APTIS Speaking Part 1: Sample Questions, Model Answers and Tips

In this post we will provide you with multiple sample questions, models answers and useful tips and techniques to prepare for APTIS speaking part 1.

In APTIS speaking part 1, you talk about yourself and your interests.

APTIS Speaking Part 1: Sample Questions, Model Answers and Tips

The APTIS Speaking Exam is in four parts and assesses your ability to use English in real-life situations.

In APTIS speaking part 1, you talk about yourself and your interests.

For the next three parts of APTIS speaking part, the candidate looks at photographs. For one photo for part 2. Two photos for part 3 and one photo for part 4.

The photographs are used as a speaking topic. You can describe what you see in the photographs, but you shouldn’t spend the whole time describing them. They are used so that you can express.

•            Talk about your experiences.

•            Express opinions.

•            Give reasons.

•            Compare and contrast things and ideas.

•            Talk about abstract things

APTIS speaking test takes 12 minutes and, in that time, you have to show the examiners how good your English is.

If you are taking Aptis Advanced, then you will be given 10 minutes to complete this part.

For the further details please visit British Council website here.

APTIS Speaking Part 1– Personal Information

In APTIS speaking part 1, you are going to answer three personal questions about yourself and interests. You will be given 3 questions and you will need to speak for 30 seconds for each question, this probably means four or five sentences (75 words) for each answer. You have to give an extended answer so the questions might be quite open. For instance, the examiner may ask you questions like: Describe… or Please tell me about… or What’s… like?

You could have a simple question that normally your answer in one or two words, i.e. Who’s your favourite actor? In a real-life situation, it would be fine to answer, ‘I love Tom Cruise’. This type of response is not suitable and will not get you many marks. You should give an extended answer by:

We need to think about how we can answer the question and base the answer around the following structures:

•   Discussing likes. There is usually a time when you will talk about things you like and don’t like. Use like/enjoy/love/dislike + verb + ing.

 You can use interested in + verb +ing or keen on + verb + ing.

Example. I am extremely keen on swimming.

 •   Use conditionals. Use expressions like If I get the time, I’ll often go to the beach or. When I have the opportunity, I’ll just sit back and relax.

For example. If I get the chance, I’ll go every day.

•   Giving reasons or results, with ‘because’, ‘’This is because…’’ You can also use words like: ‘’ (in order) to’’, “so that”, “therefore,” so”, “due to”, ‘’hence’’etc.

An example of this could be: I love going to the beach because I really enjoy swimming, for this reason I’m there nearly every morning in summer.

•   Giving examples, with “for example”, “for instance”, “such as”, “e.g.”.

For example: For instance, last week I went swimming every day and twice on Saturday.

•   Adding information. You can add extra information with “also”, “too”, “as well”, “what’s more”, “in addition”, “furthermore”.

Example: and not only is swimming good fun, but it’s healthy too.

•   Repeating information/giving more information words are. ‘’In other words,’’, ‘’what I mean to say is’’, ‘let me put that another way’’

For example: What I mean to say is that if you swim every day, you’ll stay fit.

•   Contrasting/ “but”, “However”, “In (complete) contrast”, ‘’although’’, “though”, ‘’despite’’, ‘’on the other hand’’.

For example. On the other hand, I’m not distance swimmer. It’s more for pleasure really.

•   Being more specific or vague, with “in particular”, “especially”, “to be more specific”, “more generally”, “mainly”, “mostly”, “around’’/ ‘’approximately’’/ ‘’about’’/ ‘’more or less”, “something like”, “as far as I remember”, “I’m not sure, but…”, etc.

For example. I’d say that I was mostly a keen amateur.

•   Explaining/ Clarifying, with ‘’ in that’’ “which is”, “a kind of”, “like”, “similar to”, “the (direct/ word-for-word’’/’’ literally’’/ ‘’usually’’) translation is…”, “that means”,

For example. and that means I don’t take it too seriously.

You will be asked questions around following topics:

Some of the topics you could be asked about are:

•            Family

•            The weather where you live

•            Films

•            Likes and dislikes

•            Hobbies or interests

•            The place where you live (either your city or country)

•            The weather where you live

•            Friends

•            School or work

•            Routines, such as ‘What do you do at the weekend?’

•            Leisure, Holidays and Travel

•            Books

•            Food

•            Health and Fitness,

•            Media

•            accommodation/ house or flat

•            ambitions

•            character/ personality

•            childhood

•            favourite arts and media (actors, books, movies, music, television, etc)

•            favourite food

•            favourite place

•            foreign languages/ language learning

•            free time/ hobbies (weekends, vacations, etc)

•            friends

•            hometown

•            local area/ neighbourhood

•            perfect job

•            possessions

•            skills/ strengths and weaknesses

•            technology

•            work and studies

If we take the sentences in the earlier section, we can build a model answer like the one below.


Please tell me about your hobbies and interest? (30 seconds)

I am extremely keen on swimming. If I get the chance, I’ll go every day. I love going to the beach because I really enjoy swimming, for this reason I’m there nearly every morning in summer. For instance, last week I went swimming every day and twice on Saturday and not only is swimming good fun, but it’s healthy too. What I mean to say is that if you swim every day, you’ll stay fit. On the other hand, I’m not distance swimmer. It’s more for pleasure really. I’d say that I was mostly a keen amateur and that means I don’t take it too seriously.

Example of a speaking structure with grammar points

In my free time I like + verb + ing_____________.

It is + adjective_____________, because + sub + verb___________.

I also like to + infinitive____________, and + infinitive __________.

I think sport is + adjective_________, because + sub + verb ________.

(Conclusion) That’s why free time is important to me

 Expanding on a topic.

When I am + verb + ing/noun/adjective________, I feel + adjective.

I wish I could + infinitive all day, and I even forget about everything else.

I enjoy doing + noun___ with my friend (friends), because + sub + verb _____.

Sample Questions And Model Answers For APTIS Speaking Part 1

Here are more example questions you might see in APTIS speaking part 1 of the exam:

1.           Please tell me about your best friend.

2.           What do you like to do in your free time?

3.           Tell me about your country.

4.           Please tell me about your family

5.           Please tell me about your hobbies.

6.           Please tell me about your work or studies.

7.           Please tell me about your favorite food.

8.           What do you like doing in your free time?

9.           What is the weather like today?

10.        What is your typical day like?

11.        What is the food like in your country?

12.        What is your village/ town/ city like?

13.        How do you like to spend your holidays and vacations?

14.        Who is your favourite sports person?

15.        What do you find relaxing?

If you would like to access to more simulated APTIS speaking tests then please visit our exam library here

Model answers may vary depending on speech rate (between 50 and 75 word is a good guide). However, below are typical model answers for above questions:

 1.  Please tell me about your best friend.

My best friend’s name is Alicia. She has long black hair and brown eyes and is a bit shorter than me. We have been friends for over 10 years, and we tell each other everything. I met her when we were at school in Italy and we grew up together. We don’t see each other now as much as we used to but wherever we are we keep in contact by text or on Skype.

2.   What do you like to do in your free time?

In my down time, I really like doing sport. I go to the gym a few times a week to work out and I also try to play basketball with my friends on Saturdays. Although going to the gym helps keep you fit, for me playing a team sport is more rewarding and fun., and you get more of a social-like when you go out with your friends and team mates after the game.

3. Tell me about your country.

Turkey is a very beautiful country. Istanbul is a bustling city and a little chaotic, but we have amazing countryside and nice beaches in the south that are more peaceful. It also has an extensive and varied history going back to the time when Istanbul was one of the most important cities in the Ottoman Empire, which covered a large part of Eastern Europe, The Middle East and Asia.

 4.  Please tell me about your family

I come from quite a small family and I only have one other brother. He’s five years older than me and now he’s married I don’t see as much of him as I did. We used to be awfully close and he would always look after me. My mother and Father both come from the same village and have been married for 40 years. Originally, we are from the south of France although we have move about a bit.

5. Please tell me about your hobbies.          

One of the things I am really passionate about is cooking and baking in particular. I love making bread, cakes, pizza and so forth. I think I got my love of baking from my grandmother. I used to go and stay with here at the weekend and she always made a big family tea with sandwiches, cakes, and pie for all of us. I still cook a lot at home even though I’m much busier these days.

6. Please tell me about your work or studies.

I study psychology which is about how people think and experience things. Many people think it’s about studying illness but actually, it’s very general, if you want to specialise, you have to do it at post-graduate level. I’d like to work with psychology when I leave university and I am thinking about going into educational psychology developing learning programs etcetera.

7. Please tell me about your favorite food.

I think that it’s fair to say that my favourite food is Kabsa. Its’s a dish made with chicken, although you can use lamb or goat, and rice but the chicken has been flavoured with a delicious mix of herbs and spices. After that it’s cooked very slowly until the meat is soft but still juicy. The word ‘kabsa’ comes from the Arabic word ‘kabasa’ which means squeezed. Originally it was all pushed into one pot, that’s what gives it its name.

8. What do you like doing in your free time? 

My favourite free-time activity is watching cricket. I used to play a lot but now I don’t have the time because it’s possible to spend a whole day playing. I watch whenever I can though. I’ve heard people say that cricket is boring, but I disagree with that. Sometimes, although there doesn’t seem to be much happening, the situation can be extremely intense. It hasn’t got the continuous movement like in football or rugby, but cricket can still have you on the edge of your seat.

9. What is the weather like today?

Today is a typical late summer day. It’s quite comfortable, maybe around 23 degrees and a little cloudy, mostly the big clouds that look like pillows. There is plenty of blue sky and so it feels pleasant. Recently, the weather hasn’t been that good and while there hasn’t been much rain, it’s been cloudy and not very warm. Fortunately, we’re lucky where I live because it is never very cold, below zero is rare.

10. What is your typical day like?

My typical day is quite quiet especially because I work from home. I like to get up early. That’s good in the summer when it’s light at 4.00 am but not so good in the winter when it’s still dark at 7.00. I go to the gym early because if I don’t, I won’t go in the evening and I start work at around 8.30. At 11.00 am I stop and have brunch. Then I work until about 5.00, sometimes I might have a sleep around 1.00 pm. Then I make dinner, watch some TV and go to bed fairly early. Weekends are different.

11. What is the food like in your country?

The food in my country is a bit like the language, a mix. There are plenty of traditional dishes and lots of dishes we have imported from other cultures. For example, the most popular dish in the UK is curry which originated in India. The UK is particularly good for local cheeses and fish. Another thing most people love are the desserts and cakes. There are hundreds of different cakes and lots of desserts such as pies, crumbles, trifles and custards. Not good if you’re on a diet though.

12. What is your village/ town/ city like?

My town is a quiet coastal town on the south coast of England. The population is in the region of 50,000 and the main industries are tourism and fishing. It has an attractive harbour where in the past a ferry used to go to northern France. The big attraction is the town’s wide sandy beach which is perfect for families because it is in a bay and the water is shallow and safe. Although the place can be busy in the summer months it is fairly quiet at other times which makes it a pretty cool place to live.

13.  How do you like to spend your holidays and vacations?

For my holidays I really enjoy travelling to other countries and experiencing a different culture. I love to sit for an hour or so outside a café with a cup of coffee and watch the world go by. I tend to go to Mediterranean countries when I travel as I like warm weather. I keep telling myself that I have to be more adventurous and see visit some other countries but I always seem to end up in Spain or Italy or Greece.

14. Who is your favourite sports person?

My favourite sportsperson is the boxer, Mohammad Ali. Although he died a few years ago, he is still a hero to many people and he is always at the top of the greatest sportsmen and women. What makes him very special is, not just that he was a great boxer and regained the world title 3 times, but how he resisted fighting in the Vietnam war. Because of this, he had the world title taken from him but he continued to oppose the war and stand up for civil rights.

15. What do you find relaxing?

I find fishing very relaxing especially fishing in a beautiful place on a warm sunny day. For me, this is usually a lake near where I live. The good thing about this place is that it is not too big and there are trees around it, so it’s quite sheltered and tranquil. There is also a lot of wildlife to look at. When I arrive there early in the morning and know that I can sit quietly all-day, it is the most relaxing feeling. Catching a few fish is a bonus.

What Else Do I Need To Excel in APTIS Speaking Part 1

Learn vocabulary related to these topics.

It is always useful to learn facts and phrases to describe your city or country geographically.


It’s situated on the south coast of the UK on the coast.

Madrid is right in the centre of Spain and is the highest capital city in Europe.

It is good to learn words and phrases that describe people.


My best friend is tall and has long dark wavy hair.

He can be a bit moody but, on the whole, he’s a great guy.

Connect short clauses using linking words to make complex sentences.

Think about the grammar you need

You could probably answer all the questions using the present simple but if you can add more grammar you will get a higher score.


I go out and have a meal with my family most weekends but when I was younger, I used to meet up with my friends.


I go out and have a meal with my family most weekends but I’m studying away from home at the moment, so I don’t see them as often.

Used to + inf is a helpful expression in speaking tests because it is easy to use and adds extra information about the past.

The present continuous talks about temporary situations happening now, also add extra information and show the examiner what you can do.

Likes and dislikes

There is a very good chance that you will be asked about your likes and dislikes (you can use these to express your opinions or if you are describing a friend or family member as well).

Like. We can use like/love and hate, either with ‘to’ or in the gerund form (there is a very small difference but for this both are correct).


I love to get up early in the summer.


I love getting up early in the summer.

Enjoy/dislike/can’t stand all take the gerund form. Practice making sentences about yourself.


I love getting up early in the summer but when I was at school, I used to hate it.

How to Find Something To Say in Aptis Speaking Test

Many people worry about not having anything to say. If you follow these easy guidelines you shouldn’t run out of words.

•            Answer the question

•            Add some more information (like comparing a past habit)

•            Give examples

•            Give reasons and or results

•            Contrast/compare it with something

You don’t have use all of these stages but here is an of an answer with linking words.


I love getting up early in the summer but when I was at school, I used to hate it. The reason I love to get up early is that it is so quiet, and you feel like you have the day to yourself. As a result, I have to get out of bed quietly in order not to wake my family, but they go to bed later than me. It is fantastic although I start to get tired around mid-day and have to sleep for an hour after lunch.

To speak for 30 seconds at 150 words a minute, you have to say about 75 words. The example above is 89 words and there is no example. If you follow the guidelines above, you won’t run out of things to say.

Other General Tips and Strategies to Prepare For APTIS Speaking

The way to get the best score is to:

1.           Speak clearly. Not too fast, or too slow.

2.           Answer the question.

3.           Give full answers.

4.           Not repeat words or phrases.

5.           Use complex/compound sentences.

6.           Use Linking words.

7.           Use higher-level grammar structures. Tenses/conditionals/inversion etc.

How to speak clearly.

Speed. When you speak, you have to deliver a message. To do this, you have to speak slowly enough for the examiner to understand you, but you quickly enough for you not to sound boring.

In a speaking test and in a language that is not your mother tongue, around 150 words per minute is fine. You would go a little slower if you were being serious or a little quicker if you are talking about something that excites you.

Pauses are important because they allow your listener to process information and you, the speaker, to think about what to say next. When you speak, use pauses like commas and full stops.

This is a good time to breathe and that will help you stay calm and not be as nervous.

Sentence stress. English is a stress-timed language and you should practice and mimic the rhythm of it.

In a sentence, the words that give the meaning are stressed. Sometimes we may give a sentence different stress if we want to change the emphasis but normally a sentence would be stressed like as below. The words in bold are the stressed words the underlined words have a small (secondary) stress*.

I’ve been living in my current home since 2018 and I don’t think I’ll move again soon.

Below is a table of the words that are usually stressed and unstressed.




Nouns (sub & obj)




Negative Auxiliaries


Negative modals

Linking words





*adjectives & adverbs


Reading the question

Reading the question not only tells you the information you should give but gives you an idea of the grammar to use.

Here is a part 1 question from the General Tips and Strategies page:

What do you like to do in your free time?

Like most of the questions in part 1, this is quite an easy question. The important words are: like, do, free time. You don’t have to talk about anything except the activities you enjoy in your free time.

The question is in the present simple and therefore, you don’t have to talk about the past (unless you want to say how you have changed, for example) and you don’t have to talk about the future.

The question is about your ‘likes’ and uses ‘like to do’ in the question. You can use that structure (with this you can also use the gerund ‘like doing’) in your answers

There will be more examples like this in the sections that look at the different parts of the Speaking test. 

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Hey! My name is Celine and I’m a Native English speaker from Toronto, Canada. Helping students learn is my passion. I’ve been teaching English as a Second/Foreign language for 5+ years in Canada, Italy and the United Kingdom, to students from all around the world. In addition to this, I’ve worked as a freelance consultant and a curriculum developer for international education companies such as Kaplan Test Prep and Pearson English in the UK, and many others in China, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and more! I have designed these practice exams to better prepare you for your APTIS Test and your future goals. Hope they help!

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