The examiner in your IELTS Speaking test might ask you about hobbies in part one. If they do, one question could be, “Is it important to have a hobby?”
This is also a possible question for part three. But in this article, let’s think about a good part-one answer. Below, you can also see 10 example answers (go straight to the answers here).
What You Can Say About Hobbies
If you do think hobbies are important, just explain why they’re important with one or two short sentences.
Here are some things you might talk about:
- Hobbies keep people happy
- Hobbies keep us entertained
- Hobbies help people to learn new things and grow
- Hobbies teach useful skills
- Hobbies help you to make new friends
- Hobbies teach you to use your mind or body
- Examples of hobbies
- Explain how a hobby has helped you and your life
- Explain how a hobby has helped someone you know
- A hobby you would like to try in future, and why
- Anything else that comes to mind
If You Don’t Think Hobbies Are Important
In this case, you can say why hobbies aren’t important and try to say why you think that.
You might talk about:
- How you’re happy without hobbies
- How hobbies are distracting from work or family
- How people you know don’t have hobbies and don’t need them
- Anything else you can think of
Quick Tip: Talk About Yourself
In part one, you want to answer quickly. And in Part 1, you can talk about yourself.
So for a part-one question like this, quickly think about one example in your own life. This is the easiest thing to talk about.
Just say one hobby you have and why it is important to you (or not).
That will be a great answer.
Keep It Short
You only need to talk for 10 or 20 seconds in your part-one answers.
Don’t try to keep talking and talking. That can actually hurt your score.
Use the three-step YES Method to answer part-one questions like this.
For the YES Method, you just say:
- Your answer (‘yes, hobbies are important’ or ‘no, they’re not’)
- Explain your answer (say why you think that, with one or two sentences)
- Stop talking (wait patiently for the next question)
Focus on Fluency
In part one, focus on fluency: speak smoothly and quickly, without hesitation.
Don’t try to think of clever vocabulary to use. That will slow you down.
You can use clever vocabulary in part two when you have more time to think.
Here are 10 good answers to look at. See if you can borrow some ideas for your own answer.
‘Yes, I Do’ Answers
1. Yes, I do. I think hobbies are very important because they keep us happy and entertained. Life without hobbies would be very boring.
2. Yes. To my mind, hobbies are important because we can learn new skills for life with our hobbies. For example, DIY is a useful hobby. Swimming and dancing are useful hobbies too.
3. Yes, I think everyone needs a hobby because it’s the best way to make friends. I love shopping, for example. And I go shopping with my friends all the time.
4. Yes, I do. Of course hobbies are important. We need hobbies to improve our minds and challenge ourselves. For example, I love playing complicated card games, which are tricky to learn but lots of fun.
5. Yes, I reckon hobbies are essential for enjoying life. I’ve been playing soccer since I was very young. I play every weekend with my friends. And it makes me very happy.
‘No, I Don’t’ Answers
6. No, I don’t. I don’t think hobbies are very important because I don’t have any hobbies and I’m perfectly happy. I just spend my time working or relaxing with my family.
7. No, I don’t think hobbies are very important. I think it’s nice if you have one, but it’s not necessary to enjoy life.
8. No, I don’t. Most of my friends don’t have hobbies, because we’re too busy with work. In my opinion, making money is more important than playing around with games and sports.
‘Kind Of,’ Answers
9. I suppose hobbies are pretty important if you have time for them. I used to enjoy playing computer games with my friends. I guess that was my hobby. But these days I’m too busy for it.
10. Well, I think hobbies are kind of important. You need to do fun things in life, and hobbies are meant to be fun. But I don’t think hobbies are as important as family and friends and things like that.
Your Turn To Answer
Now, it’s time to give this question a go yourself.
Set up your voice recorder and ask out loud, “Is it important to have a hobby?”
Imagine you’re in the exam. Answer as quickly and smoothly as you can.
Follow the YES Method (don’t speak for too long).
When you’ve finished, listen to your recording. Try to hear any mistakes you made, or any hesitation.
Then answer again! Try to improve a little each time.
That’s the way to prepare for a band-seven score in part one of your IELTS Speaking test.