What Are The Recent IELTS Speaking Exam Topics And Questions?

In previous articles about the IELTS speaking exam, we took a detailed look at the common topics and questions that appear during the three-part of the speaking test.

In this article, I have added a few actual IELTS recent Singapore speaking test questions and categorised them according to their topic.

The IELTS Speaking test topic bank is renewed every 4 months, so examiners get a new set of questions and topics to choose from. However, a large percentage of those questions and topics are sourced from a core set of topics. These topics also overlap with the common IELTS writing test topics. Learning vocabulary and phrases related to these topics will be beneficial for both tasks. The Speaking test is the same for the IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training Tests

Common IELTS Speaking Topics:

  • Education/study
  • Family and Friends
  • Foods
  • Health
  • Environment
  • Travel
  • Work and Money
  • Transport
  • Lifestyles and Personality
  • Society
  • Technology

That said, each quarter some there will be some new questions and topics that will come out, and these are meant to catch out students who focus on memorised, prepared answers, instead of improving their ability to speak naturally and flexibly.

Below are some of the common topics that you find in all speaking parts along with some of the actual topic-related questions that have been asked in the IELTS exam in recent months

Family and friends

Part 1: Friends

  1. Are friends important to you?
  2. Have you ever made new friends online?
  3. How do you socialize with friends?
  4. What kinds of people do you like to make friends with?
  5. What do you usually talk about with your friends?
  6. Do you have any childhood friends?
  7. Do you think you are a good friend to others?

Do you have any friends who live far away from you?

Part Two Cue Card

Person – An Old Friend 

Describe an old friend that you got in contact with again.

You should say:

    • who he or she is
    • what he or she is like
    • how you got in contact and explain how you felt about it.

Part Three


    1. Do people in your country like to make new friends?
    2. Is it weird/strange to contact old friends?
    3. How can people maintain their relationship with friends they have had for a long time?

Keeping in touch with friends

  1. Do you think it is easy for friends to keep in contact with each other today? Why?
  2. What is the influence of social media on friendship?
  3. Do you think old friends are more important to the old generation than the younger generation?

Work and Money

Part One 

  1. What do you do for a living?
  2. How much time do you spend at your job?
  3. How long have you been working?
  4. Do you like your job?

Part Two

  • Object – Present
  • A Large Company 

Describe a large company that you are interested in.
You should say:

    • what kind of company it is
    • what the company does
    • how you know about it and explain why you are interested in it.

Part Two

  • Companies
    1. What are the differences between a big company and a small company?
    2. What factors can affect a company’s development?
  • Working in a large company
    1. Do you think that the people at the executive level should be paid a higher salary? Is it fair?
    2. Why is a company’s self-regulation important?
    3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of working in a large company?
    4. Is it difficult to get a promotion to a large company?


Part One


  1. Did you like cakes or desserts when you were a child?
  2. Do you like to eat sweet things after your meal?
  3. On what occasions do people usually eat cakes in your country?
  4. What are the special sweet foods in your country?
  5. In your culture, do people like eating cakes at festivals?

Part Two

  • Event / Experience – A Dinner

Describe a special dinner you enjoyed with your friends.

You should say:

  • what you ate
  • with who
  • what you were talking about and explain why it was enjoyable.

Part Three

  • Eating out
  1. What kinds of restaurants are popular in your country?
  2. Is it expensive to eat out in your country?
  3. Why do some people decide to eat outside with friends instead of eating home with their family nowadays?
  • Food and celebrations
  1. What do you eat at celebrations and other special occasions in your country?
  2. In your country, have people’s eating habits changed in recent years?
  3. Do you think different cultures have different table manners? Why?
  4. What effects has modern technology had on the way food is produced?

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.