In a previous post, you watched a video of a former IELTS examiner advising you to organise your answers and make them clear. In today’s post I’m going to show you a simple way to organise your answers.
Now you cannot answer every type of question in this way, but the format that I’m going to teach you may help you to answer certain kinds of questions — questions which ask you to give a list of points or reasons, for example:
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of the Internet?
- What do you think are the benefits of working at home?
- What are the disadvantages of travelling by car?
- Why do people travel?
- What is there for a visitor to do in your home town?
Before we answer anything, let’s study a few useful connectors:
|Talking in general||on the whole, generally, in general|
|Ordering your ideas||firstly, first of all, secondly, what's more, on top of that, finally|
Here is a simple approach for answering questions 1-5:
MAKE A GENERAL STATEMENT > ORDER YOUR POINTS
As an example, let’s look at a possible answer to Question 2:
On the whole, I think working at home has a lot of benefits. Firstly, you don’t have to travel to work every day. On top of that, if you have children you can take care of them while you work. What’s more, …
If we use the same format to answer Question 5, we could say :
I think there are a lot of interesting things for visitors to do in my town. First of all, there are plenty of old monuments and buildings worth seeing like the old Buddhist monastery. On top of that, we have lots of places of entertainment and some of the best restaurants in the country.
Another advantage of this format is that the first statement of the answer will give you a little time to think about what to say next. However, as I wrote above, you can only use this approach for certain types of questions.