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IELTS speaking sample questions

These are IELTS speaking sample questions that you need to be able to answer in the first part of the speaking test. I have divided these into categories to help you prepare better. In the test you can expect to receive around 12 questions divided into 3 topic areas. Key advice is

extend your answer 

speak naturally and try not to give a “prepared” answer

speak about what you know

if you don’t have much to say, don’t worry as there is always another question coming

How to prepare yourself using the IELTS speaking sample questions

You should note that these questions are not all the same. Normally each group of questions you are asked will have questions that need different types of answers. Good preparation means recognising these different types of question and learning the language you need for them:

yes/no questions – make sure you explain your answer and don’t just say “yes” or “no” – think of reasons and maybe use the word because

wh questions – this is where you need more topic vocabulary normally – see my IELTS vocabulary page

questions about what you like and dislike – make sure that you have different ways to say I like and make sure you know the difference between “I like” and “I would like”

opinion questions – these are slightly harder as the examiner may ask you what you think – see my lesson on  opinion vocabulary

The IELTS speaking sample questions

Home,  Home town Work  and Education sample questions

I have a special page with sample questions on these topics because you are guaranteed to be asked about one of them. Prepare these topics very carefully.

Transport and travel questions

Cars

Do you own a car?

What is traffic like in your city?

Do think people should use cars less?

Do you think cars will change in the future?

Buses

How often do you take a bus?

What do you do when you are on a bus?

How good is the bus service where you live?

Do you think that there should be separate bus lanes?

Bicycles

Do you ever ride a bicycle?

Is cycling popular in your home town?

Is it safe to ride a bicycle where you live?

Do you think more children should learn to ride bicycles?

Taxis

How often do you take a taxi?

Do you like travelling by taxi?

Are taxis expensive where you live?

Would you like to be a taxi driver?

Travel 

Have you ever visited a foreign country?

Do you prefer travelling by yourself or in a group?

Which country would you like to visit most?

What are the personal benefits of travelling abroad?

 

Daily life questions

Shopping

Do you enjoy shopping?

What kind of shops do you use most?

Have you ever shopped online?

Would you like to own your own shop?

Free time

What do you do in your free time?

Are you an active person?

Do you think it is important to have outside interests in life?

Would you like to  learn a new skill?

Routine

What time do you normally get up in the morning?

Which is your favourite time of day?

Is it important to have a set routine?

Are you good at time management?

Food

Is food an important part of your life?

Do you try and eat healthily?

What is your favourite dish?

Does your country have a special cuisine?

Media questions

Television

How often do you watch television?

What type of programmes do you prefer?

When do you normally watch television?

Do you think children watch too much television?

Newspapers and magazines

Do you read a newspaper every day?

Which sections of the newspaper do you read most often?

Do you read newspapers online or in paper format?

Do you think that it is important for everyone to read newspapers?

Internet

How often do you use the internet? 

What are your favourite websites?

Would you like to have your own website?

Do you think there should be restrictions on what is published on the internet?

Computers

Do you have your own computer?

What do you use your computer for?

Do you think computers are necessary for modern day life?

Are there any problems with using computers too much?

 Culture questions

Books

How often do you read?

What type of books do you enjoy reading?

Do you think people read fewer books nowadays?

What do you think are the benefits of reading?

Film

What is your favourite film?

How often do you watch films?

Do you prefer to watch films on television or at the cinema?

Are there any types of films you do not like?

Music

Do you like listening to music?

How often do you listen to music?

Would you like to play a musical instrument?

What kinds of music are popular in your country?

Language

How many languages can you speak?

Are there different languages used in your country?

Would you like to learn another foreign language?

Do you think it is important for everyone to learn a foreign language?

Occasions and events

Birthdays

How do you celebrate your birthday?

What was your most memorable birthday?

Are birthdays important in your culture?

Will you celebrate your birthday in the same way when you are older?

Festivals 

Are there any special local festivals where you live?

How do you celebrate New Year?

Do you think it is important to have local festivals?

People and society sample speaking questions

Family

Do you come from a large or small family?

Do you get on well with everyone in your family?

How often do you see your other relatives?

How important is your family to you?

Friends 

Are friends important to you?

Do you have a large circle of friends?

How often do you see your friends?

How do you stay in touch with your friends?

Pastimes and skills

Photography

Do you own a camera?

How often do you take photographs?

What type of photographs do you take?

Do you look at your photographs often?

Sport

Do you enjoy watching sport

What sports did you play as a child?

What sports are popular where you live?

Do you think people should play more sport?

Cooking

Do you like cooking?

How often do you cook?

Do you prefer local dishes or more international cuisine?

Do you think everyone should learn to cook?

Environment and places questions

Seasons and weather

Which is your favourite season?

Is there a large difference in weather between the seasons where you live?

What do you like to do when the weather is sunny?

Would you like to live somewhere where the weather was different?

Gardens and plants

Do you have your own garden?

What kind of plants and flowers do you like?

Is gardening a popular pastime where you live?

What are the advantages of having your own garden?

 Harder/abstract topics 

Boats

Have you ever travelled by boat?

Would you prefer to travel by boat or fly?

Do people in your country often travel by boat?

Would you like to own a boat?

Actor/actress

Who is your favourite actor?

What films has he appeared in?

Do you think actors are paid too much?

Would you like to be an actor yourself?

Pets

Do you have a pet animal?

Is having a pet popular in your country?

Do you think pets are only for younger people?

Why do you think people like having pets?

Concerts and art

Do you enjoy going to musical concerts and museums?

Is art and music an important part of your life?

Do you prefer listening to recorded or live music?

Would you like to be an artist yourself?

Childhood

What was your favourite game as a child?

Is there much for children to do where you live?

Do you think that children watch too much television?

When do you think people should be allowed to leave school?

   

Get more help with IELTS preparation on the main pages of my site

Home page

Speaking Guide

Writing Guide

Essay writing guide

Academic task 1 guide

Letter writing guide

Reading guide

Listening guide

IELTS vocabulary

IELTS grammar

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23 Responses to IELTS speaking sample questions

  1. R Awan September 22, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

    Your questions are really really helpful… We can prepare answers accodingly!

  2. Jignesh P. September 29, 2014 at 8:52 am #

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    • Anonymous February 1, 2016 at 11:03 am #

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  3. Anne October 17, 2014 at 5:19 pm #

    Thank you for the sample questions. I enjoyed answering them just like I’m in the actual speaking test.

  4. Fred November 1, 2014 at 9:19 am #

    Hey!

    The topics are of great help. I really learned a lot.

    I have a question. Actually, I stammer. I met with an accident when I was five years old. So I do stammer a lot while speaking. Will it be a major problem to the examiner? Does the stammering factor get count?

    I look forward to hearing from you.
    Fred

    • Dominic Cole November 1, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

      I’m afraid it might. I’ll chat to an examiner colleague and get back to you on this.

      • Fred November 2, 2014 at 4:47 am #

        Oh! I’ll be waiting. Thank you

        • Dominic Cole November 2, 2014 at 8:06 am #

          Okay. The answer is that you should contact your test centre and inform them – they should give you more time! That won’t help much of course and your pronunciation mark will suffer. Sorry.

  5. Dave November 9, 2014 at 6:29 pm #

    Thanks for these samples Dominic. It really help me improved my speaking skill.

  6. Arleen Emerson March 3, 2015 at 4:31 pm #

    Thank you for all of these guidance topics. Really helpful so at least we know what types of questions that will be asked. Hopefully I can pass with flying colours 😀

  7. tyb_iqbl September 12, 2015 at 4:05 pm #

    thnnk u for the questions but i need also the whole answers of rhe above all topics questions

    i ll sent my email dear admin sir plz send me the whole queation answers
    i m waiting

    • Dominic Cole September 12, 2015 at 4:39 pm #

      Hi

      All my material is on the site. I will be updating these speaking questions in the next 2/3 weeks though -so stay tuned.

  8. dipty September 15, 2015 at 7:27 am #

    Dear sir
    Pl send all these questjons answer on my mail id.
    diptykumarmittal@tridentindia.com

    • Dominic Cole September 15, 2015 at 8:25 am #

      I suggest you look at the buttons at the bottom of the page. You should find a print button there

  9. suresh November 5, 2015 at 3:43 am #

    i want material plzzz help me.

  10. vincy November 27, 2015 at 10:48 am #

    Thank you sir.Your ielts materials are very good.and i like to refer them. Keep up your good work.

  11. damandeep bhullar December 17, 2015 at 1:39 am #

    I want all questions of answers now because I want improve my speaking skills now

  12. Dharm singh February 10, 2016 at 4:15 pm #

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    Improve my English speaking, writing, listing, reading.
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  13. Tata April 25, 2016 at 7:22 am #

    Thank you so much,,the questions have been of great help to my students.

  14. major July 10, 2016 at 6:27 pm #

    sir i want to print copy of this page please give me permission otherwise send my email balbirsingh82@gmail.com quickly reply me sir

    • Dominic Cole August 25, 2016 at 8:20 am #

      There is sprint button at the bottom of the page

  15. mags September 21, 2016 at 10:54 am #

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