ielts-yasi.englishlab.net  

Updated Sept. 3, 2007

 

Part 1 Topics and Questions

For The IELTS Speaking Tests in Mainland China, May 12 - Aug. 27, 2007

(A new set of Part 1 questions will begin on Sept.1 and this set will be used for four months until the last test in December.)

Notes

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)  NOTE: It seems that there are more than ten Part 1 topics in use in Mainland China at the moment. 

7)  IMPORTANT: It seems that examiners are sometimes using previously used Part 1 topics. Several of the topics below have exactly the same or almost exactly the same questions that have been used in the past year and a half.  Therefore, you should prepare the questions below and ALL of the previously used Part 1 topics that have been used in China since January 2006. These are listed HERE.  

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Summary of Part 1 Topics

0The four standard introductory questions.

1.     Your Work/Your Studies

2.     Your Home

3.  Your Hometown

One of the three 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).

4. Visitors to Your Hometown

5.    Your Daily Routine

6.    Photography

7.    Musical Instruments

8.    Clothes

9.    Parks and Public Gardens

10. People's Ages

11.   Sports Teams

12. Computers

13. Meals

14. Drawing or Painting

15. Reading

16. Games

17. Gifts

18. Shopping  

19. Letters & Emails

20. Rain

21. Restaurants

22. Leisure Time

23. Television and Radio

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1.  Your Work/Your Studies

l        Do you work or are you a student?

 

1a) Your Work   

See also Sep - Dec 2006

l       What work/job do you do?

l        Why did you choose that job/that kind of work? 

l        How long have you been working?

l        What do you mainly do at work?

l        (Similar to above) Can you give me a brief description of your work (your job)?

l        (Similar to above) What do you do in a typical day at work?

l        (Similar to above) What are your main responsibilities at work?

l        How did you get this job?

l        Do you work full-time or part-time? (Why?)

l        Do you enjoy your work? (Why?/Why not?) 

l        ((Similar to above) Is your work interesting? (How?/Why not?) 

l    (Similar to above) Are you very interested in your job? (How? or Why?/Why not?) 

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

l        Would you like to change your job?  (Why?/Why not?)

l  (Similar to above) Are you planning to change your job in the near future? (Why?/Why not?)

l        (Similar to above) Would you like to continue working in this company for a long time?

l        What are your future work plans?

 

1b) Your Studies

See also Sep - Dec 2006

l       What subject are you studying?

l        Why did you choose that subject? 

l        Is this a popular subject at your university? (= Do many students study this at your university?)

l        What's the best part of your studies?

l        If you were to pursue further studies, would you choose to continue studying this subject? 

l        For university students: What's the most interesting thing about your subject? (Why?)

l        For high school students: Which of your subjects is the most interesting? (Why?)

l        For university students: How do you think your subject is important? (If the words of the question are these, you can answer how the subject is important to you, not just important to society. Or, mention how it is important in both aspects, to you personally and to society.)

l        For high school students: How do you think your subjects are important? Or: Which of your subjects do you think are the most important? (Why?)

l        Are you good friends with your classmates (schoolmates)?

l        (Similar to above) Do you get along well with your classmates (schoolmates)?

l        (Similar to above) How do you get along with your classmates (schoolmates)?

l        Do you ever talk to students who are studying different subjects to you? * (= students from different courses)

l        Do you think you will continue to be friends with him/her/them after you graduate?

l        (For graduates) Have you kept up (maintained) your friendships from university (school)?

l        Are there any classmates/schoolmates who you dislike (disliked)? (Who? Why?)

l        What are your future work plans?

 

2.  Your Home (= Your Accommodation)

See also May - Aug 2006

l        Where do you live now   in a flat or a house (or a dormitory)?

     (If you live in a dormitory but the examiner only gives you the choice of flat or house, you can begin your answer by saying, "Well, neither, actually. I live in a dormitory." Or, "At the moment, I neither live in a flat nor in a house - I live in a dormitory at my university." )

l        Who do you live with?

l        Do you like the place where you live? (Why?/Why not?) (Talk mostly about the place, not the people you live with.)

l        Can you describe the place where you live? = Please describe your home a little.

l       What's the best thing (the best part) of your home ( = the place where you live)?

l        Do you think your home (or, the place where you live) needs any improvements?

l        How do you decorate (how have you decorated) your home? (or, your bedroom or your part of your dorm room)

l       Are you planning to (= thinking about) moving to live in a different place? (Why? Where? /Why not?)

l       (Similar to above) Would you like to move to a different place?  (Why? Where? /Why not?)

l       (Similar to above) If you had the opportunity, would you move to a different place?  (Why? Where? /Why not?)

 

3. Your Hometown

See also Jan - May 2006

l        Where are you from?

l       Where do you live now? 

l       Why do you live there/here? 

l       Could you describe your hometown a little?

l        (Similar to above) What kind of place is your hometown?

l        Are the people in your hometown very friendly? 

l        (Similar to above) Is your hometown a friendly place?

l        What's the oldest part (area/section) of your hometown? Or: What's the oldest structure in your hometown?

l        How has your hometown changed in recent years (e.g., the past 20 or 30 years)? 

 

4. Visitors to Your Hometown

l        Do many people visit your hometown (as tourists)?

l        (Similar to above) Is your hometown a good place for visitors (tourists)?

l        What do these visitors see or do when they go to your hometown?

l        (Similar to above) Does your hometown have any special tourist attractions?

l        What forms of transport do visitors use to come to your hometown?

l        How could your hometown (be improved in order to) attract more visitors?

l        Are you planning to travel anywhere? (Where? Why?)

 

5Your Daily Routine

See also Sep - Dec 2006

l        Do you like to plan what you will do each day? (Why?/Why not?)

l        Please describe your typical daily routine. (Summarize your typical day - morning, afternoon & evening. Avoid using 'will' - use the present tense.)

l        What do you usually do at this time of day? (= What are you usually doing at this time of day?) 

l        Do you usually do the same things at the same time each day? *

l        How do you plan (organize) your study time?

l        Do you ever (or, do you often) change these plans?

l        What's your favourite time of the day? (Why? What do you do at that time?)

l        Would you like to change anything about your daily routine right now (or, about your life)? (If yes, what?/Why?)

l        Can you think of any improvements to your daily routine?

l        What do you usually do on Saturdays and Sundays?

l        (Similar to above) What do you usually do for leisure or entertainment in your free time?

 

6.  Photography

See also May to August, 2006

l        Do you like photography (= taking photographs/taking pictures)? (Why?/Why not?) (When you 'take a photograph' you are the person using a camera, that is, standing behind the camera, not the person standing in front of the camera!)

l        How long have you liked taking photographs? (Include 'since' or 'for' in your answer. E.g., '... since I was about ten years old' or '... for about 5 years'.)

l        How often do you take photographs? (You should include an approximate time, such as 'about once every 2 or 3 months.')

l        When (on what occasions) do you take photos?

l        Do you prefer to take pictures (= take photos) of people or of scenery? (Why?)

l        Why do (you think) some people do not like having their photo taken? 

l       (Similar to above) Why do some people dislike having themselves photographed?

l        Why do you think some people like taking photographs when they visit another place?

l        (Similar to above) What is the value of taking photographs?

l        Why do (you think) some people do not like taking photographs?

l        What factors make a good photograph?

l        Do you frame (or have you framed) any of your photos? (If yes, which? & why?)

 

7.  Music (Musical Instruments)

See also May - Aug 2006

l        Do you like music? (Why? What kind?/Why not?)

l        (Similar to above) Is music important to you? (Why?/Why not?)

l        (Similar to above) How important is music to you? (Why?)

l        When do you listen to music?

l        In what ways does music affect people?

l        Compare the music that young people like and the music that old(er) people like.

l        Why do many old people dislike pop music?

l        What musical instrument do you most enjoy listening to ( = enjoy listening to most)? (Why?)

l        Have you ever listened to someone play this instrument? (Who?)

l        Do you play any musical instruments? 

l        If you had the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, what instrument would you learn? (Why?) [If the examiner asks " ...what instrument would you learn?" you should answer, "I would learn the violin." or some similar answer. If the examiner asks you " ...what instrument would you like to learn?" then you should begin your answer with "I'd like to learn the violin". See HERE for more on this grammar point.]

l        Do you think it's important for children to learn (to play) a musical instrument?

 

8.  Clothes

See also Jan to May 2007

l        Do you like shopping (for clothes)? (Why?/Why not?)

l        What kind of clothes do you like best? (Why?)

l        Do you prefer casual (=informal) or formal clothes? (Why?)

l        Do you like the latest fashions? (Why?/Why not?)

l        What's your favourite clothes colour? (Why?)

l        How important to you is the color of (your) clothes?

l       Do you like window-shopping for clothes? (Why?/Why not?) 

l        How often do you go shopping for clothes? 

l        Why do some people frequently go shopping for clothes?

l        Do you think some people spend too much time shopping? 

l        Do you think some people pay too much attention to clothes? 

l        Do you like buying clothes on the internet?  *

 

 

9.  Parks and Public Gardens

l        Are there many parks or public gardens where you live (or, in your hometown)? 

l        Do you think parks and public gardens are important to a city? (Why?/Why not?)

l        (Similar to above) Do you think every city and town should have parks and public gardens? (Why?/Why not?)

l        Do you ever go to any of these places?

l        How often do you go to any of these places?

l        What do you like to do when you go to a park or public garden?

l        What do other people do in these places?

l        When do other people go there?

 

10.  People's Ages

l        What do you think is the most important age in a person's life? (Why?)

l        (Similar to above) In China, what's the most important age in people's lives?

l         Are birthdays important in Chinese culture? 

l         (Similar to above) Do people in China celebrate birthdays? 

l       What birthday is most important in Chinese culture? * 

l        What age in life is the most difficult? (Why?) 

l        (Similar to above) Which age is the most tiring for people? 

l        Do you like your present age? (Why?/Why not?) (= Would you prefer to be a different age to the age you are now?)

l        What age do you think will be the best (happiest?) in your future? 

 

11.  Sports (Sports Teams) in China

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

l        Why do some people enjoy (watching) sports events?

l        What are the most popular sports in China? (Or: What's the most popular sport in China?)

l        Does China have any good sports teams? ( = What are some of the best sports teams in China?)  (China has many world class teams - you don't have to restrict your answer to world champion teams.  Avoid table tennis because some people think a pair of table tennis players is not called a 'team' but instead, a 'pair'.)

l       (Similar to above) Which Chinese sports teams are most popular?

l        (Similar to above) Which Chinese sports team is most popular?

l        Which is your favourite Chinese sports team?

l        Have you watched this team compete?

l        Has this sports team been successful recently?

l     Is there any team you don't like? (If yes, include why you dislike it.)

l        Do you think teamwork is important? (Why?)

 

12. Computers

l        Do you use computers very much?

l        When was the first time you used a computer?

l       What do you use computers for?

l       Have computers changed (= influenced) your life in any way? (If yes, how?)

l        Do you think computers are useful (or important) in everyday life? (How?)

l        (Similar to above) What role do computers play in modern life?

l        (Similar to above) Do you think computers are important in everyday life?

l       Computers are now used a lot in education. What do you think of this?

l        (Similar to above)  In China, when do children at school use a computer?

l      (Similar to above)  Computers are now used a lot in the education of children. What do you think are the advantages of this?

l        (Similar to above) Do you think computers are good or bad for the education of children?

 

13. Meals

l        Which meal do you prefer, lunch or dinner (supper)? (Why?)

l        What do you usually eat for lunch? *

l        What do you usually eat for your evening meal? *

l        Do you prefer to eat three full meals a day or do you prefer to eat many snacks throughout the day?

l        (Similar to above) Do you think it is better to eat one big meal a day or is it better to eat several smaller meals each day?

l        Which meal of the day do you think is most important? (Why?/Why not?) 

l        Do you think breakfast is important? (Why?/Why not?)

l        What do you usually eat for breakfast? 

l        Would you like to try any new food? (If yes, give an example.)

l        Do you like cooking (or, preparing your own meals)?  (Why?/Why not?)

 

14. Drawing or Painting

See also Jan - April, 2006

l        Do you like drawing (or painting)?

l        How often do you draw (or paint) something?

l        Did you like drawing (or painting) when you were a child?  (Why?/Why not?)

l        Do you think drawing (or painting) is difficult?

l        Do you think a person can teach him or herself how to draw (or paint)?

l        Do adults draw (or paint) very often?

l        What do you think about adults drawing (or painting)?

l       What are the benefits of drawing (or painting)?

l        To draw (or paint) well, what factors do you think are important?

 

15. Reading

l        What kinds of things do you like reading? 

l        What types of book do you dislike reading?

l        (Similar to above) Are there any types of book you dislike reading? 

l        What reading materials do different kinds of people like?

l        What reading materials do young people (e.g. aged 15 to 25) like to read?

l        What types of people like reading?

l        Why do some people dislike reading?

l        Do you think reading is important? (Why?/Why not?)

l        What is the function of (the purpose of) reading?

 

16. Games

l        Do you often play games? (Include examples: chess; mahjiong, weiqi, card games, computer games etc. Don't choose sports games such as basketball, ping-pong etc.)

l        (Similar to above) Do you like to play games? (Why? What games?)

l        (Similar to above) What games do you like to play? 

l        Can you play this game with friends?

l        What benefits do you get from playing this game?

l        (Similar to above) What benefits do people get from playing games? 

 l        Do different age groups of people like to play different games? (Give examples - What games?)

l        What's the most popular game in China?

l        (Similar to above) What games are popular in China?

l        How do people learn to play this game?

l        Can you get information about this game on the internet?

l        Are there other ways to get information about this game?

l        How have computers influenced the games people play?

 

17. Gifts

l        What was the last gift you received?

l        What was the last gift you gave someone?

l        Do you like giving presents to other people? (Why?/Why not?)

l        (Similar to above) Do you often give presents to other people? (Why?/Why not?)

l        When do people in China give gifts? (On what occasions?)

l        (Similar to above) What are some of the gift-giving customs in China?

l        In China, is it necessary to bring a gift when you visit someone?

l        In China, is it necessary to bring gifts when you return home after traveling to another place (such as overseas or a different part of China)?

 

18. Shopping

See also May - August, 2006 

l        How do you feel about going shopping? *

l        (Similar to above) Do you like to go shopping? (Why?/Why not?)

l        Who does most of the shopping in your family? 

l       Where do you like to shop?

l       Do you like to go window shopping? (Why?/Why not?)

l       What do you think is the most difficult (or, unpleasant) part about shopping?

l        (Similar to above) What don't you like about shopping? *

l        (Similar to above) Is there anything you don't like about shopping? *

l        How do you think shopping has changed in China since you were born?

l        Do you think people spend too much time shopping? 

l        Do you like shopping for clothes or other goods on the internet? * 

 

 

19. Letters & Emails

See also Sep - Dec 2006

l       Do you like writing letters to your relatives and friends? (Why?/Why not?)

l      How do you prefer to keep in contact with your relatives and friends - by email, letter or by phone?

l      How do you feel when you receive letters?

l      How often do you write letters?

l      How often do you write emails?

l      Do you usually write letters to people or do you usually use a cell-phone or email?

l      (Similar to above) When you communicate with people, do you prefer to write a letter, write an email or call on your cell-phone? (Why?)

l       (Similar to above) How do you communicate with others at work by email or is it more convenient to communicate face-to-face? 

l       How do you keep in touch with (= keep in contact with) your friends?

l       Do you and your friends keep in touch by (handwritten) letter?

l        What kinds of emails do you send and receive? (Business emails? Personal emails?)

l        Compare emails and (handwritten) letters.

 

20. Rain

See this topic in Sep - Dec, 2006 questions

 

21. Restaurants

See this topic in Sep - Dec, 2006 questions

 

22. Leisure Time (& Relaxing)

Also see this topic in Sep - Dec, 2006 questions

 

23. Television and Radio

See this topic in Sep - Dec, 2006 questions

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