Learn IELTS Vocabulary: A person you follow on social media

Aug 15, 2023 | IELTS Test

IELTS Speaking Test Sample:  

Talking about well-known people and social media are two very common Speaking day topics. 

Read the following speaking-style questions, paying close attention to words you dont 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: Which social media sites do you use?

Candidate: Facebook and Tik Tok, mostly. I do look at Instagram now and then, but these two I use more often. 

Examiner: Do you post on social media often?  

Candidate: Um… not so much. Maybe, a few photos if I’ve done something like go with friends to a well-known tourist spot. Or we have a big birthday or going-away party for someone we know. 

Examiner: Is there anything you don’t like about social media?

Candidate: Yes, people who post things that just personally attack someone that they don’t like, using strong language and without facts to back them up. And, I suppose, like other users, I’m not crazy about the ads that often pop up.  But I guess as it’s a free service, that it has to be paid for in some way. 

Part 2

Describe a person you follow on social media.

                You should say:

who the person is

how you know the person

what sort of information this person posts

              and explain why you follow the person on social media.


Well…. there are a number of people I follow, but one I especially like is David Beckham, the football star. Of course, he retired from playing several years ago now, but he’s still very active in the game. Owns the Inter Miami club in the American MLS, and he’s got so much insight and expert knowledge about the game to offer. 

Of course, I know him from many years back now when he was the star at Manchester United, and with England. And I’ve always been a huge Man U fan, even as a young kid. My friends and I always played football together and we all had our favourite teams. Mostly in England. Others liked Liverpool and Chelsea, but many of us were really big supporters of Man U. My parents gave me a number 7 Beckham shirt for my tenth birthday. It was an official club-issued one too, so it must have cost them quite a bit.   

So….what sort of information does he post? Well, it varies. He’ll sometimes post a photo from an outing with his wife and kids, or a photo from a Miami match. But mostly I like to read his takes on big match games. They don’t always involve his own club, either. Sometimes he’ll comment on what’s happening at Man U, or what he reckons England should do as they  prepare for a particular international match. 

I follow him because….. well, as I said, I’m a big football fan even though I no longer play myself. Too busy with work and family! And I just think he has so much knowledge about the game. I almost always learn something new or get a different perspective on something  from his posts. 

Part 3-style questions

Examiner: Is social media popular in your country? [Evaluate]

Candidate: Is there anywhere that it isn’t!? I mean…. yes, of course in my country it’s popular, especially with younger people. It seems to have taken over the whole world in a way, doesn’t it?  Many of us use social media apps such as Facebook as the prime way of keeping in touch with friends, keeping up with the latest trends, and getting advice on various things. 

Examiner: Do you agree that people often exaggerate or lie when posting on social media? [Agree/Disagree]

Candidate: Absolutely! It’s another way that some people build themselves up, and that’s even more likely in a situation that’s not actually face-to-face. So you’ll see photos that are obviously photo shopped in some way, or people say stuff and you think, c’mon, that can’t really be true. I mean, look at what Donald Trump says, as just one great example!

Examiner: Do you think social media will be used more or less in the future? [Predict]

Candidate: Hmm. That’s a tough one. My own gut feeling is that it probably will be used even more, as so many young kids are growing up with it. I have nieces and nephews who have used it constantly since their early elementary school days. On the other hand, with increasing concern about misuse, disinformation and the like…. well, some governments are sounding more serious about trying to impose restrictions or an agreed code with the provider. But unless you’re prepared to go full authoritarian, like the Chinese government and maintain the technology to do it, the internet is really hard to control. 

Definitions for IELTS Achievement Vocabulary

image of a page of the Oxford English Dictionary

Part 1

going-away party: This is the kind of party that people organise when they themselves, or a friend or family member, is moving away from where they presently live, such as going to a new city to take up a new job, or going abroad to study. 

not crazy about: This is a very informal way of saying you don’t like something. English-speakers often express themselves in this somewhat ‘under stated’ way. A similar expression is to say “I’m not thrilled about [something].” 

Part 2

a take is an informal synonym for opinion or point of view. Sometimes you will hear someone ask “What’s your take on all this?” which means they are asking the listener what they think about the matter being discussed, what their opinion is. 

Part 3

prime is an adjective that means the same as main or principal. Here the candidate is effectively saying that  the app in question (Facebook) is the most commonly used one. 

to build oneself up is to exaggerate one’s standing or position, to try and convince others that he or she is more skilled or accomplished than they are in reality. 

a gut feeling: this is an informal way of saying you have an instinct or intuition about something. That is, you do not have a rationale or proven facts to support your opinion, but you feel quite definitely that it is likely to be true.  

authoritarian is a both an adjective and a noun. It describes a person or a system, usually in the political sense, that imposes often severe restrictions on what people can do or say. Such people or systems, such as in North Korea are contrasted with democratic societies, where people have more freedom to live and express themselves as they wish. To say “full authoritarian” just gives more emphasis to how strict the speaker thinks something is 

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