Speaking Sample 34

IELTS GT Test – Speaking Mock Test # 34

[The examiner asks the candidate about him/herself, his/her home, work or studies and other familiar topics.]

PART 1:

Topic: Neighbours

Q. How well do you know the people who live next door to you?
A. I know my neighbours quite well. Since I live in a town where people know each other very well, I am no exception. We often have neighbours at our home and they are always invited to an event we celebrate. This is a reciprocal approach as we are invited to their special events as well.

Q. How often do you see them? [Why/Why not?]
A. I would say I see them daily. We do not live in a cosmopolitan city where people hardly know or meet their neighbours. For example, when I leave home to go to my university or on my way back home, I see my neighbours. We often talk to each other. On special occasions like someone’s birthday, neighbours are our main guests.

Q. What kinds of problem do people sometimes have with their neighbours?
A. Well, decent neighbours always try to maintain a good relationship with the people in his community. But from my experience, I can say that there are some exceptions when the harmony among neighbours is broken. Disagreement with the fence around the house, loud sound, wild pets and personal issues often create a hostile relation among neighbours. I am lucky to have sensible neighbours who are well-mannered and prudent in their behaviours.

Q. How do you think neighbours can help each other?
A. It is said that good neighbours make our life happier. I believe that neighbours can support each other if they possess a positive mentality. They are the people who can come to our rescue in difficult times. If someone gets sick, a neighbour is the first person to extend his helping hand. They share both of our happy and sad moments, can make a special event more special with their presence and can support us mentally. After a certain time, our neighbours become our relatives and share everything with us to make our life meaningful.

PART 2:

[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 time when you were asked to give your opinion in a questionnaire or survey.

You should say:

  • what the questionnaire/survey was about
  • why you were asked to give your opinions
  • what opinions you gave

and explain how you felt about giving your opinions in this questionnaire/survey.

Cue Card Answer:

Well, this cue card topic reminds me of an online survey that I have recently participated in. I would like to thank you for this great cue card topic.

I maintain a blog and I have hosted it with Bluehost. I picked their service as I found them one of the best hosting service providers during my research to decide which hosting service to subscribe to. My findings and their tailored WordPress hosting package influenced me to subscribe to their hosting. However, after running my blog for 1 year without much hassle, I started facing problems that were not solved. While I was blaming the hosting company, they were suggesting me to tweak my software. This was a never-ending process and at a time I decided to switch to a different company for my blog hosting.

Surprisingly, they forwarded me a survey form online and I filled it up with both positive and negative answers. I guess they have forwarded the survey form to all their existing clients. I gave honest opinions based on my experience with this company and wrote quite a long comment on the question ‘How likely you would recommend our service to a friend or college?’

When I answered the question, I was completely honest. I marked few of their services 8 to 10 out of ten but gave 1 in 10 to the question of how likely I would recommend them to someone else.

They must have noticed my comment and spent some time investing my claim. I got an email next week that a team of experts were looking at my issues. Surprisingly the problem was solved the next day and I was quite happy. That made me stick to their hosting package and I now would recommend them to someone looking for a reliable WordPress hosting.

This was an exceptional survey that I took part in as it brought immediate result and solved one of my critical problems. I wish other surveys had been so result oriented and prompt!

PART 3

Discussion topics: Asking questions

Q. What kinds of organisations want to find out about people’s opinions?
A. I believe government organisations, media, product manufacturer, websites owners, travel agents and service providers want to know people’s opinion more than other organisations. Many organisations want to learn about people’s preference for a product or service even before they come to the market. This is mainly because they want to tap into the consumer market and offer products or services that people would prefer. Besides, governments and other political parties that mainly work for people have an urge to know what ordinary people think about them. Print media, online news portals and TV channels run the highest number of surveys in my city.

Q. Do you think that questionnaires or surveys are good ways of finding out people’s opinions?
A. I think surveys and polls are often the best way to find people’s opinion on something. Though many people do not write down the correct answers or try to hide information while taking a poll or survey, the results give a broader sense. Surveys are meant to find out what people think about something or getting their personal data, and when a large number of participants take the survey, the result becomes more reliable and useful. However, the survey organisers have to make sure that they reach the right people for the survey.

Q. What reasons might people have for not wanting to give their opinions?
A. I believe people do not want to disclose their personal data that they feel should not be shared with strangers. I have such experience when I denied taking a few surveys that were conducted by organisations I have never heard of. Secondly, surveyors often try to reach people at the wrong moment. For instance, when someone is rushing to pick his son from the school, taking a survey would be the last thing on his mind. Finally, if someone gets an impression that his opinion might be disclosed to others he would less likely take the questionnaire.

Discussion topics: Questionnaires in school

Q. Do you think it would be a good idea for schools to ask students their opinions about lessons?
A. I believe this is a great idea. If the school authority does not care what students think about the teachers and lessons, how can they improve the way of their teaching methods? Students, most of the time, would be honest in their opinion if they are assured that their answers and identity are not shown to the teachers. The survey results could be used to modernise the teaching system and I believe that every school should have some sort of surveys where students would participate sententiously.

Q. What would the advantages for schools be if they asked students their opinions? Would there be any disadvantages in asking students’ opinions?
A. As I have already said, students can best assess their teachers and their teaching methods. They are often afraid to come forward and complain about abusive teachers or classmates. Strictly monitored surveys can reveal what pupils feel about the schools, their teachers and this can be a very positive way of improving the education system. Moreover, this would reduce the heinous bullying in classrooms.

I think if the survey is stringently conducted and the result is used positively, there is no downside of such polls or surveys.

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