In Part 1 of the Speaking test, the examiner asks you some general questions about your personal situation. These may include questions about your occupation (or the way you spend your time if you don't have an occupation). It's a good idea to prepare some ideas for speaking about this. What can you say that is interesting or unexpected? Can you give some opinions as well as the basic information?
Try talking about your occupation as if you were doing Speaking Part 1. If you are working with a partner. take it in turns to play the roles of examiner and candidate. Here are some typical questions.
Examiner: I'd like to ask you some questions about your occupation.
- Do you work, or are you a student?
- What's the most interesting part of being a [candidate's occupation]?
- What's the most difficult part of being a [candidate's occupation]?
- Would you say it's a good occupation? (Why? / Why not?)
- What kind of work would you like to do in the future?
Useful language for talking about your occupation
Grammar Present Simple OR Present Continuous
Your choice of grammar shows how you feel about your occupation.
I work for a company which makes car engine parts.
This implies you feel the job is long term.
I'm working for a company which makes car engine parts.
This implies you feel the job is temporary.
If you're a student, it's common to use the present continuous to describe your course:
I'm doing a Master's degree in Forest Management.
Choose the best sentence from each pair.
a. I study Chemistry at the local university.
b. I'm studying Chemistry at the local university.
a. I don't work at the moment.
b. I'm not working at the moment.
a. My family owns a chain of opticians, and I run one of the branches.
b. My family is owning a chain of opticians. and I'm running one of the branches.
Answers: 1. b 2. b 3. a
Give plenty of detail in descriptions.
Don't just say I'm d student or I work in restaurant. Give more details in your answer.
• I'm d third-year student studying Law the local university.
• I'm working as a waiter in a pizza restaurant in the main square of this town. You may have seen it. It's called Pappagallo.
The examiner may ask for your opinion or feelings about your occupation. It can be a good strategy to contrast a positive and a negative opinion.
• It's not an easy subject. There's a lot of reading, and the exams are very difficult, but it'll be worth it.
• I'll be able to get a good job when I graduate, and the career prospects for lawyers are excellent.
• It's hard work and — I have to be honest — the pay isn't great, but i' can be a lot of fun, especially when the restaurant is busy. I work with some really nice people.
Adding your feelings and opinions can make your speaking more interesting and can help improve your score. However, extreme and intolerant opinions should be avoided, especially concerning race and religion.
You won't be able to write notes in Part 1 of the exam (you can in Part 2), but doing it now will help you to organize your ideas.
prepare your ideas for speaking about your occupation. write some brief notes on ways to answer these questions. Here are some more probable questions and ideas.
1. Do you work, or are you a student?
2. What's the most interesting part of being a [candidate's occupation]?
3. What's the most difficult part of being a [candidate's occupation]?
4. Would you say it's a good occupation? (Why? / Why not?)
5. What kind of work would you like to do in the future?
Although it's a good strategy to prepare your ideas and learn useful language, don't memorize a speech and then give it in the test. What you say should seem spontaneous.
If you are working with a partner, role- play talking about your occupations as if in Part 1 of the Speaking test again — one person is the examiner and the other is the candidate. Use the same sample questions, and refer to the notes you made in advance. When you have finished, reverse roles and repeat.
Write a detailed description of your occupation. Use a dictionary to describe it as accurately as you can. This will help you to organize your ideas and to learn new words that will be useful.
Now Listen to a sample IELTS speaking part 1: