One very good way to prepare is to practise different ways to talk about the future in IELTS speaking. This is because the examiner listens for the way you vary your grammar, not just if you make mistakes.
Step one – recognise the future question
The first step is to listen the question and realise what language you need to use. See these examples:
“What are your plans for the future“
“How do you think reading habits will change”
“Would you like to live somewhere else”
If you hear a question like this, you want to think FUTURE. The tricky one is probably the the “would you like to” question. It is of course about what you’d like but as you expand your answer you’ll normally be talking about the future.
Step two – use some basic variations – don’t “will” “will” “will”
English has many different ways to talk about the future. These are the most basic ones you must be able to use “will” “going to” and the present continuous form:
This is for perhaps when you haven’t thought about it much – it’s an instant decision.
“I’ll go to university next”
This is much more emphatic was we are using the long form and not the contracted form and so it may indicate a definite decision. This is one place where pronunciation can change meaning.
I will go to university next year.
Present continuous form
Don’t confuse this with the going to form below. Here the idea is that your plan is fixed – you already have your place. It’s almost like the present it’s so real.
“I’m going to university next year”
This is what you plan to do – you’re given it some thought. But plans can change!
“I’m going to go university next year”
Would like to
This one is slightly different – here you’re talking about what you’d like to do. It’s most useful of course for when you are asked “would like to” questions but you can use it more generally too.
“I’d like to go to university next year“
Step three – use more future words
In fact, there are loads of more ways of talking about the future. It’s not all about verbs and tenses. The words and phrases below are particularly useful s you extend your answer as a way of not repeating verb forms.
“My ambition is to go university next year”
“I intend to go to university next year/ My intention is to go university”
“My plan is to go university next year/I plan to go university next year”
Here you may use “will” or “going to”. Typically, we use going to when we have more evidence that something will happen. You can also at the same time add in other future words:
“I expect more and more people will only read on the internet.”
“It’s quite likely/The likelihood is that old-fashioned books will disappear”
“The internet is bound to change reading habits.”
“My prediction is that fewer people will read books”
This is a connected idea. Here you should ask yourself the question whether something will happen or whether it only may happen. I’d also suggest that if you use “may”, “might” or “could” , you will find that you have more to talk about – i.e. may not or might not.
People may only read on the internet
It’s possible/There’s a possibility that old-fashioned books will disappear
The internet will probably change reading habits/ It’s quite probable that ….
Look at these questions and decide how you would answer them using the future. Try to use different future forms as you extend your answer.
How do you think shopping will change in the future?
How do you plan to spend this weekend?
Will marriage become more or less popular in the future?
Would you like to study art?
What effect do you think technology will have on the way we work in the future?
Other lessons to help you
One key idea is that you want to vary your tenses. Perhaps the best way to do that is to vary them as you extend your answer. This lesson shows you different ways you can do that: