Let’s take a look at a common IELTS Speaking part-one question, “What is your favorite color?”
Here, you’ll read some tips on how to answer this question for a band-seven score, with 20 example answers (go straight to the answers here).
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What You Can Say
First, choose any color you like and can talk about easily. Then say a sentence or two more about that color.
Here are some ideas. You could say:
- Why you like that color
- If you’ve always liked that color
- Why you liked this color when you were a child
- Things you own that are this color (clothes, your car, furniture, flowers…)
- How this color makes you feel
- What this color symbolizes (for example, white symbolizes purity and innocence, you might have to do some research here for your own favorite color)
- What this color reminds you of
- Anything else you can think of
Focus on Fluency
Part one is really just a warm-up. Because of this, the questions are supposed to be easy. So you can give a simple answer.
You won’t get a very high score in part one, so save your advanced vocabulary and grammar for parts two and three.
In part one, just focus on fluency. This means you should answer quickly, without hesitation. And try not to make (many) mistakes.
Use simple English, and don’t ramble (speaking for too long without a clear finish). If you speak for too long, you are more likely you are to:
- Make a mistake
- Or annoy the examiner
Remember, the examiner has to ask you 10-12 questions in under five minutes. That’s not much time.
So help them out by giving clear answers which are just 10 or 20 seconds long.
Use the Three-Step YES Method
You can practice using the YES Method for all your part-one answers. Just say:
- Your answer (say what color you like)
- Explain your answer in one or two sentences
- Stop talking (wait patiently for the next question)
Here are 20 example band-seven answers to the ‘favorite color’ question. Feel free to borrow vocabulary and ideas.
1. I love the color red because it’s such a warm and passionate color, like the color of fire, or like a beautiful sunset.
2. I think my favorite color is red. I’ve always liked wearing red clothes, such as red socks or sweaters. They make me feel bright and cheerful.
3. My favorite color by far is red, because red symbolizes action and adventure. When I was at school, I remember I liked using bright red when I drew or painted pictures.
4. My favorite color is definitely blue, because blue is kind of a peaceful, calming color, like the color of clean, clear water in a river.
5. Well, I’m always wearing blue clothes, and I have a blue car, and my wife’s eyes are blue, so I suppose my favorite color must be blue.
6. I really like blue, especially light blue, like the sky on a clear day. It’s a beautiful, refreshing color that makes me want to go outside and do active things.
7. If I had to choose one color as my favorite, I’d choose green because green is the color of nature and life.
8. Green is my favorite color. I’ve always enjoyed going out into nature, where I’m surrounded by all different shades of greenery, such as plants and trees and grass.
9. I love the color green. I love all shades of green, because green reminds me of when I was younger and I used to play in the woods and fields around my village.
10. I think black is my favorite color because it’s a very powerful and elegant color, which reminds me of mysteries and nighttime adventures with my friends.
11. I love wearing black, both casually and at work because it’s such a professional color. Black also looks great when you wear it. It goes well with many other colors. So I think black is my favorite color.
12. My favorite color is white because white is a very positive color that symbolizes innocence and goodness and peace.
13. To be honest, I really like white. I like to own quite simple and minimalist things. Many things in my home are the color white, like the walls and most of the furniture.
14. I’ve always liked pink. Maybe because pink is the color of many pretty flowers, like violets or pink roses. It’s such a soft and gentle color, and it makes me feel relaxed.
15. Pink is my favorite color because it’s a romantic, feminine color. It reminds me of all the pink toys and clothes I had when I was a little girl.
16. I love yellow, which is the color of sunshine. Yellow is a really energetic color, and it fills me with hope and happiness.
17. Well, I suppose my favorite color is yellow, because I grew up on a farm and at harvest time all the wheat fields around my home were a beautiful yellow color.
18. Brown is my favorite color because brown is the color of earth and soil and wood. Brown also looks great when you wear brown shoes or a brown belt and watch strap.
19. I like brown, especially really dark brown, which is almost black, like the color of oak. My favorite eye color is also dark brown. I think it’s a color you can trust.
20. I really like purple, especially rich, royal purple. That’s the color of kings and queens. So it means wealth and luxury, and also wisdom and independence.
Now, It’s Your Turn
Set up the voice recorder on your phone and ask yourself aloud, “What’s your favorite color?”
Try to answer smoothly and quickly, without hesitation.
Remember, fluency is the most important thing in part one.
When you’ve answered the question, listen to your recording. Then write down what you said (including any mistakes)…
Think about how you could improve the answer, and then answer again!
This is a wonderful way to improve and prepare for a band-seven score in part one of your IELTS Speaking test.