Topics and Questions for IELTS Speaking Part 1

Before you start freaking out about IELTS Speaking, let us tell you that it is the shortest of all IELTS components. Now...

Indulekha Prabha Written by Indulekha Prabha · 6 min read >
Topics and Questions for IELTS Speaking

Before you start freaking out about IELTS Speaking, let us tell you that it is the shortest of all IELTS components. Now that’s one thing less to worry about! 

However, it is also a very crucial component and unlike Reading and Listening, it judges you on a number of areas. It is designed in such a way that it does not allow candidates to rehearse set responses beforehand.

The Format of Speaking section:

The speaking section consists of three parts: two structured interviews and one short speech. It takes about 11 to 14 minutes and every part is recorded. 

Part 1

The examiner asks you general questions about yourself and a range of familiar topics, such as home, family, work, studies and interests. This part lasts between 4 and 5 minutes.

Part 2 

You will be given a cue card which asks you to talk about a particular topic. You will have 1 minute to prepare before speaking for up to 2 minutes. The examiner will then ask one or two questions on the same topic to finish this part of the test.

Part 3

Here you will be asked further questions connected to the topic in Part 2. These questions will give you the opportunity to explore and talk about more abstract ideas and issues. This part of the test lasts between 4 and 5 minutes.

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Common Topics for Speaking

Speaking Part 1 is essentially about speaking about yourself; what you like or dislike, things you enjoy and your views on certain things or issues. Here is a list of topics that are commonly asked in IELTS Speaking part1:

  • Work
  • Study
  • Hometown
  • Your Home
  • Fashion
  • Weather
  • The Internet
  • Television
  • Sports
  • Food
  • Art
  • Birthdays
  • Childhood
  • Dictionaries
  • Hobbies
  • Music
  • Neighbourhood
  • Newspapers
  • Pets
  • Reading
  • Flowers
  • Shopping

Questions and responses of IELTS Speaking

Let us now look at several questions and their responses on some common topics:

IELTS Speaking Topic # 1- Work

Do you work or study?

I graduated a few years ago and I’m now in full-time employment.

What is your job?

I’m currently a Content writer for Ufaber Edutech Pvt. Ltd.

Why did you choose that job?

I was previously an English teacher at an International School but it was quite far from my home and the journey was extremely tedious. That is why I opted for a more flexible work schedule. Moreover, I love writing so the job of a content writer seemed the perfect option. 

Do you enjoy your job?

Yes absolutely! It’s very rewarding to be able to write every day and the people I work with are very helpful. 

Do you get on well with your co-workers?

Yes, fine. I don’t really see work as part of my social life, so I don’t socialise with them, so I suppose I could be more friendly, but it’s just my nature to be a bit colder with colleagues. I think it’s more professional to be that way.

What was your first day at work like?

The first day was a bit confusing because I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. Then I called the HR. She was really sweet and patient and told me that it was a state holiday that day, in Mumbai, where the main office is located.  Nevertheless, she forwarded my query to the head of my department. After that I received a call and everything was explained to me.  

What responsibilities do you have at work?

My main responsibility is to churn out quality content for the organisation’s website. I take care of the IELTS section and write articles that will be helpful for the candidates preparing to take IELTS.

Would you like to change your job in the future?

As of now, no. I just joined and  I’m quite satisfied with the way things are right now.

What is your typical day like at work?

I normally have to work for at least 6 hours and write 2 articles a day. Sometimes if they are lengthy I manage to get only one done. Then I have the rest of the day to cook, read, write and spend time with my family.

What would you change about your job?

As I said, I just joined a month ago so everything is quite golden right now and there is nothing I would change about it.

IELTS Speaking Topic # 2- Study

Do you work or study?

I’m currently a student at St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata

What do you study?

I study English Literature because it’s a wonderful subject with plenty of career opportunities.

Is it a popular subject at your university?

Very popular, in fact, it’s one of the most sought-after courses. I think there are about 500 people studying English Literature at St. Xavier’s. 

Do you enjoy studying it?

Yes absolutely! We study the evolution of English Literature through the centuries starting from the Old English period. However, with such a wide topic, there will always be something that you’ll like more than others. I am fascinated by the Medieval literature and Modernism while I find Eighteenth Century literature little dry.

Do you get along with your classmates?

Yes, they are all really great. Most people like to socialise together in the evenings and this makes us a very tight group. If you know someone socially, it is much easier to work together in class.

If you could change to another subject, what would it be?

I planned to study Journalism but when I found out how active and alert reporters need to be, I gave up. I am not an adrenaline junkie so definitely not journalism. On the other hand, I really like old stuffs and keep reading books about Ancient Greece and Egypt, so it would probably be Ancient History. 

Do you plan to use the subject you are studying in the future?

Yes, I’ve already started to apply for jobs as Assistant editors and Assistant English Teachers. I want to work as an intern in different fields before I decide what my profession would be. I will also probably do a Masters alongside. 

What is the most difficult part of your subject?

You have to remember lots of quotations and their implications. Physically it can also be exhausting because we have to read very dense texts for a few hours every day.

What would like to study in the future?

As I said before, my favourite part is Medieval Literature and Modern Literature; so I would like to specialise in any one of them. 

Why did you choose your university?

Mostly because it is close to my hometown and most of my friends were going there. I kind of regret it now. It’s a great university, but because it’s so close to home it doesn’t give you much of a chance to experience new things and meet new people. If I were to choose again, I’d study abroad.

IELTS Speaking Topic # 3- Fashion

Do you care about fashion?

Not much. As long as it is comfortable and made from sustainable sources, it is fine with me. 

What kind of things do you normally wear?

I really prefer to wear handloom and am mostly saree-clad. I am all for sustainable fashion. You will find me wearing handloom cottons at work or at casual gatherings. Silks sarees and brocade suits are for really special occasions and if I’m at home, I will just a wear a good old tee shirt and pyjamas.

Are there any traditional clothes in your country?

Yes! It’s saree. In fact you will find women in every state have their own way to drape a saree.

Where do you usually purchase your clothes?

I usually buy my sarees from sustainable fashion brands that are run by women entrepreneurs. I am very particular in that way. I am a supporter of small businesses and like clothes that are made with a thought. I do not own a truck load of clothes but whatever I have, are made responsibly. I feel it is my duty towards the environment as well as the artisans.

Have you ever bought clothes online?

Yes. Most of the brands I wear are online businesses. Unlike popular shopping websites, here you get the exact product you choose.

Do people from your country think fashion is important?

Some people definitely do! India is a funny country when it comes to fashion! There are people who swears by H&M and some who are just happy buying stuff from local clothing stores. In the recent years, international fashion tycoons like Gucci, Armani and Versace have made their market in India too!

What is your favourite item of clothing?

Probably my Dhakai Jamdani from Bangladesh. It costs more than any of my sarees and is a piece of art. It is completely hand-made and always makes heads turn.

IELTS Speaking Topic # 4- Food

What’s your favourite food?

I would have to say that it’s definitely lasagne. Even my husband loves it! Our date nights always consist of a hearty lasagne and a Woody Allen film.

Have you always liked lasagne?

Yes always! I love everything that has cheese in it.

Are there any foods you dislike?

I like most foods, but if I had to pick some I don’t like, it would have to be chapatti. I find it tasteless and dry.

What are some traditional foods in your country?

India is hugely diversified and each region has its own traditions. I am from West Bengal and roshogolla is the most popular sweet here. Patishapta and Puli Pithe are traditional sweets that are usually made in winter.

Do you have a healthy diet?

Fairly, yes. I like vegetables of all kind so my diet includes lots of salad and light sabjis. I also can’t imagine my life without cheese and nutella! 

For topics other than the ones we discussed, you will get questions like this:

And these:

Art

  • Are you good at art?
  • Did you learn art at school when you were a child?
  • What kind of art do you like?
  • Is art popular in your country?
  • Have you ever been to an art gallery?
  • Do you think children can benefit from going to srt galleries?

Childhood:

  • Did you enjoy your childhood?
  • What is your first memory of your childhood?
  • Did you have a lot of friends when you were a child?
  • What did you enjoy doing as a child?
  • Do you think it is better for children to grow up in the city or in the countryside?

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Tips for nailing IELTS Speaking

Here are little tips on how to make your IELTS Speaking even better!

  • Do not answer in one word.
  • Do not give a memorized answer.
  • You should not use any forced vocabulary.
  • Make sure you speak your mind out
  • Do not fumble!

Conclusion:

IELTS Speaking preparation needs a strong hand. You cannot expect to prepare all by yourself because you need constant feedback and improvement. Consider getting a mentor who can help you practice and get better at grammar, pronunciation and fluency.

Written by Indulekha Prabha
My name is Indulekha Prabha. I am an English teacher and a content writer by profession. When I'm not working you can find me writing fiction, reading poetry and painting. Profile

IELTS Speaking Part 3 Topics

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