IELTS Energy 443: IELTS Speaking Part 1: Caps, Hats and Rats

ielts speaking part 1 caps hats

Today you’ll hear us talk about questions in IELTS Speaking Part 1: caps and hats.

There are some odd questions in IELTS Speaking Part 1, such as those about mirrors, chocolate, or, today’s topic, hats.

We received this email from a listener:

My biggest fear regarding IELTS is the Speaking test. The concern is about words I might not know or understand during the test. It has already happened to me the first time I took the test. The examiner asked what my thoughts are on hats and caps. The problem was that I understood ‘rats’ instead of ‘hats’ and the question made no sense.

What a misunderstanding!

IELTS Speaking Part 1 question: Do you often wear a hat or cap?

Sample high-scoring answer from Lindsay:

Ways this is an 8+ answer:

  • Specific, personal example: the Camino de Santiago
  • Specific vocabulary: mesh, extreme sun protection
  • Organized naturally

 

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IELTS Speaking Part 1 question: Did you wear a hat or a cap as a child?

Sample misunderstood answer is given by Jessica.

(I heard ‘rat’ instead of ‘hat’.)

Jessica tried to roll with it, even though it made no sense to her, and kept talking. She spoke about a specific time when a rat ran across her face.

To avoid going off-topic, you should stop and say, “Did you say rat? Because that makes no sense.” And then the examiner would clarify and repeat the question.

Use our honesty policy at all points on the Speaking Exam!

Sample high-scoring answer from Jessica:

Ways this is an 8+ answer:

  • Specific, personal example: late 1980’s, elementary school
  • Specific vocabulary: brief hat phase, super fashionable, horrendous, perm, braces
  • Organized naturally

The message today is that you need to trust yourself on all parts of the test. If you think a question doesn’t make sense, ask for clarification. Also, in Reading and Listening, if you think your answer doesn’t make sense, or is illogical, change it!

As long as you prepare in an organized and effective way, you will go in with confidence and be able to trust yourself.

What do you think of today’s answers?

Share your own answers about hats and caps in the comments section below!

 

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  • 3 KEYS helps you treat misunderstanding by asking for clarification. Doing real stunts when facing a major off-topic crisis with impressive icebreakers. Clear the air before it’s too late.