In both part 1 and part 2 of the speaking test the examiner is likely to ask you questions about your personal experiences. These types of questions invite you to talk about something which happened to you in the past.
|past simple||past continuous|
|subject + past tense verb||was or were + verb ing|
|present perfect||past perfect|
|has or have + past participle||had + past participle|
The is used to talk about past experiences. A definite time is not given.
Example – I have waited for my best friend for more than an hour before.
Form - have/has + past participle
Notice the speaker doesn’t say specifically when he had to wait for his best friend.
|2.||The is used to give background information about what was happening at the time of the story.
Example – I was waiting for him outside the library and the wind was blowing hard. He arrived late but he didn’t apologise.
Notice that the past continuous is not used to give the important details or the action of the narrative.
|3.||The is used to give the important detail or action of the narrative as it moves forward.
Example – We were waiting for him outside the library and the wind was blowing hard. He arrived late but he didn’t apologise.
|4.||We use the to ‘flash back’ and give details that occurred (happened) before the time of the story.
Example – He had lost his car keys and so he had taken the bus, which was much slower than taking his car.
- Where you went on the journey.
- Why you went on the journey.
- Who you went with on the journey.
And mention why you enjoyed the journey.
|1.||I love travelling and so I 1. (be) on numerous long journeys in my life but I want to tell you about the first long journey which I went on. After I finished university I 2. (look) for a job and I 3. (enjoy) the glorious summer weather. I was having trouble finding work but I 4. (want) to make the most of the summer so I 5. (decide) to take a trip. The problem was that I was almost broke – I 6. (spend) all my money at university! Luckily, however, I 7. (have) a tent and a small camping stove as well as a sleeping bag and two functioning legs! I 8. (book) a ticket back from northern Spain for 2 and a half months in the future. Then I 9. (walk) out of my house. I 10. (walk) all the way to Santiago in Northern Spain. People have done this hike for hundreds of years as it is an important Christian pilgrimage. For me it 11. (be) just a great way to spend the summer. I 12. (travel) on my own but I met loads of other people along the way. When you travel alone, you are more open to meeting new people and so I 13. (meet) lots of great people who I am still in contact with. By the time I 14. (reach) southern Spain, I 15. (hike)in a group with 3 others. Well, in the end we 16. (get) to Santiago and I 17. (go) to the church where you receive a certificate to say that you 18. (complete) the walk and I 19. the cathedral. It was the time of the city fiesta so there 20. (be) lots of live street performances 21. (happen). After a week there it was time to fly home. I didn’t stay at home for long though as I moved to France shortly after this trip. I fondly remember this as one of the best journeys I have ever been on and it cost me next to nothing.|
booked a ticket back from northern Spain for 2 and a half months in the future. Then I walked out of my house. I walked all the way to Santiago in Northern Spain. People have done this hike for hundreds of years as it is an important Christian pilgrimage. For me it was just a great way to spend the summer. I traveled on my own but I met loads of other people along the way. When you travel alone, you are more open to meeting new people and so I met lots of great people who I am still in contact with. By the time I reached southern Spain, I was hiking in a group with 3 others.
Well, in the end we got to Santiago and I went to the church where you receive a certificate to say that you have completed the walk and I visited the cathedral. It was the time of the city fiesta so there were lots of live street performances happening. After a week there it was time to fly home. I didn’t stay at home for long though as I moved to France shortly after this trip. I fondly remember this as one of the best journeys I have ever been on and it cost me next to nothing.
- Notice how the majority of verbs in the story are in the past simple.
- Notice that the past perfect is used to describe something which happened before the time the story is about in 6.
- Notice how the past continuous is used to talk about long duration actions in the past. For example, in question 15.
- Notice that the present perfect is used in 18. refers to an important experience.
|An adjective meaning many|
|An adjective meaning great/amazing|
|An adjective meaning you have no money|
|An adjective meaning that something/things work|
|A religious journey such as the Muslim Haj (noun)|
|Music or drama which you can see in the city.|
|An adverb/verb collocation that presents a positive memory|
|A phrase that means ‘almost zero’|
For more speaking practice, visit our Speaking Page.
Note: If the interactive exercises aren't giving you a score, try refreshing the page.
IELTSTutors.org - All these IELTS lessons are completely free, so enjoy studying and let us know if you have any questions or suggestions!
About The IELTS Test
Academic Writing Task 1
Academic Writing Task 2
Cause And Effect
Coherence And Cohesion
Complete The Notes
Complete The Table
Frequently Asked Questions
General Training Reading
General Writing Task 1
General Writing Task 2
Listening Section 1
Listening Section 2
Listening Section 3
Listening Section 4
Problem Solution Essay
Speaking Part 1
Speaking Part 2
Speaking Part 3
True / False / Not Given