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IELTS Speaking Section

The speaking test takes 11-14 minutes and consists of an interview with an examiner.
The interview is recorded.
The speaking test has three parts:
Section 1
Introduction and
interview
Section 2
Individual long
turn

Examiner introduces him/herself and checks your name.


The examiner then asks you questions on general topics.

Examiner gives you a written task card. You have 1 minute to


think (take notes) before you have to speak for 12 minutes.
Examiner asks one or two questions at the end of your talk.

Section 3
Two-way
discussion

45 minutes

34 minutes
(including
1 minute
preparation
time)

Discuss with the examiner more abstract issues and concepts 45 minutes
which are thematically linked to the topic of your talk in Part 2.

Following are some of the IELTS speaking topics of previous exams of IELTS speaking module,
Section 1.
1. What are you studying?
2. Do you have higher education?
3. What do you like about your studies?
4. How often do you use English?
5. What languages can you speak?
6. What subject would you like to study at university?
7. When does the academic year begin?
8. Have you ever lectured at university? Can you tell me about it?
9. Have you ever done a research? What was you research on?
10. What's your field of study?
11. What do you find difficult about your field of study?
12. What do you like about it?
13. What subjects will you take when you go to university?
14. Which courses are you doing this term?

15. How do you find them?


16. How's your course going?
17. How many modules does the course consist of?
18. How many other credits do you need to complete this course?
19. Do you think you're going to do them successfully?
20. Which exams do you usually find difficult?
The following are the topics for the Free practice topics of IELTS speaking module, Section 2.
1. Introduce yourself.
2. Describe your hometown. What is special about it?
3. Compare your hometown with another town.
4. Describe your countrys education system. What is your attitude toward this system? Do you
think its effective?
5. Describe the organization you work for. Where is it? What does it do? What is your job function?
6. Describe the process of taking a job in your country.
7. Compare the role of men and women in your country.
8. What is Brain drain? What are the causes and effects of it?
9. Discuss why you would like to visit a particular country. When are you going to visit it and why?
10. Discuss the factors affecting people to have more or less children in your country.
11. Describe a traditional dish in your country. What are the ingredients?
12. Describe the traditional Architecture of your country. Is there something special about it?
13. Compare traditional houses with modern houses in your country.
14. Discuss why you like a special kind of book, music, sports, or film.
15. Give reasons why the divorce rate has or has not increased in your country.
16. Describe a traditional instrument in your country.
17. Describe an important festival in Iran. When is it? What do people do then?
18. Describe the ethnic mix in your country.
19. Describe a traditional garment in your country.
20. What is your favorite color? Why? What is the relationship between the colour of clothes and the
personality of people? What is the relationship with mood?
21. Describe a historical place in your country. Where is it? What is special about it?

22. Talk about mass media. Newspapers and their attractions for you.
23. Describe a traditional /childrens/international/card game.
24. Why do people play games?
25. What is your greatest wish/ one of your
wishes?
26. What dont you know about your future?
27. Why do people collect things? Do you collect anything?
28. Describe an invention before or after computer. Should the governments support inventors? Why
do inventors invent?
29. What is fashion? Do you follow fashion? Why do people follow fashion? How do people in your
country follow fashion?
30. What is the process of obtaining a driving license/passport/etc. in your country?
31. Describe one of your photos. Where, when and with whom did you take it?
32. Describe the present situation of Tourism in Iran. What is the future of Tourism like in Iran?
33. Name a book, film, or a piece of music that you like most and say why.
34. Describe IT or a databank system.
35. Why always women cook and men do not in your country? Which is a better cook, a man or a
woman?
36. Compare your time with your parents. What is the same and what has changed since then?
37. How has traveling changed since 100 years ago?
38. Describe your best holiday, party, event in your life. When was it, where and why?
39. Talk about the best present you have ever had in your life. When, why and who gave it to you?
40. In what occasions do people give presents in your country?
41. How do you choose a gift for your friends?
42. What do people do in 4 seasons in your country?
43. What do governments do in case of disasters? What should they do?
44. Talk about the most populated area in your country. Where is it? What is its population? Why is it
so populated?
45. Describe a competition you have entered. What was your stand?
46. What is the role of public artworks?
47. Describe a city you have visited and impressed you so much. Why was it so impressive?
48. Compare Iranian eating with other countries.
49. Compare a person who has been in a foreign country with someone who hasnt.

50. What is capital punishment? Is it necessary to control crime?


51. What do you think will be the worlds greatest problem in 100 years time?
52. What do you think pastime and hobbies will be in 100 years time?
53. What do you know about the wildlife in your country? Who is responsible for its preservation?
54. What do you know about Global Warming? What is Greenhouse Effect?
55. Shopping: who does the shopping in your home? Do you go shopping?
What have you found difficult in shopping?
56. Describe a child that you know. Who is he/she? Your relation, what does he/she like, and how has
he/she influenced you?
57. School pressure on children. Is there any in your country? What can be done if there is?
58. What was the most interesting (impressing) period of time in your life? Describe it.
59. What do you think about children's school age? Advantages or disadvantages?
60. What time are children considered to be adults in your country?

Following are the latest IELTS Speaking Topics for IELTS Academic and General Students appeared in
subsequent IELTS Exams. These speaking topics definitely help students preparing for IELTS.
Topic No: 1 Describe your countrys education system. What is your attitude toward this system?
Topic No: 2 Compare the role of Men and Women in your Country?
Topic No: 3 What is brain drain? What are the causes and effects of it?
Topic No: 4 Discuss why you would like to visit a particular country. When you going to visit it and
why?
Topic No: 5 Discuss the factor affecting people to have more or less children in your country.
Topic No: 6 Describe the traditional dish in your country. What are the ingredients?
Topic No: 7 Discuss why you like special kind of book, music, sports or film.
Topic No: 8 Describe the ethnic mix in your country
Topic No: 9 Describe a traditional garment in your country.
Topic No: 10 Describe an important festival in your country. When is it? What do people do then?
Topic No: 11 What is fashion? Do you follow fashion? Why do people follow fashion? How do people
in your country follow fashion?
Topic No: 12 Describe your best holiday, party, event in your life. When was it, where and why?

Topic No: 13 In what occasions do people give presents in your country?


Topic No: 14 What do people in 4 seasons in your country?
Topic No: 15 What is capital punishment?
Topic No: 16 Compare your time with your parents. What is the same and what has changed since
than?
Topic No: 17 Talk about most populated area in your country. Where is it? What is its population?
Why is it so populated?
Topic No: 18 What do you know about Global Warming? What is Green House Effect?
Topic No: 19 Describe the first toy you got. Who gave it for you? When? How did you like it?
Topic No: 20 What is the role of Public Artwork?
Please note, these IELTS speaking topics are just for reference, there is no guarantee that these topics
will come in your IELTS speaking test.

Speaking Section 1
In IELTS Speaking section 1 you start with personal questions such as about yourself, your
family, your home or your work/study. So, sit down with your dictionary and try and think of
all the vocabulary you would need to completely describe all parts of your life, home, family
and work/study. Then sit down with a piece of paper and write down every question you can
think of about these ideas. Try and come up with about 20. You can then practice them in 2
ways:
i) Get a friend to ask you the questions and practice giving long, full answers. Do this again
and again. It doesn't matter if you do the same question frequently, as you will give better and
better answers with more and more information. The more often you practice this, the better
you'll get.
ii) If you don't have a friend who can do this, then you can do it by yourself. You just look at
your list and imagine that someone has asked you the question. Then, off you go. You can do
this sat at home, you can talk to the cat, the mirror or do it driving on the way to work. It may
feel a bit strange at first, talking by yourself, but it works and you will improve. You don't have
to do either method i or ii, you can mix both. It all helps.
In the second part of Section 1 you have to answer questions on themes of general interest.
These are not complicated but are more demanding than the ones that you did in the part
before. Let's say for example that the theme the examiner chooses is travelling. The examiner
will have a set of questions to ask you. How many he asks depends on how long you talk for in
your answers. The first question could be:
Do you enjoy traveling and why/why not?
Then this could be followed by:
Where would you like to travel to and why?
You can find other sample themes and questions in IELTS Practice Now Question Papers and
from other sources. Once you have an idea of the types of theme and question, you can start
to make your own examples and practice answering them in the ways (i and ii) above. I have
done this with classes and it works very well. Students doing this, more often than not, come
up with actual themes and questions from the test itself!!

Speaking Section 2
Preparation and practice for Section 2 is similar to the practice in Section 1.You have to talk for 1 to 2
minutes in English. Speaking for this time in your own language is quite hard, so in a foreign
language it is harder. The reason it is hard is that you don't often talk uninterrupted for 1 to 2
minutes about anything, whether it is in your language or English. So, how do you get better at it? By
practising it again and again. Let's say that your task is as follows:
Describe a favorite holiday destination that you like.
You should say:

When you first went there.

How you get there.

What you do when you're there.

And explain why this place is so special for you.

So, you can see the format of this section. The practice procedure is as before. Check out other
question types and soon you're be able to develop your own. Then practice them with someone or by
yourself. Soon, talking for 2 minutes without stopping won't be a problem. Remember you don't have
to talk fast or without breaks. They want you to talk normally. Talk at a normal speed, pause to take
breaths and take time to consult your notes to give yourself ideas about what to talk about next.
The follow up question to end Section 2 is not so important that it needs to be practiced as it only
requires a few words as an answer. An example question from the examiner for the subject above
could be:
"Do you think I would enjoy a holiday in this place too?"
The candidate would just be expected to say something like:
"Oh yes, I think so."
Or:
"May be not. It might be too hot for you."
You can see that nothing very long is required.
At this point I'd like to explain about the 1 minute preparation time and the notes that you can write
during it. First of all, use your preparation time and make notes. Before you begin your monologue,
you will have 1 minute to prepare for it. Some people think that they don't need the time at all and
will start straight away. Very often these people will dry up early and be at a loss about how to
continue. Use your time. Someone starting straight away does not get any advantage at all over
someone who takes the full minute to prepare.
So, what should you write in your notes? First of all, don't try and write out your whole talk word for
word. You don't have enough time. Looking at the question above (which is a typical layout for this
section) you can see that there is a main question (Describe a favorite holiday destination that you
like.) and then 3 mini-questions following (Say when you first went there, how you get there what
you do when you're there and explain why this place is so special for you).
These questions are here to help you as they give you ideas to talk about and give your talk a bit of
structure. However, it asks you to talk about these things so you should talk about them. In your

notes quickly jot down one or two ideas for each of the questions, so that they will remind you about
things to talk about when you look at your notes during your talk. Finally, if you have time, maybe
make a note of something from your own experience connected to the talking theme. When you are
talking about something from your own experience, it is easier to talk at length. For example, for the
question above, you could be just finishing and still have 45 seconds left to talk. You could be saying
why the place is so special to you. As you run out of ideas you could give an example out of your own
experience. You could say:
"Actually why I like the place so much is shown from something that happened to me the last time I
was there. I was in a restaurant having some food and..."
The subject of your story doesn't matter as you are still on the subject of your talk. The main thing is
to keep talking.

Speaking Section 3
Section 3 really carries on from where Section 2 left off. The examiner will ask you questions that are
thematically linked to the subject that you talked about in Section 2. For example, for the question
we looked at above about a holiday destination, the examiner might choose to ask you questions
about tourism and the airline industry. The examiner will have a set of questions to ask you. How
many he asks depends on how long you talk for in your answers. None of the questions will be of a
technical nature or require any specialist knowledge as that would be unfair, but you will be expected
to give your opinion on what is asked you.
So, let's look at some examples.
Tourism

Can you predict any major changes that could happen in the Tourist Industry over the next 50
years?

Can you compare the tourist industry in your country today with the tourist industry when
your grandparents were young? Can you identify some of the factors that have led to the
Industry success of the airline industry?

Airline

Can you suggest any ways in which air travel could be made safer?

You can see that the questions here are more analytical and require more thought than the
questions in the previous sections.

As regards practice, the procedure is as in the previous sections. You need to get someone to do the
questions with you, or do them alone and then develop your own questions and practice with them.
Learnielts.com Practice Tests also provide practice and often provide much fuller examples.

Section 2, Practice test 1


In this part you have to speak for 1-2 minutes about a topic.
Look at the topic below for one minute. You may make notes if you wish

Talk about yourself having a healthy lifestyle.


Please say:

What stops you from having a healthy lifestyle?

What are the disadvantages of not having a healthy lifestyle?

What can you do in order to have a healthier lifestyle?

After 1 minute, please speak into the microphone. You should speak for 1-2 minutes.
The sample answer
Id like to enjoy a healthier lifestyle although there are many factors that make this difficult. Like
many people my working life involves many hours sitting down at a computer screen. This leads to a
lack of exercise and is bad for eyes and body posture. Travelling to work by car does not help either.
Outside work there is not always time to take exercise or to prepare healthy meals. I know this kind
of lifestyle affects my health and fitness and makes me more prone to suffer from illness. It also
makes me put on weight. To have a healthier lifestyle I need to change the routine of my daily life, for
example by cycling or walking to work instead of driving. I need to ensure more regular exercise
even if this is only 10 minutes yoga in the morning. I also need to eat more carefully, especially fruit
and vegetables, and not eat so much convenience food or red meat. At work I should take regular
breaks away from the computer to relax my eyes and stretch my body. I plan to slow down and take
time to enjoy simple pleasures like a well-cooked healthy meal or some sport in the sunshine.

Section 2, Practice test 2


In this part you have to speak for 1-2 minutes about a topic.
Look at the topic below for one minute. You may make notes if you wish
Describe a place you visited when you were a child.
You should say:

where it is

when you went there

what you did there

and explain why you would, or would not, like to return to this place again.
After 1 minute, please speak into the microphone. You should speak for 1-2 minutes.

The sample answer


Id like to tell you something about a campsite I visited quite frequently when I was little. It was called
Brandy Brook, and it was on the south coast of Wales, in Pembrokeshire. It was near the sea, but it
wasnt really near any big towns. I remember, though, it was near an airfield, and we always used to
get excited when we saw the big orange windsock, because wed know we were nearly there.

We went there several times, always in the summer holidays, until I was about 10. I suppose after
that, my parents thought I was too old for it.
So, we used to stay there in a caravan, which was great fun. We had to collect water from the taps
outside the shower block and carry it back to the caravan. The caravans were all arranged around
the edge of the field, so there was plenty of room in the middle to play ball games. There was a
climbing frame in the middle too. There was a cabin which would open every evening at about 5
oclock where we could buy sweets. During the day, wed leave the site, of course, and go to the
beach or go walking and sightseeing. In the evenings wed go back, and play board games in the
caravan. It was good.
Im not sure whether Id like to go there again or not, because Im worried it might have changed,
and Id be really disappointed. Plus, it might be more fun to go there as a child, or as a parent.
Otherwise it might be a bit boring.

Section 2, Practice test 3


In this part you have to speak for 1-2 minutes about a topic.
Look at the topic below for one minute. You may make notes if you wish
Describe a charity which is important to you.
You should say:

What the charity does

Why you are interested in this charity

How this charity raises money

and explain whether you think it is important for people to get involved in charity work
After 1 minute, please speak into the microphone. You should speak for 1-2 minutes.

The sample answer


Id like to talk about the Willshire Wildlife trust. Its a local charity which I support. It protects the
wildlife in my local area. It preserves natural areas like fields, lakes and rivers, where animals live,
and it makes sure that the animals habitats are safe from development. It also educates people
about how to look after wildlife.
Im interested in this charity because it is in my local area. There are lots of charities overseas that I
could support, but you never know how your donation is being spent. Because this is a local charity,
I can visit the projects and even get involved myself, if I have time. They organize quite a few events
where you can help maintain forests and paths. I must admit, I havent been on one yet, but
whenever they send me a leaflet, I always say I will!
The charity raises money by asking people to donate money regularly, straight from their bank
accounts. I first heard about the charity because they had a stall at the entrance to the supermarket.
They probably get money from other ways too, but Im not sure about that.
I think it is important to get involved in charity work. Its important to remember people who are less
fortunate than you, or who are sick, poor or disadvantaged in some other way. And you can help
people or animals that cannot help themselves. But I think getting involved in charity work is fun too.
You get to meet lots of people and go to different places. And you can feel good about yourself.