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Also check my latest lesson to practice synonyms. Click here: Synonym Practice

All the best, Liz

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My new e-book and Advanced Writing Task 2 lessons can be purchased at normal price. Click here: Advanced Lessons & E-book

All the best


IELTS Speaking Topics May-Aug 2019

Topics for IELTS speaking from May to August 2019. The topics listed below cover both part 1 and part 2 of IELTS speaking. Part 3 questions are a follow on from your part 2 topic.

These topics are not predictions. They are topics that have been reported by IELTS candidates in their recent test. On this page, you will find:

  1. Speaking Part 1 Topics 
  2. Speaking part 2 Topics
  3. Speaking Part 3 Basic Review

IELTS Speaking Part 1 Topics

  1. Home
  2. Hometown
  3. Work/Study 
  4. Music
  5. Colour
  6. Perfume
  7. Movies & Actors
  8. Emails
  9. Maths
  10. Weather
  11. Bottled Water
  12. Sleep
  13. Smiling
  14. Paintings
  15. Rubbish & Recycling
  16. Sharing
  17. Shops
  18. Social Media
  19. Travel
  20. Nature
  21. Tea & Coffee
  22. Festivals
  23. Crowded Places
  24. Pets
  25. Patience

Tips for Speaking Part 1

  1. Q) Will I definitely get these topics in my speaking test? A) No, it is not guaranteed. You might get these topics or other topics. You should prepare topics from this page and also from the list of common topics and from Jan-Apr topics. You can find them on this page: IELTS Speaking Tips & Lessons
  2. Q) What types of things will the examiner ask me about in part 1? A) your childhood memories, your own personal likes/dislikes, your daily/weekly routine & habits, your own personal opinions, your future plans and common opinions in your country.
  3. How long should my answer be? Aim for between 1 long sentence and 2 sentences. Never answer in just a few words. Talk until you are interrupted. Let the examiner decide the length of your answers.
  4. I want to learn more about IELTS speaking = see my model answers, tips, videos and other lessons on this page: IELTS Speaking Tips & Lessons

IELTS Speaking Part 2 Topics

  1. An exciting sport from your childhood
  2. A time you gave advice to someone
  3. A meal at a special event
  4. A success your friend has had that was successful
  5. An important decision you made with someone’s help
  6. A bad service you received
  7. A person who has encouraged you recently
  8. An outdoor sport you would like to try
  9. An old person you met who has inspired you
  10. Your ideal house
  11. A time you saw someone you didn’t know talking on a mobile phone
  12. A tree, plant or bush grown in your country
  13. A TV advert you have never forgotten
  14. A time you invited a friend to eat a meal with you 
  15. A souvenir you bought
  16. A party you recently attended
  17. An item you lost that was found
  18. A singer or music band
  19. A time you answered an anonymous phone call
  20. An occasion you had to get up early in the morning
  21. Recent good news you read
  22. An item you bought but haven’t used much
  23. An activity you do alone in your free time
  24. A famous person from another country you would like to meet
  25. A successful friend


  • These are not all the topics the examiner can use. You must prepare all the common topics for part 2 as well. See the main speaking page: IELTS Speaking
  • NEVER memorise your talk. IELTS do not accept memorised answers. Just plan a few ideas for each topic and then speak naturally in your test.
  • Use your 1 min preparation wisely. Choose a non-emotional subject and plan how to extend it with descriptions etc.
  • Fill your informal talk with lots of examples, personal memories, personal dreams, personal opinions etc.

IELTS Speaking Part 3

These questions are a continuation of the topic you get in part 2. They cover broader world issues, comparisons, evaluations, speculations etc.

For example: An outdoor sport

  1. Do you think men and women enjoy the same kinds of sports? (comparison)
  2. Do you think it is good for people to participate in sports? (evaluation)
  3. Do you think more people will do sport in the future? (speculation)
  4. Do you think the government should pay for people’s injuries when they do dangerous sports? (opinion)
  5. Why do you think people do dangerous sports? (explanation)
  6. What are the benefits of international sports events? (evaluation)

Part 3 is your chance to speak about people in general rather than about yourself, your family or your friends. Explain your ideas in detail until you are asked another question.

=========New Ideas for Topics E-book =========


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Ideas for IELTS Essay Topics E-book

My Ideas for IELTS Essay Topics E-book is now available. 

The e-book covers ideas for over 150 key essay topics that frequently appear in IELTS writing task 2. The ideas are presented as vocabulary exercises. The e-book comes in pdf form and also comes with a free introduction video helping you understand more about using ideas in your essay.

Below is a link to a sample chapter. Click here to visit my online store: IELTS Liz Advanced IELTS Lessons & E-book.

Download Sample Chapter

The sample chapter below is for the topic of Family in IELTS writing task 2. Each section of this topic is based on typical IELTS essay questions.

Download: Ebook Ideas for Topics Sample Chapter

Answer Key for Sample Chapter

Click below to reveal the answers to this sample chapter:


Parents or Teachers Should Discipline Children

1 obedience

2 to lack discipline

3 to reward sb

4 well-behaved

The Family is Smaller than Before

1 f        2 a       3 d       4 e       5 b       6 c

Women Having Children Later in Life

1 c       2 e       3 d       4 b       5 a

Childless Marriages

1 responsibilities

2 burden

3 devoted

4 revolve

5 abnormal


Children are unsure of who they might live with afterwards. This is an argument against divorce.

Each parent can devote quality time to their children rather than quantity. This is an argument for divorce.

1 d       2 e       3 b       4 c       5 a

Single Parent Families

1 emotional distress

2 (a) role model

3 dysfunctional

4 upbringing

5 financial strain

Children Spending More Time with Grandparents

1 b       2 d       3 c       4 a

1 For    2 Against        3 For    4 Against

More Ideas for this topic:

For Against
·     Children can gain a sense of security from knowing an extended family.

·     Children can learn about past skills and lifestyles.

·     Children can learn to appreciate family values.

·     A grandparent’s values might differ from that of the parents.

·     Children might not value their grandparents if they see them too often.

·     Grandparents might not have the energy to make the time with their grandchildren enjoyable.

Both Parents Working

1 and

2 of

3 a

4 a

5 it

Care of the Elderly: Families should be Responsible

1 (-)       2 (+)      3 (+)      4 (+)      5 (+)      6 (-)       7 (-)       8 (+)      9 (-)       10 (-)      11 (+)      12 (-)
Researching Family History

1 b       2 a       3 c       4 c       5 b       6 a       7 b      


Click here to visit my online store to purchase the e-book: IELTS Liz Advanced IELTS Lessons & E-book

I hope you find the e-book useful in generating essential ideas for your IELTS writing task 2 essay 🙂

All the best


Sujata’s Tips for IELTS Band 8.5 (GT)

Hi guys,

Below are the personal tips from Sujata who scored overall band 8.5 in the IELTS test.

People taking the academic IELTS test can still benefit from these tips. The listening and speaking test is the same for all candidates.

Sujata’s IELTS Results

  • Listening = 9
  • Reading = 9
  • Writing = 7.5
  • Speaking = 7.5

My Personal Tips for IELTS Band 8.5

I practised a lot of tests for almost 3 months and that was very helpful. I could understand the pattern of questions clearly and knew what to expect on the test day.- Underlining the key points in the questions really helps to predict the answer before even hearing the recording.- While doing practice tests, one should mark oneself strictly to get an idea about one’s actual score rather than ignoring small mistakes and becoming falsely optimistic about their scores.- Practice tests should be timed like the IELTS in order to get real scores and also to prevent anxiety during the actual test.

I practised a lot of reading tests as well but I restricted myself to doing General tests only because I was going to take GT test.- I frequently used the dictionary and thesaurus to look up the words that I didn’t understand while doing the passage, even if there was no question related to the word. It immediately improved my vocabulary and it undoubtedly helped me in achieving the perfect score.- Timing oneself is equally important in this section as well.

Though I did not get a perfect score in this part, I was able to achieve a decent score because I practised writing letters and essays from your website and that too while timing myself. While writing the exam I felt that time was the limiting factor as opposed to lack of ideas and paraphrasing, as many students say. If I had more than an hour, I could have written a better letter and essay on the same topic. So for me, the most challenging part about writing was the time limit. – I did not go through a lot of sample letters and essays as I felt that they limited my ideas, which would be counter-intuitive in the long run. However, I went through one type of sample letter and essay for each question type on your website to get a general idea but that was all.- I can’t stress enough how important paragraphing is while writing task 1 and 2. Liz’s website provides clear information in that regard and one should follow the instructions to the t.

For me, the speaking part was fun and I remember walking out of the exam like I had just had an informal discussion with a new friend. I hesitated a bit while speaking in the second part which was probably why I did not get a better score.- I had practiced recording some of my answers to time myself and realized that I was giving too long answers to most questions. So I would suggest that one should record themselves to evaluate one’s answers and also the check for grammatical mistakes.

“I came to in the first place because it came first when I searched for IELTS exam preparation on google. I must confess that although I had referred to other websites for tips on cracking the IELTS exam, yours was the one I kept coming back to. I think the reason is that you provide a purely informative interface as opposed to other sites which give a lot of irrelevant information as well. Also, the information in your website is clearly demarcated and easy to follow. A person who wishes to learn about the intricacies of the listening part only can go straight to the listening page without being distracted by tips about the other parts of the exam. “

Hope these tips help other aspirants.

Message to Sujata: Very well done with your results!! And thank you for sharing your tips and experience with everyone. I’m sure it will inspire many people 🙂

Quick Tips for IELTS Speaking Part 1

Below are a list of tips that will help you in speaking part 1.

I want to thank you for posting your concerns on the Research Page for Speaking Part 1. All your concerns will help me create a strong Advanced lesson for part 1.

IELTS Speaking Part 1 Tips

  1. Part 1 will last between 4 to 5 mins. Not more and not less.
  2. You will know when part 1 starts because the examiner will turn on the recording device.
  3. In part 1, you will be asked questions on three everyday topics, such as home, hometown, work, studies, weather, hobbies, family, happiness, parks, sport, cooking, computers, school, food, flowers etc.
  4. You cannot ask the examiner to change the topic.
  5. The topics are chosen randomly by the examiner from a long list.
  6. Just because you don’t like or know much about a topic doesn’t mean you can’t talk about your past, your memories, your hopes, your likes, your dislikes, what people in your country like or what is popular.
  7. You will be asked a total of about 12 questions in part 1 based on the three topics.
  8. The questions will be about your memories, your childhood, your future hopes, your life, your family, your friends and sometimes about what people think or feel or like in your country. 
  9. The examiner will indicate the topic by saying “Let’s talk about X”.
  10. Your answers will usually be between 1 – 2 sentences.
  11. Always answer directly to show correct use of grammar – Q. Do you like swimming? = A. Yes, I do.  But…
  12. You must always add more to your answers = A. Yes, I do. I swim mostly at weekends though because I don’t have much time during the week due to my work commitments. 
  13. Never give two or three words as an answer. If you don’t show the examiner your English, you won’t get a good score. Always add more as explained in tip 12.
  14. Let the examiner decide when to move to the next question. Keep talking until he or she asks the next question.
  15. It is normal to have your answer interrupted – you should be prepared for that. It doesn’t not reflect your score or the strength of your answer. It is just part of the testing system. 
  16. Part 1 sometimes feels like a rapid fire question section. Be ready for that.
  17. It is fine to give a negative answer. Q. Do you often go to the cinema? = A. No, I don’t. To be honest, I rarely have time. I think the last time I went to the cinema was about two years ago.
  18. Some questions might require a longer answer because they need  more explaining. Q. Do you think men and women like similar movies? = A. Well, it’s hard to say. I suppose that it is common for men to prefer movies that are more action based with more special effects, while women generally go for romantic movies and comedies. Of course, that’s an over-generalisation, but I guess you could say that.
  19. If you are asked about your hometown, this means the town where you spent most of your childhood. If you were brought up in more than one place, you can choose which place to describe.
  20. If you are asked about your neighbourhood, it means the street and streets around where you live now.
  21. If you are asked Q. Do you work or do you study?,  just be honest and direct in your answer = A. I work /  I study /  I am a housewife / I don’t work or study at the moment. The examiner will then ask you about your work, about your studies or the examiner will change the topic if you do neither. This is the only time the examiner might change the topic based on your answer.
  22. The questions are not because the examiner wants information about your life. The questions are just to give you an opportunity to show your English. Your ideas are not marked. Go to the main speaking page (link given below) to learn about the marking criteria and other information about the speaking test.
  23. Some examiners are not as friendly or encouraging as others. You should be ready for that and make sure it does not affect your performance.
  24. Your aim in the test is to speak naturally and confidently. Be chatty. Be ready to share your life, your thoughts and your feelings. Be polite, but remember it is informal. Each question is a chance to show the examiner your English. 
  25. If you want more tips on preparation, topics & questions for each part, and model answers for IELTS speaking, please go to this page: IELTS Speaking Main Page.
  26. If you have taken your test already – feel free to share your experiences and tips in the comments box below.

I hope you find this list useful. Make sure you follow the link to the main speaking page and get lots of free lessons and tips 🙂 Main pages for other sections of the IELTS test can be found through the RED BAR at the top of the website. There are over 300 pages of tips, lessons etc on this site – use them all.

All the best


Research Questions for IELTS Speaking Part 1

Hi guys,

I’d like to ask you about your worries and concerns for IELTS speaking part 1.

I’m starting to prepare an Advanced Video Lesson which will be a Crash Course in IELTS Speaking. To ensure I cover all your concerns as thoroughly as possible, I’d like you to share them with me on this page.

  1. What are you worried about most in part 1?
  2. Are there any types of questions you struggle with in part 1?
  3. Are there any part 1 topics that you find difficult?
  4. Is there anything you specifically wish to know about part 1?
  5. What would you most like to learn about part 1?


I have posted tips for speaking part 1.

You can still post your concerns to help me with my e-book. But if you need to know something about part 1, click below:

Click here:

All the best


Answers to Improving IELTS Letter

Hi guys,

I have posted a list of problems for the candidate’s letter and also a model letter with notes to help you see what you need to do. This is all posted back on the original page. Click here: Improving an IELTS Letter

All the best


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