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IELTS Speaking Part 1 2023: Overview, Topics, Introduction Questions for IELTS & Answers

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International English Language Testing System (IELTS) has a section called the Speaking Test, which is separate from the reading, listening, and writing tests. The Speaking test is taken on a different date from the IELTS paper-based test and is usually taken on the same day as the IELTS computer-based test. 

The IELTS Speaking Part 1 involves a face-to-face conversation with the examiner. First, the examiner introduces themselves and then inquires about the identification of the candidate. Then the examinee has to speak for 5 minutes as per the questions asked. You will have to casually and honestly respond to these questions.

IELTS Speaking part 1

Overview of IELTS Speaking Section

Here, a candidate will have informal communication with the interviewer for about 11 to 14 minutes. Additionally, this test is divided into three primary sections –

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IELTS Speaking Part 1 2023: Overview, Topics, Introduction Questions for IELTS & Answers

IELTS Speaking Part 1

IELTS Speaking Part 1 is considered one of the easiest as it involves topics you already know. The questions are primarily about yourself, what you do, and where you come from. The topics and the vocabulary used are also familiar. 

IELTS Speaking Part 2

In this section, the candidate must give a speech on a particular topic by the Cue Cards. In this part, the examinee needs to speak for 2 minutes. Click here to learn about commonly asked and probable cue cards for the upcoming IELTS exam.  

IELTS Speaking Part 3

The examiner will ask questions about the topics covered in Speaking part 2. Please elaborate with examples in your responses to the questions.

IELTS Speaking Part 1 Common Topics and Questions

The common introduction questions for IELTS speaking part 1 based on categories are listed below. You can get an idea of these topics from the list, but you should refrain from memorising the answers because your speaking during the test should sound natural.

TopicsQuestions
About You– What is your name?
– Can I have your full name?
– What shall I call you?
– What is the meaning of your name?
– How can I address you?
– How important is your name to you?
– Have you ever changed your name? Why? Or why not?
– Why do people change their names?
– Do you currently work or study?
Study– Are you currently studying?
– What is your major?
– Why did you choose this subject?
– What is the most exciting part about your subject?
– What is the most interesting part about your course?
– Do you dislike anything about the course or the subject?
– What are your plans?
– How long does it take to complete this course?
WorkDo you believe in job satisfaction or better pay?
According to you, which skills are necessary to get a job?
How has technology impacted the way we work??
– Can you describe your job to me?
– How long are you doing this job?
– Why did you choose that job?
– Can you tell me one of your typical workdays?
– What is your ideal job?
– What are the things you enjoy about the job? And why?
– What do you think is the main attraction of your job?
– Are you willing to do this job permanently?
– Do you want to switch careers?
– What are your plans?
Accommodation or home– How long have you been a resident?
– What do you like in your current house?
– Which kind of residence would you most prefer to live in?
– Do you have a flat or house?
– Whom do you live with?
– What would you like to change about your home?
Childhood– Did you have a good time growing up?
– What is the first childhood memory you can recall?
– Did you have a large social circle during childhood?
– What do you believe is best for a child—city or country life?
Neighbourhood– Can you describe your neighbourhood to me?
– What are activities that you can do in your area?
– What do you like the most about your neighbourhood?
– How can your community be improved, and why?
– Do you prefer to live in the centre of your town or on the outskirts?
Internet– What impact can the internet have on how we live?
– Do you consider the majority of online information to be accurate?
– Do you believe that kids can use the internet unattended?
– Can people locate relatable information online?
Transport– What is the public transport service in your hometown?
– How did you come here today?
– How can public transport be improved?
– Should people use public transport more often? Why or why not?
Free time– What do you usually do during your free time?
– Why are you doing these things?
– How much time do you get every week for this?
– Do you have some other hobby or interest?
– Do you want to try some other activities in your free time?
– How has spending time in leisure changed over the years?
Reading– Do you enjoy reading books?
– What book have you recently read?
– What did you like about the book?
– Is there anything you disliked about it?
– What are the advantages of reading a book?
Travel– What do people do in your town during their free time?
– What places do you visit in your free time in your hometown?
– Do you prefer eating out in your free time? If yes, why so?
– What are your favourite places to eat out?
Sports– Which sport is most prevalent in your country?
– Which sport do you enjoy the most?
– How has people’s outlook on sports changed over the years?
Holidays– What do you do on holiday?
– With who do you usually spend your holiday?
– How will you describe a typical holiday?
– Are holidays vital to you? Why?
– Where would you go if you could go anywhere for a holiday?
– How do you feel travelling during holidays has changed over the years?
Shopping– How much time do you spend in a week shopping?
– Do you enjoy shopping? If not, why?
– Where do you usually go shopping?
– Why do you like that shop?
– Is there any problem related to shopping in your area?

How to practise IELTS Speaking Part 1

As the speaking test involves a face-to-face conversation with the interviewer, it is essential to practice beforehand. You can practice IELTS speaking part 1 with the following methods to get a high band score: 

1. Have an idea about the expected questions

You must be aware of the types of questions the examiner will ask. Read the questions listed above to get a fair idea, and try to practise answering them so you can speak clearly and calmly during the test. 

2. Record yourself

The primary step is to practise with a study partner. You can ask your study partner to interview the above questions and record them.

3. Evaluate 

It would be best if you listened to the recording you made to evaluate and note the areas for improvement. It’s crucial to concentrate on your weaknesses and make progress there.

4. Practise daily 

Focus on improving your grammar and vocabulary by speaking English daily. To speak freely throughout the test, you should also work on improving your English fluency.

5. Be prepared

Make sure you are prepared for the topics you might find challenging to speak about. The examiner is more interested in your confidence to talk than your knowledge of the topic. Also, understanding the test format and evaluation points will make a candidate scrutinise their mistakes. 

IELTS Speaking part 1

Tips to follow while attending IELTS Speaking part 1

A few tips to boost your IELTS speaking part 1 band score are: 

1. Be confident

Confidence is the key to getting a high band on the speaking test. Try to remain calm and approach the questions more like a discussion with a close friend rather than a test. 

2. Avoid using unfamiliar and long words

Using unfamiliar words disrupts a speaker’s natural flow, and there is a risk of mispronouncing those words. Additionally, using these words in the wrong context can affect the band score negatively. 

3. Take meaningful pauses

While speaking, a test-taker might need some time to think before answering a thoughtful question. To pause before speaking is normal, and candidates can use specific phrases like ‘that’s a good point or ‘let me think’, etc. 

4. Don’t memorise answers to the IELTS questions

Candidates might be tempted to memorise some common IELTS questions. However, this will hamper the natural speaking flow of a candidate, and the examiner can easily recognise these answers. So, rather than memorising, it is better to practise speaking beforehand. 

5. Use a range of grammar and avoid using fillers 

Candidates that show a range of grammatical use to express their words are more likely to score a higher band than others. Also, using correct and proper grammar is essential.  

Additionally, most non-native speakers use fillers like ‘umm’ and ‘like’ while speaking. A candidate should try to avoid these fillers to score high, as using fillers makes it difficult for an examiner to understand the ideas.

6. Avoid monotonous and extended answers 

Speaking at length might make a test-taker sound flat during IELTS speaking part 1. So, to avoid sounding monotonous, candidates are advised to emphasise certain words and use punctuation, which will make the conversation more engaging for the examiner.

Extended answers are also essential during the IELTS speaking part 1. As a candidate is marked on fluency in English, speaking short answers will make it difficult for the examiner to judge appropriately. 

7. Smile while speaking

It is normal to feel anxious before any exam. So, smiling while speaking can relax the nerves and help you speak clearly and fluently. Smiling will also make the conversation more engaging and friendly for the examiner.

8. Do not use Yes or No answers

Confidence is one of the essential variables taken into account during the IELTS speaking part 1 test. Avoid providing one-word responses because they will show you are not confident. Instead, maintain your composure and give detailed answers.

9. Answer all the questions 

Try to respond honestly and confidently. You can ask the examiner to explain a question if you need help understanding it because they are only testing your language abilities, not your subject knowledge. IELTS Speaking Part 1 is one of the easiest sections of the Speaking test.

Candidates need to focus on the above pointers, and they can score a higher band. It is important to remember to practice beforehand and not to memorise answers during speaking tests. 

Higher competition in foreign universities makes candidates aim for a higher yearly IELTS band score for IELTS speaking part 1. Thus, to compete with the most deserving students, you need to have a band score from the higher end. 

How to prepare for IELTS Speaking Part 1 with LeapScholar

If you are an IELTS aspirant planning to sit for the exam for the first time or at whichever stage of preparation for IELTS speaking part 1, you can join LeapScholar’s online IELTS classes to boost your preparation and get a high band score in the exam.

Trusted by more than 2.5 Lakh students, LeapScholar provides lifetime access to class recordings, module-specific tips and tricks, grammar and vocabulary sessions, and practice questions. We provide Free IELTS Masterclasses with top educators in all four test sections. You can also download IELTS Prep mobile app to access mock tests, daily live classes and peer-to-peer speaking practice rooms.  

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much time is allotted for IELTS speaking part 1?

    Speaking Part 1 of IELTS can last around 4 to 5 minutes.

  • What should I bring during the IELTS speaking part 1?

    For the IELTS speaking test, candidates must bring their passport or any other national identity proof used during the exam.

  • Will the examiner record the IELTS speaking part 1?

    Yes, the whole speaking test will be recorded.

  • How long should IELTS Speaking part 1 answer should be?

    For 12 questions, Speaking part 1 lasts 4 to 5 minutes. You will be able to provide longer replies if your fluency is excellent. Your responses need to be brief if you pause when responding.

  • Is eye contact important in IELTS speaking part 1?

    You are not expected to speak like a news anchor or a presenter during your IELTS speaking test. It wouldn’t be helpful to mumble and avoid eye contact. Maintaining eye contact and occasionally smiling allows you to communicate with your examiner.

  • Are there any additional resources to improve English speaking ?

    You can use recorder, listen to podcasts, watch British news channels or English movies, and apps like Cambly to prepare for IELTS Speaking test.

  •  Should I use tough vocabulary for IELTS Speaking ?

    Having a strong vocabulary definitely helps. But you should not use tough words unnecessarily.

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Manisha Angre

Experienced IELTS prep trainer and education management industry veteran. Specializes in public speaking, international education, market research, mentoring, and management.

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