Learn IELTS Vocabulary: The Media

Jul 25, 2020 | IELTS, IELTS Speaking, IELTS Test, IELTS Vocabulary

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.

CandidateExaminer: 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.

Part 2

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


Man stood in a maze


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

Part 1

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

Part 2

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 

Part 3

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

Practice Your IELTS Achievement/Goal Vocabulary 

Record yourself answering this question and send it to us for professional feedback.

Our feedback is based on the official IELTS Speaking Descriptors and will give you precise information on how to improve.

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