If your examiner asks you about your work or your studies, they might ask the question, “Do you work or study in the evening?”
Here’s how you can answer this question really well. Below, you’ll find lots of tips, and 10 good example answers (go straight to the answers here).
Two Nice Idioms To Use
There are two perfect idioms for this answer: ‘night owl’ and ‘early bird.’
A night owl is someone who comes alive at night and becomes more productive when it gets dark (like an owl).
An early bird is someone who can focus and work better early in the morning. This kind of person likes to wake up really early and start the day before everyone else, even before the sun comes up.
It’s connected to a longer idiom, ‘The early bird catches the worm.’
You can probably guess the meaning of this idiom. It means people who wake up early get ahead and beat the competition.
So, which are you, an early bird or a night owl?
If You Do Study or Work in the Evening
You can talk about:
- What you work on, or what you study in the evening
- Why you like to study or work late in the evening
- If you like to do it this way, or if you only do it because you have to
- How late you stay up working or studying
- How often you do this
- How long you’ve been doing it like this for
- If you used to have different working or studying habits
- If you’d like to change this habit in future (or not)
- If you study or work alone, or with others
- Where you do it, and why
- Anything else you can think of
If You Don’t Work or Study in the Evening
You could talk about:
- Why you don’t like to work or study in the evening
- Why you can’t do it
- When you do study or work, and why you prefer it that way
- If you ever work or study late in the day
- If you used to work or study late in the past
- If you’d like to change your habits
- Anything else that comes to mind
Focus on Speed and Fluency
Remember that in part one of your Speaking test, you can’t get a very high score.
Part one is only to warm you up. Your higher score will come from parts two and three when you have more time to think.
So in part one, just focus on fluency. This means answering as quickly as you can, without hesitation.
This is easier to do if you use quite simple English. Don’t hesitate while you try to think of better vocabulary. The examiner will notice this.
Just answer quickly, and confidently, using pretty simple English. That’s fine for part one.
Use the Three-Step YES Method
Your part-one answer doesn’t have to be very long. Just 10 or 20 seconds of talking is fine.
To help you give the right kind of answer, practice using the YES Method for part-one questions. Just say:
- Your answer (‘Yes, I do’ or ‘no, I don’t)
- Explain your answer, or add more details (one or two more sentences is fine)
- Stop talking (let the examiner know you’re ready for the following question)
Here are your 10 example answers, which you can borrow ideas from.
‘Yes, I Do’ Answers
1. Yes, I do. I’m a college student and I need to study most evenings so I can keep up with my lectures during the day. My major is economics, and it’s quite challenging for me, so I need to read a lot.
2. Yes, I often need to work overtime at my job in the evening. Well, to be honest, I don’t really have to do it but I like doing overtime because it means I can save a lot of extra money.
3. Yes, I actually start work at about 1 pm and finish at about 9 pm or 10 pm. I work for an English language school so the hours are irregular, quite different from ordinary work hours. I like it because I’m a bit of a night owl and I like to stay up late and wake up late.
4. Yes, unfortunately, I do. On weekdays I always have to do homework in the evenings. My teachers at school give us too much homework, in my opinion. But I need to do it because I don’t want to drop behind.
‘No, I Don’t’ Answers
5. No, I never work in the evening. I think it’s important to relax and unwind after work finishes, so in the evening I just chill out with my wife and a glass of wine. Sometimes I watch a movie or eat out with family and friends.
6. No, I don’t. I’m a freelance programmer and I can only concentrate really well in the morning. I’m definitely an early bird. I get up at dawn and finish all my work by about 4 pm or 5 pm in the afternoon, and I’m free after that.
7. No, I don’t work in the evenings. To be honest, I don’t even answer messages from my coworkers after about 7 pm. I really need to have some ‘me time’ before bed. I like to quietly read a book or listen to music.
8. No, definitely not. In the evening I like to meet up with friends and do something fun. I’ll never work in the evenings or at the weekend. What a horrible idea.
9. Sometimes I study English in the evenings, if I’m not too busy, tired, or feeling too lazy. It’s a good time to focus when everything is quieter.
10. I try to work in the evenings, but I usually don’t have enough discipline. I just get bored and faze out after about 6 pm. I think I’m more of a morning person.
Now, It’s Your Turn!
Give this question a go yourself.
First, set up a voice recorder, then ask out loud, “Do you ever work or study in the evening?’
Try to answer quite quickly and smoothly, without hesitation.
Don’t worry if the English you use is quite simple.
Use the three-step YES Method. Remember to stop talking confidently.
Afterward, listen to your recorded answer, and then do it again. Try to improve a little bit each time.
Keep doing this process and you’ll become well-prepared for part one of your IELTS Speaking exam.