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How to get a high IELTS speaking score

IELTS Speaking Test Guide: Take an IELTS Speaking Test, Practice with IELTS Speaking Questions & IELTS speaking Samples, & Learn many IELTS Speaking Tips & Strategies.

In this guide you will learn about all IELTS speaking tests. Start by using our free IELTS speaking questions below or continue on and learn how to answer each speaking section with our advanced IELTS speaking tips & strategies and start IELTS speaking practice by going through all our IELTS speaking samples with answers right here.

First off, if you're looking to take a free IELTS Speaking Practice Test or are just curious to see what an IELTS speaking exam is like, then click the button below.

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IELTS Speaking Part 1 practice test questions

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IELTS Speaking Part 2 practice test questions

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IELTS Speaking Part 3 practice test questions

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Table Of Contents

IELTS Speaking Test Introduction

IELTS Speaking Test

The IELTS speaking test can be a little intimidating at first, especially because you'll be tested live in front of your examiner. Due to this live format, finding free IELTS speaking topics with answers can be difficult, but don't worry we have you covered. Before practicing with our IELTS speaking questions, let's take a quick look at the IELTS speaking test and afterward we'll get into juicy IELTS speaking samples & IELTS speaking tips.

The speaking test lasts about 11 - 15 minutes, consisting of 3 parts. Please note the IELTS speaking topics for Greeting and Part 1 are the same, so they are considered only 1 part, but we have separated them for your convenience.

  1. IELTS Speaking Test Greeting
  2. IELTS Speaking Test Part 1
  3. IELTS Speaking Test Part 2
  4. IELTS Speaking Test Part 3

IELTS Speaking Test Greeting

When you take the IELTS Speaking test and walk into the examination room, the examiner does not start with the main IELTS speaking questions. Instead, they start by greeting you. Please note, you WILL BE graded on your ability to greet, so it's important you're prepared for it. Having said that, let's take a quick look at some IELTS speaking samples with answers and after we'll get into IELTS speaking tips.

  1. The examiner will introduce themselves and ask what your name is. You'll reply "My name's _______".
  2. Next, you'll be asked "What can I call you?", in which you can reply "You can call me_______". You may use your English name here, if you have one. This may sound odd, but some people cannot pronounce their own English name. This is NOT ACCEPTABLE. If you cannot pronounce it, you're better off not using it.
  3. Following your name, they'll ask where you're from. Just say "I'm from_____". That's enough. You don't need to give any extra information about your answers at this stage.
  4. Finally, you'll be asked for identification. After showing it, you'll begin the test.

IELTS Speaking Test Part 1

IELTS Speaking part 1 lasts between 4-5 minutes, includes around 8-10 IELTS speaking questions, and about 2-3 familiar topics such as your job, your studies, your family, your hometown, your accommodation, etc. These topics are easier than IELTS speaking topics from part 2. Below are some examples of what you could be asked.

Let's talk about your hometown:

Where is your hometown?
What do you like about it?
What do you not like about it?
How important is your hometown to you?

Let's move on to talk about accommodation:

Tell me about the kind of accommodation you live in?
Does the place you live in have many amenities?
Is there anything you would like to change about the place you live in?
Do you plan to live there for a long time?

Speaking part 1 questions might best be described as questions that imitate small talk between two strangers or acquaintances. They are not very in-depth, but don't let these IELTS speaking questions fool you into thinking you don't need to prepare for them. Just a little preparation can go a long way and you'll thank us for making you do it! You'll also find some IELTS speaking tips on how to prepare for part 1 questions later in this post.

IELTS Speaking Test Part 2

In part 2, you'll talk about a particular IELTS speaking topic. The topic is selected for you and will be given to you on a card (Candidate Task Card). You will then have 1 minute to prepare your answer and then a maximum of 2 minutes to speak. A pencil and paper will be provided for you to make notes. Below is an example IELTS speaking part 2 question:

Candidate Task Card
Describe a useful electronic device you would like to own.

You should say:
 - What it is
 - How it would help your life
 - If it would be expensive to buy
And explain why you would like it.

Once your two minutes of speaking time is finished, it's possible the test examiner will conclude this part of the test by asking you a couple of simple questions related to your part 2 answer. These are sometimes known as rounding off questions, since they help "round off," or complete your conversation. Let's look at some IELTS speaking samples of what you could be asked. For instance, perhaps the IELTS speaking topic you discussed in part 2 was "Describe your favorite form of public transport". The examiner might round off your conversation by asking:

- Are the buses cheap in your city?
- Did you travel to the test today by bus?

Typically, these rounding off IELTS speaking questions themselves are simple, so it will only be necessary for you to respond with simple answers. Long, complex answers are not required here, as the examiner will likely be ready to transition into part 3. For example, you can answer a rounding off question with a short response like this:

- Yes, about 2 dollars for a single journey.
- No, actually I came by taxi.

On the other hand, there are also instances when the examiner might skip the rounding off questions altogether and will, instead, proceed directly to IELTS speaking part 3. If this turns out to be the case during your test, do not worry; This indicates that your IELTS speaking part 2 answer was long enough, and that your 3 minutes speaking time for part 2 has already run out.

IELTS Speaking Test Part 3

In part 3, you'll be asked about 4-8 more IELTS speaking general questions which are connected to IELTS speaking topics discussed in part 2. The examiner will also ask you a few questions based on your answers, so the entire part 3 is a two-way discussion with the examiner and will last 4 - 5 minutes. Here are some IELTS speaking samples of what the examiner could ask you based on the above IELTS speaking part 2 question:

We've been talking about electronic devices. I'd like to discuss with you a few more general questions relating to this topic. First, let's consider what are the most popular electronic devices in your country at the moment?

What devices do you think will be popular in the future?
Do you think people spend too much money on electronic devices?
In what ways can electronic devices make our lives harder?
What would the world be like without computers?
Should children be taught to use computers at school?

IELTS Speaking Topics

If you want to practice IELTS speaking questions from part 1, have a look at our list of IELTS speaking part 1 questions. The list contains more than just questions, it also shows IELTS speaking topics examiners have asked people in the past. You can start your IELTS speaking practice by answering these questions in a mirror or with a friend. The table below shows IELTS speaking part 1 topics popularity:

Topics Frequency
Friends/Family/Housework/Children High
Hometown/Country/Accommodation High
TV/Reading/Music/Newspapers & Magazines/Films High
Technology/Computers/Internet High
Work/Jobs/Career Planning/Volunteer Work High
School majors/High School Medium
Sports/Outdoor Activities/Indoor Activities Medium
Travel/Lifestyle Medium
Season/Rain/Sunny Days/Weather Medium
Fashion/Shoes/Bags/Clothes Medium
Transportation/Boats/Buses/Taxis Medium
Celebrities/Advertisements/Media Medium
Photos/Photography/Colors/Art Low
Noise/Patience/Politeness Low
Mirrors/Gifts Low

In IELTS speaking part 3, the examiner will ask a broader range of more general IELTS speaking questions based on the topic you had in speaking part 2.

If you want to practice IELTS speaking practice questions from part 2 and 3, here are all part 2 and part 3 questions categorized by topics:

The table below shows the popularity of each IELTS Speaking Topic from part 2 & 3:

Broad Category IELTS Speaking Topics Part 2 & 3
People Teacher/Family/Friends/Influential People/Good Parents
Place City/Company/School/Museums/party/Shopping Places
Object Art/Books/Clothing/Electronic Devices/Food/Furniture/Gifts
Machine/Money/Musical Instruments/Traditional Products/Vegetables
Events A change in life/Decision/Exciting Experiences/Holiday/Illness Experiences
Helping People/Memorable Experiences/An Experience of Being Late/Travel Experiences
Media Advertisements/Internet/News/TV
Society Environment/Traffic Rule/Society/Transportation
Others Leisure Activities/Language/Sports

Bar Graph of the Most Used IELTS Speaking Topics

The below bar graph represents the popular IELTS speaking topics used in 2015 to 2017. The y-axis shows the percentage they were used, while the the x-axis represents the topics. Finally, starting from left, each bar represents a year: 2017, 2016, and 2015, accordingly.

IELTS Speaking Topics Part 2 & 3 From 2015 to 2017

IELTS Speaking Questions

To get an idea of what the IELTS speaking test is like for each part, you can watch the official IELTS YouTube videos below. They contain a ton of useful information and IELTS speaking samples.

How to Answer IELTS Speaking Questions Part 1

As noted before, the questions from part 1 are almost exactly like daily conversations with native speakers. If you're comfortable having basic conversations with a native English speaker, part 1 should not be too much trouble, however, you should still prepare for it.

When answering questions in part 1, your answer shouldn't be too short or too long.. For example, if you're asked "Do you like sports?" Saying "No. I don't like sports." is not a good enough answer. Always remember, you're here to prove you can speak English, so you need to give the examiner longer answers in order for them to grade you. An acceptable response would be "I understand the benefits of being in sports and the entertainment of watching it, but even as a child, I could never get into sports. I would prefer to sit down and read an engaging book.". As a general rule, a part 1 answer should have about 3-4 sentences.

Fortunately, there are some simple ways for you to extend your IELTS speaking answers naturally, without running the risk of using any difficult or unfamiliar grammar. Here, you can find 5 easy ways, with provided examples, of how to effectively extend your answers when speaking on part 1 of the IELTS.

1. Providing Reasons

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I am really into swimming, so I like to swim in my free time. I suppose this is thanks to the influence of my parents who both like swimming.

What kind of programme do you like to watch on TV?

My favorite TV programmes are dramas, since I don't have to think too much when I watch them. They're a little over dramatic at times, but that's part of the fun.

Do you usually watch films alone or with others?

I like watching films with my family and friends, because afterwards we can talk about our favorite parts and figure out what we think the plot was about.

Who was your favorite teacher in high school?

My favorite teacher in high school was my English teacher. The reason why she was my favorite teacher is that she taught very well, and spent time making sure we understood new words.

What was your favorite subject in high school?

I enjoyed several subjects, but the one I liked the most was probably science. I put my love of science down to the fact that I grew up in a family where my parents love science and I was taught to have an inquiring mind.

What's your favorite kind of music?

I like pop music mostly because that kind of music motivates me and makes me happy. I'll listen to almost anything with a good beat and upbeat lyrics.

Who do you get on best within your family?

It's hard to say, since we're all so close. I guess I probably get on best with my mother, as we are the most alike. We're both very chatty and warm people.

Do you prefer eating home or going out to restaurants?

I prefer to go out to restaurants because I can feel like a guest and it is much more comfortable to eat at restaurants than at home. Not to mention that the food there tastes better than home-cooked meals.

2. Providing Examples

Do you like to keep fit?

Yes! I like to keep fit. I am keen on sports! For instance, I play basketball every week and use the gym whenever I have the chance

Do you like learning a new language?

Yes! I really do! Take learning English as example. I love reading English magazines and listening to English podcasts.

Is there anything you would change about your hometown?

Well.. my least favorite thing about it is that there aren't too many fun things to do or see. A case in point is that shopping centres and restaurants close too early.

How do you listen to music?

I mostly listen to music on my phone, with headphones. For example, when I take the train, I like to listen to something to pass the time.

How do you define volunteer work?

Well.. volunteering means spending your free time to help others. For example, helping children to learn a useful new skill if their families don't have the money to pay for classes.

Are there any negative things about the Internet?

Well..yes, there are some drawbacks to the Internet. For example, there are some online predators who try to harass people online through social media. That can be very upsetting.

3. Providing Details

Tell me about your hometown?

My hometown, Delhi, is the second largest in India. The capital of the country, New Delhi, is also there. There is an international airport in Delhi, so it's easy to travel in and out of the country from there.

Tell me about the kind of accommodation you live in?

I live in a rented room in a paying guest accommodation. It is a superb building equipped with all the facilities. Round-the-clock security, access to free Wi-Fi, medical room and a common room all are made available to the guests living in the building. Every major part of the city is accessible from our building.

Tell me about the favorite shop you often go to?

It is a book shop near where I live. It's on the main street. I often go in there to browse and have a look through all the books they have.

What was your first day at work like?

You know was about a year ago now, but I still remember it fairly well. My first day at work was slightly hectic and overwhelming, and I actually made a lot of mistakes. Fortunately, my co-workers and supervisor were patient with me, and I got through it okay. Things at work improved quite a bit once I learned my way around.

What responsibilities do you have at work?

My greatest responsibilities at work are negotiating and maintaining relationships with our clients. I also need to stay organized and be sure to make sure I understand the products I'm promoting.

4. Talking About the Past or the Future

Where do you live in your country now?

I am currently living in Delhi, which is the second most populated city in India. I've lived there for a couple of years, but I used to live in Bangalore, which is also a big city in southern India.

Are you working at the moment?

No! Not at the moment. I am unemployed now, but I am planning to apply for some internship positions this summer. Hopefully things will change soon.

Have you ever been to a concert before?

No. I've never been to a concert before, but I think I will. Concerts are always happening around where I live, so I will try to go check them out when I can.

5. Making Speculations

Do you think you'll ever live in another country?

I suppose I'd be happy to leave my country if I was offered a job abroad that was interesting.

What would be your ideal holiday destination?

Hmm.. I'd doubt whether I'll ever go there, but I'd love to go to Africa to see the wild nature. Right now I don't have money for vacation. If I had more money, I would probably go with my girlfriend.

What would be your ideal job?

You know..that's a tricky one. It would probably be working as a software engineer in Google if I managed to pass Google's interview.

Are you a polite person?

You know..that's a good question! Let me see..I would say I am, but that depends on what it means to be polite. I think being polite means respecting others, and I try my best to do that.

What would you change about your job?

Hmm..the job I have now is overall acceptable, but I would say that there aren't many opportunities to move up the ladder. If I was a senior manager, I would probably advise my boss to change the way that the company is managed to allow for more upward career mobility.

Another key tip to keep in mind is to talk naturally like you were talking to a good friend. When you feel uncomfortable or stressed its natural to do the following

  • Look down when talking
  • Talk in a monotone voice
  • Talk quietly
  • Give one word answers ("No.")
  • Frown

The above list are things you MUST NOT DO! Let's look at a list of things you should do :)

  • Make natural eye contact with the examiner
  • Talk with passion. Be excited and happy to answer the questions.
  • Talk loud enough, so the examiner will have no problem hearing you.
  • Give descriptive answers.
  • SMILE :)

How to Answer IELTS Speaking Part 2 Questions

IELTS Speaking part 2 is the individual part of the test. You'll be given a candidate task card, pen and paper and will be expected to speak a monologue for around 2 minutes. As you can see from the candidate task card example below, there is an IELTS speaking topic that the examiner will expect you to talk about and bullet points to help guide you, but are not requirements for your speech.

Candidate Task Card
Describe something you own which is very important to you.
  • Where you got it from
  • How long you have had it
  • What you use it for.
  • And explain why it is important to you.

You'll have 1 minute to prepare your speech. Use the pen and paper to write down your notes in point form. You can use your notes during your speech. The examiner will then start a timer and you will begin your 2 minute monologue.

IELTS Speaking Tips for Success - Part 2

Due to IELTS speaking part 2 requiring you to speak for 2 minutes straight and potentially talk about an unfamiliar topic, many IELTS students get nervous and stress out during their speech and run out of things to say. In order to help you overcome these problems, we have come up with 4 tips that can help you feel confident and relaxed during your speech.

1. Don't let bullet points on the cue card limit your answer

A common misconception is that students have to talk about exactly what is written on the card, but that is not true. In the Official Marking Criteria for the Speaking Test there is nothing stating that you have to talk about every bullet point. The bullet points are only there to help you, so if there are one or two that you don't like or you don't feel comfortable talking about, leave them out and talk about something else.

The rule is that you must talk about the general topic, but you don't have to talk about all of the bullet points. So what does this mean to you? It means you can choose to talk about some of the bullet points you are comfortable with and other things unrelated to the bullet points but related to the topic. This will help you give a better and a more fluent answer.

2. Plan your answer during the 1 minute preparation time

You will have one minute to prepare before you start talking. During this 1 minute, You should layout your speaking response's structure and put down some keywords to help you remember what you want to talk about during your speech. Remember! you need to speak for 2 minutes speech and that's a lot of time. If you don't plan well, you are not likely to do a great job. Maybe if you prepared yourself a structure, things would be a lot easier :)

3. Prepare a structure to plan out your speaking answer

There's nothing worse then having an idea in your mind, but failing to express it into words that's easy for the listener to follow and understand. This is typically the case when you aren't practiced in speaking with structure. It's recommended you have a structure in mind to answer any question. Here we recommend two strategies to structure your answers:

First Strategy

In the first strategy, the structure of the response is divided into 3 parts:
  1. Introduction:
    In the introduction, you can rephrase the question a little, and then use a sentence to introduce what you will talk about. Just a simple introductory phrase like, "I'm going to talk about..." or "I'd like to talk about..." will work just fine. The introduction usually takes up around 10 seconds. Or you can say something like, "Hmm..this is an interesting topic. My first thought is.." or, "That's a tough question for me, but if I had to choose, I'd choose..". Then, you'll want to move on to talk about the main points.
  2. Main points:
    When you've decided what you want to talk about, the first thing you'll want to do is to think about question words like "who," "what," "where," or "when," and then, you can start coming up with basic responses to these questions. You can write down a few of your ideas on your paper. Next, you can start looking at the bullet points, and then choose two of them to talk about. Again, you can write down a few ideas for each bullet point on the card. Finally, you want to focus on questions that start with "why". Usually there is a "why" question on the question card.
  3. Extension:
    If up to this point, you have still not used all 2 minutes of your time, you can extend your answer by talking about how you feel overall and what you might like to do in the future in regards to the topic. Doing that should help you add another 20 seconds. You can always start with sentences like "Overall, I feel .., and "I think in the future I will....".
Example Question:
Describe a piece of electronic equipment that you have.
You should say:
  • what it is
  • what you used it for
  • how long you have used it
  • and describe why it is important to you

Laptop, HP, Good configuration, Windows 8
Bought from BestBuy few years ago.
Present from my mom

Bullet point:
What I used it for: study, take notes, wath movies, listen to music
How long I have used it: 1 year

Why: essential part of my life

Sample Answer:

This is an interesting topic. My first thought is that I find a lot of electronic equipment useful, but today I am going to talk about the laptop I have.

My laptop computer is manufactured by HP. This laptop has a good configuration and it supports most of the latest software. It came with the Windows 8 operating system and a warranty for three years. I remembered my mom bought it for me as a present. We bought it at Best Buy. I remember it was black friday, so the computers were on sale and we got a great discount.

As for what I use it for, I'd say it is useful in virtually all aspects of my life, including studying, and entertainment. For instance, I use my laptop to take notes. I remember I used to take notes by hand in highschool. It was extremely time-consuming. Now with my laptop, I can type notes directly into a document. It is just much faster and much more flexible. I also use my laptop for entertainment purposes. For example, when I get home from school, I listen to music on my laptop. On weekends, I like watching my favorite TV shows on Netflix. If I didn't have my laptop, I would have to use my phone to watch videos, and I think the phone's screen would be too small for me to really enjoy the programme.

With regards to how long I have used it, well, I had my old laptop for over 5 years, but I finally decided to upgrade and bought my current one a year ago.

Finally, I want to talk about why the laptop is important to me. As I said earlier, this laptop has become an essential piece of equipment for me in almost every aspect of my life. I use it to watch movies and listen to music. I also use it to take notes. I even use it to write a blog, and play games occasionally.

Overall, I feel I am a bit emotionally attached to this laptop as it has become a part of my life. I think in the future, I will continue to use it until it stops working. Even if it breaks, I'll probably still keep it and treat it as a valuable.

Second Strategy

In this strategy, the structure of the response is also divided into 3 parts, which you can think of as being 3 different "stories" that you'll tell the examiner.

These three stories will concern events from the past, present, and future. So, that means you will tell a story about what happened before, a story about what is happening now, and a story about what you think will happen later. By using this structure, you won't get stuck trying to think about what to talk about, and you are more likely to speak long enough to reach 2 minutes.

If you don't have enough to talk about using the bullet points alone, this structure can help you get ideas to extend your answer. In fact, you don't need to stick with the questions on the bullet points -- really, you don't even need to stay on topic. It's okay to answer by using relevant stories, and if you get a little off-topic, that's okay too.

Example Question:
Describe people that you know and believe to be very good parents. You should say:
  • Who they are
  • How you met them
  • Why you think they are good parents
  • And explain what it requires to be good parents.

Sample Answer:

There are lots of ways to be a good parent, and today I'd like to tell you three stories about my experiences with parenting.

Well, first of all, when I was growing up, I think I was very fortunate to have good parents. My parents both worked very hard, but also took the time to make sure they taught us valuable lessons and spent time with us every day. I remember that we would always have dinner at the dinner table together, and my mother and father would ask me and my siblings questions about our day and make jokes with us. They are still very important people in my life now.

Next, I'd like to talk about some great parents that I know today. They are my friends who are new parents. Even though they are still learning about how to be good parents, I watch them lose sleep each night and sacrifice their own comfort regularly for the sake of their baby. The mother is so patient, even when she has not had time to take a shower or relax, she always smiles and plays with the baby. The father works hard and even after a long day, he still takes time to give his wife a break when he comes home from work, so she can have some time to herself. The couple is not only kind to their baby, but they are also kind to each other.

For my last story today, I'm going to tell you about a TV show I saw that has influenced how I think I want to be a parent in the future. The show is called "Parenthood," and it's a sitcom about a few different families. Although they are all very different, the thing that holds them together is their support, honesty, and love for one another. I hope that when I become a parent someday, I can give my family the same amount of all of those things, and be accepting of my children even if they are different from how I expected them to be.

4. Don't Worry About Making Mistakes

The last tip is not to worry about making mistakes. Everybody taking an IELTS speaking test makes both grammar and vocabulary mistakes. The examiners are actually expecting you to make some mistakes. What's important is getting the message across; making a few small mistakes will not hurt your overall message. What will hurt your message is thinking about the mistake. Losing your train of thought is dangerous. If you can correct it immediately without losing your train of thought, then it's fine to correct it, but if you struggle or it takes a little bit of time to think of the correction, then please forget it and move on.

How to Answer IELTS Speaking Questions Part 3

In part 3 of the IELTS speaking test, the examiner will ask a broader range of questions which are based on the topics discussed in part 2. These questions are more general and require you to develop your answer further with explanations and examples. It is going to be a discussion with the examiner that will last for about 4-5 minutes. The examiner wants to see that you can fluently express your opinions and that you are able to justify them by giving reasons and examples.

IELTS Speaking Tips for Success - Part 3

Ok, let's just say that the IELTS speaking topic question in part 2 is "Describe a book that you read recently". In part 3, the questions you are going to be asked are related to the topic "book". So, here are some general and abstract questions that could be asked in part 3 based on this topic:

  • What kind of books are considered good reads in your opinion?
  • Why do you think so many people read on tablets nowadays?
  • Do you think that traditional books will be replaced by tablet reading in the future?

If you have done some research on IELTS Speaking part 3 questions, you might think they are unpredictable, making them challenging to prepare for. However, if you look at them closely, you can see patterns among the questions. Generally speaking, questions in IELTS speaking part 3 ask you to

  1. give your opinion on a topic
  2. express your preference on a topic
  3. compare and contrast two things
  4. make a prediction on something in the future
  5. make a comparison with the past
  6. talk about a hypothetical situation
  7. talk about your ideas about people in society
  8. talk about causes and effects
  9. provide solutions to a problem
Let's have a look some more example questions.
IELTS Speaking Part 3 Question Types
Give your opinion on a topic
  • What is your opinion on companies checking job applicants' online profiles?
  • Do you think the education system in your country influences young people's behavior?
  • Is food safety becoming an increasingly serious problem in our lives?
Express your preference
  • What do you think is better for you? home cooking or eating out?
  • Do you generally read a lot of books or do you prefer watching T.V?
  • Do you prefer to live in a big city or in a small town?
Talk about people or things in your country
  • Do people in your country spend a lot of money on their education?
  • How do most people travel long distances in your country?
  • How popular is watching television in your country?
Talk about causes and effects
  • What are some of the causes of water pollution?
  • How does advertising influence what people choose to buy?
  • Why do you think so many people read on tablets nowadays?
Compare and contrast two things
  • What are the differences between living in the city and the countryside?
  • What is the difference between studying online and studying at a school?
  • What is the difference between clothes that young people and old people like to wear?
Make a prediction on something in the future
  • What do you think cities will be like in 50 years time?
  • Will computers and robots replace teachers in the future?
Make a comparison with the past
  • How are education priorities today different from those in the past?
  • How are the eating habits now different from eating habits in the past?
  • How has teaching changed in your country over the past few decades?
Talk about a hypothetical situation
  • If you could choose a city to live in, where would you choose?
  • If you could influence or had the power to change the world with your writings what would you want to change?
Provide solutions to a problem
  • How can traffic be reduced in a city?
  • How can we stop violence on TV?
  • What can we do to slow down global warming?
So these are all question styles you’ll encounter in Part 3. There is no set word limit for what could be considered a good IELTS speaking part 3 answer, but it should not be too short. If it's too short, you will have failed to develop your answer properly. As a rule, to get a high IELTS speaking score, your answer should be around 5-8 sentences long.

If you're worried about speaking that many sentences, you're not alone. Even native speakers would need to train with IELTS speaking practice questions to provide a 5-8 sentence answer worth a high IELTS speaking score. However, there are some IELTS speaking templates that'll make your life easier. As long as you practice enough IELTS speaking questions and you follow our speaking structure, you will feel more confident and improve your speech.

Now let’s look at how to structure your answer based on the IELTS speaking question style. Keep in mind that the answer structures are only to help you have a clear picture of what you want to say and to help you stay organized. However, you don’t necessarily have to follow them as long as your answer is on topic and can showcase your English proficiency.

Let's look at how to extend and structure your answer based on the question style.
Make a prediction on something in the future
  1. Describe the prediction
  2. Describe the current trend and say this trend will probably continue
  3. Describe how you feel about this prediction (Optional)
Sample Question What do you think cities will be like in 50 years time?
Model Answer and Analysis:

Describe the prediction:
I think cities in the future will be more densely populated. At the same time, people will still require transportation, so I think the transportation in future cities will be more modern, fast, and convenient.

Describe the current trend and say this trend will probably continue:
In fact, I think there is a growing trend across the world of futuristic cities emerging where transportation is becoming more convenient to meet the growing demands of population. This trend will probably continue going forward.

Describe how you feel about this prediction:
I personally like this trend as more futuristic cities will emerge. A good example of a futuristic city is I think I will say it is Tokyo, where people have access to clean transportation, and live in compact spaces, like high-rises.
Make a comparison with the past
  1. State that there have been changes over the past decades
  2. Describe the first comparison
  3. Describe the second comparison
  4. Describe how you feel about this change (Optional)
Sample Question How has teaching changed in your country over the past few decades?
Model Answer and Analysis:

State that there have been changes over the past decade:
In the past few decades, there have definitely been some noticeable changes in education through generations.

Describe the first comparison:
I mean ..most notably, students today can no longer be punished physically by teachers, while in the past, that was pretty common.

Describe the second comparison:
Another way that education has changed is teacher student interaction. Today, it’s more normal to see students answering questions and having discussions, while in the past, the teacher simply lectured, and the students listened silently.

Describe how you feel about this change:
Overall, I think education is making progress in my country.
Compare and contrast two things
  1. State that there are a few differences between two things
  2. Describe the first comparison
  3. Describe the second comparison
  4. Give a short conclusion (Optional)
Sample Question What are the differences between living in the city and the countryside?
Model Answer and Analysis:

State that there are a few differences between two things:
For me, there are quite a few differences between life in the city and life in the country. Life in the city and in the country is vastly different.

Describe the first comparison:
First of all, the way people interact with each other is different. For example, in a small town, people usually wave to say hello, and notice strangers in town. But in a big city, most people ignore each other and try to give each other space in public.

Describe the second comparison:
Another big difference between the two is the amount of noise, which is higher in cities, and lower in small towns.

Give a short conclusion:
Overall, life in both places varies.
Provide solutions to a problem
  1. Briefly talk about the problem
  2. Talk about the first solution
  3. Talk about the second solution
  4. Describe how you feel about the problem and the solutions (Optional)
Sample Question How can we stop violence on TV?
Model Answer and Analysis:

Briefly talk about the problem:
I think violence on TV is the most problematic for children, but there isn’t really a simple way to make it stop, because there is a demand for action, horror, and excitement on TV.

Talk about the first solution:
The way I see it, there are two possible ways to deal with violent TV shows. The first is to make policies that actually ban that kind of programming altogether, although that would likely not be popular.

Talk about the second solution:
The second way could be to educate people on why violent TV shows are problematic, and see if they will stop watching the shows to lower the demand for them.

Describe how you feel about the problem and the solutions:
I mean either way, I think this problem probably isn’t going to disappear with just one simple solution.
Talk about causes or effects of a phenomenon
  1. Briefly talk about the phenomenon
  2. Point out the cause or effect
  3. Provide an example of the cause or effect
  4. Describe how you feel about the phenomenon (Optional)
Sample Question What are some of the causes of water pollution?
Model Answer and Analysis:

Briefly talk about the phenomenon:
Water pollution definitely has more disastrous effects on our health

Point out the cause or effect:
From what I understand, water pollution is caused mostly by human activity, so it seems like the likely sources of water pollution would be factories, runoff from farms, and sewage from cities.

Provide an example of the cause or effect:
For instance, I’ve seen a few studies recently that declared the Australian Great Barrier Reef to be dead due to man-made pollutants and garbage in the water.

Describe how you feel about the phenomenon:
I think it’s quite sad, as that probably could have been prevented if people paid more attention to the effects big industry has on the environment.
Talk about people or things in your country
  1. Answer the question
  2. Give examples of how most people do things
  3. Give examples of how you do things
Sample Question How popular is watching television in your country?
Model Answer and Analysis:

Answer the question:
As far as I know, watching TV is probably one of the most popular pastimes for people in my country.

Give examples of how most people do things:
For example, in the evening, almost every home I pass has the TV in the living room switched on, and families will be sitting around together watching shows. I think most people like watching the news, or watching dramas.

Give examples of how you do things:
As for me, I also watch quite a bit of TV when I’m at home. For instance, I watch sitcoms on Friday nights after work.I guess other people in my country probably do the same thing as I do.

Finally! Let’s look at the last three types of questions
  • Give your opinion on a topic
  • Express your preference
  • Talk about a hypothetical situation

For these question types, you can use the following structure to form your speaking response:
  1. Answer the question
  2. Explain the reason
  3. Give examples to support your reasons
Let’s look at some examples:
Give your opinion on a topic
Sample Question Do you think people spend too much money on electronic devices?
Model Answer and Analysis:

Answer the question:
If you ask me, yes, I think that some people spend too much money trying to keep up with the latest trends in technology.

Explain the reason:
However, I can understand why they do it, because these days devices become obsolete almost immediately after they are purchased.

Give examples to support your reasons:
For example, a new smartphone might have some great new camera today, but tomorrow, another one will appear with an even better camera. Then, everyone will want to upgrade to the new device. As for me, I am satisfied with using a slightly outdated device in order to save money until I really need a new one.
Express your preference
Sample Question Do you generally read a lot of books or do you prefer watching T.V?
Model Answer and Analysis:

Answer the question:
Even though I love to read, the reality is I spend quite a bit more time watching TV.

Explain the reason:
I think the main reason I watch more TV is because it’s lazier, which is unfortunate. But at the same time, there are some great shows to choose from.

Give examples to support your reasons:
For instance, one of my favorite shows is “Dexter”, which has great writing, an interesting plot, and well-developed characters, just like a book. I think in the age we live in now, TV is just going to keep getting better and better, so I am going to probably continue watching more TV.
Talk about a hypothetical situation
Sample Question If you could influence or had the power to change the world with your writings what would you want to change?
Model Answer and Analysis:

Answer the question:
If I could change the world with my writings, my biggest priority would probably be to educate people about how and why they need to make changes to what they buy, what they eat, and consume to help save the environment.

Explain the reason:
The main reason is that people nowadays are using so much disposable plastic and products. This has led to many environmental problems. If my writing could change our consumption habits, that would have a drastic effect on our environmental footprint.

Give examples to support your reasons:
For example, I’ve seen a few studies recently predicting that, by 2050, the mass of plastic in the world’s oceans will exceed the mass of all the fish that live there. If that happens, the entire food chain will be severely damaged.

Our IELTS Speaking Practice Questions

Our IELTS speaking practice questions were designed to look and feel identical to the official IELTS speaking test. We made sure everything was the same including difficulty, formatting, and even how the test functions. Please note we offer 4 simulated IELTS tests with never before seen questions. This means that in addition to our IELTS speaking practices there are an additional 24 waiting for you in the form of a simulated IELTS tests. You can start practicing our questions now: IELTS Speaking Practice 1 - part 1

These IELTS speaking topics were created with the most recent year's topics, so our IELTS speaking samples are relevant to your IELTS speaking preparation! Make sure you complete them all and you'll achieve a high IELTS speaking band score.

What's next

Sign up for a 7 day free trial to access our IELTS speaking lessons and questions and start your IELTS preparation.

Free IELTS Speaking English Resources

Improving your speaking skills with free resources is a little more challenging than the other three IELTS sections. It's true that speaking English can help you improve, but what really helps is having conversations with a fluent English speaker. Someone that can help correct your mistakes. Of course, a fluent English speaker isn't always available, so we'll go to the next best thing. Free IELTS speaking resources.

Below are a few amazing free resources you can use to train and maintain your IELTS speaking skills.

1. Google Speech-to-Text

This is a great tool for teaching yourself to speak at a good pace and to pronounce correctly. What you'll notice is if you make a mistake, Google API will write down what it thinks you said. We actually have something similar in our IELTS speaking question section under the "SAMPLE" tab, but you'll need Google chrome on desktop to use it.

2. YouTube

YouTube has tons of free resources related to IELTS speaking test practice. Some videos even offer IELTS speaking samples with answer.

3. Google Play Store

There are loads of free English speaking fluency apps from Google play store. You really can't go wrong with these free apps. Just download them and start. With the right app, you should be able to improve your IELTS speaking skills, at least, a little bit.

How IELTS Speaking Questions are Scored

In the IELTS speaking test, your speaking ability will be scored based on four categories. These are known as Fluency and coherence, Lexical resource, Grammatical range and accuracy, and Pronunciation. Read on for an opportunity to get more familiar with each of these categories. For more information, you can also refer to these band descriptors which IELTS examiners use to score the Speaking section of the test. Now, let's look at these four categories in detail.

Fluency & Coherence

Can you discuss your thoughts in a clear, logical way? Fluency refers to your ability to get your ideas across rationally, and coherence refers to the extent to which others can understand your ideas. To get a Band 9 score in the Fluency and Coherence category, you should be able to speak continuously without stopping to remember words or grammar, while simultaneously developing a complete, practical response to IELTs speaking questions.

If you are frequently hesitating to put a grammatically correct response together, your fluency will be negatively impacted. You should be focused on using English to effectively communicate the content of your message at all times, not on finding the right words themselves. To score well in the area of coherence, your ideas need to flow together sensibly to your listener. You can make use of cohesive features, like transitions, and common discourse markers to improve your cohesion, and also buy yourself a little more time to think of your best response.

Lexical Resource

Your lexical resource concerns your ability to effectively tap into your "mental dictionary" or lexicon. If you tend to speak with an expansive, varied vocabulary, you will surely do well in the lexical resource category. Note that both the appropriateness and accuracy of your vocabulary choices are considered here, so you must be sure to choose the correct word for both its meaning AND the context in which it appears.

On the other hand, if you have a limited vocabulary, or are inexperienced with finding the right context for some words, you may need some additional practice in this area. Remember, just knowing what an English word "means" does not ensure that you are using it correctly, as English words often have connotations which are not necessarily found in the dictionary. By the way, you'll understand what we're talking about more as you go through our IELTS speaking samples. Continuing on, repeating the same words that you are comfortable using again and again is another common mistake to avoid, as it will indicate to the examiner that your lexical resources are limited. Finally, the examiner will expect you to be able to correctly paraphrase IELTS speaking questions by using your own words to repeat the question. That means listening and understanding the phrasing of questions is important, too.

Grammatical Range

Unsurprisingly to most, your grammar will also be considered as part of your IELTS speaking score. To do your best in this category, you should become familiar with as many IELTS speaking topics as you can, so you can focus more on your grammar, then you can attempt to demonstrate your grammatical ability and range as naturally as possible. Avoiding mistakes will not be enough to get a high score in this area, as the examiner needs ample opportunities to hear you using more complex or difficult grammatical structures and features. Your goal should be to show off your grammatical knowledge while appearing comfortable using a variety of sentence constructions and verb tenses.

However, as many second-language speakers know, this is easier said than done. If you're confused about how to use some grammar points, or you aren't sure whether you're making mistakes when speaking, consider recording your spoken responses next time you practice answering IELTS speaking test questions. While listening, you may find that there are some mistakes you didn't even know you were making. Discovering these will allow you to figure out how to break bad habits BEFORE the examiner hears you making them on the test. If possible, get a native speaker, instructor, or a friend with good English to help you correct your mistakes and explain grammar rules. Be sure to go back and review as well - even the most basic grammar lessons.


Last but not least, examiners will score your pronunciation. Those with the highest scores in this category will pronounce words well enough for native speakers to understand them perfectly at all times. Pronunciation problems which limit your ability to be understood when speaking will reduce your score.

It's important to remember that English pronunciation involves more than just the sounds of words. Native speakers will also be listening for proper tone, stress, and flow in your words as well as within sentences. When test-takers are unfamiliar with the natural rhythm and intonation patterns of English, the only surefire way to improve is to hear and use as much spoken English as possible throughout the day. You can speak English and listen to your response every day right here at BestMyTest with our IELTS speaking practice questions.

Realistically, doing this may not be possible for everyone. Even so, you can still make the most of your limited time by listening to recordings of native speakers. To practice improving your pronunciation, you'll need to channel your inner parrot. Try stopping the recording and repeating short portions exactly the way you heard them a few times. Listen for rising and falling tones, pauses, and even the speaker's emotion. Doing this will allow you to develop your own pronunciation within different contexts, as well as train yourself to hear and replicate the real sounds of native-like English.

All information on this page was referenced from the official IELTS website: