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1. IELTS Speaking Questions: Part 1

On the following pages you will find examples of IELTS speaking questions
and topics from part 1, part 2, and part 3 of the speaking test.
Try practising the questions with a friend, and remember to extend your
answers. Don't give one word answers.
You can get further tips for answering questions in part 1 of the speaking test
test here.

Example IELTS Speaking Questions & Topics

Id just like to ask you some questions about your hometown or city.

What type of place is it?


What was it like growing up there?


Has it changed much since you were a child?

Id just like to ask you some questions about your studies.

What are you studying?


Why did you choose that particular course?


What job would you like when you have completed all your studies?

Id just like to ask you some questions about your work.

What work do you do?


What do you enjoy most about your work?


What are your main duties?


Is there any other work you would like to do in the future?

Free Time
Id like to move on and ask you some questions about your free time

What type of activities do you like to do in your free time?


How long have you been interested in these activities?


Do you like to do theses activities alone or with other people? (Why)?


Do you think people have enough free time? (Why/why not)?

Id like to move on and ask you some questions about your family.

How many people are there in your family?


Do you all live in the same house? (Why/why not)?


What things do you like doing together?


Who is your favourite family member?

Lets move on and talk about being on time for appointments.

Is being late acceptable in your culture? (Why/why not)?


Are you ever late for appointments? (Why/why not)?


What type of excuses do you think are alright for lateness?


How do you feel when someone is late for an appointment with you?

Lets change the topic and talk about your neighbours

Do you know the people who live next door to you?


How often do you see each other?


What kind of relationship do you have?


How can neighbours be helpful?


What kind of problems can people have with their neighbours in a big

Moving to a new topic, Id like to discuss cooking and meals with you.

Do you enjoy cooking? (Why/why not)?


What type of things can you cook? (Why)?


What kinds of food are popular in your country?


Is it an important part of your culture to have dinner parties? (Why)?


Do you prefer to eat with other people or on your own? (Why)?

Id now like to discuss your night time dreams with you.

Do you dream much at night?


Do you often remember your dreams?


Do you think we can learn anything from dreams? (Why)?


Do people in your country talk about their dreams? (Why)?


Do you think that dreams can come true?

Magazines and Newspapers

Okay, lets move to a different topic and discuss magazines and newspapers.

Which do you prefer reading, newspapers or magazines? (Why)?


What type of stories do you like to read about? (Why)?


Do you think reading a magazine or a newspaper can help you learn a

language? (Why)?


Why do you think some people prefer magazines to newspapers?

Lets change the topic and talk about comedy and humour.

What type of programmes do you find funny on TV?


Which types of programmes are most popular in your country? (Why)?


What kind of things make you laugh? (Why)?


Do you like to make people laugh? (How)?


Do you think it is important to have a sense of humour? (Why)?

IELTS Speaking Topics & Questions: Part

Below are IELTS speaking topics taken from part 2 of the test.
In this part of the test you are given a cue card and you have to speak about
the topic on the card, using the prompts to guide you, for two minutes.
Study the cards and the IELTS speaking topics so you can see what kind of
things you will need to talk about.
This will improve your speaking skills for this part of the test.
Check out the IELTS lessons to find out how to extend your answers for part 2
of the speaking test and how to use a mind mapto help you plan your

2. IELTS Speaking Part 2 - Cue Cards

Describe a child that you know.

You should say:
Who the child is
How you know the child
When you see the child

Explain why you like/dislike this child.

Describe someone who has had an important influence on

your life.
You should say:
Who the person is
How long you have known him/her
What qualities this person has

Explain why they have had such an influence on you.

Describe an old person that you know.

You should say:
What your relationship is to this person
How often you see them
What people think about this person

Explain why you like them.

Describe a lake, a river or a sea you have visited.

You should say:
Where the lake is
How often you have visited it
What activities you do there

Explain why you like this particular place.

Describe a present you have given someone.

You should say:
Who you gave it to
What kind of present it was
How it compared to other presents you have given

Explain why you decided to give this particular gift.

Describe a sporting event you attended.

You should say:
What kind of sport is was
How it compared to other events youve been to
How often it takes place

Explain why you consider this event to be of interest.

Describe a TV show that you enjoy.

You should say:
What type of show it is
How often it is on
How popular it is with other people in your country

Explain why you like it.

Describe a happy childhood event.

You should say:
When it happened
Who was involved
How you felt at the time

Explain why you remember this particular occasion.

3. IELTS Speaking Sample Questions:

Part 3
Here you will find IELTS speaking sample questions that are taken from part 3
of the test, the final section.
This part is a two-way discussion with the examiner, but you will still do most
of the talking.
The IELTS speaking sample questions below are divided into different topic
However, remember there are many different topics and questions that may
arise in the test.


IELTS Speaking Part 3 - Questions and Topics

Eating habits

Tell me about the types of food that people eat in your country.


How are the eating habits now in your country different from eating
habits in the past?


How healthy is your countrys food?


Why do you think different cultures have different table manners?


How may eating habits change in coming decades?


How are education priorities today different from those in the past?


What is your opinion on the way languages are taught in schools?


How can the type of school you go to affect career success?


What changes do you think will happen in the classroom in the near


Is water pollution a problem in your country?


What are some of the causes of water pollution?


What can individuals do to try and ensure water is kept clean?


Do you think problems with the cleanliness of water will improve in the

Influence of television

How popular is watching television in your country?

Tell me about the types of programme that are generally on television
in your country.


Why do people like watching television?


Do you think state or private television is better?


What effects can watching television have on children?

Influences on the young


What type of people influence the young in your country?


Why it is important to have role models?


Do you think the education system in your country influences young

peoples behavior?


What type of person (parents, teachers, friends etc) are best to

influence young peoples behavior?


What do you think young people will be most influenced by it the


Leisure activities

What types of leisure activities are popular in your country?


Why it is important for people to have time for leisure activities?


Why are some activities more popular than others?


Are the types of leisure activities that are popular today the same as
those that were popular when your parents were young?


What types of leisure activities may become more popular in the



Is shopping a popular activity in your country


How have shopping habits changed over recent years?


To what extent do you think advertising affects the way people shop?


Do you think shopping habits are likely to change in the future?


What types of sports are popular in your country?


What are the benefits of playing a sport?


Do you think the types of sport that are popular will change in the
how can sports bring people from different countries closer together?


How do most people travel long distances in your country?


Have the types of transport people use changed much over the last few


What kinds of improvement have there been in transport in your

country in recent years?


Do you think transport is likely to continue to improve in the future?

Lesson 1: IELTS Speaking Part 2
Speaking for Two Minutes
In the IELTS speaking part 2, you will be given a topic by the examiner, and
you have to speak for two minutes.
Some students find it difficult to do this, so there are some tips in this lesson
to help you extend your long-turn.
Lets imagine that you are given this IELTS speaking part 2 question:

Describe someone who has had an important influence on

your life.
You should say:
Who the person is
How long you have known him/her
What qualities this person has

Explain why they have had such an influence on you.

Firstly, you must talk about the topic on the card.
However, if you only talk about the specific questions on the card, you may
find that you finish too soon.
As long as you keep to the topic, it is ok to talk about other things.
Here are two things you can do in the minute you have before you speak to
help you find more to say for the IELTS speaking part 2.

1. Use other question prompts

These are question prompts:
When you prepare, write down the other question prompts that are not on
the list, and think of things you can say about those as well.
For example:
When - When did you meet?
Where Where did you meet?

2. Think of a Story
You can also tell a story about the person, place, event or thing you are
So in your one minute, think of and note down a quick and preferably
interesting story to tell about the topic.
You can tell the story anywhere in your IELTS speaking part 2, as long as it
fits in.

Example IELTS Speaking Part 2

The person Im going to talk about today is my teacher from high
school. (who) Her name was Miss Chadwick and she taught quite a few
subjects at the school. She had been working there for quite a few years
when I met her I think. (where) We met for the first time in my English
class. (more about who) I remember this well because she was quite
young compared to most of the other teachers in the school so I was
surprised that she was a teacher! In fact she looked more like she could be
one of the older students!
(How long) So I met her when I was 15, and that was 10 years ago. I dont
actually know her anymore as we lost contact soon after I left the school, but
I still remember her very well for several reasons.(What qualities) Firstly,
she was very kind. She always treated all the students very well in the class,
and I cant remember her ever shouting at anyone. Also, she had a really
good sense of humour. She would make jokes in the class which most of the
other teachers never did. The other teachers were very serious all the time.
And she made the classes a lot of fun and very interesting, something that I

think is very important otherwise you start to get bored. Oh, and also she
explained things very well and very clearly. Often teachers are not able to do
this in a way that students can understand, especially when it's complicated
So those are the qualities that she had. (why such an influence)The reason
she had such an important influence on me is because I was quite a shy
person at school and not very confident, but she helped me to change
this. (tell a story) Each year, there was a school play that would be held in
front of all the parents, and that year, when I was 15, Miss Chadwick was
organizing and directing the play. I really didn't want to be in it because I was
so shy, but Miss Chadwick insisted that I take one of the roles, and it was one
of the main roles which meant that I would have to do a lot of speaking! I
was so nervous. Anyway, I went ahead and did it, and on the night I did really
well and really enjoyed it. And that really boosted my confidence and this has
helped me to this day.
So my teacher Miss Chadwick is the person who has influenced my life and I
will never forget her.

Lesson 2:
IELTS Speaking Questions and
Answers - Part One
This lesson is a quiz using IELTS speaking questions and answers to provide
you with some general tips on successfully answering questions for part one
of the IELTS speaking test.
In part one of the test, you are asked general questions about yourself follow this link to view example part one questions if you do not know what to
You'll be asked about 12 questions in part one of the test, and these will be
taken from three different sets of topics which the examiner will choose.
For example you could be asked about:

Your home town


Your favourite holiday destination


What kinds of books you like to read

So you'll have about four questions on each of these.

Now, take this 'IELTS Speaking Questions and Answers Quiz' to see if you
know what is the best way to respond in this part of the test.

Decide which answer you think is the best, then click on the letter to see if
you are right.

Part One IELTS Speaking Questions and Answers

- Quiz

How many people are there in your family?

There are four. We live in a large house in the north of my country. It gets
very cold there in the winter but it is really nice during the summer months.
I try to go back there often.
There are four. My brother and my parents.
There are four. Theres myself of course. Then theres my younger brother,
hes fifteen years old. And I have my mother and father who are both in
their late 70s. I have two grand parents as well, but they dont live with us.


Do you know the people who live next door to you?

No, Ive never met them. The reason for this is that Im away most of the
time at university so Ive never really had the opportunity. I know my
family has met them on a few occasions, just for a quick chat, but they
dont know them well. I think they like to keep their privacy.
No, Ive never met them.
No, Ive never met them. I think my parents have, but I dont know who
they are.


What kinds of books do you like reading?

I dont like reading. Books are boring. I much prefer to play on the internet
or just watch TV in my free time. Reading books just sends me to sleep.
Although I think books are great ways to learn, and I know some people
love to read, Ive never been a great fan of them. I used to read books a bit
when I was younger but not much anymore. I read a lot on the internet
actually, articles on various topics. So I do read, but its just not usually
I dont really like reading, but I did read a book once. Ill tell you the story.
It was set in the 1960s in London. It was about a poor family who were
just trying hard to make ends meet as they had so little money. If followed
the life of the boy in the family from when he was young until he grew up.

The first part of the book was about growing up with his family and his
school life...(candidate continues the story)

You should have learnt from these IELTS speaking questions and answers to:
Stay on topic
Listen carefully to the question and make sure you are answering it. Dont
talk about something completely different just so you can talk for longer.
Extend your answers
Give reasons for your answer. This can be a useful way to extend your
responses. Always explain WHY you have given the answer that you have.
Don't speak excessively
Extend your answers but dont go on too much. This will only mean the
examiner will have to keep interrupting you to move onto the next questions.
Be honest but positive
Try to remain upbeat and positive even if you are saying you dont do things
or dont enjoy things you are being asked about. You can always put a
positive slant on your answers.

Lesson 3 - Speaking About Change

Objectives: to examine and practice some ways of speaking about
Often in part 3, you are asked to compare a situation now with the same
situation in the past.
Common time periods include; 20 years, 30 years, when your parents were
young and when your grandparents were young.

How are the eating habits now in your country different from eating
habits in the past?

Are the types of leisure activities that are popular today the same as
those that were popular when your parents were young?

How have shopping habits changed over recent years?

Have the types of transport people use changed much over the last
few decades?
This lesson will provide you with some useful grammar for speaking about
change in the IELTS test, and how to spot these types of question.

Used to
One way of describing how things have changed is to use used to. We use
it to refer to facts or situations that were true in the past but are not true
now. When the change occurred is not important.
Vietnam used to be a colony of France, (but now it is independent)
Jimmy Carter used to be the President of the United States, (but now he
This can, of course be used to give personal information.
I used to smoke, (but I gave up 2 years ago.)
Mike used to be a detective in the CID, (but now hes a teacher)

In these types of questions the function being tested is compare, so using
comparatives is obviously a good way of answering the question and speaking
about change.
"Thirty years ago, the streets were much quieter thannow.
I think that reading was much more popular in the past.
When talking about how things are different now, the present perfect is
often used as well as the present simple.
The streets have become much noisier. (Notice, a time is not needed)
Reading is much less popular than it was in the past.


Particularly for some of the longer periods, you may not be sure of exactly
how things have changed and it is all right to speculate.
Would can be used for strong speculation.
It would have been harder for my grand father to find out about
international news, because there was no radio or T.V in his village.
In the past, people would have traveled less often.
When you are not so sure you can use other words. (perhaps, possibly,
might, may, etc.)
Im not sure but, perhaps, they might have studied less science thirty
years ago
Possibly, in my fathers day, people could have playedmore sport.

Question types
Questions about changes tend to be phrased in ways like these:
How do you think is different from thirty years ago?
In what ways has changed from when your parents were young?
How is different from twenty years ago?
Of course, the examiner may choose to word the question in other ways.

Lesson 4:
Will and Going to
Usually in part 3 of the speaking test you will be asked to talk about the
future in at least one of the questions (some of the questions in part 1 may
also be about the future).

Will and going to are popular words to do this, so we will look at them, but
there are some other ways too.
It is important to notice when a question is about the future so you can make
sure that your response is also using the future tense.
Here are some example questions:

Do you think any new national celebrations will come into being in
the future?

How do you think the internet will change people's buying habits in
the future?

Do you think it will be more or less important to have a good

education in the future?
Here is an explanation of will and going to and some other useful structures
for discussing the future

There are various uses of will, but in IELTS part 3 we can use it when we
want to talk about future events that we believe are certain.
Will is followed by verb 1, or the infinitive.
Education will be more important in the future because as populations
increase, there will be greater competition for jobs.
If you use will on its own, this means you believe in what you are saying
100%, or you have 100% evidence to back up your claim.
You can add in a word like definitely if as well if you want to emphsize your
certainty even more:
Education will definitely be more important in the future because as
populations increase, there will be greater competition for jobs.
If you are less certain (which is often the case as we usually dont have
evidence with us) then we use words such as 'maybe','perhaps', 'possibly',
'probably' and likely.
Education will probably be more important in the future because as
populations increase, there will be greater competition for jobs.

Going to

Will and Going to are used in similar ways. We can use going to to talk
about a plan we have, but in the IELTS test part 3 we usually use it when we
are making a prediction based on evidence we know of, often from what we
can see in front of us.
Going to is followed by verb 1, or the infinitive.
The sky is very black (the evidence we can see). I think itsgoing to rain.
(not an IELTS example)
The internet is getting much easier to use and safer (the evidence), so I think
its going to be very popular for buying clothes in the future.
The climate is going to become warmer and warmer because the
government is not doing enough to prevent global warming.

Will or going to?

Will is more common for giving predictions about future events, so if you are
unsure of the difference between them, just use will.
However, we often use will and going to inter-changeably. For example, in
the sentences above we can swap them without affecting the meaning:
The climate will / is going to become warmer and warmer because the
government is not doing enough to prevent global warming.
Education will probably / is probably going to be more important in the
future because as populations increase, there will be greater competition for

Modal Verbs
In addtion to will and going to, another way to talk about the future is to use
modal verbs such as may and might.
Again, these are used when you are not certain about something. They have
the same meaning.
I think education may become more important in the future, but it really
depends on what happens to the job market.
The climate might get cooler in the future if we manage to restrict CO2

Present Continuous
This is also used to talk about the future.

It is often used when we want to talk about what has been arranged for the
future, so it may be less common for part 3 and more common for part 1, but
it is still possible for some things you may want to say:
Our president is meeting the president of the USA next year, so hopefully
they will discuss the problems of our country.

Will and Going to - Sample Answer

Here is a sample answer to a question:
How do you think the internet will change people's buying habits in
the future?
Buying from the internet is becoming more and more popular. For example,
weve seen many book shops close down because people can buy online at
cheaper prices from sites such as Amazon. It makes life much easier if
products can be delivered direct to our door, especially with our busy modern
lifestyles. I think this will only increase in the future as more people feel
safe to buy online and online shops make it easier to purchase this way. Also,
I think our lives are onlygoing to become busier, so more people will
choose to shop this way.

5.IELTS Mind Map - Speaking Part 2

This lesson introduces you to the idea of using an IELTS mind mapto help
you with your speaking for part two.
There are different methods and techniques you'll come across for preparing
for this part of the speaking test, so you really need to decide which way suits
you best.
Mind maps are a way tovisually organize information. A single idea is
placed in the middle, with ideas associated with that word around the edge.
A mind map can be useful for IELTS speaking in part two because you can
place the main topic from the cue card in the middle and then brainstorm
ideas around it.
You can use other question words such as 'why', 'when', 'who', 'where' etc
to help you think of ideas.
As well as question words you can also add a story as this is a useful way to
extend your answer - click here to view a lesson on how to extend your
answers for part 2 and using a story to help you do this.

You can also add in any useful vocabulary that you think of.
Look at this example cue card, and then look at the mind map that someone
has done in order to answer the question.
Cue Card

Describe a lake, a river or a sea you have visited.

You should say:
Where the lake, river or sea is
How often you have visited it
What activities you do there

Explain why you like this particular place.

Mind Map

As you can see, a story has been added in, and some extra information about
'who', plus some interesting vocabulary
Its up to you in what order to answer the question. You don't have to follow
the card, but you should try to cover all the points that are on there and your
talk must be organized and coherent.

The mind map or following the card will help with this, plus giving cues to
which section you are on. For example, "I've visited it many times because..."
tells the examiner you are talking about the 'How often' part.
Here is a sample answer. Note how all the points are covered, plus some
extra information that is not on the card but is on the mind map.

Sample Answer using a Mind Map - A Lake

You've Visited
Im going to talk about a lake that Ive visited.
The lake is in the Lake District area which is in the North West of England. As
you can guess by its name, its very famous for its many beautiful lakes. The
area is also known as The Lakes and it is a National Park.
Ive visited it many times because I live only a few hours from there. I usually
go every summer, and Ive been going for many years now probably since
about 1998. We used to go a lot in my summer holiday when I was at school.
Now Im working I still go, but Ill go at weekends. I usually go with my family
thats my two brothers and my Mum and Dad. Sometimes we might go with
our cousins as well. I have also been with friends quite a few times.
There are loads of thing to do there. At this lake we go to there are a lot of
water sports and I really like those. Theres jet skiing, sailing and kayaking for
example, but you dont just have to do those things theres plenty to do
even if you dont like those kinds of activities. You can go walking around the
lake or further out into the areas around the lake because there are many
areas which are really beautiful. There are also some great places to eat good
One of the best things I have done is a Kayaking trip. It wasnt actually on the
lake, but in a river close by. There are some white water rapids, so I went on
those with a friend. We started it with a group of others at a calm part of the
river, with a guide as well to make sure everyone was safe. Some parts then
got quite rough with the water and strong currents. It was scary but really
exhilarating as well. Ill definitely try and go again one day.
The reason why I like this place so much is that although there are lots of
exciting activities that you can do, its also surrounded by lots of
breathtaking scenery, with stunning views of the hills and rivers. So its still
really tranquil and relaxing and a really good way to unwind if you have had a
difficult week at work and just want to get away.
So thats the lake that Ive visited and Im sure Ill continue to visit there in
the future.

Try practicing this method of using a mind map to see if it helps you with your
answer. Here are some cue cards you can practice with.

Lesson 6: IELTS Speaking Tone

When you do your speaking test, it is important that you get thespeaking
tone correct.
In this lesson we'll look at how linking phrases can affect the tone.
You are basically having a conversation with someone, so you want to sound
natural. Some candidates think they have to sound very formal and
You obviously do need some good vocabulary to get a higher score on the
test, such as that from theacademic word list (used correctly of course!), but
language that you would hear naturally if you had a conversation with your
friends is also as important and will get noticed by the examiner.
Take a look at this question and then the answer by a candidate:

When do you think it is acceptable to be late for

You should always try to be on time. However, there are some
occasions when it is ok to be late. Firstly, in my country the traffic is
terrible, so sometimes you cannot help but be late because of that.
Furthermore, if you are very ill, this may be another reason that
makes you late. You cant really help that. Moreover, if an emergency
arises because of, for example, a problem with your child, you will
need to take care of that first of course.

What do you think is the problem with the speaking tone? Click to see below.
Show/Hide Answer
The problem with this response is the words linking the ideas, or the
transitions. It is not that they are 'wrong' as such. In theory they can be used
as the meaning is clear, but they are very formal.
They are suitable for an academic essay, but you will not often hear someone
use these words when they are speaking with you.
So if you use these it will make what you say sound very forced and

Here is the same answer but the speaking tone is more natural:

You should always try to be on time, but having said that, there are
some occasions when it is ok to be late. A particular problem in my
country is the terrible traffic jams, so sometimes you cannot help
but be late because of that. Also, if you are very ill for an unexpected
reason, again there is nothing you can do about that. Another good
reason is if an emergency arises because of, for example, a problem
with your child, you will need to take care of that first of course.

As you can see, this sounds more natural and will sound more fluent. It will
also seem less 'mechanical'.
So get into the habit of improving your speaking tone by forming linking
phrases that are not too mechanical or formal.

Lesson 7: Hypothetical Situation

Sometimes in part 2 of the speaking test you are asked to describe things
that involve a hypothetical situation.
If something is hypothetical, then it is an unreal situation in the future. It is
just an idea or imagined.
The grammar for this is connected to conditional type II 'if clauses'. Take a
look at this:
Question: If you won the lottery, what would you do?
Answer: Id buy a large house in the countryside.
Of course the person has NOT won the lottery so it is just an imagined or
unreal situation.
In the if part of the clause, youll notice that the past simple (won) is used,
even though the imagined future is being referred to. Would is used in the
second part.
For the IELTS task card, you'll just be seeing the 'would' part.
Take a look at this sample task 2 question:

Describe an interesting job you would like to have

You should say:

What the job is

Who normally does this job

What skills are needed for the job

Explain why you would like this job

So when you talk about a hypothetical situation, you need to make sure you
use the correct grammar.
Remember that I would is usually shortened to Id when we are
Take a look at this model answer. The uses of 'would' are in red.

Model Answer
Im going to talk about a job Id like to have.
Ok, if I could choose any job, it would be an air hostess. They are the people
who take care of customers who are travelling on planes - serving the food,
making sure the travellers board and depart the plane safely, and taking care
of any other issues.
This type of job can be done by men or women, but there are usually certain
requirements. For instance, you have to be at least 19 years old in most
cases when you first apply and usually a certain height, not too small. Also,
your weight needs to be in proportion to your height. So in other words, not
overweight unfortunately. They also really prefer people who are younger. So
not just anyone can do it. Those who do the job usually want to travel as
much as they can to see the world, or maybe to make money as in some
developing countries it is a lot better paid than many other jobs.
Regarding the skills, one of the most important things to be is outgoing. I
think you need to be very confident and happy to chat with anyone! You also
need to be patient as Im sure you can sometimes get passengers who
complain, but you still have to continue to be nice to them. For qualifications,
you have to have good GSCE marks. I think that is it.
The reason that Id like a job like this is because Id really like to see the rest
of the world and Id like to meet lots of new people from different cultures
and countries. Its actually something Ive wanted to do for a very long time,
since I was young, which is why I know so much about the requirements. Im
quite a confident person and very outgoing, so I think I have all the qualities
that are needed for such a job.

If I was given the chance to do this job in the future, Id be very happy. Its
my dream so hopefully one day it will come true.
As you'll notice, only a few parts of this response are using 'would'. The
amount you use it will depend on what you are saying.
In much of the response the candidate is talking about facts regarding the
job, which are always true, so the present simple is being used. She's not
referring to the future.
She only refers to a hypothetical situation a few times in her response.
Here are some examples for you to practice with:
Example Hypothetical Situation Speaking Card 1

Describe a beautiful place in your country that

you would like to visit
You should say:

Where it is

Who you would go with

When you would go

Explain why you would like to visit this place

Example Hypothetical Situation Speaking Card 2

Describe a house you would like to buy in the future.

You should say

What kind of house it would be

Where you would like it to be

Who you would like to live there with

Explain why you would like to buy a house like this

Expressing Opinions for IELTS Speaking

Expressing opinions or giving your thoughts is an important part of the

IELTS speaking test, especially in part 3 when you have a 2-way discussion
with the examiner.
You will also need to justify your opinion or explain why you have that
By justifying your opinion you will be extending your responseand making
sure you are having a proper discussion with the examiner which you need to
do in part 3.
In this lesson we'll look at some ways to express your opinions and justify
To do this we usually use adverbial phrases at the start of the sentence.
Here are some ways of expressing opinions or saying what you think about a

Expressing Opinions



Easy to understand
or see

Clearly, the economy is not going to

improve this year.


Showing that it is
your opinion

Personally, I don't think the legal drinking

age should be reduced. Others may


Usually, or in most

Generally, the trains are a lot more reliable

than the buses in my country.


Surprisingly, the government prohibited

Unexpectedly or in a
smoking in all public places last year. I
way that is unusual
never thought this would happen.


In a way that cannot I didn't study much. Inevitably, I didn't get

be avoided
the score I needed.


As expected

Predictably, problems are now occurring in

the city because of overpopulation.


To be honest and

Frankly, I wish I'd waited before taking the

IELTS test as I'm not ready!


Unhappy, sad or
sorry about

Regrettably, my family could never return

to their country because of the civil war.

And after expressing your opinions, here are some ways that you can justify

Justifying Opinions
Across one sentence
+ Subject Verb: the government has invested a lot
of money into the system.
...because the government has...
...since the government has...
...due to the fact that the government
Generally, the trains are a lot more
reliable than the buses in my country...

+ Noun Phrase:
...because of the government's
investment of money into the system.
...due to the government's investment
of... a result of the government's
investment of... a consequence of the
government's investment of...

Across two sentences

Generally, the trains are a lot more
reliable than the buses in my country.

+ Subject Verb:
The reason for this is that the
This is because the government has...
This is due to the fact that the
government has...
+ Noun Phrase:

This is due to the government's

investment of...
This is because of the government's
investment of...
This is as a result of the government's
investment of...
This is as a consequence of the
government's investment of...

Expressing Opinions - Practice

Now it's your turn.
In questions 1-5, choose which adverbial phrase should go in the gap. Look
carefully at the rest of the sentence. Is it something surprising? Sad?
Obvious? Predictable? Typical?

, people get married quite late in my country.

, we must try and lift people out of poverty to improve
standards of living.

, I don't think climate change is caused by human actions.

, crime is increasing in my city because the government did
not increase the number of police like they said they would.
, many children are unable to get the education that they
need so they end up in low-paid work as adults.
In the next 5 questions, choose the correct justifying phrase to go in the gap.
Again, look at the sentence.
You need to decide which one will fit grammatically. Is it followed by a noun
or a subject and a verb?

6. Predictably, temperatures are continuing to rise

action by governments.

a lack of

7. Sadly, more refugees are fleeing the country


the war is

8. Obviously, the failure rate in schools is high

low numbers of teachers.


9. Generally, people are having children later in


many more women are now working.

10. Personally, I don't believe that unemployment will

new staff.

the unwillingness of companies to hire

Topic Vocabulary Links:

Diet, Fitness and Health
Information Technology
The Arts

IELTS Education Vocabulary

These are useful words and phrases area based around education
vocabulary, a common topic in IELTS. This vocabulary will help you with all
parts of the test if the topic arises.
As with the other vocabulary on these pages, although common word forms
are given, not all word forms are here, so remember that once you
understand the word you should study it further to make sure you understand
exactly how it is used in different contexts.
You will find:

The word

The definition
An example sentence

Education Vocabulary
To complete a first university degree successfully

I graduated from the University of Salford in 2009.

My graduation ceremony was in 2009.

The group of subjects studied in a school, college, etc.

Schools must ensure they have an
excellent curriculum.

An official record showing that you have finished a

training course or have the necessary skills, etc

Good qualifications are really important if you want

to get a well-paid job.
I am qualified to teach English.

Regular work done by students as part of a course,

but assessed independently of formal exams.
The coursework on my degree was really difficult.

When male and female students are taught together

in the same school or college rather than separately
Co-educational schools prepare students for their
future better than single-sex schools.
To behave in a dishonest way in order to get what
you want

He did really well in his exams but he cheated. He

copied from a friend.

Cheating on exams is not recommended.

The ability to read and write.


Literacy rates have declined considerably in Western

countries over the last decade.
However, most children are literate.

Unable to read and write

Many children in the poorest countries are illiterate.


First years of formal education from around age 5 to


A good primary education is crucial for a child's


Education during the time as a teenager.


Higher (tertiary)

I loved it at my secondary school as I had so many


Non-compulsory education after finishing school, such

as university, as well as vocational education and
training at colleges.

60% of children now go into higher education after

they finish school.
To direct your attention or your efforts towards a
particular activity, subject or problem

It is difficult to concentrate on my work if there is a

lot of noise.
I keep losing concentration due to the noise.

IELTS Crime Vocabulary

On this page you will find crime vocabulary . These crime words will help you write
about the topic or talk about it in the test.
You will find:
The word

The definition
An example sentence

Crime Vocabulary

A law or set of laws suggested by a government and made

official by a parliament.

There needs to be changes to crime-relatedlegislation.

To make someone less enthusiastic about doing something by

threatening bad results if they do it.

Tougher prison sentences may be a deterrent toother wouldbe offenders.

Someone who is guilty of a crime.

Prison should not be used for first-time offenders.

To cause someone who has done something wrong or

committed a crime to suffer, by hurting them, forcing them to
pay money, sending them to prison, etc

Those responsible for serious crimes must bepunished.

When you stop something from happening or stop someone

from doing something.

The government should focus on the preventionof crime
rather than introducing harsher prison sentences.

To do something illegal or something that is considered


People who commit serious crimes should be given lengthy
(long) prison sentences.

A person who commits a crime.

Criminals who commit violent crimes should not be given


A period of time when a criminal must behave well and not

commit any more crimes in order to avoid being sent to

Probation is a good way to reduce prison overcrowding, but
it must only be used for those who have committed minor

To return someone or something to a good or healthy

condition, state or way of living.

It is important to rehabilitate criminals while they are in
prison otherwise they may re-offend (commit a crime again)
when they are released from prison.

Having done something wrong or committed a crime.

If jurors (the members of a jury) find a defendantguilty, then
that person must be punished.

A group of people chosen to decide in a court of law if

someone is guilty of a crime or not.

To ensure fairness in a criminal trial, there must be a jury.

To decide officially in a court of law that someone is guilty

of a crime.

He has been convicted of arson (starting a fire intentionally
to damage something) two times now.

Being made to pay money for breaking the law.

Motorists should be given a fine if they are caught

Being put in prison.

Murderers are usually given life imprisonment.

Work that people do to help other people without payment,
and which young criminals whose crime was not serious

enough for them to be put in prison are sometimes ordered

to do.

Community service is a good alternative to prison for

minor offences.

Fairness in the way people are dealt with.

Those who commit assaults must be imprisoned because the
victims want justice.

Someone who has suffered because of the actions of someone


The victims of crime often need help and support to
recover from their bad experience.

IELTS Diet, Fitness, and Health

On this page you will find fitness, diet and health vocabulary . These
words will help you write about the topic, or talk about it in the test. It may
also help with your reading if these topics come up.
You will find:

The word The definition

An example sentence

Fitness, Diet and Health Vocabulary


70% of the population is now overweightaccording to
official figures.

Extrememly fat or overweight.

Obesity is now a real problems for teenagers.
Teenagers who are obese are often bullied at school.

A mental illness in which people eat far too little or far

too much food and are unhappy with their bodies.
Bulimia and anorexia are types of eating disorder.
Both are beoming more common.

Any substance which plants or animals need in order
to live and grow.

A healthy diet should consist of all the

This meal is very nutritious.

The food and drink usually eaten or drunk by a person

or group.
When someone eats less food, or only particular types
of food, because they want to become thinner or for
medical reasons.

It is important to have a healthy diet. People must eat

plenty of fruit and vegetables.
I've been on a diet now for four weeks, and I've lost
about one kilo.

Eating more than your body needs.

There is evidence that overeating is one of the main
causes of obesity..


A food that is used with other foods in the preparation

of a particular dish.

The ingredients of the dish include nuts, raisins, and


A condition that makes a person become ill or develop

skin or breathing problems because they have eaten
certain foods or been near certain substances.

Allergies are becoming more common, and this could
be connected to diet.
Iif I eat nuts, I have an allergic reaction. I cannot
breath properly.

A substance which is added to food in order to

improve its taste or appearance or to preserve it.
This food is full of additives so I'm not going to eat it.

To stop something from happening.


Lots of exercise wil prevent a heart attack.

The prevention of health problems should be
encouraged by the government. For example, they
could ban the advertising of fast food to children.

Often changing and being different.

When preparing meals, you need to think
aboutvariety and taste as well as nutritional value.

When you want to eat food.

All that exercise has given me an appetite.

A substance in foods such as fruit, vegetables and brown

bread, which travels through the body as waste and
helps the contents of the bowels to pass through the
body easily.

A diet that is high in fibre is important in order to

maintain a healthy body.

Happening or doing something often.

Regular physical exercise is important for good health.

Any of a group of natural substances which are

necessary in small amounts for the growth and good
health of the body.
Many people take vitamin supplements these days in
order to keep their body healthy.

A disease in which the body cannot control the level of

sugar in the blood.

Diabetes is becoming much more prevalent ( =
common or widespread) amongst children.

Health The condition of the body and the degree to which it is free
from illness, or the state of being well.

Fruit has several health benefits.

Elderly people can have many health problems.
The health care in the country is deteriorating ( =getting
There may be health risks from eating too much red meat.
Health education is very important if we are to prevent
illness and reduce medical costs.
Sweden has one of the best health systems in the word.

The population of the country is in good health.
Lack of exercise can lead to poor health.
He has a very healthy diet.
I have a healthy appetite.

IELTS Work Vocabulary

On this page you will find work vocabulary. These words will help you write,
read and speak about the topic in the test.
A mix of common word forms with example sentences is provided, but make
sure you do your own research on the words and practice using them.
You will find:

The word

The definition
An example sentence

Work Vocabulary

Someone who is paid to work for someone else.

The company has several hundred employees.

A person or organization that employs people.

Employers monitor their employees very carefully

these days.

When someone is paid to work for a company or


Due to the recession, there are thousands of people
looking for employment.
I was employed in the company for several years.

Not working.


Levels of unemployment in the economy have

been rapidly increasing.
He has been unemployed for 6 months now.

To make the same journey regularly between work

and home

It is taking longer for people to commute to work
because of traffic problems.
Commuting to work everyday by bus is tiring.

Formal way to say 'job'.

What is your occupation?

Working life or a particular job during one's

working life that gets better in terms of salary and

He is retired now but he had an
amazing career ( = succesful working life).
He hopes to have a career in the army

Any type of work which needs special training or a

particular skill, often one which is respected
because it involves a high level of education.
The teaching profession is not as good as it used
to be because salaries have decreased.

Salary / Wages
Money paid each month to an employee for their

Public sector salaries are not keeping up with

He receives a good wage because he works for a
prestigious company.

Businesses and industries that are owned or

controlled by the government.

Public Sector
You get a good pension if you work for the public
sector, but the salary is not always so good.

Businesses and industries that are privately owned.

Private Sector

Most graduates hope to work in the private

sector when they finish university as there are
more opportunities and the pay is better than the
public sector.

To stop working because of old age or ill health.

The retirement age in most countries is 65.
He had to retire early due to ill health.

Working a fixed number of hours but having flexibility

with start and finish times.

They have introduced flexitime at my work place so I

usually start at 10am now and finish at 6pm.

To leave a job.

Resign /

He resigned from his job yesterday.

Don't quit your job unless you have another one to

To remove someone from their job, especially because

they have done something wrong
Fire /
Sack /
He was fired / sacked / dismissed because he was
late for work every day.

A job postion that is not filled and so is available.

I spoke to the company and they said they had
several vacancies.

Working more than your contracted hours.

The employees often work overtime but they are not
given extra money so it is not fair

The time worked in a job that is not normal hours.

She is a nurse so she has to work in shifts. One week she
does the morning shift, and then the next week she will do
the night shift.
Shift work can be very tiring.

Information Technology Vocabulary

These are useful words and phrases using information technology
vocabulary, a common topic in IELTS.
There is a an example of the word in context, but remember there are many
different word forms so do your own research on the words and check how
they are used in different situations.
You will find:

The word

The definition
An example sentence

Information Technology Vocabulary

The right to use or look at something

Everybody should have access to the internet.

Modern and well developed


Technological advances have brought many

benefits to the world.
Japan has very advanced technology (not 'high'

To make a process in a factory or office operate by

machines or computers, in order to reduce the
amount of work done by humans and the time
taken to do the work
The automation of production processes has led
to increased unemployment.
Many production processes these days

When something joins or is joined to something

else, or the part or process that makes this


Most people are connected to the internet these

Having a connection to the internet is important.
I often have problems connecting to the internet.

The act of communicating with people

Communication Email has made communication, especially

abroad, much simpler and faster.
Communicating with people by email is very

An object or machine which has been invented for

a particular purpose
It is important to have some kind of
communication device such as a mobile telephone
or the internet.

A new idea or method


Smart phones are the latest innovation in

computer technology.
Steve Jobs was a great innovator.

Something which has never been made before, or

the process of creating something which has never
been made before

The world changed rapidly after the invention

ofthe telephone.
Many useful devices have been invented over the
last few decades.

A piece of equipment with several moving parts

which uses power to do a particular type of work

Factories now make use of machines to do a lot of

the work humans used to do.
Machinary does most of the work in factories.

Modern, recent, or containing the latest

Teenagers think it is important to have the
mostup-to-date technology.


If something, especially something related to a

computer, is user-friendly, it is simple for people
to use

Modern mobile phones such as the i-phone are

very user-friendly.

IELTS Environment Vocabulary

On this page you will find environment vocabulary. These words will help you write
about the topic or talk about it in the test. It will also help with your reading if you
have a text related to this topic.
You will find:
The word

The definition
An example sentence

Environment Vocabulary

The air, water and land in or on which people, animals and

plants live.

More must be done to protect the environmentfrom
Environment pollution.
Environmental problems are becoming very severe in
many countries.

The weather conditions generally present in an area or
over a long period.

The mediteranean region tends to have a mildclimate over

the winter.

The change in global climate patterns which appeared

from the mid to late 20th century onwards, caused mainly
by the increased levels of carbon dioxide in the
The climate around the world has been changingrapidly
over the last decade.
Climate Change is one of the most serious problems that
the world is facing today.

The gas formed when carbon is burned, or when people or

animals breathe out.

The burning of fossil fuels releases large amounts

of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which leads to
global warming.
Trees absorb carbon dioxide.


A natural fuel such as coal, gas, or oil formed in the

geological past from the remains of living organisms.

Some people do not believe that human's reliance on fossil

fuels is to blame for global warming.


A gradual rise in the world's temperatures caused by

polluting gases such as carbon dioxide which are
collecting in the air around the Earth and preventing heat
escaping into space.

Deforestation is contributing to global warmingbecause
tress absorb carbon dioxide.

Cutting down and clearing areas of forest.

Deforestation is destroying animal habitats.

The natural environment in which an animal or plant

usually lives.

With so many areas of woodland being cut down, a lot of
wildlife is losing its natural habitat.

All the living things in an area and the way they affect each
other and the environment.

The world has a delicately balanced ecosystem, and

pollution can damange this.
The marine (= related to the sea) ecosystem was baldy
damaged by the oil spill..

The variety of plant and animal life in the world or in a

particular habitat, a high level of which is usually
considered to be important and desirable.
The rich and diverse biodiversity of our planet must be

To make something less pure by exposing it to poisonous or

polluting substances.

The water has been contaminated by the release of toxic
chemicals into the river.
The water supply is being tested forcontamination.
Toxic /

Poisonous / A poisonous substance

The dumping (= disposing of something in a careless way)

of toxic waste has contaminated the area.
Leaded fuel from cars releases toxins into the air which can
affect the brain.

A material or substance which is eliminated or discarded as no

longer useful or required after the completion of a process.

The Green Party opposes any kind of nuclearwaste being
dumped at sea.

The production and discharge of something.

Emissions from car exhausts cause pollution around cities.
Carbon dioxide emissions must be reduced.

To graually reduce or destroy.

Over-farming causes soil erosion.

A prolonged period of abnormally low rainfall, leading to a
shortage of water.

The severe drought this year has led to the loss of many


Damage caused to water, air, land etc. by harmful

substances or waste.

Environmental pollution must be a top priority of
The air around the factory is very polluted.

Causing little or no damage to the environment and therefore

able to continue for a long time.

Countries need to promote sustainabledevelopment in
order to protect the environment from further damage.

Science Vocabulary
On this page you will find science vocabulary. These words will help you
write about the topic or talk about it in the test. It will also help with your
reading if you have a text related to this topic.
You will find:

The word

Science Vocabulary

The definition
An example sentence

A drug which has no physical effects, used in

pharmaceutical tests to compare the physical
effects of taking a real drug from its psychological
She was given a placebo, not the real drug, but
she said she felt much better.

The placebo effect is when someone's condition

improves because they think they are taking
She was given a placebo, not the real drug, but
she said she felt much better- that's theplacebo

An extra, usually bad, occurrence caused by taking

a drug.

A side

Drugs should not be tested on animals because

there are many possible side effects.
Much of today's modern medicine has side
effects. I prefer alternative therapies.


To show a particular result after a period of time.

The amount of evidence that scientists now

haveproves that climate change is being caused
by humans.
We now have proof that climate change is caused
by human activity.

A test done in order to learn something or to find

out whether something works or is true

Experimenting on animals is necessary in order
to discover if new drugs are dangerous or not.
Scientists are conducting experiments to test the
effectiveness of the new drug.

A part of the DNA in a cell which contains

information in a special pattern received by each
animal or plant from its parents, and which
controls its physical development, behaviour, etc


Genes are an important factor in personaility

The doctors think his illness was genetic. It came
from his mother because she had the same illness
when she was young.

Changing the structure of the genes of a living
thing in order to make it healthier or stronger or

more useful to humans.

Engineering /

There is evidence that genetically modified food

is harmful to humans.
Some plants have been genetically
engineeredto be resistant to herbicides.


Plants, animals or micro organisms that have

changed through genetic engineering.


Most commercialised GMO crop plants are insect

resistant and/or herbicide tolerant.

A plant or animal which has the same genes as the

original from which it was produced

The first animal to be cloned was Dolly the sheep.
I believe that cloning humans is unethical.

The deliberate large-scale intervention in the

Earths climate system, in order to try and control
global warming

Some scientists believe geoengineering is the

only way to reduce the warming of the climate.

Controlling the weather by geoengineering is a
possible solution to climate change, but it is

A prefix for things related to computers, especially

the internet.

Cyberbulling via social media such as Facebook
has become a major problem.
A cybercafe is a place where you can buy drinks
and use computers at the same time.

Using the most advanced and developed machines and

HighTech /
Japan is a very high-tech country. Everyone has all the
latest electronic gadgets.

A formal statement of the rules on which a subject of study

is based or of ideas which are suggested to explain a fact or
event or, more generally, an opinion or explanation

There are two opposing theories on the causes of climate

change - one says it is caused by humans, the other believe
it is a natural cycle.

The Arts Vocabulary for IELTS

On this page you will find the arts vocabulary.

This could come up as an essay question (see the link to a model essay at the bottom
of the page) as well as in the other modules of the test.
The arts include the visual arts such as what you see in art galleries (i.e. paintings,
scuptures), the literary arts like books, and the performing arts - for example: music,
theatre, dance and film.
The arts vocabulary found here will help you write about the topic, or talk about it in
the test. It may also help with your reading if these topics come up.

You will find:

The word

The definition
An example sentence

The Arts Vocabulary

Art forms created by humans, divided into visual, literary,

and performing.

The Arts
The govenment should not waste money on the arts. This
should be spent on public services instead.


The systems of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values,

attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion that are shared by
a relatively large group of people.

The culture of a country is reflected in its art.

Cultural differences can cause problems if you do business

in another country.

Relating to or involving the imagination or original ideas,

especially in the production of an artistic work.

He is an incredibly creative person - he's written many
books and plays and he can paint as well.

Music that is considered to be part of a long especially

formal tradition and to be of lasting value.

I prefer classical music such as Mozart and Bach to modern
day pop music.

A play or film in which part of the story is sung to music

A skill in or great liking for music (adjective)
"The Phantom of the Opera" is one of the bestmusicals that I
have ever seen.
Everyone in the family can play an instrument - they are
very musical.

An art form in which singers and musicians perform a

dramatic work combining text and music, usually in a

Opera is not very popular amongst young people these days.

A building, room, or outside structure with rows of seats,

each row usually higher than the one in front, from which
people can watch a performance or other activity.
My hometown does not have any theatres. There are many
in the capital though.

A show or action involving the entertaining of other people

Performance by dancing, singing, acting, or playing music.

His performance as MacBeth was amazing.

There will be a performace of a famous play at the Lyceum
Theatre tonight.

An organized set of special events, such as musical, art or
film performances.

The Cannes Film festival has some great movies this year.
The local council organizes a music festival in my town
every year.

An event at which objects such as paintings are shown to the



There will be an exhibition at the weekend to show all of his

latest paintings.
His paintings were exhibited at the local art gallary over the

The art of making two- or three-dimensional representative

or abstract forms, especially by carving stone or wood.

The museum has many life-sized sculptures of past Kings
and Queens of England.

A type of painting, drawing, or sculpture that uses shapes,

lines, and colour in a way that does not try to represent the
appearance of people or things.
Jackson Pollock is one of the most famous abtractartists. He
famous for dripping and splattering paint onto his canvas

A collection of objects or pictures arranged for people to look

at, or a performance or show for people to watch (= being
Jackson Pollock's most famous paintings are ondisplay at the
Tate Modern Art Gallery in London for 10 days.

To be filled with the urge or ability to do or feel something,

especially to do something creative.

Shakespears plays have inspired many young people to take up
writing and acting.
His method of acting really inspires me.

An object that is made by a person, such as a tool or a

decoration, especially one that is of historical interest.

The museam in town has many artefacts that were found in
the local area. Most are tools from the Stone Age.

Compose the sequence of steps and moves for a ballet or
other performance of dance.

Their dance routines had been

carefullychoreographed so there would be no