ielts-yasi.englishlab.net

Updated September 19, 2019

 

Part 1 Topics and Questions

For The IELTS Speaking Tests, September to December, 2019

 

Note:  This page will be updated several times over the coming weeks.

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Notes

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.

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

  1. Your Work or Study

  2. Your Living Area

  3. Your Home / 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)

  1. Perfume

  2. Social Media

  3. Exercise and Sport

  4. Reading

  5. Travel

  6. Time Management

  7. Smiling and Laughing

  8. Rubbish

  9. Places to Play

  10. The Weather

  11. Cities

  12. Mathematics

  13. Visiting Relatives & Friends

  14. Street Markets

  15. Transport

  16. Borrowing and Lending

  17. Haircuts  N

  18. Voices  N

  19. Wild Animals  N

  20. Jeans  N

  21. Walking  N

  22. Amusement Parks  N

  23. Concentration  N

  24. Languages  N

  25. Sunshine  N

  26. Friends  N

  27. Music  N

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

 

 

1 YOUR WORK OR STUDY

 

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.

WORK

 

Main Questions

Possible Other Questions

STUDY 

 

Main Questions

 

Possible Other Questions

 

YOUR LIVING AREA 

 

See some extra vocabulary here

 

Main Questions

Possible Other Questions

 

3. Your Home / Accommodation

 

4. Perfume

 

See some extra vocabulary here

 

5. Social Media

 

See also these questions from 2018 - Part_1_Questions_May_to_Aug_2018.htm#APPS

and #Social Media Websites (from 2016)

 

See some extra vocabulary here

 

6. Exercise and Sport

 

See some extra vocabulary here

 

7. Reading

 

See some extra vocabulary here

 

8. Travel

 

See some extra vocabulary here

 

9, Time Management

 

See some extra vocabulary here

 

10. Smiling and Laughing

 

See some extra vocabulary here and here

 

See Important Note - Note 38

 

11. Rubbish

 

See some extra vocabulary here

 

12. Places to Play

 

See some extra vocabulary here

 

13. The Weather

 

See some extra vocabulary here

 

See also THE SEASONS and WEATHER (from 2018)

 

14. Cities

 

15. Mathematics

 

See some extra vocabulary here

 

See also these 2015 questions

 

Note: "Mathematics" is used in both British & American English. Short forms - "maths" (Br. Eng), "math" (US. Eng.)

 

16. Visiting Relatives & Friends

 

See some extra vocabulary here

 

See also these 2014 questions

 

17Street Markets

 

See also #Street Markets (from 2015)

 

18 Transport

 

19.  Borrowing and Lending

 

See some extra vocabulary here

 

20.  Haircuts  N

 

This topic has never been used before.

See Note 41

21.  Voices  N

 

This topic has never been used before.

 

22. Wild Animals  N

 

23. Jeans  N

 

This topic has never been used before.

See Note 43

 

24.  Walking  N

 

This topic was last used in Sep. 2016. See also here

 

25.  Amusement Parks  N

 

This topic has never been used before.

 

26.  Concentration  N

 

This topic was last used in Sep. 2014. See also here

27.  Languages  N

 

This topic was last used in May 2014. See also here

 

28.  Sunshine  N

 

The examiner might introduce this as, "Sunny Days".

This topic was last used in Sep. 2017. See also here

29.  Friends  N

 

30.  Music  N

 

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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 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 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".

Note 33

The three words, "exercise", "exercises" and "sport" mean different things, although they are related and the usages sometimes overlap.

See:  vocabulary_lists_6.htm#80. Sport

Note 34

This can mean or include, "prefer to watch", not just, "prefer to play".

Note 35

Do you like reading?  

This does not necessarily or only mean, "Do you like reading books?"

Note 36

"Professional" books = specialist books

Example: technical journals

Textbooks could be included in this category.

Note 37

= "Can you detect a fake/false smile?"

= "Can you distinguish between a fake/false smile and a real smile?"

Note 38

Note 39

Do you smile when you are having your picture taken?

Several people have reported this question as, "Do you smile when you are taking a photograph?" To :"take a photo" means to operate the camera;  to "have your photo taken" means to be the subject of the photo, or in the photo.

Of course, it is possible to smile when you are photographing something (= taking a photo), including when you want children to smile if you are taking a photo of them. It is also typical for people to smile when they are taking a selfie on their mobile phone!

Conclusion: Although the question is most likely to be, "Do you smile when you are having your photo (= picture) taken?", it is certainly possible that the question is, "Do you smile when you are taking a photograph?" Be prepared for either question.

Note 40

These two questions might be under a separate topic which is not included in the current list, "Transport".

Note 41

Some people, especially some Americans, say things like, "I cut my hair yesterday" when they did not really cut their hair themselves but actually "had their hair cut" or "got their hair cut". In the IELTS test, you should use one of those two forms, which are how educated people speak. It's the same as saying, "I'm going to get my car repaired today" or "I'm going to have my car repaired today". Those two correct statements mean that someone else is going to repair your car. If you say, "I'm going to repair my car today" it means that you are going to do it yourself.

Note 42

Of course, the voices of males change when the males reach the age of puberty, at about 13 or 14. Their voices become deeper and more "manly". When this happens, we say the boy's voice "breaks". But I strongly recommend that you DO NOT use that expression in the test unless you know for sure you are Band 7+ for speaking. For most of you. if you use that expression, you will be telling the examiner that you knew what topics are in the test and had prepared your answer before the test. The examiner will not like to be told that and will possibly REDUCE your score if you show that several of your answers were prepared before the test. Just say your voice became "deeper". https://young.scot/get-informed/national/what-happens-when-my-voice-starts-breaking

Note 43

The word, "jeans", like "pants" and "trousers" is a plural noun. There is no singular form. So we say things like, "I started wearing them when I was about 13." We refer to those nouns by saying "a pair of". such as, "a pair of jeans"."Glasses" (that you wear to help you see) is another example of a plural noun.