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Speaking Questions for IELTS Part 1

You can get various types of speaking questions for IELTS so it is important to understand how to reply to them properly.

You can also watch a video of this lesson:

This lesson is particularly important if you are at a lower level of English, as those with weaker speaking skills often show that they have misunderstood the question when they give their answer.

Misunderstanding the Question

Giving the wrong answer could also come from not concentrating properly.

This could be due to nerves, so you miss exactly what the examiner has asked. So you have to listen carefully.

Take a look at this example question:

IELTS Examiner: How important do you think it is to learn English language?

Candidate: Oh, I really like learning English. I think it will really help with my career.

This candidate has shown that they did not listen properly, or simply misunderstood the question.

These are the kinds of answers that would be expected.

  • It's very important because...
  • It's extremely important...
  • It's fairly important because..
  • It's quite important because...
  • I don't think it's very important because...

So in this case it is an adverb of degree that would be expected as they commonly follow how questions that ask for an opinion about something.

That is not to say that there are not other possibilities, but this directly answers the question, unlike the other reponse which was incorrect.

Speaking Questions for IELTS Exercise

Now try this speaking questions for IELTS exercise to see if you know the meaning of other common question phrases.


Link the question phrase to its correct meaning.

1. How important...?

2. How often...?

3. How do you...?

4. Would you rather...?

5. What kind of...?

6. When...?

7. Where...?

8. Why...?

9. Who...?

Score =
Speaking Questions for IELTS - Correct answers:

Of course you have to be careful how you answer each question.

There can be many different types of question using these phrases and many different answers, but below are some examples on the topic of food based on part 1 of the test.

Note how the answers, though, to these speaking questions for IELTS directly relate to the question.

Also, notice how the answers are extended by giving reasons, which is important for part 1.

Examples of Types of Speaking Questions for IELTS

These examples are on the topic of 'food'.

How important is having breakfast to you?

Not very important really. I often miss it as I never feel that hungry when I first wake up. Lunch is often the first meal of the day for me.

Would you rather eat out or eat at home?

I prefer to eat in as I like home cooked food. You know for sure what is in the ingredients, whereas at a restaurant you can never be sure of what is in the food and whether it is healthy or not.

How often do you eat out?

About once or twice a week. Mostly I eat in because I get back from work late and don't have time to get to a restaurant.

What kind of restaurants do you like to go to if you do eat out?

Usually it is small family run places. They have a better atmosphere than those big chains and often the price if more reasonable too. You can also get to know the owner which is nice.

When did you last go to a restaurant?

Oh, it was probably about a week ago, last weekend. I went to a place called Chino's, down the road from me. It does great Italian food.

Where is the best place to shop for groceries?

I think the supermarkets are good to get cheap things, such as the everyday items like tinned food and toiletries, but local stores are better for meat and vegetables because they are always fresh.

How do you get to the shops when you go for food?

I usually go by car, but occasionally by bike if the weather is ok and I don't need to buy too much. The car can obviously be better if it's the weekly shopping and you need to purchase a lot.

Why do you think there is a problem with obesity in many countries?

I think it is principally to do with diet and time. People don't have a lot of time so they eat fast food. The lack of time also means that people don't do enough exercise.

Who should be dealing with obesity?

The government should do something, such as making producers label food packaging clearly, but individuals also have to take responsibility for their own weight and life-style.

Follow up activity

Try writing your own part 1 speaking questions for IELTS and then practice them with a partner.

< Part 1 Answers
Extending Responses >

More IELTS Speaking Lessons:

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