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Part 1 - give short answers



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Simon IELTS Speaking part 1
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Part 1 - give short answers 

1. Do you live in a house or a flat? 

2. What's your favourite room in your home? Why? 

3. What would you like to change about your home? Why? 

4. Would you like to move house in the future? 

Part 2 - speak for 2 minutes 

Describe an interesting home that you have visited. 



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Part 3 - give longer answers 

1. What factors do you think are important when choosing where to live? 

2. Compare life in a city with life in the countryside. 

3. How do you think the design of homes will change in the future? 



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Friday, March 29, 2013 

IELTS Speaking Part 1: 'friends' topic 

In part 1 of the IELTS speaking test, remember to keep your answers short and simple. Here are 

some example questions and short answers: 

1. Are your friends mostly your age or different ages? 

Most of my friends are about the same age as me because we met at school or university. I've got 

one or two friends who are older or younger that I met through work. 

2. Do you usually see your friends during the week or at weekends? 

I tend to meet up with my friends at weekends because everyone's too busy during the week. 



3. The last time you saw your friends, what did you do together? 

It was one of my friends' birthday last weekend. Six of us went out for a meal to celebrate. 



4. In what ways are your friends important to you? 

I think it's important to have friends that you can talk to and share experiences with. My friends make 

me laugh, but I know I can also rely on them whenever I need help or support. 

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Dear All, 



Here are my answers and hope you can have more ideas on how to build your own answers: 

1) Most of my friends are similar in age as me. Most of them are people who I met back in high school 

and college, so we also have similar interests and backgrounds. 

2) Weekends tend to be much easier for us to meet. We all have a busy lifestyle and weekends are 

the only times when we can hang out and relax. 

3) We had a gathering in my home about 2 months ago. I prepared barbeque for them and we took 

the opportunity to catch up with one another. 

4) Well, my friends are definitely important in my life. I think it's always nice to know that there is 

always somebody who you can talk to and share your happiness and struggles with. In my case, my 

friends and I constantly give emotional support to each other and I think that's really important in a 

true friendship. 

Have a wonderful weekend! 



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Cheers, 


Martin 

Posted by: Martin | 

Saturday, March 30, 2013 at 00:21

 

VERB TENSE tends to be a big problem for many students. 

Always listen carefully to the question before answering! Using the wrong verb tense could make your 

ideas totally irrelevant to the question! 



Posted by: Martin | 

Saturday, March 30, 2013 at 00:49

 

Are your friends mostly your age or different ages? 

I have many friends from different ages. I met most of my friends at school so we are almost at the 

same age, some others I met through my work who are a little older or younger than me. 

2. Do you usually see your friends during the week or at weekends? 

We meet every month as all of us are working and married so we do not physically meet regularly, 

But we chat and call each other over the phone almost everyday. 

3. The last time you saw your friends, what did you do together? 

It was a farewell party for one of our group who is travelling to do master degree in London, we had a 

great celebration and enjoyed the food and the weather very much. 

4. In what ways are your friends important to you? 

I believe that my friends are essential in my life because I have to find trusted people to share my life 

with, to find nice and funny people to be around and to support each other when we need that. 

Posted by: Soha | 

Sunday, March 31, 2013 at 13:38

 

 

Friday, May 17, 2013 

IELTS Speaking Part 1: 'telephoning' topic 

Here are some part 1 questions and sample answers from Cambridge IELTS book 9. Remember to 

make your part 1 answers short and simple. Just give a direct answer, followed by a reason or one 

extra piece of information. 



1. How often do you make telephone calls? 

I probably make three or four phone calls every day, usually just to make arrangements with work 

colleagues or to speak to family and friends. 

2. Who do you spend most time talking to on the telephone? 

I think it would be one of my closest work colleagues. We often call each other rather than meeting 

face-to-face. 

3. When do you think you'll next make a telephone call? 

My family are expecting me to phone them as soon as I finish this exam. They'll want to know how it 

went. 


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4. Do you sometimes prefer to send a text message instead of telephoning? 

Yes. I prefer to send a text message when I'm arranging something simple, like a time to meet 

someone. In those situations, a phone call isn't necessary. 

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Dear All, 

Here are my sample answers: 

1) I make several phone calls every day at work; it's either to communicate with co-workers or deal 

with my customers. 

2) I think it's probably one of my biggest customers. You know, it's important to have a close 

communication with customers if you want to expand the business and have a long-term relationship 

with them. 

3) I'll probably call me wife after the test and see where she is at. This way I'll know where to look for 

her and be able to go home together. 

4) Yes, especially if it's for something not so important. I think a text message is also better if you 

know that the friend or customer has a busy lifestyle and may be unavailable to talk on the phone for 

leisure. 

Enjoy your weekend! 

Martin 

Posted by: Martin | 

Friday, May 17, 2013 at 18:14

 

 

Friday, July 05, 2013 

IELTS Speaking Part 1: 'toys' topic 

I've already done lessons about 'toys' for 

part 2

 and 


part 3

 of the speaking test, so let's try some part 

1 questions about this topic. Notice that my part 1 answers are always short and direct. 

1) Did you play with toys when you were a child? 

Yes, of course. I loved playing with toys when I was a child; I think all children do. 



2) What kinds of toys did you like? 

As far as I remember, I mostly played with toy cars, planes and action figures from films or cartoons. I 

also liked building things with Lego. 

3) In your country, do boys and girls play with the same types of toys? 

Not really. I think boys like the kinds of toys that I mentioned before, whereas girls play with dolls. My 

niece, for example, doesn't like toy cars; she prefers dressing dolls in different outfits. 

4) Do you think that toys help children to learn? 

Yes, I do. All toys encourage children to use their imagination and creativity. Even with simple toys, 

children imagine situations and invent games and rules. 


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Dear All, 

Here are my sample answers: 

1) Yes, definitely. I played with all kinds of toys and I think they were a very important part of my 

childhood. 

2) Lego was my favorite, but I also spent plenty of time playing with toy cars, robots, and action 

figures like Superman, Batman, and the ThunderCats! 

3) Mmm... no, I don't think so. In general, I would say that boys play with the kinds of toys I've just 

mentioned, and girls would prefer to play with dolls or stuffed animals. 

4) Yes, absolutely! Toys are basically tools for children to develop their imagination and creativity. 

Children also make new friends and develop their social skills by playing and sharing toys. 

Best of luck to those who will be taking the exam this weekend!!! 

Cheers, 

Martin 


Posted by: Martin | 

Friday, July 05, 2013 at 19:03

 

 

Saturday, August 24, 2013 



IELTS Speaking Advice: get to the point 

Yesterday I wrote that you should avoid using long phrases to begin your answers. So what should 

you use instead? Native speakers say things like: 

- I think... 

- I guess... 

- Well,... 

These words/phrases might seem less impressive, but you have to remember that examiners are not 

impressed by the long phrases either! The important thing is to get to the point of your answer. 



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Friday, August 30, 2013 

 

IELTS Speaking Part 1: strange questions 

In part 1 of the speaking test, the examiner will ask around 10 easy questions. However, students 

have reported some strange questions, such as: 

1. Do you like parks? 

2. Do you think different colours can change our moods? 

3. When do people give flowers in your country? 

Don't be shocked by these questions. Just give a simple answer with a reason. Don't worry about 

using fantastic grammar or vocabulary; just try to answer without hesitating. For example: 



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1. Yes, I like parks because they are great places to relax. I think all cities need green areas. 

2. Yes, I think bright colours, like red, can make you feel energetic. Some greens and blues can be more 

relaxing. 

3. People give flowers on special occasions like birthdays or on Valentine's Day. In my country, giving 

flowers is seen as romantic. 



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Friday, September 06, 2013 

IELTS Speaking Part 1: 'shopping' topic 

Here are some questions and sample answers for the 'shopping' topic. Remember that part 1 

answers need to be short, direct and simple. 

1) Who does most of the shopping in your household? 

There isn't one person who does most of the shopping. I'd say it's a shared responsibility because we 

tend to go shopping together as a family. 

2) What kind of shopping do you like doing? 

I quite like shopping for presents for people's birthdays or for Christmas. My favourite type of shop 

would have to be a bookshop. 

3) Is shopping a popular activity in your country? 

Yes, it's very popular. Saturday is the busiest shopping day, and lots of people treat shopping as a 

kind of leisure activity, rather than something practical. 

4) What types of shops do teenagers like best in your country? 

I'm not an expert on teenage behaviour, but I guess they like buying clothes, music, gadgets... that 

kind of thing. 

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Friday, October 25, 2013 

IELTS Speaking Part 1: giving negative answers 

It's fine to give negative answers in part 1 of the speaking test. Here are some example negative 

answers for people who don't like sport: 

1. What sports or physical activities do you regularly do? 

Unfortunately I don't have time to do any sports or physical activities because of my work 

commitments. I'd like to find more time for regular exercise. 

2. Which sport or game would you like to be good at? 

I'd like to be good at tennis. It must be great to be able to hit the ball as hard as you can and watch it 

land exactly where you wanted it to. 


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3. Do you prefer watching or playing sports? 

I don't watch much sport on TV and I'm not a big sports fan, so I think I would probably enjoy doing 

sports more than watching them. 

4. Do you think children should be encouraged to do more sport? 

Yes, I think that sport is really important for children. Sports and games teach children to play 

together and try their best. 

Posted by: Simon | 

Friday, February 28, 2014 at 12:53

 

 

Posts in 2014 

 

Friday, April 04, 2014 

IELTS Speaking: a tip for each part 

Here are three tips, one for each part of the speaking test. 



Part 1: stop and smile 

For part 1 of the speaking test, you need to get used to giving short answers. Many students find it 

difficult to stop speaking, and the examiner is forced to interrupt. My tip is to give your answer then 

stop and smile, showing the examiner that you are ready for the next question. 



Part 2: tell a story 

In the context of speaking part 2, a story is simply a long example to illustrate a point that you have 

made. If you’re describing a person, for example, you could tell a story to illustrate why you like 

him/her. People find it easy to keep speaking for longer when they have a story to tell. 



Part 3: include an ‘if...’ sentence 

Look at technique number 2 in 

this lesson

. The 'alternatives' technique helps you to say more, and it 

also encourages you to add a conditional 'if...' sentence, which might help your grammar score. 

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Friday, April 11, 2014 

IELTS Speaking: if you don't understand 

What should you do if you don't understand a question in the speaking test? Here are my tips: 



Part 1 

In part 1, the examiner is not allowed to help you, but he/she can repeat the question. Just say: 

"Sorry, can you repeat the question please?" If you still don't understand the second time, try to say 

something related to the topic or any of the words that you heard. Try your best, then focus on the 

next question. 

Part 2 

You are given a task card with the question written on it, so you shouldn't have any problems in this 



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part. If there is a word that you don't understand on the task card, don't ask the examiner - he/she is 

not allowed to help. 

Part 3 

In this part of the test, the examiner is allowed to rephrase the question. If you don't understand, just 

say something like: "Sorry, can you explain that question in a different way please?" 

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Friday, April 25, 2014 

IELTS Speaking Part 1: home town 

Here are some part 1 questions and answers on the topic of 'home town'. Try changing the answers 

to similar ones about your own town or city. Keep your answers short, simple and direct. 

1. Where are you from? 

I'm from Manchester, which is a city in the north west of England. 



2. Do you like your home town? (Why?) 

Yes, I like living in Manchester because it's where most of my friends live, and because there are 

plenty of things to do there. The only thing I don't like is the weather. 

3. Would you prefer to live somewhere else? (Why?) 

For the moment I'm happy living here, but at some point I'd like to live in a country with a warmer 

climate, and I'd like to live near a beach! 

4. Do you think your home town is a good place for young people? (Why?) 

Yes, Manchester has lots of things for young people, such as sports facilities, music and cinemas. 



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Dear All, 



Here are my sample answers to today’s questions. 

These are actually not the things I would say in the real test, but I just pretended to be a student in 

Taiwan. Hope you guys can find them useful to build your own answers. 

1. I’m from Kaohsiung, which is a metropolitan city located in the southern part of Taiwan. 

2. Yes, I think the nicest thing about Kaohsiung is its people. Everyone is so friendly to each other 

and you can really enjoy the atmosphere of a warm city. 

3. Probably not for the moment. I have my family and best friends over there and I wish to contribute 

to my hometown after I obtain my master’s degree in the UK. 

4. Yes, I guess so. Kaohsiung has lots of nice schools with modern facilities. Young people can also 

enjoy the different cultural attractions, such as museums, theaters, as well as public libraries. 

Cheers, 

Martin 


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Posted by: Martin | 

Friday, April 25, 2014 at 19:06

 

 

Friday, May 23, 2014 

IELTS Speaking Part 1: five simple rules 

Part 1 of the IELTS Speaking test is supposed to be easy. You don't need to give 'difficult' answers, 

and you should try to avoid making mistakes. 

Here are five simple rules for Speaking Part 1: 

1. Keep your answers short, then stop with confidence. 

2. Answer the questions using full sentences. 

3. Use words from the examiner's question in your answer. 

4. If possible, give a reason for your answer. 

5. Don't forget to say "yes" or "no" when necessary. 



Here's an example to illustrate these points: 

Do you like parks? 

Yes, I like parks because they are great places to relax. If you live in a city, a park is often the only 

place where you can escape from the noise and the traffic. 



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Friday, May 30, 2014 

IELTS Speaking Part 1: 'language learning' topic 

Try answering the following 'part 1' questions. Remember to follow the rules in last week's 

lesson



1. Do you like learning languages? 



2. How did you learn the languages that you know? 

3. Why do people learn more than one language? 

4. Do you think that all children should learn foreign languages at school? 

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Friday, June 06, 2014 

IELTS Speaking Part 1: keep it simple 

Instead of correcting the grammar mistakes in the sentences below, try rewriting the sentences in an 

easier way. 

1. I admire learning languages as communication bridges. 

2. I also do general readings in my spare time. 

3. Moreover, learning foreign languages helps us talk friendly. 

4. It open more avenues for getting a better job. 

5. Young age is the right time to learn multiple languages. 



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6. You can break many hurdles and expand your horizons. 

7. As our knowledge in language expands, the better we can communicate. 

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Sunday, June 08, 2014 

IELTS Grammar: easy sentences 

Here are my suggestions for the sentences in 

Friday's lesson

. Remember, the aim was to make the 

sentences as easy as possible. 

1. I like learning languages because they help me to communicate with people from other countries. 

2. I do lots of reading in my spare time. 

3. If you can speak the local language, it's easier to make friends. 

4. Knowing a foreign language can help you to get a better job. 

5. The best time to learn another language is when you are young. 

6. Learning a foreign language opens your mind and expands your horizons. 

7. The more you practise, the easier it becomes to communicate in a new language. 



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Friday, July 18, 2014 

IELTS Speaking Part 1: 'reading' topic 

Here are some part 1 questions with example answers. Remember to keep your part 1 answers short 

and simple. 

1. Do you like reading? 

Yes, I like reading a lot. I read all sorts of things, including novels, newspapers, magazines, and 

online articles. 

2. Do you usually read for leisure or for work purposes? 

Well, I have to do a certain amount of reading as part of my job, but I probably read more for 

enjoyment. I pick up a newspaper most days, and I usually have a book on the go. 

3. What was your favourite book or story when you were a child? 

The first book that I remember really enjoying was '..........'. It only took me a few days to read 

because I liked it so much that I couldn't put it down. 

4. Do you think it's important that children read regularly? 

Definitely. I think reading is possibly the most important skill that children learn. The ability to read 

opens the door to all aspects of education. 

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Saturday, July 19, 2014 

IELTS Vocabulary: nice bits of language! 

There were a few nice bits of language that you might have noticed in yesterday's speaking lesson: 

 

all sorts of things 



 

a certain amount of 

 

I pick up a newspaper most days 



 

I usually have a book on the go 

 

I couldn't put it down 



 

opens the door to all aspects of education 

These phrases made my answers sound very natural and "native-speaker-like". Try using them in 

your own sentences. 



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Friday, August 08, 2014 

IELTS Speaking Part 1: 'games' topic 

I was asked recently about the questions below. Can you suggest any answers? Do you think it's 

acceptable to talk about sports, or should we only talk about games like chess? 

1. What games are popular in your country? 

2. Do you play any games? 

3. How do people learn to play games in your country? 

4. Do you think it's important for people to play games? 

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I think it's acceptable. People use the concept 'Games' in many big sporting event such as Olympic 



Games or Winter Games. Talking about sports can broaden the topic and get more ideas. 

1. Badminton and football are ones of the popular games in my country. Tourists can see people 

usually play badminton in the park and play football in the yard any time. 

2. I can play many kinds of games such as chess and badminton. When I was young, my father 

taught me to play them. Playing badminton can help me enhance my health and chess can improve 

my memory. 

3. It depends to the purpose people play games. If it's just for entertainment, people can learn from 

friends or from the internet. Some people want to become a good player for competing, they can 

learn from teachers at schools or centers. 

4. Playing games is essential for people at any time for 3 main reasons. Firstly, people play games to 

relax and get rid of stress. Secondly, games can improve memory and health. Last but not least, 


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games can connect people and people together. People can make friends or even create many 

relationships while playing games. 

Thanks, Simon. Your web can help me improve my English a lot. 



Posted by: Kate | 

Friday, August 08, 2014 at 10:27

 

A note from Simon: 

I agree with Kate (second comment from the top of this page) - sports are very often referred to as 

games e.g. a game of tennis. 

Remember that this is part 1, so it's not supposed to be tricky. 



Posted by: Simon | 

Friday, August 08, 2014 at 21:21

 

 

Friday, August 15, 2014 

IELTS Speaking Part 1: games 

Here are my sample answers to last week's questions: 



1. What games are popular in your country? 

Well, if we can consider sports as games, then football is definitely the most popular game in my 

country, but we also love board games like chess. 

2. Do you play any games? 

Not regularly these days. I play the occasional game of tennis with my brother-in-law, and I recently 

played a bowling game on the Nintendo Wii with my nephew. I wasn't very good at it. 

3. How do people learn to play games in your country? 

I think children teach each other to play games. I remember a friend at primary school teaching me to 

play chess, for example. 

4. Do you think it's important for people to play games? 

Yes, it's really important, especially for children. I think research has shown that play can improve 

brain development, intelligence, creativity, and the ability to cooperate with others. 

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Posted in 2015 

 

Friday, January 16, 2015 

IELTS Speaking Part 1: 'maps' topic 

A few students said they had this topic in a recent exam. How would you answer? 



Let's talk about maps... 

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1. Do you ever use maps? 

2. When do people usually need to use a map? 

3. Do you prefer electronic or paper maps? 

4. Do you ever ask people for directions instead of using a map? 

Remember to keep your answers short and simple. This topic might surprise you, but it isn't difficult. 



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Friday, October 03, 2014 

 

IELTS Speaking Part 1: house or apartment? 

Here are some very common questions from part 1 of the speaking test. How would you answer 

them? 

1. Do you live in a house or an apartment? 



2. Which is your favourite room in your home? Why? 

3. Would you change anything about your home? Why / why not? 

4. Would you like to move to a different home in the future? 

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Friday, October 10, 2014 

IELTS Speaking: correct the mistakes 

Here are some sentences that students wrote below last week's 

lesson

. Can you correct the 



mistake(s) in each one? 

1. I would want the walls to be painted in bright colors, arrange the furniture with some good interior 

designers. 

2. If I am well off, I would like to move into much more bigger house. 

3. If I had enough money, I will buy some more household appliances. 

4. My favourite room is my living room because most of the time I spent in that room. 

5. It goes without saying that I am quite passionate about my bedroom. 

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ANSWERS FROM SIMON 

First, these are the problems: 

1. The use of 'arrange' doesn't follow the grammar of the first part of the sentence, so we'll need to 

make it match e.g. "walls to be painted.... furniture to be arranged" 

2. The first half of the conditional (if I am) is wrong, and we don't say "much more bigger". 

3. The second half of the conditional (I will buy) is wrong. 

4. We shouldn't use the past "I spent". 

5. No grammar mistakes, but "it goes without saying" seems strange and inappropriate here - why 

does it go without saying? 


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Posted by: Simon | 

Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 17:44

 

 

 

FROM SIMON (continued) 

Here are my suggestions: 

1. I would want the walls to be painted in bright colors, and the furniture to be arranged by some good 

interior designers. 

2. If I were well off, I would move into a much bigger house. 

3. If I had enough money, I would buy some more household appliances. 

4. My favourite room is my living room because I spend most of my time there. 

5. I love my bedroom; it's definitely my favourite room. 



Posted by: Simon | 

Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 17:49

 

 

Friday, October 17, 2014 

IELTS Speaking Part 1: sample answers 

Remember to keep your part 1 answers short and direct; the examiner will interrupt you if you don't. 

Here are my sample answers to the 'house or apartment' questions from two weeks ago: 

1. Do you live in a house or an apartment? 

I live in a semi-detached house with three bedrooms in a suburb of Manchester. I've lived there for 

just over a year. 

2. Which is your favourite room in your home? Why? 

I don't really have a favourite room. But if I had to choose, I'd say the living room because that's 

where I go to sit and relax. 

3. Would you change anything about your home? Why / why not? 

Yes, I've been meaning to redecorate it since I moved in last year. It needs a new kitchen, so that's 

what I'd change first. 

4. Would you like to move to a different home in the future? 

Yes, I'd definitely move again at some point if I could afford to. I'd like to live in the countryside, or 

maybe in a different city or country. 

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Friday, December 05, 2014 

IELTS Speaking Part 1: 'parks' topic 

Several students have had this topic recently. How would you answer? 

1. Do you like parks? Why / why not? 

2. How often do you visit parks? 

3. Why are parks an important part of many towns and cities? 

4. What do you think could be done to make parks better? 



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Friday, December 12, 2014 

IELTS Speaking Part 1: 'parks' answers 

Here are my sample answers for last week's questions. Remember that part 1 answers are supposed 

to be short and direct. You don't need to 'show off' in this part of the test! 

1. Do you like parks? Why / why not? 

Yes, I like parks because they're great places to relax or go for a walk. I think every city needs some 

green space where people can escape from the crowds. 

2. How often do you visit parks? 

There's a park very close to where I live, so I probably go there once or twice a week if the weather's 

nice. 

3. Why are parks an important part of many towns and cities? 

Parks are like an oasis where people get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. They are where 

people go to have lunch, to take some exercise, or to forget about work for a while. 

4. What do you think could be done to make parks better? 

The parks in big cities are already really good in my opinion. If I think about the famous parks in 

London, Paris or New York, I can't imagine what I would do to improve them. 

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Posts in 2015 

 

Friday, January 16, 2015 

IELTS Speaking Part 1: 'maps' topic 

A few students said they had this topic in a recent exam. How would you answer? 



Let's talk about maps... 

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1. Do you ever use maps? 

2. When do people usually need to use a map? 

3. Do you prefer electronic or paper maps? 

4. Do you ever ask people for directions instead of using a map? 

Remember to keep your answers short and simple. This topic might surprise you, but it isn't difficult. 



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Friday, January 23, 2015 

IELTS Speaking: 'maps' answers 

Here are my sample answers for last week's questions about maps. Remember that my answers are 

short and simple because this is what the examiner requires in part 1 of the test. 

1. Do you ever use maps? 

Yes. Whenever I go somewhere new, I plan my journey with the help of a map. 



2. When do people usually need to use a map? 

I imagine that some people use a map every day if they travel to different places for work. Others 

might only use a map when they're on holiday. 

3. Do you prefer electronic or paper maps? 

I still prefer paper maps for a long journey; I like being able to open the map out on a table and see 

the full journey ahead. 

4. Do you ever ask people for directions instead of using a map? 

Only if I'm really lost. Whenever I ask for directions, I find it difficult to remember what the person 

said. So I prefer to find my own way. 

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Friday, February 20, 2015 



IELTS Speaking Part 1: 'collecting' topic 

Try preparing some short, easy answers to the following questions: 

1) Have you ever collected anything as a hobby? (What?) 

2) What kinds of thing do people often like collecting? 

3) Why do you think people collect certain objects? 

4) Is there anything that you would like to collect in the future? 



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Saturday, February 21, 2015 



IELTS Grammar: correct the mistakes 

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Here are some sentences that people wrote below yesterday's speaking lesson (about 'collecting'). 

Can you find and correct the mistakes? 

1) There are a lot of things that people often are collect. 

2) I think people often go to gather small things such as stamps. 

2) Whenever I went in a vacation, I used this opportunity to buy another object. 

3) Let me think, may be valuable watches which their prices increase by time. 

5) People collecting things for many reasons for example they do it as a hobby. 



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ANSWERS FROM SIMON: 

First, here are the problems in each sentence: 

1) "people are collect" is wrong. This is not a passive, so we need to delete the word "are". 

2) "Gather" is not appropriate - it doesn't have the same meaning as "collect" in this context. 

3) We don't say "go in a vacation". 

4) A few problems: First, this is not a proper sentence. Second, "may be" should be one word in this 

case. Third, "which their prices increase" is wrong. Fourth, we don't say "by time". 

5) "People collecting" is wrong, and "for example" is used wrongly. 



Posted by: Simon | 

Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 21:06

 

FROM SIMON, CONTINUED: 

Here are some possible correct versions: 

1) There are a lot of things that people often collect. 

2) I think people often collect small things such as stamps. 

2) Whenever I went on vacation, I used the opportunity to buy another object. 

3) Let me think. Maybe I would collect expensive watches, which become more valuable over time. 

5) People collect things for many reasons. For example, they do it as a hobby. 

Posted by: Simon | 

Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 21:20

 

 

Friday, February 27, 2015 



IELTS Speaking Part 1: 'collecting' answers 

Here are my sample answers to the questions from last week. 



1) Have you ever collected anything as a hobby? (What?) 

Yes. When I was younger I used to collect keyrings. I remember that my favourite was a Lego man 

keyring that someone bought me as a present. 

2) What kinds of thing do people often like collecting? 


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Some people collect cheap items like stamps, keyrings or toys. Others collect expensive antiques, 

watches, jewellery or even cars. 

3) Why do you think people collect certain objects? 

Maybe they like the constant search for a new item, or they want to remember past experiences. 

Others might like the feeling of organising and presenting what they own. 

4) Is there anything that you would like to collect in the future? 

Yes. If I could afford it, I'd love to have a collection of guitars in different colours, shapes and sizes! 



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Friday, March 27, 2015 

IELTS Speaking: complex structures? 

Students often worry that they need to use "complex structures" in the speaking test. But what is a 

complex structure? 

This website

 explains the difference between simple sentences, compound sentences and complex 

sentences. You'll notice that compound and complex sentences are much easier than they sound! 

I'm sure you use them all the time without realising it. 

Here's my advice: stop worrying about the need for "complex" grammar. Instead, focus on expressing 

your ideas well. As you explain your ideas in detail, you will naturally produce longer sentences which 

contain a variety of grammatical features. 



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Friday, April 17, 2015 

IELTS Speaking: is accent important? 

People often ask whether their accent will affect their IELTS score. The simple answer is no. Your 

score for pronunciation depends on how clearly you speak and how intelligible (easy to understand) 

you are. 

So if accent is not important, what are the factors that affect pronunciation? I really like the 

explanation on 

this page

 from the Warwick University website. They look at 5 key elements of 

pronunciation: 

 

There are some great tips about improving your pronunciation near the bottom of the page, but my 



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favourites are: work on your mistakes, copy good models of speech, record yourself, slow down, and 

try to sound interesting / interested! 

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Friday, April 24, 2015 

IELTS Speaking Part 1: 'cooking' topic 

Here are some recent part 1 questions, with my example answers. 



1. Do you like cooking? Why / why not? 

Sometimes. I like preparing a special meal for family or friends who visit, but everyday cooking is a bit 

boring; it's something that has to be done, but it's not really fun. 

2. Who did the cooking in your family when you were a child? 

My mother almost always did the cooking when I was young. I don't think she trusted my father to 

make a nice meal. 

3. Do you think that it's important to know how to cook well? 

I'm not sure whether it's important to cook well, but I do think that everyone should know the basics. It 

definitely isn't healthy to rely on pre-prepared meals or fast food. 

4. Do you think that children should be taught cookery at school? 

Yes, that's probably a good idea. If all children knew how to cook a few basic, healthy meals, that 

would surely be a good thing. 

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Friday, May 29, 2015 



IELTS Speaking Part 1: 'study' topic 

Try answering these recent exam questions. Just give a short, direct answer and a reason. 



Let's talk about studying... 

1. Do you like studying? Why / why not? 

2. Do you prefer to study alone or with others? Why? 

3. Where do you prefer to go when you need to study? Why? 

4. How do you feel if someone disturbs you when you are studying? 

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Friday, June 05, 2015 



IELTS Speaking Part 1: 'study' answers 

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Here are my sample answers to the questions in last week's lesson. 



1. Do you like studying? Why / why not? 

Yes, I like studying because it's the best way to gain a deeper insight into any subject. I like reading, 

learning from others, and trying to understand difficult concepts. 

2. Do you prefer to study alone or with others? Why? 

I prefer to study alone because I need to be able to concentrate fully. Other people are a distraction. 



3. Where do you prefer to go when you need to study? Why? 

I like to find a quiet corner in my local library; being in an old building and surrounded by books 

seems to help me to focus on my work. 

4. How do you feel if someone disturbs you when you are studying? 

It frustrates me because it breaks my concentration. I prefer to avoid distractions by going 

somewhere where nobody will interrupt me. 

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Friday, June 12, 2015 

IELTS Speaking: real opinions and experiences 

Some students are worried about expressing their real opinions in the speaking test. They think that 

the examiner might disagree and therefore give a lower score. 

Don't worry about this. The examiner only cares about your language. Express your opinions, talk 

about your interests, and give examples from your own experience. The examiner will find 'real' 

opinions and experiences more interesting than general, superficial answers. 



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Friday, July 24, 2015 

IELTS Speaking Part 1: 'walking' topic 

Remember to keep your part 1 answers short and 'to the point'. Here are my example answers for 

some questions about walking: 

1. Do you like walking? 

I'm not one for going on really long walks in the countryside, but I don't mind walking when I'm in a 

town or city, for example when I'm sightseeing in a new place. 

2. Do you think walking is important? 

Yes, I think it's important to be active, and walking is the most basic physical activity that we can do. 



3. Do you think walking in the countryside is better than walking in the city? 

Personally, no. As I said before, I like walking in the city, especially if it's somewhere with a lot of 

history like London or Paris. 


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4. What could be done to improve the experience of walking in cities? 

I suppose the main issues are space and safety. Pavements need to be wide enough to 

accommodate lots of pedestrians, and we need safe places to cross the street. 

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Friday, August 21, 2015 

IELTS Speaking Part 1: don't worry, just answer! 

"Do you work or are you a student?" 

This is often the first question that the examiner asks in the speaking test. It's an easy question, but 

many people still worry about it. 

Here are some of their worries: 

 

What should I say if I do both (work and study)? 



 

What if I normally work, but now I'm studying for the IELTS test? 

 

I've just moved to a new country. Which country should I talk about? 



My advice is to stop worrying, and just explain your situation. For example: "I'm a qualified doctor, but 

at the moment I'm studying English so that I can work here in the UK." 



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Friday, September 04, 2015 

IELTS Speaking: if you don't like the topic 

People often ask me what they should do if the examiner asks about a topic that they don't like or 

don't know anything about. Take the topic of 'music' for example. This is an easy topic for some 

people, but others find it difficult because they don't usually listen to music. 

Let's imagine that you don't like music and you don't know anything about it. How would you answer 

the following questions in part 1 of the test? Try to give negative answers, but make sure that they are 

still good answers! 

1. Do you like music? 

2. What kind of music did you listen to when you were young? 

3. When was the last time you went to a concert? 

4. Would you like to participate in a live music show? 

Remember: You might not like a topic, but this doesn't mean you can't answer the questions. IELTS 

speaking questions never require 'knowledge', only simple ideas and opinions. 



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Friday, September 11, 2015 

IELTS Speaking Part 1: negative answers 

Here are my negative answers to the questions in last week's speaking lesson. Remember: I'm 

imagining that I don't like (or know about) the topic. 

1) Do you like music? 

No, I don't really like music, and I don't listen to it. It's not something that I've ever been interested in. 



 

2) What kind of music did you listen to when you were young? 

I can't remember listening to much music as a child either. I suppose I must have heard some 

traditional music at festivals or parties, but I didn't take much notice of it. 

3) When was the last time you went to a concert? 

I've never been to a music concert. Maybe I should try going to one; perhaps it would be interesting to 

see an orchestra playing classical music. 

4) Would you like to participate in a live music show? 

No, definitely not. I don't play a musical instrument and I don't sing, so I can't imagine that I'd ever find 

myself performing to an audience. 

Note: 

My aim here is to show you that you can answer questions about any topic - you don't need to like it 

or know anything about it. (I do like music by the way!) 

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Friday, October 02, 2015 

IELTS Speaking: correct the mistakes 

Here are some sentences that people wrote in the "comments" below last week's

speaking lesson

Can you correct the mistakes? 



1. After graduating high school, every my classmates and I also wanted to study in the university. 

2. For 6 years I was studying in university in first year I chose my major and I was frightening for many 

things. 

3. I didn’t contact any friends of mine, shut off all social networks, totally devoted myself to the 

preparation and even didn’t talk much to my parents every day. 

4. It was very challenging because the exam given was very difficult, almost all answers in the multiple 

choice questions are common. 

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CORRECTIONS FROM SIMON: 

1. After graduating from high school, my classmates and I all wanted to study at university. 



Compiled by Diyorbek Hayitmurodov                                                                    ielts-simon.com 

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- graduating from 

- my classmates and I all wanted 

- at university 

2. I studied at university for 6 years. In the first year I chose my major, and it was all a bit daunting. 

- past simple 

- at university 

- new sentence when starting a new idea 

- "it was daunting" rather than "I was frightened" 

 

3. I didn’t contact any friends, I logged off all social networks, I devoted all my time to revision, and I 



hardly even talked to my parents. 

- Add "I" to the start of every item in the list (otherwise, each item follows the negative "I didn't") 

- I logged off 

- I devoted all my time 

- revision 

- I hardly even talked to 

4. It was very challenging because the exam was very difficult, and almost all of the answers in the 

multiple choice section were similar. 

- delete "given" 

- , and 


- almost all of the answers 

- multiple choice section 

- were similar 

Posted by: Simon | 

Sunday, October 04, 2015 at 23:24

 

 

Friday, October 09, 2015 

IELTS Speaking Part 1: 'mathematics' topic 

Here are some recent exam questions that somebody shared here on the blog. As usual, my part 1 

sample answers are short, direct and simple. 

1) At what age did you start studying mathematics? 

I can't exactly remember, but it was probably in my first year at primary school when I was 5 years 

old. I probably learnt simple addition at that age. 

2) Do you like mathematics? Why / why not? 

I don't dislike maths, but I wouldn't say that I've ever really liked the subject either. I'm happy to do 

simple calculations, but my brain can't cope with the complex stuff! 

3) Is it necessary for everyone to learn mathematics? 

Yes, I think it is. We all need a basic grounding in maths so that we can do daily tasks, like managing 

our money, working out bills, and so on. 


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4) Do you prefer to use a calculator when doing mathematics? 

It depends. I quite like exercising my brain with anything that's easy enough, but I use the calculator 

on my phone for anything tricky. 

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Friday, December 11, 2015 

IELTS Speaking Part 1: 'newspapers' topic 

Try answering the following questions. Remember to give a direct answer, give a reason, then stop! If 

you say more than this, the examiner will interrupt you. 

1. How often do you read a newspaper? 

2. Why do you think some people like reading newspapers? 

3. Which other sources can people use to find out about the latest news? 

4. Do you think that it's important to know about news from other countries? Why / why not? 

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Posts in 2016 

 

Friday, February 05, 2016 

IELTS Speaking Part 1: next video lesson 

I'm in the middle of creating a video lesson about part 1 of the IELTS speaking test. Before I publish it 

(this weekend), let me ask you four quick questions: 

1. Do you know exactly what to expect in speaking part 1? 

2. Do you know what the examiner expects from you? 

3. Do you have a method for this part of the test? 

4. Are you worried about any aspect of speaking part 1? 

Feel free to share your answers in the comments below. Please think about part 1 only - I'll cover 

parts 2 and 3 in later videos. 

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Friday, March 25, 2016 



IELTS Speaking: review of tips 

Here's a quick review of my main tips for each part of the speaking test: 




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