Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

We are focusing today on how to honestly and personally react on the Speaking Exam, strategically increasing your vocabulary score with completely native phrases.

Going to extremes in your answers is an excellent method to stand-out in front of the examiner and increase your scores.

We’ll provide idioms within sample answers to IELTS Speaking Exam questions in this episode.

IELTS Question Part 1: Are there many fast food restaurants near your home?

High-scoring vocabulary from this answer includes:

completely nuts– idiom meaning ‘totally crazy’

just crawling with…– idiom describing a plethora of something, something that you see everywhere; ubiquitous 

IELTS Question Part 2: Describe a plant that is important in your country.

Jessica says:

To be completely honest, when I saw this topic card, I was like what the what, who could talk about a plant for 2 minutes?! I mean, that’s totally insane! But, I’ll talk about…


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When faced with a very weird, difficult to talk about topic, you can use this honest introduction for your response.

I use ‘what the what’. This phrase is used by native speakers instead of using a bad word, like what the hell/heck. It is an interesting and idiomatic thing to say.

The important native feature here is the stress and intonation. Try to mimic the way I use the phrase in my introduction.

Also, saying something is totally insane will help you stand out, because other students won’t use this phrase.

IELTS Question Part 3: Why do people participate in extreme distance events, such as marathons?

Lindsay says:

This actually calls to mind my sister-in-law…

It makes me wonder…

Can you  even believe that?– This is a rhetorical question which makes a statement that you think something is crazy.

The lesson today is about helping you be an active test taker, encouraging you to personally engage with your answers.

Take a stand! If you think a question is odd, say it! Be honest, be fluent.

How would you use today’s phrases?

Share your examples in the comments section below!


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