IELTS Speaking Topics

Share these recent IELTS speaking test questions



Do you work or study?

What do you do exactly?

Do you like your work?

Would you like to change the type of work you do in the future?

Have you ever been on a boat?

Do people in country travel much by boats? Why? Why not?

Do you think people used boats more in the past than nowadays?

Would you like to own a boat?

What would you use the boat for?

Are there any disadvantages to owning a boat?


Talk about a place where people like to listen to music.

You should say:
  • where it’s located
  • how you heard about the place
  • what kind of music you can hear
and say what kind of people usually go there.


When are children usually introduced to music?

Should parents encourage their kids to take up learning an instrument? Why? Why not?

Should parents arrange music lessons for their children, and if so what is a good age to begin such lessons?

Does music help in developing learning abilities of children?

How can more children be encouraged to play music rather than just listening to it?


Do you or study or work?

Tell me about your job?

What experience have you achieved?

Do you want to change your job in the future?

Do you like wearing jewelry?

What kind of jewelry do you normally wear?

Have you ever made a gift for someone?

Have you ever bought something because of an advertisement?

What do you think about pop-up advertisements online?


Describe your favorite TV drama or soap-opera series.

You should say:
  • what type of show it is
  • who the main characters are
  • why you like it
and say if you would recommend it to your friends, and why / why not?


What is the difference between American TV series and TV series in your country

Do people in your country generally prefer American TV programs?

Are there any differences between the preferences of young adults and older generations with regard to TV programs? What are the differences?

How have TV shows in your country changed over the years?

Why do you think many people like watching TV series?

Is watching such TV series a kind of escapism?

Do TV shows have a positive or negative influence on people? Why do you think that is?


Are you working or studying?

Tell me something about your work?

What do you like most about it?

What would you change about it?

Do you think you’ll continue working in this field in the future?

Did you learn about any famous people in history at school? Who did you learn about?

Is learning about history important for young people?

How was history taught when you were at school?


Describe a plant which is important in your country.

You should say:
  • where it grows
  • why it is important
  • if you like it or not
and explain how you learned about this particular plant.


What other plants are important in your country? Are any of them exported?

Which plant or flower is the most popular? Why is that?

Have you ever had a plant?

Why do you think some people love having plants and flowers in their homes?

Are there any benefits to looking after plants?


Do you work or are you a student?

What are you studying?

What do you like the most about your studies?

Do you like jewelry?

What kind of jewelry do you prefer?

Have you ever gifted jewelry to someone?

Do you like pop music?

Do you have a favorite pop music star?

What do you prefer — going to a live concert or listening to recorded music?


Describe an occasion when you arrived early for an event.

You should say:
  • What the event was
  • Why you arrived early
  • What you did before the event began
and say if you normally arrive early doe such events.


Is it necessary to always be early for meetings and appointments?

What is your opinion of people who are always late?

Do you think that managing time is important?

Who is better at managing time — the older generation or younger generation?

Do you think it is possible to learn how to manage your time?

Some people say that if you're doing nothing, you are wasting time. What is your opinion about this?

Nowadays, we have many things which help us save time, for example, automatic washing machines, and other things that have been invented to save time, but people still don't seem to have enough free time. Why do you think this is?


IELTS Speaking Test Part 1

What is your full name?

Tell me about your hometown.

How do you enjoy yourself in your city?

Do you spend time with teenagers?

Do you follow teenage trends?

Do you eat your food with your family?

What types of meals do you eat?

IELTS Speaking Test Part 2

Talk about a business person you admire.
You should say:
  • who he/she is
  • what their business is
  • how you learned about him/her
and explain why you admire him/her.

Sample Answer

Several entrepreneurs have inspired me in recent years.

When I want to remind myself how to stay true to my own vision, I look at Mark Zuckerberg, one of the founders of Facebook, who has remained true to his principles during the rise of his company.

I admire the determination, innovation and confidence that he showed when establishing and then operating the widely popular social network.

This extends to his decision to continue wearing a hooded jacket and a T-shirt to work after he was appointed CEO, as he had almost always done.

I have often said that business people should not dress like clones, so I was dejected to see how they criticized Zuckerberg for wearing his hoody on Wall Street when he launched his company's initial public offering.

I hope that those who disapproved so much will come to their senses one day.

In search of inspiration in terms of innovation, I look at Steve Jobs, as do many designers, inventors and entrepreneurs.

His death deeply affected many people around the world.

He was a man who did not finish his university studies and who fought cancer for many years, whose personal and professional successes gave hope to many.

Due to his effort, the various Apple devices have given us new ways to connect and engage with the world, including those with disabilities; This was a huge source of pride for Steve.

In search of a reminder about the importance of hard work and common sense, I look at British businessman Lord Alan Sugar, who has a lot to teach us all.

A man of humble origins, he was a pioneer in the manufacture of affordable word processors in Great Britain and then created a successful real estate company as well.

More recently, he has been the protagonist of the British version of the television program The Apprentice, making the business world interesting and accessible for a new generation of entrepreneurs.

For inspiration to convince business leaders to run their businesses in a socially responsible way, I enjoy Jamie Oliver and Jochen Zeitz, who have created successful companies that make a difference.

As President of Puma, Jochen is the forerunner of an environmental loss and profit reporting tool that helps companies assess the impact their products are having on our planet and our communities, and allows customers to know what products are sustainable.

I have watched Jamie for many years and I have been impressed by his dynamism as he has strengthened his restaurant business and forged his brand worldwide through his various television programs, all while devoting his efforts to teaching people to eat better, attracting public attention to the poor quality of school lunches, and running his company that trains unemployed young people to become professional chefs.

These guys give me hope that people's attitudes about the social responsibilities of companies are really changing.

IELTS Speaking TestPart 3

How would you describe the difference between being hard working and being hard hearted?

How has the Internet impacted the way we do business nowadays?

What are some of the advantages for employees that the internet offers?

What are some of the long-term benefits of having good employees for a business organization?

IELTS Speaking Test Part 1

Do you like reading newspapers?

Do you prefer to get the news from the internet or from a newspaper? Why?

What are some of the advantages of internet news?

Do you usually discuss the news with your friends or family?

Do you find local or international news more interesting?

IELTS Speaking Test Part 2

Describe an interesting advertisement you have seen recently.
You should say:
  • what it is
  • what product/service it was advertising
  • why it was interesting
and say if you would buy the product / use the service advertised.

IELTS Speaking TestPart 3

What is the most effective method of advertising in your country? Why is it effective?

Why do you think advertisers often include music in their advertisements? What purpose does it serve?

How has advertising changed over the years in your country?

How easily influenced are people by popular TV and internet advertising campaigns? Why do you think this is?

IELTS Speaking Test Part 1

Do you follow fashion trends? Why? Why not?

What style of clothes do you prefer to wear?

Do you worry about being late for appointments? Why?

How do you normally manage your time?

Do you consider yourself to be a punctual person?

How do you feel about other people if they arrive late for a meeting or appointment?

IELTS Speaking Test Part 2

Describe a time when you helped someone to do something.
You should say:
  • what it was
  • how you helped him/her
  • why you decided to help
and explain how you felt after helping him/her.

IELTS Speaking Test PartPart 3

How can children be taught the importance of helping others?

In what ways do communities help each other?

Are people nowadays more punctual than before? Why do you think that is?

How do organizations like the Red Cross raise funds?

In your opinion, are such organizations more effective at raising funds than similar smaller organizations? Why?

In what ways can this kind of fundraising help build international relations between different countries?

IELTS Speaking Test Part 1

Can you tell me your full name please?

What should I call you?

Where do you live currently?

Are you a student or do you work?

What aspect of your work do you like most?

Do you see yourself working there in the future?

Do you like sunny days? Why? Why not?

What are some of the benefits associated with sunshine?

Would you prefer to live in a hot or cold country? Why?

IELTS Speaking Test Part 2

Describe a couple who are happily married.
You should say:
  • how long they have been married
  • if they are relatives
  • how well you know them
and explain what you think is special about their relationship.

IELTS Speaking Test Part 3

At what age is it normal for people to get married in your country?

What is a typical wedding like in your country?

Why do think some people tend to spend a lot of money planning their wedding?

Many people are having fewer children nowadays compared to in the past? What has caused this change in society?

Getting married later in life is becoming a trend nowadays, why might this be happening?


IELTS Speaking Test Questions - Part 1

Where are you from?

What do you like about that place?

When do you normally have your meals?

Which meal of the day is your favorite? Why?

What was middle school like for you?

What did you like best about your time at school?

IELTS Speaking Test Questions - Part 2

Describe a time when you received some positive feedback.
You should say:
  • when it was
  • what the feedback was related to
  • who gave you the feedback
and explain how you felt about it.

Sample Answer

A few months ago, I was doing a move, I was going to move about three blocks from where I lived. So, first I went through the heaviest things and then successively the smallest ones, until I was finally left with only my paintings that I had painted throughout that year.

During that time, it was usual for me to stand painting next to the window in my room for many hours. The move was quite normal, but the surprising thing was when I was taking out the paintings some people knocked on the door of the house and approached with great curiosity to ask permission to see the paintings. I agreed, and they came in to see them.

Simultaneously, almost all the people who lived in the house also came out and were observing the paintings that were on display. The people who came from the street told me that they had seen me many times painting at my window and that they had always wanted to see my paintings.
They all began to find incredible shapes and figures, to notice colours, combinations, and to talk about interpretations of the different paintings.

It was incredible to understand how the same stimulus generates such diverse things depending on who observes it.

Everyone had a different way of understanding the six paintings that I had put in the room, each one had a specific attraction for one in particular, or two, they connected with that language that I was trying to develop with my canvases.

They liked my way of painting, the figures, my color management; they all stayed there for a long time admiring what I had done.

It was a special experience, I felt a lot of embarrassment initially because at that moment I had not previously exposed the paintings to the public and I was surprised that they saw them.

However, it was very exciting for me to share what I had been painting every day, trying to express what I felt, to see how they established relationships and gave meaning to the compositions.

It was a very positive experience to see how they enjoyed my painting, how they even found figures that I had not put, as they understood my art and connected with it.

IELTS Speaking Test Questions - Part 3

What do people generally think about receiving negative feedback?

When should someone give positive feedback to another person?

Is it good to be well-known by the public?

What are the some of the drawbacks and advantages of being a public figure?

IELTS Speaking Test Questions - Part 1

What is your full name?

What is the meaning of your name?

What are some popular methods of choosing names in your country?

Do you work or study?

How long have you been working?

What aspects of your work do you most like?

Is it difficult to find this type of work in your country?

What are the long-term prospects like for this type of work?

IELTS Speaking Test Questions - Part 2

Describe a person you know who has lived abroad.

You should say:
  • who it is
  • where he/she lived
  • why he/she went abroad
and explain what it is that you admire about him/her.

IELTS Speaking Test Questions - Part 3

If you traveled abroad where would you stay?

What precautions should people take when traveling to another country?

Is there any social help when you travel abroad?

Is traveling abroad more or less popular in your country nowadays than in the past? Why do you think that is?

Part 1

Do you work or study?

Which part of your job is most satisfying? Why?

What do think about mobile phones?

Do you think that people overuse them?

Do you think that communication is too fast nowadays? What issues might this cause?

How important is a balanced diet?

Who normally prepares your meals?

Do you consider your diet to be balanced and healthy?

What could you do to improve your eating habits?

With whom do you like to share your meals?

Part 2

Describe a situation when you were relieved that you had your mobile phone on you.

You should say:
  • where you were
  • what you were doing
  • what happened
and explain why you were relieved you had your phone.

Part 3

How has the way people use mobile phones changed?

Are there any aspects of life which have been negatively impacted by mobile phones? What has been the impact?

What do you think mobile phones will be like in the future? What new developments might appear?

In your country, what is something that most people perceive as a bad thing associated with mobile phones?

IELTS Speaking Exam Part 1

Where are you from?

I’m from [name of city] in [name of country].

What do you do, study or work?

I’m working at the moment. I’m coordinating an art exhibition for local artists.

What thing do you like most about your job?

I’ve only had this job for a short while, but I love interacting with the artists and also the other people involved in the gallery where I work. Everyone’s so interesting, it’s incredible.

This is only the second job I’ve had, but it’s way better than my previous work which was rather boring. So, I guess it’s how interesting the work is and the people, every day is different and that’s what I like best about my job at the moment.

Did you used to like any pop star when you were a child? Why?

No, not really, I liked listening to music, but I never really had a favorite pop star. I listened to a lot of different music by different groups and solo artists. So, I guess you could say I liked certain songs irrespective of who sang them, rather than just liking a particular artist or group.

Have you ever met a pop star?

No, I haven’t.

Do you prefer to listen to music in concert or on the radio?

Neither! I prefer to listen to music on my phone or other mobile device. I have my playlist of favorites in Spotify so I can listen to them wherever I go.

Commercial radio stations generally have too much advertising and silly competitions that I can’t stand, so I prefer to be in control of what I listen to online.

Do you read any magazines?

No. I don’t. I usually read some blogs or websites if I want to get some ideas about something, and if I want to see the news, I watch it online. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I actually bought or read a magazine – it must have been a very long time ago.

Did you occasionally read a magazine when you were a child?

No, when I was a child I used to read comic books, or graphic novels, not magazines.

Have you ever tried reading an online magazine? What did you think of it?

I’ve read several articles on magazine sites, for example, last week I read an article about financial support for art projects, which was in an online journal about the arts.

But I have to admit, I didn’t really think of it as reading a magazine, just reading a particular article, rather than the entire magazine site.

IELTS Speaking Exam Part 2

Talk about a happy marriage which has lasted for a long time.
You should say:
  • who the couple is
  • how long they have been married
  • how you know them
and say why you think they have a happy and successful marriage.

Sample Answer

My best friend got married a few years ago, well, actually, it’s more like about five years ago now. I’ve known him for almost fifteen years and I’ve known his wife for around seven years.

They are a typical couple in many aspects, I think; they share some interests but they also have some big differences of opinion now and again. I’ve seen them very much in love, and I’ve witnessed them arguing like cat and dog, but at the end of the day they are happy together.

I believe that one of the most important things they have, as a couple, is they always respect each other, even when they’re disagreeing or fighting about something they feel strongly about.

They also seem to be very good at compromising; giving and taking a little, when things aren’t exactly how they want things to be, and I think this is something which helps them avoid any major problems in their relationship.

They know each other well, but both of them still manage to surprise each other just enough to keep their relationship fresh and interesting. I’ve watched them learn about each other and grow together as a couple and it’s been quite a journey, an inspirational one.

I hope that one day I too can find someone who I gel with as well as they do. They’ve managed to maintain their individual passion, and sense of self-identity, yet managed to cultivate their identity as a couple as well; their relationship is one of the best I’ve ever experienced, and it is truly impressive how good they are together.

It’s difficult to say if they have just ‘one secret’ to their relationship; I’m inclined to believe that it’s a lot of little factors, which independently might not seem very important, but together help them maintain their relationship in such a healthy way.

As I said, they have a lot of respect, for themselves and for each other, a lot of passion, a sense of purpose as a couple, and a strong sense of belonging together and being stronger together; so, it’s a combination of things which makes them work so well as a couple.

IELTS Speaking Exam Part 3

What usually happens during a wedding ceremony in your country?

Well, it’s normal for the bride and groom to invite their families and close friends to the ceremony, traditionally this was always in a church, but nowadays, people get married in hotels, on the beach and almost anywhere you can imagine.

There also seems to be a trend for smaller, more intimate wedding ceremonies, which makes all the wedding planning much easier. This is especially true if the couple are getting married in a non-conventional place such as at the beach or elsewhere. The ceremony tends to be just immediate family and best friends.

There are various versions of the ceremony depending on if you get married in a church or do what they call a civil ceremony. But the most important part is when the couple exchange their wedding vows, their declaration of love for each other and their promise to stay together forever, through good and bad times.

What do you think about couples which spend a huge fortune on their wedding? Why do you think that?

It’s up to them. I have a couple of friends who got married last year. One of them had a really big fancy wedding and spent a fortune on the planning of the event. It was truly spectacular and I don’t think anyone who was there will ever forget it.

My other friend had a much smaller intimate affair with just a few people at the ceremony and then a big party for everyone else after the wedding.

There’s nothing wrong with spending a lot on a big wedding if you have the money and it’s important for you. It might be the most important day of your life, so it makes sense to celebrate in the best way you can – and the way you want.

In the case of my friend, it was like creating a fairytale environment for the whole day, and that’s what she had always wanted for her wedding. So, spending a lot on it was only to be expected – and she was lucky enough to be able to do it and make her dream wedding a reality.

I think what’s important is that each couple does what they want and what they’re comfortable with, regardless of what other people think. Getting married is an extremely personal thing, so celebrating it the way you want is the most important thing.

What are the typical roles of men and women in a marriage in your country?

Nowadays, there aren’t any traditional roles like in the past, so the typical roles are equal ones; it’s a partnership between two people and they should both contribute.

In many cases, both the husband and wife have careers and may well work for some time before deciding to start a family, then the wife may take some time off from work to spend with the children, but many women return to their career as soon as the children are of school age.

I think the roles are gradually evolving and developing as society slowly changes. Most people want more out of life today, and this usually means that the couple will both work and possibly have outside help with childcare, or their parents may help looking after the children, to allow the couple to continue working.

Do you think that these roles have changed much compared to in the past? How have they changed?

Yes, a couple of generations ago, it was normal for only the husband to work while his wife would stay at home and take care of the children and the home.

But that’s a way of life that most people nowadays, especially the younger generation no longer identify with. The roles of women have changed a lot, and most young women have careers or jobs and want to work to be independent.

Of course, many women do still spend some time at home with the children when they are young, but many prefer to return to work as soon as possible because it helps economically, it allows the family to progress and prosper.


IELTS DSpeaking Exam Part 1

Do you work or study?

Do you like your job?

What do like most about it?

Do you think you will change your position in the future?

Do you use the bus for transportation?

Do you prefer the bus or the underground train?

Do you think the government should provide more support for public transportation? Why? Why not?

Do you like reading magazines?

Why do you prefer newspapers to magazines?

Do people in your country generally like magazines?

Where do you normally read the newspaper?

IELTS Speaking Exam Part 2

Describe a painting or other work of art that you have seen.

You should say:
  • what it was
  • where you saw it
  • if you liked/disliked it
and explain how it made you feel when you saw it.

Sample Answer

A while ago a friend of mine who is an artist showed me one of her works, it was a painting of a woman, but it wasn’t your usual portrait, it was very different.

I saw it one afternoon, when visiting my friend, and she suddenly produced the painting and asked me what I thought of it.

It’s a little difficult to describe it, but the woman formed the central focus of the painting, but she had no face, and her body was in the form of a piano keyboard, and her legs appeared to transition into what appeared to be the roots of the tree.

One of the things that struck me first was the amazing colors used in the painting, which were very contrasting and somewhat unexpected, the background of the picture was primarily a deep red, but graduated in shading which was very striking, and this was one of the first things to grab my attention, the shading was almost hypnotic in nature.

The painting had various elements, and I probably can’t remember all of them now, I think you might say it was abstract in nature, and I found myself simply staring at it and trying to interpret the possible meaning of each of the different elements.

I found the painting to be totally absorbing, as each time I looked at it I would notice something else and wonder about the relationships between the various elements included in the work.

I’m not an artist, and neither do I know a lot about art and painting, but it was a very interesting piece of art and I spent quite a long time looking at it and thinking about it, which I think is a good sign that it’s an interesting painting.

I remember feeling that I was looking at something very special with a potentially very deep significance for the artist, and it was certainly interesting enough to grab my attention for more than just a few minutes.

Follow up question: Have your friends seen this work of art? How did they feel when they saw it?

No, they haven’t, or not as far as I’m aware. So, I don’t know what they would make of it, or if they would like it or not. I think some of them might find it interesting, but maybe not all of them.

IELTS Speaking Exam Part 3

Do you think people in your country appreciate art?

In general, do people in your country prefer music over art?

Are older people more interested in art than younger people?

Should the government provide support for art and cultural activities?

IELTS Speaking Exam Part 1

Do you work or Study?

Was there any special training required for this job?

Will you have to do any further training for this job in the future?

How do you usually plan your time? Why?

How did you learn these time management techniques?

Do you like the rain? Why?

Do people in your country generally like or dislike the rain? Why?

How do you deal with rainy days?

What do you dislike most about rainy days?

What do you usually do when you have to wait for something/someone?

Do you think people had more patience in the past compared to nowadays? Why?

IELTS Speaking Exam Part 2

Describe an achievement you are proud of.

You should say:
  • What it is
  • When you did it
  • Why you did it
and explain why you are proud of this achievement.

Sample Answer

A few years ago, I was successful in obtaining my license to pilot a helicopter. It was something I had always dreamed of doing when I was child, and I was very proud when I finally manged to achieve it.

It wasn’t easy; in fact, I almost gave up at one point, I had to learn a lot of new things and study a lot as well. I also had to work very hard to afford the flying lessons. But in the end, it was all worth it when I passed the final tests and was awarded my pilot’s license.

Like I said, it was something I had always wanted to do, I was always fascinated by helicopters when they flew overhead. When I was a child my family used to live near an air force base and so I saw helicopters landing and taking off almost every day.

I think that’s where my interest came from. It just looked like so much fun and I loved the noise as they flew over my house. As soon as I was old enough I enrolled in a course to learn all the technical skills and then started taking flying lessons with an experience pilot.

The whole process took me about a year, because I couldn’t do it any quicker at the time because my work kept me extremely occupied at that time. But I was determined to complete all the training and accumulate enough flying hours to qualify as a pilot.

The main reason I feel very proud of this achievement is because it’s one of the first goals in life I ever had, before I even decided to go to university, and it wasn’t an easy thing to learn to do, so when I eventually qualified and got my license I was over the moon. It was difficult at times, but totally worth it in the end.

It's also not a common thing, none of my friends have done anything like it, so that makes me feel proud, too. It took a lot of discipline and dedication, and money, but the entire process was a great learning experience, and I’m very happy that I managed to do it.

IELTS Speaking Exam Part 3

How important is it for people to have goals to achieve in life?

Is it better to have one big goal or various smaller goals which are easier to achieve?

High achievers are often very successful in life. Why do think some people achieve more than others?

What are some of the ways in which people can make sure they achieve their goals in life?

How do you most people measure personal success in your country?

IELTS Speaking Exam Part 1

Where do you live?

Describe the home [house/apartment] that you would like to have in the future?

Do you like sunshine?

Would you like to live in a sunny place in the future?

Can you describe a crowded place that you have visited?

Do you think that some people are not prepared to live in modern cities? Why?

What are some of the pros and cons of living in a large city?

Do you think that social media is an important part of our lives nowadays?

Why has social media become so important for many people?

IELTS Speaking Exam Part 2

Talk about someone who helped you at school or work.

You should say:
  • who he/she is
  • how you met each other
  • how he/she helped you
and say why this person offered to help you.

Sample Answer

I remember that when I first started working as an Engineer, my immediate boss was extremely helpful. In particular, he helped me learn the most important aspects of the job very quickly and was very good at identifying things I needed to improve so that I could manage to deal effectively with all the challenges the job presented.

There were a lot of new things to learn, and he was always there, or just a call away, and willing to help with advice or guidance, but still allowed me to solve the problems on my own, so he was also very good at guiding without simply taking over and showing me how to do it.

This was good because it forced me to think very critically about everything and develop my own analytical and problem-solving skills, and develop a degree of independence at work. Before long, other people were asking me for advice about problems.

Probably the most important things I learned from him were to be methodical and systematic in how I approached technical problems. Instead of just guessing, or following a hunch, I learned the discipline of actually following a process of testing and proving to ensure the integrity of each element or component within the system which was experiencing problems.

This also helped teach me patience and that following a logical approach to problem solving resulted in a better outcome in the end. Over time, my skills developed rapidly and my knowledge of the systems on which I worked became quite in-depth.

By the time I left that particular job, I had also been involved in training other junior engineers and I remembered a lot of what I had learned from my boss, and applied it to training the new engineers, too.

So, I can say that I learned the importance of a disciplined approach to identifying and solving problems as well as patience in applying diagnostic testing techniques – I think those were probably the two most important aspects of that job which I still remember even today.

They are lessons which have served me well, and I always include them in any training sessions I do with less experienced engineers in my current work.

Follow-up question: Do you generally find it easy to ask other people for help?

Yes, if it’s something I know nothing about, or don’t know enough about, I’ll usually look for someone who knows more or might be able to help. It’s a waste of time trying to do something if you can’t, or don’t know how to. It’s much quicker to ask for help and learn from other people – that way you become smarter.

Part 3

Why is it important for people to help each other?

How could children in school be taught the benefits of helping other people?

What are some of the advantages of formal schemes which offer help, such as apprenticeships or mentoring programs?

If you wanted to help someone at work, how would you go about suggesting it to them?

IELTS Speaking Exam Part 1

Do you live in a house or a flat?

What do you like most about where you currently live?

What is something you would change about where you live?

Do you prefer to receive emails or letters? Why?

Do you know anyone who still writes personal letters to their friends or family? Why do you think they still do this?

Can you describe your typical daily routine?

Which part of the day do you prefer the most?

IELTS Speaking Exam Part 2

Describe an important plant or flower from your country.

You should say:
  • which plant/flower it is
  • where it grows
  • what it looks like
and explain its importance for your country.

Sample Answer

My country has a large amount of endemic species, with a wide biodiversity of fauna and flora. One of the most recognized species of orchid is the Cattleya Trianae, an example of the thousands of different flowers found in my country. It is considered the national flower because of its beauty and exotic appearance, it’s typically lilac, yellow and purple.

The orchid Cattleya Trianae is a kind of species that can’t be found naturally anywhere else. This happens because of the specific conditions like weather, temperature, warmth, humidity and soil richness that has given rise to various plants, including orchids, that hardly grow in other soils. All those conditions make possible the principal features of these flowers, their colors, sizes, textures shapes and smells.

I’m fortunate to live in a country which has the highest number of orchid species in the world, a total of 4,270 registered. They grow in almost every territory of the country. Nevertheless, the principal regions where they are grown are the Andean, Pacific and Orinoquia regions. Also, the Amazonian and Caribbean regions have a few endemic species of orchids.

Orchids have two petals, three sepals, and a lip that serves to attract insects that pollinate the flowers. Its shape allows bees and other insects to rest comfortably on it. With regard to the fruit, it is a capsule that contains many small seeds of the flower, which allows it to spread quickly across an area. Another relevant characteristic is that the orchid rotates 180 degrees before opening the lip to be fully exposed to the pollinators.

These orchids are so important because they are the emblem and the national flower of the country. There are 1,572 species registered exclusively here. Their conservation is a big challenge and responsibility, throughout the country. This unique flower can survive up to 100 years in good environmental conditions.

Today, universities and different institutions are committed to the conservation of this flower. Orchids represent the outstanding biodiversity of my country. By protecting them we guarantee that species like this, survive and can be shown around the world, while they remain as part of the natural heritage of our land.

IELTS Speaking Exam Part 3

Why do you think most countries have a national flower/plant? What purpose does it serve?

How important are flowers in your culture? When do people normally give flowers to other people?

Which flowers are most popular to receive as gifts? Why do you think that is?

If you had to buy some flowers, where would you choose to buy them? Why?


IELTS Speaking Exam Part 1

Where are you from?

Do you work or study?

Where do you live? In an apartment or a house?

What does it look like?

Where would you like to live in the future, in an apartment or a house?

Do you like fruit? Which fruit do you like the most? Why?

Did you like to eat fruit when you were a child?

Is it necessary for everyone to eat fruit?

IELTS Speaking Exam Part 2

Describe a sport you like to watch.

You should say:
  • which sport it is
  • when you first saw it
  • where you watch it
and explain what makes this sport interesting to watch.

IELTS Speaking Exam Part 3

Do you think sports are necessary for everyone?

Which sports are popular in your country? Why?

How can children be encouraged to participate in sports?

What makes some sport so special that it can unite people?

Do you think people nowadays do enough physical activity?

What steps could be taken to encourage people to be more physically active?

IELTS Speaking Exam Part 1

What is your full name?

Can I see your ID?

Where do you come from?

Are you working or studying?

What kind of work do you do?

Where do you live now?

Do you live in an apartment or a house?

Do you like living there?

Are you going to be moving out in the future?

What kind of home would you like to have in the future?

What size of home would you need?

What style of interior decoration would you prefer?

IELTS Speaking Exam Part 2

Talk about a married couple you know well, who inspire you.

You should say:
  • who they are
  • how you know them
  • why they inspire you
and say what you think their secret to a happy marriage is.

IELTS Speaking Exam Part 3

What things make an ideal wedding in your opinion?

Do you think that couples get married younger nowadays than they did in the past? Why do think this is happening?

In your country, how do people typically celebrate a wedding?

Most couples spend a lot of money on their wedding. Why do you think they do this? Is it important to have a big wedding?

IELTS Speaking Exam Part 1

Are you working or studying at the moment?

What is the most interesting thing about your work?

What do you normally do in your free time?

Do you have many or just a few friends?

Do you think it is important to have more than one best friend?

How do you and your friends usually spend time together?

Do you often dream when you are asleep?

Do you often remember your dreams?

Do you think that dreams have a special meaning?

Would you like to learn more about the significance of dream interpretation?

IELTS Speaking Exam Part 2

Describe a pleasant day you spent in the countryside.

You should say:
  • when it was
  • where it was
  • what you did
and explain why it was pleasant.

IELTS Speaking Exam Part 3

In what ways has life in the countryside changed compared to how it was a few generations ago?

What kind of people might like living in the countryside?

Which things might attract people to move to the countryside?

Can you compare living in the countryside and living in a large city? What are some of the benefits of each?

What could be done to encourage more people to leave urban areas and move to the countryside to live?

IELTS Speaking Exam Part 1


Can I see your ID please?

What is your full name?

Do you live in a house or an apartment?

Can you describe your house?

Do you like living there?

What things would you like to have in your house in the future?

Do you have a favorite popstar?

Have you ever met a popstar?

Do you think it would be interesting to be a popstar? Why? Why not?


Describe an invention that changed how people live.

You should say:
  • what it is
  • how it changed our lives
  • the benefits it brought
and say if it is more important for older or younger people


Do you think that inventions like the automatic washing machine have made people lazier?

What other inventions in the home have made people lazy?

What are some of the advantages associated with such inventions for the home?

What kind of new inventions might people want to have in their homes in the future?

Why do you think inventors are motivated to create new inventions?





Do you work or study?

Do you feel that you have to work hard in your job?

What do you normally do in the evenings?

What items do you normally carry with you every day?

Are the items you carry during the day the same as those you carry during the evening?

Do you prefer to play computer games or board games? Why?

What board games did you play when you were a child?

Are there any board games you would like to learn?


Describe a plan you have in life that is not related to work?

You should say:
  • Why you are planning this
  • What you will have to do to achieve it
  • How you will feel when you achieve it
and say when you expect to achieve this plan.


Do you think people need to have a day-to-day plan?

Why do you think some people don't plan their day in advance?

Do you think people can still do their tasks if they don't plan them?

What are some possible advantages of using time management app for your phone to help you plan your time?


Part 1

Where do you live in your country?

I live in a city in the south-eastern part of the country. It has a population of around 2 million, and is the third largest city in the country.

Do you like the place?

Yes, I do, for me it’s perfect; not too big and not too small. I love the weather there and the people.
Is there anything you don’t like about it?

Well, I suppose like most large cities, I could say that sometimes the traffic congestion can be frustrating, but apart from that, there’s not really much else to complain about. As I said, it’s a great place to live.

Do you think you’ll still live there in the future?

No, I mean I will for some time, but my plan is to eventually leave and go and live abroad in the UK, so that’s why I’m doing the IELTS test, as part of the immigration process, so I hope to be living in another country in the future, and not still in my hometown.

What kind of shoes do you like?

It depends on the occasion, for work I have to look smart and presentable, so I tend to wear closed-toed, medium heels, usually dark in color, but when I’m just relaxing or going out dressed casually I love wearing my Converse sneakers; I have several pairs in various colors. And if I go out at night, someplace special, I like to wear high heels.

Do you buy shoes online? Why? Why not?

Yes, sometimes, I’ve bought some sneakers online and also a couple of pairs of high-heeled sandals, but I usually like going shopping for shoes and other clothes with my friends, we make an afternoon of it, you could call it retail therapy.

Do you think it’s reasonable to spend a huge amount of money on shoes?

Again, it depends. If you have a lot of disposable income, then you should spend it on whatever you like. But, if you’re on a tight budget then buying anything expensive is a challenge.

Most people try to live within their means, although I must say that I once bought an excellent pair of expensive shoes even though they were really more than I could afford to spend at the time – but I still have them, and wear them quite often, so I guess they were a good buy.

Did you enjoy your time at high school?

In general, yes, I suppose I did. I made some good friends while I was there. At the time, I thought there was too much homework to do, but when I went to university I learned that it wasn’t really that much compared to what’s expected of university students.

Do you still stay in contact with friends from high school?

Yes, I still have three best friends that I met at high school, and we still see each other most weeks. We meet up for lunch or to go shopping or to go out in the evening, and of course, we chat with each other all the time.

Part 2

Describe an enjoyable place you visited in the countryside.

You should say:
  • when you visited this place
  • who was with you
  • why the place was enjoyable
and say if you would like to go back there in the future.


Okay, so one place in particular I remember was a vacation cabin in the mountains where we used to go for family vacations when I was a child, well, actually the last time we all went I was a teenager.

It’s about three hours away from where we live so it doesn’t take too long to get there. Like I said, it’s near the mountains, near a lake, and it’s a really amazing place. There are several cabins or villas, and you can rent one for a few days, a week or even longer if you want.

It’s a really quiet location, so lots of people go there with their children to relax and allow them to play outside and do some of the activities on the lake, like swimming, sailing and the last time we went there were some other water sports and activities like jet skis, windsurfing, diving, and some fun games and activities for kids, like huge inflatables being towed behind a boat.

When I was a child my parents used to take me and my brothers and sisters there for a week and it was great fun, we always thoroughly enjoyed our time there. The last time was about three years ago, and I didn’t go with my parents, I went just with my sisters and some other friends and we rented one of the big villas which had its own swimming pool.

It was really enjoyable, we spent a lot of time outside, on the lake, and walking in the mountains, and then relaxing at the villa in the evening. In the evenings, we would sit outside on the terrace and enjoy the scenery, the stars, and spend hours talking and just chilling.

It’s a special place for us, because we have a lot of happy memories associated with it from our childhood. And, yes, it’s a place I’d like to return to one day, certainly before I leave for the UK. Maybe I’ll have a farewell party there with my friends.

How would you answer this IELTS 2017 cue card question?

Part 3

What are some advantages of living in the countryside?

Well, I guess some of the main advantages are that it’s normally cheaper and quieter, and safer, than living in a city or large urban area. Then there are other benefits such as enhanced air quality because there isn’t as much air pollution in the countryside.

The pace of life is typically more relaxed than in urban areas, there’s much less traffic, crime, and generally the countryside is a less stressful environment to live in, so, overall, it’s generally healthier and better for you than living in a city.

What changes have happened in the countryside compared to few years ago.

Not that many really, in many zones there’s now improved cellular phone coverage and faster internet available, even in some remote areas, which wasn’t the case several years ago.

Apart from that, the only real change is that in recent years, there have been more people choosing to leave big cities and go and live in the countryside. Those who are retired, or those who have jobs which don’t demand that they go into the office every day, for example.

So, I guess you could say that there’s been a trend towards re-populating certain areas of the countryside, especially those areas that are on the fringes of cities – not too far away from the main urban areas.

Do you think the countryside will change in the future? If so, how will it change?

Really, I don’t think it will change that much. I believe that the big change will be in terms of expanding the dwelling capacity of the countryside. As I said before, some people are beginning to leave cities and prefer to live in the countryside. This means that they either buy or build property there, and this obviously means a certain level of residential development being undertaken – which has some impact on the countryside.

But I think that this will be closely controlled in the future and that resources will be developed without any great adverse impact on the environment. And, importantly, most people who prefer to live in the country don’t usually want, or need, lots of restaurants, bars, shops and places like that which you typically find in cities – people who want to live in the countryside want a different, quieter life, typically.

What advantages does living in a city have over living in the countryside?

Possibly the greatest advantage is the employment opportunities, there are typically more jobs in cities than in the countryside. This was one of the main reasons why many people in the past abandoned living in the countryside in preference to finding better paid work in town and cities.

Also, because cities are usually quite densely populated, you typically find lots more services and amenities available within a close distance. Everything from schools and hospitals to shops, bars, leisure facilities and so on, there’s usually more of everything and a better of choice of everything in cities.

In what kind of situations do people leave the city and move to the countryside.

I mentioned a couple of examples before; people who are retiring and have spent their professional career working and living in the city might fancy a change of scenery and a more relaxed pace of life once they no longer have to work every day.
People like this typically have plenty of money and own property in the city which they can sell and then purchase an even bigger property in the countryside for less money if they wish. Their quality of life can be improved dramatically by moving to live in the country because it’s a lot less expensive than living in the city.

Then there are people who have mobile work, or can tele-work, or run their business from home. There are more and more entrepreneurs and business people running things from their homes and only traveling into the office for really important meetings or to attend to other issues.

Many of these people are already parents and want their children to grow up in a healthier environment than in the city, so they choose to live in the countryside. Their children can play safely, they can live in a more relaxed manner, and it costs them less than being in the city permanently.

In many cases, such people try to find suitable locations in the country which are not too far away from the city so that they can get into the business zone within a couple of hours if needed, but their intention is to spend as more time working from their home in the countryside and spending more time with their family.

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Part 1

Do you work or study?

Why did you choose that particular subject to study?

How do you organize your studying time?

Do you like to look at yourself in the mirror?

How often you look at a mirror?

Have you ever bought a mirror?

How do people use mirrors to decorate their homes in your country?

Part 2

Describe a shop that recently opened in your country.

You should say:
  • what its name is
  • where it is
  • who the typical customers are
and say if you have bought anything from the shop. Why / Why not?


Part 3

What are some popular advertisements in your country?

Why do you think people like these advertisements?

Do you like watching advertisements on TV?

How does shopping affect people?

Many people shop to look like celebrities, why do think this is?

What impact [positive or negative] does shopping have on society?


Part 1

Do you live in an apartment or house?

Would you like to live there in the future?

What do you like most about where you live at the moment?

Do you like doing housework?

Which part of housework do you dislike?

Who does most of the housework at home?

How often do you normally go out with your friends?

Where did you go and what did you do the last time you went out together?

Part 2

Describe a new shop that has recently opened in your village/town/city.

You should say:
  • where it is
  • what it sells
  • how often you’ve visited it
and say if you think the shop will be successful, and why, or why not.

Part 3

Do you think people prefer to buy things from large shops or small ones? Why do you think that?

What are some of the advantages of people spending their money on shopping?

How have people’s shopping habits changed in the last decade? Do you think these changes are good or bad?

How important do you think consumerism id for the local economy?

JUNE 2017 IELTS speaking tests reported from around the world.



Part 1

Do you live in a house or an apartment?

Where would you like to live in the future?

Who is your favorite pop star?

Would you like to meet this pop star in person? Why? Why not?

Would you like to be a pop star? Why? Why not?

Do you prefer going to live concerts or listening to music at home? Why?

How often do you use email?

Do you prefer to speak with people by telephone or emailing people?

What are some of the benefits of face-to-face conversations or conversations via internet?

Part 2

Describe a person you met recently that you didn't know and would like to meet again in the future.

You should say:
  • who this person is
  • what you talked about
  • Why you want to meet this person again
and explain why you thought this person was interesting.

Part 3

How easy do you think it is for the older generation to adapt to social media? Why do you think that?

In what ways does the use of social media by younger people and older people differ? Why do think that is?

Do you think social media in the future will be different from how it is today? What things will change?

What are some of the benefits of using social media platforms? Are there any drawbacks to using social media?


Part 1

Where are you living at the moment?

Do you consider it a good place to live in? Why? Why not?

Are you planning to stay there for a long time?

Is there anything interesting about where you live?

Did you wear a watch when you were a child?

Do you think children should wear a watch? Why? Why not?

Can you think of any reasons why some people like to wear expensive watches?

How do you travel from your home to work? How long does the journey normally take you?

What do you usually do while traveling?

Part 2

Describe a book that you would like to read gain.

You should say:
  • which book it is
  • why you want to read it again
  • what is it about
and explain why you want to read it again.


Part 3

How early in life do you think children should learn to read?

How important is it for them to have bedtime stories? Why?

What are some of the difference between reading habits in the past and now?

What are some of the effects of reading e-books?

Do you think the reading habits of people will change in the future?

JUNE IELTS Speaking Test 2

Normal introductory questions about name, where you come from, etc.

Part l


How did you learn about politeness when you were a child?

Who in your family encouraged you to be polite?

How important is politeness to you?

How do you think politeness has changed over time?

Part 2

Describe a time when you gave some good news to a person you know.
You should say:
  • Who the person is
  • What the good news was
  • How you heard about the news
and describe what their reaction was to the news.

Part 3

Do people tend to share good news or bad news with other people more. Why do you think this is?

How has social media changed sharing the news with other people?

Have you heard any good news from the international media recently? What was it?

How important do you think it is to be up to date with world news? Why?

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IELTS June 2017 Speaking Test 1

Part 1

What is your full name please?

What should I call you?

Do you study or work?

What kind of work you do?

Do you read magazines? What kind of magazines do you like to read?

What kinds of magazines do young and old people like to read?

Why do you think they prefer these types of magazines?

Did you read magazines or comics in your childhood? What did you like most about them?

Part 2

Describe a work of art that you really like.

You should say:
  • what it looks like
  • where you first saw it
  • why you like it
and explain how you felt when you first saw it.

Part 3

What are some different forms of art which are popular in your country?

What are the main differences between the attitudes of young and old people to art?

Do you think the government should do more to support art?

What do you think the government’s role with regard to art should be?

Here are some of the recent/latest questions and speaking cue cards for May IELTS - there should be more new cue card topics appearing in June, July & August.

IELTS Speaking Tests May 2017 Questions & Answers


May IELTS Speaking Test 3

Part 1

Do you work or study?

What is your job?

What do you usually do after work?

Do you like watching TV? What kinds of programs do you like to watch?

How often do you watch TV?

How long do you normally spend watching TV?

Do you like indoor games? Why? Why not?

What indoor games did you play as a child?

Is there any game you would like to learn?

Part 2

Describe a situation that was new and exciting for you.

You should say
  • what it was
  • when it happened
  • what you did
and explain why it was exciting and how you felt about it.

Part 3

Do you believe that people naturally learn from their mistakes? Why? Why not?

What are some things that people can do to avoid making mistakes when they find themselves in a new situation?

Why do some people not like taking risks? Is this a good/bad thing?

What is it about very extreme activities that attracts certain people?

May IELTS Speaking Test 2

Part 1

Where do you live?

Can you describe your neighborhood? What things can you do there?

What do you like the most about where you live?

Has it changed much since you were a child? How has it changed?

Did you learn to play any musical instruments when you were a child?

Are there any benefits to learning to play a musical instrument?

Do you think children should be encouraged to learn to play a musical instrument? Why? Why not?

Part 2

Describe one of your neighbors that you know well.

You should say:
  • who he/she is
  • how you met him/her
  • how often you see each other
and say if you like this neighbor, and why/why not.


Part 3

In what ways are neighbors nowadays different from neighbors in the past?

How important is the local community where you live?

What do you think about the idea of forming national or global communities?

Why do you think it’s more difficult to form a community on such a large scale?

May IELTS Speaking Test 1

Part 1

What is your full name?

Can I see your ID please?

Do you work or study?

Where are you from?

Where do you live?

Do you live in a house or apartment?

What do you like about your apartment?

Have you ever been interested in a famous person in history?

Have you ever visited a historical place? Which place was it?

Do you like watching videos about history?

Part 2

Talk about a wish that it took you a long time to accomplish.

You should say:
  • what it was
  • why it took so long
  • when this was
and explain how you felt when you finally accomplished it.


Okay, so one wish I had when I was younger was to live and work abroad; it was something I always dreamed about. When I was a child I used to want to live in the USA, but while I was at university I changed my mind and decided to go and study in Australia instead of the USA.

It was while I was there that I decided that I would like to live and work there permanently. All in all it took me a long time to achieve what I had first wished for as a child – to live in another country – but eventually I managed it and hopefully if I get a good enough IELTS score I will be able to live and work there permanently.

Obviously it took quite a long time because I was eighteen years old by the time I first went to Australia to study English, so I basically spent most of my time at school trying to get good grades and improve my English to help me make the most of the opportunities I thought there might be in the future.

When I finally got notification of my student visa and all the paperwork was successfully done, I was ecstatic that I would finally get the chance to travel to a different country and experience so many new things. It was definitely one of the most exciting times in my life so far.

The whole experience is one which has changed my life because I’m more motivated than ever now to organize everything so that I can return to Australia on a permanent basis, hopefully early next year.

Part 3

How important is it to have goals in life? Why?

Do you think that young people today set many personal goals?

Are the goals people have nowadays different from those people had in the past? In what way are they different?

What would be some good measures to encourage the younger generation to set and pursue their goals?

Which skills are important to help people pursue and achieve their goals?

IELTS April 2017 Questions & Answers


NOTE: Normal introduction questions about your name, ID, etc. are not included here. You can see examples in the tests below in January, February and March.


Studying, photographs, pets,

Do you work or study?

Why did you choose this particular subject?

Do you like reading books? Why?

Do you like taking photographs?

What do you normally do with these photos?

Do you still have many photographs from your childhood?

Which do you prefer, photos or videos? Why?

Which types of pets are popular in your country?

Why do you think some people love their pets so much?

Do you think it’s healthy to share your home with pets? Why? Why not?

[more sample answers coming soon!]

Part 2


Describe a situation when you encountered a wild animal.
You should say:
  • who you were with
  • what the animal was doing
  • what you did
and explain how you felt when you encountered it.

Part 3

Wildlife, Killing Animals, Protein Sources

Why do you think some people kill animals?

Does the government in your country make any effort to protect wildlife?

What does it do to protect it?

Is killing animals justified for the protein they provide for food and other things?
Are there any viable alternative sources of protein?

Are you concerned about the source of your protein?

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IELTS Speaking Test Part 1

Do you think robots are becoming more common in society nowadays?

What do you think about cars that are driven by robots?

Do you enjoy going out with your friends?

What kinds of things do you normally do when you go out?

What do you enjoy most about it?

How important is it to have good friends? Why?

Part 2

[click here to see sample answer from previous IELTS test]

Talk about a high-paying job in your country.
You should say:
  • which job it is
  • what the job involves
  • if it is a popular job
and what the requirements are to get the job or a similar job that is high paid.

Part 3

What are some ways in which workers can be motivated?

Do you think managers are good at motivating workers?

Why is motivation an important factor for workers?

In which field are the best paying jobs in your country?

What types of benefits do companies in your country typically offer?

Share this IELTS speaking test!

IELTS March 2017



What is your full name?

My name is [first] [middle] [surname].

Can I see your identification please?

Sure, here’s my ID card.

Where are you from?

I’m from [city] in [country].

Do you Study or work?

I work; I’m a graphic designer and web developer.


Have you ever worked late at night?

Yes, quite often. It usually happens when I need to finish an urgent project for a client. Sometimes things get backed up and I need to stay late at the office, or work at home to get it finished. I don’t mind really because I love my work – and I can take time off at other times to compensate for it.

How does working at night differ from working during the day?

Well, the first thing is it’s a lot quieter at the office when nobody else is there - so it can actually be quite a good thing because I get a lot more done in less time, because there are no distractions. I also get a greater sense of urgency when it’s getting late – which motivates me to focus more and get things finished.


Do you wear a watch?

No, I haven’t worn one for years; I just use my phone if I need to know the time.

Did your parents allow you to wear a watch when you were a child?

Yes, I used to have one of those sports watches with a lot of functions on it. It was black and I used to wear it all the time. But then it got damaged and I never bothered to replace it.

Why do you think some people buy expensive watches?

There are a lot of possible reasons, it depends on the individual, but many older people still see a watch as jewelry, rather than just something functional that tells the time, so they like to have a nice watch. I suppose some people think of a watch like a car – it says something about you as a person, you know, if you have the money to spend on an expensive watch it’s a kind of statement to the world about yourself, just like the clothes you wear and the car you drive, where you live and so on.

Others might like to wear an expensive watch just because they like the brand, just like shoes, a hat, or purse or something like that. Some people have a few watches which they wear to match the clothes they wear, or they have a sports or casual watch and then another which is more formal or elegant for different occasions.

So an expensive watch can be a bit of fashion statement, or simply a way of showing that you earn a good salary, a way to boast if you like, or maybe you just appreciate really nice things, which are usually quite expensive.

Do you think the watch you wear says something about your personality?

I think if you want it to, it can, but not always. There are some really rich and famous people who don’t wear a watch or just wear a regular watch, and there are other people who wear any old watch whether it seems to suit their personality or not.


Do you like swimming? Why? Why not?

Personally, yes, I love to go swimming, it’s great exercise and I always feel good after it. I used to go swimming a lot more frequently when I was younger, especially in the summer.

What are the benefits of learning to swim?

Well, there are a few; first it’s a lot fun, especially if you go with your friends, and then there’s the fact that it could save your life one day if you know how to swim, or you could even save someone else’s life if they are in trouble. Then, as I said before, it’s one of the best forms of exercise so it’s a really healthy activity.

Do you think children could develop swimming into a career option?

It depends on whether they’re good enough or not. I mean, there are only a few people in the whole world who are champion swimmers, just like in any sport, so the likelihood of a child or young person being able to earn their living just from swimming is quite low unless they are one of the best in the world.

And even then, it could be a very short career because most world class swimmers, such as those that compete at the Olympics, for example, are in their late teens or early twenties, as they get older they don’t compete at international level but usually end up coaching youngsters. So it’s maybe not the best career option unless swimming is truly your passion in life and you’re extremely good at it.

Part 2

Describe a beach where people go and spend their time.
You should say
  • where it is
  • what’s special about it
  • what it’s like
and explain why people like to spend time there.

Part 3

How could children be encouraged to learn how to swim?

There are a couple of ways I suppose; either parents could take the time to teach their children how to swim, or swimming classes could be provided as part of the school curriculum.

It’s important that children are encouraged to learn how to swim because it is an important skill, and it’s also a confidence booster, because many children who can’t swim are initially afraid of the water, but once they learn to overcome their fear it teaches them that it’s possible to learn how to overcome other fears or how to do other new things they have never tried before.

It helps build their self-confidence, and apart from that it’s fun when they can go swimming with their friends.

Should children be taught how to swim by their parents or by an experienced instructor?

That’s a matter of personal choice; some parents like to teach their children such things, and sometimes it just happens, maybe while they are on vacation near the beach or someplace else where there is water.

As long as parents have an idea of how to teach their children how to swim, by building their confidence little by little until they can do it safely, it’s an ideal bonding activity for both parents and children.

On the other hand, if children want to learn to swim with their friends in a class at a swimming pool or at school, then there’s no reason why an instructor or swimming coach shouldn’t teach them. In this way they’re learning with their friends or children of a similar age and it’s almost like a social activity.

Both methods work and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Why do you think the government tends to focus on developing certain sports and not on others?

There are various possible reasons for this. For example, some governments make it a policy to improve participation in certain sports, and then undertake funding and promotion of local, regional and national initiatives to encourage young people to participate in that particular sport.

Such initiatives may be driven by a desire to perform better at international level sports events or because of a nation’s particular sporting heritage.

Also, it may be part of a bigger program to encourage young people to be more active physically, as many governments are currently concerned with levels of obesity among children, so promoting participation in certain sports has long-term benefits such as a healthier population in the future, and therefore less pressure on public health resources.

Is there any change in the way the government treats swimming now compared to in the past?

Personally, I don’t think so. Not at national government level anyway. I think the public’s perception of swimming has changed though. Rather than simply being seen as sport it’s now seen more as a way of keeping active, exercising, and even controlling weight loss.

It’s one of the most highly recommended physical activities for older people, especially, because it provides an excellent cardiovascular workout for the entire body and yet avoids any potential joint-damaging impact such as in running.

You can burn a lot of calories swimming for just 20-30 minutes so it’s ideal for people who want to lose weight or keep their muscles toned and fit.

Do you think certain age groups should be subsidized to encourage them to participate in sports like swimming?

In many countries this is already the case; children and retired people can use public sports facilities for free, and that includes public swimming pools.

For other sports, it might be an idea to subsidize the cost for people if the government wants to encourage more people to participate in certain sports. But then there’s the problem of which sports should be subsidized and which should not – or they might have to offer subsidies for all sports available at public sports facilities.

It starts getting complex then – a lot depends on why people need to be encouraged to participate more in sports. I suppose if the cost of subsidizing such participation provided long-term health benefits, as mentioned earlier, then the government might consider that subsidies are cheaper than the cost of dealing with many medical conditions related to being overweight or in poor physical condition as we get older.

If it works out cheaper, then it would make sense to pay people to do exercise or participate in sports.

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IELTS Speaking Test 2

Can you tell me your full name please?

Yes, of course, it's [first name] [second name] [family name/surname].

Can I see your ID please?

Sure, here’s my ID card.

Do you work or do you study?

I’m a student at the moment, here in [name of city]. I’m doing a diploma course in International Entrepreneurship.

Why did you choose that particular subject?

Well, I graduated a few years ago with my MBA and I’ve been working in a large multinational since then, but I kind of feel that it’s not what I want to do in the long run. I think I’m more interested in starting my own business and helping others do the same, so I decided to do this diploma course to gain an insight into global trends in entrepreneurship in the hope that it will be useful for me in the future.

Which of your high school subjects did you enjoy the best? Why?

I liked social sciences a lot when I was at high school. It was probably my favorite subject because it dealt a lot with things in the real world, you know, because math and some other subjects are a bit abstract sometimes, but a lot of topics in social sciences you can relate to more easily because they’re related to our daily lives.

What do like best about the subject you are studying now?

Well. I’ve learned a lot more about the origins and variations of entrepreneurship globally and how cultural differences and even geo-political differences can influence or hinder the formation of many small businesses. I also find the lectures really interesting because they’re all based on recent case studies and current trends rather than historical data, so it feel really up to date.

In your hometown, what are some interesting things people can do?

So, my hometown isn’t that big really, but there’s a large park which is really nice in the summer, and a lot of people go there, especially on weekends. There’s also a movie theater, several restaurants and cafes, a bowling alley, and various sports you can do.

Then there are some other activities you can do if you travel just a little outside the town, there’s a gliding school, a place where people do motocross, and also a lake where you can swim, sail, water-ski, and stuff like that.

Is the public transportation system in your hometown good?

I guess so, I’ve never really thought about it. There are the regular buses and taxis, but no train. I only ever used to use the bus occasionally, and it was okay.

What are the common forms of public transport in your country?

The usual; buses, trains, and taxis. Buses are probably the most common as a lot of people use them, then, taxis in the cities because they’re more convenient than having your own car sometimes, and trains are good for intercity travel because they’re cheaper than flying and much quicker than driving.

Are there any benefits of using public transport? What are they?

For one, if more people use public transportation it’s better for the environment because the pollution emitted is less to move to same number of people from one place to another.

It also helps reduce traffic congestion in the rush hour because there are fewer private vehicles on the roads at peak times, so traffic flow is much better, which stops everybody getting frustrated or angry, especially in the larger cities, where traffic congestion downtown can be a serious problem.

Part 2 Cue Card

Talk about a well-paid job that you think you would be good at.
You should say:
  • what the job is
  • the qualifications needed for the job?
  • why you would be good at it
and explain any other benefits the job offers?


I can’t really think of a regular job that I would like to do and that is well-paid, but for example, in the future I’d really like to be able to be an investor in start-up enterprises.

If you’ve ever seen the TV program Shark Tank; something like that I guess, but I’m not interested in being on TV, just the idea of investing in new companies, supporting creative individuals in their pursuit of bringing their ideas and products to market.

Not all entrepreneurs are great business people, some of them are great at coming up with ideas but lack the experience or knowledge to execute the business side of things to become really successful. That is something I’d be really interested in doing.

It’s a high stakes job, which has potentially big rewards, as well as the risk of failing, but I don’t mind risk; it’s part of the challenge. And if an idea or product is extremely good, the financial return can be millions of dollars. I believe it would be a job with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction, and a lot of variety as well, and many such entrepreneurs enjoy an amazing level of financial independence which isn’t available with many regular jobs.

I also think I’d be well-suited for something like that because I’m creative and analytical and have studied business and know how to execute a good idea when I see one; I’ve already created a few products and marketed them successfully, so I think I would be a really good fit.

I’m also a self-starter, you know, good at self motivation and getting things done, which are important qualities if you’re going to work for yourself, and I also think I would enjoy the diversity and non-routine nature of such work – for me that’s one of the main benefits – it’s an incredibly dynamic environment.

Part 3

What are some other well-paid jobs in your country?

The usual ones; doctors, lawyers, bankers, and business people with their own companies, even some accountants, dentists and architects get paid well if they have their own successful practices. There are also highly-paid positions such as CEOs or senior management in multinational companies.

What is your opinion regarding different jobs and the different payment received for doing them?

It’s something that’s normal I think; jobs which can be done by anyone don’t usually pay much, simply because so many people can do them, employers don’t need to pay more than the absolute minimum.

Then there are jobs which only a few people can do, either because of the skills or knowledge required to do the job, and employers have to pay more for these types of jobs because the higher payment reflects the scarcity of individuals who are able to do them.

It’s basically the law of supply and demand, just as it would apply to any other product. The labor market is subject to the same law, the more common the job skills are, the less the job pays, and the rarer the job skills are the more the job pays.

Is it possible to eliminate this kind of discrimination?

Unless all jobs are made the same – the answer is no, different pay rates will always apply to different jobs depending on the level of expertise needed. Clearly an easy job which requires little or no training or education will never pay as much as a difficult or dangerous job which needs the individual to be highly trained or educated to do it.

Nothing in life works like that.

What are some of the motivational factors for workers to perform well in
their work?

I suppose the most common ones are money, satisfaction, recognition and personal self-esteem. Different people are motivated by different factors and while we all like to be paid for the work we do, it’s not always the most important factor. There are many people who put social factors such as being part of a team, contributing, and helping others as greater priorities than simply earning money.

Then there are people who perform well in the hope that their efforts will be recognized by management or their boss, or they simply take pride in doing their job well, or they seek promotion or greater responsibility within the company.

In your opinion, where does such inner motivation come from?

Sometimes it comes from a need, such as wanting to prove to others that you can do something well or better than other people. Some people are naturally competitive and it is this which drives them to perform better than other people at work.

Many people who come from humble backgrounds are motivated to perform well at work so they can build a better life for themselves and their family in the future.

In other cases, it may simply be just a desire to earn more money so they can be financially better off in the future.

So inner motivation can originate from family circumstances, physical needs, emotional needs, such as improving self-esteem, or be based on another psychological need such as proving your ability to your parents or other people, for example.

How do you think companies could improve the job satisfaction levels of underpaid workers?

I’m not sure that’s possible. I mean, if they are underpaid, they obviously get paid less than they think they should, but employers are not going to pay more than is absolutely necessary for any employee – most low paid jobs can be done by almost anyone, so investing additional resources to try and make employees happier makes the cost of the employees higher.

Sadly, it is easier for employers to simply employ a new person to do the job and then let them leave when they become unhappy or dissatisfied after a certain time.

Personally, I think it’s up to the individual to find their own motivation for doing a job. If you think you are worth more money, then prove it. Work harder, faster or better than all the other employees and prove you are worth more pay or able to do something better within the company.

Alternatively, do your job as required, and put your extra effort into learning a new skill which will enable you to find a better-paying job in the future.

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