You need to use idiomatic language to score 7+ on IELTS Speaking.

Today’s idioms are very versatile.

This means they can be used when answering many different questions!

Questions about problems and challenges are common on the IELTS exam.

These can be asked in Part 1, Part 2 or Part 3.

Be ready to boost your Vocabulary score with these idioms!

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#1: Roll with the punches

When facing adversity, some people crumble and some are able to manage quite well!

Those who face challenges without getting too upset are able to ‘roll with the punches.’

  • Roll with the punches: be unbothered by adversity

Use this for any question asking about how you or someone else handles a challenge.

Part 1: Have you ever missed or been late to an appointment?

“For sure! I was late to work last week, but my boss rolls with the punches, so she wasn’t too upset.”

Part 2: Describe a recent challenge you faced

“I lost my phone last week! It was terrible! I rolled with the punches though and didn’t let it bug me too much.”

  • bug me: slang for bother or annoy

Part 3: What challenges face governments trying to increase recycling rates?

“Expense is a major issue. As city authorities try to foster recycling programs, they have to roll with the punches when it gets pricey.”

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#2: Out of the woods

We use this idiom to talk about being past a challenge or difficulty.

If we’re currently dealing with a problem, we’ll say, “We’re not out of the woods yet.”

If we have overcome the challenge, we’ll say we’re “out of the woods.”

  • Out of the woods: past difficulty

Part 1: Do you keep in touch with friends from childhood?

“I just saw my best friend from grade school yesterday! She has cancer and is in remission, but she’s not out of the woods yet.”

Part 2: Describe a time you visited a friend in another city.

“While there, I helped her study for an exam. She’s in medical school and she’s almost finished, but isn’t quite out of the woods yet!”

Part 3: Is littering in urban areas more of a problem today than it was in the past?

“Most citizens are conscientious and don’t throw trash in the streets, but some still do it so we’re not out of the woods yet!”

#3: Uphill climb

The visual of someone climbing up a steep hill will help you remember this idiom’s meaning.

This noun phrase is used to describe anything that is challenging or difficult to execute.

We do not use it for troublesome situations, but rather for complicated actions or projects.

  • Uphill climb: difficult to accomplish

Part 1: What time do you wake up in the morning?

“Just getting out of bed is an uphill climb for me!”

Part 2: Describe something you own which is important to you.

“I saved up money for ages to buy my laptop! It was quite the uphill climb!”

Part 3: Should children be limited in how much time they spend using technology?

“It is an uphill climb for parents to regulate screen time for kids.”

Idioms for music

Aubrey recently taught some idioms and high level vocabulary in a video.

Oldy but a goody– idiom for older music that is still popular or well-liked

Speaks to my soul – idiom for music that is meaningful and evokes emotion

These idioms are perfect for describing music.

They’re also great for talking about anything you love.

High level vocabulary for describing music

Poppy – upbeat; used to describe pop music

Hip – new, popular

Tunes – music

Beat drop – tempo goes from slow to fast; pause and then loud, exciting beat

Chill out – phrasal verb for relaxing

  • Has the music you listen to changed since you were young.

Kick back – phrasal verb for relaxing

Laid back – adjective describing mellow music

Rock out – phrasal verb for dancing or listening to upbeat music

Watch the video now!


Idioms are vital for IELTS Speaking!

You must use idiomatic language to score 7+ on the Vocabulary score.

Today’s idioms are extremely useful for nearly any question you might be asked!

You can describe how it was or wasn’t challenging or difficult!

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There, you can get answers to any IELTS question from our expert team!

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What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Let us know in the comments below.

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