IELTS Speaking Test Sample: The Media
Media related topics crop up often in both IELTS Speaking and Writing. For example, the examiner might ask you to discuss your favourite news source or to talk about a website you frequently use.
Below are model answers to speaking-style questions. Pay close attention to the words you don’t know. There are definitions for the words in bold at the end of the page.
Before you read the conversation, test your vocabulary by downloading this free PDF quiz.
Part 1-style questions
Examiner: Do you read the news every day?
Candidate: Of course, it’s so ubiquitous that it’s impossible to avoid. I get a constant stream of news alerts through apps on my phone.
Candidate: Examiner: What kind of news do you usually follow?
Candidate: I lean towards the colourful stories peddled by the tabloids. I always enjoy gossip.
Examiner: Do you prefer to read news online or watch it on TV?
Candidate: Neither, to be honest. I prefer the old-fashioned unfiltered way of buying a physical newspaper. My father always bought broadsheets, but I as I said, I prefer tabloids.
Describe a news source that you read.
You should say:
— what the news source is called
— what kind of articles it contains
— how often you read it
and explain why you like to read it
When I relax, I like to read glossy gossip magazines. However, I like to read something a little more highbrow occasionally as well. One news source I particularly like is called Moral Maze on the BBC website. It’s really a podcast of a live debate. The conversation always centres on a moral issue behind a current event. What I really like about it is that each podcast has a written summary. The summary is concise and succinct but packed with really high-level vocabulary. It’s a far cry from the chequebook journalism of the paparazzi.
Once I’ve read and understood the summary, I download the podcast and just listen. It’s always provocative and engaging; it really makes me think.
Part 3-style questions
Examiner: Do you think it is important to pay attention to the news? [Evaluate]
Candidate: Yes – we should all keep up with current affairs. The recent pandemic really highlighted the importance of keeping up with local and international news.
Examiner: What are the main ways people get their news? [Compare]
Candidate: These days, many people get their news through social media. This is unfortunate as it is heavily filtered and can be biased or distorted in a way that is very misleading.
Examiner: What do you think will be the main way people get their news in the future? [Predict]
Candidate: I think news is going to become ever more personalised. The internet of things has arrived – we might even be getting our news from the fridge soon!
Definitions for IELTS Achievement Vocabulary
ubiquitous — to be present everywhere
to stream — to play images or sound on a device from the internet without downloading it first
to peddle — to try and make people believe a story or idea, especially when it seems very unlikely
tabloids — a newspaper with fairly small pages mostly containing stories about famous people and not much serious news
unfiltered — with no information removed
a broadsheet — a newspaper with large pages regarded as more serious than a tabloid newspaper
glossy — printed on shiny paper with lots of colourful
highbrow — used to describe something which is of
interest to people who like learning, culture, and art
a moral issue — a situation in which there is a difficult choice to be made between two options
current event — events and issues which are in the news now
succinct — expressed in a very short but clear way
a far cry from — to be very different from someone or something
chequebook journalism — the practice of paying someone a lot of money in exchange for newsworthy information
paparazzi — a freelance photographer who pursues celebrities to get photos of them
provocative — describes something which causes anger or another strong reaction
engaging — charming and attractive
to keep up — to continue to learn about something or find out about something, so that you know about the latest developments
current affairs — events that are happening now and discussed in the news
biased — preferring one person, thing, or idea to another in a way that is unfair
distorted — presented in a misleading way
The internet of things — connections between objects of all kinds via the internet that enables them to exchange information
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