IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 Question Types: Closed Questions

IELTS Speaking Test
Part 1 Question Types:
Closed Questions

Part 1 of the IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 features 12 Questions on 3 different topics.

In the past, topics have ranged from Chocolate and Mirrors to Shoes and Magazines, so preparing for these random and oddly specific topics can be challenging. But don’t worry, you don’t have to practise every single topic in the under the sun in order to be ready for the exam.

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Video Lesson: IELTS Speaking Skills – It Depends

Video Lesson: IELTS Speaking Skill:
“It Depends”

Many students consider Part 1 of the IELTS Speaking Test the easiest part. This questions are often very simple and very direct. 

For example:

  • What do you do in your free time? 

  • Do you like shopping? 

  • How often do you see your friends? 

But do you sometimes find these IELTS questions too simple? 

As in, you can probably think of 2 or 3 different answers. You want to impress the examiner, you want to show off as many English skills as you can, but you might feel like the question is too simple to do that.

In these situations, you can say: “It depends.”

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The Basics: “Well, it depends.”

“It depends” can be an answer all by itself, without any chances or additions. It also works as a great hesitation device, which means it also gives you some extra time to think.

What do you usually do at this time of the day?

“Well, it depends. At this time of the day during the week, I’m usually driving to my office. But at the weekend, I’m probably still asleep!”

Do you usually have a lot of homework from university?

“Hmm, it depends. In the weeks and months leading up to my final exams, I don’t get much homework because my professors just tell me to revise for the test. But during the semester I usually have a lot to do.”

In these examples, I used “It depends” to explain two different possible answers. I also used ‘But’ to start explaining my second option. 

You can get even more specific though.

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The Next Step: “It depends on…”

Do you like exercising outdoors?

“It depends on the weather. I really like jogging through the park when it’s sunny outside, but if it’s windy or rainy and cold then I will just exercise at home.”

Do you prefer staying in or going out at the weekends?

“It depends on my mood. When I haven’t seen my friends for a while and I want to catch up with them, I’ll definitely go out and meet them. But if I had a stressful week at work, I would prefer to just unwind and chill out at home.”

You can use specific nouns (the weather / my mood) to share more details with the examiner.

Don’t forget, take advantage of the simple, short questions in Part 1 to score some grammar points. In these examples explained my two different options with “But if…”. so that means I used Conditional Sentences, (If it’s windy…If I had a stressful week…), the Present Perfect (I haven’t seen my friends…), and But to create a complex sentence – all of these are high-band techniques!

Here are some common collocations:

  • It depends on the weather

  • It depends on the time of day / the time of year

  • It depends on the occasion

  • It depends on my mood

  • It depends on my schedule

  • It depends on my friends

Big Points: Relative Clauses

Last but not least, you can use Relative Clauses, such as: Who – What – When – Where 

  • You can talk about People with: It depends on who…

“It depends on who I’m with. With my parents, I would visit some museums and parks. With my friends though, I would rather relax on the beach.”

  • You can talk about Objects / Ideas / Activities and Actions with: It depends on what…

“It depends on what my family wants to do. At Christmas, sometimes we all meet at my grandparent’s house, and other times we meet at my aunt and uncle’s house. It changes every year.”

  • You can talk about Time Periods with: It depends on when…

“It depends when I travel. During summertime, plane tickets are more expensive, but in the winter they are usually much cheaper.”

  • You can talk about Places with: It depends on where…

“It depends on where I go shopping. At the supermarket I can buy cheaper food, but at the local market things are fresher and better quality.”

So when can I use this again?

Use this whenever you can think of two or more different answers to very simple questions. 

It’s especially useful to use with these kinds of Part 1 Questions:

  • Do you like…?

  • Do you think…?

  • Do you usually…?

  • How often…?

  • How long…?

  • Are people…?

Don’t forget, you also use this phrase in Part 3 of the IELTS Speaking Test. Part 3 questions are more difficult, and there are lots of different answers you can give. So use “It depends” there as well!

Have a look at the Part 1 examples in the video below! If you have any questions, or if you want to write your own answers, go ahead! Happy learning!

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IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 Question Types: Personal Preferences

IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 Questions and Answers Personal Preferences

IELTS Speaking Test
Part 1 Question Types:
Personal Preferences 

Often, there are 12 IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 questions on 3 different topics.

Rather than practicing for every possible topic and question, it’s easier to study the types of questions that you’ll see in Part 1. That means you can practice by yourself, and you can create your own questions without any professional help.

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 IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 Questions & Types:

Below, I’ve provided questions about Personal Preferences. I’ll help you with grammar tips, example answers and standard vocabulary to help you feel confident that your answers will help you improve your score!

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Personal Preferences: What do you like?

Here, I will guide you through the different parts of this question in this next audio clip along with how to answer this type of question. Notes and extra examples are below:

This is one of the most common types of Part 1 questions – it is a very open question, and can be about any topic. Here is the sentence structure a lot of native speakers would use:

“I (don’t) like (verb+ing)…”

For example:

  • I like trying new recipes in my kitchen at home.

  • I love watching football at the weekends.

  • I like hanging out with my friends after work.

  • I don’t like waiting in long lines at the airport.

  • I hate getting stuck in traffic when I drive to work.

If you want to be more specific with your answer, you can use adverbs like:

  • I really hate flying

  • I actually like taking the bus

  • quite enjoy being busy during the week.

  • just like watching TV and relaxing at the weekends.

Here are some more example questions and answers using these questions types and this grammar:

IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 Questions with Examples

What do you like to do when you’re on holiday?

 

Kat: I actually like going on guided tours, it’s really easy to get around the city or the area that I want to go to and I can learn a lot about about a new country with a guide who speaks my language.

Mark: Actually I usually just like to sun-bathing on the beach and reading a book. I love doing absolutely nothing on my holidays. I just love listening to the ocean and falling asleep. It helps me unwind, and I can just forget about work.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Mark: I love walking my dogs. I like to go on really long walks with them and it helps clear my mind. There’s a really big forest behind my house, so usually in the afternoons I take my dogs out there. And we go on walks for about an hour or so and come back.

Kat:  After work I usually end up chilling out in front of the TV or my laptop – streaming videos or movies or Netflix on my laptop. I love to cook, but I really don’t have much free time to cook, so I end up usually just getting take-out or something delivered to my house.

Extra Practice – IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 Questions

Here are some extra practice questions you can practice by yourself:

 

What do you like to read?

What do you like to watch on TV?

What do you like to do with your family?

What did you like to do when you were at school?

What did you like studying when you were at school?

Want even more IELTS Speaking Test Practice?
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Facebook IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 Questions and Answers Personal Preferences

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IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 Question Types: Time and Frequency

Facebook IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 Example Questions and Answers

IELTS Speaking Test
Part 1 Question Types:
Time and Frequency

The IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 features 12 Questions on 3 different topics.

These topics can be hard to predict in the IELTS Speaking. In the past, I’ve seen questions from Chocolate and Mirrors to Shoes and Magazines. But don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you have to practise every single possible IELTS topic you can imagine in order to be ready for the exam.

Free IELTS Mini Course IELTS Speaking Test

A much easier way to prepare is by familiarising yourself with the IELTS Part 1 Question Types.

IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 Question Types:

With this knowledge, you can even make your own questions to practise talking about a specific topic, or to simply get comfortable with IELTS Speaking questions.

Below, I’ve provided questions about Time & Frequency. I’ll help you with grammar, and you can feel confident that your answers will help you score higher.

Try out your new skills with an IELTS Teacher Online here:
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Time & Frequency: How long have you…?

Mark will guide you through the different parts of this question in this next audio clip along with how to answer this type of question. Notes and extra examples are below:

The grammar can be tricky for this one. It’s best to start your answer with:

  • I’ve been doing it for….

  • I’ve been working there for…

  • I’ve been studying there since…

‘For’ is used with Numbers and Amounts

  • For 2 years

  • For 10 months

  • For the past 5 years

  • For a few minutes

Here is an IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 example answer for:
“How long have you been working at your current job?”
I’ve been working for Kim’s Legal Firm for about 6 years.

She’s been with the company for 2 or 3 months.

‘Since’ is used with Specific Dates: Names of Days, Months,  and Specific Years

  • Since Tuesday

    • names of days

  • Since April

    • names of months

  • Since 2012

    • specific year, not an amount of years

  • Since the 1st of June

    • specific date

  • Since my birthday

    • specific day

Here is an IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 example answer for:
“How long have you been working at your current job?”
I’ve been working for Kim’s Legal Firm since June 2011.

Other examples:
He’s been studying in Berlin since last month.
I guess I’ve been working there… actually I remember, since March 2nd, since my sister’s birthday.

‘Since’ is also used with Sentences

  • Since I was a kid

  • Since I moved to this city

  • Since high school / university

    • Since (I was in…) high school

    • ‘I was in…’ is implied

I Used to… and what you did Before

You can easily add more detail by explaining what you used to do before. Like this:

Here are some IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 example answers for: “How long have you been working at your current job?”

  • I’ve been working at Kim’ Legal Firm since June 2011. I used to be an intern there until I got offered a full-time position.

  • I used to work in a cocktail bar before I found my first IT job. Now I’ve been working for CityBank for about 4 years.

  • I’ve been working at my current job since 2008. I joined the company right after I graduated university.

  • I worked as a server for about 4 months, but then I realized it wasn’t for me, so now I’m a teacher, full time, and I’ve been doing that for 3 years now.

Here are some IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 example questions and answers:

How long have you been studying for?

Kat: I’ve been studying here for about 4 years now. I got my bachelors degree from another university, but I actually decided to study here because they have much more modern facilities and I really appreciate that with what I’m studying now.

Mark: I’ve been working on my PhD since 2013, and I’m currently in my final year of studies. I used to work for a pharmaceutical company, but I decided to go back university,  and that experience has helped me a lot. I think all that experience in the field has made studying a lot easier.

How long have you been working at your current job?

Kat: I’ve been working as teacher for about 4 years now, but I’ve worked for many different companies in the past. I got my first marketing job in 2009, yeah 2009, and I stayed there for only about a year. Then I worked for another company as an intern and then finally I decided I really wanted to be a teacher, so I stopped marketing and I’ve been teaching ever since.

Mark: I’ve been working in telecommunications since 2012. I graduated with a master’s degree from Mexico City University and I spent almost 4 months as an intern trying to get my foot in the door. And eventually they offered me a full-time position and now I am the manager of my own team. So I think I’m gonna stay there for a while longer and see how high can get within the company.

Here are some more IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 example questions:

How long have you been studying?

How long have you been working there?

How long have you been working at your current job?

How long have you been doing that for?

Want even more IELTS Speaking Test Practice?
Check out our FREE IELTS Speaking Test E-course here:
Free IELTS Mini Course IELTS Speaking Test

IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 Example Questions and Answers

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