Recent IELTS Speaking Test Questions With Answers

The IELTS speaking test takes between 11 and 14 minutes. There are three parts.

Part 1: Introduction and Interview

It lasts 4 to 5 minutes. The part 1 consists of general questions about your family, home, job and interests.

Part 2: Individual Long Turn

Part 2 lasts 3 to 4 minutes. The candidate will be given a topic card and 1 minute to prepare notes. The candidate has to speak on the given topic for about 1 to 2 minutes. It is a monologue. After you have finished speaking, the examiner may ask you one or two questions.

Part 3: Two-Way Discussion

It lasts 4 to 5 minutes. The questions will be based on the topic from part 2. There will be up to 7 questions and the examiner will adapt the questions to your proficiency level.

The following questions were asked on a recent IELTS speaking test held in Sri Lanka. Sample answers are also given.

IELTS speaking questions

Part 1

Examiner: Can you tell me your full name?

Candidate: My name is Rahul Shetty.

Examiner: Where are you from?

Candidate: I am from Mangalore, a small town in Karnataka.

Examiner: What do you like about your hometown?

Candidate: What I like the most about my town is that it is well connected to all towns in Karnataka and neighbouring Kerala. It has got numerous educational institutions. It is a beautiful place. It is not as crowded as some other towns in my country.

Examiner: Is it a good place for young people?

Candidate: It is. There are lots of good schools and colleges here. Mangalore attracts students from all over India, so it has a plural culture. There are plenty of entertainment options too.

Examiner: What kind of clothes do you wear?

Candidate: I prefer casual wear. However, I don’t mind wearing formal clothes on formal occasions. I always wear traditional clothes on special occasions like marriages or festivals.  

Examiner: How often do you go shopping for new clothes?

Candidate: Maybe a couple of times a year. I usually buy one or two pairs of clothing for my birthday. Sometimes, I buy new clothes if I have to attend the marriage of a friend or relative.

Examiner: What do you do with your old clothes?

Candidate: If the dress is still good, I usually donate it to some charities. If it is worn out, I may use it to wipe tables.

Examiner: Have you ever been to a place where there are lots of fish around you?

Candidate: I once went to a temple in Kerala. It is on the bank of a river. There they have this practice of feeding fish. As soon as you approach the river for feeding the fish, they will come upwards. It was lovely seeing so many fish waiting to be fed.

Examiner: Have you seen any movies with lots of fish?

Candidate: No. I don’t remember any.

Part 2

Describe a successful person who you studied or worked with. You should say

who this person is

when you studied / worked with him/her

what he/she did to become successful

and explain how you felt about studying or working with him/her.

Candidate: I would like to talk about Rahul Menon, an oncologist working in the US. He was my classmate at school. After high school I decided to pursue engineering and he wanted to do medicine. He was super brilliant and cracked the medical entrance exam in his first attempt itself. He was the topper from South India. He did MBBS from AIIMS Delhi and then went to the US to pursue his PG in medicine. He currently works as an oncologist at the John Hopkins Hospital. He is working to develop a vaccine against lung cancer. He has already had many of his research papers published by major science journals in the US. Rahul is a humble guy. While I always knew that he would make it big, he was friendly to everyone in my class. He knew better than the teachers, but always behaved very respectfully in the class.

Examiner: Are you still in touch with him?

Candidate: Yes. We do connect over Skype calls every now and then. He is busy with his work, so am I.  

Part 3

Examiner: Is money the only measure of success in your country?

Candidate: No. While money is certainly a measure of success, it is not the only measure. We also give a lot of importance to a person’s character. Honest people are respected more. Likewise, people who give selfless service to the society are considered more successful than rich people. In fact, people who make money using the wrong means are the most hated in our society.

Examiner: How do you define whether one is a successful person?

Candidate: I think happiness is the best measure of success. In my opinion, if a person is happy, they are successful. I work in the corporate sector and I know lots of very wealthy and influential businessmen and CEOs. Many of them lead highly stressful lives. They are greedy, unhappy and jealous despite having a lot of money. I don’t think they are successful.  

Examiner: Is there a conflict between success and happiness?

Candidate: There is a conflict but there shouldn’t be any. When we measure success, we are only looking at the wealth, name and fame of a person. We don’t care whether that person is happy. That is the problem. The wealthy are not always happy. Actually, many of them are really unhappy. We equate success with wealth. That is the issue. Once we start equating success with happiness, this conflict will vanish.

Examiner: Is it easy to succeed in the national tests in your country?

Candidate: It is not at all easy. We have a very huge population. However, there are not enough educational or career opportunities for all. Hence, competition is really tough. Only the brightest students can get into an IIT or a government medical college. The Civil Services exam conducted by UPSC is our most prestigious public exam. Its success rate is just 0.2%.

Examiner: What are the factors that influence student’s grades at school or college?

Candidate: The main factors are their academic excellence. Many schools and colleges follow the continuous and comprehensive evaluation model. When this model is followed, the final exam contributes just 30 or 40% to the total score.

Examiner: How important is it to do well in school, to be successful later in life, in your opinion?

Candidate: In my opinion, it is important to do well in school. Of course, there are some people who become successful entrepreneurs or politicians despite not having any formal education. However, in my opinion, they are exceptions rather than the rule. For the vast majority of people, if they want to succeed in life, they have to do well in their studies.

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Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I'm Manjusha. This is my blog where I give IELTS preparation tips.