The BIG List of IELTS Speaking Questions [by topic]

Below are dozens of IELTS speaking questions. These are arranged by topic, and perfect for IELTS students who want to do some speaking practice. Use these to help you prepare for the real IELTS speaking exam. I’ve included two useful videos from my YouTube channel that include sample answers. If you find them helpful, consider subscribing to the channel. Enjoy!

Family & Relationships

Part 1

Tell me something about your family.

What do you like doing most with your family?

Who are you close to in your family?

In what way is your family important to you?

Part 2

Describe a close friend.

You should say:

  • How long you have known this person
  • How you met
  • What kind of person he/she is

and explain why you like him/her.

Part 3

In what ways have families changed in the last hundred years?

Should we rely heavily on our families or is it better to try to be independent?

The elderly are sometimes considered the wisest members of society. What do you think we can learn from them?

What do you expect from a good friend?

Are friends as important to you as family?

Do you think friendships change as we get older? How?

Health and Sport

Part 1

What do you do to keep fit?

Are you good at sport?

What sports do you play?

What is the most popular sport in your country?

Part 2

Describe an exciting   competition or sporting event you have witnessed.

You should say:

  • What the competition or sporting event was
  • When and where it took place
  • Who won

and explain why it was exciting.

Part 3

What are the best ways to keep fit?

Do you think most people consider exercise a chore or do they find it fun?

What is the most popular form of exercise in your country?

Do you think people in your country are less healthy than they used to be?

How can we encourage young people to stay healthy?

Should governments intervene to force people to be healthier?

Studies and Work

Part 1

Do you work or are you a student?

Why did you choose that course or job?

What is the most difficult thing about your studies or job?

Part 2

Describe your dream job.

You should say:

  • What qualifications or experience you would need
  • What the job would involve
  • What you think the most difficult thing about the job would be

and explain why it is your dream job.

Part 3

Do you think science subjects are more useful than arts subjects?

Are students mature enough to choose what to study themselves or should their parents decide for them?

In your country, does having a university education help you into a better career?

Do you think older or younger workers are more motivated?

How can managers increase motivation among their workforce?

Are people more motivated if their job involves helping others?

Environment

Part 1

Tell me about your country’s climate.

What’s your favourite kind of weather?

Does the weather influence your mood?

Is it worse to feel too hot or too cold?

Part 2

Describe your favourite season.

You should say:

  • What the season is and when it occurs
  • What the weather is like during this season
  • What your typical activities are during this season

and explain why it is your favourite season.

Part 3

Are people in your country concerned about protecting the environment?

Does the responsibility for protecting the environment lie with governments or with individuals?

Does it help to educate young people on being green?

What effects does pollution have on the environment?

Do you think we pollute more now than we did 50 years ago?

What do you think will happen if we do not reduce current levels of pollution?

Communication

Part 1

What’s your mother tongue?

What other languages do you speak?

What do you think is the best way to keep in touch with friends?

Do people keep in touch differently now compared to 50 years ago?

Part 2

Describe a language other than English that you would like to learn.

You should say:

  • What the language is
  • Where it is spoken
  • What you think would be difficult and what would be easy about learning the language.

and explain why you would like to learn it.

Part 3

Is it considered important in your country to learn foreign languages?

What, in your opinion, is the best way to learn a language?

Why are some people seemingly better at learning languages than others?

How do people in your country feel about English being the world language?

Do you think the culture of English-speaking countries, as well as the English language, dominate the world?

Why do you think people feel it is important to continue to speak their local languages?

Technology

Part 1

What do you use the internet for?

Does everyone have access to the internet in your country?

Do you think older people are scared of new technology?

Do you think young children should have mobile phones?

Part 2

Describe a piece of electronic equipment that you find useful.

You should say:

  • What the piece of equipment is
  • When and where you got it
  • What you use it for

And explain why you find it useful

Part 3

What have been the most significant technological developments of recent years?

In what ways have these developments changed society for the better and for the worse?

Are people in your country nostalgic about life before technology?

Why do you think some people claim scientists interfere too much with nature?

Do you have anything against animal testing?

Is scientific progress always for the greater good?

Hobbies

Part 1

What are your hobbies?

What is your favourite musical instrument?

Do you prefer action films or comedies? Why?

Do you think it is important to read novels and poetry? Why?

Part 2

Describe a hobby you enjoy.

You should say:

  • How long you have been doing it
  • How often you do it
  • What benefits you get from it

And explain why you enjoy it.

Part 3

Do you think men and women tend to have different types of hobbies?

Why do some people get obsessed with their hobby?

Do you think hobbies that keep you fit are better than hobbies that you can do sitting down?

Do you think it can be a disadvantage to have too much free time?

Should people feel a duty to do something constructive in their free time?

Do people have more free time now than in the past?

Childhood

Part 1

What is your most vivid childhood memory?

Are you still in touch with your childhood friends?

What was your favourite toy when you were a child?

Is it important for children to have fun? Why?

Part 2

Describe a happy childhood memory.

You should say:

  • When and where the incident you remember happened
  • Who you were with
  • What happened exactly

And explain why it is a happy memory.

Part 3

Do you think people often idealize their childhoods?

How does a person’s childhood influence what kind of adult they become?

When does a child become an adult, in your opinion?

Do you agree with the saying, “Children should be seen and not heard”?

Is it good for children to be exposed to frightening and sad experiences or should they be protected from these as far as possible?

Are children in your country generally well brought up?

Home

Part 1

Tell me about your hometown.

In what ways has your town or city changed since you were a child?

How could your town or city be improved?

Are there any traffic problems where you live?

Part 2

Describe a place that you enjoy visiting.

You should say:

  • Where that place is
  • What you can see and do there
  • How it has changed since you first visited it

and explain why you enjoy visiting this place.

Part 3

Is it only children who experience homesickness?

Do you think it’s better for children to grow up in the city or the country?

Why do some people retire to the countryside?

Are people from your country patriotic?

Why do people often feel proud of where they come from?

Does intense patriotism have any disadvantages?

Culture

Part 1

What is the most important festival in your country?

Do you think this festival will still be as important in the future?

Tell me how weddings are celebrated in your country.

What are some forms of traditional dancing in your country?

Part 2

Describe a festival that you enjoy.

You should say:

  • When the festival occurs
  • Where it occurs
  • What happens during it

and explain why you enjoy the festival.

Part 3

Are historical sites in your country popular with visitors?

Is it more important to preserve historical sites or make way for the developments of the future?

What do you think will happen to your country’s historical sites in the future?

What is ‘culture’ to you?

Do you think that it is important for a society or culture to have a sense of continuity with the past?

How will your country’s culture have change in fifty years’ time?

Travel

Part 1

Is your country popular with tourists?

What sights or activities would you recommend to a tourist visiting your town or region?

Do you enjoy active holidays?

Tell me what your ideal holiday would be.

Part 2

Describe a memorable holiday.

You should say:

  • When you went on this holiday
  • Where you went
  • What you did

And explain why it is memorable.

Part 3

Do you think it’s true that travel broadens the mind?

Do young people and older people benefit differently from travelling?

How can you make sure you get the most from your travels?

What are the positive impacts of tourism?

What about the negative impacts of tourism?

How has tourism impacted tourist sites in your country?

Author: David S. Wills

David S. Wills is the author of Scientologist! William S. Burroughs and the 'Weird Cult' and the founder/editor of Beatdom literary journal. He lives and works in rural China, and loves to travel. He has worked as an IELTS tutor since 2010, has completed both TEFL and CELTA courses, and has a certificate from Cambridge for Teaching Writing. In 2018, he wrote the popular IELTS handbook, Grammar for IELTS Writing. His other IELTS website is called IELTS Teaching.

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