doing something entertaining, read a really hilarious joke or see a funny act of a movie or TV actor or actress.
Q. Do you like making other people laugh? [Why/Why not?]
A. Yes, being able to make someone laugh is a great job, I guess. So sometimes I try to tell a funny joke or a story that I find interesting to uplift someone’s mood. Apart from that, whenever I play with my nephew or niece, I do funny acts to amuse them as I really enjoy spending time with them and see them happy.
Q. Do you think it’s important for people to laugh? [Why/Why not?]
A. Without a doubt, it is important for us to laugh whenever possible. It is related to our wellbeing on the one hand and is helpful to fight our stresses on the other hand. We can’t control everything that happens in our life. So keeping a positive mindset and trying to be juvenile makes us better prepared to fight the odds in life.
Q. Is laughing the same as feeling happy, do you think? [Why/Why not?]
A. I would say that there is a subtle difference between laughing and feeling happy. However, in a broad sense, we laugh when we are happy.
Since human expression, what we call laugh, is related to a special signal to our brain which brings happy feelings, I would say that there is a correlation between laughing and feeling happy. However, there are exceptions as we often laugh at our own stupidity, to conceal our sad feelings or to make others happy, I believe every laugh is not a happy expression.
[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 an idea you had for improving something at work or college.
You should say:
- when and where you had your idea
- what your idea was
- whom you told about your idea
and explain why you thought your idea would make an improvement.
Cue Card Answer:
Ideas can completely change our lives if properly implemented. And, even if they don’t, they can, at least, make things look better for us. Today, I will talk about one such idea that actually made a difference at my work, and thanks to you for this wonderful topic.
It was about 6 years ago when I had just started working at a hotel after graduating from high school. As a junior guest service agent, I didn’t really have much to say or do outside of my “jurisdiction” except just carefully watching things and learning. And I had been doing just that until, of course, one day, I realized that our hotel was losing money because of our “inadequate planning”.
Our hotel had a policy of providing fresh fruits and snacks to its guests every afternoon, and we did it by counting the total number of guests occupying our hotel rooms for the day. And that’s exactly how it was supposed to be done except, of course, one day I figured out that not all of the guests were coming to receive their free “afternoon treats”, which could only mean that many of the fruits and snacks were being left unused only to be disposed of later. Needless to say, our hotel had a policy of serving only fresh fruits and snacks to our guests which were bought and made for the current day with an expiry date on them. I wanted to stop this kind of “waste” as we were simply throwing the unused fruits and snacks. So, I decided to bring this matter to the attention of my manager by suggesting him that we would order for fruits and snacks only after confirming which guest would be able to make it receive their free treats in the afternoon and who wouldn’t.
I was certain that my suggestion/idea would go a long way to reduce the cost of running our hotel as it would help bring a stop to unnecessary spending. And that is exactly what happened. In fact, my manager started to re-evaluate all the hotel spending after seriously considering and delivering on my idea. Not sure, how much money was it that my hotel managed to save in the process of re-evaluating its spending, but I got my reward by being promoted to a full-time guest service agent, shortly after my idea was delivered to my manager, without the “jr” prefix.
Discussion topics: Ideas and education
Q. Some people think that education should be about memorising the important ideas of the past. Do you agree or disagree? Why?
Answer: I do not agree with the idea that education is all about memorising important ideas and theories of the past. I believe education is a dynamic process in which students learn about the world and important life skill and become enlightened, creative and morally adept by the acquired knowledge. Some of the knowledge is undeniably the ideas of the past but this constitutes only a small percentage. For instance, the acceptable education system in the modern world not only teaches us how the world was in the past or a mathematical theory developed a century back but also encourages us to explore the world by ourselves, solve problems of the future and become an enlightened human. From this regard, if pupils are up to memorising theories of the past, which by the way change and evolve every now and then, we will end up having a generation of students who know everything from the past but can’t utilise that knowledge to solve a problem.
Q. Should education encourage students to have their own new ideas? Why?
Answer: The purpose of education is to encourage creative ideas of young learners and prepare them for the future so that they can do something meaningful for others. From this regard, creativity and innovative ideas should be nurtured and encouraged both by teachers and our education system in general. It is evident that great scientists, explorers, writers, politicians and artists were all creative and their ideas have changed the world. Honestly speaking, we need more creative students than those who are good at memorising theories for a better world.
Q. How do you think teachers could help students to develop and share their own ideas?
Answer: I believe good teachers inspire students to develop their ideas, encourage them to learn, and make them ready to take challenges. If we really want our children to be creative, we first need to change the way we teach them in the classroom. Education should be fun and not hard for young minds. Thus good teachers develop interesting teaching methods and engage students in the classroom. They let learners freely express their opinions and let them work together on creative projects. Such a teacher should tell them inspiring stories, make room for visual reflection, integrate more hands-on learning, incorporate humour in the classroom and patiently listen to the students’ ideas and opinions.
Discussion topics: Ideas in the workplace
Q. Should employers encourage their workers to have new ideas about improving the company? Why?
Answer: I believe new ideas from employees are extremely important for a company to sustain and grow, especially in this highly competitive era. This is why management should always encourage their workers to provide feedback and opinions on how a process in a company could be developed. Since workers know ins and outs of a company better than outsiders and can point out the areas where improvements are required, their suggestions are effective in eliminating issues affecting the output and production. Their suggestions are often practical and come from personal experience. So they should be taken seriously.
Q. Do you think people sometimes dislike ideas just because they are new? Why?
Answer: I believe some people are open to new ideas while many others do not feel comfortable with changes. Novelty means taking new challenges or doing something in a different way and some people are bad at changing their habits. Such individuals are not ready to accept anything new because they are afraid to try, lack the knowledge and fear that their position would be challenged due to the changes. So they dislike innovative ideas or anything new they are not accustomed to.
Q. What is more difficult: having new ideas or putting them into practice? Which is more important for a successful company?
Answer: I believe both are important yet equally difficult in personal life and for business success. Many of us have creative ideas but they nowhere because we do not take proper initiatives. On the contrary, some people work really hard but do not succeed because they lack creative ideas.
The same is true for a company. Without innovation, it will soon find it out of business due to increasing competition. The same unfortunate event can occur to a company if its management does not put new ideas into action. Great ideas do not come every now and then and they are hard to put into practice.