IELTS Speaking Topic: Concentration – Questions, Model Answer and Vocabulary. The topic of Concentration is common in IELTS speaking and can appear in part 1, part 2 and part 3.  Below you will find a list of Cue Cards about this topic for Speaking Part 2 followed by useful vocabulary and a model answer. I’ve also added questions for part 1 and part 3 as well so that you can prepare fully for this topic.

Concentration Cue Cards for IELTS Speaking Part 2

Something that helps you concentrate at work or in your studies

You should say:

  • what it is
  • how you use it
  • how it helps you concentrate
  • how you feel about it

A method that helps you focus

You should say:

  • what it is
  • when you use it
  • how it helps you
  • whether you like it or not

Something that helps you remember things

You should say:

  • what it is
  • how often you use it
  • how effective it is
  • how you feel about it

A time when you struggled to concentrate

You should say:

  • when it was
  • what happened
  • how you reacted
  • how you felt about the incident

A time when you forgot something important

You should say:

  • when it happened
  • what happened
  • how you responded
  • how you felt about it

Someone you know who is very focused

You should say:

  • who it is
  • how you know this person
  • in what way they are focused
  • what you think of the person

A job that requires a high level of concentration

  • what the job is
  • what tasks are involved in it
  • why concentration is so important
  • and whether you think this is a useful job

Ideas & Vocabulary for Concentration Topic

In Speaking Part 2, it can be difficult to decide what to talk about for your topic. It’s important that you choose something easy to talk about that you are familiar with. This way, you will easily be able to expand your talk with extra details from your own memory or feelings. Below are a list of ideas and vocabulary of what to talk about for the topic of a method of concentrating or something that helps you concentrate. I’ve underlined useful language for you.

  1. Ear plugs or noise cancelling headphones
    1. Many people find that using ear plugs helps them focus on the task in hand without being distracted by surrounding noise.
  2. Eliminate distractions
    1. Getting rid of things that distract you from concentrating, such as closing down unused programs or personal social media on your laptop, removing files from your desk, clearing away mess etc. Some people are more easily distracted by such things than others.
  3. Go for a walk or take a break
    1. Taking some time out often helps clear brain-fog. It can give you a fresher perspective and more energy.
  4. Create an hourly plan
    1. Sometimes having a schedule can help you concentrate and get things done on time. Being more focused usually leads to higher levels of concentration.
  5. Set an alarm
    1. Setting regular notifications on your phone to ping helps remind you of what you are supposed to be focusing on.
  6. Distraction blocker apps or focus apps
    1. These apps can block incoming calls, messages pinging and prevent you accessing any website pages until the time you set has expired. Focus apps are designed to reward you if you focus on one task and give punishment if you switch to other apps or tasks during the time period set.
  7. Have a to-do list
    1. Having a clear list of tasks you must complete will help you focus as you tick them off one by one. This way you will be less preoccupied with things hanging over you and can work through them systematically.
  8. Multitasking
    1. Many people find doing more than one task at a time can save time, but others find it lowers their performance and ability to concentrate.
  9. Set deadlines for yourself
    1. Doing this gives you the drive to get things done and not fritter your time away.
  10. Avoid social media
    1. Time seems to disappear when people go on to social media and can lead to shorter attention spans in the long run.
  11. Drink water
    1. One of the main reasons people start to struggle with concentration is because they are dehydrated. Drinking water refreshes your mind and helps you focus. It is usually more effective than drinking caffeine.

Model Answer for Concentration Topic: IELTS Cue Card

The model answer below offers you another option for tackling the topic of concentration problems. I’ve again underlined useful language. Notice how I use a range of tenses and even manage to add some past tense and future forms even though the cue card is in the present – this is a very good way to boost your grammar score.

A method you use to concentrate

You should say:

  • what it is
  • when you use it
  • how it works
  • and how you feel about it

Model Answer

One great way that I ensure I can concentrate at work is by taking some time out for mindfulness. I know it probably sounds strange, but it really works. I find that my concentration starts flagging usually around 3pm after having eaten lunch and I also struggle to focus sometimes when I am overloaded with work. When I first started my job, my performance at work really dropped at those times. But having just a short break of just 15 mins to revitalises my body and mind through mindful breathing and creating a bit of peaceful space around me works wonders. Other people at work seem to take a break and spend their time gossiping, eating junk food or just stressing about unfinished tasks. But I use my short break to go for a short walk alone to clear my head and do some deep calm breathing. With a fresh mind, I can return to my work and tackle things in a more logical order without getting flustered.

Another aspect of mindfulness is having a clear work space. The more cluttered my desk is, the more overwhelmed I feel with tasks. It’s like everything gets on top of me. So, I make sure to take time to regularly clear my desk, check my task list and keep things organised. This creates a peaceful work environment which helps keep my mind focused on the task in hand.

But I know that everyone has their own methods. My friends says that the best way to focus in a busy office is to use noise cancelling ear plugs which help cut out ambient noise that can be very distracting. Another friend of mine found that by improving their sleeping and eating habits, they increased their ability to concentrate and were more attentive to smaller details. So, I guess everyone is different and you need to find what works best for you.

Model Answer Feedback

This answer doesn’t necessarily tackle each of the prompts on the cue card one by one. That’s ok and is acceptable in IELTS speaking part 2. It also offers multiple methods which isn’t asked for in the cue card. It also introduces methods used by others rather than just the speaker. This is all 100% fine and it’s a great technique for lengthening your talk. IELTS Speaking part 2 talks can be adapted as long as you stick to the main topic which in this case is “concentration”.  This model answer is packed with incredibly natural, high band score vocabulary and expressions. It also contains a lot of topic based vocabulary which is important for the examiner to hear. Whatever your topic, the examiner will be looking for vocabulary relevant to that topic. This answer also contains various grammar tenses, a comparative statements, superlatives and a wide range of sentence structures.

IELTS Speaking Part 1 Concentration Questions

  1. Do you ever struggle to concentrate?
  2. How do you improve your concentration?
  3. Did you struggle to concentrate at school? Why?
  4. What kinds of things makes it hard to concentrate?
  5. Do you think older people struggle to concentrate more than younger people?

IELTS Speaking Part 3 Concentration Questions

  1. Do you think technology has impacted our concentration?
  2. Do you think people concentrate better now than in the past?
  3. Do you think modern technology can be intrusive?
  4. What methods are there to improve someone’s concentration?
  5. How could employers help their employees concentrate more?
  6. Are there any jobs that require more concentration than others?
  7. Can exercise impact concentration?
  8. Why do some children struggle to concentrate in class?
  9. Can teachers do anything to help children concentrate better?

I hope you found this page useful. If you wish to learn more about IELTS Speaking, go to the main Speaking page on this website for tips, topics and model answers: IELTS Speaking Main Page. All main sections of this website are found using the RED Menu Bar at the top of the website.

All the best



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