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IELTS Speaking Test – A Historical Building

IELTS speaking test Melbourne, Australia | Part 1 questions

Here are the questions reported from an IELTS speaking interview in Melbourne.

What is your full name?

It’s Simone Javarovich

Can I see your ID?

Yes, here’s my passport.

Where are you from?

I come from Bulgaria originally, but I’ve been living here in Melbourne for the last six months.

Do you work or study?

I’m a student at the moment. I’m studying English. I used to work as a research analyst in Bulgaria.

Are you a morning or an afternoon person? Why?

I suppose I’m more of a morning person, probably because I like to wake up very early and do things while I feel fresh and when the day is new. In the afternoons I tend to feel less energetic, in fact sometimes I feel positively lazy, so I definitely prefer mornings.

Did you enjoy your high school? Why?

Yes, I suppose I did. I had a lot of good friends and some good teachers so it was a good time for me, although like many people I didn’t like doing the exams at the end of the year.

What was your favourite subject? Why?

I used to like history because it was about something different from the real world outside, if you know what I mean. It was like looking through a window into a different place and learning about the people at that time.

What subject learnt in school was helpful later in life? Why?

I could say all of them really. I mean, learning logical thinking through math, how to research things in history and write essays and reports and stuff like that are all skills that I’ve used in my adult life.

IELTS speaking test Melbourne, Australia | Part 2 question

Talk about a historical building in your country or city that you know. Please say:

  • What and where is it?
  • When was it built? Why?
  • What is it known for?

I’d like to talk about a building near where I grew up as a child…it’s called Assen’s Fortress. It’s about two kilometers away from Assenovgrad where I spent a lot of my childhood. That’s why I know it quite well. The fortress is located on a very steep ridge which overlooks the Assenitsa River. It was named Assen’s fortress by the local people following the national liberation of 1878. There is one special building within the fortress which is a church… it’s name is Sveta Bogoroditsa Petrichka and it was constructed in the 12th century… and I believe it’s now on the world heritage list of historical buildings because of its cultural and national importance.

The original fortress on the site was built by the Thracians as a stronghold for protection some time during the 5th – 4th centuries B.C. and it was a very busy and important site during the Roman and Byzantine eras. When they excavated the site they managed to uncover the walls of the fortress, the feudal lord’s castle and also some water reservoirs. The church though was the only building on the site which was really well preserved.

It has two levels, or floors, with a large dome with a cross on top and a wide antechamber… it’s a structure a bit like a porch, as well as a large square belfry located above it.

This church is famous in Bulgaria because of its incredible architecture, the decoration of the south facade, which was done using plastic, and also because of the remains of some unique 14th century murals.

I like the building because when I used to visit it I could imagine what it was like hundreds of years ago when people used to live there, and the view is quite impressive also.

IELTS speaking test Melbourne Part 3 questions

Is it important to conserve old buildings? Why?

Personally, I like old buildings and history so for me it’s a good idea to protect and preserve them. We can learn a lot about our history from the buildings of the past and it’s fascinating for children to see how people used to live many centuries ago. They are a very important part of our national culture and heritage.

Is the history useful for the coming generations? Why?

If people are interested in it, then it can be useful, yes. You can learn how the world was in the past, which countries had wars with each other and how and why cities developed where they did… and many other interesting things. Without history we wouldn’t have any sense of belonging to a place as people.

Maybe people many years in the future will look back at us in the 21st century and be amazed at the things we did and how we lived. They’ll probably have more than just buildings to study… they’ll be able to see cars, TVs and all the other things which make up life for us at the moment…so yes it could be useful for them as a way to understand what was happening in the world.

What is the difference between houses built in the past and now?

I suppose the main difference would be the type of materials used to construct them. Old houses used to be built using stone and they were also bigger than most houses built today. Most of the houses were built simply as somewhere to provide shelter and a degree of comfort. Nowadays, houses are built with a lot more planning and technology involved. They are designed to be energy efficient, use recyclable raw materials or eco-friendly resources and are designed to optimize space and their impact on the environment as well as provide a comfortable place for people to live.

What are the differences in sizes of houses? Why?

In general, I believe that houses today are smaller than houses which were built centuries ago. We also tend to build more apartments in cities than houses in the country so the size is quite different from before. Even large houses nowadays take up less space than a large house centuries ago.

Do you prefer a big or a small house? Why?

I like to have space, but it doesn’t need to be an extremely big house. I live in an apartment here in Melbourne at the moment and it’s really nice. I share with two other students and we each have our own room, there’s a kitchen and two bathrooms, a living area, a utility room and a balcony with a nice view. Really, that’s big enough for me. I wouldn’t want to live in a really big house, even if I could afford to buy one – but I wouldn’t want to live in a really small house either. Like I said, I prefer some space… I don’t like feeling cramped.


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