How to prepare for ALL IELTS Speaking Introduction questions

Any IELTS Speaking test starts with introduction questions. What are they? The introduction questions are always about where you live, what you do for work, or what you study. After these questions the examiner goes on to some other topics. It is important to have a good start to your Speaking test, because it will help you feel more confident and calm for the next part.

To start your next IELTS speaking test feeling fully in control and ready, watch this video.

Adam will give you all the possible introduction questions you might be asked. He will act as the examiner and ask you the questions, and you can pause the video and practice answering them.

Adam has been an examiner for 10 years, and he can guarantee that the intro questions never really change! Even though they mix them around, there aren’t many ways to ask someone where they live, what kind of job they have, or what they are studying.

All the questions Adam is asking also appear on the screen for you to read, if you missed something he said.

Let your practice begin… now!

Watch the video on YouTube here

Go here to get Adam to assess your Speaking, estimate you the score you’re likely to get now and tell you how to score higher.

In the video

Live 1
Do you live in a house or an apartment? (Why?)
What does your house /apartment look like? (Why?)
What can you see from your window?

Live 2
What kind of house or apartment do you live in?
Do you enjoy living in this house/apartment?
Are there any shops or other facilities near your home?

Live 3
Do you like the place where you live now?
Do you know many people who live near you?
Is your area a good place for families with children?

Live 4
Do you live in a house or an apartment? (Why?)
What is your favourite room in your home? (Why?)
Do you think you will move home in the near future? (Why/why not?)

Live 5
How far away from here are you living at the moment?
How long have you lived in your part of town?
Is your part of town an interesting place? (Why/why not?)

Work 1
What do you do?
When did you decide to do this kind of work? (Why?)
Is there anything you don’t like about your job? (Why/why not?)

Work 2
Do you work better in the morning or the afternoon?
What do you enjoy the most about your work?
Has your work changed since you started your job? (How?)

Work 3
What sort of job do you do?
Do you find the work easy? (Why/why not?)
Do you think your job will change much in the future? (Why/why not?)

Work 4
What job do you do?
At what time of day do you work best?
Have you made friends with the people you work with? (Why/why not?)

Work 5
What kind of work do you do?
Why did you choose this kind of work?
Did you enjoy your first day in this job? (Why/why not?)

Study 1
What subjects are you studying?
When did you decide to study this/these subjects (Why?)
Is there anything you don’t like about your studies? (Why/why not?)

Study 2
Do you study better in the morning or afternoon? (Why?)
What do you enjoy the most about your studies? (Why?)
Is your course different to what you expected? (Why/why not?)

Study 3
What subject do you study?
Do you find this/these subjects easy? (Why/why not?)
What job do you hope to do after you finish your studies?

Study 4
What are you studying?
At what time of day do you study best? (Why?)
Have you made friends with the people you study with? (Why/why not?)

Study 5
Where are you studying?
Why did you choose to study there?
Did you enjoy your first day there? (Why/why not?)

IELTS Speaking Band 7, Full Test with Examiner’s Feedback (Aleks)

In this video you will watch Aleks take a mock Speaking Test – it shows you what happens on the test day in the real examination room. Due to COVID19 precautions there may be a plexiglass screen between you and the examiner, and you may be required to wear a face mask for your Speaking test. It is a good idea to ask your IELTS test centre about this, so that you know what to expect.

The questions our examiner is asking Aleks are on topics that often come up in real IELTS Speaking exams. You can find the exact questions in Speaking Test 20 in the “High Scorer’s Choice” IELTS Practice Tests book series.

There are 3 parts in the IELTS Speaking Test.

In Part 1 the examiner asks personal questions on everyday topics, such as your job or studies, your home, your family or friends, your habits, likes and dislikes.

Part 2 is different, because there is no discussion in it. Instead, you receive a topic card (cue card) to talk about for 1 to 2 minutes, with 4 bullet points you should cover in your talk. Part 2 is the only part of the Speaking test where you get 1 minute preparation time and you can write down some ideas to talk about. This doesn’t happen in Part 1 or Part 3.

In Part 3 the examiner asks you questions related to Part 2 topic. You are expected to give longer, more elaborate answers and talk in-depth about the topics your examiner brings up.

How can you make the most of this Speaking test video?

1. Get familiar with everything that happens in the Speaking test. It will help you feel prepared when it’s your turn.

2. Listen to the questions the examiner asks and note how Aleks answers them. Then think about what YOU would say in response to these questions.

3. Spot Aleks’ mistakes and avoid them when you speak.

4. Go over Examiner’s Feedback below to learn how he rated Aleks’ performance and why (he also points out some of his mistakes!)

5. You can even use this as a Listening exercise, and switch on subtitles on YouTube to understand every word on the recording.

Watch the video on YouTube here:

Examiner’s Feedback

This section shows you what goes on in the examiner’s mind when he rates a Speaking test. Make sure you read this before looking at the scores he gave Aleks in every criterion, because this explains the reasons he got those scores.

Speaking Test, Part 1 – 0:20

Aleks was pretty fluent and coherent. He answered all the questions capably, but he didn’t often use longer and developed sentences, which I would have preferred. His vocabulary range was good and he had no problem accessing the right language for what he wanted to say. Aleks’ grammar was very accurate, though not without error, i.e. saying “less bicycles” instead of “fewer bicycles”. Aleks had a small accent, but this did not affect communication in any way.

Speaking Test, Part 2 – 5:00

The cue card Aleks was given is below:

Describe a successful businessman/businesswoman that you know. You should say:

– who he/she is and how you know him/her
– what his/her business is
– how you think this person’s business will do in the future
– and explain why you think he/she is successful

Aleks’ section 2 was fine, though he struggled a little to keep going and he was often a bit generalised and vague. There was a pause at the start and there were a number of pauses through his speech. Again, his sentences were also not often really well developed. So, although Aleks provided enough speech, his fluency and coherence was a bit fragmented at times. Aleks’ lexical choices were good, though he did not show much range and repeated “thing” too much. Aleks’ grammar was good, though again there was not a great range of structure. There was only some very minor error, i.e. “until he can” right at the end. Aleks’ pronunciation was again very good.

Speaking Test, Part 3 – 7:37

Aleks gave a nice section 3. The more complex questions allowed him to develop his sentences in a better way, though there were some pauses again, especially in the second half as Aleks considered answers and sometimes tried to access language. In general, I felt his fluency and coherence were a little better. Aleks’ vocabulary was good and he showed some more high-level language, i.e. “tangible”, while giving his nice answer on motivation. There were also some awkward vocabulary moments, i.e. “convert to”. There were the same occasional awkward moments with grammar (i.e. “an eye contact” and “improve on being”) and again some lack of grammatical range, but there were few errors. Aleks’ accent was again slight and did not affect communication in any way.

Aleks’ IELTS Speaking score

The marking of the IELTS Speaking Test is done in 4 parts.

Fluency and Coherence 7
Lexical Resource 7
Grammatical Range and Accuracy 7
Pronunciation 8

Estimated IELTS Speaking Band 7

Need more Speaking tests with Examiner’s feedback? Find them in High Scorer’s Choice book series.

If you’d like to get your own Speaking evaluated, you can – go here to learn how.



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