IELTS Speaking Part 1 is possibly the easiest part of the speaking exam, but it is still important to get off to a strong start and answer the questions as naturally as possible. I asked my wife to answer some current  questions from IELTS speaking part 1 to demonstrate how to develop your answers a little more and create some model answers for students. I’ve added some advice to help you improve your own speaking answers and understand what makes these answers band 8 or 9.

Please comment below with any other topics you would like IELTS Speaking Part 1 model answers for and let me know if this article was useful 🙂

IELTS Speaking Part 1-Sleep


How many hours do you normally sleep at night?

It depends on the night, I try to at least have 8 hours of sleep every night as that is what is recommended by experts. Nevertheless, sometimes things like having enough time to go to work, go to the gym, cooking proper meals, etc can get in the way of those 8 hours, so I think on average I probably sleep around 6 and a half to 7 hours per night.

Do you go to sleep early or stay up late? 

I usually go to bed quite early. I wake up around 5 in the morning, so around 9:30 at night I am getting ready for bed. I also try to go to the gym every day after work so by the time I get home take a shower and eat dinner I am pretty exhausted. 

How do you feel when you have stayed up late the night before? 

I’m not really sure if the fact I’m getting older has started to affect my capacity to stay up late at night. But recently every time I stay up late I feel pretty bad the next day; I either have a really bad headache or I just don’t have any energy to do pretty much anything. I do try to avoid it but having a social life is also very important for me so sometimes you have to deal with the consequences.

Do you ever take a nap during the day? 

No, not really; who has the time to take a nap nowadays really? I think it would be a dream though. I am really jealous of those people who can just take a 10 minute power nap and wake up feeling totally refreshed. Whenever I have ever tried to do that the effect is quite the contrary, I like to have longer naps so if I don’t have enough time for that I try to avoid it as it will only make me feel really moody. 

Do you always sleep well? 

Well that is a very difficult question really… I would say I do in general but it depends on a lot of different factors: When the seasons change and it starts to get hotter I struggle to sleep in the heat a lot! I am  mildly allergic to the AC so I can’t really use it while I sleep. Consequently sleeping in the summer can really become a battle for me. If I have had a lot to eat before bed I tend to have bad dreams so I try my hardest to not do it but sometimes life gets in the way and it is very difficult to control everything. 

What helps you to sleep better? 

Recently I have discovered this meditation app that has the most incredible sleeping tracks. I was not really a believer of meditation in the past but I started using it for frequent headaches so whenever I am struggling to sleep I put one of their sleeping meditation tracks and so far I have no complaints. It always put me to sleep almost straight away. 

Do you think sleep is important? 

It is so important! I love sleeping and I think for some people working and getting everything done can sometimes become more important. I have discovered that whenever I have a proper night sleep I wake up feeling rejuvenated, full of energy and with a positive attitude. If I don’t get enough hours of sleep at night I tend to wake up moody and it really doesn’t help me get through my days. 

IELTS Matt's Advice

Try to notice how the questions are answered directly and how the words of the questions are not repeated. Many students start their answers with a phrase that sounds remarkably similar to the question. The examiner will be looking for your ability to paraphrase, but the easiest way to do this is to answer the question directly. 

IELTS Speaking Part 1-Public Transport

What is the most popular type of public transportation in your country? 

In Bogotá we don’t have an underground or subway and the traffic is an absolute nightmare. About 15 years ago, the government created these buses that have a private lane called Transmilenio. They can be very busy in rush hour, but at least you don’t have to put up with hours of traffic and they connect the entire city.

Do you prefer public or private transportation?

I prefer public transportation, obviously sometimes it can be less than ideal; busy, smelly and not the most comfortable. Regardless, I try to take care of the environment as much as I can, I wouldn’t say I am a full blown environmentalist but I believe that having a private car is such an unnecessary privilege. Especially nowadays there are so many alternatives to buses like: ride shares, electric scooters and rental bicycles that make public transportation affordable and fun while protecting the environment. 

Are there any traffic problems in your area?

I believe Bogotá has the second worst traffic congestion in the whole world which is absolutely crazy. I love the city but I always advise tourists to add one or two hours into their transit times especially during the weekends and in rush hours. It can take you 4 or 5 hours to take a 25 km journey. Whenever possible I prefer to walk or to take a bicycle, I do whatever I can to avoid traffic. You never know how long you will be stuck on it.

What could be done to improve the transportation system in your area? 

Definitely to build an underground or a metro, the city has been screaming for it for years and years; somehow we are still waiting for it though… Colombia is a developing country and has a lot of problems with corruption, the government has been planning on building a subway for about 30 years and here we are still….. nothing. It seems like this year they will finally start building it and I truly believe this will highly improve the transportation and traffic problems in the city. 

Is cycling to work popular in your area? 

It’s starting to become more popular. As I have said, traffic jams in Bogotá are horrendous so the government built cycle lanes about 10 years ago and they are pretty much around the whole city which makes it safer for people to actually ride their bicycles. People have been starting to cycle to work more often since then, giving them a safe option and also saving them money. 


IELTS Matt's Speaking Part 1 Advice

A few of these answers are a little longer than they need to be. I decided to keep them like this because the vast majority of IELTS students answer these questions using a single sentence. As you can see here there are so many options of ways to expand your answers in IELTS Speaking Part 1

IELTS Speaking Part 1-Insects

Do you like insects? 

I love them! I know it can be quite weird to say that but a few years ago I got this fascination with beetles: the shape of their wings, their stunning colours, how they interact in their ecosystems, it is all really interesting to me. Since then I have been studying other insects like fireflies and bees and I like to sketch them in my free time. 

Which insects are there where you live?

Well, I’m from Colombia, one of the most bio diverse countries in the world. There are millions upon millions of species of insects, we have many jungles and rainforests which is one of their main habitats. One of the most famous are butterflies; when you go to botanical gardens in Colombia there are usually butterfly houses when you go inside it’s a little piece of heaven full of different types of flowers and butterflies in every shape and colour you can think of.

Why do many people not like insects? 

When you watch wildlife documentaries they usually portray insects as dangerous animals, with poisonous stingers that could potentially give you a bad rash or a tropical disease. People don’t even understand insects won’t even come near you or do you any harm unless they feel threatened, many die right after they sting so as long as you treat them properly there really shouldn’t be any fear. Others think they aren’t aesthetically pleasing and I can understand that, you really need to see an insect up close to really catch their beauty, they are so symmetrical and have such outstanding colours and textures. 

Do you think insects are useful?

Humm.. that is an interesting question. I guess scientists study their properties to develop new medicines and treatments so I guess it makes them really important. We also need insects to pollinate, that is extremely important if insects don’t pollinate different flowers the whole life cycle of a plant can be over and if we don’t have enough plants eventually the ability of plants to develop oxygen will decrease and with no oxygen we will struggle to survive in this world; so yeah they are extremely useful and in my opinion people should appreciate what they do for their ecosystems much more. 

IELTS Matt's Advice-Difficult Topics

Every four months the IELTS questions change and there are always a few difficult topics in IELTS speaking part 1. Please take a look at the latest topics in the link below and you should aim to improve your vocabulary especially for the more unusual ones like insects. 
New IELTS Speaking Topics Part 1-May-December 2020

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3 years ago

Really it was very helpful to learn how to answer. The answer is very Honest. Thanks

Varsha Panchal
Varsha Panchal
3 years ago

Thank you for sharing helpful information

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