Band 9 IELTS Speaking

Hi everyone.

Today we will look at Speaking Part 1.

Below is a list of questions that are related to our theme of transport. Do not review these questions until you are ready to begin, as it is important that you should practice responding to questions without any preparation.

Subscibers to The IELTS Guy will be submitting their response for review, so have a recording device ready to use.

Once you are ready, begin recording and read out the first question below, and then provide your ®response, as though you are interviewing yourself. Continue through to the end of the questions (there are 11 in total).

OK, so let’s begin.

Today I would like to ask you some questions about transport.

What are the most popular modes of transport in your home town?

What mode of transport do you normally take to get to school/work/ or shopping?

How long does the trip normally take?

Have you ever had any problems during the journey?

What kind of public transport services operate in your home town?

How good are the public transport services in your home town?

Do you think public transport services should be privately owned? Why?

Is traffic congestion a problem that you encounter?

What do you think are the main causes of traffic congestion?

What do you think might improve traffic congestion?

How well do the police in your country enforce road laws?



As always, feedback and comments are welcome.

Good Luck!



Band 9 IELTS Listening



Hi everyone.



Our Listening exercise today is also based on the multiple-choice question format.

As we did in the Reading exercise, review each of the questions carefully and highlight key words and phrases. Pay close attention to the percentages in Question 5, as you will be looking for one of those figures to be mentioned. Remember that the questions are ordered sequentially, so you will hear the section relevant to Question 1 first. Keep the questions in front of you as you listen, and note down as many answers as possible.

The reading passage runs for around six minutes, which means that not every part of the reading will relate to a question. Listen for the keywords that will indicate when a topic relevant to the next question has begun.

Ok, so let’s begin.
The recording below is a reading of an article published by the Brookings Institution on traffic congestion. Listen to the recording and answer questions 1-6.


1. In the United States, the majority of people seeking to travel during rush hour use:

A. Private vehicles

B. Trains

C. Buses


2. America’s basic traffic problem is that:

A. The road system is outdated

. The road system in overly complex

C. The road system cannot cope with peak hour loads


3. One of the problems with charging road tolls is that:

A. They do not reduce congestion

B. They are too expensive to collect

C. They favour wealthy drivers


4. Building more roads is not an effective solution because:

A. People would simply buy more cars

C. It would be too expensive

There is no room for more roads in our cities.


5. In the United States in 2000, what percentage of all commuters travelled by public transport?

A. 10.3%

B. 8.4%

c. 4.7%


6. The only way to manage excess demand for roads during peak hour is to:

A. Provide better public transport

B. Build more roads

C. Have people wait in line




Band 9 IELTS Writing Exercise

Hi everyone.

Our Task 1 Writing exercise is based on the two pie charts format.

For this type of question, look carefully at the charts and the heading. In particular, try to identify any important similarities and differences between the two charts.

Your essay should have four paragraphs:

1. A short introduction where you paraphrase the question.
2. An overall summary where you identify main trends and features. This will be three or four sentences.
3. A paragraph where you focus on one of the trends, and examine in a little more detail
4. A paragraph where you focus on a different trend or feature in a little more detail.

There is no need to write a conclusion for a Part 1 essay.

Ok, once you are ready we can proceed.

The charts below show the primary means of commuting to work used in Melbourne, Australia. Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Write at least 150 words.

Good Luck!


IELTS Charts

Band 9 IELTS Reading Exercise


Hi everyone

Our theme for this week’s exercises will be transport, a topic that features regularly in IELTS exams.

To assist with today’s reading passage, as well as with the other exercises later in the week, we have prepared some vocabulary exercises based on 78 words. Click on the following link, and complete the multiple choice questions to check your knowledge. There is no need to submit the answers for review – this is a self-check exercise.

Once you have completed the vocabulary review, you are ready to begin the Reading exercise.

This week we are practising the multiple-choice format. Before you read, look through the questions carefully, underlining any key words. This will help you to identify the relevant sections of the reading passage. Don’t forget that the questions are sequential, so the order of the questions matches the order that you will find them in the passage.

If you are unsure about the answer to any question, leave it and move on to the next question. You have completed all the questions that you can you can come back and review any unanswered ones.

There is no need to submit your responses for this exercise, as we will publish the correct answers at the end of the week.

You should typically spend about 20 minutes reading the passage.

OK, so let’s turn to the reading passage.

Read the following passage and answer the following six questions.

Choose the correct answer; A, B or C.


1. As adult populations increase:

A. People use more public transport

B. Pollution levels rise

C. People want their own personal transport

D. Road maintenance becomes more important


2. Authorities often fail to convert single lane roads into:

A. Dual carriageways

B. Railways

C. Highways

D. Freeways


3. Congestion almost always occurs:

A. When traffic accidents take place.

B. When people are travelling to and from work

C. When weather conditions are poor

D. When there is a lack of infrastructure


4. People would be less inclined to drive their cars if:

A. The cost of petrol was too high

B. They were aware of the impact of pollution

C. They lived closer to their workplaces

D. If buses were available


5. Commuters are often forced away from public transport by:

A. High fares

B. Crowded trains

C. Poor timetables

D. Frequent breakdowns


6. The main causes of congestion are people’s desire to drive cars and:

A. Weak infrastructure

B. Government’s failure to act

C. Population growth.

D. Narrow roads


Cities like New York, London, and Paris have all had to deal with thousands of cars running through their streets each day. Traffic congestion is a big problem for everyone within the city. The main reasons why traffic congestion occurs are more cars, poor road management, and poor practices on behalf of employers.

One of the main reasons why there’s more congestion is due to more cars on the road. The adult population is increasing and therefore more people want their own personal transport to get around with. As the number of cars increase the chance of congestion also increases. It’s why in smaller towns and villages congestion is almost unheard of.

This is coupled with a lack of proper infrastructure. Councils and national governments fail to act on the looming threat of heavy congestion until it happens. The city doesn’t expand along with an increasingly car reliant population. A single street with a lane on each side before might not suffice in ten years after the population has increased. Authorities often fail to convert this into a dual carriageway.

Alternate routes are also a problem. Cities have limited capacity to expand due to poor funding and planning restrictions preventing building on green belt spaces. Cities are forced to work with the routes they already have. If they can’t increase the number of lanes it leads to congestion.

Employers can also play a part in dealing with congestion. Congestion almost always happens when people are travelling to and from work. Traffic congestion has eased in recent years as a result of growing unemployment and the introduction of more flexible work hours.

By adhering to the traditional 9-5 routines, there’s a greater chance of congestion. Everyone has to travel to and from work at the same time each day.

A lack of public transport, or poor public transport options, will also cause problems. If there isn’t enough buses, trams, or local trains people are forced to take their cars to work. The ratio of passengers to vehicles decreases, whereas if they were able to take the bus people would feel less of a need to drive their cars.

In many places, commuters are forced away from public transport by the private companies which run them. Increasing fare prices, especially on the trains, make driving a car with its associated high fuel costs cheaper than public transport. By pushing people back to their cars again they only exacerbate the congestion problem.

In conclusion, congestion is mainly caused by a desire for people to drive their cars coupled with a failure by local government to act. If they invested in more affordable public transport options and a better infrastructure the incidence of congestion would decrease in major cities.


Good Luck!



Band 9 IELTS

Hi everyone.

This week marks the start of a really exciting new venture for The Ielts Guy.  I have teamed up with Ben McBride from IELTS For You to offer a new, intensive monthly IELTS training program with daily exercises, mock tests, live feedback sessions, grammar tutorials – everything that you would ever need to achieve a high IELTS score.  If you like to learn more, please message me or contact Ben on his Facebook page at

My daily lesson schedule will continue as usual.  This week, in celebration of the new IELTS 9 programme, I will be posting some samples of the Band 9 Exercises that I have prepared.  The theme will be transport.

On Tuesday I will post a combined Vocabulary lesson and an IELTS Reading Exercise.

On Wednesday I will post a Task 1 Writing Exercise, using two Pie charts, and explaining how to approach such questions.

On Thursday I will post an IELTS Listening Exercise, with instructions on listening strategies.

On Friday I will post an IELTS Speaking Exercise on the transport theme.

rcise will be a recording of me reading another article related to family.  You will be asked to match headings.

If you have registered with The IELTS Guy, you will receive suggested answers by email over the weekend.

If you have subscribed to The IELTS Guy, you will receive personalized feedback on your responses.

As always, feedback and comments are welcome.

Good Luck!