IELTS Speaking Topics 2017

Recent IELTS speaking test questions.



Part 1

Do you work or study?

Do you like your job?

What do like most about it?

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

Do you use the bus for transportation?

Do you prefer the bus or the underground train?

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

Do you like reading magazines?

Why do you prefer newspapers to magazines?

Do people in your country generally like magazines?

Where do you normally read the newspaper?

Part 2

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

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

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

Part 3

Do you think people in your country appreciate art?

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

Are older people more interested in art than younger people?

Should the government provide support for art and cultural activities?

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Part 1

Do you work or Study?

Was there any special training required for this job?

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

How do you usually plan your time? Why?

How did you learn these time management techniques?

Do you like the rain? Why?

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

How do you deal with rainy days?

What do you dislike most about rainy days?

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

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

Part 2

Cue Card

Describe an achievement you are proud of.

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

Part 3

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

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

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

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

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

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Part 1

Where do you live?

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

Do you like sunshine?

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

Can you describe a crowded place that you have visited?

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

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

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

Why has social media become so important for many people?

Part 2

Talk about someone who helped you at school or work.

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

Part 3

Why is it important for people to help each other?

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

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

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

Part 1

Do you live in a house or a flat?

What do you like most about where you currently live?

What is something you would change about where you live?

Do you prefer to receive emails or letters? Why?

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

Can you describe your typical daily routine?

Which part of the day do you prefer the most?

Part 2

Describe an important plant or flower from your country.

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

Part 3

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

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

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

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





What is your full name?

Where are you from?

Do you work or study?

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

What does it look like?

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

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

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

Is it necessary for everyone to eat fruit?


Describe a sport you like to watch.

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


Do you think sports are necessary for watch by everyone?

Which sports are popular in your country? Why?

How can children be encouraged to participate in sports?

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

Do you think people nowadays do enough physical activity?

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



What is your full name?

Can I see your ID?

Where do you come from?

Are you working or studying?

What kind of work do you do?

Where do you live now?

Do you live in an apartment or a house?

Do you like living there?

Are you going to be moving out in the future?

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

What size of home would you need?

What style of interior decoration would you prefer?


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

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


What things make an ideal wedding in your opinion?

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

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

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



Are you working or studying at the moment?

What is the most interesting thing about your work?

What do you normally do in your free time?

Do you have many or just a few friends?

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

How do you and your friends usually spend time together?

Do you often dream when you are asleep?

Do you often remember your dreams?

Do you think that dreams have a special meaning?

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


Describe a pleasant day you spent in the countryside.

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


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

What kind of people might like living in the countryside?

Which things might attract people to move to the countryside?

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

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



Can I see your ID please?

What is your full name?

Do you live in a house or an apartment?

Can you describe your house?

Do you like living there?

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

Do you have a favorite popstar?

Have you ever met a popstar?

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


Describe an invention that changed how people live.

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


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

What other inventions in the home have made people lazy?

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

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

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





Do you work or study?

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

What do you normally do in the evenings?

What items do you normally carry with you every day?

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

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

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

Are there any board games you would like to learn?


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

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


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

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

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

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


Part 1

Where do you live in your country?

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

Do you like the place?

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

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

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

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

What kind of shoes do you like?

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

Do you buy shoes online? Why? Why not?

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

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

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

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

Did you enjoy your time at high school?

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

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

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

Part 2

Describe an enjoyable place you visited in the countryside.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

How would you answer this IELTS 2017 cue card question?

Part 3

What are some advantages of living in the countryside?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Part 1

Do you work or study?

Why did you choose that particular subject to study?

How do you organize your studying time?

Do you like to look at yourself in the mirror?

How often you look at a mirror?

Have you ever bought a mirror?

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

Part 2

Describe a shop that recently opened in your country.

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


Part 3

What are some popular advertisements in your country?

Why do you think people like these advertisements?

Do you like watching advertisements on TV?

How does shopping affect people?

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

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


Part 1

Do you live in an apartment or house?

Would you like to live there in the future?

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

Do you like doing housework?

Which part of housework do you dislike?

Who does most of the housework at home?

How often do you normally go out with your friends?

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

Part 2

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

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

Part 3

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

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

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

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

JUNE 2017 IELTS speaking tests reported from around the world.



Part 1

Do you live in a house or an apartment?

Where would you like to live in the future?

Who is your favorite pop star?

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

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

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

How often do you use email?

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

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

Part 2

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

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

Part 3

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

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

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

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


Part 1

Where are you living at the moment?

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

Are you planning to stay there for a long time?

Is there anything interesting about where you live?

Did you wear a watch when you were a child?

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

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

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

What do you usually do while traveling?

Part 2

Describe a book that you would like to read gain.

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


Part 3

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

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

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

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

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

JUNE IELTS Speaking Test 2

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

Part l


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

Who in your family encouraged you to be polite?

How important is politeness to you?

How do you think politeness has changed over time?

Part 2

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

Part 3

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

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

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

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

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IELTS June 2017 Speaking Test 1

Part 1

What is your full name please?

What should I call you?

Do you study or work?

What kind of work you do?

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

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

Why do you think they prefer these types of magazines?

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

Part 2

Describe a work of art that you really like.

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

Part 3

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

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

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

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

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

IELTS Speaking Tests May 2017 Questions & Answers


May IELTS Speaking Test 3

Part 1

Do you work or study?

What is your job?

What do you usually do after work?

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

How often do you watch TV?

How long do you normally spend watching TV?

Do you like indoor games? Why? Why not?

What indoor games did you play as a child?

Is there any game you would like to learn?

Part 2

Describe a situation that was new and exciting for you.

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

Part 3

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

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

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

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

May IELTS Speaking Test 2

Part 1

Where do you live?

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

What do you like the most about where you live?

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

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

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

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

Part 2

Describe one of your neighbors that you know well.

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


Part 3

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

How important is the local community where you live?

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

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

May IELTS Speaking Test 1

Part 1

What is your full name?

Can I see your ID please?

Do you work or study?

Where are you from?

Where do you live?

Do you live in a house or apartment?

What do you like about your apartment?

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

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

Do you like watching videos about history?

Part 2

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Part 3

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

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

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

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

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

IELTS April 2017 Questions & Answers


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


Studying, photographs, pets,

Do you work or study?

Why did you choose this particular subject?

Do you like reading books? Why?

Do you like taking photographs?

What do you normally do with these photos?

Do you still have many photographs from your childhood?

Which do you prefer, photos or videos? Why?

Which types of pets are popular in your country?

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

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

[more sample answers coming soon!]

Part 2


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

Part 3

Wildlife, Killing Animals, Protein Sources

Why do you think some people kill animals?

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

What does it do to protect it?

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

Are you concerned about the source of your protein?

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IELTS Speaking Test Part 1

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

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

Do you enjoy going out with your friends?

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

What do you enjoy most about it?

How important is it to have good friends? Why?

Part 2

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

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

Part 3

What are some ways in which workers can be motivated?

Do you think managers are good at motivating workers?

Why is motivation an important factor for workers?

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

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

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IELTS March 2017



What is your full name?

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

Can I see your identification please?

Sure, here’s my ID card.

Where are you from?

I’m from [city] in [country].

Do you Study or work?

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


Have you ever worked late at night?

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

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

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


Do you wear a watch?

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

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

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

Why do you think some people buy expensive watches?

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

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

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

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

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


Do you like swimming? Why? Why not?

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

What are the benefits of learning to swim?

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

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

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

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

Part 2

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

Part 3

How could children be encouraged to learn how to swim?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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IELTS Speaking Test 2

Can you tell me your full name please?

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

Can I see your ID please?

Sure, here’s my ID card.

Do you work or do you study?

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

Why did you choose that particular subject?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is the public transportation system in your hometown good?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Part 2 Cue Card

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Part 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is it possible to eliminate this kind of discrimination?

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

Nothing in life works like that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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IELTS Speaking Test 1

Part 1

What is your full name?

It’s [first name] [second/middle name] [surname/family name], but you can call me [the name people normally use to address you].

Where are you from?

I’m from [city] in [region].

Are you working or studying?

I’m working. I’m an architect.

Where do you live?

Here in [name of city], in [name of area/neighborhood].

Do you live in a house or apartment/flat?

I live in a house; I’m staying with my parents at the moment.

Would you like to live in the same place in future?

No, not really. I plan to move to Australia soon and would like to live there.

Have you seen any TV programs about robots?

Actually, I saw a short video just the other day about an amazing parkour robot which was able to maneuver and jump and even carry heavy loads. It was incredibly agile and versatile.

It was a big difference from some of the earlier robots that were produced. I can imagine all sorts of applications for this type of robot technology.


Are you interested in robot technology? Why? Why not?

I’m not an expert or anything, but I can imagine that we’ll have a lot more robots in our lives in the future – it’s just natural evolution. So I’m interested in knowing about what’s happening and some of the potential areas which robots might be used in and that sort of thing, but not so much the details of the robot technology.

I think that the fusion of man and robots will be difficult in some cases and there will be a lot of resistance to it by some people but it’s going to happen and it’ll be interesting to see the transition as we become more open to the possibilities which modern robot technology offers us.

Do you think people are becoming more comfortable with the idea of robots in society? Why? Why not?

Slowly, yes, I mean you can’t ignore that it’s happening. We have manufacturing plants which are equipped with robots doping the work that men did just 10 or 20 years ago. Robots are used in science and medicine and the applications in our daily lives are growing all the time.

One of the factors which will make it even easier to accept is the fact that we all rely on technology so much nowadays just to live. From computers to the internet and so on, automation is a natural process and so it’s only a matter of time before everything which can be automates is – even though some people might not like the idea initially.

I think that once driverless cars are introduced and become widely accepted, that will open the door for robot technology to enter into all spheres of our daily lives, and then there will be no limits.


What things do you normally take with you when you go out?

I guess the usual things, my phone, keys, purse, bag, and whatever else I might need depending on where I’m going.

Are there any differences between the things which you take with you during the day time and evening time when you go out?

No, not really. The biggest difference is in what I might wear. I’m going out for the day then I’ll usually wear something comfortable, or practical, but if I’m going out at night, especially to socialize, then I’ll usually dress up more and wear clothes appropriate for wherever I’m going – and who I’m going with.

But I’ll still take the same things with me; my phone, keys, etc.

Part 2

Describe a café you visited recently.
You should say:
  • when it was
  • where it was
  • what it was like
and explain who you went with and if you liked the café, and why.

IELTS Cue Card | A cafe You Visited

So about a week ago I was out with my friend, we were spending the afternoon in [name of city] and while we were strolling around we decided to stop and have something to eat and drink.

As we were walking along we noticed what seemed to be a small café on the street corner which seemed to be full of people, so we thought it must be popular and went in to give it a try.

From the outside it didn’t look that big but once inside it was enormous, I mean it stretched almost the full length of the block and there must have been hundreds of people inside and outside on the sidewalk.

We found a table and sat down and spent a few minutes looking around us at the décor and the other people and just chatting; then a server arrived at our table with menus and told us about the ‘specials’ of the day.

I glanced at the menu to get an idea of the sort of food and drink they served, and it was an extensive choice, they seemed to have a lot of my favorite dishes and also drinks.

Then, we quickly ordered what we wanted and while we were waiting we began to notice the many old photographs on the walls of the café. They all depicted scenes from the city in the past, from the last century and earlier. Most of them were old, you know, like black and white photos, showing landmarks in the city and a good few were of the café itself showing how it had evolved over the years.

Anyway, the atmosphere was buzzing with all the people and there was some background music playing too. People were coming and going and the sound of conversation was everywhere. It was a really dynamic place.

I really liked it, the food was great and the service too, and the ambience was amazing, just full with energy, and so many people. I’ll definitely be visiting it again the next time I go back to [name of city].

Part 3

In your country, are social functions normally held at home or in a place outside the home, such as in a restaurant or other place?

A lot depends on the type of social function. If it’s a small family event like a birthday or an anniversary then it’s quite usual to just organize a party or family get-together at home and invite family and close friends.

If it’s something else, a larger event like a graduation or wedding, then many people would usually organize such an event in a venue such as a restaurant or maybe even a hotel or someplace similar which can accommodate more guests, provide catering and take care of everything necessary.

Do you like to invite people to your home or do you prefer to meet them outside somewhere?

Personally I like to invite my best friend to my home because it’s no problem, she just comes over and we do whatever we fancy doing. And I don’t mind cooking something for her and things like that.

But if we’re planning to meet up with other people I prefer to meet them somewhere outside like a café or restaurant. It’s just so much easier to go out, and then at the end of the evening someone else takes care of cleaning up and all that sort of stuff and I can just go home. I guess I’m just lazy when it comes to entertaining.

Are there any advantages to inviting people to your home? What are they?

My mother is a big fan of inviting people home or entertaining people at home. She loves entertaining guests and preparing something for them to eat and everything else. She just loves having people in the house to fuss over. I’m the complete opposite.

She says she loves it because she loves having different people at home, and loves making them feel comfortable and looking after them while they visit. She also says it’s more relaxing than going out, and more intimate and personal rather than just meeting people at a café or restaurant.

What are some of the reasons people might prefer to attend social functions in a venue outside the home for example, in a hotel or restaurant?

Like I said before, those places are typically bigger so they can accommodate more guests, and then there’s the big advantage that someone else organizes everything and cleans up at the end of the event.
Another advantage would be that if there’s a lot of guests invited then it avoids anything in your home getting damaged, because someone always knocks something over or drops a glass or something like that, you know, accidents, even small ones often happen when you get a lot of people together in one place. So organizing a social event outside the home avoids any of those problems.

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IELTS February 2017


Part 1

What is your full name?

It’s [first name] [second name/middle name] [surname/family name]

Can I see your identification please?

Sure, here’s my ID card.

Where are you from?

From [name of city] in the [area/region] of [name of country]

Do you work or study?

I work, I’m an agricultural engineer.

Do you think you work too hard sometimes?

Yes, sometimes, but it’s not that often. There are times when I take work home with me, usually when I have to finish a research report because I find it easier to write at home than when I’m at work. I also do quite a bit of reading for work at home because there are fewer distractions.

But overall, I don’t usually have too much work to do. I get most of my weekends free and only sometimes have to stay late to finish something if it’s extremely urgent.

What do you do after work?

It depends on what I need to do. Sometimes I visit my parents, although I prefer to do that at the weekends when I have more time. Normally, I’ll go home first, maybe have something to eat if I don’t have any plans to go out, or arrange to meet up with some friends at a restaurant or to do something fun, and then later on in the evening maybe do some reading related to my work, or just relax for a while.


Do you prefer comfortable shoes or nice shoes?

If I’m at work, I prefer to wear comfortable shoes because I can be on my feet for hours on end some days. But when I go out socially, like dancing or to a restaurant for a meal, I prefer to dress up and wear heels.

Do you buy shoes online?

I have done, but normally I prefer to go shopping for shoes with one of my friends and make an afternoon of it. We usually have a wander around the shops and try on different styles and then maybe have something to eat as well and catch up with what’s been happening.


Do you prefer to have a lot of friends or just one best friend?

I’ve never really thought about it. I suppose I know a lot of people, but only have one or two really close friends, best friends; the others are just people I would talk to at work or elsewhere because we know each other, but I wouldn’t really confide in them or imagine asking them for help or advice if I needed it.

Do you hang out with your friends often?

I try to – but in the last year or so we’ve all been very busy. We used to be inseparable, and spent lots of time together, but nowadays we manage to get together maybe once a week or every other week, which is always great. But we are in constant contact by phone, so it’s not like we miss much of what the others are doing, even though we don’t see each other as often as we used to.

What do you do with your friends?

I guess the normal things people do; we chat about our lives, boyfriends, work, life, and go out together either for social events, activities or, like I said, to just meet up and go shopping and grab a bite to eat.

For example, last weekend the three of us went to visit a new restaurant which has just opened in the city. We all love food so we were really excited about it and it was a great evening.

The following day we met up to take my friend’s dog for a walk in the park, and we spent a couple of hours just strolling around, enjoying the fresh air and chatting, so we do lots of different things.

Part 2

Describe a quiet place you like to go to sometimes.

You should say:
  • where it is
  • when you go there
  • why you like the place
and what you did the last time you went there.

Cue Card Answer

Like I was telling you I sometimes go to meet my friend and we walk her dog together. We usually go to a park which is close by to where she lives and there’s one particular section of the park which is always nice and quiet. There hardly seems to be anyone else there – I’ve never figured out why.

It’s really peaceful there because there’s no background noise from the traffic, and almost nobody else goes there, all you hear are the birds and sometimes the leaves in the trees rustling in the breeze, and of course my friend’s dog when she’s barking – but apart from that it’s almost silent.

There’s a small river which runs through this part of the park and sometimes we just sit by the river and chat for ages, or sit on the small bridge which crosses the river and watch the water flowing below us.

One of the reasons I particularly like this pace is because it is so quiet. It’s like a little haven from the busy real world - an escape - and it’s almost like walking into a room and closing the door and all the normal noise is shut out.

I love to go there if I’m feeling a bit stressed out or have been working hard and want to relax. The smells, the colors and the silence make me feel really relaxed and I’m always in a better mood when I’ve spent some time there.

Part 3

Do you think people prefer to work with some noise or not?

I’m not sure if they prefer it – but it’s normal. I mean, if you’re in an office and you listen carefully, you can always hear some noise in the background; it might just be the sound of the air condition. People’s fingers clicking on keyboards, phone calls, phones ringing or the sound of people receiving texts, there’s always some degree of ambient noise.

I think if people worked in an environment which was actually 100% free of noise they would feel it was extremely strange – almost surreal!

What are some sources of noise which can be a distraction when working?

Excluding the typical background noise, like I was saying before, noise which is out of the ordinary is a distraction; it might be loud traffic noise, construction work or any kind of noise which is irregular and not normally present in that particular environment.

Some people find other people’s conversations distracting or don’t want to hear music while they work, so a lot of it depends n the individual and what level of background noise they are accustomed to or able to accept without it becoming a distraction.

Personally, I don’t mind some noise, but anything which is irregular irritates me – like when somebody laughs and then stops but then laughs again a couple of minutes later and it goes on and on for a long time. If they just laughed all the time I would be able to block it out, but the irregularity of it make it a distraction, does that make sense?

What are other sources of noise apart from traffic?

External noise? I suppose that might include construction work, airplanes flying over the building, the sound of heavy rain falling on the roof or windows, or if you’re in a manufacturing or industrial environment, or close to an area like that, there could be a whole range of machinery-related noises which are common.

Should the government put a policy in place to regulate noise?

There are already many regulations regarding acceptable noise levels in public places, to try and curb noise pollution, and I believe that in industrial environments there are also strict regulations about the level of noise which is permitted in certain areas or zones.

That’s why workers in such places have to be issued with PPE (personal protective equipment) such as sound-deadening ear plugs, and things like that.

And even cars aren’t permitted to make excessive noise; there are limitations on the noise which can be emitted from the exhaust of your car.

So unless there’s a new noise problem, the government has already legislated for most noisy environments and other sources of noise pollution. I’m sure if another problem related to noise is identified, governments will act to implement relevant regulations.

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IELTS Speaking Test 4

Part 1

What is your full name?

My name is [first name] [second/middle name] [surname/family name]

Can I see your identification, please?

Yes, of course, here’s my ID card.

Which part of the country do you come from?

I come from [name of city] in the south of the country.

Is where you live an interesting place?

Yes, it’s a beautiful place and it’s very popular for tourists and locals, especially on holidays. It has many interesting places and things to see, especially some of the old historic buildings which are there.


Do you normally help with housework around the house?

I have to admit I hardly do any housework, although I usually try and help out after meals by washing the dishes and tidying up the kitchen. My mother usually takes care of most of the household tasks and she has a helper for the heavy cleaning and things like that.

Are there any specific tasks you dislike doing around the house? Why?

Yes, I hate having to clean my room, but I have to do it every now and then. I don’t mind organizing my things but I prefer if someone else does the actual cleaning.

When you were a child, did you help with work around the house?

I used to help my mother in the kitchen quite often but that was about it really. As long as I can remember our family has always had a helper to do most of the cleaning and laundry and other jobs like that. So there wasn’t much that I was asked to do around the house, but I used to enjoy helping my mother cooking and baking in the kitchen.

Do you think that parents should ask their children to help with household chores?

It can be a good thing to teach children some responsibility but if it’s not necessary then there are other more interesting and important things to be doing. I was always encouraged to study and concentrate on my school work rather than doing work in the house.

How can they best achieve this?

I guess that parents should teach their children the importance of housework and show them how it is done so that they at least understand what is involved. They could also pay them to do it I suppose or reward them in some other way.


Do you know how to play any musical instruments?

Nowadays, I don’t but I did in the past – I spent several years learning to play the piano. I became quite good at it, but I was never really talented, just quite good. Now I don’t really have much time to practice but I do play sometimes when we have family get-togethers and special family occasions.

Do you think it’s important for parents to encourage their children to learn how to play a musical instrument?

It’s important that parents can offer their children the opportunity to at least try and learn how to play a musical instrument, or more than one. But if the child isn’t interested then there’s not much point in forcing them to do it.

They might be more interested in sports or other activities, or they might have other talents which they would like to develop such as artistic or creative talents.

What do you think is the best way for them to do this?

I suppose parents should try and find out if their children are interested in music first, and then if possible which instruments they find most interesting, and then find a good teacher who can make the learning a fun experience for them. If the child isn’t inspired to learn, then they will probably not be very successful. It’s important that they are well motivated to learn how to play an instrument because it takes quite a long time to become good at it, so they need a lot of patience, and a lot of practice.

Part 2 Cue Card

Talk about a time when someone disagreed with you about something.

You should say:
  • what the disagreement was about
  • why they disagreed
  • what you said to them
and say if you resolved the disagreement, and how.

There was a time about a year ago when I had a major disagreement with one of my colleagues at work. He was pushing very hard for the company to take on a particular contract, which on the face of it seemed extremely lucrative. But the problem was, in my opinion, that we didn’t have the right resources to deliver the project in the way we would have liked to.

I thought it would be better to be honest about this and explained that if we took this contract on, we could experience serious problems because it would stretch our available resources beyond their limits, and if anything unexpected happened, we wouldn’t be able to deliver the quality of service the company was renowned for.

Anyway, in the end it wasn’t my decision and my colleague didn’t agree with my evaluation and managed to persuade the client that we would be able to deliver what they wanted. I still had my reservations about taking in the project, but there was nothing I could really do at the time.
We hadn’t ever had a disagreement like this before and it left a rather bad taste and some ill feeling between us because he felt that I hadn’t been supportive enough of his efforts to bring this new client onboard, which was a big achievement for the company.

Well, unfortunately, things didn’t turn out so well, as I had feared. It wasn’t long into this new contract that we had the first problem, which we managed to resolve, but it was just an indication of what was to come. Before long there was another issue which had to be resolved, and then something else came up. Just as I had thought previously, we had bitten of more than we could chew for the available staff we had.

In the end, it was all a bit of a disaster, as one of the less experienced employees we had used as a temporary stopgap made a really stupid and serious mistake which ended up costing the company a lot of money.

The whole project ended badly, and I know that my colleague knows that I was right about what I said about taking on too much – but he’s never agreed that he was in fact wrong. We’re okay, but it’s just a topic we avoid speaking about so as not to relive the argument all over again.

Follow up question: Would you say that you disagree with other people often?

No, not really, in fact it’s rare that I disagree with others. It only happened in this case because my colleague was just too ambitious with his plans, but normally I get along with most people and only occasionally have any disagreements or arguments.

Part 3

Why do you think some people find it difficult to make decisions?

Probably because some people are indecisive by nature; they find it hard to choose between different options or think about the consequences of an action. Alternatively, they probably haven’t had to make many decisions, so it’s not something they’re comfortable with.

You know, it’s like a skill that you have to practice. Someone who is used to making lots of decisions every day won’t think twice about making another decision. But if you don’t normally make decisions – then even making a small decision can seem like a big deal, and so making bigger and more serious decisions seems so much more difficult.

In your opinion, what are some qualities that good decision-makers typically have?

They typically have an ability to weigh the pros and cons of a situation or a range of options or choices. They tend to be analytical and less emotional. They also have an ability see beyond just the obvious choice and consider possible longer term consequences of taking a particular decision.

Do you think it’s better to take decisions with others or by yourself?

I suppose it would depend on the decision. I mean, if other people will be affected then it would make sense to include them in the decision-making process. So let’s say you need to make a decision about something which will affect your family; it makes sense to include the other family members in the discussion about what the options are and see what they think would be the best decision – if necessary they could vote on it.

But if it’s just a personal decision then there’s probably no need to involve others in the process. In fact, it might even complicate things unless they are aware of all the facts and understand you really well and what’s important for you. Even though it might be a good idea to listen to some advice or ask a friend what they think – at the end of the day - it’s your decision.

What are some things that parents could do to help their children to become good at making decisions?

For one, they can encourage them to make decisions, even small unimportant decisions such as what clothes they want to wear or what they’d like to eat for lunch.

Giving them choices and letting them learn from their decisions teaches them responsibility for their actions and the decisions they take, so allowing them to experience this and learn from it can help them to develop the skills necessary to make good decisions and this will definitely help them later in life.

They can also discuss how to make decisions with their children, and even ask their opinion as part of their own decision-making process when it’s appropriate. This allows the child to see the importance of asking for help or advice when you’re not sure about something.

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IELTS Speaking Test 3

Part 1

What is your full name?

Can I see your ID please?

Where do you come from?

Are you a student or do you work?

What do you like most about your studies?

Why do you think people often use a mirror before going to school / university / work?

Is personal appearance important in your country?

Why do celebrities often wear very expensive watches?

Do you (or did you used to) usually wear a watch?

How did you feel about wearing a watch during your school days?

Part 2

Describe a time when you heard about riots in another country.

You should say:
  • what you heard
  • when you heard it
  • how you heard about it
and explain how you felt after hearing about the riots.

Follow up question: Can you give me some possible suggestions for reducing such riots in society?

Part 3

What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of riots?

How do such riots affect the social context?

How do people get over the effects of such riots?

Are there any ways in which such riots can be avoided?

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IELTS Questions January 2017

Test 1 Test 2 Test 3 Test 4

This IELTS cue card question was asked in an IELTS speaking test just a few days ago.

Talk about a time when you got angry

You should say:
  • when it was
  • what happened
  • why it made you angry
and explain what you did as a result of it.

IELTS Speaking Cue Card Answer

Something happened just a few days ago which made me angry. Looking back on it now – it was stupid to get angry but at the time it was just how I felt. I had been experiencing a problem with my internet service, it had become intermittent over the last couple of days and then when I woke up that morning it was just dead – no signal at all – nothing.

At first I thought it might just be another internet outage and that it would come back on in a few minutes, but eventually I decided that I would call the customer support hotline and find out what the problem was.

So, as is common nowadays, the internet service provider has one of these irritating automated menus which you have to listen to before selecting the option you want by entering the correct digit. I listened to the first menu and selected the option which was most relevant, which then presented me with another menu and I selected another option, and then had to wait – and wait – and wait.

I actually began to time it – and after 5 minutes I just hung up after listening to the most terrible music I’ve ever heard. I couldn’t stand it anymore. I decided that I would go and do something and then try calling a little later.

About half an hour later I grabbed my cell phone and tried calling the number again. This time I got a message which explained that they were experiencing a ‘surge in calls’ at the moment and that if I wanted to leave my number they would call me back.

At first I thought this was a much better option – not having to wait and they would call me. So according to the instructions all I had to do was press 1 at any time and then enter my contact number.

That was it – no further instructions – so I entered my phone number and I couldn’t believe what I heard. The message informed me that I had entered an incorrect menu option!

By this time I was losing my patience, and just wanted to speak to a customer service representative, so I tried calling again and had to go through the entire menu procedure yet again. When it came to the part about leaving my contact number I listened extremely carefully to see if maybe I’d missed something the first time around...but I followed the instructions to the letter and it happened again. After entering my contact number, the message told me again that I had entered an incorrect menu option. This had to be one of the most stupid and annoying messages I’ve ever heard.

It wasn’t a menu option I had entered – it was a phone number, and second, the number was correct, and third, this was an internet company which couldn’t even make sure its customer service menu options functioned correctly.

I eventually hung up again, not having spoken to anyone, and felt completely frustrated and angry with the whole process – it shouldn’t be that difficult to report a fault and get some help.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I eventually managed to speak to someone after calling another couple of times – and they sent a technician out to fix the problem, which he did, but even that wasn’t as smooth as it should’ve been – I had to call back again later before the internet signal was fully functioning.

The whole experience just made me feel completely irate because it should have been so simple and quick – and it wasn’t.

Test 1

Part 1 Questions

  • What is your full name?
  • Can I see your ID?
  • Where are you from?


Are you working or studying?

I’m working in Human Resources at the moment.

What type of work do you do?

Well, I’m involved in various areas of human talent management, but my main responsibility is for compensation and benefits for employees in the company.

Tell me about your job.

So I’m involved in a lot of personnel reviews and performance evaluations as well as providing induction packages for new employees, and dealing with employees retiring or leaving the company, their severance pay, and benefits, and so on.

I’m also part of a team which reviews staff costs on an annual basis and makes recommendations to the financial department regarding budgets for salaries and benefits.


Do you prefer to have one best friend or a few friends?

Personally, I only have one friend who I would actually call my best friend, and a few others who I would call close friends. I’ve known them all for different lengths of time and we met in different places.

Why do you like having a few friends?

I think it’s good to have different people to talk to and spend time with because everybody is different and we don’t all share the same interest, so it’s good to share some interest with one person and enjoy doing something else with a different friend.

Some of them I see very often and others maybe only a few times per year because we don’t live very close to each other, but we stay in touch constantly.

Do you often go out with your friends?

Honestly, we used to go out together a lot more a few years back, but we’re all so busy now and some of my friends have gotten married and settled down.

Most of us are busy with our respective careers and that doesn’t leave us as much time as we used to have for going out during the week or at weekends.

But I guess that every couple of weeks we usually spend some time together or go out to eat something or maybe to an event or something like that.

What do you typically do together?

It varies depending on which friend I spend time with. With my best friend, we usually go shopping together or to eat something, or maybe just watch a movie together, but with other friends I might go to a special event like a show or spend a weekend with them and visit an interesting place.

Do you think that you will have more friends in the future? Why? Why not?

That’s hard to say, but I suppose so. I have different friends now from those I had when I was a child, so I guess that as I go through life I will probably meet many more people and possibly strike up a friendship with some of them.

Watching TV

Do you like watching TV?

Yes, when I have the time, which isn’t that often at the moment, but I like to spend a couple of hours a week watching a movie or maybe a good TV show.

What kinds of programs do you like to watch most?

Generally, if I watch a TV show, I like those ones which are about conspiracy theories, or maybe political thrillers; really, anything which has an element of drama, mystery and intrigue about it but a touch of reality also.

Do you prefer to watch TV alone or with someone else?

I usually watch it alone, but sometimes with my friend, it just depends what else is going on at the time. I sometimes catch the news while I’m eating or something like that, but I don’t really consider that as watching TV, it’s just keeping up to date with what’s happening in the world.

Talk about a popular well paid job in your country.

You should say:
  • which job it is
  • why it is well paid
  • why you think it’s popular
and explain what the requirements for this job are.

IELTS Cue Card | A popular well paid job

Okay, so in recent years on of the most popular career choices has been to become an Industrial Engineer, and here it can be very well paid if you can secure a position in a good company and develop your skills and experience.

One of the reasons that being an industrial engineer is popular is that the discipline covers a wide variety of industries and sectors and therefore the career prospects for graduates are extremely good. Companies are always interested in improving efficiency and reducing costs and those are two key components of industrial engineering.

It’s a well paid job basically because the types of companies which tend to employ Industrial Engineers are large national and multination or even global companies and therefore they have more resources than smaller firms. They tend to have a graduate development program and a well defined career path for those young professionals who are interested in developing their career.

It’s quite competitive though because it’s popular it means that there are usually more graduates each year than there are employment vacancies, but because it’s a professional discipline which spans across various sectors, most graduates tend to find a suitable position eventually.

As far as the requirements are concerned, there are a variety of different bachelor degrees in Industrial Engineering available, but personal characteristics normally required include critical-thinking skills, analytical and problem-solving skills, creativity, math skills, and excellent communication skills.

Follow up question: Do you think you would like to do this type of work?

I actually considered studying to become an Industrial Engineer, but in the end I opted to study Business Administration and major in International Business. I think that working as an Industrial Engineer could be interesting, but I’m happy working where I am at the moment in Human Resources, I find it very satisfying.

Part 3 Questions

Choosing a job, earning money, saving money, accumulating wealth, happiness
  • What do you think makes a person choose a particular job, apart from the salary it offers?
  • Once a person begins working in a profession, how can he/she earn more money?
  • How important is it for people to save money regularly for the future?
  • What are some of the advantages of accumulating wealth?
  • Many people equate being wealthy with being happy? Do you think that this is true or not? Why? Why not?

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Test 2

IELTS Speaking Test Part 1

What is your full name?

My name is ...

Can I see your ID?

Yes, sure, here it is.

Where are you from?

I'm from [name of city].

Work / Studies

Are you working or studying?

I'm a student, in my final year of a postgraduate course in International Business.

What do like most about your course?

Well, there are a couple of things I can think of; for example, I like the fact that it has a global perspective and that a lot of what I learn applies to any business anywhere in the world nowadays.

Also, it has helped me develop my critical thinking and strategic planning skills immensely. Although there's a lot of business related theory to learn, there is also a great emphasis on being able to apply such theories and strategies to real life business situations. So it's very practical in its approach.

Is this a popular choice for a career in your country?

Yes, I believe it is. There are about 40 of us on this particular course. I originally studied Business Administration and specialized in Marketing, but International Business seems to have become increasingly popular as a career for young people.

I think that may be due to the fact that it truly does offer you the opportunity to develop an international career, and is not just limited to your own country, as would be the case if you studied law or something which was particular to one country.


Do you like holidays? Why? Why not?

Yes, I do because they give me a chance to relax and switch off for a bit. It's always nice to have a break from the normal routine - especially when a holiday falls on the day after the weekend, which usually means that you have three days away from work or studying.

Even though I like to relax on a holiday, I always try to do something different as well or something which I wouldn't normally have opportunity to do normally, so that I make the most of the day off or days off.

Why do you think people consider holidays to be important?

I suppose one of the main reasons is, as I said, it's a nice break from the normal daily routine. For families it can also be important because it's a time when they can spend more time together, which can sometimes be difficult when everybody is so busy nowadays.

Of course, there are also some holidays which are special, such as Independence Day, and religious festivals, which have a special meaning for many people, so these days are important for cultural reasons, not just because it's a day off from school or work.


What do you normally like to do on weekends?

First, I like to sleep a little later than normal, just because it's more relaxing not to have to get up early like I usually do, but I don't like getting up too late in the day because then I feel like I've wasted some of the weekend.

I also like to have lunch or at least one meal with my parents over the weekend, depending on what I'm doing, and what their plans are. Then, sometimes, I like to visit my grandparents, who live in the next town whenever I have enough time at the weekend. Usually I manage to see them at least every other week at the weekends.

Why do you think many people consider the weekend to be important?

I guess it could be for some of the same reasons that people think holidays are important - the weekends are a change of pace from during the week, and many people get a chance to do things they wouldn't have time to during the week. For example, people play sports, visit relatives, or travel to other places.

People generally have more time at the weekend so they spend more time with people they love or doing things they really like rather than just studying or working. And, of course, it's an opportunity to recharge your batteries before returning to work or whatever you do during the week, feeling more energized and ready to face up to the challenges again.

What would your ideal weekend be like?

Never ending! But seriously, I suppose it would include some time with my friends and family and maybe doing something special such as visiting a new place or trying a new activity with my friends.

It would be interesting, but not too busy to be tiring, and I would like to have enough time to chill and relax too. It's hard to be more exact, because there are so many possible things you could include in a weekend which would be fun.

IELTS Speaking Test Part 2

Describe a recent holiday you went on.
You should say:
  • where you went
  • when you went there
  • who was with you
and explain why you chose that particular place for a holiday.

IELTS Cue Card | A recent holiday

I recently went on holiday with my friends for a week. We decided to go to a small village on the coast because one of my friends has a relative who owns a small hotel there, and we thought it would be an interesting place to visit and relax also.

So, this would be about two months ago, maybe, when we had all finished university for the year. That was one of the main reasons we thought it would be a good idea to get away from everything for a while and see and do something different.

We had all been extremely busy with exams and some of us were more stressed out than others, so the idea of a holiday sounded great when my friend suggested it to us. Especially when she told us that her uncle owned a hotel near the coast where we could stay.

We traveled by car, there were four of us, and we booked a couple of rooms at the hotel for a week. When we got there it was amazing. The hotel had a view of the ocean and the beach was just a few minutes away – so after saying hello to my friend’s uncle and his wife, we strolled down to the beach to see what it was like.

The beach was beautiful and there weren’t many people there at that time of year as we had gone in the off season, not the most popular time of the year, but it was good for us because we just wanted to do something different.

On the first evening there my friend’s uncle and wife invited us all to eat with them and they prepared a superb meal which we all enjoyed very much; they were extremely hospitable. The following day we got some tips on what else we could do and see while we were there and went off to explore a few places close by.

The whole week was a lot of fun and it was so good to see a new place and do some different things, especially with my friends there too. It was one of the most enjoyable weeks I’ve had in a long time, and I’d love to go back there again sometime in the future.

IELTS Speaking Test Part 3

children playing, learning skills, individual/team games

Where do children normally play in your country, inside or outside?

It depends on the time of year, and also the age of the children. When the weather is nice, children usually like to play outside most of the time, but in the winter it’s often too cold most of the time to spend a lot of time outdoors, so children tend to do more indoor activities.

Playing inside is also normal if the children are very young and can’t go out without their parents, so they play at home, maybe with other children while their parents are there to supervise and look after them. Older children might be allowed to go out with other children, but even then sometimes they prefer to stay in and play video games or something inside.

What are some of the benefits of playing indoors or outdoors?

I guess when it comes to playing indoors, the major benefit is that it is not weather or time dependent, and won’t normally have to involve a parent. Children can play inside at any time and they don’t have to worry about if it’s cold or rainy outside.

Also. Children don’t have to get ready or change their clothes, or make sure they have eaten before playing inside but if they go out someplace to play, especially if it’s some distance from their home, then their parents might have to get them ready and prepare more before leaving – the parents might even have to accompany the children depending on their age.

As for playing outdoors, I suppose the best thing is it’s probably healthier because children can typically be more active outdoors than indoors; they can run around a lot more and maybe climb on things and get more physical than they would normally when they are playing indoors.
It might also be a bit more of an adventure for them, going outside to play; again a lot depends on the age of the children and exactly what the play activity is.

What skills do children learn while playing?

Playing can be responsible for children learning both physical and cognitive skills. If they are participating in physical activities outdoors, for example, this can help develop their motor skills, coordination, balance, stamina and other physical attributes.

If they are involved in creative playing activities indoors, for example, this can help them develop their fine motor skills, creativity, critical thinking and analytical skills.

And of course then there are other social skills they can learn such as sharing with others, caring about others, collaborating, and even just how to have fun doing something with other children

In your country, is it more important that children participate in games as part of a team or individually? Why do you think that is so?

What’s important, in my opinion, is that children are given the opportunity to try both. They should experience being part of a team, and all that being a member of a team involves, and they should also experience doing things on their own, whether it’s playing games or other activities.

Most children, in fact most people, have their own preferences. Some like to be part of a team, and perform better when they are with others, while other people prefer to do stuff themselves and don’t feel so comfortable when in a team because they can’t just do whatever they want; they have to collaborate with and respect the other members of the team.

So what’s important is that children experience playing games as part of a team and also playing them on their own against another player or opponent. Sure, they might have their own preference, but it’s good for them to learn the different ways of engaging and how to do both when required.

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Test 3

IELTS Speaking Test Part 1


  • Do you often wear a watch?
  • Have you ever received a watch as a gift?

Indoor Games

  • Can you tell me about some indoor games that are popular in your country?
  • Do you like these kinds of games? Why? Why not?
  • Would you be interested in learning new indoor games?

Feeling Proud

  • Tell me about a family member you were proud of, and why?
  • Do you think that nowadays people easily feel proud?
  • Is it a good or bad thing that people feel proud about their possessions?

IELTS Speaking test Part 2

Describe a small business you would like to run.
You should say:
  • what the business is
  • what you would need
  • where it would be
and explain why you would choose this type of business.

Follow up question:
  • Do you think it is better to work for someone or to have your own business?

IELTS Speaking Test Part 3

Business & Success

  • Which is more important to be successful in business: practical experience or academic education?
  • What are some of the characteristics of successful business people?
  • How do you think most people measure success in their professional lives?
  • Which kinds of businesses do you think will be most successful in the future? Why?

Test 4

Part 1 Questions

  • What is your full name?
  • Can I see your ID, please?
  • Where are you from?

Work / Studies
  • Do you work or are you studying?
  • Are you required to work hard in your job?
  • What do you normally do after working hours?

Indoor Games
  • Which indoor games do you like to play?
  • Which indoor games did you used to play when you were young?

Public Transport
  • Do you use public transport to go to work? Why? Why not?
  • When did you last use public transport for a journey?

IELTS Speaking Test Part 2

Describe an experience you had with foreign food

You should say:
  • when you first ate it
  • where you ate this food
  • how you felt about it
and say if you liked or disliked it.

IELTS Speaking Test Part 3

  • How important is it that people know which country the food they eat comes from?
  • What are some of the differences between locally made food and imported food?
  • What are some of the popular imported food products in your country? Why do you think these particular food products are popular?
  • How important is international trade between countries? Why?

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