Preparing for IELTS Speaking Section 1: Common Topics and Questions

Section 1 of the IELTS Speaking test is meant to be the easiest of the three sections. You will be asked 12 general questions about yourself in an effort to help you feel comfortable with the test.

Following a brief introduction and confirmation of your identity, the examiner will almost always begin by asking you about either your work / study or your home / hometown. You can prepare for these topics by considering the questions below.

Please note: You should NOT memorize your answers. Examiners are trained to spot this, and you will be severely marked down for doing so.

Work / Study

  • Do you work or do you study?
  • Where do you work / What do you study?
  • What do you enjoy about your job / studies?
  • What do you dislike about your job / studies?
  • Why did you chose this line of work / subject?
  • What type of job do you want to do in the future?
  • Is there anything you would like to study in the future?
  • What was your favorite subject in school?
  • Who was your favorite teacher in school?
  • What is a typical day like at your job / school?

Home / Hometown

  • Where are you from?
  • Are you from the country or the city?
  • What do you like about your hometown?
  • What do you dislike about your hometown?
  • Do you often visit your hometown?
  • Do people like to visit your hometown?
  • What do people do for work in your hometown?
  • How would your improve your hometown
  • How has your hometown changed?
  • Is your hometown famous for anything?
  • What sort of transport do people usually use in your hometown?
  • What is your home like?
  • How long have you lived there?
  • How is your home decorated?
  • What is your favorite room in your home?
  • What would you do to improve your home?
  • What is your neighborhood like?
  • Do you live with anyone or do you live alone?

After asking you about what you do or where you live, the examiner will ask you about two more topics. The most common topics and associated questions are listed below.

Friends and Family

  • Do you have a large family or a small family?
  • Can you tell me about your family?
  • Who are you closest to in your family?
  • Which of your parents do you most take after?
  • Do you prefer to spend time with your friends or your family?
  • Is family important in your country?
  • Who is your best friend?

Food and Drink

  • What is your favorite food?
  • Has it always been your favorite food?
  • What is the most famous dish in your country?
  • Can you cook?
  • Do you enjoy cooking?
  • How often do you cook?
  • Who does the cooking in your home?
  • Do you prefer to eat at home or in a restaurant?
  • Are they any foods you dislike?

The Future

  • What are your plans for next weekend / next time off?
  • Do you have plans for your next holiday?
  • Do you plan to travel or live abroad?
  • What do you hope to be doing in ten years?

Hobbies and Free Time

  • Do you have any hobbies?
  • What do you like to do in your free time?
  • How do you usually spend your time off?
  • What did you do last weekend / the last time you went out?
  • When was the last time you went out?
  • Do you play any sports?
  • Did you play any sports as a child?
  • Do you play any instruments?
  • Did you play any instruments as a child?
  • Do you watch TV?
  • What do you like to watch on TV?
  • Do you read?
  • What types of books do you like to read?
  • Do you prefer to spend your free time alone or with friends / family?
  • Where do you like to go with your friends?
  • How often do you spend time with your friends or family?
  • What hobbies are popular in your country?
  • What sports are popular in your country?
  • Do you think it’s important for people to have hobbies?

Holidays and Celebrations

  • What was the last holiday you celebrated?
  • What did you do for your last holiday?
  • What holidays / festivals are important in your country?
  • Does your country have any famous festivals?
  • How do you usually celebrate your birthday?
  • How did you celebrate your last birthday?
  • How will you celebrate your next birthday?
  • How do people celebrate their birthdays in your country?

Travel and Transportation

  • Have you ever visited a foreign country?
  • What countries would you like to visit?
  • Would you like to live abroad?
  • When was the last time you traveled?
  • How did you get here today?
  • Do you use public transportation?
  • Do you prefer to travel by car or public transport?

Weather and Seasons

  • What is the weather like today?
  • What is the weather like in your home country?
  • Does the weather affect how you feel?
  • Do the season affect how you feel?
  • Does the weather affect transportation in your home country?
  • What is your favorite season?
  • What is your favorite type of weather?

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