Technology keeps advancing and could be a Part 1, 2 or 3 topic in the IELTS Speaking test. In Part 2, You might be asked to describe something that is not your computer or phone – so you should try and think of other items you have, e.g. a smartwatch.
Read the following speaking-style questions, paying close attention to words you don’t know and the words in bold. There are definitions for the words in bold at the end of the page.
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: How much time do you spend using a computer at work or at home?
Candidate: I’m an avid PC gamer. I spend a lot of my leisure time gaming, and I’ve invested in a serious setup! I’ve got a 32-inch monitor and an ergonomic chair.
Examiner: What do you mainly use a computer for?
Candidate: Role-playing games are my favourite – stuff like Age of Empires. I also use my computer for productivity – like lots of people, I’ve switched to remote work in the last year, so I mostly work from home.
Examiner: Which device do you prefer to use for browsing the internet?
Candidate: I do prefer having a little more real estate when it comes to screens – mobile phones are too fiddly to browse the internet with! So I use my PC and monitor, or, if I’m out and about, I’ll use my tablet. My tablet has a mobile data connection, so I can stay online wherever I am.
Describe your favourite gadget (not your computer or phone). The
You should say:
- what it is
- when you got it
- how often you use it
and explain why it is so important to you.
My favourite gadget would have to be my drone! It’s a foldable, pocket-sized one, so it’s very portable. You can use it to shoot photos and video; it has the kind of lens you’d normally see on more high-end alternatives. It’s very straightforward to use. You just clip the controls onto your phone then you can fly it using an app.
I bought it for myself on the day it came out, so I was definitely an early adopter. That was around a year ago. Now, I only use it sporadically, just whenever it takes my fancy. It’s important for two reasons. Firstly, it’s loads of fun to use! It’s fast, very agile, and it can fly at high altitudes. Secondly, it’s a creative outlet. It gives me a way to take some incredible aerial photos, which I can then treat later on.
Part 3-style questions
Examiner: What kind of technological developments have had the biggest impact on our lives? [Evaluate]
Candidate: The advent of electricity was probably the most impactful technological development in modern history. Without power, we wouldn’t be able to use any of the systems we’ve come to depend on to live and work.
Examiner: Do you agree that we rely too much on technology [Agree/Disagree]
Candidate: To an extent. There’s nothing wrong with using the inventions we’ve created. I think the danger is when our technology is deliberately compromised, perhaps by hackers looking for a ransom or a hostile foreign power seeking to disrupt our daily lives.
Examiner: Do you think men and women view technological devices differently? [Compare]
Candidate: There’s no reason to think there is any disparity between how men and women view technological devices. We’re all human and that means we’re all different, regardless of gender; that distinction isn’t really relevant here.
Definitions for IELTS Achievement Vocabulary
Avid – very enthusiastic
Leisure time – free time to spend as you want
(Computer) setup (noun) – the way you’ve combined different computer accessories, e.g. speakers and a desk
Monitor – screen
Ergonomic chair – a special chair designed to be good for your back, for long periods of computer use
Role-playing games – Games where you play as a particular character
Productivity – Getting lots of things done, usually work
Remote work – working over the internet away from the office
(screen) Real estate – the amount of space on your screen
Fiddly – difficult to use with your hands, usually with small parts
Out and about – doings things outside the home
Drone – Remote controlled aircraft or flying device
Foldable – able to be folded
Portable – easy to carry around
Lens – the part of a camera that light comes through
High-end – expensive
Straightforward – easy
Controls (noun) – buttons
Early adopter – somebody who starts using a new technology before most other people
Sporadically – occasionally, not in a pattern
(When something…) Takes my fancy – when I feel like it
Agile – Flexible, turns fast
Altitudes – Heights
Creative outlet – A way for somebody to express themselves creatively, like through writing or song
Aerial photos – photographs taken from the air, often using a drone or plane
Treat (a photo) – Edit, change or improve
Advent – When something began to happen
Impactful – had a strong effect
To an extent – partly, not entirely
Compromised – put at risk or in danger
Hackers – people who access computer networks without permission
Ransom – money demanded when somebody or something is taken or held without permission
Hostile foreign power – a country seen as unfriendly or an enemy
Disrupt – interrupt by causing a problem
Disparity – difference
Gender – how somebody sees their identity, usually meaning man or woman
Distinction – something that is clearly different
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