Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"
Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"

Are you in an IELTS vocabulary stupor?

It can be challenging to learn all the vocab you need for the IELTS exam.

Half the battle is keeping your motivation!

Well, you’re in luck, because this episode can really get you going!

Today you’ll learn 3 idioms about motivation.

These are perfect for IELTS Speaking.

For all the strategies you need for IELTS, sign up for our online course!

Why is motivation vital for IELTS?

If you don’t stay motivated, you won’t want to put in the time you need.

It’s easy to get discouraged and frustrated.

This can impede your progress.

It’s hard to read or listen to something at-length if you don’t find it interesting.

Your brain also won’t try as hard to glean knowledge from it.

However, one little idea can light a fire under you.

That is motivation!

Discussing motivation on IELTS speaking

Not only do you need to stay motivated, but you may also need to talk about motivation on IELTS!

Ideas can spur action.

  • spur action: cause action

Phrases about motivation can be used for many different IELTS questions

  • Hobbies
  • Likes
  • Interests
  • Motivation

You may also get IELTS Speaking questions about changes or things you want to change.

These native phrases can be added to talk about how motivated you are.

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#1: Light a fire under me

Imagine how you’d jump if someone literally lit a fire under you!

Use this visual to remember what the idiom means.

  • light a fire under me: create motivation or inspire action

This can be useful for Speaking questions where you share an idea you’ve had.

Do you enjoy reading books?

“I read one in English and it lit a fire under me to study more and read more.”

This can also be helpful for IELTS Speaking Part 3 questions.

How can children be encouraged to read?

“When you introduce a child to a book they love, it can light a fire under them to read more.”

#2: Got me going

Another way to say something motivates you is to say it ‘got you going.’

This can be used to talk about anything that inspires or excites you.

What is something you learned recently?

“I took a cooking class and it got me going! Now I cook almost every night.”

You can also use it to talk about something you’re excited about.

Describe something you own that is important to you.

I purchased a new bike and it really got me going! I’m riding every day now!

#3: Bring me out of my stupor

  • stupor: a state of near unconsciousness

We use this idiom to exaggerate.

Rather than an actual stupor, we’re referring to laziness or sluggishness.

What is a hobby you enjoy?

“I started playing the guitar and it brought me out of my stupor.

I hadn’t been excited about anything in awhile so it’s been super fun!”

This is easy to fit into many different answers!

Use it any time you want to talk about activities, hobbies or events.

You can say doing it brought you out of your stupor!

Why are these so useful for IELTS?

Idioms that can be used on a wide variety of questions are the most useful!

How easy would it be to bring up motivation on the Speaking exam?

Very easy!

Almost anything you’re talking about, you can describe what motivated you to do it.

  • Going out with friends
  • Eating at a new restaurant
  • Playing a sport
  • Hobbies
  • Meeting new people
  • Throwing a party
  • Taking a class

Answer the question and then share what ‘lit a fire under you’ to decide to do it in the first place!

This gets you the idiomatic language you need to score 7+ on IELTS Speaking.


Idioms about motivation are some of the most useful on IELTS Speaking!

Practice using these so you can say WHY you did something.

Answer IELTS Speaking questions in the mirror or with a speaking partner.

What has lit a fire under you?

What has brought you out of a stupor?

Idiomatic language like this is necessary to score 7+ on the IELTS Speaking exam.

For all the strategies you need on IELTS, sign up for 3 Keys IELTS!

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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