The examiner may ask you to talk about the place you live or would like to live in the exam. Read the following IELTS-style questions and answers below and pay attention to the phrases in bold. Use the ‘Definitions’ section at the bottom of the page to check the meaning of any phrases you don’t understand.
Part 1-style questions
Examiner: Do you live in a house or an apartment?
Callum: Actually I live on campus … in a single room in halls of residence … all first year students are encouraged to do that as they’re close to the university … next year I plan to move into student digs in town …
Examiner: Tell me about where you live.
Julia: I live with my parents in the suburbs of Madrid … we only moved in recently … in fact we had a house-warming party just a few weeks ago …
Examiner: What kind of accommodation do most people live in in your city?
Maria: In the city itself the majority of people live in apartment blocks … that’s what surprised me about England … most people seem to live in terraced houses with lovely back gardens …
Part 2-style task
Describe a house or an apartment you would like to live in. You should say
- what kind of accommodation it would be
- where it would be
- who would live there with you
and say why you would enjoy living in this place.
Paolo: I think most people when answering this question would say they’d like to live in a big detached house with spacious rooms … views of the countryside and so on … but actually my ideal home would be a lot different … I’ve always loved the idea of having a mobile home … a really expensive one with all the mod cons … so I could live wherever I wanted or at least have lots of holidays and be able to take all my home comforts with me whenever I travelled … I realise this would have to be a second home as I’d need a base … a permanent address … but the mobile home would be the accommodation I’d find it exciting to live in … I suppose once I settle down and have children I’ll want to get on the property ladder … I’ll be like everyone else … saving up to put down a deposit on a house or an apartment … I don’t think my family would want to live in a mobile home … but I like to think I’ll still keep that dream home in mind ….
Part 3-style questions
Examiner: Is it better to own your own home or to rent?
Ana: I think both have their advantages … living in rented accommodation isn’t necessarily a bad thing … you don’t have a huge debt like you do when you take out a mortgage but I suppose the property market offers you an investment for the future … I’m sure that’s why most people prefer to own their own home …
Examiner: What options are available to young couples looking for accommodation in your country?
Toni: If they want to buy their own home it isn’t easy for first-time buyers … mortgages are hard to get so most people live with their parents or in rented accommodation … but that can also be very expensive … you often have to pay rent in advance … and if the accommodation isn’t fully furnished you have the expense of buying furniture …
Examiner: What are some of the pleasures involved in making a home for ourselves?
Suki: I suppose it starts with house-hunting … finding your ideal home … some people enjoy doing up an old property … giving a property that’s old and tired a new lease of life … others like making wherever they live feel like home with some home comforts …
- (all the) mod cons: technology at home that makes jobs easier such as a washing machine, dishwasher etc.
- apartment block: a large building made up of smaller units of apartments
- back garden: a garden at the rear of the house
- detached house: a house that is not physically connected to another property
- to do up a property: to repair an old building
- dream home: a home you regard as perfect
- first-time buyer: someone buying a property for the first time, especially when taking out a loan (mortgage)
- fully-furnished: a rented property with all furniture included
- to get on the property ladder: to buy a property with the aim of buying another bigger or more expensive one later in life
- hall of residence: a college or university building where students live
- home comforts: things that make a home feel comfortable to live in
- house-hunting: looking for a property to live in
- house-warming party: a party to celebrate moving into a new home
- ideal home: a perfect home
- to live on campus: to live on the university or college grounds
- mobile home: a home that can be moved by a vehicle or one that has its own engine
- to move into: to begin to live in a property
- to own your own home: to have bought the property you live in
- to pay rent in advance: weekly or monthly rent paid at the beginning of the week or month
- permanent address: a fixed address
- property market: the buying and selling of land or buildings
- to put down a deposit: to pay an amount of money as the first in a series of future payments
- rented accommodation: property owned by someone else and for which a person pays a fixed amount to live in
- single room: a room for one person
- spacious room: a large room
- student digs: student accommodation
- the suburbs: a residential area on the edge of towns or cities
- to take out a mortgage: to borrow a large amount of money, paid back over several years, in order to buy a house
- terraced house: a house connected on both sides by other properties