IELTS Speaking Topics

Download the speaking topics list

The IELTS speaking section will test your ability to naturally discuss various topics. In order to be ready to speak about these topics, prepare before test day. Just as with the idea bank for the essay, you can prepare your ideas for the speaking topics based on your own ideas as well as some research.

As these topics are mostly personal (especially for part 2 – the card), you will have to come up with your own ideas for each topic. That said, be very narrow in your thinking, meaning don’t think of several books or movies, for example, but rather choose one for each and use this book or that movie for any question related to books or movies. In other words, if you are asked to describe a book that changed your life, don’t start to think of this book during the one minute given to you to prepare your answer. Have the book already in mind and begin to speak about it right away once your time starts.

Here are some example topics you might be asked about:

Favourites: Make sure you have one item for each of the following topics. Once you have chosen this item, concentrate on gathering all available information about this item. On test day, do not think of any other item. (If applicable, think of different contexts such as childhood, vs. adulthood, student life vs. work life, etc.)

Food (to eat, to prepare) Place to vacation Song / singer
Family member Actor Collection (stamp, coin, comics, etc.)
Art piece Book / magazine Sport
Movie / TV show Animal (type) Season (summer, winter, etc.)
Teacher Subject (at school) Exercise (physical activity, mental)
City/country Restaurant Outdoor/indoor activity
Store /Place to shop Hobby Room in house/apt
Pastime Internet site Musical instrument
Building (in your city) Mode of transportation Holiday
Tourist site (local/international) News source (TV, newspaper, online, etc.) Free time activity (days off, evening, vacation time)
Game (card game, board game, playground, etc.)
Brand (products such as clothes, shoes, jewelry, makeup, etc.)

Personal (Again, one in particular):

(Discuss the item in terms of experience, or explain a personal preference (why did you choose this?))

Accomplishment Project (school, work, etc.) Struggle / Difficulty
Healthy habit Family event Beach vs. adventure holiday
Relaxing activity Unhealthy habit Boring experience
Indoor vs. outdoor activities Summer vs. winter Overcoming an obstacle

Future goals:

Book(s) to read, movies to watch, places to go, people to meet/renew contact with
Studies (degree, certificate, course, training, software, program)
Career (change, position, goals)
Something to improve (physical, skill, hobby, social)

One in particular:

Museum Something exciting Politician
Famous act in history Period in history Something frightening
Famous building Famous performance
Famous natural landmark (waterfall, mountain, canyon, etc.)
Famous person (alive and dead, in the arts, politics, sports, science, etc.)

Don’t forget to add your own topics and ideas about these.