Check out the latest IELTS Speaking test in May 2017 on ieltsmaterial.com to familiarize yourself with the Speaking module & to be well-prepared for the test.
Speaking Part 1
What’s your name?
Can I see your ID?
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What is your area of specialization?
My major is Plant Biotechnology. I have been into Biology since I was in high school and I think a shift to a field where Biology and advanced technology are associated would be interesting and promising for my future career.
Major (n) the most important subject that a college or university student is studying
To be into something (phrase) really like something
Do you like your major? (Why?/Why not?)
To tell you the truth it was quite challenging for me at first, because the university’s requirements are especially high and you know science itself highly demands skillful hands and curious mind. However, as time goes by I think I’m getting used to an insurmountable amount of pressure and actually enjoy my study.
Go by (phrasal verb) if time goes by, it passes
Get used to Verb-ing/something (phrase) If you get used to something, you become familiar with it
Insurmountable (adj) incapable to overcome (problem/difficult)
What kind of school did you go to as a child?
Well just like most of the pupils, I spent five years at the government’s primary school. It took me only 10 minutes to go to school and I had my parents take me to school everyday. Classes start at 7 in the morning and end at 5 in the evening.
What was your favourite subject as a child?
To tell you the truth, I was quite good at Literature back then. Besides, my Literature teacher was really dedicated and caring, thus I always tried my best to get high scores and impressed my teacher.
Back then (phrase) an expression you can use in order to refer to a specific period of time in the past
Are you looking forward to working?
To be honest, working is actually my plan B just in case I need to make ends meet. In the future I think my higher degree is my priority.
Plan B (n) back-up plan
To make ends meet (v) to make money, to earn a living
Do you like to wear watches?
Well, I am more a cosmetics girl than clothing and accessories, hence, there are not many watches and jewelries in my possession. However, I have nothing against wearing a beautiful piece of art on my wrist and do own a few exclusive timepieces which suit perfectly with my clothing on some special occasions, giving me a sense of identity and uniqueness.
In someone’s possession: if something is in someone’s possession, they have it
Have nothing against: to dislike or not approve of someone or something for a particular reason
On (special) occasions: from time to time; now and then
Have you ever received a watch as a gift?
Let me see. More than half of the watches in my little jewelry box are presents from my family and friends. And by that I mean 3 pieces since I only own 4 in total. They all know I am not extremely fond of collecting these types of accessories but make-up kits and the likes. Therefore, it would soothe their souls to see me in watches because according to them, time is so precious that I need to be reminded every second.
Be fond of = be interested in = be keen on
Soothe someone’s soul: To bring comfort, composure, or relief
Speaking Part 2
Describe a small business that you would like to open
You should say:
- What this business would be
- Where it would be located
- What people you would hire as employees
And explain why you’d like to have this small business.
It goes without saying that future is quite uncertain and almost no one can predict exactly what is waiting for them ahead, however, to some extent I always believe that our future depends on our plans and actions at present. As a fresh graduate, I want to become an entrepreneur and run a chain of boutique shops selling stylish clothing, dresses and jewelry. This is probably because ever since I was a kid, I have had a great passion for designing and sewing pieces of garments, firstly for my doll and then for real people around me. Gradually, I constantly get more insights into fashion industry and keep me posted with clothes that are in the thing. Although I am currently majoring in economics instead of fashion designing, I hold a strong belief that my acute business sense and a sincere interest in the clothing business will help me to succeed in the future. Nevertheless, I always have to remind me that opening and running an apparel store is serious business and that I have to put one hundred percent effort in leading it to success as well as get ready to face up to failures. I guess that’s why some people around me wonder why I want to give up the safety of my corporate job with good compensation package such as steady income, insurance, pension plan, long vacations and the opportunity for rapid promotion just to become a small business owner. The answer is indeed quite simple for me, which is I want to walk out of my comfort zone, challenge myself in a new business and last but not least, give myself a chance to fulfil my childhood dream.
Go without saying (that) to be completely obvious or true
To some/a certain/a limited extent (phrase) partly, but not completely
Entrepreneur (noun) someone who uses money to start businesses and make business deals
Garment (noun) a piece of clothing. This word is used especially when talking about the production and sale of clothes
Major in (phrase) to study something as your main subject at college or university
Acute (adj) used for describing the senses and abilities of someone who notices things very quickly and easily
Apparel (noun) a word for clothes, used especially in stores or other businesses
Face up to (something/somebody) to confront with courage someone or something representing a threat or unpleasantness.
Compensation package (phrase) the salary and other benefits that an employee receives
Comfort zone (idiom) a situation or position in which a person feels secure, comfortable, or in control
Fulfill one’s dream (collocation) realize a dream, make dream come true
Speaking Part 3
What challenges and difficulties do people face when they try to have a successful small business?
I think some of the hardships that small business owners might have to face include increasing profits and growing revenues while still paying close attention to details like client relationships. On the other hand, for many small businesses, client dependence is a huge issue. If a business depends on a single customer for more than half its income, that should raise a huge red flag, a situation which can threaten the businesses’ growth and stability.
What should be the government’s role in how small businesses are run?
I personally believe the government should create specific programs to help small businesses start and continue to grow by offering start-up incentives, providing loan guarantees and encouraging local banks to work with start-ups or regional businesses that wish to expand. Lowering corporate taxes and making the regulatory process simpler can also foster even more small-business growth.
What kinds of small business are most popular in your country?
Probably street food vendors and local convenience stores. Street food has always been a vital and vibrant part in my country, so as long as the owners can offer high food quality along with some uniqueness to set their stores apart from other competitors on the market, I believe the business will achieve at least semi-success. Meanwhile, local convenience stores are usually guaranteed a loyal customer base that is the local residents so I think they have a higher chance of breaking even and increasing the bottom line.
- Red flag (noun): a sign of danger
You’re not allowed to swim when the red flag is flying.
- Startup (noun): a small business that has just been started
Working on a startup business can produce a real mix of emotions.
- Vendor (noun): a person or company offering something for sale, especially a trader in the street
She glanced around quickly, and her eyes caught a street vendor who was selling ice cream.
- Convenience store (noun): a shop that sells food, drinks, etc. and is usually open until late
The biggest difference in services between a grocery and convenience store is that the latter usually sells gasoline.
- Customer base (noun): the people who buy or use a particular product or service
A customer base is absolutely essential for business success.
- To break even: to have no profit or loss at the end of a business activity
After paying for our travel costs, we barely (= only just) broke even.
- Bottom line (noun): the final line in the accounts of a company or organization, stating the total profit or loss that has been made
How will the rise in interest rates affect our bottom line