IELTS Speaking Part 1- Sample Question And Answers

The IELTS Speaking Part 1  lasts for about 4 – 5 minutes. The format is the same for tests in Singapore as it is for other parts of the world. The examiner will ask questions based on personal information and everyday topics. These are all topics that you will be familiar with. For example: your hometown, the area you live in, travelling, studies, work, job experience, spare time, activities, family, and friends. While there is no set list of question types for the IELTS speaking test, there are some kinds of questions that appear more often than others. In this article we will take a look at the different kinds of questions you can be asked in the IELTS speaking test part 1 as well a few sample questions and sample answers. I will also give you a few tips for your IELTS speaking preparation so that you can get your desired band score.

We will take a look at:

  • Types of’ question
  • Description questions
  • Habits question
  • Likes/dislikes questions
  • Future/hypothetical questions

‘Types Of’ Question

In this type of question you will be asked to mention the names of different details related to a particular topic. The examiner will not be interested in the actual content of your answer, so avoid merely listing different types of things. They will actually be listening out to check your ability to describe things that you are familiar with. For this kind of question its important to use sequential linking words, as these indicate that you will be speaking about more than one ‘type’ for example firstly, secondly lastly etc.

This question is often worded as

  • Which kinds of articles do you most like?
  • What games are popular in your own country?
  • What sort(s) of food do you like to eat?

Sample answer:

Q. What types of music do you like to listen to?

Ans. Actually, I usually enjoy listening to a wide variety of music, but there are three kinds in particular that I listen to regularly. I suppose the one that I am the fondest of is Pop music. I often start off my day by listening to the classic pop songs of the 90s and 80s, while I’m on my way to work. Another genre that I truly enjoy is dance music, which I listen to during my workouts. Last but not least, I like to wind down at the end of the day by playing something that is soft and soothing like Rnb or Jazz.

Description Questions

In this type of question, you will be asked to describe people, places or things that are often from your personal experiences or childhood. For these particular questions its important to mention the most significant or ‘stand out’ feature of the thing you are asked to describe first.

This question is often worded as

  • Tell me about your hometown.
  • Describe your hometown.
  • Tell me about your best friend at school.
  • Tell me about your secondary/high school.
  • Tell me something about the people you work with.

Sample answer:

Q. Tell me about your hometown?

Ans. Well, these days it’s a bustling hub of activity. There are many businesses and bustling markets in the heart of the city. However, in the old days, it used to be a much quieter and relaxed town. I think it was the perfect place to grow up because it was full of parks and family orientated spaces.

Likes And Dislikes Question

In this type of question, you will be asked to talk about your preferences. Remember the tense that you use depends heavily on the wording of the question. For example if you are asked about something you like right now, then you would use the present tense. If you are asked about your likes or dislikes in the past, then you would use the past tense.

This question is often worded as

  • Do you enjoy travelling?
  • Do you like to have flowers in your home?
  • Do you enjoy buying gifts for others?
  • Do you enjoy the advertisements on television?
  • What do you dislike about your school?

Sample answer:

Q. Do you enjoy buying gifts for others?

Ans. That’s a tough question to answer because I love to spoil my family and friends with gifts as a token of my appreciation for them. However, I do not enjoy the actual act of shopping. To be more specific, I find that shopping is quite time consuming and, since I have a busy schedule, it’s not really something I would waste my time on. Luckily, I’ve discovered that online shopping is a much faster alternative and there are sites which don’t skimp on quality. So to answer your question, I do love to buy gifts for others, but I don’t enjoy spending hours and hours of my time doing so

Habits Question

In this type of question, you will be asked to talk about your routines or habits. It is useful to talk about the frequency with which you perform certain activities.

This question is often worded as

  • How do you usually spend your weekends?
  • Who normally does the cooking at home?
  • How often do you watch TV?
  • How often do you go out with your friends?

Sample answer:

Q. How do you usually spend your weekends?

Ans. Well, on a typical weekend I tend to just spend time with my family. I usually help my mother around the house. I might even help her out with grocery shopping and preparing the meals and then afterwards, we may watch a movie together, as a family.

Later in the day, I try to spend some time reading or planning what I need to do during the coming week.

Future / Hypothetical Question

In this type of question, you usually will be asked to talk about events or activities that you might experience or do, in the future. The examiner is listening out in particular for the use of modal verbs (would, could, might) and the use of conditionals.

This question is often worded as:

  • Would you like to live in another neighbourhood, town or city?
  • Do you think you will watch more TV or fewer TV programmes in the future?
  • How much travelling do you hope to do in the future?

Sample answer:

Q. Would you like to have a job working with animals?

Ans. Well, quite honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever thought about that, but I guess in general although I do like animals, I don’t think I would ever work with them. Specifically, because I think it would be very physically demanding to be responsible for their well – being. I also believe such jobs require great patience, which is something I, unfortunately, do not possess.

Jonathan has been teaching students to prepare for the IELTS and PTE Exams for more than 10+ years. He's taught English to students in various countries in the world including Singapore, China, Australia, Canada and Colombia.