Updated Sep. 27, 2015


IELTS Part 2 and Part 3 Topics and Questions

Page 126


626.  A Place Near Water  (January, 2015)    (Probably no longer used)

627.  A Famous Person Who You Like  (January, 2015)    (Probably no longer used)

628.  A Film You Would Like to Watch Again  (January, 2015)    (Probably no longer used)

629.  A Pleasant Surprise  (January, 2015)    (Probably no longer used)

630.  A Place You Would Like to Visit Again  (January, 2015)    (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


626.  A Place Near Water  (January, 2015))    (Probably no longer used)

Modified copy of Topic 519

Describe a place near water (such as a river, a lake or the ocean) that you enjoyed visiting.

               You should say:

                               where this place was 

                               what you did at this place

                               who you went there with

               and explain why you liked this place. 




Possible follow-up questions:


Part 3

See also the Part 3 of Topic 519, Topic 407, Topic 312, Topic 207 & Topic 140

Some of the questions from Topic 456 and Topic 84 might also be used.

Leisure Activities Near (or on) Water

The Importance of Water / Water Pollution / Water Shortages


See also the questions about swimming at Topic 84


627.  A Famous Person Who You Like  (January, 2015)    (Probably no longer used)

Describe a famous person who you like.

               You should say:

who this person is

how long he/she has been famous 

what he/she did to become famous

what you would like to do together if you met this person *

and explain why you like this famous person.





Possible follow-up questions:

Note that both of those questions, or one of them, might also be in Part 3. In that case, your answer should be more detailed than for the Part 2 follow-up question.


Part 3

See also the Part 3 of Topics 563, 505, 424, Topic 245, Topic 172 & Topic 86

The questions below seem to be very much like the questions that were used previously.

Virtually all of the questions below have been reported by more than one person. So virtually all of these questions are "FQ"

Famous People

The Children of Famous People


628.  A Film You Would Like to Watch Again  (January, 2015)    (Probably no longer used)

Describe a film you would like to watch again.

               You should say:

(when and) where you watched it

 what it was about

 who you watched it with

and explain why you would like to watch it again.





Possible follow-up questions:


Part 3

See also any relevant questions in the Part 3 of Topics 562, 542, 429, 440, 478, 494, 341, 397, 341, 278, 200, 145, 99 and 6.

A large variety of questions are being asked in this Part 3. Most of these questions are "old" IELTS Speaking test questions. See the topics above in order to see which questions and topics are most frequently used.

Films Preferences in Your Country

Foreign Films

Where to Watch Films

The Quality of Films

The Influence of Films

New Technology and Films

Film Stars


629.  A Pleasant Surprise  (January, 2015)    (Probably no longer used)

Describe a pleasant surprise you have had. *

               You should say:

what the surprise was

 who gave you the surprise

 why they gave you this surprise *

and explain why it made you feel happy.





Possible follow-up questions:


Part 3

See also any relevant Part 3 questions at Topics 489, 425,  328, 321, 211 & 181.  Topic 358 also has a few questions about wealth and happiness.





630.  A Place You Would Like to Visit Again  (January, 2015)    (Probably no longer used)

Describe a place that you visited for a short time and would like to revisit (= go back there again). *

               You should say:

where / what this place was

 how long you spent there  (why the visit was short) *

 what you did there

and explain why you would like to go back there again.





Possible follow-up questions:


Part 3

See also any questions that are similar to those below at the Part 3 of Topics 601 (on Page 121), 362, 351, 339, Topic 324, 275, 242, 206, 159, 155, 112, 90 & Topic 32. You will see that many of the same questions return to the test again and again.

See also the Part 3 questions for Topic 658, on Page 132, especially the sub-topic of "Business Travel".

See some Words Connected with Travel

Repeated Visits to a Place

Short-term and Long-term Visits to a Place

Travel Destinations



Note 1

If the examiner does not say so, this question typically refers to the water that comes out of the taps in people's homes. But the question could also refer to lakes and rivers near cities, especially those lakes and rivers that supply the city with drinking water.  ("Tap" is the usual British English word. Americans usually use the word, "faucet" for the same thing.)

Note 2

This questions and the one following it basically might mean the same thing, but do not always mean the same thing. The important thing is to answer according to the grammar that was used in the question. See previously written notes on this, especially WOULD.htm.

Note 3

Previously, there were always several questions about the influence of certain famous people (such as pop stars) on young people. Those questions are probably still being asked now but they have not been reported yet.

Note 4

In American English, although the word "actress" is used, the tendency is to use the word "actor" for both males and females. In British English, the tendency is to use the word "actress" for females but "actor" is also sometimes used for both genders.

Note 5

The meaning of this is that happiness does not seem so good if you are alone or if you do not tell others how happy you are.

Note 6

Possibly this question is, "Is happiness very important to you?"

Note 7

"the very rich" = "very rich people". The question probably means, "Is happiness just as important to those who are extremely rich as it is to average people?" Some people have the impression that extremely wealthy people are much more preoccupied with gaining and keeping their wealth than anything else in life.  Look on the internet for references to "Scrooge", a famous fictional character who was very rich but seemed to be a bitter, miserable person who never showed happiness, or never showed warmth or consideration towards other people. In other words, his selfishness and miserliness destroyed his ability to be happy. Look up the words, "miser", "greedy" and "stingy".

Note 8

The implication behind this question is that many people, mainly females, who are "shopaholics" (addicted to shopping) are unhappy people who are seeking happiness and fulfillment in shopping.

Note 9

I have not yet seen this question reported but I think it is a likely question.

Note 10

Here, "travelling" means the same as "touring". "Traveling" can also mean to "move from A to B", for example, "I traveled to New York on business last year." That's not 'touring" or "being a tourist".

To "travel" as a tourist usually means to visit more than one location in order to see what is there, take photographs etc. For example, "I traveled through Europe" means "I visited several places in several European countries". If you just went to one place, such as Paris, you would not call it "traveling" but simply say, "I visited Paris" or, "I went to Paris". Yes, you had to fly from your home country to get to Paris i.e., you had to "travel there" but that trip was not what really interested you. In fact, maybe you slept most of the time on the plane. And when you were in Paris, you probably "toured the city", meaning you traveled around the city to see different things there so, in that sense, you were a tourist in Paris.

Some people might mistakenly think that going to a place on vacation (on holiday) is always the same as "being a tourist" but that is not correct. For example, if you go to a beach resort in Thailand for 1 or 2 weeks, and you don't travel around Thailand or even don't travel far from the beach resort, then you are not really a "tourist" in Thailand. You are a "holiday maker" or a "vacationer" in Thailand. However, the more you move around, explore and take photos, for example in the local marketplace in the beach resort town, then the more you could also be called "a tourist", not simply "a holiday maker".

The question, "Which is better, short-term traveling or long-term traveling?" means, for example, "Is it better to spend one week traveling in Europe or, say, six weeks?" You could replace "Europe" with "Australia, "China" or any other country in that example. One obvious point to consider is that people tend to get a little tired when they travel - you need to stop and take a break every now and then, at least for one day. You might also get completely tired of the whole experience after a certain time and need to go home. This "tiredness factor" would probably be heightened if you have children with you on the trip. Another rather obvious factor is the size of the place that you are attempting to tour. For example, one week might be enough time to tour a small country or location but it would not be enough to tour a big place such as China. There are also the factors of the size of your budget and how much time you can spare away from any commitments you might have back at home.

After looking at just a few of the questions that have been reported for this Part 3, it seems to me that this Part 3 is testing your ability to communicate with the examiner more than the usual Part 3 does. There are several words, and several questions, that could have different interpretations so a strong candidate should show the ability to ask the examiner, "Do you mean ...?" or to sometimes begin your answer by saying, "If you mean ...., then ....". For example, as I explained above, "travel" has more than one meaning or usage. In addition, a "short trip" could mean "a short time spent traveling" to a certain location or it could mean, "a short time spent  traveling time to a place plus the time spent at the destination", i.e. the total length of time spent away from home - this is the usual meaning of, "a short trip". A "visitor" can sometimes mean the same as a "tourist" but sometimes it doesn't really mean that. For example, as mentioned above, a "holiday maker" to the beach resort in Thailand, and a person visiting a country on business are both "visitors to the country" without being "tourists". And the words, "short" and "long' could refer to time or they could refer to distance, which are not always the same thing - a train journey of 500 kilometers is quite long (in terms of time) but the same 500-kilometer trip in a plane might take just one hour. A "long journey" means "it takes a long time to get there".

Overall, you need to strengthen your vocabulary as much as you can for the topics discussed here and you also will need to be willing to seek clarification, if needed, when the examiner asks questions. As well as that, you will need to clearly state what you mean at times, such as whether "long" or "short" are in terms of time or in terms of distance.

Note 11

If you get a question that is worded like that, "trip" means "a trip for leisure" not a business trip.

Sometimes in English we say, "I went there for business" =, "I went there on business" and, in contrast, "I went there for pleasure". "For business" or "on business" here simply means "for work" - you don't have to be a businessperson or "doing business" such as buying and selling. "For pleasure" means "for enjoyment" or, "for fun", not working.

Note 12

This is another example of a word having two meanings or usages. In British English, "holiday" and "holidays" can mean, "time spent away from home for pleasure" or, alternatively, it can simply mean, "an extended time (more than 1 day) away from work or studies", such as "annual holidays" of 3 weeks that company employees might get. In American English, "vacation" is most often used for both of those meanings.

So the question about short or long holidays could mean either a) short or long periods of time spent away from home for pleasure or, b) short or long breaks from work or studies, regardless of whether someone travels away from home during these breaks.

In both British and American English, a "public holiday" is usually one or perhaps two or three days off work, for example, to commemorate the birth of the nation or for religious reasons, such as Christmas.

Note 13

A question like that, which includes the word, "journey", is referring to the time spend traveling to a place, regardless of the time spend at that place.

Note 14

"Famous people in the past" - when examiners say, the past", they normally mean within the past few decades. But if the examiner doesn't specifically say that, then there's nothing wrong with talking about famous people from hundreds of years ago.

Note 15

What do people in your country feel most happy doing? = What activity gives people in your country the most happiness?

The question might use the word "activities", allowing you to give several examples.