Updated Apr. 8,  2019


Part 1 Topics and Questions

For The IELTS Speaking Tests, January to April, 2019




The pages PAST_PART_ONE_TOPIC_INDEX.htm is also useful as a guide to when different topics were used in the past. That page is connected to PREVIOUS_PART_1_QUESTIONS.htm.

I don't always keep those four pages up-to-date so you might also need to specifically look at Part 1 pages that have not yet been added to the Past Part One Topic Index or the "All Part 1 Questions" pages. See "Older Materials" for that. This applies just to the past couple of years.


The four ID checking questions.   (Not really part of Part 1)

  1. Your Work or Study

  2. Your Living Area  N

One of the two topics above is a compulsory topic and you will be asked 3 to 5 questions on this topic. You will then be asked questions on two of the topics from below. (Again, 3 to 5 questions per topic)

  1. Transport (Driving)

  2. Colours  

  3. Cooking and Eating

  4. Painting & Drawing

  5. Parks and Gardens 

  6. Photographs 

  7. Shoes 

  8. Teachers 

  9. Watches 

  10. The Seasons and Weather 

  11. Sunglasses

  12. Your Morning Routine 

  13. Sport

  14. Sleep  N

  15. Pets  N

  16. The Sky  N

  17. Films  N

  18. Crowded Places  N

  19. Patience  N

  20. Tea and Coffee  N

  21. Public Holidays  N

  22. Sharing  N

  23. Letters and Emails  N

  24. Drinking Water  N

  25. Bags  N

  26. Music (Possible topic)



You should check the page Vocab_Lists_Index.htm to see if there is any useful vocabulary for each of the topics listed below.





See important information here and click the link for "student" or "work" at the bottom of that page. The grammar points apply both to students and people working, of course.



Main Questions

Possible Other Questions



Main Questions

Possible Other Questions




Main Questions

Possible Other Questions


3 TRANSPORT (Driving)


See also these Sep-Dec 2011 Part 1 questions


Main Questions

The following questions might also be asked








The word, "picture" can also mean, a photograph.






Make sure you know how to pronounce "photograph", "photography", "photographer" and "photographic". The word stress (i.e., which syllable is stressed more) is different in some of these words.












See Note 3






See Note 14




See also


See some vocabulary here


17 PETS  N


See also


See some vocabulary here




See also Sky


See some vocabulary here




See Note 16


See some vocabulary here




See some vocabulary here




See also Part_1_Questions_SEP_to_DEC_2013.htm#Patience


See some vocabulary here


22 TEA and COFFEE  N


See some vocabulary here






See some vocabulary here




See some vocabulary here


Possibly there is a separate topic, "Handwriting" but I think it is more likely that the questions about handwriting are in this group (under this topic).




See some vocabulary here


This topic is about a particular type of water, the water that you drink. This is called, "drinking water". Note how it is pronounced, with the stress on the word, "drinking".  See Note 31 for the use of the word, "drink"


27 BAGS  N


See also Part_1_Questions_JAN_to_APR_2017.htm#Bags


See some vocabulary here



Possibly the questions from Sep-Dec 2018 are still in use. See here




Note 1


Where do you usually study?


This question means, "Where do you do such activities as studying your textbooks, writing essays and class assignments etc?"  For example, "I usually study at my desk in my bedroom" or, "I usually study in the university library." The inclusion of the word, "usually" indicates that the question has this meaning.


If the question is simply, "Where do you study?" then it could have two possible meanings, either, a) What educational institute or school do you attend? or, b) Where do you do your private study, such as writing essays?

Note 2

"Would like" Questions

Would you like to be a teacher?

Most likely this question uses the words, "Would you like" but possibly the question is, "Do you want to be a teacher?" These two are not exactly the same! See HERE for an explanation.

Note 3

We never say, "A sunglasses" or "a sunglass"; it's always, "a pair of sunglasses".

Note 4

How often do you take the (or, a) bus?

Here, "take" = "travel by", "travel on", "go by" etc

Note 6

Is this place famous for anything?

"Famous" more or less means the same as, "well-known". This question means, "Is there some fact that many people in your country (or, in the world) know about this place?" The question is not really asking about something famous that the people who live in this place know. It is possible to include that in your answer, but you should actually say something like, "... But as for the people who live there, almost everyone in the city knows the famous XYZ market, which ...."

Note 7

"Painting" and "drawing" are activities (verbal nouns) that people do. These are from the verbs, "to paint" and "to draw". But "a painting" and "a drawing" (paintings and drawings) are nouns, the things that are created by those activities.

Note 8

"eat out" = eat away from home.

To say, "eat outside" means to eat out of any building, i.e., to eat in the fresh air such as when you have a picnic, eat in your back yard, eat on your veranda or balcony, or eat at a restaurant table that is outside the restaurant, such as on the footpath (sidewalk).

Note 9

"Strictness" here refers to the teacher strictly controlling the behaviour of the students, including strictly enforcing rules such as rules concerning homework. For example, a teacher not allowing the students to play games on their mobile phones while he or she is teaching is being strict or, strictly enforcing a rule.

A "strict" teacher is not the same as "an expert" teacher who teaches very well. A strict teacher may, or may not necessarily do a good job at teaching (be skilled at teaching) just as a lenient teacher may or may not necessarily do a poor job in teaching.

 Note 10

How often do you hire a taxi?

This might be, "How often do you travel by taxi?" or, ""How often do you take a taxi?"

Note 11

Do you think everyone should get a drivers' licence?

This question might be worded as, "Do you think everyone should learn how to drive?"

The two questions do not always have exactly the same meaning. Some people say, "Learn to drive!" when they really mean, "Learn to drive properly!" or "Learn to drive correctly!" And some people "get a driver's licence" by paying someone but not sitting for a test! But generally speaking the two different questions represent the same idea.

Note 12

This question might be,"Would you say that's a good company to work for?"

Note 13

Do you have the same routine every day of the week?  

That might be, Do you have the same morning routine every day of the week?

Note 14

If this topic is just "Sport" or "Sports" I suggest you be very careful about using any of the following words in your answers: "exercise", "exercises" or "gym". This is because "sport" and "exercise" are not the same thing. Although most sports involve physical exercise, exercise itself is not considered to be a sport.

Note 15

Do you like sports?

This can mean either, a) "Do you like to play any sports?"  b) "Do you like to watch sports, for example, on TV?" or, c) both a & b.

This question is asking you to express your feelings. If you simply say, "... because I want to keep fit" that is not wrong but it is not really expressing your feelings.

Note 16

  1. It is possible that this topic is about "celebrities" in general, not just movie stars (= film stars). "Celebrities" includes people who are featured in popular culture or the media, such as the British royal family, famous authors, famous scientists etc.
  1. There are movie stars, sports stars, and pop stars (pop music stars). It is unsuitable to first use the word "star" or "stars" before saying what kind of stars. This is because "stars" are those things you see in the sky at night. But after you first specify what kind of stars (celebrities) you are talking about, then it is suitable to shorten it to "star" or "stars".

Note 17

In general, we "watch" moving things and we "look at" things that are not moving.

Note 18

Would you like to change the place where you work?

This probably means, "Would you like to change your job?" = "Would you like to get a different job?" = change your employer.

The question might be expressed as, "Have you thought about changing job?"

Note 19

How much study do you do every week?

This most likely means, "How many hours of private study (e.g., at home) do you do?

However, it might mean, "How many hours of classes do you have every week?"

Note 20

Do you like your school / university?

This might be expressed as, "Do you like your current learning (or studying) environment?"

Note 21

Would you like to change your school (or university)?

This means, "Would you like to change the school (or university) you attend and go to a different school (or university)?"

The question might be expressed as, "Have you thought about changing your school (or university?"

Note 22

Do you do anything that especially helps you to study?

This is referring to your private study.

The question might be, "Is there anything that especially helps you when you study?"

Note 23

How do you think you could improve your efficiency as a student?

This might be expressed as, "What would (or, could) help you study better?"

Note 24

Do you do anything that especially helps you in your work?

The question might be, "Is there anything that especially helps you in your work?"

Note 25

Where are you living (where do you live) at the moment?

This is asking for the name of the place (the city or town). You should also add what part of your country this is in if it is not where you are doing the test.

Two common errors that people make when answering this are:

i) Saying the province instead of the hometown. For example, "My hometown is Heilongjiang". That's your home province, not your hometown. Of course, you can and probably should include the name of the province when you say where it is. An example of a good answer to the question is: "It's a small city in the north of China called ..... That's about 100 kilometers north of Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning Province."

Note that in English we first say the city, then the province or state. For example, we say, "Harbin, Heilongjiang Province." That's the opposite to the way Chinese people speak.

ii) "It's north of China". That should be, "It's in the north of China. "It's north of China" means it's outside China, for example, in North Korea or Siberia.

Note 26

Have you lived there for a long time?

This might be expressed as, "Have you been living there (for) a long time?", "How long have you been living there?" or,  "How long have you lived there?"

Note 27

Are you planning to move to another area to live?

This wording could be interpreted to mean either, a) "Are you planning to move to a different part of this city or town to live?" or, b) "Are you planning to move to a different part of your country to live?" or even, "Are you planning to move to a different place to live, (including in a different country)?"

The question might also be, "Would you like to move to another area to live?", which is not the same as planning to move.

Note 28

What changes are you expecting to see in this area?

The changes you are expecting in this area could either be improvements or a deterioration in conditions.

Note 29

Do you prefer a park with open space or recreational facilities?

This has also been reported as, "Do you prefer a park with open space or entertainment facilities? That question is possible but I think the examiner is more likely to use the word, "recreational". The two are not exactly the same.

Note 30

Do you prefer a warm, or a cool climate?

This question has also been reported as, "Do you prefer a hot, or a cold climate?" but I think the other choice of words is more likely to be the real question. "Hot" and "cold" are more extreme than "warm" and "cool".

Note 31

In English, if we say things like, "I like drinking", "He likes to drink", "He drinks a lot" etc it means "drink alcohol". Therefore, you should say what you drink, such as, "I like drinking water", "I like drinking tea" etc., not simply, "I like drinking".

Note 32

Would you like to attend the Olympic Games?

It is not 100% certain that the word, Attend" is used in this question. If it is used, it means to be a spectator at the Olympic Games, not to compete in the games. However, it is possible that the wording is, "compete in the Olympic Games".