Updated April 20, 2007


Part 1 Topics and Questions

For The IELTS Speaking Tests in Mainland China, January 6 to April 28, 2007



1)  For more general information on Part 1 of the test and about this page, go HERE.

2)  * = a question about which there is some doubt but which you should prepare for, anyway.

3)  If there are two or more questions in one topic that are very similar, you will only be asked one of them.

4)  For questions followed by 'Why?/Why not?' you should include why or why not in your answer. 

5)  IMPORTANT: It is your responsibility to listen carefully to the exact words of the questions that the examiner asks. Do not assume that you know what the question is until the examiner has finished asking the question because it is possible that some of the questions here are not 100% accurate. You should answer according to the wording of the questions (= the grammatical form), not just the meaning of the questions.

6)  See also 'Notes for Jan - May 2007 Part 1'.



Summary of Part 1 Topics

0The four standard introductory questions.

1.     Your Work/Your Studies

2.     Your Home

One of the two topics above is a compulsory topic and you will be asked about 4 questions on this topic. You will then be asked questions on two of the topics from below. (Again, about 4 questions per topic).

3.    Flowers

4.    Bicycles

5.    Weather

6.    Films

7.    Outdoor Activities 

8.    Clothes 

9.    Languages 

10. Your Primary School Years


1.  Your Work/Your Studies

l        Do you work or are you a student?


a) Your Work 

l       What work do you do?  

l       What are your responsibilities at work? *

l        Why did you choose that kind of work?   

l        Do you like your job? (Why?/Why not?) = 'How do you like your job?' (= How do you feel about your job?)

l  (Similar to above) What part of your work do you like best? 

l         (Similar to above) What's the most interesting part of your job?

l        Do you work more for interest (job satisfaction) or for the money? 

l        What do you think are the advantages of being a housewife? * (This question was only reported once on the internet.)


a) Your Studies

l       What subject are you studying?

l        Why did you choose that subject? 

l        Can you describe your course? (Not sure if the word here is 'subject', 'studies' or 'course'.  The posting HERE [message # 26] seems to indicate that the word is 'course'.  This is similar in meaning to your 'studies' - it includes all the classes you study, not just your main subject.)

l        What part of your course do you like best? (See comment above)

l        What is the most difficult part of your course?

l  Do you think it will be easy for you to get a job after you graduate?

l        After you graduate, what effect do you think you will have on society? (The exact wording of this question is unclear.)


2.  Your Home

l       What kind of place do you live in a house, a flat or a dormitory?

l        Could you describe it?

l        Who do you live with?

l        How long have you lived there?

l        Do you like it? (Why?)


Important Note

One of the following three questions might be asked. It is not clear which is the real question.


l        Are you prepared to move? (This means: 你愿意搬家吗? Or: "If, in the future, you have to move, are you ready to do that?") People report on the bulletin boards that the question is: 你准备搬家吗? Most probably this is the question that is used.

l        Have you (ever) thought of moving to a different place? (Why?/Why not?) 

     (If the words of the question are these, the meaning is (在任何时候)想过搬家吗?   

l        Are you preparing to move to a different place soon? ( = Are you planning to move soon?) (Why?/Why not?)


3.  Flowers

l       Do you like flowers? (Why?/Why not?)

l        When do Chinese people give flowers to other people?  

l        (Similar to above) What meaning do flowers (= giving flowers) have for Chinese people?

l        When was the last time you gave (sent) flowers to someone?

l         Do people in China like growing flowers?

l        Does anyone in your family like growing flowers?


4.  Bicycles

l       Are bicycles popular in your city? (Why?/Why not?)

l        What kinds of people ride bicycles?

l        Do you often ride a bicycle? (Why?/Why not? Where? When?)

l    How long have you ridden a bicycle? ( = How many years have you known how to ride a bicycle?) 

l        What do you think are the advantages (and disadvantages) of bicycles compared to cars? 

l         Would you say bicycles are suitable for people of all ages?  

l         Can you think of any people who are not suited to riding a bicycle? (Hint: very young, very old and disabled people)  

l         (As above) Who is most suitable for riding a bicycle and who is least suitable?

l        Do you think bicycles are suitable for present society?   


5.  Weather

l        What kind of weather do you like? (Why?)

l        What is the typical weather in China like? (Hint: There is no typical weather because China is so big and different parts of the country have different kinds of weather. For example ...)

l       Can you give any examples of unusual weather?

l        Which city in China (or, which part of China) has the best weather? *

l         Which city in China (or, which part of China) has the worst weather?

l       How does the weather affect people (or, you)? 

l        Do you always (often/usually) pay attention to the weather forecast? Why?/Why not?  


6.  Films  

l         How often do you go to the cinema?

l         Are most of the people in the cinema usually children or adults?

l         How much time does it take to watch one film?

l         How much time do you spend watching films?

l Who do you usually watch films with?

l         Do you prefer to watch films in a cinema or at home? (Why?)

l         What kind of films do you like to watch? (Why?)

l         Is there any kind of film that you don't like to watch? (Why?)


7.  Outdoor Activities

l   What do you do in your spare time?

l   What outdoor sports do you like? (Why?)

l   How much time do you spend outdoors every week?

l   How often do you do outdoor activities?

l   What are some examples of outdoor sports that are popular in China?

l   Do you think people in China spend enough time outdoors? (Why?/Why not?)

l   (As above) Do you think it's important to spend some time outdoors? (Why?/Why not?)

l   [Possibly the question above is worded as, "Is taking part in outdoor activities important to you?" (Why?)]

l   Can children play sport at school in China?


8.  Clothes

l        What kinds/styles of clothes do you like to wear? (Why?)

l        Do your friends have the same tastes in clothes? (= Do your friends wear the same kinds of clothes as you? = Do the people around you wear the same kinds of clothes as you?)

l         Do you think you will still be wearing the same kinds of clothes when you are old? (Include what you think you will be or won't be wearing when you are old.)

l        Is the brand of clothes important to you? (Why?/Why not?)

l         What clothes materials do you like best? (Why?)

l         How (much) is traditional Chinese culture being affected by foreign clothes styles?

l        Do you think employees in a company should wear a uniform?

l         Are you (would you be) willing to wear a uniform at work?

l        (Similar to above) How do you feel about wearing a uniform?

l         What do you think of modern fashions?


9.  Languages  

l        What languages do you speak?

l         Besides English, have you studied any other languages?  

l         When did you start to study that?  

l         What do you think of your level in that language? (= Can you speak it well?)

l         Is it difficult to learn a foreign language? (Why?/Why not?)

l         What do you think is the most effective way to learn a foreign language?

l        Why do people learn a second or third language?

l        Do you think it's important to learn foreign languages? (Why?/Why not?)

l  Why do you want to study English?


10.  Your Primary School Years

l  How old were you when you started school?

l  Where did you go to school?

l  How did you get to school each day?

l  Tell me something about the school. * (= Can you describe it? *)

l  Did you enjoy it? Why?/Why not?

l  What were some of the most popular activities (in the playground?) at primary school?

l  Have you ever returned to see your old school again?

l  Are you still in contact with any of the friends you had in primary school?