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IELTS Speaking Topics

Below we have provided a sample list of frequently asked questions on conventional topics. These will help you to study for Section 1. Section 1 will take place in an interview format with the examiner asking questions in a casual tone.

Please be aware that the test proctor can inquire about other topics as well.

  • What is your job?
  • Where do you work?
  • What made you choose that job?
  • Do a lot of people in your home country work at the same job?
  • Do you enjoy working there?
  • Do you like the people with whom you work?
  • Describe your first day at work.
  • Describe your work responsibilities.
  • If you had the opportunity, would you work at another job?
  • Would you want to continue working in this job?
  • What do you study?
  • At which school do you perform your studies?
  • What made you choose that topic of study?
  • Do many others also study this topic in your home country?
  • Do you enjoy studying that topic?
  • Do you get along with others at your school?
  • Describe your first day at that school.
  • Describe the different aspects of your field of study.
  • If given the opportunity, would you study something else?
  • Will you get a job in your field of study?
  • Where is your hometown?
  • Do you like your hometown?
  • Do you get to visit your hometown very often?
  • Describe your hometown.
  • What is the oldest or most historic part of your hometown?
  • What should a visitor from another country do in your hometown?
  • What changes could improve your hometown?
  • Has your hometown experienced much change since you were a child?
  • Does your hometown have good public transportation?
  • Does your hometown provide a good setting in which to raise children?
  • Where is your home located?
  • Do you live in a house or do you live in a flat?
  • With whom do you live?
  • Does your house have many rooms?
  • Which room is your favourite?
  • What decorations do you have on the walls?
  • What would you change about your home?
  • Will you live there in the future?
  • What facilities are there in your local community?
  • Describe your neighborhood.
  • Do most people live in houses or apartments in your home country?
  • Are you a talented artist?
  • Did you study art in school when you were a child?
  • What types of art do you enjoy?
  • Do many people enjoy art in your home country?
  • Have you ever been to an art gallery before?
  • Would children enjoy art galleries in your home country?
  • Do you prefer celebrating yours or other people’s birthdays?
  • Do you celebrate your birthday?
  • What did you do to celebrate your last birthday?
  • Can you remember a fun birthday that you celebrated when you were a child?
  • Do people customarily celebrate birthdays with a party in your home country?
  • Which birthdays are considered the most important in your home country?
  • Did you have a good childhood?
  • What is your first memory as a child?
  • When you were a child, did you have many friends and playmates?
  • What kinds of things did you enjoy doing as a child?
  • Is it better for children to grow up in the city or in the countryside?
  • Do you consider it important to wear certain styles of clothes?
  • What kinds of clothes do you normally like to wear?
  • Do you ever wear your country’s traditional clothing?
  • Have you ever had to wear a uniform?
  • Do people in your country consider it important to follow fashion?
  • Do you get to use a computer very often?
  • What ways do you use to get online?
  • Do desktops or laptops work better for you?
  • What kinds of work do you do on your computer, or what kinds of entertainment do you enjoy?
  • Do you think that it is important for people to learn to use a computer?
  • At what time do you usually wake up?
  • Do you follow the same routine every day?
  • If you have a set daily routine, please describe it.
  • Does your routine change very much?
  • Has your routine changed much since you were a child?
  • Do you think it is important for people to have their own daily routine?
  • Do you enjoy spending time with your neighbours?
  • Do neighbours generally live very close to each other in your home country?
  • Describe your neighbourhood to me?
  • Is your neighbourhood a good place for children to grow up in?
  • If given the opportunity, how would you change your neighbourhood?
  • Do you think that everyone should get along with their neighbours?
  • In what ways do you usually get your news?
  • Do you ever read newspapers?
  • What kinds of news do you prefer to follow?
  • In your home country, how do people prefer to get their news?
  • Should people spend more time following international news?
  • Do you read very often?
  • What kinds of books do you enjoy reading?
  • How often do you read newspapers?
  • Do you prefer to read e-books?
  • When you were a child, which kinds of books did you read?
  • Should parents and teachers encourage children to read more?
  • Do you enjoy following sports?
  • What is your favourite sport to watch or to play?
  • Do you often watch sports on television?
  • Did you play sports when you were growing up?
  • What is your home country’s favourite sport?
  • How do most people in your country stay in shape, or is that a priority in your home country?
  • Do you spend a lot of time watching television?
  • What types of things do you most enjoy watching on television?
  • What is your favourite show to watch on television?
  • Do you ever watch television programs or motion pictures from other countries?
  • What were your favourite television programs to watch when you were growing up?
  • Do you think children should be allowed to watch television?
  • How did you get to this facility today?
  • What mode of transport do you prefer to use?
  • Do you ever use any public transportation system?
  • Do you like to use public transportation in your home country?
  • Explain the difference between taking a bus and taking a train to get to where you want to go.
  • Describe the weather outside today.
  • Which kind of weather do you prefer?
  • Do you like the weather that your home country typically experiences?
  • In your home country, is the weather the same in every area?
  • Is your mood ever affected by the weather?
  • Does the weather in your home country interfere with public transportation?

Speaking Examination Part 2

The second part of the speaking examination is referred to as “The Talk.” This phase requires you to speak on a given topic. After receiving your topic card, paper, and writing instrument, you have one minute to prepare your thoughts. After that, you must speak for one to two minutes on your given topic.

The examiner will cue you on when to start, but you can speak for as long as you wish after fulfilling the basic time requirements. You will face no penalty for running over on time. Most of the questions will ask you to refer to something in your own personal experience.

Below, we have provided possible examination topics along with guidelines on how to organise your talk. Keep in mind that these topics are not a complete list, just a guideline.

Discuss a book that you enjoy

  • What type of book is it?
  • What is the subject covered by the book?
  • What kinds of people would also enjoy this book?
  • Explain why this book appeals to you.

Describe exercises that you enjoy doing

  • What exercises do you regularly do?
  • Describe how to do them.
  • When did you first try it?
  • What kinds of people would benefit from doing it?
  • Explain why this exercise works for you and others.

Discuss a family member with whom you enjoy spending time.

  • Who is the family member?
  • How is this person related to you?
  • Describe the person in detail.
  • What activities do you do with them?
  • Why do you get along with this particular person so well?

Discuss a favourite hobby.

  • What is your favourite hobby?
  • What kinds of people share your interest in this hobby?
  • Describe your hobby and what you do to pursue it.
  • Why are you interested in this kind of hobby?

Describe a journey that you have undertaken recently.

  • Where did you go?
  • What mode of transportation did you use to get there?
  • Who did you go there with?
  • Did you have any mishaps?
  • What, if anything, would you do differently in the course of your journey?

Describe a person who is unusually kind.

  • Identify who the person is.
  • How did you meet this person?
  • What kind of person is he or she?
  • Explain what about them makes them kinder than others.

Describe your experience in learning a foreign language (you can talk about learning English, if you wish.)

  • Which language did you try to learn?
  • Why did you choose that language?
  • Describe how you worked to learn it.
  • What about learning it gave you the most trouble?
  • How will you use knowledge of that language in the future?

Describe a recent event in your personal life that you found shocking and unexpected.

  • What was the event or incident?
  • When did it happen?
  • Why was it unexpected?
  • Explain how it affected you.

Describe an important vocation that a person might follow and why.

  • What is it?
  • What does this vocation involve?
  • What kind of people pursue this kind of vocation?
  • In what ways does this vocation benefit the community or society?

Describe a sport that you would like to learn or wish you had learned.

  • What is the sport?
  • What kind of equipment does it require for proper or safe play?
  • How do you learn the sport?
  • Explain how to play.
  • Why do you like this sport?

Describe your favourite place to shop.

  • What kind of shop is it?
  • Where is it located?
  • What do you buy there?
  • Why do you enjoy going to this shop?
  • What makes it a better shop than others of its type?

Describe a photograph that you have taken or seen that made a strong impression.

  • What does the photo portray?
  • When was the picture taken?
  • Who took the photograph?
  • Explain why you like it or why it has a strong impact on you.

Describe a person whom you respect, living or dead.

  • Who is the person?
  • What kind of person are they?
  • What has made them more worthy of respect?
  • How do they influence you and your life?

Describe an individual song that you enjoy.

  • What is your favourite song?
  • What is the song about?
  • Do you remember when you first heard it?
  • What about the song do you like the most?
  • Does it carry any special meaning for you?

Discuss an older person whose impact on you has been positive.

  • Explain who the person is.
  • How old is he or she?
  • How did you meet this person?
  • Describe this person.
  • How has this person had an impact on your life?
  • Why do you like this person?

Describe your favourite place near a body of water.

  • Where is the destination?
  • How do people generally get there?
  • How often do you go?
  • What kinds of things can you do in this place?
  • Why do you like going there?
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