Essay Topics For Ielts General Training Speaking

IELTS speaking questions with answers

On the following pages you will find IELTS speaking questions with answers.

These are provided so you can see the kind of questions you may get and possible ways to answers them.

They will also give you ideas of the sorts of things you can talk about. They are not here for you to try and learn them to use in the test because that won't help you.

Firstly, although there are common topics that come up, they can all vary slightly, so if you give a learned response you may not answer the question. Also, examiners will be able to spot if you are using learned responses as you will not sound natural.

The following IELTS speaking questions with answers are based on part 1 of the test.


Where is your hometown?

My hometown's in Hanoi, which is the capital city of Vietnam. It's located in the north of the country, not really that far from the southern Chinese border.

Is there much to do in your hometown?

Oh yes, there's certainly lots to do there as it's a fairly big city. If you like going out in the evening there are a lot of good restaurants and bars. If you prefer cultural activities there are museums and art galleries. But if you like nature there are lots of other things outside of the city which are easy to reach.

What are the people like in your hometown?

They are mostly quite friendly, but as with most big cities everyone is often busy so it may seem as if they are not interested in speaking or having a chat. But if you live there you know that most people are quite happy to have a chat if they have time and will help you if needed.


What are you studying at the moment?

I'm studying history at university. It's a four year course, and I started it three years ago, so I have just one year left. I'm enjoying it a lot so it will be sad to finish.

What do you like most about your studies?

We learn about many things from the past such as politics and wars, but I like learning about how people lived in the past the most. It's amazing to see how our lives have changed so much from the past up until now. In some ways our lives have got much easier now, but in other ways the simplicity of life in the past made people much happier. Learning about all that is fascinating.

What do you hope to do in the future when you have finished?

I'm not sure at the moment, but I may go into teaching. This is why I'm doing the IELTS, as I intend to carry on and do a Masters in a specific area of history. I'll probably decide for sure what to do when I have completed that.


What is your job?

I currently work as an office manager at a large marketing company. I've been in the job for about five years now. I'm usually assigned to work with a specific business in order to improve their sales through various marketing strategies.

Do you have to work with other people?

Oh yes, all the time. It's a big office and we all have to work as a team if we want to achieve results. I have colleagues I need to liaise with such as the graphic designers and I also have administration staff who work under me. And of course I also have to work alongside the companies that we provide marketing for. So yes, I definitely have to work with other people.

Do you think you will change jobs in the future?

Well, that's not something I'm thinking about at the moment as I really enjoy what I do and it's a really good company to work for. The pay is good and they have other good benefits such as flexi-time and end of year bonuses. But that said, change is always a good thing, so I can't see me being there forever. I'm sure I will change one day.

Leisure time

What do you like to do in your free time?

I do quite a lot of sport actually. I play football mostly - on Wednesday nights and Sunday afternoon with a local team. I also play tennis and squash when I can but I don't really get the time to do them as well every week. I work quite hard at the moment, so I don't get a lot of free time unfortunately.

Have your leisure activities changed since you were a child?

Not a great deal actually. I used to love playing football when I was young as well - I played a lot at school. Though of course I did all the other things kids loved to do such as going out on bike rides after school and things.

Do you prefer to spend your free time alone or with other people?

It depends on my mood really. I think most people need some time on their own. Sometimes my work is quite stressful and I spend a lot of time there with others, so it's good to just get home and relax and read a book or something. But I get bored if I am alone too much so I like to go out and meet friends in the evening or play football.


Do you like to travel by train?

Yes, I quite like them. If you are on a train you can relax and look out the window, read, use your lap top - it's all quite comfortable. On the bus it's more difficult to do those things because there is less space and the movement can make you travel sick too. The only problem with trains in my country is that they are often delayed or late. That can ruin your journey.

Where do you usually go by train?

It's usually on long trips across the country if I want to visit friends or I have an appointment somewhere. For short journeys around where I live or to work it's much easier to drive or take the bus. As I said before, you can do things such as read on the train so it's good for long journeys.

When was the last time you travelled by train?

Er....I'm not quite sure, let me think. It was a while ago now. I think the last time was last year when I went up to see some friends I had not seen for a while in the north of the country. Yes, that was it. It was a journey of about 3 hours and I had to change trains once during the journey. The first train was a bit crowded and noisy as I think there were people on there going to a football match, but it was an ok trip most of the way..


Are you good at managing your time?

Actually I'd say I'm not too good! I don't really have a system in place to organize things. I know some people have an electronic organizer or use some device to plan what they are doing but I don't do that. But I always make sure I am on time for appointments and things like that, and I meet deadlines and get things done.

How do you manage your time?

As I said, I don't have any specific system in place to manage my time. For example, if I am at work and I have a lot of cases, I just go through them each day and decide which I need to tackle first. At work we do have an online diary which I guess I use, so in that sense I do manage my time to an extent.

When is it most important for you to manage your time?

I think it is probably when you are at work. When out of work, it's not really going to affect things too much, or at least only yourself, if you are late to meet friends or for an appointment, or if you are getting things done in your house. But at work, it will cause problems if you don't manage your time effectively because you could miss deadlines or miss appointments. You could lose your job. So at work is when it is most important to manage your time.


What kind of books do you like to read?

I mostly like to read biographies. I'm not sure why but it is interesting to read about people's real lives, especially when they have had interesting lives and have had to deal with many problems. I do read fiction as well, but I often find it difficult to get hold of a book that I really like. I also like reading about books to do with current affairs.

Do you read the same kind of books now that you read when you were a child?

Not really, no. Actually I didn't read that much when I was a child, but if I did it was mainly fiction books, such as fairy tales. Things like The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Fantasy things.

When do you think is the best time to read?

I think any time is ok, but when I read I like to concentrate, so I can't read for a short time like on a bus ride like some people do. I like to put time aside to enjoy it. So if I have some free time at the weekend I might read for a few hours. And I nearly always read before I go to bed - this really helps me to sleep.

Art Galleries

Are there many art galleries where you live?

No, not that I know of. I live in a small town so I don't think there are any, though we do have a few museums and other cultural institutions. In our capital city there are quite a few art galleries, however.

Did you like to go to art galleries when you were a child?

I've never been that interested in art to be honest, so not really. We were taken to one as part of a trip when I was at school. It has a lot of paintings from famous artists from our country. It was quite interesting to see I guess but I've not been to any since.

Should people have to pay to go to art galleries?

I think it depends really. If possible they should be free because if people do have to pay they are less likely to go and see it. But on the other hand these things cost money so a small fee may be necessary if it can keep the art gallery going and keep it open. Ideally though the government should pay for this as I believe this kind of thing is paid for by our taxes.


Can you swim?

Yes I can. I learnt at school when I was about 7 years old. Swimming lessons were compulsory at our school, like most schools I think.

Are there many places to swim near you?

Yes, there are a few public swimming pools. There is the main indoor one at a big sports complex in the center of town. There are also a couple of outdoor ones, but you can only use them in summer as it is too cold in winter. One is a big one in a park, the other is a much smaller one.

Do you think everyone should learn to swim?

Of course, I think it's very important. Firstly, you spend much of your life on holiday by water, for example, when you go to the beach on holiday, so you won't be able to enjoy yourself with your friends if you can't swim. Also, for safety reasons it's very important. You often hear about sad accidents involving young children so it's very important.


IELTS Speaking Questions
and Topics

Do you want to know the IELTS speaking questions and topics that are likely to come up in the test?

They do change regularly but there are certain types of topics that arise in various forms and we'll show you here what those are. 

On the following pages you will find examples of IELTS speaking questions and topics from part 1, part 2, and part 3 of the speaking test

Try practising the questions with a friend, and remember to extend your answers. 

You can usually do this by giving reasons why. For example, if you say it was fun growing up in your home town, say why it was fun.

Don't give one word answers. 

You can get further tips for answering IELTS speaking questions in part 1 of the speaking test here.

IELTS Speaking Questions & Topics
for Part One

Common Topics

These are common IELTS Speaking Questions so you should make sure you practice them regularly. Remember the test changes regularly so the types of questions around these topics will vary. 


I’d just like to ask you some questions about your hometown.

  1. Where is your hometown?
  2. What was it like growing up there?
  3. Has it changed much since you were a child?
  4. What do you like most about living there?
  5. What kinds of things can visitors to your hometown go and see?
  6. Do you think you will live there when you are older?


I’d like to ask you some questions about your home.

  1. Do you live in an apartment or a house?
  2. Is it a large apartment/house?
  3. Who do you live there with?
  4. What is your favourite room in your apartment/house?
  5. Is it a quiet or noisy place to live?
  6. What can you see from the windows in your apartment/house? 
  7. If you could change anything about your apartment/house, what would you change?


I’d just like to ask you some questions about your studies.

  1. What are you studying?
  2. Why did you choose that particular course?
  3. What is your favourite subject?
  4. Are you friends with many other students on your course?
  5. What job would you like when you have completed all your studies?
  6. Will you have to do further studies in the future?


I’d just like to ask you some questions about your work.

  1. What work do you do?
  2. What do you enjoy most about your work?
  3. What are your main duties?
  4. Is there any other work you would like to do in the future?
  5. What do you normally do when you finish work everyday?
  6. Will you have to do more training for your work in the future?

Other Common Part 1 IELTS Speaking Questions

These are some other IELTS speaking questions and topics that you may see in the test that will follow your questions about home, work or study. 

Remember again that this list is not exhaustive. IELTS are always coming up with new topics or changing current ones, so the IELTS speaking questions you get in the test are likely to vary. 

Free Time

I’d like to move on and ask you some questions about your free time

  1. What type of activities do you like to do in your free time?
  2. How long have you been interested in these activities?
  3. Do you like to do theses activities alone or with other people? (Why)?
  4. Do you think people have enough free time? 


I’d like to move on and ask you some questions about your family.

  1. How many people are there in your family?
  2. Do you all live in the same house? 
  3. What things do you like doing together?
  4. Who is your favourite family member?


Let’s move on and talk about being on time for appointments.

  1. Is being late acceptable in your culture? 
  2. Are you ever late for appointments? 
  3. What type of excuses do you think are alright for lateness?
  4. How do you feel when someone is late for an appointment with you?


Let’s change the topic and talk about your neighbours

  1. Do you know the people who live next door to you?
  2. How often do you see each other?
  3. What kind of relationship do you have?
  4. How can neighbours be helpful?
  5. What kind of problems can people have with their neighbours in a big city?


Moving to a new topic, I’d like to discuss cooking and meals with you.

  1. Do you enjoy cooking? 
  2. What type of things can you cook?
  3. What kinds of food are popular in your country?
  4. Is it an important part of your culture to have dinner parties? 
  5. Do you prefer to eat with other people or on your own? 


I’d now like to discuss your night time dreams with you.

  1. Do you dream much at night?
  2. Do you often remember your dreams?
  3. Do you think we can learn anything from dreams? 
  4. Do people in your country talk about their dreams? 
  5. Do you think that dreams can come true?

Magazines and Newspapers

Okay, let’s move to a different topic and discuss magazines and newspapers.

  1. Which do you prefer reading, newspapers or magazines? 
  2. What type of stories do you like to read about? 
  3. Do you think reading a magazine or a newspaper can help you learn a language?
  4. Why do you think some people prefer magazines to newspapers?


Let’s change the topic and talk about comedy and humour.

  1. What type of programmes do you find funny on TV?
  2. Which types of programmes are most popular in your country?
  3. What kind of things make you laugh? 
  4. Do you like to make people laugh? 
  5. Do you think it is important to have a sense of humour? (Why)?


Let’s move on and talk about museums.

  1. Are museums popular in your country?
  2. Did you visit museums when you were a child?
  3. Do you like to visit museums nowadays?
  4. Do you think you should pay to visit museums?

Mobile Phones

Now lets talk about mobile phones.

  1. Do you have a mobile phone?
  2. At what age did you first get a mobile?
  3. What do you most use it for?
  4. Is it a nuisance if people use mobiles in public places such as trains and buses?


We'll now talk about television.

  1. How many hours a day do you spend watching television?
  2. What type of television programs do you like to watch? 
  3. Do you think children in your country watch too much television?
  4. Do you think television is useful for education in schools?

The Sea

Now we'll talk about the sea. 

  1. Do you like to go on holiday by the sea?
  2. Are there many hotels by the sea in your country?
  3. What kind of activities can people do by the sea?
  4. How long do people normal visit the sea for when they go on holiday?


Now we'll talk about flowers. 

  1. How you ever given anybody flowers?
  2. Is it popular to give flowers to people in your country?
  3. On what special occasions do people give flowers in your country?
  4. What kinds of flowers would you like to receive as a present?

The Weather 

Now we'll move on to talk about the weather. 

  1. What kind of weather do you like the most?
  2. Does the weather affect the way that you feel?
  3. Do people like the weather in your country?
  4. Do the kinds of outside activities people do in your country change when the weather changes?

Public Transport

Now we'll move on to talk about public transport 

  1. What kinds of public transport do they have in your country?
  2. What kinds of public transport do most people use?
  3. What is your favourite type of public transport?
  4. What do you do when you are travelling on public transport?
  5. How could public transport in your country be improved?


Now we'll move on to talk about sport. 

  1. What is the most popular type of sport in your country?
  2. Is there a lot of sport on television in your country?
  3. What sports do children normally do at school?
  4. Do you think people do enough sport these days?


Now we'll talk about writing  

  1. Do you enjoy writing?
  2. What age do children normally learn to write in your country? 
  3. Did you used to write a lot when you were a child?
  4. Do you ever write letters?
  5. Do you prefer writing letters or sending emails?


Now we'll talk about animals.  

  1. What is your favourite animal?
  2. What types of animals do you have in your country?
  3. What types of animals are kept as pets in your country?
  4. Do you think animals should be kept in zoos?


Now let's move on to talk about dictionaries.   

  1. Do you ever use a dictionary?
  2. Do you prefer paper or electronic dictionaries?
  3. Are dictionaries used a lot in schools in your country?
  4. Do you think dictionaries are useful for learning a language?

Fashion and clothing

Now let's move on to talk about fashion and clothing.   

  1. Were you interested in fashion when you were a child?
  2. Is fashion important to you now?
  3. What types of clothes are fashionable for young people in your country these days?
  4. Does fashion change for people as they get older?


Now let's move on to talk about birthdays.   

  1. What did you usually do on your birthday when you were a child?
  2. How do you normally celebrate your birthday now?
  3. Is your birthday now still as important to you as when you were a child?
  4. Do you think it's important to give someone a card when it's their birthday?
  5. Do you think the price of a gifts/presents is important?


Now let's move on to talk about books.   

  1. Do you like reading books?
  2. What kinds of books do you like to read?
  3. What is the best book you've ever read?
  4. Is reading books a popular activity in your country?
  5. Do you think that electronic books / eReaders are better than real books?


We'll now talk about exercise.

  1. Do you do much exercise?
  2. Do you do more exercise now than when you were a child?
  3. Do people in your country do a lot of exercise?
  4. What do you think is the best exercise to keep fit?
  5. Have the types of exercise people like to do changed since you were a child?

The internet

We'll now talk about The Internet.

  1. Do you use The Internet?
  2. Are children allowed to use The Internet at school in your country? 
  3. Do you think that The Internet is useful for study?
  4. Have you ever used The Internet to buy something?
  5. Are there any dangers of buying things online?

Daily Routine

We'll now talk about daily routines.

  1. Tell me about your daily routine?
  2. Has your daily routine changed since you were a child?
  3. Is your daily routine different at the weekend to during the week?
  4. What would you like to change about your daily routine?
  5. Do you think it's important to have a daily routine?

Musical Instruments

We'll now talk about musical instruments.

  1. Do you think it's important for children to learn to play a musical instrument?
  2. Do children have to learn to play a musical instrument at school in your country?
  3. Have you ever learned to play a musical instrument?
  4. What do you think is the best age to start to learn to play a musical instrument?
  5. What do you think would be the most difficult musical instrument to learn to play?


We'll now talk about pets.

  1. Do you have a pet? 
  2. What types of animals do you think make the best pets?
  3. Why do people have pets?
  4. Should dogs be left in the house alone while their owners are at work?
  5. Is there any types of animals that you think should not be kept as a pet?


We'll now talk about seasons.

  1. What is your favourite season? 
  2. Tell me about the different seasons in your country.
  3. How do the clothes people wear in your country change with the seasons?
  4. Do any types of jobs people do in your country change with the seasons?
  5. Is tourism popular in a particular season in your country?


We'll now talk about photographs.

  1. Do you enjoy taking photographs?
  2. Do you prefer to take photos with a phone or with a camera?
  3. Do you take many photographs when you travel?
  4. Do you like looking at photographs of yourself?
  5. Have you put any photographs you have taken on the walls in your house?


Now let's talk about trees.

  1. Do you like trees?
  2. Are there many trees in your hometown?
  3. Do you think there are enough trees in most cities?
  4. What are the benefits of planting more trees?


Now let's talk about email.

  1. Do you email people often?
  2. Do you chat with friends or family more with email?
  3. Do you think people prefer to receive an email or a letter?
  4. Do you think it's easier to write an email or a letter?
  5. Do you think email will eventually replace letter writing?

End of IELTS Speaking Questions and Topics for Part 1

Regularly practice with a variety of IELTS speaking questions and topics and you will start to see your skills improve. 

But remember not to learn fixed answers.

This won't help you because the questions will always vary and you will definitely get questions you have not thought about before. 

The examiner is also trained to watch out for scripted answers to IELTS speaking questions so even if you are lucky enough to get a question you've had before, it will sound unnatural if it has been learned. 

They are easy questions in Part One of the test so just relax and you should not have difficultly giving some good answers. 




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