How to talk about yourself in Part 1 of the Speaking Interview

The IELTS Speaking Test is in three parts – part 1 deals with personal information and familiar topics, part 2 is a long-turn where you speak on a topic for two minutes and part 3 deals with more abstract questions related to the part 2 topic.


After confirming your identity, the examiner will begin the speaking test by asking some questions about you. This part of the test lasts no more than a minute and is designed to put you at your ease by talking about yourself before moving on to questions about other familiar topics.


The questions in this very first part could be related to what you do – do you work or do you study? Or alternatively they could be related to where you live or where you come from. (You will only be asked about one of these topics in this part).


If you work, you should be ready to talk about your job briefly. Possible questions include why you chose your job, what you like and dislike about it and if you plan to stay in this job in the future.


If you’re a student, you may be asked about what you study and why you chose to study that subject(s). You may be asked about the other students on your course and what you plan to do after school/college.


Alternatively, you may be asked about where you live – Do you live in a house or a flat? You may be asked to describe your home or your favourite room. You may be asked about any changes you want to make to your home in the future.


A fourth option is to be asked about your home town. You may be asked to describe your home town or talk about its advantages and disadvantages. You may be asked to suggest improvements to your home town or to describe how it has changed in recent years.



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