There are hundreds of different IELTS Speaking topics that could come up in your test but most of them fall into around 40 subject areas. We’ll look at them all on this page and discover common sub-topics within each.
Don’t panic when you see the
extensive list. The whole point of the IELTS exam is to assess your ability to
use the English language to communicate in a wide range of everyday situations.
Use it as a guide as you decide where to focus your learning when working to broaden
your vocabulary and improve your speaking skills.
All these potential IELTS Speaking topics are subjects that are part of most people’s lives or are common topics of conversation. Because of this, there are plenty of free online resources to help you learn about the subjects, such as articles, short videos and podcasts. Follow the link to ‘Resources’ in the top menu bar for some ideas as to where to get started.
It takes a long time to prepare for the exam and lots of practise, so take your time and work on improving your English step-by-step, one day at a time. The harder you work, the quicker the progress you’ll make.
The material I’ve created for you on this website is designed to help speed up the process and save you hours of work searching for the information you need.
So, let’s get down to identifying the IELTS Speaking topics you might get in your exam. We’ll start with Part 1.
Part 1 questions shouldn’t present you with any problems at all as you’ll be asked about you and your life. The questions could be on almost any subject but the most common topics are:
This first part of the test lasts for 4-5 minutes. You'll probably get around 12 questions in all and they only require short answers – the main fact and perhaps one additional piece of information.
You’ll find sample questions and answers on all
the IELTS topics vocabulary pages. See the menu in the sidebar.
For full details of the IELTS Speaking Test format and tips on mistakes to avoid, click this link.
In Part 2, you’ll be asked to talk for up to 2 minutes on just one topic that the examiner will give you written on a cue card. You’ll have one minute to make notes which you can refer to during your talk.
Part 3 questions will be related to your Part 2 topic but more abstract in nature, that is, they’ll be about ideas and concepts rather than about you and your experience of the topic. Your answers should contain more detail than for Part 1 answers.
Check out the sample answers on the vocabulary pages listed on the sidebar.
Now for the list of IELTS Speaking topics. It isn’t exhaustive and new topics are added each year. However, these are the most common subjects and you'll be asked questions on some of them during your IELTS exam.
If they don’t come up in your Speaking test, they could appear in the Writing, Reading or Listening parts of the exam.
Under each topic heading, I’ve listed common sub-categories and some popular Part 2 subjects.
Food & diet are common IELTS Speaking topics.
Travel, holidays & tourism are all popular IELTS Speaking topics.
There are other subjects you could be asked about that don’t fit neatly into these IELTS Speaking topics. This is especially the case for Part 2.
It could be something abstract such as:
It may be something that’s important
to you such as:
In many ways, these types of IELTS Speaking topics are easier to talk about than any of the subjects in the main list because they’re about you, your experience or your opinion about something.
Whatever you get asked about, knowing some key topic vocabulary will help you create a good answer. You don’t need to learn every possible word or phrase but a good selection is a must.
Make good use of the topic vocabulary pages listed in the sidebar and spend time reading around the topics, watching videos and listening to podcasts about them. This is some of the best preparation you can do.
You'll find links to some excellent online resources via my main Resources page.
IELTS Speaking Test: Know the format & understand what you’ll be assessed on. Discover the main reason for low scores & how to avoid this big mistake.
IELTS Speaking Part 1: 7 simple methods for developing your answers, with examples.
IELTS Speaking Part 2: Test format, understanding cue cards & 5 test mistakes to
Part 2 Planning Strategy - Method 1: ‘question prompt’ + planning notes & sample
Part 2 Planning Strategy - Method 2: ‘brainstorming’ + planning notes & sample answers.
Part 2 Planning Strategy - Method 3: ‘the 5 senses’ planning notes & sample answers.
IELTS Speaking Exam: How to begin a Part 2 talk & top tips for gaining extra marks.
IELTS Speaking Part 3: 6 common types of questions & how to answer them.
IELTS Speaking Practise Questions – Download 30 full mock tests (30 practise cards on 30 topics – 330 questions altogether).
IELTS Speaking Tips: 9 top tips to increase your chances of getting a high score
IELTS Speaking Practice: Massively improve your speaking skills by learning how to think in English.