Neighbourhoods and neighbours can be one of the very first set of questions you receive. Since these topics can also appear in Part 2 and Part 3, it is definitely a vocabulary area you should prepare for.
The following model answers cover each part of the test and a glossary of some of the higher-level vocabulary is included at the end of the page. If there are any new words for you — record them on paper or on an app so that you can review them later.
Before you read the conversation, you might like to download this free PDF quiz and have a go at completing the blanks.
Part 1-style questions
Examiner: What is your neighbourhood like?
Candidate: My neighbourhood is magnificent! All my neighbours are really friendly and outgoing, especially my next-door neighbour. He’s my age, so we often gossip about school and other things, and generally get along.
Examiner: How well do you know the people who live next door to you?
Candidate: We both attend the same school, so I know him and his family fairly well. We don’t really hang out much though, but it’s reassuring knowing I can chat to someone outside my main clique of friends.
Examiner: Do you think you are a good neighbour?
Candidate: I would like to think I am! I definitely aspire to be one, and last summer I helped my neighbours in erecting a new fence, even though I didn’t have to. I also always return their ball when it materializes in our garden. Then again, I do play the drums, which I guess could be irritating for my neighbours.
Describe a change that could improve your local neighbourhood.
You should say:
– what the change would be
– what problems this change addresses
– how the change can be implemented
and explain how this change would improve your local area.
Our local neighbourhood desperately needs a desirable park. Currently, there is only a large field at the end of the street, and it is overgrown with bushes and weeds. There is an innumerable amount of children of varying ages on my street, and the nearest playpark is a significant walk away.
By revamping the field into a legitimate play area, the whole neighbourhood would be more active, and feel more like a community. Parents are always eager to make sure that their kids exercise enough, and with a real football pitch and climbing frame nearby for convenience, everyone would get out more!
The best way to do this would be to clean up the park first: right now there are loads of weeds and bushes obstructing people. Depressingly, the park is also plagued by litter, so this would need to be removed. After we’ve done that, we should construct a climbing frame and other fun equipment for younger children, such as slides and swings.
Part 3-style questions
Examiner: Is it important for children to grow up in a good neighbourhood? [Evaluate]
Candidate: The answer is unequivocally yes. A child’s experiences growing up influences who they become as an adult.
Along with a compassionate home environment, being in a good neighbourhood where a child can feel comfortable strolling down the street is vital for giving them a healthy childhood. A bad neighbourhood will likely either petrify a child, or cause them to fall in with the wrong crowd.
Examiner: Do you think the types of neighbourhoods people live in will change much in the future? [Predict]
Candidate: Our world is always transforming, and so I envisage that our neighbourhoods and ways of life will change drastically in the future. People will probably go out less, as shopping centres and the retail industry moves more online.
I hope, however, that local parks, cafes, and community centres remain important, as they are the lifeblood of any neighbourhood.
Examiner: Is community becoming less important in the digital age? [Analyse]
Candidate: Community is still a crucial part of people’s lives, however many people are finding their own communities online. Although online communities are important, I fear that this is leading to the disintegration of the local community, which is a serious problem.
Finding friends online is useful, but nothing can substitute the importance of a close-knit local community. Because of this, I prefer smaller towns to bustling urban areas, as they often nurture a sense of local community as well as having the benefits of digital technology.
Definitions for IELTS Achievement Vocabulary
magnificent — amazing / great
Outgoing — sociable
Gossip — talk / casual conversation
Get Along — be friends
Attend — to go to something
Hang Out — spend time with someone
Reassuring — removing doubt, comforting someone
clique — a group of people
Aspire — To want to be
erecting — to put up / construct
Return — To go back to something
materializes — To become visible, to arrive somewhere
Irritating — annoying, frustrating
Desperately — To really need something
desirable — wanted
Currently — At the current time, right now
Overgrown — Covered in plants/ grown too large
innumerable — uncountable, lots of
Varying — Differing in some way
Significant — important / large
revamping — upgrading / redeveloping
Legitimate — certified / real / proper
eager — keen, interested
Obstructing — blocking
Depressingly — sadly / upsettingly
Plagued — caused continual trouble and distress
Construct — build / create
Slides — a surface someone can slide down for fun – usually for children
Swings — A seat that swings off a bar above it – common in playgrounds
unequivocally — definitely, undeniably
Influences — things that affect someone or something
Compassionate — supporting / showing sympathy and concern
Comfortable — something that is relaxing / physical or mental ease
Strolling — walking confidently
Vital — important
petrify — to scare
Fall in with the wrong crowd — join/become a part of a bad or problematic group
Transforming — Changing / shifting
Envisage — foresee or predict
drastically — significant, sudden
Retail Industry — the business of general sales
Lifeblood — necessary to something
Crucial — something of great important
Disintegration — Fragmentation / destruction
Serious — important with negative connotations
substitute — change something for something else
Close-knit — strong, close relationships between people within a group
Bustling — lively, packed
nurture — develop / grow
Practice Your IELTS Achievement/Goal Vocabulary
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