IELTS Speaking Part 1 Pen And Pencil recent topic: Sample answers to the questions asking about a pen or a pencil are meticulously composed on this post. Get ideas on how to talk about pencils and pens citing some types such as graphite pencils or fountain pens or ballpoints. Study the sample answers to the four questions and achieve your target band score or even aim for a band 9.0! Good luck!









Do you usually use a pen or a pencil?


(Answer 1)

As an artist, I often use pencils than pens because they’re ideal for sketching. Most of the time I use graphite pencils whenever I sketch or draw, however, I sometimes use grease pencils for drawing especially when I need to draw in broad strokes without getting finicky. 

(Answer 2)

Oh wow, that’s a surprising question! Actually, I don’t use any of them lately as I don’t have any opportunity to use one. I’m a digital nomad so most of the time I use my laptop or tablet computer to write or sign some documents – as you know, digital signature is common nowadays and for me it’s more convenient than using a pencil or a pen.


(Answer 3)

I usually use the latter most of the time. As a student, I need to jot our lessons down on my notebook. And there’s no way I can do that quickly if I use the former. That’s the most convenient way to take down notes. 




Sketch [verb] – make a rough drawing

Graphite pencil [noun] – another term for lead pencil; a kind of pencil that is used for writing or drawing with a thin graphite core that is embedded in a wooden or plastic shell

Grease pencil [noun] – a kind of pencil that is made of grease colored with a pigment especially used for marking glossy surfaces

Finicky [adj.] – requiring a great attention to details

Digital nomad [noun] – a person who uses telecommunications technologies to earn a living and works remotely

Digital signature [noun] – an electronic type of signature that encrypts documents with digital codes in order not to easily get duplicated

Latter [adj.] – last mentioned; second mentioned; second of the two

Jot something down [phrasal verb] – to write quickly on a piece of paper

Former  [adj.] – first mentioned; opposite of latter

Take down (notes) [phrasal verb] – to write down




i.) ANSWER 1: Here, the speaker talked about his profession as an artist which is a very good way to start his answer. By doing that, he’s able to use some topic vocabulary words about pencil in his answer. Also, if you notice, he mentioned some specific types of pencil in relation to his profession that helped him express his answer in extraordinary way. 


ii.) ANSWER 2: The speaker expressed his surprise of the question. That is really good and natural! Then, he gave a negative answer to the question and provided a clear explanation. He also shared about his profession as it’s the main reason why he didn’t use a pen or pencil in his everyday life. Because of that, he’s able to use advanced vocabulary words which is surely helpful to get a better mark in the criterion, Lexical Resource. 


iii.) ANSWER 3: The speaker gave a non-traditional answer which is stating the specific subject of his choice, instead, he used the expression ‘the latter’. This kind of expression is really good to use when you are given choices. Try using ‘the former’ or ‘the latter’ expression!


Which do you prefer using a pen or a pencil?

(These answers are independent from the previous answers to the first question So these are not related to what the speaker said in the first question.)


(Answer 1)

Well, I need to sign some pertinent documents at work every now and again, so I usually use a pen. We aren’t allowed to use a pencil for signing because it can be altered or changed. 


(Answer 2)

I’m always for convenience so I use pens more often. As we know, using a pencil for writing is a bit of a hassle since you need to sharpen the tip of it when it becomes blunt over and over again and doing so is a waste of time. 




Pertinent document [noun] – a very important document such as finance document, contract, tax, and the like

Alter [verb] – to change something

Hassle [noun] – inconvenience 

Blunt [adj.] – not sharp



i.) ANSWER: The speaker immediately talked about his responsibility at work which is signing documents, then gave his choice of answer. That’s a good alternative of answering that kind of question than starting his answer with “I prefer/I choose”… Make sure to be flexible when answering questions. 


ii.) ANSWER 2: The speaker chose a pen and then gave his main reason – convenience. Then, he talked about the inconvenience of using a pencil to extend his answer a little bit longer. It’s a great way to express his answer longer. 


When was the last time you bought a pen or a pencil?

Well, I’ve just bought this morning because I had to take the three sections of the IELTS exam  and I needed to use a pencil . Seriously, I bought 4 pieces of pencils since I was really anxious that I may break one or two during the exam. I wanted to feel secure so having extra pencils was the best assurance I could give for myself, and that helped me stop from thinking of problems that I might encounter while taking the exam.




Anxious [adj.] – worried; fearful

Secure [adj.] – free from worry

Assurance [noun] – self-confidence

Encounter [verb] – experience



i.) The speaker talked about his experience – his reality of taking the IELTS written exam. This helped him sound very realistic and natural. With this kind of answer, the examiner would surely realize how confident and comfortable the speaker was in using the English language.


What do you think if someone gives you a pen or a pencil as a gift?


(Answer 1)

Without a doubt, I’d be astounded most especially if I get a Parker fountain pen. You know that kind of pen costs an arm and a leg, so I don’t think I can contain my happiness if I get one. But anyway, I don’t mind if the pen is not expensive, the fact that the person gives me a present is what I care the most.  


(Answer 2)

For me that’s a strange present to give, I’ve never tried giving a pen or a pencil as a present to my loved ones or friends. However, if I could receive one, I would be glad and grateful. Well, I always believe that it’s the thought that counts!



Without a doubt [phrasal verb] – indisputably

Astounded [adj.] – surprised

Fountain pen [noun] – a pen with a reservoir or cartridge from which the ink flows continuously to the nib

Cost an arm and a leg [idiom] – very expensive

Can’t contain one’s happiness [idiom] – cannot hide one’s happiness

Strange [adj.] – weird; unusual

It’s the thought that counts [saying] – used to say that the good or kind intentions are the most important thing, even if the material you give is not perfect at all



i.) ANSWER 1:  The speaker described his feelings right away and provided an example of a particular type of pen. He equipped his answer with very good expressions that would help him express his answer naturally. 

ii.) ANSWER 2: Here, the speaker stated his opinion first about having pens or pencils as a gift. Then, he transitioned by expressing his feelings if he could receive that kind of gift through using a conditional tense. That’s really helpful in making his mark in Grammar & Accuracy high.  Also, he ended his answer by stating a very good saying. It’s a great way to end his answer!


Learn how to answer the RECENT IELTS SPEAKING PART 1 TOPIC ABOUT RUNNING on this link

And that’s all about IELTS Speaking Part 1 Pen And Pencil recent topic! Now that you have good ideas on how to answer this topic, develop your confidence and make sure to answer these questions strategically. You can surely ace your exam!


Meanings of Words and Phrases Sources: 1, 2



Best of luck to your exam! Be Natural! Breathe Confidence!


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