Unit 1: Understanding Speaking Test
Unit 3: Focus on Fluency & Coherence
Unit 3: Focus on Pronunciation
Unit 6: Focus on Lexical Resource
Unit 5: Focus on Grammatical Range & Accuracy

How to Answer What is Your Usual Day like?

IELTS speaking is very popular for asking you questions where you have to compare between your choice and preference. Although there is no such rule that best describes the way of answering IELTS questions, it is always better for you to know some language tips on how to answer What is Your Usual Day like?

When IELTS examiner asks you such question they really have no interest on the content of your answer but construct. They just want to know weather you can use right grammatical structure.

First let’s see some questions under this category

» What do you do on an average day?
» What is your normal daily routine?
» Can you describe your typical day?

Remember this formula

When the examiner asks you What is Your Usual Day like? type questions, you must:

  1. State adverbs of frequency.
  2. Present simple structure and times of day expressions.
  3. Elaborate your answer with discourse markers

Step: 1

What is Your Usual Day like?


Obviously, the first thing you need to tell the examiner is the very first activity that you do in the morning after you wake up.

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Adverbs of Frequency

You must use adverbs of frequency well in your test, and if you can master using a variety of different adverbs of frequency, it will make your English more interesting and much
more like a native speaker.

Let’s look at how the two IELTS candidates, Alice and David, use adverbs of frequency.

ielts speaking tips strategy and lessons

Alicia: Well, usually I wake up around 8 a.m. I always have a cup of coffee while I review my study notes over breakfast. Then I normally ride my bike to school, apart from in winter, when it’s way too cold.

Before class starts, I often meet up with my classmates in the corridor and we gossip a bit about life and school. After school, I always go straight home and then start on my homework while my mum cooks me dinner. I usually go to bed at about 10 pm.


David: I always wake up just after 7 in the morning, then eat my breakfast on the way to the subway station. I get to work at 8 o’clock sharp, and usually work until 5, sometimes I work overtime until 7 or 8. After I get home, I normally eat dinner
with my wife…


Let’s look at two different kinds of adverbs of frequency.

  1. Adverbs that go after the subject and before the verb
  • always: I always go out partying every night when I’m on holiday.
  • often: She often goes running after class.
  • never: She never rides her bike in winter.
  • almost never: We almost never go out dancing.
  • rarely: He rarely eats rice.
  • hardly ever: She hardly ever exercises.
  1. Adverbs that can go before or after the subject

usually: Usually I wake up around 8 a.m., I usually wake up around 8 a.m.

normally: Normally I help my mum with the cooking.

sometimes: We sometimes go shopping.

Step: 2

How to Answer What is Your Usual Day like?


The Present Simple & Times of Day

Let’s look again at David’s answers to see how they use the present simple tense and times of day.

David: I always wake up just after 7 in the morning, then eat my breakfast on the way to the subway station. I get to work at 8 o’clock sharp, and usually work until 5, sometimes I work overtime until 7 or 8. After I get home, I normally eat dinner
with my wife…

Do not overlook the usage of present simple tense as many students have lost their points on basic tense errors.

The present simple is often used together with times of day, so make sure you are awareof the following:

  • at+ hour + o’clock

My mum makes me go to bed at 10 o’clock,

I get up at 6 o’clock,

  • at + dawn/noon/midnight

I never get up at dawn.

I always eat lunch at noon.

  • at + hour +a.m. /inthemorning

I usually wake up at 8 a.m.

I usually wake up at 8 in the morning.

  • at + hour + p.m. /intheafternoon/evening

My father often comes home at 9 p.m.

My father often comes home at 9 in the evening.

  • at/onthe weekend

I normally just relax at the weekend,

I normally just relax on the weekend.

Step: 2

How to Answer What is Your Usual Day like?


Use of Sequence Markers

To talk about your usual or normal routine, you should use sequence markers. These help you logically link the different activities that you do together and also make things
much clearer for the listener.

Remind yourself of the following sequence markers:

beforethenafter (activity)after that

To conclude how to answer do you prefer this over that:-

Step 1: State adverbs of frequency.
Present simple structure and times of day expressions.
Elaborate your answer with discourse markers
Step 2: Use Present simple structure and times of day expressions.
Step 3: Elaborate your answer with discourse markers.

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