Cambridge IELTS 8 Sample Speaking Answers | neighbours, questionnaires and surveys

The following sample IELTS speaking answers are in response to the IELTS Speaking test questions in Test 1 of Cambridge IELTS practice tests 8. Remember, there are many ways to answer these questions and these are just some examples of possible answers.

IELTS Speaking Questions : Neighbours / Questionnaires / Surveys

How well do you know the people who live next door to you?
I know them quite well because we’ve lived beside each other for a couple of years now. The people who live to the right of me, well, it’s a family with young kids, and on the other side there’s a young couple, I guess they’re in their thirties, but no kids.

How often do you see them? [Why?]
Well that depends. Sometimes I see them almost everyday when I’m at home, but I travel a lot for work so sometimes I’m away for three or four days at a time so I don’t see them at all. I suppose I see them more at the weekends than any other time.

What kinds of problem do people sometimes have with their neighbours?
I suppose the most common problems would be noisy neighbours, you know, maybe playing loud music all the time or doing something else that’s annoying. Maybe if they have a dog which barks all the time that could cause a problem for the other neighbours, or if you have neighbours whose kids keep kicking their football into your garden or something like that, or parking in your parking space for example.

How do you think neighbours can help each other?
I think it depends if they are good neighbours or not, but in general they could possibly help when you have a problem, for example: if you lock yourself out of your home or if you need someone to be there to accept a package delivered when you’re out or even watch your kids for a couple of hours.

Describe a time when you were asked to give your opinion in a questionnaire or survey. You should say:
  • what the questionnaire or survey was about
  • why you were asked to give your opinions
  • what opinions you gave
and explain how you felt about giving your opinions in this questionnaire or survey.

Generally I hate doing surveys, but I did do one a couple of months ago. It was about the use of internet services. I was asked to participate in the survey because I had just had a new internet package installed in my apartment and was a new customer for the comapny. Well, that’s the reason that they gave me anyway.

They did the survey by internet, like live chat so at least they didn’t stop me in the street or come knocking on my door and disturbing me. In fact, that was the main reason I agreed to do it, because it just happened to be convenient. The girl from the internet company asked me some questions about how I used the internet: for pleasure, for work etc. and also when I used it the most, you know, during the day, at night or at the weekends.

She also wanted to know how happy or satisfied I was with the sales service and installation service of the company. So I guess I spent about fifteen minutes or so explaining to the girl about how and when I used the internet, why I had chosen that particular company and that specific internet package and all that, and that I had been impressed by the quick installation of the equipment and that I was very happy overall with their service.

Like I said before, I don’t like doing surveys or questionnaires in general, so I usually avoid them, but because this time I could do it while sitting at home and I could also choose when to do it, it wasn’t a problem, and they didn’t try to sell me anything like some of these survey companies do. So all in all it wasn’t so bad and it didn’t take up much time, so I’d probably do it again if they ask me in the future.



What kinds of organisation want to find out about people's opinions?
Well, I think lots of organisations do surveys to find out what people think about different things. There are groups that ask you your opinion about the environment, or local government services and of course politics, but probably the most common are the large manufacturing companies who want to learn what people think about their products or services. Almost every weekend you can see them in supermarkets and shopping malls armed with their questionnaires ready to ask people lots of questions.

Do you think that questionnires or surveys are good ways of finding out people's opinions?
Well, it’s one way of doing it, and I think a questionnaire or survey is a good idea because companies should know or be aware of what customers or potential customers think or how they feel about something: it’s an essential part of their market research. I think the problem for many people is the way they go about it. They always stop you and try to ask you all these questions when you’re busy doing something else or when you’re out with your family at the weekend. I think they should maybe try to find less intrusive ways of finding out what people think. There are many surveys on the internet now, especially through the Facebook page of a company and I think these are more popular for many people than being stopped outside a store or on the street and asked if they would like to answers a few questions.

What reasons might people have for not wanting to give their opinions?
I think the most common reasons would be that people just aren’t interested, or they’re busy or they just can’t be bothered at the time when they are asked. Let’s face it, when you’re out shopping or just walking along the street the last thing on your mind normally is answering some questions about a product or service. I also think that maybe a lot of people think that there is an ulterior motive for the survey or that they will be persuaded to buy something.

Do you think it would be a good idea for schools to ask students their opinions about lessons?
Well, it would certainly be interesting wouldn’t it? I mean asking all the students what they thought – you’d be sure to get some very interesting answers. Yes, I think it is a good idea, because in any other aspect of life organisations are interested in what the customer or end user thinks and feels about their product or service, and in the case of schools it’s the students who are consuming the service provided, but nobody really seems interested in finding out what they actually think of it.

What would the advantages for schools be if they asked students their opinions?
I think the main advantage could be that schools or education departments could get a better insight into what students think about the education they receive, what they expect, and just how well received or not the supposedly carefully designed education curriculum is by the very people who use it. I mean, it’s common sense that students won’t enjoy something if they don’t find it interesting and if they don’t think it’s interesting then there’s little chance of them actually learning it, or learning it well. I think that finding out more about how students think could help authorities improve how they deliver education services. I mean it’s not as if they have to change everything, but I’m sure they could certainly make some improvement based on students’ reactions.

Would there be any disadvantages in asking students' opinions?
Well, I’m sure that some students would just say they don’t like things or they do like things and wouldn’t be able to quantify or justify their answers and if it’s the education authorities who ask the questions they may well get some answers from the students that they don’t like, but then that’s all part of the process. It’s what they do with that information that’s important, how they filter it and if they act upon it. As I said, just because they’re only students doesn’t mean that their opinions shouldn’t be sought.  After all, it could only make things better if their answers were taken into account when planning future education changes or curricula.

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