Want to get 9.0 in IELTS speaking? Watch this! | Cambridge IELTS 17 Test 1

Full Video Interview: Questions and Answers

A full IELTS Speaking Interview Sample

Presented By: Mehdi Safavi

Presented By: Mehdi Safavi

May 7, 2024

What’s your name?

My name is John.

Where are you from?

I'm from London, England.


The examiner asks you about yourself, your home, work or studies, and other familiar topics.



What did you study in history lessons when you were at school?

During my school years, history lessons primarily focused on British history, spanning from the medieval times through to the modern era. We studied significant events like the Battle of Hastings, the Tudor period, and the Industrial Revolution. Additionally, we touched upon global history, particularly the World Wars and the impact of colonialism, which helped us understand how these events shaped contemporary society both in the UK and around the world.

Did you enjoy studying history at school? Why/Why not?

Yes, I quite enjoyed studying history at school. It was fascinating to learn how past events and figures shaped our present world. Understanding the context of significant historical events, like the signing of the Magna Carta or the reforms during the Victorian era, helped me appreciate the complexities of political and social developments. Moreover, history lessons were often discussion-based, which made them interactive and engaging. These discussions allowed us to explore different perspectives and debates, making the subject more dynamic and relevant.

How often do you watch TV programmes about history now? [Why/Why not?]

I watch history programs quite regularly, perhaps a couple of times a month. I find them to be a valuable source of information that complements my reading. Documentaries and historical dramas offer a visual and narrative perspective that can bring historical events and eras to life in a way that books and articles sometimes cannot. They also often highlight lesser-known stories or details that I might not come across otherwise. This visual and narrative approach not only enriches my understanding but also keeps my interest in history alive and vibrant.

What period in history would you like to learn more about? [Why?]

I would be particularly interested in learning more about the Renaissance period, spanning from the 14th to the 17th century. This era fascinates me because it was a time of profound intellectual, cultural, and artistic rebirth in Europe, emerging from the Middle Ages. The Renaissance sparked monumental developments in art, with figures like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, who redefined the standards and scope of artistic achievement. Additionally, it was a period of significant scientific progress and philosophical thought, which laid the groundwork for modern science and humanism. Learning more about this period would give deeper insights into how it shaped contemporary Western thought and culture.


Describe the neighbourhood you lived in when you were a child.
You should say:
    where in your town/city the neighbourhood
    was what kind of people lived there
    what it was like to live in this neighbourhood
and explain whether you would like to live in this neighbourhood in the future.

You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes.
You have one minute to think about what you are going to say.
You can make some notes to help you if you wish.

The neighbourhood I grew up in was located in the suburban areas of London, nestled away from the bustling city center but still accessible by public transport. It was a tranquil, residential area characterized by rows of semi-detached houses with modest gardens, often filled with the chatter and laughter of children playing.

The community was a melting pot of middle-class families, many of whom had lived there for generations. You would find a diverse mix of people, including retirees who cherished the area's peace, young families drawn by the reputable local schools, and professionals commuting to the city. It was common for neighbors to know each other well, often stopping to chat or help out with small tasks. This close-knit atmosphere made it a warm and secure place to grow up.

Living there as a child was quite idyllic. The streets were safe enough for biking and games like street cricket. There were ample parks and green spaces where friends and I would spend entire afternoons. Local events, like the annual summer fair or the Christmas market, were eagerly anticipated and fostered a strong sense of community.

Reflecting on whether I would like to live in that neighbourhood in the future, I feel a deep sense of nostalgia and fondness for it. However, my career and lifestyle preferences now lean towards living closer to urban centers where I can access a broader range of cultural and professional opportunities. While I cherish my childhood memories there, I believe my current and future needs would be better met in a more dynamic environment.


The examiner asks you about yourself, your home, work or studies, and other familiar topics.

Discussion Topics


What sort of things can neighbours do to help each other?

Neighbors can support each other in various meaningful ways, such as offering to watch each other's homes while one is away, sharing meals during times of need, or lending tools and household items. Organizing community events or clean-up days helps strengthen bonds and improve the local environment. On a more personal level, neighbors can assist each other with childcare, pet sitting, or simply providing companionship, especially to the elderly or those living alone. These acts of kindness not only make day-to-day life more convenient but also foster a sense of community and mutual trust.

How well do people generally know their neighbours in your country?

In my country, the United Kingdom, the extent to which people know their neighbours often varies significantly based on the type of area—urban, suburban, or rural. In rural communities, where populations are smaller and changes less frequent, residents tend to know each other quite well and often have strong, supportive relationships. Suburban areas generally have a moderate level of community interaction; many people might know their immediate neighbors or participate in local events, but relationships can be more reserved compared to rural settings. In contrast, urban environments, particularly in large cities like London, often see less interaction among neighbors due to the fast-paced lifestyle and the transient nature of residents. However, there are exceptions in tightly-knit communities or apartment buildings where efforts are made to foster neighborliness.

How important do you think it is to have good neighbours?

Having good neighbors is incredibly important and can significantly enhance one's quality of life. Good neighbors contribute to a supportive, friendly community environment where individuals feel connected, secure, and valued. They can offer practical help in times of need, such as looking after a property during absences or providing immediate assistance in emergencies. Moreover, positive relationships with neighbors can lead to a more enjoyable daily environment, reducing conflicts and increasing feelings of well-being. In essence, good neighbors can transform a simple residence into a true home, fostering a sense of belonging and community that enriches lives.

Facilities in cities

Which facilities are most important to people living in cities?

For people living in cities, several facilities are particularly important to ensure a high quality of life. Efficient public transportation is crucial, allowing residents to commute and access different parts of the city conveniently and affordably. Green spaces like parks and recreational areas are also vital, offering essential respite from the urban environment and spaces for exercise and leisure. Accessible healthcare and educational facilities are fundamental, ensuring residents receive necessary services and opportunities for personal and professional development. Additionally, well-maintained public safety measures, such as police presence and emergency services, are crucial for ensuring a safe living environment. Finally, amenities like shops, restaurants, and cultural venues enhance urban living by providing convenience and enriching the social fabric of city life.

How does shopping in small local shops differ from shopping in large city centre shops?

Shopping in small local shops versus large city center shops offers a markedly different experience. Small local shops typically provide a more personal touch, with shopkeepers often knowing their customers by name and offering individualized service. These shops may specialize in unique, locally-sourced, or handmade products that aren't available in larger stores. The atmosphere in small shops tends to be more intimate and less hurried.

On the other hand, large city center shops offer a wide variety of products under one roof, making them convenient for one-stop shopping. These stores often have longer opening hours and may provide more competitive pricing due to their scale. However, the shopping experience can feel impersonal and the environment more chaotic, especially during peak times. Large stores are more likely to be part of national or international chains and focus on volume and efficiency, which can detract from the personal shopping experience that small local shops are known for.

Do you think that children should always go to the school nearest to where they live?

While attending the nearest school can offer practical benefits like reduced travel time and the convenience of being close to home, it's not always the best option for every child. The quality of education, the specific needs of the child, and the school's resources and ethos should also be considered. Some schools might have specialized programs that better align with a child’s interests or academic needs, such as advanced science programs, arts integration, or special education support that the nearest school might not offer. Additionally, the social environment and extracurricular offerings can significantly impact a child's educational experience and personal development. Therefore, while proximity is an important factor, it should not be the sole determinant in choosing a school. Parents and guardians should consider a range of factors to ensure that the school they choose can provide the best overall educational experience for their child.

Useful Words from the Interview

Useful Upper-Intermediate Vocabulary (B2)

Meaning: In addition to something already mentioned.
Example: I will make a salad. Additionally, I’ll bake some bread.

Meaning: Expected or predicted to happen.
Example: The team anticipated winning the game.

Meaning: Help or support given to someone.
Example: The teacher provided assistance to students during the test.

Meaning: The quality of being easy and suitable for one’s needs.
Example: Online shopping offers great convenience for busy people.

Meaning: To be different or not the same.
Example: People often differ in their opinions about art.

Meaning: Showing a great deal of variety; very different.
Example: Our city has a diverse population with many cultures.

Meaning: Full of energy and activity; constantly changing.
Example: The company is looking for a dynamic manager who can lead the team.

Meaning: Something that gives pleasure or is fun.
Example: The movie was very enjoyable, and everyone loved it.

Meaning: A long period of history marked by significant events.
Example: The Victorian era was known for its strict social norms.

Meaning: Plural of era; multiple long periods marked by significant events.
Example: The museum has artifacts from different historical eras.

Meaning: Things that are not included in a general rule.
Example: Everyone must attend the meeting with no exceptions.

Meaning: Material, typically produced by weaving or knitting fibers.
Example: Cotton is a popular fabric for making clothes.

Meaning: Happening often or regularly.
Example: He is a frequent traveler who loves visiting new countries.

Meaning: Services provided to maintain or improve health.
Example: Access to quality healthcare is important for everyone.

Meaning: Relating to the ability to think and understand ideas.
Example: She enjoys intellectual conversations about philosophy.

Meaning: Communication or involvement between people.
Example: Social interaction is important for mental health.

Meaning: Simple or not too proud; not large or expensive.
Example: They live in a modest house but are very happy.

Meaning: In addition to what has been said.
Example: The book is interesting. Moreover, it is very informative.

Meaning: Things you like more than others.
Example: She has different preferences for food than her brother.

Meaning: Mainly or mostly.
Example: The company is primarily known for its software products.

Meaning: Focus on a particular subject or activity.
Example: She wants to specialize in child psychology.

Meaning: Having specific knowledge or training in one area.
Example: The doctor is specialized in treating heart problems.

Meaning: To make stronger or more powerful.
Example: Regular exercise can strengthen your muscles.

Meaning: Means of travel from one place to another.
Example: Public transportation in the city includes buses and trains.


Advanced Upper-Intermediate Vocabulary (C1)

Meaning: The state of not being present.
Example: Her frequent absences from school worried her teachers.

Meaning: Easy to reach or use.
Example: The new museum is accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities.

Meaning: Easy to understand or appreciate.
Example: The professor made his lectures accessible to all students.

Meaning: To place things in a straight line or in agreement.
Example: The teacher asked the students to align their desks properly.

Meaning: Described or marked by a particular quality.
Example: Her art is characterized by bright colors and abstract shapes.

Meaning: Adds to or improves something to make it better.
Example: The green scarf complements her red dress nicely.

Meaning: The complicated parts or features of something.
Example: The complexities of learning a new language can be challenging.

Meaning: The ability to do something without wasting time or resources.
Example: Improving efficiency in the factory will reduce costs.

Meaning: Makes something better or improves its quality.
Example: Traveling enriches your understanding of different cultures.

Meaning: Providing value or improving quality.
Example: Reading books can be an enriching experience.

Meaning: The basic or most important part of something.
Example: The essence of good friendship is trust and understanding.

Meaning: To encourage the development or growth of something.
Example: The school aims to foster creativity in its students.

Meaning: Encouraged or developed.
Example: The team fostered a positive working environment.

Meaning: Encouraging or promoting the growth of something.
Example: The company is fostering innovation among its employees.

Meaning: The process of combining or bringing together.
Example: The integration of technology into classrooms has improved learning.

Meaning: Involving active participation or communication.
Example: The new museum has many interactive exhibits for kids.

Meaning: Very close and personal.
Example: The couple shared an intimate dinner by candlelight.

Meaning: A country ruled by a king or queen.
Example: The United Kingdom includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Meaning: Having importance or purpose.
Example: The charity work gave her a meaningful sense of purpose.

Meaning: Relating to the Middle Ages (about 500 to 1500 AD).
Example: The castle is a perfect example of medieval architecture.

Meaning: Not extreme; average in amount or intensity.
Example: The weather was moderate, not too hot or too cold.

Meaning: Shared between two or more people.
Example: They have a mutual interest in music.

Meaning: Things provided for others to choose or use.
Example: The restaurant’s menu includes a variety of vegetarian offerings.

Meaning: The highest point of something.
Example: The athlete reached the peak of her career after winning the gold medal.

Meaning: Relating to the study of ideas about life and knowledge.
Example: They had a long, philosophical discussion about the meaning of life.

Meaning: Very deep or intense.
Example: The book had a profound effect on how she viewed the world.

Meaning: Changes made to improve something.
Example: The government introduced new educational reforms.

Meaning: A place where someone lives.
Example: Her official residence is in New York City.

Meaning: Related to an area where people live.
Example: They moved to a quiet residential neighborhood.

Meaning: The range or extent of something.
Example: The project was delayed due to the large scope of the work.

Meaning: Only or single.
Example: He was the sole survivor of the plane crash.

Meaning: Covering or extending over a period of time or distance.
Example: His career, spanning 30 years, was full of achievements.

Meaning: Caused something to start or happen.
Example: The speech sparked a lot of interest among the audience.

Meaning: Related to an area near or outside a city.
Example: They bought a house in a quiet suburban neighborhood.

Meaning: Describing an area outside a city where people live.
Example: Suburban life is often quieter than living in the city center.

Meaning: Providing encouragement or help.
Example: Her family was very supportive during her illness.

Meaning: Against or in contrast to.
Example: The final match will be England versus France.

Meaning: Full of life, energy, or color.
Example: The city has a vibrant art scene with many galleries and museums.

Meaning: The state of being happy, healthy, and comfortable.
Example: Regular exercise is important for your physical and mental well-being.


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The Expert and Presenter

About the Author

About the Author

CEO and Co-founder of Juice Academy

Mehdi Safavi is a Cambridge certified English teacher (CELTA Grade A), IDP-trained IELTS expert, Sussex Downs College TESOL with 17+ years of teaching & teacher training experience. More about him →


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