IELTS Speaking

IELTS Speaking Preparation

The Speaking Module consists of a face-to-face interview with an examiner. The examiner will lead the candidate through the three parts of the test: an introduction and interview, an individual long turn where the candidate speaks for one to two minutes on a particular topic, and a two-way discussion thematically linked to the individual long turn. This interview will last for approximately 11-14 minutes. The examiner records the interview.

Free IELTS exam preparation can be difficult to find on the Internet. We have gathered together the best of the free IELTS exam preparation materials.

Part 1

Part 1 lasts for 4 to 5 minutes and begins with introduction. The examiner then asks a number of questions about familiar topics such as your studies, work, hobbies, interests, etc.

Part 2

Part 2 lasts 3 to 4 minutes and is based on the candidate giving a short talk. You are giving a card with a familiar topic and several prompts. You then have one minute to make notes on what you want to say before speaking for two minutes on the topic given. You do not have a choice of topic but the topics are based on your own experience, such as a person or place you know, or an event or activity you have experienced. The examiner may ask you a brief question at the end.

Part 3

Part 3 lasts for 4 to 5 minutes. The questions in Part 3 will be connected to the topic of Part 2. They allow you to discuss more abstract issues and ideas. Part 3 is a discussion between you and the examiner.

You are expected to be able to respond to questions on familiar and unfamiliar topics and to speak at length. You are assessed on a nine-band scale for fluency, vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation.

IELTS Speaking Tips:

Listen carefully to the examiner’s questions to make sure that you answer them fully and appropriately. Don’t be too shy to ask for help in the interview if you need it.

For Part 2 of the IELTS Speaking exam, you will be given a task card, a pencil and some paper and you will have one minute to prepare.

1) Use this minute to make notes that will help you to keep talking for two minutes.
2) Read the task card carefully and identify the different prompts you should talk about.
3) Use clear signals when you move on from one prompt to the next.

Part 2 tests your ability to talk about a topic, develop your ideas about a topic, and relevant vocabulary and grammar.

  • The examiner will give you a ‘task card’ with written prompts.
  • The examiner will ask you to talk about the topics and include the points that you can cover in your talk. The topic is about a personal experience.
  • You will be given one minute to prepare your talk, and you will be given a pencil and paper to make notes (do not write on the task card)
  • You must talk for one to two minutes about the topic. You can use your notes to help you.
  • Then the examiner will ask you one or two more questions on the same topic.

1. Describe a museum

  • How often do you visit the museum?
  • Which type of museum is popular in your country?
  • Why do you want to visit the museum?


  • What do you think of the importance of museums in history?
  • How do you think of the heritage of a country?
  • Compare the museums nowadays and in the past

2. Describe your favorite photograph

  • Where was the photo taken?
  • Who took the photo?
  • What can be seen from the photo?
  • Explain why it is the favorite photograph for you.


  • How to take good photo?
  • When do people use camera?
  • How can the new technology put cinema’s skill advanced?

3. Describe an area of your country you know and like

  • Where is it?
  • What are its special features?
  • What do you and other people do in this area?
  • Explain why you like it.


  • What do you think of the historic place in the future?
  • Will the government increase or decrease the safety guard?
  • What are the changes to the local people and economy?
  • What is the impact on the historic place by tourists?

4. Describe a party

  • What is the party?
  • Why was the party held?
  • Who attended the party?
  • What did you do for that party?


  • What’s the difference between serious party and friendly party?
  • Why are some people late for parties intentionally?
  • Why do some people like party while others hate it?
  • What would you do if the guests feel bored?
  • Will there be more and more people to attend parties?

5. Talk about a subject you are studying

  • What subject are you studying?
  • What is the subject about?
  • How do you feel about it?
  • Explain why you are interested in it.


  • Is there any difference between the traditional and modern educational systems?
  • What are the pros and cons of the current educational system in your country?
  • Do you think it is necessary to give comment or criticism to teachers?

6. What is the important invention before the age of computer?

  • What is the invention?
  • Why do you think it is very important?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of the invention?


  • What is the significant impact of modern inventions on life?
  • Which skills do you want to study in the future?
  • Do you think it’s necessary to develop modern invention in the countryside?

7. Describe an interesting city you know and like

  • Where is it?
  • How did you go there?
  • What did you do there?
  • Explain why you found it so interesting.


  • Say something about the tourism development in your country, facility, services and the effect on environment.
  • What is the importance of travel and tourism industry?
  • What do you think the function of tourist guides?

8. Describe your favourite movie

  • What’s the name of the film?
  • What’s the theme of the film?
  • Why do you like it?


  • Describe a type pf movie you like.
  • What’s the difference between Chinese and American movies?
  • What do you think of the violent films (Hollywood films)?
  • Why movies need computer techniques? Any example of movie using computer techniques?
  • Which parts of cinema are the most important and how to improve it?

9. Describe a newspaper or magazine you enjoy reading

  • Which newspaper or magazine do you read the most regularly?
  • Which parts of it do you like?
  • When and where do you read it?
  • Explain why you enjoy reading it.


  • What do you think the important qualities for a news reporter?
  • What’s the function of a report to the society?
  • What kinds of books/newspapers/magazines do Chinese adolescents read?
  • With the popularity of Internet, do you think newspapers and magazines will disappear?

10. Describe a children’s game (sports not suggested)

  • How is it played?
  • What can you learn from the game?
  • What impact does it bring on your growth?


  • What do you think of the benefits of children’s games?
  • Nowadays children have less and less time for game, what do you think about it?
  • What do you think the difference between games nowadays and in the past?
  • What’s the negative aspect of games?

11. Describe a special occasion in your life

  • Where did it take place?
  • When did it take place?
  • Who was there?
  • Explain your feelings on this occasion.


  • Tell me how you organize your study time.
  • What do you think is important in achieving happiness?
  • How do Chinese celebrate some happy events?
  • What do the camera and video play in celebrating?

12. Describe something you own which is very important to you

  • Who gave it to you?
  • What is it?
  • What does it mean to you?


  • What are the changes of city between now and past?
  • Does money represent happiness and why?
  • How do you regard as the things people want to earn?

13. Describe one of your neighbours

  • When did you become neighbours?
  • Do you often meet?
  • State whether your neighbour is a good one.


  • What is the difference between neighbours and friends?
  • Why do people like to watch TV serials in their houses?
  • How do you think of the relationship in the city?
  • How to improve the neighbourhood?

14. Describe one of the shopping centers you often go to

  • Where is the shopping center?
  • How often do you go to the center?
  • Why do you often go to it and its characteristics?


  • Will smaller shops survive in the current business system?
  • What are the characteristics of shopping malls and smaller shops and their difference?
  • What is the trend of future shopping centers?
  • Talk about online shopping.

15. Describe your favourite animal

  • What kind of animal is it?
  • Describe it briefly.
  • Why do you like the animal?


  • What do you need to do to take care of it?
  • What’s the future trend of the animal?
  • How do you think of the poaching of some precious animals such as pandas?

16. Describe a historical place

  • What is the place?
  • Where is it located?
  • What is the historical meaning of the place?


  • What do you think of the future trend of historic places?
  • Will government strengthen its protection toward historic places?
  • What are the changes brought about by the historic place in local economy, people, etc?
  • What is the effect of tourists on the place?

17. Advertisement

  • What are the forms of advertisement?
  • What are the functions of advertisement?
  • What is the effect of advertisement to people?


  • Do you feel bored and disgusted about advertisement?
  • What do you think are the criteria of assessing a good piece of advertisement?
  • What will happen if unauthoritative advertisements prevail in the market?

18. Describe an important letter

  • When did you receive the letter?
  • From whom did you receive the letter?
  • Explain the reasons why it is important.


  • What is the significance of handwriting?
  • Does your country have handwriting lesson now?
  • Compare the handwriting now and past.
  • With the popularity of computers and Internet, will people lose their ability to write letters?

19. Describe the best present you have received

  • Who sent it to you?
  • When did you receive it?
  • Detailed information about the present.


  • Do you think that present giving will play an important role in Chinese daily life? Why?
  • Do you think that the brand name is very important for sales?
  • In terms of the media, which do you think will play a main role in present giving, television, newspaper or Internet?

20. Describe your holidays

  • Where do you go for the holidays and how long do them last?
  • Who do you go with?
  • Talk about any interesting things happening during your holidays.


  • What do the Chinese people mostly do in their leisure time?
  • What’s the difference between holidays today and 5 years ago and the reasons for the change?
  • Do you think people will spend more time on leisure or working in the future?