These are IELTS speaking topics and questions – updated regularly into 2023!
If you’re interested in EBooks based on some of the speaking topics (and many more), consider signing up for my exclusive IELTS Ebooks here on Patreon.
Watch some speaking practice tests/models 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 favourite 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 equals around 11 questions in part 1).
- Do you prefer to have a lot of friends or a small group of friends?
- What do you usually do with your friends?
- Do you have a best friend?
- How do friends in your country stay in touch?
Work (Model answer available on my Patreon)
- Are you student or are you working now?
- What do you like about your job/school at the moment?
- What job would you like to do in the future?
- Where are you working at the moment?
- Do you want to work in another country?
- Do you like your job?
Your Home Nation/Country
- Where are you from?
- What do you like the most about your country?
- Where would you like to live in your country?
- Are people in your country patriotic?
- Did you do many chores as a child?
- What chores do you typically do now?
- Are there are chores you dislike doing?
- Do men or women do more chores in your country?
- Are you a creative person?
- What did you learn about creativity at school?
- Does anyone in your family have a good imagination?
- Are people in your country generally very creative?
- Have you ever been to a museum?
- What kind of art is in museums in your country?
- Did you parents take you to museums as a child?
- Are museums common in your country?
- Do you enjoy reading?
- What kinds of books do you like?
- Do you have a favorite author?
- Is reading a popular pastime in your country?
- Do you own a bicycle?
- When was the last time you went cycling?
- Is cycling dangerous in your country?
- Would you ever take a long cycling trip?
- What do you usually shop for?
- Do you often go to malls?
- Do you shop online a lot?
- How common are shopping centers in your country?
- Are you close with your family?
- Who do you talk to in your family the most?
- Do you have a large family?
- Are families becoming more distant in your country?
- Do you prefer to drink coffee or tea?
- How do you like to drink coffee?
- Is coffee a popular drink in your country?
- When was the last time you had some coffee?
- Do you live in a noisy area?
- How often to do overhear other people’s conversations?
- Would you like to live in a quiter place?
- Where are the noisiest places in your country?
- Were you good at science when you were in school?
- What was your favorite scientific subject?
- How do you use science in your life now?
- Are science majors common in your country?
- Are there many airlines in your country?
- Have you ever flown anywhere?
- Where would you like to fly?
- Are you scared of flying?
- Do you like driving?
- Where was the last place you drove?
- Where do you like to sit in a car?
- Is driving common in your country?
- Did you like your school when you were a child?
- What did you learn about?
- Did you have a favorite teacher?
- Are there many rules in schools in your country?
- Do you work in an office?
- Is it common for people in your country to work in office?
- Where do most of your friends work?
- Would you like to design an office?
- Have you ever lived in a city?
- What do you enjoy most about living in the city?
- Which city would you like to live in in the future?
- Do most people in your country live in cities?
- Are there a lot of buildings where you live?
- What kind of architecture do you like the most?
- Where would you live, if you could live in any home in the world?
- Is architecture an important part of a city’s identity?
- What was your favorite animal as a child?
- Do people in your country keep pets?
- What kind of pet would you not like to have?
- Is environmental protection important?
Where you Live
- Where is your hometown?
- Would you like to live there in the future?
- What don’t you like about your home?
- Did you like to go outdoors when you were younger?
- Do you still go outdoors a lot now?
- Do you like reading outside?
- Where do people in your country like to go outside?
Sports and Games
- What is your favorite sport?
- What sport did you play when you were younger?
- Which sports do you enjoy watching on TV?
- What is most popular sport in your country?
- Do you often write down notes?
- Do you make a lot of lists on your phone?
- When do you usually make notes?
- Is it common in your country for people to write notes?
- Do you know any celebrities?
- Which celebrity do you know the most about?
- Are there are any celebrities you would like to meet?
- Who is the most famous person in your country?
- Do you often read the news online?
- Is it convenient to read online news?
- What was the last article that you read about?
- Do you still read newspapers?
- How often do you go swimming?
- When did you learn how to swim?
- Will you swim a lot in the future?
- Can most people in your country swim?
- Do you laugh at jokes a low?
- Can you tell jokes well?
- Do you think laughing is important?
- What kinds of funny shows are popular in your country?
- Do you enjoy talking with your friends?
- What do you usually talk about?
- Have the kind of conversations you have changed much?
- Do you like listening to your friends tell stories?
- What are your favorite foods?
- What were your favorite foods as a child?
- What foods are becoming more popular in your country now?
- What foods do you not like?
Interacting with Others
- Do you like talking to strangers?
- What was the last conversation you had?
- Do you discuss politics with your friends?
- Are families in your country very talkative?
- Do you know a lot of older people?
- How often do you talk with your grandparents?
- Do you think people get happier as they get older?
- Are people living longer 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.
Describe a movie that you like. You should say: (Get my EBook for this topic on Patreon.)
When you watched it
What it was about
And explain why you like it
Talk about a person who taught you how to do something. Include:
Who it was
What they taught you
If you can still do it
Talk about an animal you want to learn more about. Include:
What it is
What you konw about it now
Why you want to know more
Talk about an event you went to that had good food. Include:
What the event was for
What the food was
Why you liked it
Talk about a goal that you want to achieve in the future. Include:
What the goal is
When you thought of it
How you will accomplish it
Talk about an early morning where you did a lot. Include:
When it was
What you did
How you felt after
Talk about a movie that you enjoyed watching in the cinema. Include:
What it was
Why you like it
If you will see it again
Talk about a food that you tried and didn’t like. Include:
What it was
Why you didn’t like it
If you will try it again
Talk about a fashion item that you want to buy. Include:
What it is
Where you can get it
How expensive it is
Talk about a memory you have from school. Include:
Why you remember
Who you told about it
Talk about a person in your life with a good sense of humor. Include:
Who it is
Why they are funny
How often you see them
Talk about a group project that you worked on. Include:
What the project was about
Who you worked with
The result of the project
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.
- How are educational systems in your country changing at the moment?
- Should teachers use more technology in the classroom?
- Will it be possible in the future for classes to be taught by robots?
- What are the drawbacks on learning online?
- Are teachers well respected in your country?
- How are traditional cultures in your country changing today?
- Do people still celebrate traditional festivals in your country?
- Do you think people will become more similar culturally in the future around the world?
- Are there many ethnic groups in your country that have preserved their ways of living?
- What can governments and individual citizens do to support local ethnic minority groups?
- What kinds of crops are grown in your country?
- Is farming becoming more sustainable in your country?
- Should governments subsidize the agricultural industry?
- How will farms look different in the future?
- Do most people in your country buy local produce?
- Is your country generally safe?
- What responsibilities do the police usually have?
- How do you think policing will change in the future?
- Do cameras violate a person’s privacy?
- What problems do people have with the police in your country?
- How often do people in your country go to the doctor?
- Are doctors always trustworthy?
- How will hospitals change in the future?
- Is traditional medicine an important part of your culture?
- What makes a person healthy?
- How are environmental problems dealt with in your country?
- What can be done to make people recycle more often?
- What is the most pressing environmental problem?
- Is recycling a common practice in your country?
- Are governments or individuals more responsible?
- Is this the best period in human history to be living?
- How has technology improved life?
- Does it have any major negatives?
- Do you think progress will continue in the future?
- Are there any areas where humanity is not making progress?
- What kind of ads are common in your country?
- Do you think companies should be allowed to advertise to children?
- Are there laws regulating ads where you live?
- What makes a good advertisement?
- Will ads still be useful and common in the future?
- Does your country have a lot of forests?
- What threats are posed by deforestation?
- Are there alternatives to cutting down forests?
- What can the average citizen do to help combat this situation?
- What will the future of the Earth’s forests look like?
- What genres are popular in your country?
- How does the film industry impact booksellers in your country?
- How can people be encouraged to read more?
- Are there any drawbacks to reading too often?
- What are differences between reading a real book and an online one?
- Are meetings common for most businesses in your country?
- Are meetings a waste of time?
- How could meetings be made more efficient?
- How has technology changed the way people hold meetings?
- Are there cultural differences in terms of meetings in different parts of your country?
- Do you think employers are responsible for training their employees?
- How important is training in different industries?
- Should companies focus more on training for older or younger employees?
- Is it common for people in your country to pursue higher education later in life?
- Do companies often help fund this training?
- Is it common in your country for people to move a lot?
- Do most people in your country live in cities?
- Why do some people live to live in the same place their whole lives?
- Is it important to travel a lot?
- How can less privileged groups be encouraged to move more often?
- Why do people commit crimes?
- How can criminals be rehabilitated?
- What is the purpose of punishment?
- Are punishment and revenge the same?
- Will crime become less common in the future?
- Do people in your country often copy each other?
- How has technology changed how people copy each other?
- Is it important for people to copy each other?
- What laws about plagiarism are there in your country?
- Do you think intellectual property theft will become more common in the future?
- When do people in your country usually retire?
- Should everyone retire?
- What are the reasons that people do not retire?
- Will retirement ages keep getting later?
- What do retired people do in your country?
- Is it healthy for kids to play computer games?
- What are differences between the games played now and those from the past?
- Are there big differences in terms of gender when it comes to gaming?
- Are games educational?
- How do you think games will evolve in the future?
Eating and Food
- Are family meals common in your country?
- Is fast food always unhealthy?
- Do you think fast food will be popular in the future?
- Is food an important part of your culture?
- Is there too much attention paid to food?
Mobile Phones and Smartphones
- What are the advantages of smartphones?
- Should children be allowed to own smartphones?
- Do you thinks have a major or minor impact on mental health?
- Where in your country is it not appropriate to use a phone?
- Do you think smartphone usage may decline in the future?
- Why do people do charity for others?
- Is charity always altruistic or can it be selfish?
- What kinds of charities are there in your country?
- Do corporations in your country contribute to charity?
- Should charities be allowed to make a profit?
- How important is it for people to set goals?
- Do people set different goals at different stages of life?
- Are personal goals more important than professional goals?
- What sort of goals do young people today set?
- Are people becoming more pessimistic about their life goals?