IELTS Speaking Part 1: Clothes

Here are some questions for a common topic in IELTS speaking part 1 – clothes.

  1. Do you often buy clothes?
  2. Are clothes important to you?
  3. What kinds of clothes do you prefer to wear?
  4. What kinds of clothes do you wear most days?
  5. Would you ever spend a lot of money on clothes?
  6. Do you think men and women have the same view of clothing?

Model Answer

  • Question: What kinds of clothes do you prefer to wear?
  • Answer: If I could choose, I’d wear casual clothes everyday. I feel much more comfortable wearing jeans and a t-shirt or a jumper. Unfortunately, my work forces me to wear formal clothes like a suit or trousers with a smart shirt which I really don’t like so I only get to wear casual clothes on my days off.

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Sample Answers for Travel and Transport in Speaking Part 1

Below are sample answers for the the topics of travel and transport for part 1 of the IELTS speaking test.


Q. Do you often travel abroad?

A. Not much, to be honest. I don’t get many days off in a year but when I do have time off, I mainly spend that time with my family in my hometown.

Q. When is the best season to travel in your country?

A. I guess it would be spring. That’s when the weather starts warming up and all the flowers start blossoming. It’s a really beautiful season and most places are at their best at that time. Unfortunately, it’s a busy time for tourists as well but that still doesn’t diminish the beauty of the countryside.

Q. Where would you recommend a foreign to visit in your country?

A. Without doubt, London. Not only is it our capital, but it also has some of the most iconic buildings in our country. I don’t think any visit to England is complete without seeing the Tower of London, London Bridge or Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. They really are very impressive pieces of architectural work and can’t be missed.


Q. How did you get here today?

A. I came by bike because the roads are pretty congested at this time and a bike is quicker. It only took me about 15 minutes to get here.

Q. Do you often use public transport?

A. Yes, I do. I use the bus almost everyday. It’s the cheapest way to get around even though it’s really overcrowded and not particularly punctual.

Q. How could the transportation system be improved in your country?

A. Well, I think the first step to improvement would be to widen the roads and build to overpasses and underpasses to help traffic flow more freely which would reduce the congestion in the city center. Also, it would help if the bus service was improved to make it run more frequently which would help with the overcrowding in rush hour. I think those are the two main changes that need to happen.


Speaking Part 1 Topic of Sleep with a Sample Answer and Vocabulary

IELTS Speaking Part 1 Topic: Travel & Transport

It is common to get the topic of travel or transport in IELTS speaking part 1. These topics can actually be divided into subtopics which are all be asked in part 1, see the list below:

  • Holidays
    • Weekend Breaks
    • Hotels
    • Traveling Abroad & Culture
    • Public Holidays (Celebrations and Festivals)
    • Days off work
    • Trips
    • Journeys
  • Tourist Attractions
    • Historical Attractions
    • Museums and Galleries
    • Statues and Monuments
  • Private & Public Transport
    • Bicycles
    • Cars
    • Driving
    • Buses
    • Trains
    • Planes
    • Walking
  • Getting Around
  • Roads
  • Traffic

As you can see above, there are a number of subtopics for the topics of travel and transport. Make sure you prepare a range of ideas and vocabulary for all topics and subtopics.

Tourism and The Local Community

Below are some ideas for the advantages and disadvantages which tourism brings to a community. These ideas can be used both for speaking part 3 and also writing task 2 in IELTS.

Essay Question

Over the last few decades, there has been an increase in international tourism. Some people think that tourism is beneficial for local communities and should be encouraged.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Speaking Part 3 Questions

  1. Do you think tourism is a good thing?
  2. Why do you think some people  believe tourism to be bad for local communities?
  3. Do you think local communities change as an effect of tourism?
  4. Do you think there are more advantages than disadvantages of tourism for local communities?

Don’t forget we are looking at the effects of tourism as an industry rather than a tourist as a person. Don’t confuse the two.

Advantages of Tourism

  1. Tourism brings money and boosts the economy.
  2. It offers employment to local people.
  3. It offers fresh perspectives on life and culture.
  4. Locals usually need to learn English to talk to tourists which can have beneficial long term effects.
  5. To boost tourism, local communities often invest money on improving the infrastructure which has lasting positive effects.

Disadvantages of Tourism

  1. Tourism can create a economic dependency which can be detrimental to the community if it is not sustainable.
  2. Tourism can have a negative impact on the local environment in terms of pollution.
    1. noise pollution from tourist entertainment
    2. air pollution from increased transportation
  3. Tourism can cause friction between locals and tourists, if local culture is not respected.
  4. The bulk of the money brought in by tourism rarely finds its way into local hands and instead lines the pockets of the middle man (the tour operator).


IELTS Speaking Part 2: Will I get a low score if I speak for less than 2 mins?

In speaking part 2, you will be given a topic, 1 min to prepare and then  you will need to speak for between 1-2 mins. The examiner will not move on to part 3 until 1 minute has passed of your talk and the examiner will stop you at exactly 2 minutes to prevent you speaking further. So, this means you have between 1 and 2 minutes available to you for your talk.

Speaking part 2 is the only part of the test where you can show the examiner that you can speak at length. So, if you are aiming for a higher score, this is a great opportunity to impress the examiner with fluency.

However, if you run out of things to say after 1 minute then tell the examiner you have finished so that the examiner can move on to the next part of the test. You can say ‘I’ve finished’.

Here are some more points to consider:

  • It is better to give a strong, fluent talk for 1.5 minutes than a weak, hesitant talk for 2 mins.
  • You can still get a high score if you only speak for 1.5 minutes but only if the quality of your talk is very good.
  • The criterion of fluency accounts for 25% of your marks and is taken from your overall performance in all parts not only in part 2.
  • If you wish to lengthen your talk,  then add more information. The prompts (the points on the topic card) are only guidelines – you can and should expand on each one.

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IELTS Speaking Part 3: Technology Questions and Model Answer

Technology is a popular topic in speaking part 3. Below are some common questions with a model answer underneath.

  • What modern technological devices are most common in your country?
  • Do you think modern technology is useful?
  • Do you think people rely too much on technology?
  • Do you think men and women view technological devices differently?
  • Why do you think people spend so much money buying the latest devices?

Model Answer

  • Question: Do you think men and women view technological devices differently?
  • Answer: Yes, I do. For starters, men are usually more obsessed with gadgets. They are almost like children with the way they want to play with the latest gizmos and learn all their new functions. They are constantly fiddling around with their new toys. I also think that gadgets are a kind of ego for men. I mean they often compare their new toys with each other to see who has the best one. Women, on the other hand, are more down to earth and see devices more rationally as a means to communicate with others or to perform a particular function. Of course, this is pretty stereotyped but it seems to hold true for most men and women I know.

Useful Expressions

  • fiddling around with something = playing with something
  • down to earth = realistic, practical
  • stereotyped = putting people into a group or categorising them not based on fact

Note:  As you can see this model answer is from a woman’s perspective, if you would like to give a sample answer from a man’s perspective, please post it in the comments box. Feel free to post your answers to other questions as well.


Technology Vocabulary for Speaking

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IELTS Speaking Recent Topic: Sky

This has been a reported topic in speaking this month. It’s a new topic but of course some of the questions will be similar to the topic of weather. Here are some possible questions for this topic.

The Sky

  • Do you ever look at the sky?
  • What do you think about when you look at the sky?
  • Are there often clouds in the sky in your country?
  • Is the sky often overcast?
  • Is star-gazing popular in your country?
  • Are there often spectacular sunsets or sunrises in your country?

Model Answers

  • Question: Do you ever look at the sky?
  • Answer: To be honest, the only time I really pay any attention to the sky is if there is an amazing sunset or if I need to see what the weather’s like. The weather can be changeable where I live, so I sometimes take a quick look at the sky to see if it there are any dark clouds on the horizon and it might rain.
  • Question: Is star-gazing popular in your country?
  • Answer: I wouldn’t say it was popular but there are quite a few people who enjoy it, I suppose. In summer, we often get really clear night skies when you can see a multitude of stars and they’re all incredibly bright. I must say, even I go out and take a look then.

Here is a useful vocabulary list for this topic. Below is an audio for the vocabulary.

  • overcast = cloudy, no sun is visible
  • a grey sky = overcast, cloudy
  • sunset = the sky turns different shades of orange, pink and red as the sun goes down
  • dark clouds on the horizon = threatening weather in the distance
  • star-gazing = looking at the stars
  • crystal clear night skies = very clear skies at night with excellent visibility
  • cloudless sky = a blue sky without clouds
  • small fluffy clouds = small clouds that do not threaten rain
  • multitude of stars = many stars
  • foggy = misty, low visibility due to mist
  • partly cloudy = some clouds


Audio for Model Answers 

Use the ideas and language for the models and adapt it to the questions you might get in the test.

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IELTS Speaking Part 2: Difficult Topics with Tips

Below are a few topics which many students find difficult. Plan your ideas and answer so that you are ready for a difficult topics in your test. Remember that whatever you choose to talk about, you must be able to talk for up to 2 minutes on that topic. So, be wise and choose something you can talk about easily.

Click “Tips” to reveal tips for the topic.

A Good Law

Describe a law which you think is good.

You should say:

  • what kind of law it is
  • when you first heard of the law
  • how the law is upheld
  • and explain why you think it is a good law
If you don’t know much about laws, choose a simple law such as a the helmet law which requires motorbike riders and cyclists to wear a helmet or go for the compulsory primary and secondary school education which prevents children from skipping lessons and ensures they get a solid, basic education.


A Wrong Decision

Describe a decision which you have made that you feel was wrong.

You should say:

  • what the decision was
  • why you made that decision
  • why you think it was the wrong decision to make
  • and explain how you would alter that decision if you could
This could be a bad decision about a holiday you chose, a job you did, some advice you gave someone or even something really simple like a bad decision you made while you were cooking.


A Journey that Didn’t Go As Planned

Describe a journey you have taken that didn’t go as you had planned.

You should say:

  • where you were going
  • who you were traveling with
  • how you were travelling
  • what went wrong
  • and explain what you would have done differently.
This is a tough topic because not only do you need to think of a story but you also need to pay attention to the grammar tenses you use. This topic will require you to use the 3rd conditional which is used when expressing regrets (if I had known ….., I wouldn’t have ……). Try to stick to a simple story about a time when you did a trip but you had bought the wrong tickets or there was an unexpected delay which caused problems.


A Museum You Like

Describe a museum you like.

You should say:

  • what kind of museum it is
  • what kind of people go there
  • when you first went
  • and example why you like it.
Many students dislike this topic because they are not familiar with museums. In this case, choose to talk about a museum of local culture – that way you can talk about local culture, traditional ways of life and other interesting historical points about where you are from. If you are familiar with museums, make sure you add lots of detail about your first trip there – who you went with, how old you were, your first impression etc.

A Family Business

Describe a family business you know.

You should say:

  • what kind of business it is
  • how you first heard of this business
  • how often you go there
  • and why you think it is a good business
This sounds like a tough topic but in fact it isn’t. A family business could be a simple as a local shop that is run by a family or a family run restaurant. If you don’t know any family run businesses, then you could start your talk this way “I don’t really know any family run businesses but there is a fantastic shop round the corner from my house which is as friendly as any family run shop….”

Make sure you prepare ideas for as many topics for speaking part 2. This is not an academic talk or a formal talk so if you make your talk personal and friendly, you will do better.

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