Updated June 30, 2015


IELTS Part 2 and Part 3 Topics and Questions

Page 118


586.  A Meal  (Sep. 4, 2014)  (Probably no longer used)

587.  A Borrowed Thing  (Sep. 4, 2014)  (Probably no longer used)

588A Gift You Made Yourself  (Sep. 4, 2014)  (Probably no longer used)

589 A Friend's Habit  (Sept., 2014)  (Probably no longer used)

590.  A Book You Recently Read  (Sep. 4, 2014)  (Probably no longer used)



FQ = frequent question = a question that has frequently been reported = a question that is probably in the examiner's question book

* = my guess at a question


586.  A Meal  (Sep. 4, 2014)  (Probably no longer used)

Describe a meal you invited others to (in your home or in a restaurant).

               You should say:

when you had this meal.

where you had it

what you ate and drank

and explain why you invited people to this meal.




Possible follow-up questions:


Part 3

See also Part 3 of Topic 487, Topic 231, Topic 80 & Topic 15

Eating Places

The Food Industry

The Cultural Importance of Food

Food Safety


587.  A Borrowed Thing  (Sep. 4, 2014)  (Probably no longer used) 

Describe something you borrowed from a family member or a friend.

               You should say:

what it was

when you borrowed it

who you borrowed it from

and explain why you borrowed it. *



  • Understand that the two verbs, "borrow" and "share" are different. It is possible to talk about money but in order to make that qualify as a "thing" you would need to begin by describing it as "a sum of money".

  • Don't forget in English it is "borrow something from someone" and "lend something to someone". Sometimes the verb is "loan something to someone", which is the same as "lend something to someone". But some people feel that "loan" is best used as a noun only.

  • Make sure you pronounce "borrow" clearly. Don't say, "barrow" or "burrow", which have different meanings..


Possible follow-up questions:

  • Do you often borrow things?


Part 3


Returning Borrowed Things



588A Gift You Made Yourself (Sep. 4, 2014)  (Probably no longer used)

Describe an occasion when you gave a gift that you had made yourself (to a friend or family member).*

               You should say:

what it was

who you gave it to

how you made it

and explain why you gave a self-made (or, handmade) gift *


and explain how your friend reacted on receiving this gift. *



  • The wording might not include, "to a friend or family member".

  • There is a possibility that the wording just says, "a handmade thing" without saying that you made it.


Possible follow-up questions:

  • Do you often make your own gifts?


Part 3

1) See also the Part 3 of the following "handmade" topics: 76, and relevant questions in Topic 9

2) See also Part 3 of  the following "gift" topics, although the topic of "gifts" might not be emphasized in this Part 3: Topic 539, Topic 423, Topic 364, Topic 221, Topic 233, Topic 160, Topic 85 and Topic 54 

Note that the two words, "give" and "send" have different meanings.

Handmade Gifts

  • On what occasions do people in your country give gifts?

  • Do you think a homemade (or, handmade) gift is good to give to someone? ("homemade" = made by oneself = "handmade")

  • Do people in your country often give handmade items as gifts? FQ

  • What are some examples of handmade items that people give as gifts?  FQx2  (See Note 1)

  • What are the differences between a handmade gift and a store-bought gift?  FQ

  • Do people like to receive hand-made gifts?

  • What types of people are most likely to be the receivers of these gifts?

  • Do you think people appreciate receiving handmade gifts or do they prefer more expensive, shop-bought gifts?  FQ

  • Do you think females are more likely to place importance on giving gifts than males?

  • Who gives self-made (= handmade) gifts more often, girls or boys?   FQx2

  • (Similar to above) Who do you think is more likely to make a gift, a male or a female?  FQx2

Creativity / Design

  • Do you think arts and crafts should be taught in schools? FQ

  • Do you think it should be a compulsory subject?

  • Do you think it's necessary to teach creativity to children?

  • How would it benefit children to have these classes in school?

  • Are girls (or, females) more creative than boys (or males)?  FQ  Difficult discussion topic

  • Do you think designers of products are mostly males or mostly females?


  • What would you say are some of the main differences between handmade products and machine-made products? FQx2

  • (Similar to above) Which do you think are better, handmade products or factory-made products? FQx2

  • Generally, is a handmade product cheaper, or more expensive, than a similar machine-made product?


589 A Friend's Habit  (Sept., 2014)  (Probably no longer used) .

Describe a habit of one of your friends that you would like to have. *.

               You should say:

what the habit is

who the friend is *

when / where your friend uses this habit *

and explain why you would like to have (or, develop) that habit.




  • Since this is the IELTS test, the test makers are expecting many candidates to talk about a study habit. But of course there are other good habits, such as always wearing a seat belt in a car or brushing your teeth.

  • One can "emulate" (= copy) a person, but not really "emulate a habit" or "copy a habit". Instead, we say, "adopt a habit" or "develop a habit" (more often for bad habits).


Possible follow-up questions:


Part 3


  • What are some examples of good habits, and of bad habits that people have?

  • How do we develop our habits? FQ

  • (Similar to above) How do people develop bad habits? FQ

  • How do people (adults) judge what is a "bad" habit and what is a "good" habit?

  • What can be (or, are) the results of having bad habits?

  • Why do people sometimes change (or try to change) their habits?

  • Do you think adults (or possibly, old people) can easily change their habits (or, break bad habits)?

The Habits of Children (and Young People)

  • Do you think it's important for people to develop good habits when they are children?

  • What good habits do you think children should develop (or, have)? FQ

  • Do you think that children have different habits to adults?

  • (Similar to above) What are some examples of habits that people usually only develop when are become adults?

  • Do you think that people change their habits as they grow from childhood to adulthood?

  • Some children change their habits. Can you suggest why that might happen?

  • Why do some children develop bad habits?

  • Do you think parents have a responsibility (duty, obligation) to encourage the development of good habits in their children?

  • How can parents cultivate good habits in their children?

  • Do you think the dietary habits of children are important?

  • Do you think there are good and bad habits of thinking? (= ways of thinking, attitudes) *


Possible this is sub-topic or possibly it was reported erroneously. "Behaviour" is not really the same as "habits". Both behaviour and habits are (mostly) learned but the meaning of the two is not exactly the same.

  • Why do many children behave badly?

  • How can parents encourage the development of good behaviour in their children?

  • Do you think parents have a responsibility to teach their children good manners?


  • Do you think it's good to do the same things every day?

  • What benefits do (some) people get from doing the same thing every day?

  • What do you think are the advantages, and possible disadvantages, of having routines (or, a daily routine)?

  • Do you think have a daily routine helps people who have a bad memory? ( = a poor ability to remember things)


590.  A Book You Recently Read  (Sep. 4, 2014)  (Probably no longer used) 

Describe a book you recently read.

               You should say:

what book it was

why you read it

what the contents of the book were (or, what the book was about)

and explain what you liked and/or disliked about the book.



  • "Recently" can mean a few months ago - it doesn't have to be in the past week!

  • As with all past tense questions, you must indicate when it happened, even if the card does not tell you to do that. Using the word, "recently" is good enough in this case but it might be better to try to be a bit more accurate by saying something like, "about a month ago", "about three months ago" etc.

  • This might be a repetition of Topic 158

  • Be careful of attempting to retell a complete story from a novel. You need to be good at summarizing to do that in the short time you are given.


Possible follow-up questions:

  • Would you like to write a book?


Part 3

See any similar questions in the following previous topics -  Topics 549, 492, 478, 355, 322, 14527288,  158189, 215 and 229

Reading in Your Country

  • Do you like reading?

  • What types of books do you prefer to read?

  • What are some of the reasons why people read books?

  • What (types of) books (or other reading matter) do they read? FQ

  • Can you think of any examples of adults who need to (= must) read books?

  • Do teenagers and adults like to read the same kinds of things?

  • Do men and women (like to) read the same types of things?

  • In their spare time, do adults in your country prefer to read or do other things?

  • What might be the reasons/factors affecting adult reading habits?

  • Have there been any changes in people's reading habits in your country in past few years (or, decades)? FQ   See Note 5

  • Do you think people today read more, or read less than they did say, 50 years ago?  FQ

  • Do you think people's reading habits change as they grow older?

  • Do you think reading is important? FQ

  • (Similar to above) What do you think are the benefits of reading? FQ

  • Which do you think benefits people more, reading or watching TV? FQ

  • (Similar to above) How are watching TV and reading books different activities? FQ

  • What do you think will be the role of books in the next 25 years?

  • Do you think that reading will be (still) popular in the future? FQ

  • Do you think that modern technology is having an effect on people's reading habits?  FQ

  • Do you think e-books are having an effect on people's reading habits?

  • Which do you prefer, paper books or e-books?

  • Do you think e-books will replace paper books in the future?

  • Why do you think some people prefer to read e-books while others prefer to read paper books?

Children's Reading

  • What do children in your country read? FQx2

  • (A little different to above) What kinds of books do children like to read? FQx2

  • What are some differences between what children read and what adults read?  FQ 

  • Do they only read entertainment materials or do they also read other things (or, for other purposes)?

  • Do you think they should read more educational materials?(= materials from which they increase their knowledge)

  • Who do you think has the greater influence on the reading habits of children, their teachers or their parents?  FQx2

  • Who do you think is more suitable for teaching children to read, their teachers or their parents?  FQx2

  • How could children be encouraged to read more? FQ

  • (Similar to above)  How could children be encouraged to get into the habit of reading?  FQ

  • Do you think schools should compel (or, force) children to read?

  • If a child did not like reading, what could his or her parents do?

Education / Learning

  • Do you think books are important?

  • Do you think it's important for school children to use books at school?

  • Why not provide school children with electronic devices that contain their text book materials? *

  • What can people learn from reading books?

  • What was you favourite subject at school?

  • Who was your favourite teacher?

  • Do you think parents have an effect on the reading that their children do?

  • Who do you think has the greater influence on a child's learning (or, education), the child's parents or the child's teachers?  FQ  See Note 2



Note 1

Listen carefully to what word the examiner uses, whether it is "handmade" or some word such as "self-made". People can buy some handmade products in certain types of shops, including souvenir shops, but even though these products were made by hand (handicrafts), they are not "self-made" or made by the gift-giver..

Note 2

It is not clear whether the word, "learning" or "education" is used. I think the answer could be different, depending on which word is used.

Note 3

The wording for that question is not clear but it seems to be hinting at the idea of many people using an app or the internet to order meals to be delivered to their homes. Or possibly robots cooking pre-packaged meals at home. Basically, it's a futuristic question, like science fiction, and it doesn't matter how "stupid" your ideas might sound - it's more important to correctly use the future tense, along with adverbs such as "maybe", "perhaps", "possibly", "probably" etc.

Note 4

Whenever a question using the word, "replace" is used like that, it implies "completely replace" or, "100% replace". So the answer should not be a simple "Yes" or "No" you should include how much you think something will be or might be replaced. A similar question is, "Do you think the internet will replace newspapers?"

Note 5

When it comes to the question of reading (paper) books, the advent of television and of the internet certainly changed people's habits. But try to be accurate when you talk about the affect of the internet on people's reading habits in general, not just reading books. As internet usage grew, the time spent watching TV shrunk. But many people spend a large proportion of their time on the internet reading things on the internet. For these people, the amount of reading that they do has actually increased, compared to when they watched TV! The difference is that it is not paper books, paper magazines or newspapers that they are reading.