A red and white cartoon alarm clock sits on a dark grey background. The image conveys that the post will discuss how long you should talk for in IELTS Speaking Part 1

IELTS Speaking Part 1 lasts between 4 and 5 minutes, during which the examiner should ask you between 7 and 11 questions. Think about that – 5 minutes for 11 questions. That works out at about 27 seconds per question (including the time it takes the examiner to ask them!). It’s not a great deal of time, but it’s such a short amount either. (I mean – it’s a quarter of your cue card time!) Now, I have seen a lot of sites that tells students to answer each Part 1 question in 2 or 3 sentences. In general, I think that this is great advice. 💥 IN GENERAL! 💥

A turquoise pause button sits on a bright pink background to symbolise that in the IELTS speaking exam you should try to paraphrase rather than pause.

Imagine this. It’s part two of the speaking test. You have been given a cue card that asks you to describe a memorable journey, and you are talking about a road trip you took with some friends across Europe. 🚗 It’s a good story. You have lots to say, and are about to get to the best part of the story – the bit that describes how you got stopped by the police because you ran over a traffic cone….. 🚓. But then you realise, you don’t know the word for “traffic cone” in English…….

The first section of the IELTS speaking test should be the easiest for all test-takers because the questions are all about YOU 😎, so hopefully you will never have to struggle to find an answer! However, as many test-takers have discovered over the years, the topics in Part 1 an sometimes be, well, strange! So, in today’s blog, I want to talk about how to prepare for the questions you can predict, and then ones that you definitely can’t! But first, let’s start with the THE FACTS 🗒