Top Tips for IELTS

IELTS speaking questions part 1 – work, hometown and education

These are the 3 compulsory topics. You should be asked 4 questions about one of these topics.

The examiner has a number of possible questions to ask you. These sample IELTS speaking part 1 questions will almost certainly not be asked in exactly this format, so you need to listen carefully to the exact question.


You should note:

  1. these questions are personal questions: try to give personal answers
  2. it is a mistake to give very short answers even though the questions are simple: try to give examples or explain your opinions


Note the first question will be “Do you work are you a student?” see my advice on how to deal with this question.

Your job in general

  • What job do you do?
  • Have you always done this job?
  • What do you do in a typical day at work?
  • What responsibilities do you have?

How you feel about work

  • Do you like your job?
  • Would you say it’s an easy job?
  • Is there anything that makes your job difficult?
  • How important is your job to you?
  • What types of jobs are most popular among young people in your country?

Education and work

  • Did you prefer your life as a student or your life now?
  • Did your education prepare you well for the work you are doing now?

Teamwork and colleagues

  • Do you need to work with other people at work?
  • Do you prefer working alone or with others
  • How well do you get on with your colleagues?
  • Do you do anything with your colleagues after work?

The future

  • What are your plans for the future?
  • Are you planning to change your job?
  • Would you ever consider changing your job?
  • How might your industry change in the future?
  • Why are you taking the IELTS test?


Your education in general

  • What subject are you studying?
  • Why did you choose to study that?
  • Do you like your subject? (Why)
  • Is it a difficult subject to study?

Your schooldays (the past)

  • What kind of school did you go to?
  • What was your favourite subject at school?
  • Who was your favourite teacher?

Place of study

  • Where do you study?
  • Why did you choose that school/university?
  • What do you think of your school/university?
  • What is the best thing about your university/school?

Your course and method of study

  • When did you start this course and when will you finish it?
  • Which part of the course do you enjoy most?
  • What is the most difficult/easiest part of the course?
  • How do you study this subject?
  • What skills have you learned in your studies?/What skills are needed to study your subject?

Student life

  • Do you like life at school/university?
  • What part of university life do you like best?
  • How have you benefited from being at school/university apart from gaining knowledge?
  • What facilities are there at your school/university to help you in your studies?

Educational system

  • What is the educational system like in your country?
  • How do you think the system might change in the future?

The future

  • What are your future study plans?
  • How do you think your studies in school/university will prepare you for your job in the future?
  • What is your career plan after you graduate?
  • Do you think you will prefer having a job to being a student?
  • Why are you taking the IELTS test?


Your home

Your home in general

  • Do you live in a house or a flat?
  • How long have you lived there?
  • Where did you live before [if you have only lived there a short time]
  • Who do you live with?
  • Can you describe your home a little.
  • Do you like your flat/house?

Houses and flats

  • Do you prefer living in a house or a flat?
  • What are the advantages of living in a flat/house?


The rooms

  • What’s your favourite room in your home?
  • How is this room decorated?
  • What do you do in this room?


The area you live in

  • What can you see through the windows of your home?
  • What is the environment like around your home?
  • What facilities are there near your home?
  • Is it easy to travel to and from your home?
  • Do you think it’s a good area to live in?
  • Would you recommend that as a good place to live?



  • Would you consider moving to live somewhere else?
  • Is there anything about your home you would like to improve?

Your hometown




For vocabulary to help you with this task try Home town vocabulary and ideas


  • Where do you live?
  • Have you always lived there?
  • How long have you been living there?
  • Where do you come from?

The place

  • Do you live in the city or the countryside?
  • What kind of a place is it?
  • Is it a large city or a small town?
  • Has it changed much in the past few years?

Feeling about hometown

  • Do you like living there?
  • Is there anything you dislike about living there?
  • Would you recommend it as somewhere to live?

Places and people

  • What’s your favourite place in your hometown?
  • What do people do in your hometown?
  • Is it easy to travel around in your hometown?

The future

  • Do you plan to stay there all your life?
  • Would you ever consider living somewhere else?
  • How long do you think you will continue to live there?
  • How do you think it might change in the future?
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