Updated Oct. 10, 2019


IELTS Part 2 and Part 3 Topics and Questions

Page 181

911A Language You Would Like to Learn  (Sep 2018)  (Probably no longer used)

912.  A Childhood Game  (Sep 2018)  (Probably no longer used)

913.  An Important Plant  (Sep 2018)  (Probably no longer used)

914.  A Book You Recently Read  (Sep 2018)  (Probably no longer used)

915Your Study Place  (Sep 2018)  (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


911A Language You Would Like to Learn  (Sep 2018)  (Probably no longer used)

Copy of Topic 554

Describe a foreign language you would like to learn (besides English).

You should say:

        what language

        how you would learn it

        what difficulties you think you might (or would) have when learning this language.

and explain why you would like to learn this language.



  • This seems to be a repeat of Topic 554

  • The first line might not include the word, "foreign". If that word is not included, it might be possible to talk about a language from within your own country.


Possible follow-up questions:


Part 3

See also the Part 3 questions for Topic 554

See also any related questions in the Part 3 of Topic 21, Topic 49, Topic 115, Topic 171, Topic 280, Topic 476, Topic 645, and Topic 704

See some extra vocabulary HERE

Learning a Language

Languages in the World


912.  A Childhood Game  (Sep 2018)  (Probably no longer used)

Describe a game (not a sport) you enjoyed playing in your childhood.

               You should say:

 what game it was

 where you played it

 who you played it with

 and explain why you enjoyed playing this game.



  • This is probably a repeat of one or more of the previously used topics.

  • The first line might say, "an indoor game".

  • "Childhood" is the period before the age of 13.


Possible follow-up questions:

  • Did other children also like that game?

  • Do you still play that game now?


Part 3

See also the Part 3 of 639, 557, 479 & 179

See some vocabulary

Games in General

These questions are about are games for everyone, not just children.

  • What are some of the most popular games in your country?

  • How have games changed over the past few decades?

  • Can you explain why adults often play different games to what they played when they were childrenFQ

  • (Similar to above) What do you think are the differences between adults' games and those for childrenFQ

  • Do you like to win when you play a game?

  • Do you prefer to play a game with a team or play alone?

  • How important would you say winning is when playing a gameFQ

  • Is winning or losing important in athletics (or, sport)?

  • What do you think are the differences between winning as an individual and winning as a team?

  • Do all ages groups treat winning as equally important?

  • What do you think of people who are only interested in winning when they play a game?

  • Are there any games in your country that involve the players using money?

Childhood Games

  • In your country, what games do children generally play todayFQ

  • What is the most popular children's game today?

  • Is that easy to play?

  • Do boys play different games to girlsFQ

  • How are these games different to the games children played a few decades agoFQ

  • What games did you usually play when you were a child?

  • Do you think children can learn anything from playing gamesFQ

  • (Similar to above) Are there any games that can help develop their abilitiesFQ

  • Do you think children now have more time to play games than they did in the past?

  • Do you think it's good for children to spend so much time indoors, playing games?

  • Do you think looking at a computer or ipad all day long is good for healthFQ

  • Why do their parents still let them do it?

  • What are the different effects on children when they play electronic games, compared to the effects when they play ball

  • Do parents in your country encourage their children to play games?

  • Why do children play games?

  • Do you think children really need to play games?

  • Do you think there are benefits from children playing games?

  • Do you think children should receive a reward of some kind if they win in a game?

  • games outdoors?

  • Do children play any games at school in your country?

  • When children become teenagers, do they change the games they play?

Children's Play   See Note 1

  • What do you think are the major differences between indoor children's play and outdoor children's play?

  • Do you think children develop different abilities from playing outdoors, compared to playing indoors?

  • Can you suggest any ways to encourage children to play outdoors more?

  • Do you think it's important for parents to supervise their children when they play outdoors?

  • What do 2-3 year-old children do when they play?


  • What would you say are the pros and cons of competition in business?

  • Do you think you can ever have competition and co-operation existing at the same time?


913.  An Important Plant  (Sep 2018)  (Probably no longer used)

Copy of Topic 802

Describe an important plant in your country (such as a vegetable, fruit or flower).

            You should say:

                                what plant it is

                                what it looks like *

                                where it grows

              and explain why it is important.  




Possible follow-up questions:


Part 3

See also the Part 3 of Topic 802 and Topic 458

Plants in Your Country

  • Can you give me any more examples of the plants that grow in your countryFQ

  • How are those plants used? (= What are those plants used for?, What is the role of those plants?)

  • Why did people in the past use plants as medicine?

Living in the Countryside

  • Would you say plants are more important in the countryside, or in the city?

  • Why do some people like to live in the countrysideFQ

  • Why is there air pollution in the cities?

  • Who do you think prefers living in the countryside, young people or old peopleFQ

  • How do you think the countryside might (or, will) change in the future?

Green Cities

  • Are there many trees and green areas in the city where you live?

  • Would you say it's important to have plants growing in cities?

  • What do you think are the benefits of growing things (or, trees) in a (the) cityFQ 

Growing Plants at Home

"At home" can be considered to include, "at the office".

  • Do people in your country like growing plants at home?

  • (different to above) Do many people in your country grow plants at homeFQ

  • Can you explain why people like to put plant in their home or officeFQ

  • (Similar to above) Why do some people attach importance to greening their living (or working) environmentFQ

  • What kinds of plants do they grow?

  • How (or where) do people who live in cities (or, in apartments) grow plantsFQ

  • Are there any differences between the plants that people grow indoors compared to those that are grown outdoors?

  • What would you say are the benefits of having indoor plants?

  • What kind of people like to plant flowers at homeFQ

  • Who do you think likes growing plants more (= "prefers growing plants"), old people or young peopleFQ

  • Why do old people like to grow plants at home?

  • Have you ever grown any plants?

Education about Plants

  • Do schools in your country teach children about growing (or, how to grow) plants?

  • Do you think schools should teach children about growing plantsFQ

  • (Similar to above) Do you think schools should teach children how to grow plantsFQ

  • (Similar to above) Do you think children should study agriculture at school? FQ

  • What benefits can children get from growing plants?


  • What are some examples of the crops that are grown in your country?

  • Can you explain why some people enjoy working as farmers?

  • Would you like to be a farmer?

  • How is farming in your country today different to farming in the pastFQ

  • (Similar to above) How has farming in your country changed over the past few decades (or, generations)?

  • What's the difference between the social status of farmers today and their status in the past?

  • Where (or how) do people today learn about farming?

  • (Similar to above) Where (or how) do students today study agriculture?

  • How do you think farming might change in the future? *

  • Do you think more people will be growing their own food in the future?

  • Do you think children should do farm work?

  • In what ways do you think the environment affects the growing of crops?


914.  A Book You Recently Read  (Sep 2018)  (Probably no longer used)

Copy of Topic 590

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 be any time within the past 1 or 2 years.


Possible follow-up questions:

  • Have you read any other books by the same author as that?


Part 3

The topic of, "A Book" is almost always one of the Part 2 topics. See here: COMPLETE_P2_LIST.htm

Reading & Books (especially for adults)

Children's Reading

"Reading" in these questions means "reading for pleasure" or "leisure-time reading", not for school.


915Your Study Place  (Sep 2018)  (Probably no longer used)

Describe a place, either at home or out of your home that you think is a good place to study. *


Describe the place, either at home or out of your home where you usually study. *

               You should say:

 where it is *

 when you go there *

 what this place is like *

    and explain why you think this is a good place for studying. *




  • Some people are reporting this question using the words, "indoors or outdoors" instead of "at home or out of your home". People don't normally study outdoors so that is unlikely to be the correct wording. It is possible to read in an outdoor place such as a quiet park but that is hardly the same as "studying" unless you sit at a picnic table in the park where you can also do some writing. It is very unusual to talk about "studying" outdoors.

However, there are some activities that can be described as "studying" that are done outdoors. For example, if you study forestry, geology. marine biology, botany etc. then a large proportion of your study is probably done outdoors.

  • There are two quite different meanings to the words, "the place where you study".

i) It can mean the place where you sit at a desk and read your textbooks, write essays and assignments, and prepare for exams etc. For high school students, you can include "doing homework" as an activity to do there but the word, "homework" is usually not used for university students. Most people do this either at a desk in their home or in the university library.  \

ii) The second meaning is, "the place (the institution) where you attend school, university or college". For example, "I'm studying at XYZ University'.

I think this Part 2 is most likely to be i), the place where you do your homework etc. If the first line says, "a (or the) place where you usually study" then that would be further evidence that it means your private study place.

However, if the first line is simply, "the place where you study" and if the point, "when you study there" is written as, "when you go there" then it is more likely that ii) fits that wording.


Possible follow-up questions:


Part 3

Study Habits


It is not certain that there is a separate topic, "Learning" in this Part 3. See Note 3


Note 1

It is not certain whether this is a separate topic to Children's Games. Listen carefully to the exact words of the examiner, especially if he or she announces a change of topic.

When talking about children, "to play a game" and "to play" are two different things, although some simple games like "hide and seek" can be called both, "playing a game" and simply, "playing".

What does "child's play" or "children's play" mean? It is simply what kids under the age of 12 or 13 do when they are not doing a structured activity such practising the piano, doing their homework or doing any other kind of work. For example, "Little Johnny is playing in the backyard."

Kids play with toys, they play on the equipment in a playground, they play when they do "pretend" or role-playing activities, they play when they chase each other, and they play with their pet dog.

In English, we generally don't say that teenagers or adults "play", like we do when talking about kids, although we do say things like, "play with + noun" such as, "play with his electronic dog", "play with the cat" etc.

Note 2

What do adults in your country generally (like to) read?

There are two points to note about the wording of this question. You do need to pay close attention to the exact wording of the examiner's questions and answer accordingly.

1) If the examiner does not use the word, "books" then you can include a wide range of reading materials such as reference books, newspapers, magazines, comic books, internet articles, professional journals, letters, emails, social media messages etc.

2) If the examiner includes the words, "like to" then you should focus your answer on what adults read for pleasure (or in their leisure time). But if the examiner does not include the words, "like to" then you can include materials that adults read for or at work and study materials such as textbooks.

Note 3

"Learning" and Studying"

Some people, are not clear about the difference between the verbs, "study" and "learn". In many situations those two words can be used interchangeably but there are some major differences between them. I have summarized the meanings of these words below.

  1. When a person learns something, a change takes place in the brain.

  2. Babies learn a lot in their first 2  years of life. And an animal such as a dog can be taught to do things, i.e. animals also learn.

  3. The verb, "to study" can mean something like, "to inspect", "to look at closely" and "to research". However, the most common usage is, "sit at a desk and read textbooks, write essays and assignments, and prepare for exams etc."

  4. Studying is an activity people do with the goal of learning, e.g. the goal of increasing their knowledge or understanding. In other words, people study in order to learn. Some people are more efficient than others and can learn more in one hour of studying than other people.

  5. We know that babies and animals can learn. But you never see a baby or a dog sitting at a desk, reading a textbook and writing! That is, babies and animals don't study!