Current Speaking Topic: Jan 2015

A current speaking topic this month, reported by a student, is the topic of happiness. It can be quite a challenging topic to talk about. This topic has been appearing in speaking part 1 from time to time over a period of a few years. Here are some questions and vocabulary so you can prepare for this topic:

  • What makes you happy?
  • Would you say you were a happy person?
  • Does the weather ever effect your mood?
  • What kinds of things do you do to make yourself happy?
  • In what part of the day are you happiest?
  • Were you happier when you were a child?
  • What activities made you happy when you were a child?
  • Is there anything about your life that you’re not happy with?
  • Do you think happiness is important?
  • Why do you think someone are unhappy?

Here’s a sample answer for one of the questions

  • Question: Would you say you were a happy person?
  • Answer: Yes, I would, on the whole. I’m pretty cheerful most of the day and the only time I’m not is when I’m really tired at the end of the day, particularly if it’s been busy at work, which I think it understandable. I generally don’t let things get me down so I definitely think I’m quite positive and happy.
  • pretty cheerful = quite happy
  • don’t let things get me down = I don’t allow incidents or situations to make me unhappy
  • positive = optimistic (the opposite is pessimistic)
  • downhearted = to have low spirits
  • I’m not often in the dumps = I’m not often depressed
  • carefree = easygoing / doesn’t worry about things
  • cheerful – happy


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  1. Hi
    Thank you very much Liz

  2. Hi Liz! I am navii. I want to say it will be realy helpful for me if you put sample answer of a cue card that is troubling me. It’s describe situation when you had to use your imagination. What things or ideas will be useful? Please help!

    • I won’t write a full answer but here are some ideas of what you can talk about:
      a time when you were late and you used your imagination to come up with an excuse
      a time when you had to create a story at school or work
      a time when you had to come up with ideas for a project

  3. today 19th august at 2:00pm i have given my speaking test the are
    1- you study or work
    2- where u work
    3- why you have choose that profession
    4- do u like caps or hats?
    5- as a child u wore cap or hat?
    6- in your country hats and caps are occasionally wore?
    7-cue card about mistake
    8- all questions on mistake

  4. Hi,
    I just finished my speaking test recently and the questions asked to me were
    warm up questions
    -Describe your hometown.
    -Talk about your favourite photograph.
    Task card questions
    -Talk about a favourite film you have watched in a cinema or at home.
    -Which was the movie?
    -Describe the movie.
    -Which was the most memorable part of the movie you liked?
    Discussion topics
    -What are the types of movies?
    -What are the differences in the olden time movies and now?
    -Do you think people spend unnecessarily on movies nowadays?
    -Do you think a lot of people follow celebrities nowadays and why?

    In the writing test in Task 1, i was given a line graph and asked to compare the birthrate and death rate from the year 1996 to 2050 and Task 2 the question was, some people think that children playing continuous computer games has positive effects while others say it is bad for children. Discuss, what is your opinion.

    Thanks a lot Liz.. your classes were really very helpful and even the tips which you gave were very useful, it made learning a very interesting experience. I’am awaiting my results hoping for the best.

  5. Jasmine says:

    Hello ,Liz….
    I have my speaking test tomorrow. …anything you can suggest me to prepare now…

  6. Nitish soni says:

    my exam was on 23 jan 2016 and my writing topic was (would school should encourage children about healthy food or parents should make make their effort. discuss both views? )
    my reading topic was on marine life, smoke chimney and a topic on pollution.

  7. Hello Liz,

    Thank you for all the useful lessons, practice tests and tips. I have been following your page over a month for my IELTS preparation.
    I am a physiotherapist, and for my registration, I need 7 band score in each module of academic IELTS. In my previous attempt, I scored 7L, 6.5 W, 6.5 S and 6.0 R. This time, I have practiced a lot with strategies and shortcuts to solve answers efficiently. Yesterday, I gave my speaking test and I am worried about the cue card question. In my last attempt also, I faced the same problem as, while initiating the topic I spoke very fast and so was left with nothing to talk about at the end so I kept talking about the same thing in other ways which I analyzed as quite a repetitive and boring. I gave answers to all the other questions very confidently and I hope I will get the required score. I have my LRW test tomorrow please give me some advice.


    • Don’t worry – just think about your next test. The examiner will give you a mark for speaking which covers the whole test and not just part 2.
      All the best

  8. Sakila Shrestha says:

    its nice

  9. Ayman Kenawy says:

    With regard to the question,would you were a happy person?

    Is it a question of the past tense ,which means it needs a past tense reply?

    • Hi,

      The question with the model answer is actually a 2nd conditional about how you would describe yourself. So, you can see that the first part of the answer is answering in the 2nd conditional and then the rest of the answer describes your character using the present tense. So, it’s definitely not a past tense questions.

      It is very common to get a 2nd conditional question sometime in your speaking test to check your level of English grammar.
      All the best

  10. Hi Liz
    Befor a month i had a speaking test was about describe a time that you feel proud of your freind ..unfortunatly I manged not well ..
    How can i manage this topic …could yoh help me ..please …?

    • Hi,

      That’s a very interesting topic for part 2 speaking “Describe a time that you felt proud of a friend”. Here are some possible examples of what you could talk about:

      1. a friend did well in their studies (for example, they did well in a test or project)
      2. a friend did well in work and received an award or was congratulated by their boss
      3. a friend had a difficult situation but dealt with it very well (for example, they were seriously sick or a parent was seriously ill)
      4. something went unexpectedly wrong but your friend fixed the situation (for example, they went on holiday and had their money stolen)
      5. a friend got a job they always wanted (for example, they did well in the interview and had worked hard to get the job)
      6. a friend defended you in a difficult situation
      7. a friend raised money for charity or did some volunteer work that made you feel proud

      It is often easier to talk about a family member that you were proud of because you know them better. So, if you get stuck, the best thing is to say “Although I have plenty of friends, I wouldn’t say that they’ve done anything to make me really proud but my cousin has. So I will tell you about him and what he has done that caused me to be so proud of him.” It is possible to (not change) but adapt the topic as long as it still follows the prompts.

      I hope that has helped you with some ideas.
      All the best

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