IELTS Speaking Topics in 2022

IELTS Speaking Topics, 2022

This part will give you a list of IELTS Speaking topics for 2022. Each card is complete with sample answers, key vocabulary and collocations. You can save the cards in PDF or print them online.

Note that most of the topics remain unchanged. However, sometimes more IELTS Speaking topics get added to reflect changes happening in the world (e.g. climate change, the coronavirus and so on).

Another important point to keep in mind is that the topics are more or less the same for Part 1, 2 and 3. However, the questions themselves have different focus. Part 1 focuses on familiar aspects of the topic. Part 2 expects you talk about a familiar question in more detail. In Part 3 you expand on the idea from Part 2 and talk about the unfamiliar, abstract side of the topic.

Click on each topic to see more sample questions for this IELTS Speaking topic. Each question has a sample answer and useful phrases with explanations!

The sample questions below are for Part 1 of IELTS Speaking. Click on each topic to see question cards for Part 2 and 3.

Friends and family, #2

Do you come from a big family?
Do you have any brothers or sisters?
How often do you meet your friends?
Are you still in touch with your friends from school?
How does friendship change people?

Job and career, #2

When you were a child, what did you want to become?
What jobs are in demand in your country?
What professions are respected in your country?
Which professional sphere is going to be more popular in the future?
Nowadays many young people prioritise career over family. Why?
What jobs might become obsolete with the increasing automation in every sphere?
What is more important – job satisfaction or professional development?
Do you think all people want to do creative work?

Hobbies and free time, #2

How do you usually spend your free time?
What hobbies are popular in your country?
Have your interests changed much since you were a child?
Do you prefer spending your free time alone or with somebody else?
Do you plan to take up any new hobbies in the future?
Is it a good idea to turn a hobby into profession?

Home and hometown, #2

Do you live in a flat or a house?
Tell me about the area you live in.
What kind of problems does your town face?
Would you rather live in the city centre or in the countryside?
What is your city famous for?
Do you get on well with your neighbours?

Transport, #2

How often do you use public transport?
What is the best way to get around your city?
How do you usually commute?
Does your city have cycling lanes or any other cycling infrastructure?
How could the government encourage people to use public transport?
Is renting a car better than owning it? Why?

Nature and the environment

Do you have any parks or squares where you live?
If you could, would you want to have a garden? Why/why not?
What does the government of your country do to save the environment?
Would you say that people are causing more damage to nature than they did 20 years ago?
How can people be encouraged to reduce their environmental footprint?

Studying, #2

What do you study?
Do you plan to continue your study?
What do you find most difficult about learning English?
If you could study something else, what would you study?
How might ways of studying and education change in the future?

Art (films, music, the theatre, literature etc.), #2

Do you prefer reading or watching movies? Why?
How often to you go to live concerts?
Do you like theatre? Why/Why not?
In your opinion, is reading become less or more popular with people? Why?
Violence is a big part of movie and videogame industries nowadays. How do you think this will change in the future?

Modern problems

Some say that the world is becoming increasingly globalised, or similar. What is your opinion on that?
Unemployment is a big issue nowadays, especially among young people. What could be the solution to this problem?
Is it more important to explore space or to focus on problems of our own planet?
Modern lifestyle is much less healthy. How can people be encouraged to be more active and sporty?

Travelling

What is your attitude to travelling?
When was the last time you travelled somewhere? Where did you go to?
Do you have any plans to travel somewhere in the future?
If you could visit any country, where would you go? Why?
What environmental impact does travelling have?

City and the country

Do you live in a city or in the countryside?
If you could move, where would you prefer to live and why?
What are the advantages of living in the city centre? Are there any disadvantages?
Do you have any shops near to where you live?
More and more people are moving to bigger cities. Why do you think this is happening?

Weather and climate

What kind of climate do you live in? Do you like it?
What kind of weather do you like most?
If you could live in a place with a different climate, would you want to?
Would you say that local climate has changed much over the years?

Holidays and celebrations

What is the biggest holiday in your country?
What are the national holidays celebrated in your country?
How do you usually celebrate your birthday?
Do you normally celebrate with your friends, your family or on your own?
Are there any special traditions regarding gift-giving where you live?

Food and cuisine

What are the typical dishes in your country?
What kind of food do you prefer?
Do you like cooking?
What do you usually eat if you want to treat yourself?
How do you go grocery shopping?
Why do people find fast food so attractive?

Animals and pets

Do you have any pets?
What animals are popular as pets in your country?
Is your country or culture associated with any particular animal?
Why people might choose to have a pet?
Do you think that the pet a person have can tell us something about that person?

Technology and progress

How often do you use your mobile phone?
How does technology help you in your everyday life?
What technological discovery has changed our lives most dramatically?
What are the possible negative aspects of technological progress?
To what extent do you think technology has changed the way we live?

Health and well-being

How often do you exercise?
Would you say that you have a healthy lifestyle?
Do you prefer to do sports indoors or outside?
What can the government do to promote healthy lifestyle?
Do you agree that people nowadays live healthier that the previous generations? Why/Why not?
What are the benefits of taking part in team sports?

Money and shopping

Would you say that you are good at managing money?
Do you think it’s better to save money or spend it?
What is better – shopping with your friends or on your own?
Do you believe that in the future we will only use electronic money and payments?
Many smaller shops nowadays have to close down because they can’t compete with bigger chain stores. Is this a positive or a negative development?

How to get IELTS Speaking Band 7+

IELTS Speaking Band 7 seems to be the score the more ambitious test-takers aim for. Band 7 generally seems to be the highest IELTS requirement for most colleges and universities, therefore it is so desirable among students.

Another reason is Speaking seems to be the aspect where test-takers get consistently higher scores (according to the official data). This helps to bump your average band up.

In order to fully understand the requirements for Band 7+ score, let’s have a look at the official IELTS Speaking assessment sheet. This helps better recognise examiner’s expectations and adjust our answers in a more relevant and constructive way. We will go over the assessment criteria one by one.

Fluency and coherence

One of the points that separates Band 7 from the lower scores is so called “speaking at length“. In short, speaking at length is giving a longer, more detailed answer. Another point that is highlighted in Speaking Band 7 and above is usage of cohesive devices and discourse markers. Both relate to connecting ideas and while they are similar, it is better to have a closer look at each separately.

Speaking at length

To better illustrate this, let’s compare two answers from Part 3:

Examiner: What can be done to reduce harm to the environment?

Sample answer #1: I believe that there are two things that can be done. First, children should be taught about human impact on nature. The government could also implement stricter regulation of various industries as they seem to be the main contributors to pollution.

Sample answer #2: I see two main ways of mitigating environmental damage. One way is to teach young people about human impact on nature. Having learnt about the damage the mankind causes might have a dramatic effect on their view of the situation. Another approach is to impose stricter regulations when it comes to large industries as they seem to be the main contributors to pollution. This could be done by additional taxing that could later be used to alleviate environmental damage.

In this example let’s ignore the paraphrased bits and focus on the underlined parts of the answer. Answer #2 develops the ideas by introducing several points and expanding on the proposals. Unfortunately, there are no cut-and-dried structures that could be used to to make your answer longer and more descriptive. Just keep in mind that examiners appreciate more relevant and more detailed responses, especially in Part 2 and 3.

Cohesive devices

Cohesive devices are word and phrases that help connect ideas in your speech (or writing). Ultimately, they enable you to make your sentences longer which is appreciated by the examiners.

Adding/ElaboratingConsequence/ResultSequence/OrderShowing SimilarityShowing Difference/Contrast
In addition, moreover, as well as, furthermore, tooAs a consequence/result, consequently, so, thus, thereforeFirst (of all), to begin/start with, secondly, next, meanwhile, finallySimilarly to, just like, likewise, as withAs opposed to, whereas, while, however, contrastingly, unlike, on one/other hand, but

Discourse markers

Discourse markers are an attribute of spoken (rather than written) language. Note that terms ‘discourse markers’ and ‘cohesive devices’ tend to be used interchangeably.

Clarifying/RephrasingExamplesHedging/Distancing*Attitude/CertaintyAnswering/Responding
I mean, what I mean is, in other words, to clarify, to put it another wayLike, such as, one example is/being, a case in pointKind of/sort of, apparently, some people say/believe/hold that, perhapsHonestly, clearly, evidently, of course, definitely, probably, I guessI see, of course, great, exactly

There is an interesting entry on Cambridge Dictionary webpage, definitely check it out!

Now let’s have a look at two answers – one of them uses discourse markers and cohesive devices efficiently (underlined):

Examiner: Who do people tend to trust more – their friend or their family?

Sample answer #1: I think it’s their family because they are much closer to them. They spend their whole life around them so they ought to know them better and to understand them. Friends are there for us too, but they aren’t necessarily as familiar with our character and our feelings as family members.

Sample answer #2: I guess its their family – I mean they ought to know and therefore understand them much better since they spend much more time with one another.

Fluency

Fluency refers to absence of long pauses in your speech. Band 7 requirement is to only have ‘hesitation’ that is related to the content, i.e. when you think about what to say. Such hesitation shouldn’t be caused by looking for the right word in English. In order to get Band 7+ you are expected to make almost no such pauses – this can only be achieved by intensive practice, there is no easy way to fluency.

Lexical resource

One of the requirements to get Band 7 in IELTS Speaking is to show, quote, “some awareness of style and collocation”. Style can be formal, informal and neutral – see our article about differences of vocabulary and general rules. Collocations are the way words combine into phrases – more info about that can be found here.

Collocations are the bread and butter of English – they help your language really come alive. The more collocations you know, the more confident you are using them, the better you will sound – which naturally results in higher mark. Learning collocations is not something that can be done overnight – you will be expanding your knowledge of them as long as you use the language. The good news is, to get Band 7 you don’t have to know all of them or use them without mistakes. This Band allows some leeway, some room for mistakes – so don’t be discouraged if you are not perfect with using those collocations.

One cool useful resource I’d like to share is https://www.freecollocation.com/ – it always helps me whenever I’m in doubt. Just put in any word and get an extensive list of nouns, verbs, adjectives etc that collocate with it. It’s especially handy when you’re practicing your IELTS Writing. Now let’s have a look at well-used collocations:

Examiner: What kind of climate does your country have?

Sample answer #1: My country has very soft climate. Springs are nice and warm. Summers can be a bit wet but generally we get too many hot days.

Sample answer #2: The climate of our country is quite mild. Springs are pleasantly warm here. Summers can get humid but generally there aren’t too many hot days.

Grammatical range and accuracy

This criteria judges the variety of your grammar and how appropriately you use it. The amount of mistakes as well as their impact on the meaning is also a factor. Hence, to score high you should show flexibility with your (complex) grammar making as few mistakes as possible.

Band 7 Speaking requirement has of using “a range of complex structures with some flexibility”. Your speech should be predominantly free of any mistakes, and if any mistakes do occur they shouldn’t impede understanding.

Band 7 roughly equals level of C1 (Advanced). Here is a list of grammar aspects that should give you a basic idea what you should be able to use and produce in your spontaneous speech.

Pronunciation

One of the assessment requirements is to use “pronunciation features”. This includes appropriate word and sentence stress, intonation, pauses and linking sounds. This DOES NOT include your accent.