Animals are one possible topic in part one of your IELTS Speaking test. A question the examiner might ask you is, “What is your favorite animal?”
Let’s look at how to get a great score, including 10 good example answers (go straight to the answers here).
What You Can Say
First, say your favorite animal (or any animal that you like and can describe) and then say why you like it. You could talk about:
- A pet, wild animal, or farm animal
- An animal you saw on TV or at the zoo
- When you started liking that animal
- How friendly or intelligent the animal is
- If you’ve owned this animal before, as a pet
- How the animal looks (its appearance)
- How it behaves (in your home, the zoo, or in the wild)
- When you’ve seen this animal before (zoo, documentary, farm, in nature, safari, friend’s house…)
- How you could see the animal in future
- If you’d like to own that kind of animal
- Anything else you can think of
How Long Your Answer Should Be
For all part-one questions, your answer should be more than a few words, but not more than a few sentences (about 20 to 30 seconds of talking).
Some students get nervous and try to say too much in part one.
Relax, and keep it simple.
Follow the three-step YES Method to give the right length of answer. Just say:
- Your answer (say the animal you like)
- Explain your answer (say why you like it) or add more details
- Stop talking (let the examiner know you’re ready for the next question)
Just Focus on Fluency
Remember that part one is only to warm you up.
So focus on warming up by being fluent. This means: do not hesitate. Speak quickly and smoothly.
It’s easier to do this if your English is simple.
You can use complex vocabulary and grammar in parts two and three when you have more time to think.
Here are 10 good example answers to this part-one question about animals.
1. I love dogs because they’re always bouncing with cheerful energy, and they defend their owners. They’re extremely loyal and friendly and protective. Dogs really are man’s best friend.
2. My favorite animal is dogs, especially puppies, which are so incredibly cute. My friend’s dog recently had puppies and they’re adorable, so small and furry. I want one, too.
3. I think cats are my favorite animal because they’re nice to have around, and they can sometimes be very warm and friendly, but they’re also very independent and kind of look after themselves most of the time.
4. My favorite animal is cats, especially kittens because they’re adorable and delightful. I could play around with kittens all day long. I’ve had two pet cats in the past, which started as kittens.
5. I’ve always liked bears because they’re huge and powerful, with thick fur and big teeth and claws. Bears are dangerous, but only if you disturb them or threaten them. Usually, they’re quite peaceful.
6. Birds are my favorite animal. I’d love to just spread my wings and soar into the sky like an eagle. They always look so serene and happy up there, close to the clouds.
7. My favorite animal is lions because they’re the king of the jungle. I’ve liked lions ever since I watched the Disney movie, The Lion King, when I was young.
8. I’m a big fan of monkeys because they’re so cool and cheeky and playful. Monkeys really seem to enjoy life, and their faces are very expressive, you can almost see what they’re thinking about.
9. I love fish, and especially dolphins, which are the most intelligent kind of fish. Dolphins are beautiful and very graceful and they live in close-knit families. I’ve heard they even help sailors at sea by guiding their ships.
10. I grew up riding horses on my father’s farm, and I really adore them. There’s nothing like the feeling of galloping really fast on horseback.
Now You Have a Go
Set up the voice recorder on your phone and ask aloud, “What is your favorite animal?”
When you answer, follow the YES Method.
Try to be fluent, without hesitation. Don’t worry about vocabulary for now. Just say whatever comes into your head as smoothly as you can.
Afterward, listen to your recording and write down what you said.
Can you hear or see any mistakes?
Answer the question again, trying to improve a little bit each time.
This is a fine way to prepare for a good band-seven score in part one of your IELTS Speaking exam.