IELTS Speaking Part 1 – How to Impress Your Examiner


In IELTS Speaking Part 1 Lesson, I’m going to teach you exactly what you need to do for speaking part 1.

What You’ll Learn In This Lesson

  • Your focus for Speaking Part 1.
  • The most common mistakes made by IELTS test takers and what to do about them and
  • A technique to answer quickly and completely so that you can relax make a great first impression and move on to the more important speaking parts 2 and part 3.

Speaking Part 1 Overview

For Speaking part 1 you’ll have about 4 to 5 minutes that you’ll be talking with the IELTS examiner. You’ll talk about 3 topic areas all about common topics like your home, your family, work, personal interests or other things that should be very easy for you to answer and the number of questions there will be 10 to 11 questions. 2 to 3 will be introductory questions mostly about you, perhaps your name, your hometown things like that and then for questions on one topic like your work and for questions on another topic, for example, your personal interests.

Speaking Part 1 Focus: Fluency

  • Speaking part 1 is a chance to make a good first impression on the examiner.
  • The questions are very personal so answering them should be easy.
  • Unlike speaking part 2 and 3, your answers don’t take a lot of thought. so this is a great chance to show your fluency.

Two Big Mistakes

The two biggest mistakes people make on IELTS speaking part one. These things keep people from getting as high of a score as nished.

1. Talking too little or (not having a complete answer)

Question: So, imagine you’re in an IELTS room and the examiner says what’s your favourite colour?

Answer: Your answer is blue.

This is way too short there’s not enough information here what’s your favourite colour blue. I’m a teacher. Too short not conversational and it doesn’t show off how good you are at English.

So, we want to expand a little bit but some people think Oh so I should talk better then I should give these nice huge long answers then we go to problem number two.

2. Talking too much (rambling going off-topic)

Question: What’s your favourite colour?

Answer: Well, when I was a child my favourite colour was blue because it was the same colour as the house next door but then I turned 15 and my favourite colour became pink. After that, it changed to purple because I don’t care anymore.

I’m sure your examiner is thinking the same thing this takes us to our next technique for each of the IELTS speaking parts. We have a method or technique that we can use to give the best answer possible for IELTS speaking part one. This technique is called the 1-2 stop technique.

Introducing the “1-2 Stop Technique”

The examiner will ask you a question like what’s your favourite colour?

1. Answer the examiner’s question directly. Don’t talk about what your favourite colour used to be. Don’t talk about what your favourite colour might be in ten years. Answer the question what’s your favourite colour right now.

2. Support your answer with a reason, example, or extra detail. You don’t fall into the problem of talking too little. You want to give some kind of supporting detail for your answer. It can be a reason. It can be an example. or It can be some kind of extra detail relating to the question.

3. Number three very important. This is for the second mistake after you give your direct answer after you give your supporting detail. STOP TALKING and let the examiner ask his or her question.

Why the 1-2 Stop Technique Works

You answer the question directly. Lots of people get off-topic and stuck looking forward when they don’t answer the question directly.

2. You give supporting information so the answer isn’t too short.

3. You stop after giving your supporting information so you don’t talk too long or go off-topic.

Speaking Part 1: Sample Questions and Answers

Topic: Let’s talk about your hometown or village.

Question 1: Talk about best places?
Answer: I’m from the biggest city in my country (direct answer) so there are a lot of different places, people and businesses there. It’s really diverse. (supporting details).

Here, in this question, I’m giving the example of the biggest city with a lot of different places, people and businesses and just one more detail. It’s really diverse. I don’t want to say anything more than this because it would go on too long but if I only answer I’m from the biggest city in my country the answer is too short so with the 1-2 stop technique.

We’re giving an answer, giving a nice supporting detail and then stopping and letting the examiner continue on. So, all the while we’re focusing on fluency. Not correcting your answers too much, not stopping to fix yourself all of the time just focusing on getting your answers out in a nice fluent way.

Question 2:  Talk about the favourite part of your city?
Answer: I think the most exciting area in downtown where all of the stores and restaurants are. There are so many different things to do there and a lot of delicious food to eat.

Question 3: Would you say it’s a good place to live?
Answer: Actually, I don’t think it’s a very nice place to live. Maybe because it’s such a big city and everyone living there is always so busy. in general, people don’t seem too happy.

This is a very interesting answer because it’s different than the other three. In this answer, I’m actually disagreeing and it’s perfectly fine to disagree. If you disagree say whatever you think is the easiest most direct answer for you.

Speaking Part 1: Practice Questions

In this next section, I’m going to read ten practice questions and Answer the question using the 1-2 stop technique we talked about earlier.

1. What subject are you studying? (student)
2. Do you like your subject? (student)
3. What job do you do? (job)
4. Do you enjoy the sport?
5. How has your home town changed over the years?
6. Do you like English?


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IELTS Study Plan