HOW TO ANSWER IELTS SPEAKING QUESTIONS PART 1

HOW TO ANSWER IELTS SPEAKING QUESTIONS PART 1 (INTERVIEW)

In the IELTS Speaking Part 1, the questions are quite simple, direct and should be easy to answer because they are about familiar topics. Even though this is the case, it is not always true that it is easy to get a high score in this part of the test. It is important that candidates understand the format and structure of the questions and how to properly answer each of them.

WHAT HAPPENS IN PART 1?

The first part of the IELTS Speaking Test is designed as an Introduction and Interview portion. In summary, here is what you should expect from this part:

  • The examiner is going to introduce himself/herself to you, the candidate
  • The examiner is going to ask your complete name
  • The examiner is going to ask for your Identification Card and will verify your name/identity
  • You will then be asked general questions about familiar topics (about yourself), such as whether you work or you study, or where you live
  • You will be asked another set of general questions such as your hometown, your hobbies, the food you like or dislike and others.

HOW LONG DOES PART 1 LAST?

This is the shortest and easiest part of the Speaking exam. It lasts about 4-5 minutes

WHAT ARE THE COMMON TOPICS IN PART 1?

Some of the most common topics are:

  • Your home and your neighborhood
  • Your school or study
  • Your job/work
  • Your interests and hobbies
  • Your country
  • Films
  • Books
  • Festivals and Celebrations
  • Music & Arts
  • Transportation
  • Clothes
  • Your family, Childhood, and Friends
  • Food
  • Computer and the internet
  • Weather and Climate
  • Sports, Entertainment, and Leisure

HOW TO PREPARE FOR SPEAKING PART 1

  • Make a list of the most common topics (which we have listed above)
  • Learn related vocabulary to talk about such topics
  • Learn helpful phrases to express yourself such as linkers (although, unless, however and many other)
  • Collate sample speaking questions in part 1. There are tons of examples you can find online and in IELTS practice books. We have gathered Part 1 Sample Speaking Questions here.
  • PRACTICE by answering sample speaking questions. During my IELTS preparation, I recorded myself using my laptop camera. After that I watched and listened to how I did.
    • Things you need to check in your recording are:
      • Your pronunciation (did you pronounce the words correctly?),
      • Clarity (did you understand what you said, was the meaning clear?)
      • Eye contact (did you maintain a good eye contact with the examiner while you were speaking?). This is important because it somehow indicates your confidence
    • Be aware of verb tenses commonly used in this part of the test. Because you will be talking about past events, your routine, your likes or dislikes and present situation in your country and general facts, you will be using the present simple and past simple tense of the verb often.

HOW TO ANSWER PART 1 SPEAKING QUESTIONS?

  • Listen to the examiner’s questions very carefully. This is essential because you need to ensure that your answers are related directly to the question.
  • If you did not understand the question, you may ask the examiner to repeat the question or confirm your understanding by rephrasing it.

Example 1: Examiner: “What do you do?”
Candidate: “Do you mean my current job?”

Example 2: Examiner: “What do you do in your leisure time?”

Candidate: “I’m sorry, but could you please explain what you mean by “leisure time?” (the examiner can use similar words to further explain what the phrase mean)

  • Provide full answers to each of the questions. It’s good to give direct answers, but it must not be too short or too long.

Example: Examiner: “Do you like shopping?”

Candidate: “Yes, I do love shopping, especially shoes and clothes.”

                 Suggested answer: “Yes, I do love shopping. I especially like to go with friends during holidays when there are a lot of discounts and promotions for shoes and clothes.

  • It is better to express a lack of opinion about the topic rather than keeping silent or say nothing. Remember that you are assessed on your ability to express yourself with grammar accuracy and a wide range of vocabulary. So if you do not have any idea about the topic, you can answer the question with honesty.

Example: Examiner: “What is your country’s traditional dance like?”

Candidate: “I’m afraid I am not keen on my country’s traditional dance as I am more into contemporary performance art. I have not seen it performed not heard about it recently. It could be that it is still taught in schools, but I am afraid the tradition might eventually die soon.”

To sum it up, the best way to get a high score in IELTS Speaking Part 1 is to provide full answers to each of the questions by:

  • Providing at least two general pieces of information as a direct response to the question;
  • Providing supporting piece of information in order to showcase your ability to comprehend what was being asked.

Examiner: “What is your country’s traditional dance like?”

Candidate: “I’m afraid I am not keen on my country’s traditional dance as I am more into contemporary performance art. I have not seen it performed not heard about it recently. It could be that it is still taught in schools, but I am afraid the tradition might eventually die soon.”

Now, it’s your turn to practice. We have a collection of Common IELTS Speaking Questions about different topics which you can access free. Feel free to leave your comments, questions or suggestions.

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