Let’s look at some IELTS Speaking Test samples with answers to give you an idea of how long your answers should be. In Part 1 you are asked simple questions about yourself and everyday topics. There are 3 topics in Part 1, with 4 questions in each. The first topic is either about what you do (work/study) OR where you live now / your hometown.
IELTS Speaking Test Samples with Answers: Part 1 – The First Topic
First, I’d like to ask about what you do. Do you work or are you a student?
“I’m working at the moment.”
What is your job?
“I’m an English teacher. Currently, I teach students how to prepare for English language exams like IELTS.”
Do you like your job? (Why? Why not?)
“Yeah. My students are really motivated to do well and improve their skills, which helps me to stay motivated too. Also, it can be challenging to find the best ways to teach each skill, so I enjoy trying out different teaching methods in class.”
Do you get on well with your colleagues? (Why? Why not?)
“Yeah, that’s definitely one of the other things I like about my job. I work in a small language school and all the other staff are very friendly and get on well with each other. I think that’s really important in terms of enjoying what you do.”
Is there anything you don’t like about your job?
“Well, I wish it paid more. That’s definitely one thing I’d like to change! Also, I have to work late sometimes and at weekends. Sometimes I wish I had a more regular schedule.”
The other possible first topic is where you live. Let’s have a look at some IELTS Speaking Test samples with answers for this one:
First, I’d like to ask about where you live. Do you live in a house or an apartment?
“I live in a house. It’s pretty small, one bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathroom.”
What do you like most about your house? (Why?)
“I like the area it’s in. It’s just outside of town, so it’s fairly quiet but still easy enough to get into the center and not too far from work.”
Do you think you will live there for a long time? (Why? / Why not?)
“Well, I’ve already been there for about 5 years – which I’d say is a long time, and I don’t have any plans to move so probably a few more years yet. But I’m not sure about long term – we’ll see, I guess.”
What would you like to change about your house? (Why?)
“Ummm…..I’d like to have a bath! At the moment, the bathroom only has a shower and I miss taking long, hot baths in the winter, so that’s one thing I’d really like to change.”
OK, so that’s the first topic – don’t worry about this part of the test as it won’t affect your score much, just use it to relax and get talking. Next, we will look at some other common topics that might come up in Part 1, as well as some example answers.
Part 1 – The Second and Third Topics
In Part 1 of the speaking test you will be asked about three topics. The first is always what you do OR where you live. The second and third topics could be anything related to your daily life and personal experience. For example;
- Cold Weather
- Mobile Phones
- Newspapers and magazines
- Noisy Places
Note that this is not a complete list. The topics really could be just about anything. This is just to give you an idea of the kind of topics and types of questions that you will have to answer in Part 1. You should not try to memorise answers. It is very easy for experienced examiners to tell when candidates do this and will result in a low score. Instead, practice speaking questions with a friend – with them choosing the questions and you not knowing what you will be asked.
Now, let’s look at some IELTS Speaking Test samples with answers from two random topics. Remember, there will be four questions for each topic. If your answers are the right length (extended / detailed but not too long), then you should be able to answer all the questions within the time limit, which is for 4-5 minutes for Part 1. Here is the first example topic: Sport.
Now, I’d like to move on and talk about sport.
What are the most popular sports in your country?
“I’d say the most popular sports, at least for boys, are football, cricket and rugby, at least that’s what we played most of the time at school. For girls, I think it’s netball, hockey and maybe rounders, though I’m not sure about that last one.”
Did you learn to play a sport when you were a child? (Why? Why not?)
“Yes, like I said, we did a lot of football, rugby and cricket at school. Actually, it was mainly football, which we played every week. We just did a bit of rugby in winter, and a few weeks of cricket in summer.”
“Oh, we just had too. PE was one of the lessons at school, so I had no choice.”
Do you play any sports now? (Why? Why not?)
“Not really – I mean I don’t play any team sports. I do like to keep fit though – I go running and swimming every week, and go to the gym.”
“I think it’s important to try and stay healthy. And it’s also a good way to relax – especially swimming.”
Do you enjoy watching sport? (Why? Why not?)
“Not really. I mean I do sometimes when there’s a big game on or the world cup or something like that. But, not that often.”
“Well, it’s not that I don’t like it. It’s just that I usually spend my free time in other ways, reading, surfing the internet, watching movies or going out with friends. So, I just don’t have the time and I guess I’m just not that interested.”
One more example topic with answers: Noisy Places.
Now I’d like to move on and talk about noisy places.
Is the area where you live noisy? (Why? / Why not?)
“Umm…it can be during the day. There’s quite a busy road near my house so the traffic can get quite noisy. But it’s very quiet at night, which is great.”
How do you feel when you are in a noisy place? (Why?)
“I guess it depends on the place and why it’s noisy. If I’m at a concert then obviously I’m expecting it to be noisy and that’s a good thing, you know, it’s meant to be. But if I’m working or studying somewhere and it’s noisy because lots of people are talking or there are roadworks going on or whatever then I’d be annoyed, of course.”
Do you ever have to work in a noisy place?
“Yes, the school I work at can get quite noisy when there are lots of students there and when I’m teaching hopefully it is noisy because all the students are speaking to each other! – but usually the staffroom is fairly quiet, at least, it’s OK to work in.”
Do you think it is possible to relax in a noisy place? (Why? Why not?)
“Again, like I said before, it depends on the place and why it’s noisy. Like, I could be at the beach and it could be really noisy because of other people and the waves and other things but still be relaxing reading a book or just lying on the sand. But generally speaking it’s definitely easier to relax somewhere quiet like out in the countryside than it is in the middle of a busy city.”
That’s it. When you put all three topics together you get a complete Part 1 – which should be 4-5 minutes long. When you practice with a friend, time it. If you answer all the questions for three topics in 4-5 minutes then you know your answers are the right length.