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These are IELTS speaking topics and questions – updated regularly!

Consider supporting my efforts to write these essays by signing up for my exclusive IELTS Ebooks here on Patreon or my online courses here.

Dave

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).

 

Work (Model answer available on my Patreon)

  1. Are you student or are you working now?
  2. What do you like about your job/school at the moment?
  3. What job would you like to do in the future?

Work (2)

  1. Where are you working at the moment?
  2. Do you want to work in another country?
  3. Do you like your job?

Your Home Nation/Country

  1. Where are you from?
  2. What do you like the most about your country?
  3. Where would you like to live in your country?
  4. Are people in your country patriotic?

Family

  1. Are you close with your family?
  2. Who do you talk to in your family the most?
  3. Do you have a large family?
  4. Are families becoming more distant in your country?

Coffee

  1. Do you prefer to drink coffee or tea?
  2. How do you like to drink coffee?
  3. Is coffee a popular drink in your country?
  4. When was the last time you had some coffee?

Noise

  1. Do you live in a noisy area?
  2. How often to do overhear other people’s conversations?
  3. Would you like to live in a quiter place?
  4. Where are the noisiest places in your country?

Science

  1. Were you good at science when you were in school?
  2. What was your favorite scientific subject?
  3. How do you use science in your life now?
  4. Are science majors common in your country?

Flying

  1. Are there many airlines in your country?
  2. Have you ever flown anywhere?
  3. Where would you like to fly?
  4. Are you scared of flying?

Driving

  1. Do you like driving?
  2. Where was the last place you drove?
  3. Where do you like to sit in a car?
  4. Is driving common in your country?

School

  1. Did you like your school when you were a child?
  2. What did you learn about?
  3. Did you have a favorite teacher?
  4. Are there many rules in schools in your country?

Offices

  1. Do you work in an office?
  2. Is it common for people in your country to work in office?
  3. Where do most of your friends work?
  4. Would you like to design an office?

Cities

  1. Have you ever lived in a city?
  2. What do you enjoy most about living in the city?
  3. Which city would you like to live in in the future?
  4. Do most people in your country live in cities?

Architecture

  1. Are there a lot of buildings where you live?
  2. What kind of architecture do you like the most?
  3. Where would you live, if you could live in any home in the world?
  4. Is architecture an important part of a city’s identity?

Animals

  1. What was your favorite animal as a child?
  2. Do people in your country keep pets?
  3. What kind of pet would you not like to have?
  4. Is environmental protection important?

Where you Live

  1. Where is your hometown?
  2. Would you like to live there in the future?
  3. What don’t you like about your home?

Outdoors

  1. Did you like to go outdoors when you were younger?
  2. Do you still go outdoors a lot now?
  3. Do you like reading outside?
  4. Where do people in your country like to go outside?

Sports and Games

  1. What is your favorite sport?
  2. What sport did you play when you were younger?
  3. Which sports do you enjoy watching on TV?
  4. What is most popular sport in your country?

Notes

  1. Do you often write down notes?
  2. Do you make a lot of lists on your phone?
  3. When do you usually make notes?
  4. Is it common in your country for people to write notes?

Celebrities

  1. Do you know any celebrities?
  2. Which celebrity do you know the most about?
  3. Are there are any celebrities you would like to meet?
  4. Who is the most famous person in your country?

Online News

  1. Do you often read the news online?
  2. Is it convenient to read online news?
  3. What was the last article that you read about?
  4. Do you still read newspapers?

Swimming

  1. How often do you go swimming?
  2. When did you learn how to swim?
  3. Will you swim a lot in the future?
  4. Can most people in your country swim?

Laughing

  1. Do you laugh at jokes a low?
  2. Can you tell jokes well?
  3. Do you think laughing is important?
  4. What kinds of funny shows are popular in your country?

Conversation

  1. Do you enjoy talking with your friends?
  2. What do you usually talk about?
  3. Have the kind of conversations you have changed much?
  4. Do you like listening to your friends tell stories?

Favorite Foods

  1. What are your favorite foods?
  2. What were your favorite foods as a child?
  3. What foods are becoming more popular in your country now?
  4. What foods do you not like?

Interacting with Others

  1. Do you like talking to strangers?
  2. What was the last conversation you had?
  3. Do you discuss politics with your friends?
  4. Are families in your country very talkative?

Old Age

  1. Do you know a lot of older people?
  2. How often do you talk with your grandparents?
  3. Do you think people get happier as they get older?
  4. 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.

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 move 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:

What happened

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.

Read on!

Books

  1. What genres are popular in your country?
  2. How does the film industry impact booksellers in your country?
  3. How can people be encouraged to read more?
  4. Are there any drawbacks to reading too often?
  5. What are differences between reading a real book and an online one?

Meetings

  1. Are meetings common for most businesses in your country?
  2. Are meetings a waste of time?
  3. How could meetings be made more efficient?
  4. How has technology changed the way people hold meetings?
  5. Are there cultural differences in terms of meetings in different parts of your country?

Training

  1. Do you think employers are responsible for training their employees?
  2. How important is training in different industries?
  3. Should companies focus more on training for older or younger employees?
  4. Is it common for people in your country to pursue higher education later in life?
  5. Do companies often help fund this training?

Moving

  1. Is it common in your country for people to move a lot?
  2. Do most people in your country live in cities?
  3. Why do some people live to live in the same place their whole lives?
  4. Is it important to travel a lot?
  5. How can less privileged groups be encouraged to move more often?

Crime

  1. Why do people commit crimes?
  2. How can criminals be rehabilitated?
  3. What is the purpose of punishment?
  4. Are punishment and revenge the same?
  5. Will crime become less common in the future?

Copying

  1. Do people in your country often copy each other?
  2. How has technology changed how people copy each other?
  3. Is it important for people to copy each other?
  4. What laws about plagiarism are there in your country?
  5. Do you think intellectual property theft will become more common in the future?

Retirement

  1. When do people in your country usually retire?
  2. Should everyone retire?
  3. What are the reasons that people do not retire?
  4. Will retirement ages keep getting later?
  5. What do retired people do in your country?

Computer Games

  1. Is it healthy for kids to play computer games?
  2. What are differences between the games played now and those from the past?
  3. Are there big differences in terms of gender when it comes to gaming?
  4. Are games educational?
  5. How do you think games will evolve in the future?

Eating and Food

  1. Are family meals common in your country?
  2. Is fast food alway unhealthy?
  3. Do you think fast food will be popular in the future?
  4. Is food an important part of your culture?
  5. Is there too much attention paid to food?

Mobile Phones and Smartphones

  1. What are the advantages of smartphones?
  2. Should children be allowed to own smartphones?
  3. Do you thinks have a major or minor impact on mental health?
  4. Where in your country is it not appropriate to use a phone?
  5. Do you think smartphone usage may decline in the future?

Charity

  1. Why do people do charity for others?
  2. Is charity always altruistic or can it be selfish?
  3. What kinds of charities are there in your country?
  4. Do corporations in your country contribute to charity?
  5. Should charities be allowed to make a profit?

Life Goals

  1. How important is it for people to set goals?
  2. Do people set different goals at different stages of life?
  3. Are personal goals more important than professional goals?
  4. What sort of goals do young people today set?
  5. Are people becoming more pessimistic about their life goals?

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