Updated  Aug 12, 2017


Part 1 Topics and Questions

For The IELTS Speaking Tests, September-December, 2016




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.


0The four I.D. checking questions.   (Not really part of Part 1)

1.  Your Work or Your Studies  

2Your Hometown

3.  Your Home (Your Accommodation) 

One of the three 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).   See Note 69

4.  Your Family 

5.  Birthdays 

6.  Films 

7.  Outdoor Leisure Activities 

8.  Singing 

9.  Flowers 

10.  Sunny Days 

11.  Newspapers & Magazines 

12.  Walking 

13.  Art 

14.  Gifts 

15.  Hats 

16.  Advertisements   

17.  Weekends 

18.  Noise 

19.  Reading / Books  N  

20.  Visitors  N

21.  Chocolate  N

22.  Colours  N

23.  Celebrities  N

24.  Teachers  N

25.  Bags  N

26.  Writing  N

27.  Holidays  N

28.  Leisure Activities at Places with Water  N

29.  Photography  N   


1.  Your Work or Your Studies  


1a) Your Work

See also ALL_PART_1_QUESTIONS 1b. Your Work

The questions listed under "Questions Possibly Still in Use" were used in recent testing periods and some of these questions are possibly still being used, even if they haven't been reported yet. Since 'Your Work' is a high probability topic if you are working (or usually work), then you should think about all the questions in both groups.

  • What work do you do?

  • Why did you choose to do that type of work (or, that job)?  See Note 37

  • Is that a popular job in your country?

  • (Similar to above)  Is that a popular choice of job in your country?

  • Can you describe your job?

  • (Similar to above) What do you do in that job?

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

  • Do you like your job?

  • What do you like most about your job?

  • (Possibly) Where do you work? N

  • Do you prefer working alone or in a group?

  • (Similar to above) Do you prefer working with people. or on your own?

  • Do you prefer to work in the mornings or in the afternoons?   

  • (Similar to above) When do you think you work more efficiently, in the mornings or in the afternoons? 

  • Do you think it's good for teenagers to have part-time jobs? N

Questions Possibly Still in Use

1b) Your Studies

See also ALL_PART_1_QUESTIONS 1a. Your Studies

Notes: For high school students or recent high school graduates who have not yet started university, the word "school" or the words, "high school" or "secondary school" will be used instead of "university". If you are no longer a student now and have not yet started to work, the questions will be about the last time you were a student, either high school or university, and the questions will be asked in the past tense. For high school students (or recent high school graduates), the word "subjects" (plural) will be used. For university students, the word "subject" will be used, which has basically the same meaning as the American, "major".

There are probably two or three different sets of questions for this topic, on two or three different cards in the examiner's question book. I have no way of knowing which questions belong to which set so all the "studies" questions are grouped together here.

The questions listed under "Questions Possibly Still in Use" were used in recent testing periods and some of these questions are possibly still being used, even if they haven't been reported yet. Since 'Your Studies' is a high probability topic if you are a student (or have not started work yet), then you should think about all the questions in both groups.

  • What subject are you studying? ("What's your major?" in American English, for a Bachelor's degree)

  • (Esp. for high school stds.) What subjects are you studying?

  • Why did you choose to study that subject? / Why did you choose to study those subjects? (See Note and Note 37)

  • Is that a very popular subject for university students in your country? 

  • (Esp. for high school stds.) What's your favourite subject?

  • Where are you studying?  N

  • What do you plan to do (or, hope to do) after you finish your studies?

  • (Similar to above)  Do you have any future plans involving your subject (= your major)?

  • (Similar to above) What work do you plan to (or, want to) do after you finish your education?

  • (Similar to above) What are your future career plans?

  • (Similar to above) What kind of work are you planning to do in the future?

  • Do you prefer to study in the mornings or in the afternoons? 

  • Do you prefer to study alone, or in a group?

Questions Possibly Still in Use


2Your Hometown

See also ALL_PART_1_QUESTIONS 3. Your Hometown

Note: Sometimes the topic is specifically about the city or place that you are living in now, regardless of whether it is your hometown or not. Therefore, instead of the word, 'hometown' in these questions, the examiner might actually ask you about where you are living now.

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

  • Where did you grow up? (= What is your hometown?)

  • Can you (or, could you) describe your hometown a little?

  • Is the (public) transport system in your hometown convenient to use?

  • Do you like your hometown?

  • Would you like to live there (or, here) for a long time?

  • (Similar to above, but different) Do you plan to live there (or, here) for a long time?

  • Where would you take a visitor to your hometown? (Why?)

  • (Similar to above)  What would you show a visitor to your hometown?

  • (Similar to above)  What would you recommend a visitor to your hometown see and do?  

Questions Possibly Still in Use

  • Is that a big place or a small place?

  • Has your hometown changed much in the past few years (or, decades)?

  • What do you like most about your hometown?  

  • Would you say your hometown is (or, was) a good place to grow up?  See Note 44

  • What facilities and services are available in your hometown?

  • Would you like to return to your hometown when you retire?

  • Would you like to live in the countryside?

  • (Probably the question above is really this) Would you like to live in the countryside when you retire?

  • (Similar to above) Would you like to live in the countryside when you are old?

  • Do you like living in _______ (your hometown, or where you are living now)?

  • What are the good points and the bad points about living here/there?

  • (Possibly) Is there anything you dislike about it?

  • Has it changed much since you were a child? 

  • Can you suggest how it could be improved?

  • Would you say it has good facilities?

  • Does it have good educational facilities?   

  • Would you say it's a good place for (families with) children to live?  See Note

  • Would you say it's a suitable place for young people to live?  

  • Do you have many neighbours?

  • Do you know your neighbours (or the local people) very well?


3.  Your Home (Your Accommodation) 

 See also ALL_PART_1_QUESTIONS 2. Your Home (Your Accommodation)

  • Do you live in a house, or a flat (= an apartment)?  See Note 6

  • Could you describe it a little?

  • What do you think are the advantages of living in a ______ ? (flat or house, whichever you live in).

  • What can you see when you look out your window at home?

  • Which part of your home do you like best?

  • (Similar to above) Which is your favourite room?

  • Is there anything you don't like about that room?

  • (Similar to above) Is there anything you would like to change about your home?

  • (Similar to above) Would you like to change where you live?  See Note 61

  • Do you plan to live (or, to continue living) there for a long time?

  • Do you live far from here (the examination room)?

  • What is the living environment like around your home?  See Note 8

  • (Similar to above) What facilities and services are there in your neighbourhood (= near your home)?

  • Is your home near a bus stop?

  • Are there many shops near your home?  

Questions Possibly Still in Use


4.  Your Family

The examiner will probably first ask you if it's OK to ask you questions about your family. You are allowed to say "No" if you prefer not to talk about your family and the examiner will choose a different topic.

  • Do you live with your family (your parents)?

  • Do you think it's good to live with one's family?

  • How much time do you spend with your family?

  • (Similar to above) Do you often spend time with your family?

  • What do you do when you are together?

  • Is the amount of time you spend with your family now the same as it was before?

  • Which is more important to you, your friends or your family?


5.  Birthdays 

See also ALL_PART_1_QUESTIONS.htm#52. Birthdays


6.  Films 


7.  Outdoor Leisure Activities 

Previously this topic was labeled as, "Outdoor Games" but I now believe it is the more general topic of, "Outdoor Activities". Of course, outdoor games is just one sub-category of, or example of, outdoor activities. Even if the overall topic is "Outdoor Activities", it is still possible that a question is asked specifically about outdoor games.

        Questions for "Outdoor Activities"

        Questions for "Outdoor Games"

        See Note 7


8.  Singing 

It is unusual to have both the topic of Music and the topic of Songs in Part 1 at the same time.


9.  Flowers 

It is "give flowers", not "send flowers" unless you use a delivery service to deliver the flowers to someone.


10.  Sunny Days 

The following questions were used in 2013 for this topic.


11.  Newspapers & Magazines 

See also ALL_PART_1_QUESTIONS-PAGE_2.htm#68. Magazines and Newspapers


12.  Walking 

See Note 4


13.  Art


14.  Gifts 

It is "give a gift", not "send a gift" unless you use a delivery service to deliver the gift to someone.

The word, "present" might be used instead of "gift".


15.  Hats 

This topic might be introduced as "Caps and hats".


16.  Advertisements 

See Note 5


17.  Weekends 


18.  Noise 

See also ALL_PART_1_QUESTIONS.htm#26. Noise


19.  Reading / Books  N  

From Part 1, January-April, 2016 and January-April, 2015


20.  Visitors  N

21.  Chocolate  N


22.  Colours  N


23.  Celebrities  N

See Note 66


24.  Teachers  N


25.  Bags  N


26.  Writing  N


27.  Holidays  N


28.  Leisure Activities at Places with Water  N


29.  Photography  N 


Note 1

The wording is unclear but I think the question is something like that. It might be, "Has your family lived in many other apartments/houses?" or, "Has your family moved often to different living places?" In that question, "family" means your parents & siblings but it could possibly include earlier generations of your family living in the same house, for example, 150 years ago. 

Note that the examiner is most likely to use the British form, "have your family", not the American form, "has your family". The British consider family as "them" or plural while Americans consider it as one group, "it". When you speak or write, both are correct.

Note 2

Do you ever look at art in books?

Comic books or books of cartoons are a form of art!

Note 3

"Young people" = teenagers and people in their twenties.

Some young men and teenage males like to wear baseball caps. For example, those guys you see in public places riding skateboards.

Note 4

To "go for a walk" or, "to go walking" means to go walking just for exercise, or to think, or to look at the scenery etc. Those phrases are not used when we are describing walking to get a particular destination, such as walking to school or to work.

Note 5

So far (as of May 14),  it is not clear which questions refer to advertisements in general and which only refer to advertisements (commercials) on TV, the radio & the internet. See some vocabulary here.

Note 6

If you are living in a dormitory at the moment, it is perfectly suitable to say that.

Note 7

You need to have a clear understanding of the difference between a "game" and a "sport". Although most, but not all, sports are also games, only a minority of games are also sports. In other words, the majority of games are not sports.

Although most children's outdoor games involve physical activity, such as running, that does not mean they are "sports". For example, a common kids' game that is played outdoors is "Hide and Seek". It is (usually) played outdoors and the kids run away quickly and hide. Another common kids' outdoor game is "Tag', which is a kind of "chasing game".

Boys play marbles on the ground outside (although it could also be played indoors) but this game requires skill more than physical exercise.

Girls play several physical and skill-based outdoor games, such as Hopscotch and various games involving a long skipping rope.

Can you include in your answer a sport that is also a game? Certainly. For example, many children play soccer and some play tennis. But I doubt if basketball is a good choice. People usually only start playing basketball when they are teenagers and, don't forget, a teenager is no longer a child.

Some primary school children have to engage in relay races (or competitions) in their Physical Education (PE) class. These are team competitions but it is not very suitable to call such an activity a "sport". It is also not very suitable to call a relay competition a "game".

See also Games and Sports Facilities

Note 8

That question might be, "What's your neighbourhood like?"  Your "neighbourhood is the area around your home, perhaps to a radius of 1 km.

Note 9

The actual word, "encounter" might not be used but that is the meaning reported for these questions.

Note 11

This is probably mostly for high school students but it is possible university students will also be asked about other subjects.

Note 16

"Would you like to change your job?"

There are several things to understand about this question.

1) If you had just said that you enjoy your job (or, your work) then this question is unlikely to be asked, but it is still possible.

2) The most important point is this – someone has reported the question as, "Would you like to change your job in the future". This meaning is slightly different to the question, "Would you like to change your job?" That is, when "in the future" is added, the questions is similar to, "Do you want to change your job in the future?" or, "Do you plan to / hope to change your job in the future?" But when the words, "in the future" are not included, it means something like, "Would you be happier if you had a different job (now)?" or, "Do you wish you had a different job (now)?"

To repeat: The question, "Would you like to change your job?" most commonly means, change it NOW. It means the same as, "Would you be happier if you had a different job (now)?", "Would you prefer to have a different job (now)?", "Would you change your job (now), if you could?", "Do you wish you had a different job (now)?" etc.

The vast majority of times when a native English speaker says, "I would like to ...", without adding "in the future",  he or she means that he or she would be happier if the present situation (now) were different. For example, "I would like to be younger". It would be nonsensical to talk about being younger and add the words, "in the future"! "I would like to be younger" means the same as, "I wish I were younger ".

Some learners of English (in China, at least) mistakenly assume that, "Would you like ...?" is always (and only) referring to the future, when this is not true.

3) On the other hand, it is possible that the question, "Would you like to change your job in the future?" is really being used. That question is similar to, "Do you want to change your job in the future?", and also similar to, "Do you plan to change your job in the future?", "Do you intend to change your job in the future?" or, "Do you hope to change your job in the future?"

Overall, I am not sure what the real wording is for this question. It's quite possible that two different questions are being used, one referring to now and one referring to the future. (I think two or three different sets of "Your Work" questions are being used.)

3) If you are doing the IELTS test with the intention or hope of migrating, for example to Australia, then almost certainly you will "change your job", meaning you will change your employer but you might not necessarily change your occupation, such as computer programmer. In this situation, it is somewhat unsuitable to talk about "liking to" or "wanting to" to change your job or your occupation in the future because you will have little choice.

Note 17

Although I wrote in Note 16 that the majority of the time, native English speakers don't say, "Would like to" when referring to the future, sometimes they do. The question, "In the future, what type of home would you like to live in?" (= "What type of home would you like to live in, in the future?) has a similar  meaning to, "What type of home do you want to live in, in the future?"

So why would, "Would like to" be used instead of, "want to"? Firstly, "want to" is more emphatic and similar to "plan to" but most people simply have "hopes" about where they will live. Secondly, "would like to" is used because it sounds gentler i.e., it is less emphatic or less aggressive sounding – it is more "genteel" or more "polite" sounding.

Note 19

Would you like to teach children how to swim?

Possibly that question is worded as, "Would you be willing to teach children how to swim?" This has a slightly different meaning to the first question.

Note 20

Do you think it's important to learn how to swim? = Do you think it's important to know how to swim? = Do you think it's important to be able to swim?

Note 21

the sea = the ocean

Note 31

If the question is worded that way, without specifying "help with your studies", then it is possible to say that your classmates give you more help concerning your personal life, lending you money etc. but your teachers give you more help concerning your studies.

Note 32

This question was reported by one candidate so it might not be in the examiners' question book. (Examiners only use questions from the question book in Part 1.)

Note 37

This is an important question and you have a 50% chance of getting this question. See some important notes here, on the website. Those notes are about the question, "Why did you choose to study that?" The question, "Why did you choose that type of work (or, that job)?" is grammatically the same.

Note 39

Which is more important for you at school, the teachers or the other students?

Possibly the question is asked in general terms like that. Alternatively, the question might emphasize your study, i.e., "In your studies, which is more important for you, the teachers or the other students?" The first question could possibly be answered in terms of your social life, your friends at school.

Note 42

Possibly the word, "hoped" is used instead of "imagined".

Note 43

The word, "handicrafts" might be used, or the words, "hand-made things" might be used, or possibly both are used, in different questions. This is not clear yet.  In fact, a "hand-made thing" and a "handicraft" are very close in meaning. The meaning of a, "hand-made thing" is something like, "made by a person, not made in a factory". The meaning of a, "handicraft" is focusing more on the creative or artistic aspect of making this thing, or the idea that it requires skills to make this thing.

The word, "handicraft" is sometimes used to mean the thing that is made by hand. However, the most common usage of the word is, "a handicraft" = an activity or a skill; the activity of making something by hand that requires some skill and/or artistic ability, such as needlework or making pottery by hand.

Note 44

Obviously, you need to talk about what people need and want when they are growing up, (People stop growing at about the age of 18, or earlier.) The question is not the same as, "Would you say it's a good place to live?", which refers to people of any age. Therefore, it is not suitable to talk about the infrastructure in your hometown such as roads and bridges.

Note 45

For high school students, the examiner might choose to ask this question about one of the subjects that you said you are studying (or studied). For example, "Is physics very difficult to study?" [Or, "Do you like physics?" for the question, "Do you like ...?"]

Note 48

This question and the one following it might be worded as "How has it changed?", not "How much has it changed?"

Note 50

If the words, "to do" are not included, it is possible to talk about what kinds of dancing people like to watch, not do. But you still should not ignore the point about what forms of dancing people like to do.

Some people in China give the example of "square dancing" but this is a mistake. Square dancing is a particular form of a quite old style of dancing in a group that is done in the West, a form that is still popular with country people and in primary schools, where they teach the kids how to do it. Those Chinese people are translating 广场跳舞 (town square dancing) when they say, "square dancing". Just call it "town square dancing" and try to give a short description of what it means. There is no English name for it, as far as I know.

[Possibly the English "square dancing" is also derived from "town square" but since the group doing the dancing are in a square formation, I always assumed that was where the name came from. In this form of dancing, either the males and then the females move around the square, changing partners as they go.]

Note 51

It is possible that the examiners are not using the words, "primary school" and, instead, are asking, "Can you describe your first school?" or, "Can you describe the first school you attended?" If this is the case, "my primary school" is the correct name for it but the examiners are testing to see if you know that name for it. "Elementary school" is the American style of "primary school" and  is not wrong but in the IELTS test, using the British English style is best. Don't say your first school was a kindergarten because Westerners don't consider kindergartens to be schools.

Note 52

The question, "Do you prefer to write letters, or emails?" is really asking which you prefer in general, not just when communicating with your friends. However, if the examiner announces at the beginning of this topic that the topic is, "Communicating with friends" and not simply, "Communication" then you could assume that the question is specifically asking about writing letters or emails to your friends. Always pay attention to the exact wording when the examiner announces the name of the topic.

Note 54

If the question does not include the words, "besides chatting face-to-face" (or similar words) then most people should include that in the answer. But you also should include other methods such as talking on your phone, texting on your phone (= sending text messages), sending text messages on an app such as Skype or Wechat, sending emails or letters, and using online video chatting services such as Skype and Wechat

Note 55

If you have already completed your studies (either high school or university), this question will probably be, "What did you learn from studying that subject?" For high school students, the examiner will probably choose one of the several subjects that you say you are studying or studied, if you have finished high school. Basically, the examiner wants a summary of what you learned or the contents of the subject, possibly with a few specific examples of what you learned.

Note 56

Below is a copy of an email I sent to someone about the topic of "computers".


I've seen a question in the IELTS question pool, which is in the topic of 'computer'. It is like 'In what ways do people use computers in China?' I'm not sure whether this refers to how people use computers (e.g. use computers to watch TV or documents' editing) or it means how to make computers work ( e.g. Connect to wifi) 

My Reply

On the topic of Computers (plural) in Part 1, that sort of question is referring to the various purposes of using computers, not the various technical ways of using computers. Anyway, there are not many different technical ways of using a computer – most computers work the same way.

Your question also seems to indicate that you are confusing the two different words, "computers" and "the internet". These are two distinctly different things, although they are connected in some but not all cases. For example, people today can connect to the internet by using a mobile phone, which is not classified as a "computer".

If the question is, "In what ways do people use the internet?" then, again, the question is USUALLY referring to the purpose of using the internet rather than the variety of technical ways of using it, especially if it is a Part 1 question. If the question is about the different ways of connecting to the internet, then the word "connect" or "go onto" would most likely be used, not just the word, "use".

Different purposes i.e.,  usages of the internet are: 1) Entertainment especially viewing entertainment videos, listening to music audio files, connecting to real-time TV and radio broadcasts, reading entertainment articles such as gossip articles, and playing online games etc. 2) Personal Communication such as using emails, text message exchange services, direct streaming audio-video services such as Wechat, and expressing personal opinions on message boards 3) Getting information such as the news, which includes using non-entertainment audio-visual files & by reading webpages 4) Studying, either private study by researching information on the internet or more formal study such as taking an online university course, which might involve sending assignments by email or face-to-face discussion with a tutor via a service such as Wechat 5) Making financial or business transactions such as internet banking, buying & selling shares on the stock market, online shopping, making online hotel or airline reservations etc. 6) Exchanging computer files and data with others, including photos, audio-visual files, software, e-books, and data (such as my Updates service) etc. The internet is also used by governments & companies for sending and receiving real-time data such as the direct streaming of the data from surveillance cameras.

Of course, computers themselves can be used for various purposes without being connected to the internet. One of the most common uses of computers is to write documents, including letters that are printed out and mailed by regular mail ("snail mail"). Other common usages are the printing-out of documents or previously downloaded webpages, and using a scanner to photocopy a document, a page from a book or a photograph.

Your question was a good one, especially since it illustrates the confusion that some people have between the two words, "computer" and "internet", I will copy it and my reply to my Updates notes.

Note 61

The wording, "Would you like to change where you live?" can have two different meanings: a) "Would you like to make some changes to the place that you are living in?" or, b) "Would you like to change your address?" = "Would you like to move to a different place?"  Meaning a) is the meaning that most people report. But a question about moving to a different place has also been reported.

Note 62

Your answer could possibly include what you are afraid of doing in the evenings.

Note 64

Do you have a favourite sound, and a sound that you find the most annoying?  

This does not necessarily refer to sounds in your neighbourhood that you hear quite often. It could apply to sounds that you rarely hear, such as the sound of a mountain stream, but are still your favourite and least liked sounds.

Almost always, the Part 1 questions do not represent a discussion in which the questions are linked. Instead, you should think of the Part 1 questions for a certain topic to be a series of random, independent questions, all coming under the umbrella of that topic name.

Note 65

Someone recently asked me about two questions, one from the "Science" topic and one from the "Computers" topic. Below are her questions and my reply.


Hello, I have difficult answering the following two questions because I don't really understand what they mean. Could you please give me a sample answer~
"How important is new computer technology to you?"
"What scientific fields are most popular in your country?"


My Reply

I can see how you are confused by those questions. They are a little unclear but this is what someone reported as their questions and I simply copied them to the list of questions without thinking too much about them. If these were Part 3 questions, it is quite possible that an examiner would also ask such unclear questions. If that happens, the candidate should seek clarification or say something like, "Do you mean ...?" This would be showing the communication skill of seeking clarification.

But since these are Part 1 questions, the real questions are probably worded clearer than what I have written here.

This is what I guess these questions mean  –

"How important is new computer technology to you?" = "How important is it to you to have the latest (or most up-to-date) computer technology on your computer?" The "latest computer technology" includes such things as the most recent operating system, such as Windows 10. (I'm still using Windows XP and I have reasons why I never started using Win 7, 8 and especially 10.) This is similar to the following question that has been used before in the Speaking test: "How important is it to you to have the newest electronic devices, such as the newest type of mobile phone?"

"What scientific fields are most popular in your country?" = "In your country, what areas of science are people most interested in?" For example, are people mostly interested in biology, physics, chemistry, electronics, astronomy, marine biology, medical science, computer science, veterinary science, agricultural science (the scientific study of farming) etc etc? Simply choosing either biology, chemistry or physics is probably too general and choosing one of the branches of these fields, such as marine biology, would be most suitable. Firstly, this question is testing to see if you know the words for the different fields, or areas of science. Secondly, it is testing if you can explain some reasons why people are most interested in this area and / or if you can give evidence supporting your opinion that people are most interested in this area. For example, you could say that old people are most interested in medical science and young people are most interested in the science related to electronic communication, such as cell phones and computers.


Note 66

Most people have reported that the word, "celebrity" is used in this topic but some people have reported that the more general term, "famous person" was used, at least in one or more of the questions.

All celebrities are famous people but it is not suitable to describe all famous people as celebrities. Well-known entertainers such as movie stars, well-known pop singers, TV hosts and sometimes sports stars can be called "celebrities". This is especially true if articles about their personal lives, or their personalities, are written in popular magazines or if they give interviews on entertaining talk shows on TV. Many people recognize the faces of celebrities because we have seen photographs of them quite often.

However some people are famous for more serious reasons, such as being a high-level political leader, a leader in business, a renowned academic, an author of a serious but well-known book, or someone who has done a great deed such as being an inventor or scientist who made a great discovery. In most cases, it is not very suitable to describe these people as "celebrities", especially if people only know their names but generally do not recognize their faces, and if people do not know much about their personal lives or their personalities because these well-known people have never been interviewed by the media.

Note 67

Most likely the question used in this Part 1 is, "Do you like taking photographs?" However, the second question is possible although it would be more suitable as a Part 3 question because it is more suitable for expansion and discussion.

"Photography" has a broader, more detailed meaning than, "taking photographs". The word, "photography" can mean one or all of the following aspects: Taking photographs; Learning about the different types of cameras and equipment that can be used for taking different types of photos in different types of situations; Developing photos in darkrooms (when rolls of film are used); Making changes to digital photos using software such as Photoshop; and Appreciating the photos of other people as works of art.

Note 68

Have you ever been to a place that had a lot of photographs?

Possibly that question is expressed as, "Do you ever go to places that have a lot of photographs?" This question is more suitable when talking about your habits or lifestyle.

Four examples of this are:

i) Photograph exhibitions that might be held at places such as art galleries, public libraries or a public place such as a town square or park. Often the photos are all based on a single theme such as an event in history. Photograph competitions are similar to that. 

ii) Museums, especially history museums usually have a lot of old photos.

iii) Newspaper archive offices usually have a lot of photos but the average person rarely visits these places.


iv) Places on the internet that have collections of photos. There are many of these. People don't physically go to these places  – they 'go' to the websites on the internet.

Note 69

In previous years, the 'rule' or custom was that one of Topics 1 to 3 is compulsory, and that only one of them is used for each candidate. But since 2016 I have seen several people reporting, in detail, two of these topics in their test. So it is possible that this rule is no longer being strictly applied.