PART 1 IELTS SPEAKING TEST
Speaking
Preparing for the IELTS Speaking Test: Part 1

The IELTS Speaking test is designed to see how well you can communicate in English. There are 3 parts to the test, each part lasts for about 5 minutes and is important!  Today we are talking about part 1 - what it is and how to prepare for it. What to expect: The questions in Part 1 of the test are all about your life. When you enter the test room and sit down, smile and say, ‘hello’.  The examiner will ask you to say your name, check what country you come from and ask to see your identification. The examiner will then ask some questions about things like your hometown, job, studies, family and friends, hobbies, holidays, customs and tourism in your country and so on.  The challenge in Part 1 is to give answers that really show off your English rather than simple answers.  You could give a very short, simple answer e.g. Examiner: Are you working or studying at the moment? You: I’m working There is nothing grammatically wrong with this answer but there is nothing impressive about it either. Let’s try again. Examiner: Are you working or studying at the moment? You: I’m working as an architect. After graduating from university 2 years ago, I spent 6 months looking for the right job, finally I found it. I love my job because I get to travel all over the country and work on some really amazing projects.  Preparing for the test: DON’T memorise whole answers, instead brainstorm vocabulary for topic areas that might come up in part 1. Think about the questions someone might ask you about the topic if they were getting to know you. To extend your answers ask yourself ‘why’ after each question and add your reasons to your answer.  Here are some example questions with answers that I would give: Topic: HOME Examiner: Do you live in a flat or a house? My answer: live in a house. It is a semi-detached house that has 3 bedrooms, just enough for my family. I live there with my husband and children. I have lived in flats before and during that time I always wished I had a garden, now that I live in a house, I am lucky, I have a small garden. Examiner: What would you like to change about your home? My answer:I would love to convert my garage into an office so that when I work from home, I wouldn’t always sit at my kitchen table. I would love to have a bit more space as well, another bedroom and bathroom, so that friends could come and stay over, that would be great! Examiner: Did you live in the same place as a child? My answer: I didn’t live in this house when I was a child, but I did live nearby. I walk past my childhood home often and it always brings back really happy memories of playing with my sister on our bikes in the street outside. I am glad that my kids are getting to grow up in this neighbourhood too. (Click to enlarge) Download the topic list to help you practise for Part 1 of the test and why not share it with your friends so you can work on the answers together? Good luck!  Emma

Emma Cosgrave

7 April, 2020

Preparing for the IELTS Speaking Test: Part 1

PART 1 IELTS SPEAKING TEST

The IELTS Speaking test is designed to see how well you can communicate in English. There are 3 parts to the test, each part lasts for about 5 minutes and is important! 

Today we are talking about part 1 - what it is and how to prepare for it.

What to expect:

The questions in Part 1 of the test are all about your life.

When you enter the test room and sit down, smile and say, ‘hello’. 

The examiner will ask you to say your name, check what country you come from and ask to see your identification. The examiner will then ask some questions about things like your hometown, job, studies, family and friends, hobbies, holidays, customs and tourism in your country and so on. 

The challenge in Part 1 is to give answers that really show off your English rather than simple answers. 

You could give a very short, simple answer e.g.

  • Examiner: Are you working or studying at the moment?
  • You: I’m working

There is nothing grammatically wrong with this answer but there is nothing impressive about it either. Let’s try again.

  • Examiner: Are you working or studying at the moment?
  • You: I’m working as an architect. After graduating from university 2 years ago, I spent 6 months looking for the right job, finally I found it. I love my job because I get to travel all over the country and work on some really amazing projects. 

Preparing for the test:

DON’T memorise whole answers, instead brainstorm vocabulary for topic areas that might come up in part 1. Think about the questions someone might ask you about the topic if they were getting to know you. To extend your answers ask yourself ‘why’ after each question and add your reasons to your answer. 

Here are some example questions with answers that I would give:

Topic: HOME

  • Examiner: Do you live in a flat or a house?
  • My answer: live in a house. It is a semi-detached house that has 3 bedrooms, just enough for my family. I live there with my husband and children. I have lived in flats before and during that time I always wished I had a garden, now that I live in a house, I am lucky, I have a small garden.
  • Examiner: What would you like to change about your home?
  • My answer:I would love to convert my garage into an office so that when I work from home, I wouldn’t always sit at my kitchen table. I would love to have a bit more space as well, another bedroom and bathroom, so that friends could come and stay over, that would be great!
  • Examiner: Did you live in the same place as a child?
  • My answer: I didn’t live in this house when I was a child, but I did live nearby. I walk past my childhood home often and it always brings back really happy memories of playing with my sister on our bikes in the street outside. I am glad that my kids are getting to grow up in this neighbourhood too.
IELTS Speaking Topic List

(Click to enlarge)

Download the topic list to help you practise for Part 1 of the test and why not share it with your friends so you can work on the answers together?

Good luck! 

Emma

Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS - Recommended by Emma

Emma Cosgrave

Emma has been teaching IELTS for 20 years. She enjoys helping people to develop both their language skills and confidence.

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