IELTS Speaking part 1 topics

You will see from below some of the typical topics and questions. I would advise finding a partner to practice with. When practising these questions, make sure you use description and opinion and use your own world knowledge and experience when answering these questions. 

You might find this website good for language for giving opinion to help you answer the questions but remember with part 1 you do not have much time per question.

The first question is usually something like “Are you a student or do you work?” 


How often do you read books? 

What kind of books do you like? 

Do you prefer reading to watching TV or going to the cinema. Why? Why not? 

Do you think people will always read books 


Describe a famous building in your country. 

Why is it famous? 

Have you ever visited it? Why? Why not? 

Is it a good place to show visitors to your country? 


Have there been any changes in your life recently? 

Describe some of the things you are doing in your life that are new? 

How do you feel about these changes? 

Do you think change is a positive thing? 


Have there been any longer term changes in your country? 

Describe some of these trends? 

Do you think these trends will change your country for the better or the worse? 


How often do you go to the cinema?  

Is going to the cinema a popular activity in your country? 

Do you think the cinema has increased or decreased in popularity in recent years? 

Should films and TV programmes be censored or should we be free to choose what we see? 

Do you think that there should be censorship of electronic media? 


How important are clothes and fashion to you? Why / Why not? 

What kind of clothes do you dislike? Why? 

How different are the clothes you wear now from those you wore 10 years ago? 

What do you think the clothes we wear say about us? 


What’s your favourite colour? Why? 

Do you like the same colours now as you did when you were younger? Why / Why not? 

What can you learn about a person from the colours they like? 

Do any colours have a special meaning in your culture? 

Your country 

Which part of your country do most people live in? 

Tell me about the main industries there. 

How easy is it to travel around your country? 

Has your country changed much since you were a child? 

Your country 

Tell me about the city/region you live in. 

Have you lived there long? 

What do you like about living there? 

Are there any disadvantages? 

What do you think visitors would most like about your city/ region? 

Daily Routine 

Tell me about your typical weekday and your typical weekend. 

Are all your days the same? 

Is your daily routine here in the UK different from in your country? How? 

What is your favourite day of the week? Why? 

What is the balance of work/study and free time in your normal day? 

Are there any aspects of your daily routine that you do not enjoy? 

What would you like to change in your daily routine? 


Do you enjoy dancing? Why / Why not? 

Has anyone ever taught you to dance? Why / Why not? 

Tell me about any traditional dancing in your country. 

Do you think that traditional dancing will be popular in the future? Why / Why not? 


Let’s talk about entertainment. 

Do you prefer relaxing at home or going out in the evening? Why? 

When you go out for an evening, what do you like to do? 

How popular is this with other people in your country? 

Is there any kind of entertainment you do not like? Why / Why not? 


Do you have a large or a small family? 

Can you tell me something about them? 

How much time do you manage to spend with members of your family? 

What sort of things do you like to do together? 

Did/do you get on well with your family? Why? 

How big is an average family in your country? 

Has family life changed a lot in the last 50 years? 


Tell me about the most important festival in your country. 

What special food and activities are connected with this festival? 

What do you most enjoy about it? 

Has it changed in recent years? Inwhat way? 

Do you think festivals are important for a country?  Why? 

Food and cooking 

What kinds of food do you like to eat? 

What kind of new food would you like to try? Why? 

Do you like cooking? Why / Why not? 

What was the last meal you cooked? 

Do you prefer home-cooked food or food from restaurants? Why? 


Are your friends mostly your age or different ages? Why? 

Do you usually see your friends during the week or at weekends? Why? 

The last time you saw your friends, what did you do together? 

In what ways are your friends important to you? 

Your friends 

Do you prefer to have one particular friend or a group of friends? Why? 

What do you like doing most with your friend/s? 

Do you think it’s important to keep in contact with friends you knew as a child? Why?/ Why not? 

What makes a friend into a good friend?   


How do you usually spend your holidays? 

What was the best holiday you have ever had? 

Do you prefer to go on holiday with a small group of people or in a large group? Why? 

How do you usually spend your holidays? 

Is there anywhere you would particularly like to visit? Why? 


What languages can you speak? 

Is it important to learn languages? 

What is the best way to learn a language? 

What do you find most difficult about learning languages? 


Do you have any hobbies or interests? What are they? 

How did you become interested in this? 

What is there to do in your free time in your country? 

Free Time /Leisure 

How do you usually spend your free time? 

Is this typical? How do most people spend their free time in your country? 

What activities do you really enjoy? 

Are there any new activities you would like to start? Why? 

How do you usually spend your holidays? 

Museums/ Art galleries 

Describe a museum/ art gallery you have visited? Where was it? What kind of exhibits did it feature? 

What impressed you most about the museum/art gallery? 

Is visiting museums /art galleries popular in your country? 

Do we need museums and art galleries?  Why? Why not? 

Should museums /art galleries be free, that is, should they be subsidised by the government or should they charge fees? 

Musical instruments 

Which instrument do you like listening to most? Why? 

Have you ever learned to play a musical instrument? Which one? 

Do you think children should learn to play a musical instrument at school? Why/ Why not? 

How easy would it be to learn to play an instrument without a teacher? Why? 


What kinds of music do you like listening to? 

Why do you like listening to this kind of music? 

Do you prefer live or recorded music? 

Is there any kind of music that you don’t like? 

When and where do you mostly listen to music? 

What effect does music have on people? 

Can music be used as a therapy? Can it help people who are sick? 

Your favourite place 

What place do you most like to visit? 

How often do you visit this place? 

Why do you like it so much? 

Is it popular with many other people? 

Has it changed very much since you first went there? In what way? 


What is your favourite sport? 

What sports are usually played in your country? 

How good are the sports facilities in the area you live in? 

How much sport is played in schools? 

Why is sport important? 


Tell me about your studies. 

What do you want to do when you have finished your studies? 

What aspects of your studies do you like?  

Are there any aspects of your study you dislike? 

Traffic where you live 

How do most people travel to work where you live? 

What traffic problems are there in your area? Why? 

How do traffic problems affect you? 

How would you reduce the traffic problems in your area? 


Tell me about the different types of transport in your country. 

What kind of transport do you prefer? 

Is the transport system in your country good? Why? Why not? 

What improvements would you recommend? 


Have you ever travelled outside your country? Where? 

Do you like travelling? Why? Why not? 

Tell me about the best place you have ever visited? 

Where would you most like to visit? 


What would you suggest a visitor should see and do in your country? 

Are there any traditional arts or music you would recommend? 

Tell me about the kind of foreign visitors or tourists who go to your country. 

In what ways has tourism changed your country? 


Briefly describe a typical working day? 

What do you like about your work?  

Is there anything you would change about your routine? What? 

ALISTAIR BROWN: As a writing and speaking examiner for more than 10 years, I bring a lot of experience. I have seen the frustrations that students have with IELTS from a career where I have actively guided and corrected students’ studies. I am looking for the most effective ways to teach IELTS as I understand students’ needs.

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