IELTS Speaking: a rule in your high school


Here is a recent IELTS Speaking Part 2 topic question:

Describe a rule in your high school
You should say:
    What rule it is
    Who made this rule
    When it was made
And explain your feelings about this rule

The following sample and comment are given by an IELTS instructor that I work with.

Here is his scripts:
When I was in high school there was a very strict rule requiring boys to have their hair cut to a certain length – in particular, I mean, to be specific, the hair had to be at least one inch above the collar. I was at a boys school so it didn’t apply to any girls. This was enforced by a teacher who had the job of walking around every Wednesday and checking boys’ hairstyles. I don’t know when the rule was made, but it was a very traditional school and it was a pretty old rule. I think it was standard for that kind of school. At the time, I didn’t like the rule because, like all the other boys, I really wanted to be, err, to have long hair. We thought that hair, long hair, looked good on men. This was in the 1970s when men all had shoulder-length hair and we were, arr, saturated with images of men with hair that was shoulder length or longer, – actors, pop stars, even the politicians.. If you look back now, you can see that all of the men at that time had quite long hair. Although the pictures look pretty daggy now, that’s how it was so…. At the time I thought it was an unnecessary rule, and I was mortified on the day when I was given a haircut when the teacher caught me with my hair being too long.. The school used to hire an army barber to come in and cut people’s hair if they were, uh, if they were caught breaking the rule.. At the time, the school used to talk about encouraging a polite attitude, error, encouraging a civilised attitude, but I didn’t respect that.


Notice useful expressions:
‘saturated with images of…’, . To be specific, ‘pretty daggy’, ‘mortified’ (= felt very embarrassed), ‘at the time’. Note my use of ‘pretty’ in ‘pretty old rule’ – native speakers use ‘pretty’ and ‘a bit’ quite often, so these expressions can make your descriptions much more natural

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