Updated Sep. 16, 2015


IELTS Part 2 and Part 3 Topics and Questions

Page 121


601.  A Long Journey  (May, 2014?)  (Probably no longer used)  

602.  Something You Would Like to Learn to Do   (Sep. 4, 2014) (Probably no longer used)

603.  An Historic Place  (Sept., 2014)    (Probably no longer used)

604.  No Topic

605.  No Topic 



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


601.  A Long Journey  (May, 2014?)  (Probably no longer used) 

Version A

Describe an enjoyable long trip that you experienced.

               You should say:

.where you went

 how you went there (= what means of transport you used to get there)

 how long it was

when you went there *

 who you went with *

and explain what you saw during the trip. *


and explain what you did during the trip. *


Version B

Describe a place that you have visited far away from home.

                You should say:

where you went

how you went there (= what means of transport you used to get there)

how far away it was (or, how long you travelled)

when you went there *

who you went with *

and explain what you did there (or, did on this trip)




  • Be prepared for either Version A or B, both of which have been reported. The wording of Version A focuses more on the travelling part of a trip while Version B focuses more on a place.

  • "Long" could be measured in time rather than kilometers and even 1 hour can be called "long" in some cases.


Possible follow-up questions:

  • Would you like to go there again? Or: Would you like to make that trip again?

  • Do you often go on long trips?

  • Did you buy any souvenirs there?


Part 3

See also the Part 3 questions in Topic 275.

See some vocabulary HERE

Many of the questions here are about "young people", even if they are written as simply "people" here. So think about comparing young people and old(er) people for many of these questions.

Long Trips

Means of Transport

Traveling Abroad


602.  Something You Would Like to Learn to Do   (Sep. 4, 2014)   (Probably no longer used)

Describe something that you would like to learn (how) to do. (Something that you cannot do now) *

               You should say:

what you would like to learn to do

where you would learn it *

how you would learn it

and explain why you would like to learn to do this. *



  • This has been moved to Topic 657. That Topic contains everything that is written below, for Topic 602, and any future additions will be made at Topic 657, not here.

  • See the notes HERE for an explanation of the differences between the two words "learn" and "study".

  • The wording might be slightly different to that shown above but I believe the meaning is what is shown above. That is, I believe the emphasis is on learning how to do something, rather than simply studying something theoretical. I believe this because everybody who reports this topic uses the word, "learn", not the word, "study". The word "learn" is always connected with the idea of doing something, even if the actual action (the verb) is not stated. For example, if you say, "I would like to learn Russian" you really mean, "I would like to learn how to speak (and / or read & write) Russian",  "learn the piano" really means 'learn to play the piano" etc.

A few people have reported this topic as something like, "Describe something that you donít know yet but would like to learn". This might be accurate and the word, "do" (in "learn to do") might not appear in the wording at all.

The word "learn" can be applied to "learning a fact" such as, "I would like to learn what really happened to Flight MH17". Here, "learn" means "discover" or "find out". So it is not 100% certain that this topic is about learning to do something. But I think it would be safest to prepare an answer about learning to do something because most cases of "learning" are connected with doing something. 

  • The fact that Part 3, below, seems to have 4 or 5 sub-topics instead of the usual 3 sub-topics might be an indication that some of these sub-topics or questions actually belong with the Part 3 of Topic 608,  Something Interesting Learned on the Internet.


Possible follow-up questions:

  • Do you think it would be hard to learn that?


Part 3

Studying and Learning  See Note 3

  • Do you think reading (or studying from) books is the most efficient way to learn/study?

  • (Possibly) Do you think reading (or studying from) books is the only way to learn/study?

  • How do you think the internet has changed the way people study / learn things?  FQ

  • Which way(s) of learning something do you prefer?

  • Do you think learning by using special teaching computer software (programmed learning) is a good way to learn something new?  See Note 4

  • Do you think computers might one day replace teachers?

  • Who do you think can learn something easier, a young person or an old person?  See Note 5

  • Do you think old people can learn anything from young people?

  • Do you think people can learn much from educational TV programs?

Technical Education

  • What do you think is the relationship between science (on the one hand) and (modern) technology (on the other hand)?

  • (Possibly) How do you think modern technology is related to scientific research?

  • How important do you think technical education is?

  • (Possible question) Which do you think is more important to study (or, learn about), science and technology, or the humanities and arts? *

Children's Education

  • Which do you think is more important, what children learn at school or what they learn at home?  FQ

  • (Similar to above) Which learning (or knowledge) is better, what they learn at home or what they learn at school?

  • Do you think there are any things that children can learn at home that they don't (or, can't) learn at school? FQ

  • Do children learn different things at different ages?

  • What do you think children should learning at home before they start attending school?

  • Do you think children should read books more at school or at home?

  • Who do you think has the greater impact on the education of children, their parents or their teachers?  FQ

  • How do parents & teachers differ in the education of children?

  • Do you think parents should (try to) teach "academic knowledge" to their children?

  • Do you think parents today have enough time to teach things (or, life skills) to their children?  FQ

  • Are there any topics / subjects that you think parents should not (or cannot) teach at home?

  • Do you think there are differences between the study (or learning) that children do and that of adults?

  • Do you think (senior) high school students should have a choice on what subjects they study at school, or should the schools make this decision?

  • Would you like to be a teacher?


  • What skills do you think are most useful in everyday life?

  • Do you think women should also learn all of those skills?

  • What are the differences between the skills that females learn and those that males learn?

  • Do you think people should learn the skills they need for work while they at high school?

  • Which do you think are more important, the skills that children learn at school or the skills they learn at home?  See Note 1

  • How important do you think it is for people to learn to use new technologies?


  • What do you think is the best way for a person to learn to use a computer?

  • How can parents teach their children to use a computer? FQ

  • What could be done if the parents are too busy to teach things such as computer usage to their children? FQ

  • Do you think children can learn to use computers faster than (or easier than) people of their grandparents' age? (Why?)  FQx2

  • (Similar to above) Who do you think learns to use modern technology faster, children or old people? (Why?)  FQx2

  • Do you think computers (or, the internet) are useful tools for the education of children?


603.  An Historic Place  (Sept., 2014)   (Probably no longer used)

Describe an historic place that interests you. *


Describe an interesting historic place you have been to. *

               You should say:

where it is

what you can see there

what you know about it / how you learned about this place  *

and explain why you think this place is interesting.




  • Usually we say, "an historic ..." rather than "a historic ..." but this is not a strict rule. [The French do not pronounce the "h" in words such as "historic" & "historical" and some English speakers actually use the French pronunciation of these words, with no attempt to say the "h".]

  • Possibly this is a repeat of Topic 188 or Topic 264

  • It is not clear if this is about a place you have actually visited or not, although a few people have reported that the words, "you visited" are included on the card. If possible, it would be best to prepare to talk about a place that interests you and that you have visited.

  • This has not been reported since April 2015. Now people are reporting "A Historic Building", which I have put at Topic 650. There is a small possibility that this is a mistake and Topic 603 is still in use.

  • I don't think a history museum would be a suitable example of "an historic place" because, although the theme of the museum is history, I don't think most museums can, themselves, be described as "historic places" and especially can't be described as "historic sites". Of course, many actual historic sites do have a museum that has been built at that location, focusing on the particular historic relevance of that place.


Possible follow-up questions:


Part 3

See also any history-related questions at the Part 3 of the following topics - Topic 188, 212, 264, 327, 411, 428 & 440

Tourism in Your Country

Historic Sites / Historic Buildings

  • What do you think is the use of historic places nowadays?

  • Why do people visit historic places?

  • What types of people are interested in visiting historic places?

  • What do people (like to) do when they visit a historic place?

  • In general, do you think historic places are suitable for people of all ages to visit?

  • Are children very interested in visiting historical places? FQ

  • (Possibly) How do you think these places could be made more interesting for children? *

  • What types of historic sites are people most interested in visiting?

  • (Similar to above) What types of historic buildings are people most interested in visiting?

  • What (benefits) do people get from visiting historical sites / places / buildings?

  • How do (or, how can) people understand (or know more) about the history of a place by actually visiting it rather than simply reading about it?

  • Do you think people should have to pay to enter these places? FQx2

  • Do you think the entry fee for visiting these places is reasonable?

  • Do you think senior citizens should pay the same amount as other people?

  • Do you think foreign tourists should pay the same amount as local people?

  • Do you think historic sites should be "improved" or should they remain the same?

  • Do you think these historic places should be respected?

  • Do you think the government should preserve historic places?

  • How could they (or how do they) do that?



604.  No Topic



605.  No Topic



Note 1

Pay particular note to the exact wording in this question. If the examiner does not include the word, "skills" and just asks, "Which do you think is more important, what children learn at school or what they learn at home?" then the question is not just about skills - it could included the knowledge gained at school such as a knowledge of history. On the other hand, if the examiner uses the word, "skills" then the question is mostly about "academic skills" learned at school such as essay writing, solving mathematical problems, spelling, the analysis of grammar etc. Of course, it also includes the basic skills of reading and writing! In addition to those academic skills, school students also learn a few social skills at school because they are taking part in group (e.g., class) activities at school.

Note 2

Someone seemed to report that question, with the word "necessary" in it. Of course, there is a difference between what is "a good idea" and what is "necessary".

Note 3

It is not clear which word is being used for these questions, "learn" or "study". It's quite possible that the examiner uses both words for different questions. As long as you have a clear understanding of the differences in meaning and usage between the two words and as long as you listen carefully for which word the examiner uses, then you should be able to answer the question in a coherent (suitable) way.

Note 4

For example, studying mathematics by using special software that teaches this.

Note 5

There's a saying in English, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks." On the other hand, a lot of learning (for humans) is a process of building upon, or developing, knowledge that we already have. Therefore, in some cases, a well-educated old person might be able to learn something easier and faster than a poorly educated young person or a child who does not have a large knowledge base.