IELTS Skill That Took A Long Time Learning: Below are the sample answers in IELTS Speaking Parts 2 & 3 talking about a particular skill that took a long time to learn. Learn how to develop a story and discuss your answer clearly.





Describe a skill that took you a long time to learn

You should say:

What it was

When you learned it

Why it took you so much time

And how you felt after learning it


A N S W E R 


I love learning and oftentimes I challenge myself to spend time learning something new in my life. Although I’m a lover of learning, still there were times that I feel like giving up learning. I guess it’s human nature to feel that way when something is really difficult.



Give up [phrasal verb] – surrender

Human nature [noun] – the general characteristics, feelings, and traits shared by all humans



i.) The speaker began her story by giving the examiner an idea of what she’s like. Also, she expressed his feelings about learning and this will make the examiner think how hard the speaker experienced in learning a particular skill. This is a good way to start the story since you will be able to express more – you’re able to showcase your English communication skills even more.


Let me tell you about the time when I learned how to drive. A few years ago, I made up my mind to enroll in a driving school so that I could learn how to operate a car and for me to be independent of my husband. During those times, I felt sorry for my husband since he always sent me to work even though he’s incredibly busy with our business. At that time, I couldn’t give up my job as a civil servant since I had a contract with our local government to render my service for 5 years. I couldn’t use any public transportation since the office was just way too far from our home. Because of that, I made the decision to learn to drive. I enrolled in one of the best driving schools in town and started to learn how to drive a manual transmission car.



Make (made) up my mind [phrase] – to decide

Render [verb] – give; provide

Way far [expression] – another term of very far

Manual transmission [noun] – an automotive transmission that consists of a system of interlocking gear wheels and a lever that enables the driver to change gear manually


i.) This part the speaker introduced the skill she learned that took her a long time to learn. Then she gave background information as to why she needed to learn that skill. This way she’s able to develop her story smoothly because of the substantial information she provided.


My first few days were incredibly unthinkable since I was having a hard time coordinating my hands and my feet. I didn’t pay so much attention as to when I had to shift gear. In addition, the use of clutch always made me confused most especially when I was driving on an upward slope. My car oftentimes got stalled and it’s nerve-wracking to me since I couldn’t immediately understand what my instructor had taught me. What made me feel more anxious was when my engine stopped in the middle of the road and some cars behind me started to honk their horn. I really lost my self-esteem when I was under those circumstances.


Incredibly [adverb] – to a great degree

Unthinkable [adj.] – unimaginable

Coordinate [verb] – synchronize

Shift (gear) [verb] – change

Clutch [noun] – a mechanism for connecting and disconnecting a vehicle engine from its transmission

Stall (ed) [verb] – to stop running

Nerve-wracking  [adj.] – anxious; stressful

Anxious [adj.] – worried

Honk (sth) horn [expression] – if you honk the horn of your car you produce a short sound of your car


i.) On this part the speaker provided a detailed story that would best describe her struggles in learning or acquiring that driving skill. This is the most important part of the story as this answered the Wh-questions about a skill that took a long time to learn.


ii.) If you notice the speaker used a variety of topic words related to cars and driving on this part. This is essential as this impresses the examiner, it simply shows that your vocabulary knowledge is wide. This helps you get a better mark in the criterion, Lexical Resource.


In our country, 30 hours is the minimum number of hours to obtain in learning how to drive before we can take an exam, but it took me more than thirty to fully understand how to drive a car in manual transmission with so much confidence. There were times that I wanted to stop learning but I couldn’t accept failure. So I decided to keep going – thanks to my instructor for his words of encouragement and for his unwavering support, not to mention his immeasurable patience. I owe so much to him and I couldn’t be happier with my achievement.


Keep going [phrase] – to continue moving forward

Words of encouragement [expression] – words to motivate someone

Unwavering [adj.] – firm; fixed; steady

Not to mention [phrase] – in addition

I owe (you) [expression] – is said to thank someone for giving a hand

Couldn’t be happier [expression] – be very happy



i.) On this part, the speaker provided supplemental details of the previous part. This is also important as this will help kill the time – making you talk even more while there’s still time. As much as possible talk more, use the 2-minute time given to you wisely.

ii.) The speaker ended her story by expressing her gratitude and her feelings which is the answer to the question about what she felt after learning. This is a very good way to conclude a story.





What kinds of skills require so much time to learn?


I believe there are many skills that need ample time to learn but let me tell you about driving and language skills.

As I have previously mentioned, driving is a skill that is never an easy thing to master as it is considered lifelong learning. People need to spend time learning not only how to operate the car but also in memorizing the traffic rules and at the same time developing mental alertness. A skillful driver must be well aware of what is happening around his vehicle and also knows how to predict what other drivers will do to prevent accidents. And mastering that skill needs a lot of time.

Also, learning a language is another skill that demands time since one has to learn a variety of vocabulary words, understand the grammar rules to correctly construct sentences, enunciate the words clearly in order to deliver his message accurately and to be understood.

These two are the best examples of skills that need a huge amount of time to acquire.



Ample [adj.] – enough; more than enough

Lifelong learning [expression] – it is the process of gaining knowledge and skill all throughout one’s life

Alertness [noun] – attentiveness; quickness

Enunciate [verb] – to pronounce clearly



i.) The speaker started his answer by acknowledging that there are many kinds of skills that may take a long time to learn, then he mentioned only two skills as his answer to the question. Do this kind of technique whenever you have already specific ideas in mind. In this way, you will be guided accordingly on how to develop your answer.

ii.) Right after the speaker introduced his answer, he then discussed each skill one by one thoroughly. This is needed to make his argument stronger as to why these skills take a long time to learn. Finally, after explaining the two skills, he formally ended his answer by confirming that those skills are a good example of skills that need so much time to learn. You should always end your answer properly, do not just stop discussing without a proper ending or conclusion.



Does one need to be patient to learn a new skill? Why or why not?


Yes definitely! If one wants to learn something new or develop a new skill and be successful in obtaining that new skill, there is no doubt that he has to be patient. Learning always comes with patience. The absence of it does not make a person develop a better version of himself since learning and being patient go hand in hand.

So, if we want to achieve something new in our respective lives, we have to understand the value of patience and internalize it for us to succeed.



Obtain [verb] – get; acquire

No doubt [phrase] – doubtless; without a doubt

Come with something [phrasal verb] – go together

Go hand in hand [idiom] – two things are closely connected or related

Internalize [verb] – to accept or absorb


i.) The speaker gave a straight to the point answer then provided a situation to explain his answer better. He used the conditional tense (if+present) to exemplify his answer which is very clear to the part of the examiner.

ii.) The speaker ended his answer by providing his realization about the value of being patient. This makes his answer well-thought.


Why are some people unwilling to learn new skills?


I suppose some people are not risk-takers or just simply afraid of trying something new in their lives. We cannot deny the fact that learning a new skill takes so much time, money, and effort. For some people, they want to have a hassle-free life, they do not want to get out of their comfort zone. Leaving the comfort zone is frightening for some and that stops them from learning new skill sets.

However, I believe in this digital world and this era of globalization one should motivate oneself to learn at least one new skill in order to get an edge over someone most especially when finding a better job.




Risk-taker [noun] – refers to a person who is willing to take a risk

Hassle-free [adj.] – without any problems

Get out from the comfort zone [expression] – to try something that is beyond one’s limit

Frightening [adj.] – making someone afraid or anxious

Skill sets [noun] – a person’s range of skills or abilities

Digital world [expression] – internet era

Globalization [noun] – the process by which businesses and organizations develop with the influence of international setting

Get the edge over someone [idiom] – to get an advantage over someone



i.) The speaker started his answer by using ‘I suppose’, this is an alternative way to say ‘I think’. Try your best not to use ‘I think’ all the time in your answer – vary it as much as possible.


ii.) The speaker simply explained the main reason why some people are not interested in learning a new skill. He talked about the real situation – the attitude of those kinds of people. Then he ended his answer by giving his opinion about why it is essential to learn a new skill. A very good way to end his answer.


Do you think learning a language takes a long time?


In my opinion, it does not take a very long time especially if one learns it by heart. What I mean by that is, when a person has constant motivation and diligence in learning, a year or two would be enough to make him an intermediate language learner.

For example, if a language learner is not studying passionately or not spending any effort to study often, then it is highly likely that it would take him many years to become a fluent speaker of the language. However, if one spares a good amount of time and focuses on his dream to be communicative with the language that he is studying, without any doubt he would make it in a short span of time.

With that being said, an effort is a benchmark when becoming a good communicator of a language, not the number of years being spent on learning.



Learn by heart [phrase] – to learn something thoroughly

Diligence [noun] – attentiveness; careful and persistent work

(High) likely [adverb] – high probability

Spare [verb] – afford to give to; provide

Without any doubt [expression] – to have no doubts

A short span of time [expression] – a little amount of time

Benchmark [noun] – standard


i.) The speaker did not give a direct ‘NO’ answer, instead, he expressed his negative answer in his own words by stating a situation to support his negative answer.

ii.) The speaker then mentioned an example by using the comparison technique. In this way, the speaker was able to explain each point in a balanced way and that surely impressed the examiner. He then ended his answer by stating that it is not the number of years that would make a learner become a good communicator but it’s the effort. This kind of conclusion is an intelligent one as it summarized all the things being explained.



And that’s all about the topic, A Skill That Took A Long Time Learning! Now that you have an idea on how to develop your answer, be confident expressing yourself when you get this topic on your exam. Ace your exam!




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