How to Answer Speaking Topics IELTS Questions | Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 IELTS Speaking Test Questions


The IELTS speaking interview is divided into three distinct parts, although it all flows together like a conversation. The whole process only takes around 14 minutes to complete.

The speaking topics IELTS includes start with work, study, family and home in the first part of the speaking test.


In the second part of the speaking interview the topics broaden and can include almost anything, although IELTS candidates for the speaking test are not required to have any knowledge of specialist topics.

Speaking Topics IELTS

Some typical topics IELTS candidates are asked questions about include:
  • Gardens
  • Education
  • Transport
  • Festivals
  • Music
  • Books
  • Films
  • Traditions

In the third part of the IELTS speaking test candidates are asked to discuss some questions related to the topic in the second part. This part of the IELTS interview (Part 3) really should be a discussion and the IELTS examiner will ask you further questions based on your responses. This is the part of the IELTS speaking test where you can score most points if you are able to:
  • Give opinions
  • Make comparisons
  • Hypothesise
  • Make suggestions and recommendations
  • Draw conclusions

None of the speaking topics IELTS uses need anything other than a general knowledge, they are designed to be cross cultural so they can be asked in any country and do not require candidates to have any in-depth knowledge of the subject.



How to answer speaking topics IELTS questions

You can prepare for the IELTS speaking interview by learning some topic specific vocabulary for the common speaking topics IELTS uses. Many of the IELTS preparation books and resources online provide good examples of this. You should also practice thinking of how to describe advantages, disadvantages, problems and solutions related to some of the topics, for example, related to:
  • Health problems
  • Education
  • Transport
  • Economy

Again, you do not need to be an expert or specialist in these areas. Remember, the IELTS speaking test is not a test of your technical knowledge of a topic – it is a test of your proficiency in the English language.



Keep ideas simple - concentrate on language

For example, if a Part 3 questions asks you for your opinion on how the public transport system in your country could be improved, you only need to be able to make suggestions and recommendations based on your own knowledge of the public transport system. Is there too much traffic? Are there too many buses? Are buses cheap or expensive for people? So some suggestions or solutions might be:
  • Reduce the number of old buses on the streets in the city
  • Reduce the fares on trains – make them cheaper and more people would use them
  • Increase the frequency of buses – every 10minutes instead of every 30 minutes
  • Make the buses cleaner – people think they are dirty at the moment
  • Make taxis safer – people don’t like them at the moment
  • Reduce or eliminate moto-taxis - because they are dangerous and cause the most accidents

You will not be required to explain exactly how, in great detail, to do these things. Keep it simple and concentrate on your language, using expressions for suggestions such as:
  • It might be an idea to ...
  • One solution could be if ...
  • It would be better if ...
  • The government should consider ...
  • More people would use buses if ...

There is no right or wrong answer (technically) – only how well you express your thoughts, ideas and opinions about speaking topics IELTS uses.



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