A Guide to Effective Preparation for IELTS Speaking Discussions: Technology, Science, and Health 

 March 28, 2024

By  Jonathan

The IELTS Speaking test often includes questions focused on technology, scientific advancements, and health-related topics. These areas offer opportunities to showcase knowledge, critical thinking skills, and specialized vocabulary. Targeted preparation will boost your confidence and improve your performance on these potentially challenging but important speaking topic areas.

Why Focus on Technology, Science, and Health?

  • Common Themes: These fields are rapidly evolving and frequently discussed in news, education, and professional settings.
  • Academic Relevance: Preparation aligns with the academic focus of the IELTS exam.
  • Critical Thinking Opportunities: These topics require you to analyze impacts, weigh potential consequences, and form reasoned opinions.
  • Specialized Vocabulary: Exposure to these themes aids in acquiring topic-specific terminology for clear and precise communication.

Preparation Strategies

  1. Build Knowledge Base
    • Read popular science articles and technology-focused news sources.
    • Watch documentaries and educational videos about health innovations, medical ethics, or scientific discoveries.
    • Visit science and technology museums or explore online exhibits.
  2. Vocabulary Development
    • Create topic-specific vocabulary lists: technology terms, body systems, disease names, medical procedures, scientific concepts.
    • Learn and practice relevant prefixes and suffixes (bio-, cyber-, micro-, -logy).
    • Use flashcards or online resources for targeted vocabulary building.
  3. Practice Explaining & Describing
    • Choose a technology you use daily and practice explaining how it works in simplified terms.
    • Describe the process of a recent scientific discovery and its potential implications.
    • Summarize a health-related article, focusing on key terms and concepts.
  4. Formulate Informed Opinions
    • Consider the ethical dilemmas raised by new technologies like gene editing or artificial intelligence.
    • Reflect on the benefits and risks of widespread access to health information online.
    • Prepare arguments regarding the balance between technological advancement and environmental concerns.
  5. Anticipate Question Types
    • Impact: “How has the internet changed the way people learn and access information?”
    • Ethical Considerations: “Should there be limits on genetic engineering technology?”
    • Solution-Oriented: “What steps can be taken to reduce the impact of e-waste on the environment?”
    • Prediction: “How might artificial intelligence transform the medical field in the future?”

Sample Questions & Enhanced Responses


  • Question: “Do you think technology has a positive or negative effect on society?”
  • Basic Answer: “It has both good and bad effects.”
  • Enhanced Answer: “Technology has a complex impact on society. It offers 便利ence and connection, but also raises concerns about privacy and the potential for social isolation.”


  • Question “What do you think are the biggest challenges facing global healthcare?”
  • Basic Answer: “Healthcare is very expensive.”
  • Enhanced Answer: “One critical challenge is ensuring access to quality healthcare for people regardless of location or income. Additionally, rising costs and the aging population present significant challenges to healthcare systems.”

Additional Tips

  • Focus on Clarity: If you don’t understand a scientific term, it’s better to describe the concept in simple language than misuse complex terminology.
  • Examples Matter: Illustrate your points with specific technologies, scientific studies, or healthcare initiatives.
  • Balance is Key: Acknowledge both the potential benefits and drawbacks of advancements in these fields.

Remember: The IELTS examiner is not assessing your scientific expertise. They evaluate your ability to discuss complex ideas with fluency, coherence, and topic-appropriate vocabulary.

Jonathan has been teaching students to prepare for the IELTS and PTE Exams for more than 10+ years. He's taught English to students in various countries in the world including Singapore, China, Australia, Canada and Colombia.