This might seem a very obvious topic but practising this will be very beneficial because free time is a very common Speaking Part 1 topic.
And even if it doesn’t come up directly in your test, parts of your answer can be used in other related topics e.g. family, friends, hobbies, etc.
If you want to both improve your English and feel comfortable, I now offer online lessons complete with feedback, videos, workbooks and more – you can learn more here!
Part 1 answers don’t always have to be as long as in the video – just answer the question and extend it naturally but don’t worry if you run out of things to say. The examiner will ask you the next question.
You should aim for around 10 – 30 seconds per answer. Sometimes you can give an extended answer, sometimes a shorter one.
Don’t always give extended answers and don’t always give shorter ones – these could both hurt your fluency score – be natural!
If you want some other speaking model answers you can read (and watch) about friends here, phoneshere, and school here.
Make sure you include some good natural vocab in your answer and build up to practising the whole question.
You could use notes to help you but don’t rely on them. Your answer should be a different each time – that’s natural.
That’s also why I answered this question a bunch of times! I wanted to give you a sampling of different vocabulary and grammar and show you a good way to practice.
Instead of answering the question the same way each time, and memorising your answer until you sound like a bad actor reading from a script, instead you can try answering the same question with different answers each time.
You could tell the truth or have fun with it and lie or imagine that you are someone else answering the question. Enjoy practicing!
It is also a good idea to vary the length of your responses to be more natural. Some of my answers are short, some are longer…
Can you guess which ones are true/not true?
You might have noticed that my speaking style is a little bit fast – you don’t have to speak so quickly! I just do it because I am extremely intelligent.
Here is the tapescript from my speaking:
1.I’m glad you asked me that because I’ve got a whole range of hobbies that I’m really into. The main thing I’ll typically do is get out my paints and do a painting, I’ll sketch something on a piece of paper first and then maybe make a painting if I’ve got spare time, besides that I’m really into watching movies, Netflix is my favorite, so I might just veg out, sit on the couch, catch a movie – If I’ve got more time than that then I might call up a friend to see if they want to hang out.
2. I’m really active, I really like going out, I hate to stay at home, it’s the worst so whenever I’ve got a bit of spare time, I’ll call up a friend, see if they want to chill and I’ll go out with them, I might go to a coffee shop or, I love playing sports, I’ll play football with them, maybe I’ll catch a movie or just go for a walk and see what’s going on in my neighborhood.
3.I’m a bit of a homebody, I always stay home, I really like reading and recently I’ve kind of gotten into audiobooks, I downloaded an app called audible, which is from Amazon, and I can just spend a whole day, lying back, listening to an audiobook, and enjoying that.
4. I’m super into cooking so when I’ve got some time, I like to cook and I’ll typically make something that’ll last me for a few days so it won’t just last me one day. I can cook it, maybe I’ll cook some rice and put in – chop up some veggies – put it in there, maybe a little bit of meat but I’m not a big meat-eater and I’ll cook a big pot of it so that I can put it in some Tupperware and keep it in my fridge or my freezer, store it for even longer, so I can eat it for a while.
5. I’m really sociable – I like to go out with my friends, I’ll go out to a coffee shop nearby where I live because coffee shops are kind of like ‘the big thing’ right now, or a milk tea shop – that’s really popular in the country where I’m living and – and I like to gossip with them, I like to ask them about what’s been going on in their lives, their family, their friends and kind of catch up about that sort of thing – I’ll give ‘em an update on my life but I’m only going to tell them the good things – I never tell them what’s wrong with my life –
6.I’m really big into computer games, I didn’t used to be when I was a kid, it’s kind of a newer hobby for me but I’ve taken them up in the last few years so when I’ve got spare time I play on my computer, I’ve also got an Xbox and a PlayStation, so I’ll settle down on the couch and I can easily just spend the whole day playing computer games and looking up information about new games that are going to come out, watching previews for new games, talking to friends about games, I’m obsessed with games! I’ll play them on my phone if I’m in the elevator or waiting for something, I like mobile apps – I’m all about games in my spare time.
7.To be honest with you I don’t really have that much spare time because I’m so busy with work but if I do get a bit of time for myself I like to hang out with my girlfriend – because I’m busy all the time she gets a bit fed up with me that we don’t get that many chances to catch up and I don’t give her as much attention as I should but that’s something that I’m working on, I try to make more time, try to compartmentalize my life a little bit so that I’ve got more time to spend with my girlfriend and, in turn, she’s got more time to spend with me.
8.I’ve got a few pets and I like taking them out, I’ve got a dog, I’ll take him for a walk, I’ve also got a cat – you can’t really take a cat for a walk but you can just lie on the couch and pet them and that’s quite good for your health, I’ve heard, your mental health, as well as your – it can bring down your blood pressure, I’ve also got a couple of fish so I’ll feed the fish and every once in awhile I have to clean out their tank which is a whole ordeal to get through but since uh… – since I love my fish, I’m willing to do anything for them.
Here is another speaking model answer about free time from my friend Nick:
Some examples of good vocab are highlighted in the audioscript below:
“Well, one of the things I love to do is just hanging out with my friends. It might sound kinda obvious but my friends are really important to me, and believe it or not I’m kind of an introverted person so I’d rather meet up with them 1 to 1 than in a big group, you know. So maybe we’ll catch up over a coffee or grab some lunch. With my friends back in England, I try and keep in touch over facebook or whatsapp, have a bit of banter and I love getting all their gossip. I’m a bit rubbish sometimes in terms of keeping in touch but I try not to leave it too long without having a proper catch up.”
hanging out with my friends: spending time together
it might sound kinda obvious but: very clear/common
believe it or not: it is a bit surprising
introverted person:like spending time alone, quiet
meet up: hang out
1 to1: talking with just 1 other person, rather than a group
catch up over a coffee:get a coffee and talk about what is new in your life
grab some lunch: get lunch
keep in touch over facebook: talk over Facebook
banter: idle, casual conversation
getting all their gossip: learning news about other people
rubbish at keeping in touch: not good at contacting friends
try not to leave it too long: try to talk more regularly
having a proper catch up: spend some time atching up rather than just a short conversation
Now it’s your turn! Put your answers in the comments.
"Excellent tips and video lessons! Dave improved my writing skills in a way that helped me express my ideas more clearly, with higher level English. I definitely recommend HowtodoIELTS!"
Hi, I’m Dave! Welcome to my IELTS online IELTS courses and resources! Before you commit I want to explain very clearly why there’s no one better to help you learn about IELTS and improve your English at the same time... Read more
Sign up for a free IELTS Writing Task 1 PDF
Get our weekly email for the best IELTS tips.