Students often ask how long the answers should be in the IELTS Speaking Part 1. The key is to keep the answers simple but concrete. Some students may simply respond to the questions straight away without giving any explanations. However, you should extend your answers if you want to get band 7 or above. Wall Street English will provide 5 tips for you to extend your answers in Speaking exams.


1. Reasons

Try to provide explanations for your answers. For example, in the case below, tell the examiner why you like to go hiking.


Q: What do you usually do in your free time?


Short answer: I like to go hiking in my free time.


Long answer: In my spare time, I like to go hiking. I enjoy the beauty of nature and the fresh air in the mountains, that could not be found in the urban areas. I also like the sense of accomplishment after reaching the top of the mountain.


2. Contrasting details

After giving the direct answer to the question, try to add some contrasting details to enrich your answer.


Q: What are you studying?


Short answer: I’m studying Marketing.


Long answer: I’m currently studying Marketing, but I’ll soon be transferring to the Management major as I feel like Marketing is not really my thing.


3. Examples

Another way to extend your answer is to give examples.


Q: Is it easy to travel around your hometown?


Short answer: Yes, it is.


Long answer: Yes, it is. Hong Kong is a small city with a rich number of public transportations including trains and buses.


4. Counterargument

When it comes to controversial questions, you can raise one or more counterargument(s) and perform a rebuttal. In this way, your answer could become more powerful.


Q: Do you prefer home-cooked food or food in restaurants?


Short answer: I prefer home-cooked food.


Long answer: That’s a difficult question as I like both. If I must choose one, I’d say I prefer home-cooked meals more. My mum does most of the cooking at home and she’s amazingly good at it. The food made by her never disappoints me as she tries out new recipes almost every day. Restaurants sound good too but they could never replace home-cooked food that involves the love from my mum.


5. Personal experience

Try to provide some personal experience to make the answer more persuasive and relatable.


Q: Do you think friendship is important?


Short answer: Yes, I do think it’s important.


Long answer: There is no doubt that friendship plays a pivotal role in our lives. A good friend provides you with happiness, comfort, and joy. Personally speaking, I have a friend who cheers me up whenever I am down, have my back whenever I need support, and go crazy with me all the time. With her by my side, I would never feel lonely and depressed. Therefore, I do believe it is essential to develop close relationships.



You can use the 5 skills above to create a more complete answer. But do avoid making the answer too long!