IELTS Speaking Vocabulary: Achievements/Goals
Talking about an achievement is a topic that has appeared several times in recent years. There are also topics which match very closely – for example talking about a goal.
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.
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 biggest goal in life?
Candidate: My most immediate goal is to earn enough money to pay for my daily expenses. My long-term goal is to buy a large house on the coast.
Examiner: How do you plan to achieve that goal?
Candidate: I plan to get a promotion and knuckle down to some hard work. I think my goal is attainable – but I need to get serious about putting money aside.
Examiner: Do you think your goals will change as you get older?
Candidate: I don’t think anything has to be set in stone. If I look at my parents as role models, I may find that I want to live within my means and have a simpler lifestyle.
Talk about an achievement you are proud of.
You should say:
– what the achievement was
– why you are proud of it
– how other people reacted
and explain why it was so important to you.
Last year, I got a job in the building industry, which is traditionally male-dominated. It was tough to find acceptance at first. But I am lucky because my boss is very egalitarian and believes everyone should be given an equal chance.
At the beginning, many of my work colleagues were doubtful I could succeed. I just set myself realistic goals that I could work towards. My crowning moment came when I caught a mistake one of my more experienced colleagues had made. It saved the company a lot of money.
Since then, everyone has been very welcoming, and I have taken everything in my stride. It’s important to me to feel I am making a positive contribution to the world around me.
Part 3-style questions
Examiner: Do you think it’s important for people to have dreams or goals? [Evaluate]
Candidate: Yes – it’s really important to have explicit goals. They shouldn’t be too modest, but they must be achievable; otherwise, people might give up.
Examiner: Do you think men and women generally have the same goals? [Compare]
Candidate: I think their goals are ultimately very similar – but everyone wants different things. I think a woman’s goals are sometimes more elusive, and they have to strive harder.
Examiner: In your country, what goals do young people generally have? [identify]
Candidate: I think young people are more idealistic and they dream of having a high-paying job and a perfect home. Their primary goal is to earn a good income.
Definitions for IELTS Achievement Vocabulary
immediate goal — a goal that you need to achieve very soon
long-term — continuing to be relevant a long time in the future
knuckle down — to start working hard, especially when you have been delaying
attainable — possible to achieve
putting money aside — saving money for the future
set in stone — something that cannot be changed
live within my means — to spend less than you are earning
male-dominated — controlled mainly by men, or primarily consisting of men
egalitarian — believing that all people are equal
realistic — something which is achievable
crowning moment — the last and most significant in a series of achievements
taken everything in (your) stride — to calmly deal with something and not let it affect you
explicit — very clear and well defined
achievable — something that is possible
elusive — difficult to find or achieve
strive — make great efforts to achieve or attain something
idealistic — believing very firmly in something good but probably impossible to achieve
the primary goal — the end goal that you really want
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