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Part 1 of the IELTS speaking test


Part 1 of the IELTS speaking test takes 4 to 5 minutes. The examiner will ask you questions about personal or familiar topics, such as your hometown, travel, food and your free time. Here are some example questions (you can find more in the practice tests section):

  • Do you enjoy traveling?
  • What’s the climate like in your country?
  • Is there anything you dislike about using a mobile phone?

In Part 1, the examiner will normally ask you between 9 and 12 questions from three different ‘categories’. For example, you might be asked 3 or 4 questions about the weather then 3 or 4 questions about computers and the internet, then 3 or four questions about sport.

There are a lot of rumours on the internet about how long you should spend answering each question in Part 1, and that’s OK to give short answers in this part of the test. This is NOT TRUE. Although the examiner will not let you talk for too long on any question (they need to ask you at least 9 questions in a maximum of 5 minutes), you should aim to keep talking until the examiner asks you to stop or asks the next question.

In Part 1 of the IELTS speaking test, you are expected to use an informal level of vocabulary and a lot of intonation (make your voice move to sound interested, excited, surprised etc).


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