*There was a new IELTS booklet for speaking released in May and the new questions are marked as ‘New Booklet’!
I’ve spent a lot of time talking to IELTS examiners and former candidates to compile a list of all the current IELTS speaking questions in 2019.
There are two booklets for IELTS and they change them once a year so the questions change. Study them now before they start changing!
A quick word about a lot of IELTS forecasts and the importance of the questions below.
A lot of websites will claim to have advance copies of the tests and offer forecasts or predictions about the test. These are 100% lies.
All they have done is take the past speaking questions (which are repeated – though there are 30 possible part 1 speaking questions and nearly a hundred possible part 2 and 3 speaking topics) and predict the writing based on common topics.
Don’t believe them or pay money for them!
It’s still important to practice and have familiarity with topics that will come up. DO NOT memorise answers because this will not work – the questions will probably not come up and you can’t memorise that many questions.
Also, even if the question does come up, the examiner is instructed to mark you down for memorised answers!
Use the questions below to practice your English in general and become more familiar with IELTS in specific.
You can find my speaking model answers and tips here!
Speaking Part 1: Personal Questions
In part 1 of IELTS speaking you will first be asked 3 questions about work/study/living area. These are the basic questions that begin every test.
Then the examiner will move on to a personal topic with 4 questions related to it. The examiner can only ask the exact question on the card.
He will not explain any questions if you ask – he will simply repeat the question once and if you don’t understand, then he will move on.
You can ask about the meaning of particular words – for example:
Examiner: ‘What’s your favouriste season?’
Candidate: ‘What do you mean by ‘season’?’
That is ok!
The examiner will ask about 2 topics and then move on to part 2 (combined with the basic intro questions that is around 11 questions in part 1)).
There will be the occasional general question about your country (not about you) and it will usually be the last question about a topic.
Take a good look!
Where you Live
- Have you lived for a long time in your current city?
- What kind of a home are you living in?
- How could your living area be improved?
Where you Live (Alternate Booklet)
- Where do you live at the moment?
- What do you like about your neighborhood?
- Are there any parks where you live?
- Why did you choose your job?
- How much work do you do in a week?
- Do you have to work on weekends as well?
Work (Alternate Booklet)
- Do you work or study?
- Do you like the place where you work?
- What would make your work more interesting?
Coffee or Tea
- Do you drink coffee or tea?
- When did you last drink coffee or tea?
- Is coffee or tea more popular in your country?
- Which would you offer to visitors who came to your home?
- Are your relatives or friends more important to you?
- When did you last see your relatives?
- How do you spend time with your relatives?
- Are people in your country usually close with their relatives?
- Have you ever had a pet?
- What kind of pets do people like to have?
- What kinds of pets are common in your country?
- Do many people in your country have pets?
- What is your major?
- Do you like it?
- Why did you choose that major?
- Which major would you want to change it to?
- Which season do you like the most?
- Is it better to live in a place with 4 seasons or just 1?
- What is the weather like in your city?
- How do people in your country deal with bad weather?
- Did you ever want to be a teacher?
- Which teacher do you remember best?
- What did you like most about your teachers?
- Do teachers remember their students in your country?
- Which places in your city are crowded?
- Why are those places so crowded?
- How do you feel in crowded places?
- Have you ever felt comfortable in a very crowded place?
- Who is your favourite film star?
- Would you like to be a film star?
- Have you ever met a film star in person?
- Are film stars popular in your country?
- Do you like perfume?
- Do you use perfume?
- Would you ever give perfume as a gift?
- Do people in your country often wear perfume?
- Do you often go to the cinema?
- What kinds of movies do you like to watch?
- Did you like to go to the cinema when you were a child?
- Do you prefer to go alone or with friends?
- What is your morning routine?
- How is your routine different from when you were a child?
- What would you like to change about your current routine?
- What is a typical morning routine like for people in your country?
- Do you like travelling?
- What is the most beautiful country you have visited?
- Would you like to have a job that demands travelling to other countries?
- What problems can occur when travelling?
- Do you like to cook?
- Why do some people like cooking?
- Do you usually eat at home or eat out?
- What do people in your country usually cook?
- Do you like sunglasses?
- How often do you wear sunglasses?
- Would you give sunglasses as a gift?
- Is it worth it to spend a lot of money on sunglasses?
- Do you like music?
- Which types of music do you like?
- Would you like to learn a musical instrument?
- Have you ever been to a live concert?
- Do you like plants?
- When you were a child, did you like plants?
- Have you ever received a plant as a gift?
- Where can you learn about growing plants from?
- How often do you get bored?
- What activity do you do when you are bored?
- Do you get bored more now compared to when you were younger?
- How do most people in your country deal with boredom?
- What is your favourite color?
- What color do you think is good for rooms?
- Do you prefer light or dark colors?
- What colors do people in your country like to wear?
- What kinds of things do you share with friends?
- Did your parents encourage you to share?
- Is there anything you would not share?
- Are people in your country in the habit of sharing a lot?
- Do you drink a lot of water?
- Do you prefer bottled or tap water?
- Did you drink a lot of water when you were younger?
- Would you say that bottled water is expensive in your country?
- Do you often look at the sky?
- Do you prefer to look at the sky during the day or at night?
- Have you ever taken a course about stars?
- Where is the best view of the sky where you live?
Public Holidays (New Booklet)
- What public holidays do you celebrate in your country?
- Which public holiday do you like the most?
- What do you do during that holiday?
- Do you think there should be more public holidays in your country?
- Do you prefer to wear shoes that are comfortable or fashionable?
- Do you buy many shoes?
- How many pairs of shoes do you have?
- What is your favourite pair of shoes?
- Do you have good handwriting?
- How did you learn your handwriting?
- Do you like receiving hand-written letters?
- How important is handwriting in your country?
Emails (New Booklet)
- Do you communicate via emails?
- Do you prefer getting texts or emails?
- Have you ever received an email that made you happy?
- Is email popular in your country?
- Do you like to read?
- When do you usually read?
- Did you like to read when you were younger?
- Do people read less today?
- What kinds of foods do you like to eat?
- How different is food in your country today from when you were younger?
- Which foods do you dislike?
- What foods do people in your country buy at the market?
- Do you like drawing?
- Which types of drawings do you like?
- Would you like to decorate your room with paintings?
- Have you ever learned about drawing in school?
- When do you usually smile?
- How can you identify a fake smile?
- When was the last time you saw a bunch of people smiling?
- Do you often smile when taking photos?
Street Markets (New Booklet)
- Do you like street markets?
- What’s the difference between street markets and supermarkets?
- Would you prefer a street market or a supermarket in a foreign country?
- How popular are street markets in your country?
Rubbish/Garbage/Litter (New Booklet)
- How do you react when you see litter on the streets?
- Do you recycle?
- How do you help keep the streets tidy?
- What would you do if someone else dropped some litter?
Mathematics (New Booklet)
- Do you like mathematics?
- Did you take mathematics lessons?
- How do math skills come in handy in daily life?
- Have you ever used an electronic calculator?
- How much do you sleep every night?
- Do you think it’s a good idea to have a nap during the day?
- Did you sleep more in the past than you do now?
- Do you think old people need more sleep than young people?
- What sport do you like?
- Do you prefer team or individual sports?
- Who is your favourite sports star?
- What is the most popular sport in your country?
Cards and invitations
- Do you often send cards?
- On what occasions do you send cards?
- Do you prefer to receive cards or emails?
- Is sending cards common in your country?
Speaking Part 2 – Describe a…
In part 2 of the test, you will be given 1 minute to plan and 2 minutes to talk. If the examiner does not do this, then you can make an official complaint.
The topics vary between personal and more general. Be sure to keep talking the whole time – the examiner will stop you.
At the end of part 2 the examiner will ask a rounding-off question – don’t give another long answer for this. A short answer to this question is best.
The next part of the test will continue with the same topic.
Do some practice with the questions below – here are some ideas for how you can practice alone without a speaking partner.
These are all the current topics that can come up.
Talk about a…
- person who motivated you to achieve a goal (New Booklet)
- something that technology has helped you to achieve (New Booklet)
- trip with your friends that you enjoyed a lot (New Booklet)
- famous person from another country you would like to meet (New Booklet)
- quiz or game show (New Booklet)
- language other than English that you would like to learn (New Booklet)
- item you brought to your family or friends after a trip (New Booklet)
- time the internet helped you in your work or study (New Booklet)
- person that you have not met face to face but have talked to on the phone (New Booklet)
- someone you know hid the truth from you (New Booklet)
- person from work or a friend who helped you in your life or career (New Booklet)
- important event in your country (New Booklet)
- time you invited a friend to eat a meal with you (New Booklet)
- water sport that you want to try (New Booklet)
- favourite band or singer (New Booklet)
- garden or park in your town or city (New Booklet)
- something that is good for your health (New Booklet)
- time you gave advice to someone else (New Booklet)
- effigy in your town (New Booklet)
- prize that you would like to win (New Booklet)
- gift you presented to a friend on a special occasion (New Booklet)
- market in your city (New Booklet)
- time when your vehicle broke down (New Booklet)
- time that you received a telemarketing phone call in public (New Booklet)
- time when you had to change your plans (New Booklet)
- time you received false information (New Booklet)
- time when you found something that you lost (New Booklet)
- lecture that you attended
- building that you like
- comedy that made you laugh
- person who you would like to meet
- recent development in your city
- webiste that you use frequently
- teacher that you liked
- subject you did not enjoy
- poisonous plant you know
- interesting place in your country
- activity that you do when you are alone
- family business that you know
- person you wanted to be like when you were growing up
- subject you did not like at school but are interested in now
- classmate influenced you deeply
- time you had to ask someone for advice regarding a decision
- problem that you had with a piece of equipment
- talkative person you know
- person who can speak another language well
- time that you heard a person you didn’t know on their phone
- sport that you played in your childhood
- something your borrowed from a friend or family member
- special date in your country’s history
- job that your grandparents did
- place where you would like to travel
- advertisment you watched and will not forget
- game you enjoyed playing when you were younger
- somethin you bought but never use
- book you recently read
- intelligent person that you know
- person who helps other people
- good law in your country
- time you wanted to do something but didn’t have the time
- time when you didn’t tell the complete truth
- handsome or beautiful person you have met
- person you know who is doing something to help the environment
- place where you can study indoors or outdoors
- family event that you attended
- searched for something on the internet
- person that you encouraged to accomplish something
- piece of clothing that you really like
- typical food that is eaten at special events in your country
- time when you received bad service
- ideal house to live in
- thing that helps you get started working or studying
- time when you got up very early in the morning
- practical skill that you learned
- book that you read recently
- city that you think is beautiful
- time when you intended to do something but did not have enough time
- outdoor sport that you would like to try
- interesting old person you know
- time when you felt proud of a friend
- period of history that you would like to learn more about
- public facility in your country
- person you know with interesting opinions
- piece of good news that you saw on television or the internet
- teenager you know
- gift of money that you received
- intelligent person you know
- party that you attended
- time when you searched for information
- sport that you would be interested in trying out
- remote place you have travelled to
- time that you gave money as a gift
- quiet place
- time when you needed to repair something
Speaking Part 3
Speaking part 3 will begin with the topic from part 2 but expand on it to make it more general and complex.
Most questions will be general so try not to give personal examples or talk about yourself (it is fine if you do this sometimes).
Typically, the examiner will ask between 6 and 10 questions in this part of the test.
The examiner must paraphrase what is in his book (unlike part 1, where he just reads from the booklet). That’s the reason why students will report slightly different wording for the questions – no two examiners will use exactly the same words but the meaning of the questions will be the same.
The examiner is also supposed to ask one follow-up question for each question in the booklet. These follow-up questions will be different depending on the examiner and if you are a strong candidate the examiner will ask more difficult questions to challenge you.
Speaking and Listening
- What is the difference between a good speaker and listener?
- How can someone be a good listener?
- Is it more important to be good at listening or speaking?
- Why are some people not good listeners?
- How important is listening to political leaders?
- What courses or subjects do you think will be added into high schools?
- What courses or subjects will be helpful in future work?
- Is it more effective to read online than in a book?
- What do students do after school in your country?
- Do you think students should choose subjects they like?
- How often do most people use the internet?
- Are there drawbacks to its overuse?
- What kind of information can people find online?
- How has this changed the way that people get their information?
- How will the internet change society in the future?
- Can learning a language help you understand more about a culture?
- Why is it so difficult to learn a new language?
- How will language learning change in the future?
- Should governments invest more in second language learning in schools?
- What are the benefits of learning another language for your country?
- Why do some people study badly?
- Is it a good idea to have a firm plan when studying?
- Why are many girls better at concentrating?
- Is it better to study online or in a classroom?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of studying in a group?
- How do people usually make plans?
- Should you get advice when making plans?
- Who is the best advisor for big plans?
- What plans do governments have to make?
- How important is the public in helping governments to make plans?
Phones in Public
- Why do people talk on their phones on public transport?
- Is it common in your country?
- Is silence valued in your city?
- Why do some people have trouble staying silent?
- Is there too much noise from technology today?
- What can we learn from making new friends?
- How important is it to have a social life?
- Why is having good friends important?
- What role do friends play in your life as you get older?
- Do most people share both good and bad experiences with their friends?
- How can children be motivated to achieve their goals?
- Who is more responsible – parents or teachers?
- Is it always necessary to set goals to motivate children?
- What motivates adults?
- Why are some people seemingly much more motivated than others?
- Do people in your country usually have gardens in their homes?
- Which age group visits gardens the most?
- Is it good for people to take care of a garden?
- Why do people grown their own plants at home sometimes?
- Is it common for people in your country to grow fruits and vegetables at home?
- What are the benefits of doing an outdoor sport?
- Why do some pople enjoy doing dangerous sports?
- Why were dangerous sports created at all?
- Is it better to do outdoor sports in groups?
- Do both old and young people enjoy outdoor sport?
- Do old or young people use public transportation more?
- What are the drawbacks of private vehicles?
- How could public transportation be improved?
- Should city planners consider public transport when designing cities?
- What can the government do to improve public transport outside of urban areas?
Looking up to People
- Do you think kids today grow up differently than in the past?
- Are famous people good exampels for children?
- What can children learn from bad examples?
- Should companies use celebrities to advertise their products?
- Do people really trust celebrity endorsed products?
- How helpful is competition for children?
- Is it good to have a competitive attitude?
- How are the attitudes of professionals and amateurs different?
- How are children awarded competition prizes in your country?
- What are the adverse effects of competition on children?
- Who is most responsible for enforcing the law?
- Which international laws are you familiar with?
- Why do you think law is important?
- Should laws be more universal?
- What is the relationship between law and justice?
- How can people improve their physical health?
- What about their mental health?
- In what ways can teachers encourage students to do sports?
- What is the role of doctors in raising health awareness?
- Can social media also play a role?
Individuals and the Environment
- What are the main environmental problems we face today?
- What can individuals do to protect the environment?
- How much do politicians in your country care about the environment?
- Should nations work together to protect the environment?
- What are the roadblocks to this?
- What are the advantages of having an elderly person at home?
- Is there anything that older people should learn from the younger generation?
- What can the younger generation learn from the older generation?
- What qualities does a person need to take care of older people?
- Do you think elderly people should be allowed to work?
Arts and Crafts
- Why do people undervalue art?
- Are artistic skills innate?
- Should cities have more art in public spaces?
- Why do people admire art and artists so much?
- What is the difference between good and bad art?
Truth in Crime
- Why do witnesses of crimes sometimes disagree in their accounts?
- How can modern technology help solve crimes?
- Will teaching children to be honest reduce crime in the future?
- Should there be more severe penalties for crimes like libel?
- How will the detection of lies change in the future?
- Do think being talkative is a good quality for children?
- Is it good for children to talk a lot in every situation?
- Why do children talk so much?
- What makes children talk less as the get older sometimes?
- What can teachers do to encourage children to talk more?
- Do people with high IQs tend to be selfish?
- Can computers improve your intelligence?
- What is the difference between intelligence and knowledge?
- How much can intelligence change during a lifetime and how much of it is fixed?
- Has technology made people less intelligent?
- Why do some people see their jobs as very difficult?
- Should jobs with high degrees of difficulty earn more money?
- What determines the jobs that people choose?
- Do companies do enough to train employees for difficult jobs?
- What incentives can governments offer for those taking on difficult jobs?
- When a person is successful, are they also happy?
- What is success?
- Do relationships affect success?
- Which is more important for success: opportunity or hard work?
- What defines success for people in your country?
- Is it important for children in school to get along with their classmates?
- What are the advantages of getting along well with others in school?
- Should children be allowed to sit where they want in class?
- How has technology changed the way that students interact with each other?
- How important is it for children to learn about sharing?
- How important is urban planning for a city?
- What are the possible drawbacks of not having a good plan?
- How do cities in your country differ?
- What effect do businesses have on urban planning?
- How can people make their voices heard when it comes to urban planning?
- How did people find out information in the past?
- How has that changed now?
- Do people today rely too much on online information?
- Can a personal diary be a reliable source of information?
- How do historians verify the information they come across?
- Do people in your country shop at malls or street markets?
- Is online shopping common?
- Is it better to shop alone or with friends?
- Why is online shopping becoming more popular?
- Is shopping a waste of time?
- Is the behaviour of teenagers today better than when you were a teenager?
- When should teenagers start to take on more responsibilities?
- What kinds of responsibilities?
- How have attitudes towards teenagers changed in recent years?
- What can parents do if teenagers are unwilling to take on more responsibility?
- What is the importance of laughing?
- What is the difference between the laughing of children and adults?
- Why do children laugh more easily than adults?
- How does it impact students if their teacher is funny?
- Is it possible to enjoy comedy from foreign countries?
- Do most people in your country work for small or large businesses?
- What kind of businesses need the most help?
- Should the government help businesses or leave them alone?
- How important is regulation of large businesses?
- What rights to large companies have?
- What sort of important decisions do teenagers face today?
- What are the difficult decisions that national leaders face?
- How can they make these decisions?
- Who should be considered when taking an important decision?
- Is it better to take your time or make a quick decision?
- What internet sites do people in your country use for entertainment?
- Why is more and more news now published on social media websites?
- What can we do to stop the spread of unreliable news?
- How have websites changed in the last decade?
- Should there be tighter regulation on websites?
- Is online information reliable?
- Do you think there is too much information online?
- How can people consume online news responsibly?
- Is the information provided on television useful?
- What’s the difference between news in newspapers and online news?
- How can people manage their time better now compared to the past?
- What are the differences in what people do with their time now?
- How has technology helped people to save time?
- What are the qualities of a person with good time management?
- Will people have more free time in the future?
- Which sports are popular in your country?
- How can amateurs be attracted to participate in sports?
- What are the benefits of doing sport?
- How does loyalty help a sport become popular?
- What makes a sport popular?
- Where do most people in your country go for holidays?
- Why do some people prefer to spend their holidays at home?
- Do you think young people benefit from having a gap-year before university?
- How does tourism for holidays affect your country?
- What benefits does it have?
- Why do people lose things?
- Which things do people usually lose?
- What should parents do when children bring home something they found?
- How can people better remember things?
- How important is memory?
- Do people in your country read a lot?
- Will reading still be a popular hobby in the future?
- Do children read a lot these days?
- Is developing a love of reading the responsibility of parents?
- How can governments encourage people to read more?
- What is beauty for you?
- Do you think the media influences our idea of beauty?
- Do you think advertisements portrayal of beauty is correct?
- How has people’s idea of beauty changed over the last few decades?
- Do you think beauty only relates to a person’s appearance?
- Why are designer bran clothes popular?
- Why are these brands so expensive?
- How has fashion changed in your country?
- Is it important for designers to stay up to date with the latest fashions?
- Is fashion more important than adapting your clothes to the weather?
- Why do things break?
- Is it worth repairing something instead of buying a new one?
- Should we teach kids to repair things?
- Does the government have a responsibilty to fix certain things?
- How well do people in your country take care of public facilities?
- What sort of internation events does your country host?
- Do you think these types of events divide people?
- Why are these events celebrated?
- What activities are common for these celebrations?
- Are there many events that are celebrated across national borders?
- Do you often use social websites?
- Why do you use social websites?
- Do people spend too much time on social websites?
- Would you like to spend more time on these websites?
Borrowing and Lending
- Have you ever borrowed a book from someone else?
- Do you like to lend to others?
- Would you ever lend a friend money?
- Would you lend someone your phone to make a phone call?
Places to Play
- Where did you play when you were a child?
- Did you often play at a friend’s home?
- Did you prefer playing inside or outside when you were younger?
- Do you think it’s important for children to play outside?
Money and Gifts
- Is money a good gift?
- What is the difference between buying with cash and a credit card?
- What are the advantages of buying with cash?
- Should people include receipts when they give gifts?
- Is it common to return gifts in your country?
- Why do some people not complain about bad service?
- What should people do if they receive bad service?
- How can companies deal with bad service?
- Can bad service ever be a positive experience?
- What organisations are famous for bad service in your country?
- Are there many public facilities in your country?
- What are the benefits of parks?
- Should parks be free of charge?
- How can parks better serve the poor?
- How important is it to have parks in urban areas?
- Which types of parties are popular in your country?
- Is it true that everybody likes parties?
- Do you prefer receiving emails or birthday cards on your birthday?
- How does alcohol affect the atmosphere of a party?
- Is music important to a party?
- Why do old people prefer quiet places?
- What are the main causes of noise in cities?
- Why are suburbs quieter?
- Why might some people not enjoy quiet places?
- Will cities be nosier in the future?
- How important is communication in the workplace?
- How does that differ from communication at home?
- What different types of communication are there?
- How have mobile phones changed the way we communicate?
- What is the future of communication?
- Why is the country quieter than the city?
- Why do many people prefer to live in the countryside?
- Where are the quiestest places in cities?
- What will the countryside look like in your countr in the future?
- Are there any drawbacks to investing in publich transport in the countryside?
Comment below any questions that you had on the test, questions about IELTS in general or sample answers to the questions above!