IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 Question Types with Example Answers

Tips for the IELTS Speaking Test Part 1

IELTS Speaking Test Part 1

3 Question Types with Example Answers

Hi there!  If you’re looking for help on the IELTS Speaking Test Part 1, we’ve provided 3 types of questions that you are probably going to be asked during the Speaking Test. Part 1 can be very straightforward, and we give you plenty of Example Questions and Example Answers from native English speakers and professional teachers to help you study better answers.

Check out our other IELTS Speaking Test posts here:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Speaking Tips and Tricks

#1 – What do you like?

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:

You can say: “I like (verb+ing)…”I like trying new recipes in my kitchen at home.”

For an even better answer, you can use adverbs like: “I really like / I usually like”

Here are some example questions and answers:

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

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?

#2 – 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 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 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 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 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 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?

#3 – What do you like about…?

This one also applies to virtually any subject you can think of on the IELTS Speaking test. Here are just a few examples:

You can say: “I like the…” or “I like my…”

Mark: One potentially difficult part is using articles in this answer – you’ll need to use ‘the’ when you answer, because you are referring back to the same topic in the question.

You can also use ‘my’ for friends, family, and people you work with. For example:

  • I like the people I meet while travelling.
  • I love the beautiful places I visit when I go on holiday.
  • I enjoy the feeling I get after I go running.
  • I really like the view from the plane.
  • I love the shopping mall in the centre of the city.
  • I really like my colleagues at my job.
  • I think I like my professors at the university the most.

Here are some examples questions and answers:

What do you like about travelling abroad?

Kat: I really love the other people I met when I go on vacation. Everybody’s always so relaxed and just wants to enjoy themselves. The food definitely, the food is probably my favorite part of going on vacation. I get to try all these new things that I don’t normally get to try at home. Some of my favorite types of food are the ones that I get one vacation.

Mark : I really like the feeling of leaving all my responsibilities behind, leaving all my duties in the office, and going somewhere warm where I can relax and unwind. I start feeling good as soon I step on the plane, and I usually start looking out the window when I can see the island or the beach and yeah I just like to chill out and unwind it’s my favourite thing to do.

What do you like about flying?

Kat: Actually I don’t really like flying. It actually makes me really nervous when we take off and when we land. I do like the part in the middle, kind of in-flight, I like watching the movies if I’m in a middle seat, but if I’m by the window I like looking out at the view, and I do use that to kind of get over my fear of flying.

Mark: The only time I really like flying is when I fly first class. I got to try it for the first time last year, and the level of service was just amazing. Like, they gave me menus, champagne, pillows, the bed was also really comfortable, so I slept like a baby. It was quite a special type, and since then I only really like to fly first class.

Practice Questions:

What do you like about your town?

What do you like about your job?

What do you like about your school / university?

What do you like about travelling abroad?

What do you like about shopping?

What do you like about watching films?

What do you like about reading?

What do you like about flying?

What do you like about exercising?

Get 49 Example Questions & Answers plus tips for the entire IELTS Speaking Test from native English speakers.  Check it out here! 


Check out our other IELTS Speaking Test posts here:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Speaking Tips and Tricks

These are just three example questions you could see on the IELTS Speaking Test Part 1. How are you feeling about these questions so far? Let us know in the comments below. 

Thanks! Mark and Kat

Mark Verbling Online IELTS Teacher

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