May-August Speaking Questions

Part 1 Questions

  • Have you ever had (or, raised) a pet?
  • (Similar to above) Did you have any pets when you were a child?
  • Do many people in your country have a pet?
  • Is there any animal you would like to have as a pet?
  • What animal(s) would you not like to have as a pet?

Questions about animals

  • Do you like animals?
  • What's your favourite animal? (Why?)
  • What's your favourite wild animal? (Why?)
  • Are people in your country fond of animals?
  • Do people keep animals in your country? -->What kinds of animals do people in in your county (or, hometown) keep?
  • Compared with the past, have there been any changes concerning pets in your country/hometown?
  • Do you think pets are important?
  • Do you think cities are suitable places for keeping a pet?
  • Compared with the past, have there been any changes concerning pets in your country/hometown?
  • Do you think cities are suitable places for keeping a pet?

Children and Animals (or, Pets)

  • Do children like animals?
  • Did you ever visit a zoo when you were a child?
  • Do you think it's important for children to visit a zoo?
  • What was your favourite animal when you were a child?
  • Do a have a pet? (or, Have you ever had a pet?)
  • Did you have any pets when you were a child?
  • What do you think are the benefits of a child having a pet?
  • (Possibly the question above is this) What benefits did you get from having a pet?
  • If you havechildren in the future, will you allow them to raise a pet?
  • Why do (you think) some people have a pet?

Farm Animals

  • What farm animals do you have in your country?
  • Do you think farm animals are important?
  • How are these animals used?
  • Do you think raising farm animals is important?

Wild Animals

  • What's the most famous wild animal from your country?
  • What's your favourite wild animal (from your country)?

Apps

  • What kinds of apps do you often use?
  • What kinds of apps would you like to have in the future?
  • What's the most popular app in your country?
  • What was the first app you used?
  • Do old people in your country like to use apps?
  • Which do you prefer (to use), an information app or a chat app?

Social Media Websites

  • Do you (often) use social media websites?
  • When did you first use one of these websites?
  • (Possibly the question above is this) How did you first find out about social media websites?
  • Is social media (or, are social media websites) very popular in your country?
  • Do you think social media will become more popular in the future?
  • In the future, do you think you will use social media more than you do now, or less?
  • Do you feel social media is more a positive thing, or more negative thing?
  • (Similar to above) What do you think are the advantages and the disadvantages of (using) social media websites?
  • Do you like to use Facebook?

Some vocabulary:

  • to maintain contact with friends / to keep in contact with friends / to communicate quickly with others
  • to broaden one’s range of social contacts / to broaden one’s social network (either in real-life or one’s “virtual” [= online] social network)
  • face-to-face communication
  • a substitute for real (real-life) relationships with others
  • better than feeling alone; to help overcome loneliness / to help overcome of sense of isolation
  • a sense of connectedness (to others/to the world)
  • sharing photographs
  • voice/ text messages
  • sending/receiving computer files
  • an avenue for expressing opinions / for exchanging information
  • to bring an issue to the attention of a wide audience
  • to spread the word
  • a marketing tool
  • If or when you name a particular social media platform, slow down a little and pronounce it especially clearly.
  • Do you like to lend things to others?
  • Have you ever lent a book to others?
  • Have you ever borrowed money from someone else?
  • Have you ever borrowed a book from others?
  • Would you lend money to someone else?
  • When do you think children start to have their own ideas?
  • Should parents follow their children’s ideas or should they say "No" to them?
  • Can children say no?
  • Do you like the city you are living in now?
  • Which city have you been to recently?
  • Do you prefer the city or the countryside?
  • Which city do you want to go to?
  • What cities have you ever travelled to?
  • What kind of cities do you like to travel to?
  • Would you ever move to another city for work?
  • What are the most crowded places in your hometown (or where you are living now)?
  • Do you like (to go to) crowded places?
  • (Similar to above) How do you feel in crowded places?
  • Do you prefer to go to crowded places or places that have few people?
  • When was the last time you went to a crowded place (or, were in a crowded place)?
  • Would you say people with the same interests usually get along with each other when they are in a crowd?

Some vocabulary:

  • “Crowded” refers to many people in one relatively small space. It is not suitable to refer to a road being “crowded with cars”.
  • Places –  A stadium; major train stations; the airport; on a bus or train; some shopping centres; restaurants or shops; cinemas; the stairs at your high school after classes have just finished; in an elevator (a lift), . . .
  • Feelings – Negative: annoyed (e.g. if your clothes are being crushed by other people pressing against you or if you dislike the smell of others), scared, unsafe (e.g., worried about pickpockets or other thieves), worried about safety (e.g., being crushed)
  • Feelings – Positive:  excited, a sense of being part of a group
  • to stand in line = to queue up; long lines
  • “packed in like sardines”
  • cramped
  • to squeeze in
  • full
  • huddled
  • jam-packed
  • loaded
  • packed
  • teeming
  • brimming with
  • close
  • compact
  • crammed
  • packed
  • crushed
  • overflowing
  • stuffed
  • swarming
  • brimful
  • chock-full
  • elbow-to-elbow
  • filled to the rafters (a room)
  • standing room only (in an audience)
  • tight
  • wall-to-wall
  • Do you like to drink water?
  • Do you drink much water every day?
  • How often do you have a drink of water?
  • What kinds of water do you like to drink?
  • Do you prefer to drink bottled water or tap water?
  • Is bottled water very expensive in your country?
  • (Possible question) Do you prefer to drink hot water or cool (or cold) water? 
  • Would you say it's important to drink water?
  • When do you usually feel thirsty?
  • Do you prefer bottled water or drinking from the tap?

Some vocabulary:

  • to “keep hydrated” = to “keep my body hydrated”; to “keep myself hydrated”
  • body fluid
  • Good for the skin (the complexion), especially if you drink water before bed.
  • Sweat = perspiration
  • To re-hydrate myself
  • To cleanse the body
  • A litre of water, a cup of water, a glass of water
  • Possible impurities in tap water – rust; heavy metals esp. lead (Pb); bacteria; fluoride (added to water to kill bacteria and to strengthen teeth but many people feel it is a poison); other chemicals especially if the water is from a river or a lake.
  • Potable (= “drinkable” but we don’t usually say or write, “drinkable”). For example, clean water is potable.
  • Distilled water
  • Spring water
  • Rain water, a water tank
  • A reservoir
  • A water catchment area
  • Ground water (=  water from underground)
  • A water dispensing machine
  • A water purifier (sometimes attached to taps, usually including a filter.)
  • To boil water, to kill bacteria (= to sterilize the water)
  • a culture (tradition) of drinking hot / warm water
  • Bottled water – usually sold in 500 or 600 ml plastic bottles but also sold in larger containers that can be delivered to your home or office.
  • Do you like to watch movies? (Why?)
  • (Similar to above) Do you watch many movies (films)?
  • (Similar to above) Do you often watch a movie (a film)?
  • What types of films do you like to watch?
  • How often do you go to a cinema?
  • Do you prefer to (or usually) watch a film alone or with others?
  • Has your taste in movies changed since you were younger?
  • Do you have a favourite movie star?
  • Are any foreign movie stars famous in your country?
  • Have you ever seen a movie star in real life?
  • Do you think you could be a movie star?
  • (Similar to above) Would you like to be a movie star?

Some vocabulary:

British English mostly uses the word, "film" but "movie" is also used in British English.

American English mostly uses the word, "movie" but "film" is also used in American English.

  • Action films
  • Adventure films
  • Animated Cartoons
  • Comedy films
  • Horror films
  • Martial Arts films
  • Musicals
  • Romance films
  • Romantic Comedy films
  • Science Fiction films
  • Silent movies
  • (Suspense) Thrillers
  • Teen Movies
  • War Movies
  • Disaster Films
  • Westerns
  • Documentary films

  • Do you think it's important to keep the city clean?
  • What do you do when you see rubbish on the street?
  • Can you suggest why some people throw their litter on the ground?
  • (Similar to above) How would you feel if you saw someone throw litter on the ground?
  • Do you think plastic bags are a serious environmental problem?
  • Do you think it's important to protect the environment?
  • Do you think schools should educate children to protect the environment?

Some vocabulary:

  • garbage (US), trash (US), rubbish (Br), waste, refuse (noun) – all are non-count nouns
  • litter (non-count noun) = small pieces of rubbish that have been left lying on the ground in public places; to litter
  • unsightly = not attractive to look at;
  • dangerous / unsafe; slippery (e.g., a banana peel)
  • to step over something, to walk around something, to kick it away/to kick it to one side
  • untidy  Note: “dirty” and “untidy” do not mean the same
  • inconsiderate, irresponsible, lazy, careless, ignorant, selfish, ignorant, uncivilized
  • to pick up something; to pick something up e.g., to pick it up
  • take responsibility
  • to put something in a - - rubbish bin, trash can, garbage bin, garbage can, waste receptacle
  • to dispose of something properly
  • a street cleaner; to sweep
  • Do you use email?
  • How often do you use email (or, write emails)?
  • Do you think it's important to reply to emails immediately (or, quickly) after you receive them?
  • Do you prefer to use email or text messaging?
  • Do you like to receive handwritten letters and cards?
  • Do you prefer to write on a computer or to write using a pen?
  • Would you say your handwriting is easy for others to read?
  • Do you think a person's handwriting reflects their personality?

Questions which you might be asked:

  • Do you like to write letter and/or emails?
  • Do you often write letters or emails?
  •  (If you are working) Do you use emails much in your job?
  • How often do you write a letter or email?
  • Who do you usually write to and what do you write about?
  • Is it hard to think of what to write?
  • How do you feel when you receive letters or emails?
  • What kinds of emails (or letters) do you most like receiving? (Why?) (= What kinds of emails/letters make you happy?)
  • Do you think it is a good thing that some companies send out letters/spam emails for the purpose of advertising? 
  • Do you keep emails after you read them?
  • How often do you write letters?
  • What do you write about?
  • On what occasions do you write letters?
  • Do you like writing letters to your relatives and friends? (Why?/Why not?)
  • Do you and your friends keep in touch by (handwritten) letter?
  • When you write a letter, do you prefer to write it on a computer or on paper?
  • Do you keep the letters you receive?
  • Do you think keeping letters is a good habit?

Some vocabulary:

Writing:

  • Urgent, Requiring immediate attention
  • Spam (junk emails)
  • An attachment (for emails)
  • A postcard (e.g., bought at a tourist location)
  • A note, a memo, a report, an assignment (at university & high school)
  • a text message (e.g., on a mobile phone), to text someone, texting
  • Typewritten
  • I’m not a fast typist.
  • To write using / on a keyboard, such as on a computer
  • To write by hand
  • Legible, legibility, illegible
  • Scrawl (n & v) = untidy or illegible handwriting
  • Atrocious handwriting
  • Neat, tidy, attractive
  • To print (to write each letter individually)
  • Cursive writing = cursive script = running writing
  • Penmanship
  • Shorthand
  • Calligraphy 
  • A stroke 
  • Handwritten cards & letters – a personal touch (stress on “personal”)
  • A love letter (“love” stressed more than “letter”)

Letters

  • business letters
  • personal letters
  • postcards
  • love letters
  • spam
  • an attachment
  • to download
  • a computer virus
  • to keep in touch with someone
  • to hear from someone

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

  • Do you like maths?
  • Do you think females (girls) are good at maths?
  • Do you often use a calculator?
  • (Similar to above) How often do you use a calculator?
  • Do you think maths is important?
  • Some people think that maths isn’t needed in our life. What do you think?

More possible questions from past test dates:

  • Did you study mathematics at school? 
  • Do you like mathematics?
  • Do you think you are very good at mathematics?
  • (Possibly; similar to above) Are you good at mathematics?
  • Do you think mathematics is easy?
  • When did you start learning mathematics?
  • (Similar to above) How long have you been studying mathematics?
  • (Possibly) For how long did you study mathematics?  
  • Do you think mathematics is important?
  • Do you think it might be useful for everybody in day-to-day life?
  • (Similar to above) Do you think it is useful for everybody in day-to-day life?
  • Did you use an electronic calculator in school?
  • (Possibly) Were you allowed to use an electronic calculator at school?
  • (Possibly) Do you think school students should be allowed to use an electronic calculator at school? 
  • When did you start using a calculator at school? 
  • Do you think using a calculator is helpful when learning (or studying) mathematics? 
  • Would you say you are a patient person?
  • Do you think you are more patient now than when you were younger?
  • When (on what occasions) are you impatient?
  • (Possible question) Are you patient in your work or study? 
  • (Possible question) Do you think people should be patient? 
  • Can you explain why some people are not very patient?
  • How do you feel when other people are impatient?
  • Can you give any examples of work (or jobs) that require patience?
  • Would you say older people are more patient than young people?
  • Do you think you will be more patient in the future?

Questions which might be asked

  • Would you say you are a patient person?
  • What do you usually do when you're waiting for someone or waiting for a bus or a train?
  • What do you think "patience" is?
  • Do you think patience is important?
  • (Possibly) Do you think being patient is an important part of being polite?
  • What do you think are the benefits of being patient? 
  • Have you ever lost your patience?
  • What do you become impatient about?
  • What do you do when you become impatient?
  • Are people in your country generally very patient?
  • What causes some people in your country to become impatient?
  • (Similar to above) What do people in your country become impatient about?
  • When someone is late in your country, are other people usually patient, or angry? 
  • Can you suggest why people in some countries are more patient than people in other countries? 
  • (Similar to above) Why are people in some countries more patient than people in other countries? 

Some vocabulary:

  • Impatience is a feeling of annoyance (or, irritation) because something is not happening as fast as you would like. In general, it is an unwillingness to wait. For example, one can feel impatient with a slow download from the internet.
  • People sometimes feel impatience when they are greatly anticipating or looking forward to something to happen. For example, feeling impatience before you are old enough to get a driver’s licence, old enough to get married, or impatient to graduate from university.
  • Sometimes we feel impatient when we are waiting for a bus or train to arrive.
  • Impatience in situations of person-to-person relationships is an example of being self-centred rather than considering the situation from the other person’s position. Showing patience towards others is an example of being kind.
  • We are all impatient at times.
  • Repetitive work
  • Feelings when others are impatient with you – belittled, insulted, offended, hurt, frustrated, angry, . . .
  • It is possible to feel impatience but not show it. Showing impatience towards others is an example of a momentary loss of self-control. In all cultures, it is considered impolite to show impatience towards others.
  • People tend to become more patient with age because they learn, from experience, the value of waiting and the uselessness of feeling impatient.
  • Impetuous, impulsive
  • Children & young people are sometimes impetuous.
  • People sometimes become impatient when they are tired, under stress, when they have a personal problem, when they have a health problem, when they feel frustrated, or when they are panicked.
  • composure, composed
  • diligence
  • endurance
  • fortitude
  • humility
  • moderation
  • perseverance, to persevere
  • persistence
  • restraint
  • self-control
  • tolerance
  • calmness, calm
  • constancy
  • cool
  • forbearance
  • leniency, lenient
  • long-suffering
  • serenity, serene
  • stoicism
  • submission, submissive
  • sufferance
  • toleration, to tolerate
  • an even temper, even-tempered
  • staying power

  • Do you like perfume
  • Do you use perfume?
  • Would you ever give perfume as a gift?

Some vocabulary:

  • fragrance, fragrant
  • cologne (= Eau de Cologne, French for “Water from Cologne”) Nowadays, this is best known as a fragrance/a deodorant/an after-shave lotion for men
  • (especially for men) – unnecessary; "not very masculine"; "I prefer to have a natural body odour"
  • the scent of flowers (a flower), the aroma of sweet spices, a hint of flowers, a hint of spices / fragrant fruit
  • to smell nice, to smell attractive,
  • alluring
  • a fresh, clean smell (fragrance), a beautiful smell/fragrance
  • a luxury gift
  • a dab of perfume on my  . . . wrists, neck, . . .
  • a spray, to spray
  •  . . . among my cosmetics
  • my signature scent
  • different perfumes for different seasons
  • under-arm deodorant  (for both men and women)
  • a luxury that I can’t afford at the moment
  • Where did you play when you were a child?
  • Did you play at your friend's home?
  • Does your country have many public holidays?
  • What public holidays do you have in your country?
  • (If you don't say this in answer to above) Why do you have those holidays?
  • Would you say most people in your country know why you have those holidays?
  • Do you have a favourite holiday?
  • What do you usually do during a holiday?
  • (Similar to above) What do people in your country do during holidays?
  • Do you think these holidays are important?
  • Do you think there should be more public holidays?

More Questions which might be asked

  • Do you like holidays?
  • How often do you have a holiday?
  • Do you prefer to take long, or short holidays?
  • How much time do you think is appropriate for a good holiday?
  • (If you are working now) Do you prefer your holidays from work, or the holidays you took from school?
  • What do you usually do during holidays (or, on a holiday)?
  • Do you prefer to stay at home, or to travel during holidays?
  • Do you usually spend your holidays alone, or with other people?
  • Where would you like to go (or, what would you like to do) on your next holiday?
  • Do you like to plan your holidays in advance?
  • Would you say holidays are important?

Some vocabulary:

  • Public holidays are "proclaimed" by the government.
  • a non-working day (except for essential services such as police, hospital employees, bus drivers etc.)
  • a one-day holiday, a two-day holiday, a one-week holiday
  • There are three main types of public holidays – i) traditional festivals (including religious holidays), ii) holidays that are related to significant events in a nation’s history and iii) holidays that are internationally recognized such as Labour Day (= May Day) and New Year’s day.
  • Public holidays that are happy are “celebrated”; holidays that are more solemn, such as those concerning the death of soldiers in a war are “commemorated” (= “in remembrance” of some solemn event in history).
  • All nations have some form of “National Day” that celebrates the formation of the nation.
  • Traditional holidays help to maintain the traditional culture of the nation and help give the people of sense of cultural identity.
  • “National Day” (or some similar name) helps to maintain a sense of national identity and pride in the nation. 
  • Public holidays give people a break from work. However, national productivity (= the economy, the GDP) is reduced by public holidays.
  • In countries where workers do not normally receive (paid) annual vacations from work (of 2 to 4 weeks), one or more one-week public holidays serve as a substitute for an annual vacation. An annual vacation is also called, “an annual holiday” or “annual leave”.
  • Do you like reading? 
  • What kinds of books do you usually read?
  • What kinds of things do you usually read?
  • (Similar to above, but different) What kinds of books do you like to read?
  • (Similar to above, but different) What kinds of things do you like to read?
  • Do you like E-books?
  • Do you ever read professional books? 
  • Have you ever lent or borrowed a book?
  • Do you like to share things with your friends?
  • Is there anything that you would not share with others?
  • Are you willing to share your favourite possessions?
  • When you are young, did our parents teach you to share with others?
  • How do you think parents could encourage their children to share?
  • Do you think there will be a car sharing in the future?
  • (Possible question) Would you be willing to share your job (your work) with others?

Some vocabulary:

  • In common, joint, common
  • To save money
  • A personal possession
  • Generous, generosity
  • Fair, fairness
  • Kind, kindness
  • Stingy
  • Greedy
  • Selfish, unselfish
  • To split the cost
  • Communal
  • Cooperation, to cooperate
  • Car pooling
  • How many hours a day do you sleep?
  • Do you think you sleep enough (or would you like to sleep more)?
  • Do you usually do anything to help you have a good night's sleep?
  • How many hours do you think is enough for you to sleep daily?
  • How much sleep is best for people?
  • Do you think studying hard helps people sleep?
  • Do you agree that excessive sleep can be dangerous?
  • Do you think sleep is important? (Why?/Why not?)
  • Do you think it's sometimes convenient to sleep for short periods of time?
  • Do you ever have a nap during the middle of the day?
  • Do you think we need to sleep in the afternoon (have or take a nap)?
  • Do you think elderly people need less sleep than young people?
  • How do you think people can have a good sleep?
  • Do you do anything before going to bed to help you sleep?
  • Did you have the same sleeping habits when you were younger?
  • How much sleep do you think people need every day (every night)?
  • Do you think elderly people and young people need the same amount of sleep?
  • Do you think babies need more sleep?
  • Do you need to sleep in the middle of the day (have/take a nap)?

Some vocabulary:

  • about eight hours a day
  • to “hit the sack” (colloquial)
  • my bedtime
  • a “night owl”
  • a “morning person”
  • to “recharge the batteries” (or battery)
  • “put my head down on my desk”
  • A “cat nap” = a nap for just a few minutes
  • To/a snooze
  • old people – You can say you’re not sure or you can talk about your grandmother who used to live with you.
  • insomnia
  • importance of sleep – mood, alertness (ability to concentrate), general health, attractiveness, . . .
  • Do you like to smile?
  • How often do you smile?
  • Do you smile when you are having your picture taken?
  • When do people smile to others?
  • Can you sense (or feel, or tell)  if someone’s smile is fake?

Some Vocabulary:

  • to smile, a smile
  • a smile is silent; laughter has sound - the two are different
  • “He’s/She’s/I’m a smiler” = a person who smiles a lot
  • optimistic, cheerful
  • to look on the bright side of life
  • “I look more beautiful when I smile.”
  • to grin, a grin
  • to smirk, a smirk
  • a friendly smile
  • a broad smile, to smile broadly = to “smile from ear to ear”
  • a welcoming smile
  • to beam, a beaming smile
  • expressing: – friendliness, graciousness, politeness, tenderness, amusement, , happiness, pleasure/delight
  • a "social nicety"
  • to return a smile
  • to put a smile on (one's/someone’s) face; to lift someone's mood
  • to hide embarrassment, to hide one's true feelings
  • to flash a smile
  • to smile at something / someone
  • a plastic smile = a forced, artificial smile; a smile someone wears despite having no feelings of happiness or joy. Examples: “John seemed fine at first glance, but before long, I could tell that he was wearing a plastic smile and that something was bothering him.”  “Look at that his big plastic smile—he's such a conman! I sure hope he doesn't win the election.”
  • to feel/ sense/ tell/ when someone’s smile is false = to detect when someone’s smile is false

More common Questions

  • Do you like sports?
  • Do you have a favourite athlete?
  • What are some popular sports in your country?
  • Do you prefer individual or team sports?
  • Is there any sport that you would like to try in the future?

Sport/Exercise and You

  • Are you interested in sport?
  • What sports do you like? (Why?)
  • How often do you play that sport (or do that)?
  • Do you like to do daily exercise? (Why?/Why not?)
  • What sports or exercise do you like to do? (Why?)
  • How often do you do some physical exercise?
  • Do you do any exercise to keep fit or healthy?
  • (Possibly if you say "No" to the question above) Do you plan to do any exercise in the future? How often do you do that?
  • How much time do you have for exercise?
  • Do you use any equipment for this exercise (or sport)?
  • Do you participate in any sports with your friends?
  • Are there any sports facilities (or, exercise facilities) near where you live? (for the public to use)
  • In the future, what sports would you like to play (or, take part in / or learn)?
  • (Possibly the above question is this) Is there any form of exercise that you would like to try in the future?

Sport at School (or Children and Sport/Exercise)

  • Do children in your country play much sport (or do much exercise)?
  • Is children's sport (or exercise) very important in your country?
  • What sports do you think are suitable for children to play?
  • Did you (or, do you) take part in any (organized) sport at school? Past tense if you have finished school.)
  • Do you think it's important to have P.E. classes (or sports classes) at school? (Why?/Why not?)
  • Do old people and young people like to do (or, play) the same sports?
  • What sports do old people like to do (or, play)?

 Male/Female Differences

  • Do men and women feel the same about sport?
  • Are boys and girls good at the same sports?
  • (Possibly the question above is) Do men and women play the same sports?
  • What are the differences when boys and girls play sports?

Exercise and People in General

  • Do people in your country like to do daily exercise?
  • What forms of exercise are most popular in your country?
  • Where do people in your country usually exercise?
  • Do you think everybody should do some exercise? (Why?)
  • Do you think exercise is beneficial for older people?
  • What kinds of exercise do you think are most suitable for children?
  • What sport (or exercise) can people do at home?
  • Do you think cycling is good exercise?

Sport and People in General

  • Do most people in your country like sport?
  • What sports are most popular with young people today?
  • What sports do children prefer?
  • Why do you think people like (to participate in) sport?
  • What benefits do you think sport can bring us?

  • Do you like visiting street markets?
  • Are street markets very common in your country where you live?
  • Would you be interested if you saw a street market in a foreign country?
  • Do people in your country prefer to shop at a street market, or in a shopping mall?
  • Are there many shopping malls in your living area?

More questions from the past:

  • Do you like visiting street markets?

  • Are street markets very common in your country (or, where you live)?

  • What is usually sold in these street markets?

  • Do people in your country prefer to shop at a street market, or in normal shops and shopping malls?

  • (Similar to above) What do you think are the differences between a street market and a supermarket?

  • Would you visit a street market in a foreign country (if you were visiting that country)?

  • (Similar to above but different) Would you like to visit a street market in a foreign country?

  • In what ways do you think street markets in other countries are different to street markets in your country?

  • (Similar to above) In what ways do you think street markets in other countries would be different to street markets in your country?

  • Do you prefer to drink tea, or coffee?
  • When was the last time you drank some tea or coffee?
  • When you go out do you most often drink tea, or coffee?
  • (Similar to above) When people in your country go out do they most often drink tea, or coffee?
  • Which is more popular in your country, drinking tea or drinking coffee?
  • (Possible question) Do people in your country ever give tea as a gift? *
  • When people (in your country) entertain others (or guests) do they usually drink tea, or coffee?
  • (Similar to above) Do people in your country usually offer tea, or coffee to guests who visit them at home?

Some vocabulary:

  • Caffeine, a stimulant, a habit, be addicted, an addict
  • Tea bag, tea leaves
  • Medicinal qualities (of tea)
  • Green tea, black tea, milk tea
  • Herbal tea (not from the traditional tea plant)
  • A kettle, to boil water, an electric jug
  • Instant coffee
  • Black coffee (no added milk or cream)
  • Decaffeinated coffee
  • Percolated coffee, roasted coffee beans, grinder, a percolator, coffee grounds
  • Ice(d) tea, ice(d) coffee
  • A coffee shop, a tea house
  • It makes me (feel) more alert, It helps me wake up, It energizes me, It’s my “heart starter” (after waking up), It refreshes me, It stimulates me
  • The aroma, the taste
  • My morning “cuppa” (usually tea)
  • Morning tea, afternoon tea
  • Do you often look at the sky? (Why?)
  • Do you prefer to look at the sky in the daytime, or at night?
  • Can you see the moon and stars at night where you live?
  • Is there a good place to look at the sky where you live?
  • Do school students learn much about planets and the stars (at school) in your country?
  • (Similar to above) Did you learn anything about the planets and stars at school?
  • (Possible question) Do you know much about the stars and planets?

More Questions

  • Do you like to look at the sky?
  • (Possibly) Do you like to look at the sky when it's cloudy?
  • Do you prefer to look at the sky in the day time or the night time? (the "night sky")
  • (Similar to above) Which is better to look at, the sky in the daytime or the night sky?
  • How do you look at it?
  • Do you like to look at the stars?
  • (Similar to above) Do you ever look at the stars?
  • Do you go anywhere special to do that?
  • (Similar to above) Where is the best place to look at the stars?
  • (Similar to above) Where do you like to look at the sky?
  • (Similar to above) Where is the best place to look at the sky?
  • Did you learn about the stars (or, the planets in our solar system) in school?

Some vocabulary:

Note: Many people look at the sky in the morning in order to know what the weather is going to be like that day.

  •  We “look at” things that are not moving; we “watch” things that are moving. We “see” when our eyes are open.
  • A cloud, cloudy, cloudiness
  • Cloud formations (the shapes of the clouds)
  • Fine weather
  • clear skies (a clear sky)
  • At dawn = when the sun is coming up; at dusk = when the sun is going down
  • smog, smoggy
  • The sun, solar
  • Astronomy, astronomical, astronaut [Note: “astrology” is completely different to astronomy. Most people consider astrology to be superstition.]
  • A galaxy
  • The Solar System
  • The planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto
  • Mercury , Venus , Earth , Mars , Jupiter , Saturn , Uranus, Neptune , Pluto 
  • The moon, lunar
  • A telescope
  • An observatory
  • A planetarium
  • An eclipse of the moon; An eclipse of the sun
  • A meteor (“a shooting star”); an asteroid; a meteorite (= a meteor that has hit the earth)
  • A constellation
  • Outer Space
  • A space ship; a space station; a rocket
  • A satellite
  • To “contemplate the mystery of the universe”, “to marvel at the mystery of the universe”, “to wonder about the mystery of the universe”
  • The Universe = The Cosmos
  • Infinite
  • Alien life forms; extraterrestrial life (forms)
  • A UFO (An Unidentified Flying Object)
  • How do you manage (or, organize, or plan) your time?
  • Would you say you manage (or, organize) your time well?
  • Where did you learn how to organize your time?
  • How do you think you could better manage your time?
  • Do you think it's useful to plan your time?
  • Are you ever late for anything?
  • If you had more time, what would you do with the extra time?

Main Questions

  • Do you know how to drive?
  • Do you think everyone should get a drivers' licence? 
  • Do you think driving skills are important?
  • Do you have a car?
  • Do you drive your car very often?
  • How often do you hire a taxi? 
  • When was the last time you travelled by taxi?

The following questions might also be asked

  • What kind of transportation did you use to come to (= get to) the test centre today??
  • How do you usually go to school / work?
  • How much time do you spend each day travelling to school / work? (How long does it take to travel to school / work?)
  • What do you do while you are travelling (= commuting) to school / work?
  • Do you prefer to travel (commute) by bus, or the metro (= the subway = 'the underground')?  
  • Do you prefer to use public, or private transportation?
  • Do you think you'll use public transport more in the future?
  1. Do you think it's necessary to see other planets?
  2. What would you do if you had that opportunity?
  3. When was the last time you went travelling?
  4. Do you like to travel in the outer space?
  5. Do you like travelling by air?
  • Do you often visit your relatives?  (Why?)
  • What do you do when you visit them?
  • When was the last time you visited them? what did you do?
  • More possible questions from the past test dates:
  • Do you often visit your relatives?
  • What do you do when visit them?
  • Do you prefer to spend time with your relatives, or your friends?
  • (Possibly the question above is this) Do you prefer visiting your relatives, or your friends?
  • (Similar to above) Who is the more important to you, your relatives / your family, or your friends?
  • When was the last time you went to see your relatives?
  • Do you take anything when you visit your relatives?
  • (Similar to above) (The next time you visit your relatives ..) will you take anything to give them
  • Do you prefer a hot, or a cold climate?

  • Would you say most people prefer a warm climate?

  • Do you like it when it's raining?

  • Which season do you like best?

  • Are there four different (or, distinct) seasons in your hometown?

  • Do you feel the climate is changing?

  • Does the weather change often where you live?

  • Do you do different things in different weather (or different seasons)?

  • Would you prefer to live in a place that has the same weather all year, or a place that has four seasons?

  • Do you think the weather is more important to people who play sports?

Some other questions:

  • Which season do you like best?
  • Are there four distinct seasons in your hometown?
  • Do you feel the climate is changing?
  • Does the weather change often where you live?
  • Do you do different things in different weather (or different seasons)?
  • What kind of weather do you like (best)? (Why?)
  • What sort of weather do you least like?
  • Do you like sunny weather?
  • What do you usually do during your favourite weather (or season)?
  • What's the weather (usually) like in your hometown?
  •  (If doing the test away from your home country) How is the weather here different to the weather in your home country?
  • Do you like that weather (or, that kind of climate)? (Why?/Why not?)
  • How often is the weather good in your hometown?
  • Are there any bad points about the weather in your city?
  • Have there been any changes in the weather over the past few years?
  • Have you ever been to any place where the weather is different to your hometown?
  • (If doing the test far from your hometown) Compare the weather in your hometown and the weather here.
  • Which city in your country (or, which part of your country) has the best weather?
  • Which city in your country (or, which part of your country) has the worst weather?
  • Does the weather ever affect what you do?
  • How does the weather affect people (or, you)? (If yes, how?)
  • How do you feel when the weather is cloudy?
  • Do you always (often/usually) pay attention to the weather forecast? Why?/Why not?
  • Can you give any examples of unusual weather?
  • In your country, are there ever any problems caused by the weather? (= caused by extreme weather?)
  • Do you like snow? (Why? / Why not?)
  • Would you prefer to live in a place that has just one, warm season that lasts the whole year or a place with different seasons?
  • Do you (or, do people in your country) do the same things in the different seasons of the year?
  • Do people (in your country) play the same sports in different seasons of the year?

  • Do you live in a house or a flat?
  • Have you lived there for a long time?
  • How long have you lived there?
  • What's your favourite room?
  • What kind of places would you like to live in (in the future)?

Main Questions

  • Where are you living (where do you live) at the moment?   
  • Have you lived there for a long time?  
  • Do you like it?
  • (Similar to above) Do you like the environment around where you are living?
  • What do you like about the area around where you live?
  • Where do you like to go to in your area?
  • Who do you live with?
  • Do many people live in your neighbourhood?
  • Do you know the people (or, many people) living around you (living nearby)?
  • Do you have many friends there?
  • Are you planning to move to another area to live?   
  • What changes have you seen in this area (since you have been living there)?
  • What changes (= what improvements) would you like to see in this area?
  • (Different to above) What changes are you expecting (to see) in this area?  

Possible Other Questions

  • Is that far from here (the test centre)?
  • Please describe the area you live in.
  • Would you say it's a good place to live?
  • Is this place famous for anything?  
  • Are there any interesting places near (or, in) this area?

Main Questions

  • Where are you living (where do you live) at the moment? 
  • Have you lived there for a long time?  
  • Do you like it?
  • (Similar to above) Do you like the environment around where you are living?
  • What do you like about the area around where you live?
  • Where do you like to go to in your area?
  • Who do you live with?
  • Do many people live in your neighbourhood?
  • Do you know the people (or, many people) living around you (living nearby)?
  • Do you have many friends there?
  • Are you planning to move to another area to live?   
  • What changes have you seen in this area (since you have been living there)?
  • What changes (= what improvements) would you like to see in this area?
  • (Different to above) What changes are you expecting (to see) in this area? 

Possible Other Questions

  • Is that far from here (the test centre)?
  • Please describe the area you live in.
  • Would you say it's a good place to live?
  • Is this place famous for anything?
  • Are there any interesting places near (or, in) this area?

WORK

Main Questions

  • What work (or job) do you do?
  • Do you enjoy that work?
  • Why did you choose to do that type of work?
  • Do you like your job?
  • What's the most interesting part of your work? 
  • What is your work environment like? 
  • How much (how many hours) do you work every week (or, every day)? 
  • Are you satisfied with the place where you work? 
  • Where do you work? 
  • Would you say that's a good place to work? 
  • Would you like to change the place where you work?   
  • How do you think your workplace (or company) could be improved?
  • What's the most important part of your work? 
  • Do you do anything that especially helps you in your work?
  • How do you think you could improve your efficiency at work? 
  • What work do you plan to do in the future?

Possible Other Questions

  • Is that what you wanted to do when you were a child?
  • Do you work part-time, or full-time?
  • What do you do in that job? (= What are your responsibilities in that job?)
  • What does that company do?
  • How long have you been working?
  • What did you do to get your first job?  
  • Did you enjoy your first day at work?
  • (Similar to above) How did you feel on your first day at work?
  • Are you friends with the people you work with with?
  • (Similar) Have you made many (or any) friends at work?
  • Do you think it's important to be friends with the people you work with?
  • What time of the day do you work the best?
  • (Similar to above) Do you work better in the morning, or in the afternoon?
  • Did you have any training for this job?
  • Would you like to have some (or, more) training in the future?
  • Will you always do this job? ( = Will you continue to do this job / this type of work?)

STUDY 

Main Questions

  • What subject are you studying?
  • Why did you choose to study that?
  • Do you like it (your subject)?
  • What's the most enjoyable part of your studies? 
  • Is it (your subject) interesting? 
  • What's your favourite subject? (for high school stds)
  • (Similar to above) What classes do you like the most?
  • Do you like to study? (= Do you like studying?) 
  • How much study do you do every week? 
  • What would you say is the most important part of your studies? 
  • Where do you usually study?
  • (Possible question) Where did you do your studying yesterday? 
  • Do you do anything that especially helps you to study?
  • How do you think you could improve your efficiency as a student?   
  • What school/university do (or, did) you study at? (= Where do you study?)
  • Do you like your school university?
  • What do you like most about your school / university? 
  • Why did you choose to study at that school/university?
  • How do you think your school/university could be improved? 
  • Would you like to change your school (or university)? 

Possible Other Questions

  • Do you think it (your subject) will be helpful for you in the future?
  • Is that a popular choice among your friends?
  • Do you plan to (or, will you) continue your studies in the future?
  • Do you plan to (or, will you) continue studying this subject?
  • Have you made many (or any) friends at school/university?

Part 2 & 3 Questions

Describe a band or singer who you like.

               You should say:

what style of songs they sing / music they play

when you listen to them

where you listen to them

and explain why you like this band or singer.

Part 3

Music in Your Country

  • What kinds of music are popular in your country?
  • What kinds of music do you think will be popular in the future?
  • Do you think people like different kinds of music at different stages of their lives?
  • Is folk music still very popular in your country?

Singing

  • Are you good at singing?
  • Do you think people need to learn how to sing (or is it a natural skill)?  
  • (Similar to above) Do you think some people have a natural talent for singing, or do you think ordinary people can also sing (= can sing as well? 
  • (Similar to above) Do you think everyone can sing?  
  • Do you think women are better singers than men?
  • What would you say are the benefits of singing?

    Professional Singers

  • Do singers make lots of money?
  • Would you say that popular singers are also good (or, among the best) singers?
  • What do you think makes a singer attractive to people?
  • What do you think of the current "boy bands"?
  • What influences do singers have on people?
  • Do you think people will still be singing songs for money in the future?

    Songs

  • Why do you think some songs become popular while other songs are not often heard?
  • What do you think makes (or causes) a song to become popular?

The Music Industry

Describe a beautiful or handsome person you have seen (or, met).

               You should say:

who it was

when & where you (first) saw this person

what kind of person they were    (maybe = what kind of personality they had)

  and explain what it was that you thought was beautiful or handsome about this person

Part 3

Personal Beauty

  • What do people mean when they say someone is "beautiful" or "handsome"?
  • Do you think the attractiveness of a person is important?  
  • Which do you think is more important, the external beauty or the internal beauty of a person?
  • Do you think beautiful people are happy?
  • Do you think it's easy (or, possible) for a person to become beautiful if they are not beautiful at first?
  • Do you think plastic surgery can make a person feel more confident?
  • What do you think are the advantages, and the disadvantages of being (very) beautiful or handsome?
  • Do you think good-looking people are viewed by other people differently to average-looking or ugly people?
  • Do you think life is easier for good-looking people than for people who are not very good-looking?
  • Can you give any examples of the types of people who are usually described as "beautiful" or "handsome"?
  • Do you think fashion models are beautiful?
  • Why do you think clothing shops and companies use beautiful fashion models to display their clothes?
  • Is it good for clothing shops or companies to only use beautiful models?  
  • What effects can it have on ordinary-looking people when they see these beautiful models?
  • Many models are very thin. Do you think being thin is beautiful?
  • Do you think it's good to use such thin models (when so few people are as thin as those models)?  

Fashion

  • Can you explain why people such as film stars pay so much attention to the clothes they wear?
  • How important would you say it is for the average person to wear attractive (or, beautiful) clothes?
  • Would you say beautiful clothes make a person look more attractive?
  • Do you think men and women pay equal attention to clothes?

Beauty in the Natural World

  • Can you give any examples of beauty in the natural world?
  • Can you explain why people feel that certain things (or places) in the natural world are beautiful?
  • Do you think a desert can ever be described as, "beautiful"?
  • Do you think man-made scenery, such as in a city can ever be as beautiful as natural scenery?

Personal Beauty

  • Do you think it's easy (or, possible) for a person to become beautiful if they are not beautiful at first?
  • What do you think are the advantages and the disadvantages of being (very) beautiful or handsome?

Beauty in the Natural World

  • Can you give any examples of beauty in the natural world?
  • Can you explain why people find those things to be beautiful?

Questions asked in the past:

People's Appearance / People's Physical Attractiveness

  • Do you think it's good to be physically attractive (pretty/ beautiful/ good-looking etc)?
  • What standards do people use when they describe a woman as "beautiful"? 
  • (Similar to above) In your opinion, what are the physical features that make someone a, "good looking" person? 
  • What benefits do good-looking people get from their good looks?
  • Do you think good-looking people find it easier to find work than ordinary-looking or ugly people? (Why?) - Is that fair?
  • Are there any possible disadvantages form being good-looking?
  • Do you think many people care about the appearance of others (and themselves)?
  • (Similar to above) Do you think a person's appearance is important? 
  • (Similar to above but different) Do you think it's important how good-looking someone is? 
  • Do you think people who are attractive on the outside always have inner beauty?
  • Which do you think is more important, a person's appearance or their inner qualities? 
  • (Similar to above) Which do you think is more important, a person's appearance or whether they have a good heart?  FQ
  • How do people become good-looking? Is it just good luck?
  • Do you think there are cultural differences (differences in different countries) about what is good-looking and what isn't?
  • In your culture, what do most people think a beautiful woman and a handsome man looks like?
  • Why do you think advertisements that show a person usually use good looking people (as opposed to "average-looking" people)?
  • Do you think it's good that advertisements only use very good-looking people?
  • How does it affect people when they see only beautiful and handsome people in advertisements?  
  • We often see tall, thin models in (women's) magazines. What effect do you think that has on girls and young women?  
  • Can you suggest why models like that are chosen to be in magazines and in fashion shows?
  • Do you think models such as that sell more clothes?
  • Do you think having beautiful models wearing certain clothes influences how well those clothes sell?
  • Do we really need to have fashion models?
  • Do you think models lead an exciting life?
  • Do you think clothes are important to a person's appearance?  
  • (Similar to above) Do you think a person's clothes affect their appearance? 
  • (Similar to above) Do you think wearing attractive clothes makes people more attractive?  
  • If an ugly person wore good looking clothes, do you think that would make this person "good looking"?  
  • Do you think it's good for women to wear make-up?
  • How do you think people can make themselves better looking?
  • Do you think it's a good idea for people to use plastic surgery to change their appearance?  

The Beauty of Nature and Man-Made Beauty

Know the difference between "landscape" and "natural scenery"

  • What do you think the word, "beauty" (or "beautiful") means?
  • Which do you think is more beautiful, a city or a natural place? (Why?)  
  • What are some examples of beautiful urban places (or, beauty in an urban environment)? 
  • What are some examples of natural beauty? 
  • What are some examples of beautiful natural places (in your country)? 
  • (Similar to above) What are some examples of beautiful places in the countryside? 
  • (Similar to above) Does your country have any beautiful natural landscapes (or scenery) 
  • What are some of the characteristics of a beautiful natural scene (or place)? *
  • What (benefits) do people get from beautiful places?
  • Do you think natural places (or scenes) are always "beautiful"?

Expressing Beauty

  • What do you think are the best ways of communicating one's feelings about beauty to other people?
  • Which do you think is more suitable for expressing the idea of beauty, (written) words or a picture?
  • Would you say that the people in your country have an understanding of the beauty of nature?
  • Do you think words, or poetry can adequately describe the beauty of nature?
  • How (or why) do people write poetry to express beauty?

Describe a time you received a call from someone you don't know.

               You should say:

 when it was

 where you were when you received it

 what the call was about

 and explain how you felt (after) when you received this call.

Part 3

Speaking loudly in public

  •  Do you think it's good to talk loudly on a bus?
  • In your opinion, would it be a good idea to have laws prohibiting speaking loudly in public?
  • Describe a time when you changed your plans.            
  •              You should say:
  • what your plan was (or, plans were)
  • why you changed your plans
  • how your plan changed
  • what happened after (when) you changed your plan 
  • and explain how your change of plan affected your life. Part 3

Making Plans

  • How do you make a plan? (you = you personally)

  • (Similar to above) How do people make plans?
  • What kinds of plans do people usually make?
  • What are the advantages, and the disadvantages, of making a plan? 
  • When you (= one, a person) change your plan, do you think you should (or, need to) inform others?

Young People and Plans

    • Do you think it's good for young people to make plans for their future careers (or, working life)?
    • Is it good for parents and teachers to make plans for young people?

Describe situation (or, an occasion) when a child made you laugh.

               You should say:

who the child was

(when and) where it happened 

 what he or she did to make you laugh

   and explain why you laughed.

Part 3

Children and Laughter (or, Humour)

  • What kind of things make children laugh?
  • When you were a child, who made you laugh?
  • Do you think it's important for teachers to use humour when they teach children?
  • Do you think a person's childhood (experiences) are important?

Parenthood

  • Is it good for parents to be very strict?
  • What would you say is the best age for people to become parents?
  • Do you think people should (or, need to) receive training before they become parents?
  • What do you think of married couples who decide not to have children?

Describe a faraway place, such as a city or country that you would like to visit.

               You should say:

 what place it is

 how you would go there

 what you would do there

 and explain why you would like to visit this place.

 

Part 3

Holidays in Your Country

  • Do people in your country like to have holidays?
  • What do people like to do during their holidays?
  • What do people your age usually do during their holidays?  
  • Can you suggest why some people prefer to stay at home during their holidays?
  • Why do you think people who work need a long vacation every year?
  • How many days would you say would be enough as a vacation for most most working people?
  • Can you suggest why some young people choose to have a one-year break after graduation before starting work?
  • Do you think that's a good idea?
  • What are the benefits of young people choosing a year off between high school and university?  
  • Do you think it's important (or, necessary) for high school graduates to prepare themselves for going to university?
  • What are some examples of this preparation?

Travel

  • What are the most popular tourist destinations in your country?  
  • Where do people in your country like to travel to?  
  • Do you think that people living different places (countries) have different temperaments?
  • Why are some people unwilling to travel abroad?  

Describe a famous person (still living), not from your country, who you would like to meet.

            You should say:

where this person comes from

how you first learned about him or her 

(or: how you know about this person)

why / how this person is famous

            and explain why you would like to meet this person

Part 3

Fame and Influence

  • How do people become famous?
  • What does "famous" mean to you?
  • What are the situations when people become famous? 
  • Do you think there are any drawbacks from being famous?
  • How do some scientists become famous?

Describe a free day from work or study that you had recently.

               You should say:

 when it was

 why you had a free day

 what you did

  and explain how you felt about it.

Notes

  • Here, "a free day" means one particular day in the past. not "a free day" in general.
  • "recently" means any time within the past year or two.
  • The English expression is "a day off work" (or, a day free from study) not, "a day out of work". "Out of work" = "unemployed" but that is not correct because a day off work it is just a break and you are still employed.

Part 3

 

Leisure-Time Activities in Your Country

  • What do people in your country like to do on a free day?  
  • Do men and women generally do the same kinds of things?  
  • What do children usually do on a free day?  
  • What do elderly people do in their free time?
  • Do families usually do things together?
  • Does everyone usually go to the same places in their free time, or do different people tend to go to different places?
  • In general, do parents arrange (or choose) what their children do, or do the children chose what to do themselves?
  • Do you think children are able to manage their own free time?

Holidays & Free Days

  • Do you have many public holidays in your country?
  • Would you say that, in general, people like having time off work?
  • What's your favourite public holiday?
  • Do people in your country today have more free days (off work or school) than they did in the past?  
  • Why do you think people are still so busy today?
  • Do you think that people nowadays spend are spending too much time sitting and not enough time out in the open or in the countryside?
  • Do you think it's good that so many people are spending so much time online or playing computer games?
  • In the future, what do you think young people will be doing in their free time?
  • Do you think people will have more free time in the future, compared to now, or less?
  • Do you think science and technology will become more and more dominant in society (or, in people's lives)?  
  • Would you like to have more free days (or, free time)?
  • Do you think it's important for people to have free time?
  • Why do companies give their employees vacation time?
  • When people have limited free time, how do they choose whether to spend time with the family, or on their own interests?
  • (Different to above) If someone had limited free time, how would (or, could) they choose whether to spend time with the family, or on their own interests?

Work

  • Do you think it would be an improvement if companies allowed their employees to have more flexible working hours (than they have now)?
  • How do you think people's work (or, working hours) will change in the future?

Describe a friend who encouraged you to achieve a goal.

               You should say:

 who this person was

 how you know them

what your goal was 

    and explain what kind of support this person offered

                            or

    and explain how this encouragement helped you to achieve the goal.

Part 3

Encouraging Teenagers & Children

  • Is it important for teenagers to have goals?
  • What is the motivation for teenagers to learn new things?
  • What do you think would encourage young children to learn more?
  • Do you think parents or teachers have more influence on children’s goals?
  • Who do you think is more important for the education of children, their parents or their teachers?
  • How should we encourage children?
  • Do you think children should be given rewards to encourage them?
  • How could we make children interested in things that they are not very interested in?

Describe an achievement of one of your friends that made you feel proud.

               You should say:

who this friend was (or, is) 

what the success was 

how your friend achieved this success 

       or

how long you have known this friend 

and explain why you were (or, are) proud of your friend's success. 

Note

  • The word, "success" might be written instead of "achievement".

  

 

Part 3

Success in Your Country

  • What kinds of people are considered to be successful in your society?  
  • How do these people become successful?
  • What personal qualities do you think someone needs in order to become successful?
  • Do you think a university degree is a guarantee of future success in one's career?  
  • Do you think people who do mental work are more likely to be successful (or viewed as successful) than people who do practical work?  
  • Why do you think many people fail to become successful?
  • Would you say successful people are generally happier than other people?
  • What are the rewards (the benefits) of success?  
  • How important do you think success is in life?

Success at School

  • Do you think it's possible for students to be successful?
  • Do you think grades in school are the only measure of success?  
  • What are some examples of the different forms of success that students can have at school?
  • Do you think students can be taught how to be successful?

Version A

Describe a TV game show or a quiz program you enjoy watching. 

               You should say:

 what type of program it is

 when you watch it 

 what happens in this program 

 and explain why you enjoy watching it.

Version B

Describe a TV game show or a quiz program you enjoyed watching. 

               You should say:

 what type of program it was

 when you watched it 

 what happened in this program 

 and explain why you enjoyed watching it.

Notes

  • I think Version A is more likely to be the current topic. For that version, you should say the name of the program (the series) and describe it in general. Version A is referring to your current TV-watching habits.
  • For Version B, you could also talk about a series that you once watched in the past but no longer watch. Alternatively, in Version B, it is suitable to talk about a particular episode of a program (sometimes simply called, "a program"). This is more difficult because it requires you to remember one episode in detail.

Television

  • Do people in your country like to watch TV?
  • Why do some people like to watch TV on their computer?

Games

  • What games did you enjoy playing when you were a child?
  • What games do children play nowadays?
  • Are there any differences between the games children's games and adults' games?
  • Why do you think children play games (or, are playing games) today?

Describe a new public facility in your hometown (such as a cinema or a park)

               You should say:

 where it is

 when it was built

 who goes there

 and explain how you feel about it.

Notes

  • "New" can mean it was built within the past 2 or 3 years. In fact, it would be possible to describe a new facility in an old building. For example, an old building was was recently converted into a cinema.

 

Part 3

Public Facilities

  • What kinds of public infrastructure, including buildings do you have in your hometown?  
  • (Similar to above) What kinds of public facilities, including buildings do you have in your hometown?
  • Are these places very popular with the people who live there?
  • What kind of public facility do you think people like the most?
  • Who do you think uses public facilities more, old people or young people?
  • How does (or can) the government find out what the people want and need?
  • Would you say facilities such as cinemas and parks are important in a (or, the) city? 
  • How important would you say development in the cities is?
  • Do towns and villages also need facilities?
  • What new facilities do you think we will see in the future?
  • Which facilities in your city do you thing are better, the old ones or the new ones?  
  • In general, are young people very willing to share facilities with old people?  
  • Which group of people likes going to a park more, old people or young people?
  • Which would you say is more important, facilities for young people, or facilities for old people?

City Living

  •  Would you say people in the cities are less likely to communicate with others than people in rural areas?
  • Do people in the cities usually know their neighbours?

Describe a person who (you think) has interesting ideas or opinions.  

               You should say:

 who this person is

 how you know this person

 what interesting ideas/opinions he or she has

  and explain you think why his/her ideas are interesting.

Part 3

Ideas

  • At what age do you think (young) people begin to have their own ideas? (Why?)
  • What kinds of ideas are respected in your country?`
  • Whose ideas are most respected?

Children and Ideas

  • When (at what age) would you say children start to have their own ideas?
  • Do you think children always have the same ideas (or, opinions) as their parents?
  • Where do these ideas come from?
  • Who do you think has more influence on children's ideas, their parents or their teachers?
  • How can teachers (or parents) encourage their students (their children) to form their own opinions?
  • Do you think parents should follow their children’s ideas, or should they say "No" to them?
  • Can you suggest why children, as they grow older, have more and more disagreements with their parents about ideas?
  • Do you think parents should set up some rules for their children concerning what ideas they express (or, have)?
  • Can children (in your culture) say "No" to their parents?

Describe a prize you would like to win.  

                or            

Describe an award you would like to receive.  

            You should say:

 what prize (or award) it is (or, would be) 

how you know about (or learned about) this prize/award

what you would need to do to get it (or, how you would win it)

 and explain why you would like to win this prize (or, receive this award)

Part 3

 

Prizes and Awards

  • Do you think it's good to award prizes in school and/university?
  • Is it good to have competition? 
  • (Similar to above) What are the advantages and disadvantages of having competition? 
  • Do you think companies should give their employees prizes?

Prizes for Children

  • What are some examples of prizes for children?

Describe a kind of food that people in your country eat during a special event               

            You should say:

 what it is

 how it is cooked (or made)

 during what special events it is eaten

 and explain why this food is eaten at this (or these) special events.

            

Part 3

Food in Your Country

  • What kinds of food do most people eat in your country?  
  • (Similar to above) What are the most popular types of food in your country?
  • Are there any differences in what people eat in between different parts of the country, such as between the north and south?
  • Is food considered to be an important part of the culture in your country?
  • Are traditional dishes very important?
  • What kinds of foods do people eat at parties (or on special occasions) in your country?

Eating Habits in Your Country

  • How are people's eating habits today different to those of the past? 
  • Have foreign influences had any impact on people's dietary habits in your country?
  • Do you think people should eat meals with their families?  
  • What would you say is the value of eating with one's family?  

Food Production

  • Are there any difficulties (or problems) concerning food production in your country?
  • Do you think there will be more difficulties in the future?  
  • Do many people in your country grow their own vegetables?
  • (Similar to above) Do many people in your country grow their own food?
  • Can you suggest why some people (choose to) grow their own food nowadays?

Describe a subject that you once were not very interested in but are now interested in.

                or

Describe a subject that you once thought was not very interesting but now think is interesting.

               You should say:

 what subject it is

 how long you studied it

 why you thought it was not interesting

 and explain why you now find it to be interesting.

Note

  • A few people have reported this as, "Describe a subject that you didn't like before but now like." However, most people report it using the word, "interesting" or "interested in".

Part 3

Students

  • What subjects do most students in your country study at school?  
  • Do you think it's better for high school students to study many subjects or to specialize in just a few subjects?  
  • Which subjects would you say everyone should (or, needs to) study?
  • Can you suggest why some school students learn more than others?
  • How can a student master the subject they are studying?
  • Why do we need to learn things at school?
  • Do you think communication skills need to be learned?  

Teachers

  • What would you say is the main job, or task of being a teacher?
  • Do you think teachers should guide the students? 
  • Do you think a teacher needs to be interested in what they are teaching? 
  • (Different to above) Do you think a teacher needs to be interested in teaching? 
  • What would the result if a teacher was (were) bored?

The Internet as a Source of Knowledge

  • Do you think using the internet is a good way to increase one's knowledge?
  • What sorts of information can be found on the internet?
  • Is it easy to search for information on the internet?
  • Do you think playing games on the internet teaches people anything?

Describe a time when you gave advice to someone else

               You should say:

 who you gave it to

 what the advice was

 how you gave the advice

 and explain what the results were. 

                or

and explain why you gave this advice

Part 3

Advice for Young People, and Children

  • What advice do young people receive from their parents and friends?
  • What advice do parents give to children? (talk about children, not teenagers)
  • Would you say most young people prefer to take the advice of their parents, or that of their friends?
  • Do you think parents should advise their children on what friends to have?
  • (Similar to above) Do you think parents should advise their children about (or, on) making friends?
  • Do you think parents should support the decisions that their children make for themselves?

Professional Advice-Givers

  • What are some examples of people who give advice to others as a job? *
  • When these people give advice, (such as when a doctor advises a patient), what should they pay particular attention to?
  • What kind of (examples of) skills do people need to have in order to give advice to others?

Describe one morning when you got up very early.

               You should say:

 when (or, what time) you got up

 what you did

 why you got up early

 and explain why you remember this.

Part 3

Sleep

  • Can you think of any other occasions when people have to get up early?
  • What effect would sleeping late have on one’s life?
  • What kinds of (or, what are some examples of) jobs require people to get up early?
  • What do you think are the benefits of getting up early?
  • Can you suggest why some people like to get up early?
  • Do you think old people find it easier to get up early than young people?
  • What time do people usually get to bed (in your country)?
  • Do people (in your country) usually (or, like to) have a nap in the middle of the day?
  • What do you think are the benefits of having a nap?

Working and Studying Times

  • What do you think of people who work night shifts?
  • Do you think it's better for young people to study in the morning, or in the evening?

Describe a water sport you would like to try.

               You should say:

 what sport it is

 where this sport is done

 what equipment is needed to do this sport

  and explain why you would like try it.

Part 3

Places Near Water
  • Can you suggest why many people like to be in (or, go to) a places near water?

Water Transport

  • Why do think transport on water was developed?

Describe an advertisement that you remember well. 

You should say:         when you saw it         where you saw it         what the advertisement was about and explain why you remember it.

Part 3

  • Do you think people (tend to) buy a product as a result of (or, after seeing) and advertisement for that product?
  • Can you suggest why some people dislike advertisements?/
  • Do you like loud commercials (advertisements) on TV?
  • Do you think music plays an important role in TV commercials (advertisements)?

Describe a historical building you have visited.

               You should say:

 where it was

 what it looked like

 what you learned there

 and explain why you visited this historical building

Part 3

Historical Buildings

  • Do people in your country like to visit historical buildings?
  • (Similar to above) Do people in your country often visit historical buildings?
  • Do children like to go to that kind of place?
  • Do people from your country like to visit historical buildings in foreign countries?
  • Are there any historical buildings in your hometown?
  • Do you think people who damage historical relics should be put in prison?
  • Would people in your country agree to using government funds to preserve historical buildings?

Cities

  • In your opinion, which are (the) better places to live in, big cities or small cities?

Version A

Describe a period in history that you would like to know more about.

               You should say:

 what period it was

 how you heard  about this period

 what you know about this period

 and explain why you would like to know more about this period.

Version B

Describe an historical event that you would like to know more about.

               You should say:

 what event it was 

 how you heard  about this event

 what you know about this event

 and explain why you would like to know more about this event.

Notes

  • About 50% of people are reporting this as, "Describe an historical period .." and 50% as, "Describe an historical event .." The two are quite different. Most likely both words are used in the Part 3 questions, which is the cause of this confusion.
  • No-one has reported that the first line says, "in your country".
  • Slightly different versions of this have been reported in the past. It is possible that this Part 2/3 is a repeat of a previously used topic. 

Part 3

Learning About History

  • Do you think history (= knowing about history) is important? 
  • Can you suggest why some people are not interested in (knowing about) history?  
  • How do people learn about history?  
  • (Similar to above) How can people get information about history?  
  • Do you think websites about history are useful?
  • Which historical periods do you think are the most important to know about (learn about)?  
  • How do children (or school-age people) learn about history?  
  • (Similar to above) Do schools in your country teach history?
  • Do many high school students in your country choose to study history as one of their school subjects?
  • How is history taught at school in your country?  
  • Do you think those school lessons are interesting for most students?
  • Can you suggest how those lessons could be made more interesting?  
  • Do you think history textbooks are usually interesting?
  • Which would you prefer, to learn history from a textbook or to learn it by watching documentary videos about history?
  • (Similar to above) Do you think students would learn more from history textbooks or from watching documentary videos about history?  
  • Are there any other ways in which most people learn at least a little about history?
  • What's the difference between learning about history in school and learning about it outside of school?
  • Do you think books such as historical novels are a good way to learn about history?  
  • Would you say the history in books like that is accurate?  
  • Do you think watching a popular movie about an historical event is a good way to learn about history?  
  • Do you think popular movies ever distort (their depiction of) history?  
  • Do parents in your country usually tell their children about history?
  • What do you think is the value of parents and grandparents telling their children about history? *
  • Do many people in your country study history at university?

Historical Buildings

  • Do you think there is any value (or, any need) to preserve historical buildings?  
  • What would you say is the difference between, "an historical building" and "an old building"?
  • How are historical buildings preserved (maintained / protected)?
  • Do you think it's better for the government to maintain historical buildings, or for this to be done by private companies?  
  • Why is it quite expensive to maintain historical buildings? *
  • Who pays for the cost of such maintenance?
  • Who do you think should pay for the cost of such maintenance?  
  • (Similar to above) What would you say is the best way to pay for the maintenance of historical buildings?  
  • Do you think the whole population of a country should pay for it (via the taxes they give to the government)?

Describe a (very) intelligent person you know.

        You should say:

                who this person is

                when and where you (first) met them (him or her)

                what this person does in life (e.g., work/ study) 

        and explain why you think this person is intelligent.

Part 3

The Nature of Intelligent People

  • Do you think very intelligent people have certain characteristics that are different to those of average people?
  • Do you think they are usually socially awkward?
  • Do you think more intelligent people are more selfish than average people?
  • Do you think more intelligent people are happier than average people?
  • Do you think more intelligent people are generally healthier than average people?
  • Do you think having high intelligence gives people an advantage in improving the quality of their lives?
  • Do you think having high intelligence helps people in their relationships with others?
  • Would you say highly intelligent people are more helpful (towards others) than average people?
  • Would you say highly intelligent people are proud of their intelligence?
  • (Different to above) Would you say highly intelligent people are arrogant about their intelligence?

The Nature of Intelligence

  • Can you suggest why some people are more intelligent than others?
  • Do you think it's possible for people with average (or, low) intelligence to become highly intelligent?
  • Can you explain why some intelligent people are called "geniuses" when they are young?

The Intellectual Development of Children

I suggest you use the words, "intellectual development" rather than, "education" except in those cases when the examiner actually uses the word, "education" in a question.

  • Do you think children can be trained to be intelligent?
  • (Similar to above) Do you think the intelligence of people can be promoted (developed) when they are children?
  • How do you think this can be done?
  • Who would you say is more important in the intellectual development of children, their parents or their school teachers?
  • In general, what role do parents play in the intellectual development of their children, and what role do teachers play?
  • How do you think teachers and parents can make children more interested in learning?
  • Do you think games are useful in promoting intellectual development?
  • Do you think creative activities play a role in promoting intellectual development?
  • Do you think books (or, promoting a love of reading) is important in promoting the intellectual development of children?
  • Would you say the intellectual development of children is important?

 

Questions you might be asked:

Highly) Intelligent People

  • Besides the qualities that you just described, what other ways do people use to judge someone's intelligence? 
  • Do you think the intelligence of a person is important?
  • Do you think it's good to be more intelligent than average people?
  • Do you think that there are any things that highly intelligent cannot do easily? 
  • (Similar to above) Do you think there is anything that intelligent people tend not to be good at? 
  • (Similar to above) Do you think there is anything that intelligent people find difficult to do? 
  • Do you like being with an intelligent person?
  • Do you think that much older people are more intelligent than young people?
  • Do you think high intelligence is related to one's degree of happiness?
  • (Similar to above) Do you think there is a relationship between the amount of knowledge a person has and his or her happiness?
  • Do you think (highly) intelligent people tend to be happier than average people? 
  • (A possible question) Which would you prefer to be, someone who is happy but has low intelligence, or someone who is not so happy but is highly intelligent? 
  • Do you think that most intelligent people are good people (= have good moral values)?
  • Do you think that intelligent people tend to be more selfish than other people? 
  • Do you think highly intelligent people are less affectionate than people with average intelligence? 
  • Do you think it's good to be (highly) intelligent?
  • Are highly intelligent people valued in your culture?
  • Do you think it's possible to be "too intelligent" (= "overly intelligent" or "excessively intelligent")?
  • What do you think is the difference between "an intelligent person" and "a genius"?
  • Why do we use this word, "genius"?

Teachers

If the examiner uses the word "education", it mostly (but not totally) means "academic education", not education in such things as learning how to be polite or learning the value of helping others. But you can adapt your answer, after answering the question as it is asked.

  • Who do you think has the greater influence on a child's education (or learning) , the child's teachers or the parents? 
  • In connection with a child's education, what do you think is the role of teachers and that of the parents? 
  • (Slightly different to the first question) Who do you think is better able to educate a child, the teachers at school or the child's parents?
  • Do you think a teacher can actually influence a child's intelligence?
  • Do you think parents and teachers should be patient with children?
  • Do you think anyone (or, everyone) can be a teacher?
  • Who do you think are better suited to be teachers, men or women? 
  • What qualities do you think a good teacher should have (or, has)? 
  • Do you think a good teacher needs to be a patient person?
  • Can you suggest why some school children don't like going to school?
  • Do you think teachers should use entertaining teaching methods?
  • How can a teacher encourage an enthusiasm for (or interest in or, a love of) learning among his or her students?
  • Do you think playing games in the classroom can be a good way to teach young kids?
  • Which do you think is more important, teaching (or learning about) the arts or teaching (or learning about) the sciences?
  • How can an interest in the arts be cultivated (in a child)?

The Development of Intelligence in a Child

  • In your opinion, how do some people become more intelligent than others?
  • (Similar to above) In your opinion, why are some people more intelligent than others?
  • (Possible question) Do you think a person's intelligence is more an in-born quality or is it more the result of the early childhood environment? *
  • Do you think the way parents and teachers treat a child can influence how intelligent that child becomes?
  • How do you think the development of intelligence in a child can be encouraged/stimulated? 
  • Do you think encouraging a "love of learning" is important in the development of a child's intelligence?
  • How do you suggest a parent (or a teacher) could encourage the development of a love of learning in a child?
  • What do you think are the differences between the role that teachers play in developing a child's intelligence and the role that parents play? 
  • Who do you think is more important in the intellectual development of a child, the parents or the child's teachers? 
  • Do you think that a person who had a close relationship with his or her grandparents (in the pre-school years) might grow up to be more intelligent than a person who never had a close relationship with his or her grandparents?

The Importance of Intelligence and Talent

  • Do you think it's important for people to be intelligent?
  • Is it the only thing that is important?
  • Do you think nowadays people need to be more intelligence than people in the past?
  • Do you think it's important for people to have some talent (in some area)?
  • Would you like to be more talented (in some area)?
  • How do you think a person can become more talented?

Artificial Intelligence

  • Do you think computers have "intelligence"?
  • What do you think is the difference between the intelligence of a computer and that of a human? 
  • Do you think computers might one day be more intelligent than humans?   

The Education of Highly Intelligent Children

  • Do you think there are more highly intelligent children nowadays, compared to the past?  (Why?/Why not?) 
  • And do you think people in the future will, on average, be more intelligent than people today, or will they be about the same?
  • How do we know which children are highly intelligent and which are average in intelligence?
  • Do you think we (people, society) should distinguish between highly intelligent children and those who are average? = (Should we give highly intelligent special attention or should we treat them the same as other children?) Hint: Talk about advantages and disadvantages.
  • Do you think it's best for these highly intelligent children to go to normal schools or do you think they should go to special schools? 
  • Can you suggest any methods for educating highly intelligent children?

The Education of Children with Different Levels of Intelligence

  • How do you think poor students (i.e., students who are not very good at studying) should be educated?
  • Do you think poor students could benefit by being educated with the good students?
  • And do you think there are any benefits for the good students if all the students are educated together?
  • In general, do you think schools today do a good job in educating students?
  • How do you think schools could be improved?
  • How do you think school education will develop in the future?
  • What do you think of the idea of replacing teachers in schools with equipment that has artificial intelligence, such as computers?
  • (Similar to above) What would be the good and bad points if teachers in schools were replaced by equipment that has artificial intelligence, such as computers?

The Development of Intelligence in Children

  • Do you think very intelligent people and not so intelligent people are born that way and their intelligence cannot be changed during their childhood?
  • How do you think children develop their intelligence?
  • Can you suggest any ways for parents to encourage the development of intelligence in their children?
  • Do you think TV helps children become more intelligent?
  • Do you think (highly) intelligent people are happy? 
  • Do you think games can help children become more intelligent? (Why?/Why not?)  

Children's Play (and Intelligence)

  • What did you do for play when you were a child?
  • Do you think play can help children develop their intelligence? (If yes, how? If not, why not?)
  • What sorts of games or play activities do you think most help children to develop their intelligence?
  • Are there any differences to the ways children today play, compared to the past? (e.g. 20 to 50 years ago)
  • Which do you think is better (for the development of a child's intelligence), children playing alone or playing with other children?
  • In what ways do you think children can benefit by playing with others (or, other children)?

Describe an old person who you think is interesting.

               You should say:

 who this person is

 how you met (or how you know) this person

 what you do together

 and explain why you think this person is interesting.

               

Part 3

Young-Old Relationships

  • What are the main differences between young people and old people?
  • What aspects of the elderly do you think are most interesting?
  • What do you think happens when we show an interest in another person?
  • Do you think old people should live with their families?
  • Do you think old people and young people can become friends?  
  • Is this phenomenon common in your country? 
  • Do you think old people and young people can share the same interests or hobbies?  
  • Can you give any examples of interests or hobbies that some young people have in common with some old people?  
  • Can you explain why many young people do not find old people to be interesting?
  • In general, what do you think leads to a person understanding another person?
  • Do you think young people are too self-centred? 
  • Would you say young people today are more polite towards old people than in the past?

The Young and Old Teaching Each Other

  • What do you think are the main difference between the elderly and young people when learning new things?
  • Do you think it's possible for young people and the elderly to teach each other things? 
  • Can you give any examples of that?  
  • What skills do you think they can teach each other?  
  • Do you think elderly people could learn to play computer games?
  • Can you explain why not many young people teach old people about the latest pop music?

Version A

Describe a time when you invited your friends or family to dinner (either at home or in a restaurant).

               You should say:  

when

 where

 who you invited

 and explain .......................

Version B

Describe a time when you were invited by friends or family to dinner (either at their home or in a restaurant).

               You should say:  

when

 where

 who invited you

 and explain .......................

Version C

Describe a time when you had dinner with friends or family (either at someone's home or in a restaurant).

               You should say:

 when

 where

 who organized it

 and explain .......................

Part 3

  • Do people in your country prefer to eat at home or in restaurants? 
  • What would you say are the benefits and drawbacks of eating in a restaurant?
  • What do people usually cook at home?
  • What do people usually cook for special festivals? 
  • (Similar to above) Do you have special food for festivals? 
  • What are the differences between the food for festivals and ordinary food in your country? 
  • Do you think there will come a day when (very few) people do any cooking at home?
  • More and more people are having (or, getting) their meals delivered, so would people cook at home?

Version A

Describe an outdoor sport that you would like to try

               You should say:

 what it is

 where you would try it

 how easy or difficult you think it would (or, will) be

 and explain why you would like to try this sport.

Version B

Describe an outdoor activity that you would like to try

               You should say:

 what it is

 where you would try it

 how easy or difficult you think it would (or, will) be

 and explain why you would like to try this activity.

Notes

  • More than half the people who got this topic are reporting Version A but several peoples are reporting Version B. I think both are possible but Version B is probably the more likely true wording. That version allows you to choose a sport or some other outdoor activity. "Outdoor sport" is one of the Part 3 sub-topics. I suggest you prepare for both Version A & B.

Part 3

Outdoor Sports

  • Do people in your country have many opportunities to engage in (do) outdoor sports?
  • What kinds of outdoor sports do people in your country do?
  • (Similar to above) What are some examples of the outdoor sports that people in your country do?
  • What are the major differences (and similarities) between indoor sports and outdoor sports?
  • (Similar to above) What are the main advantages and disadvantages of outdoor sports, in comparison with indoor sports?
  • Which is more exciting, in your opinion?
  • Do you think outdoor sports are closer to nature?
  • Do you think schools should cancel outdoor sports on days when the weather is extreme (e.g., temperatures above 35 degree)?

Sport in General

For these questions, it is possible that the questions here are asked in such a way that "liking" a sport can either mean, "like to play it" or, "like to watch others play it".

  • What sports do young people in your country like?
  • Do old people also like those sports?
  • What would you say are the advantages & disadvantages of team sports as opposed to individual sports?

Describe something you bought but do not often use.

               You should say:

 what you bought

 where you bought it

 why you bought it

 and explain why you don't often use it.

           

Part 3

Shopping in Your Country

  • Where do people do their daily shopping?
  • In general, would you say people like shopping?  
  • When people go shopping, do they usually have a plan of what they intend to buy?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of shopping in big shopping centres (shopping malls) and department stores?    
  • What is more important for most people when they buy a product, the quality or the price?  
  • Do you think people like advertising?  

Recycling

  • What are the most commonly recycled things (or, materials) in your country?  
  • Why are these things recycled?
  • What would be the results if they were not recycled? *
  • When people buy things, do you think there is too much waste material included with what they are buying?

Describe a time you received bad service at a shop or a restaurant.

        You should say:

                what goods or services you bought

                who you were with when you were served

                why you went there

        and explain how you felt about the service.

                                or

        and explain what you did after receiving this bad service.

Notes

  • For this usage (this meaning), the word "service" is a non-count noun. So it is not correct to say, "I received a bad service" because "a" means, "one", which is counting. The correct wording is, "I received some bad service" or simply, "I received bad service". "Services" (plural) is used in English but not for this usage, where "service" is a general type of behaviour. (Similarly, "advice", which is a general type of language or communication, is non-count.)
  • English speakers often use the term, "poor service"  (= poor-quality service) although "bad service" is also used. "Bad service" is worse than "poor service". If your example is not so bad, adapt your language to include the term, "poor service", which is more or less the same and is still answering the question.

Part 3

Service in Your Country

  • Would you say that the service that people receive in your country is generally good, or generally bad?
  • Can you explain what the words, "bad service" mean?
  • Besides the example you just spoke about, can you think of any other examples of bad service that people experience?
  • What would you say are the most common places where people are given bad service?
  • Please compare good service and bad service in a restaurant.
  • Why do some people give bad service to others?
  • In general, how do you think people can give good service to others?
  • How do you feel about the word "service"? 
  • Would you say good service is important?

        Reacting to Bad Service

  • If a person receives bad service from a business (or organization) in your country, what do they usually do?
  • Are people in your country used to complaining when they receive bad service?
  • Why do some people choose to remain silent when they receive bad service?
  • Who do they complain to?
  • How do the employees who give bad service usually react when a customer complains?
  • If you complain about bad service, do the businesses or organizations usually address your complaint?
  • Who should be responsible for bad service?

Improving Service

  • How could service in your country be improved?
  • What can employers do to improve the service that their employees provide?
  • (Similar to above) If you were managing a business, what would you do to avoid (or, prevent) your employees giving bad service?
  • Can you suggest why some businesses that give poor service don’t do anything about it?

Describe a piece of good news you heard (e.g., from TV or the internet)

               You should say:

 where you heard it

 when you heard it

 what it was about

 and explain why you think it was good news.

          

Part 3

The News in Your Country

  • Can you give any more examples of news that could be called, "good news"?
  • Are there different kinds (categories) of news in your country?
  • What kind of news are most people in your country most concerned about?  
  • Which types of people pay more attention to domestic (national) news than to foreign news?
  • Do average people in your country care much about foreign news?
  • Are elderly and young people usually interested in the same news?
  • Are there any types of people who care little about the news?
  • Can you suggest why some people are interested in bad news?    
  • Why do many people like to talk about bad news?    
  • Would you say people are being given (exposed to) too much news nowadays? 
  • Can you explain why some people put news stories on social media?
  • How can people distinguish between false news and genuine news?
  • (Similar to above) How can people trust that the news they hear or read is true (or accurate)?
  • How do you think the way we get the news will (or, might) change in the future?  

School Students and the News

  • How do school-age people learn about (or get) news?
  • Do you think school children should be paying attention to the news?
  • (Similar to above) Do you think school children should be watching the news?
  • Do you think they should hear (or, should be exposed to) bad news?
  • Do school teachers guide students to understand the news? 

Describe a piece of information that you think is not correct.  

               You should say:

 what information

 where you heard/read this information

 when you heard/read it

  and explain why you think it is incorrect.

Part 3

Information

  • Can you give me any examples of job related to information?
  • (Similar to above) What kind of job need giving information?
  • How can someone tell if the information they receive is right or wrong?
  • Would you say people trust the information that is found online?  

Exchanging/Giving Information

  • What do you think are the differences between giving information by phone and (giving it) by email?
  • Do you prefer to use phone calls to communicate, or emails? (Why?)
  • When (in what situations) do you use use phone calls / emails to communicate?
  • What do you think are the benefits of using emails?

Describe something you do to (help you) stay healthy.

You should say:         what you do when you started doing this how much time you spend doing this (or, how often you do this) and explain what benefits you get from this activity.                         or and explain how this activity helps you stay healthy.

The Health of People Today

  • Do you think it's important to stay healthy?
  • Would you say people (in your country) have a healthy lifestyle now?
  • What factors influence whether or not a person has a healthy lifestyle?
  • In your country, what do people do in order to maintain their health?
  • Many people say they don't have enough time for exercise. How would you reply to that?
  • Why do you think more and more people are become fatter? (overweight. obese)
  • How do you think these people could (or should) improve their diet?
  • Why do many people like eating junk food?
  • Can you suggest why many people lead a sedentary lifestyle?
  • How can people have a healthy lifestyle?
  • In general, would you say people today are healthier than in the past?
  • Do you think people will become (even) healthier in the future?

Health Education

  • Do you think people can learn about having a healthy lifestyle?
  • Would you say health education is important?
  • Do you think health education is useful for children?
  • Do schools in your country give information to children about health?
  • (If 'No' to above) Do you think schools should do that?
  • (If 'Yes' to above) In what ways do schools give guidance to children about health?
  • Do you think the media has a place in educating the public about health?
  • How do (or how can) parents educate their children about having a healthy lifestyle?

Describe an occasion when someone did not tell you the complete truth.

               You should say:

 who this person was

 what they told you

 what they did not tell you

 and explain why they didn't tell the full truth.

              .

Version B

Describe an occasion when you did not tell someone the complete truth.

               You should say:

 who this person was

 what you told them

 what you did not tell

 and explain why you didn't tell the full truth.

Notes

  • Many people report that it is Version A. 
  • If it is Version A perhaps you should include how you know they didn't tell you the complete truth. Some time after someone has told us a lie we occasionally do realize we have been lied to, or we find out the truth some other way.

 

Part 3

Telling Lies

  • Do you ever tell lies?
  • Would you say most people tell lies from time to time?  
  • Do you think people around you lie too much?
  • In what situations do people tell lies?  
  • (Similar to above) Why do some people tell lies instead of telling the truth?  
  • Do you think that lying is good?
  • If a good person tell a lie, would you still say that person is good?
  • Do you think people always need to (or, should) tell others the truth when they think the truth is private information?
  • How would you feel if a friend told you a lie? 
  • In what situations do children or young people tell lies to their parents?  
  • Do you think it's important to teach children to be honest?
  • Besides simply being told to be honest by their parents or teachers, can you suggest how children could be taught the value (or importance of) honesty?
  • How can someone lie convincingly?  
  • Do you think good liars need to have a good memory?
  • Are there situations when people tell lies with good intentions?    ("white lies")
  • Do you think such well-intentioned lies can ever have negative effects?  
  • (Similar to above) If you told someone a lie about how good their clothes looked, do you think that could possibly lead to a negative result?
  • Can you explain why people sometimes tell lies like that?

Crime and The Police  (These questions seem to be unusually difficult!)

  • In general, what methods do police use in order to solve crimes?  
  • When the police are interrogating someone who they suspect has committed a crime, is there any special equipment that they can use to detect if that person is telling a lie?  
  • Do you think such equipment is useful?
  • Do you think the use of such equipment would reduce the amount of crime that is committed?
  • Some people say that the police sometimes tell a lie in order to "ensure justice". Do you think that type of behaviour by the police is ever justified?
  • There are situations where several people have witnessed a crime (or seen the person who has committed a crime) but the statements that the witnesses make are not the same. Can you suggest any reasons to explain that?  

Describe someone you would like to work or study with.

               You should say:

 who this person is

 how you know this person

 what you would do together              

               and explain why you would like to like to work or study with this person.

Part 3

Education in Your Country

  • What do children study at school in your country?
  • Do you think school boys and girls should sit together in the classroom?
  • How important would you say it is that school children study with people who they like?
  • Do you think it's good for a child to learn (or, study) alone?

Work in Your Country

  • What kinds of people do you like to work with?  
  • (Similar to above) What kinds of people would you like to work with?  
  • (Similar to above) What kinds of people do you want to work with?  
  • In a workplace (e.g., a company) do you think the personality of the employees (or, one's colleagues) is important?
  • Which is (or, would be) more important for you, developing your work-related skills, or being being recognized (or, appreciated) by your supervisor?
  • Do you think managers can be friends with their subordinates?

Describe a person you know who helps others in their spare time.

               You should say:

 who it is

 how you know them (= him or her)

 what they do to help others

   and explain how you feel about this person. *

              .

Notes

  • So far (at May 3), two different versions of this topic have been reported: a) Describe someone you know who gives help to others  b) Describe someone who gave you help. I tend to think it is a).
  • The words, "in their spare time" mean that you should not talk (much) about what this person does for a job.

Part 3

Helping Others in General

  • Do you think it's important to help others?  
  • (Similar to above) Why do people in society need to help each other?  
  • Are you willing to help others?
  • Would you lend money to a friend?
  • Do you think people in the past helped others more than people today?  
  • (Different to above) Do you think young people in the past helped others more than young people today?  
  • What personal qualities do people who help others have?

The Helping Professions

  • What are some examples of professions in which people give help to others?

Children and Helping

  • What’s the between between children helping others and adults helping others?
  • When do children need help?
  • Who should teach children to help others?

Describe a person you know who speaks a foreign language well.

               You should say:

 who this person is

 what language(s) they know

 what he/she uses this language (or, these languages) for

and explain why you think they (he/she) learned it well.

Part 3

Learning a Foreign Language

  • Which do you think is easier, writing or speaking a foreign language?
  • Do you think if it’s possible to learn a language perfectly?
  • Would you say learning a foreign language is important?
  • Who do you think learns a language faster, children or adults?
  • What benefits for one's career does knowledge of foreign languages bring?

Languages in the World

  • Do you think that English will become the most commonly used language in the world?
  • Do you think foreigners will be learning your language in the future?

Version A

Describe a person who you wanted to be similar to when you were younger.   

    You should say:

                who this person was

                how you knew (about) this person 

                what impressed you about this person 

                                       and explain why you wanted to be similar to this person. 

                                    or

      and explain in what ways you wanted to be similar to this person. 

Another likely (old) version:

Version B

Describe a person you know who you would like to be similar to.

        You should say:

                who this person is

                how you know this person 

                what impresses you about this person 

                                       and explain why you would like to be similar to this person. 

                                    or

      and explain in what ways you would like to be similar to this person. 

 

Part 3

Role Models

  • In general, what kinds of people do children and teenagers want to be similar to when they grow up?
  • Can you explain how the use of movie stars in advertisements influences people?
  • Do you think there are any negative influences from using movie stars in advertisements?
  • Would you say the influence of parents on their children today is as strong as it used to be in the past?

Other questions you might be asked:

Role Models and Influences on Young People and Children

Here, if the examiner says "young people", they are probably including "children" in that group. Strictly speaking, we are no longer "children" after about the age of 13, although people up to the age of about 18 are sometimes referred to as "children" in the media and when talking about law.

  • Do you think young people today are the same as young people were in the past?
  • What influences affect the way children / young people behave and think? *
  • How is the way children are brought up today in your country different to when your parents were young?
  • Do you think they are affected very much by the other students at school?
  • Do you think advertising in general has much influence on the buying habits of young people?  
  • Some companies use celebrities (such as sports stars and film stars) in their advertisements. What effect do you think that has on young people?  
  • (Similar to above) Why do you think celebrities such as pop stars are used in advertisements?  
  • Do you think product endorsements by celebrities should be banned?
  • What kinds of people do children or young people in your country want to be similar to when they grow up?
  • Do you think it is good for children and young people to use entertainment stars  or sports stars as role models?  
  • Do you think the stars of popular culture such as pop singers and film stars influence the habits of young people?
  • Would you say this is a good thing? *
  • Do you think these celebrities have a responsibility to set good models of behaviour, considering the fact that children and teenagers might try to emulate them?  
  • (Similar to above) Do you think this puts a lot of pressure on these stars (to be good models of behaviour)?  
  • Will you be able to forgive Michael Jackson for taking drugs?

Independence

  • Do you think it's important for children to learn to think independently?
  • In your opinion, at what age do young people become independent of their parents?
  • (Similar to above) In your culture, at what age do people think adulthood starts?

      

Version A

Describe something special you took home from another place (you had visited). 

                    or

Describe something special you took home from a tourist attraction you had visited. 

               You should say:

 where you visited

 what you took home

 what it looked like 

 and explain why you thought it was (or, think it is) special.

            

Version B

Describe something special you brought home from a holiday.

You should say:

        what it was

        when and where you went on this holiday

        what you did with it after you brought it home

and explain why you thought it was special.

Notes

  • This topic is obviously about a souvenir.

Part 3

Being a Tourist

  • (Besides your Part 2 example) What are some other places that you have visited as a tourist?
  • What sorts of souvenirs can tourists buy at _____ (one of the places you mentioned)?

Souvenirs

  • What kinds of souvenir do people buy when they visit a place?
  • Is it beneficial for the local people (at the tourist venue) when tourists buy souvenirs?  

Ways to Record the Experience of a Trip (esp. photos)

  • Do you like to show photos of a trip to your friends?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of taking a camera when you visit a tourist site (or, go on a trip)?  
  • What are the pros and cons of taking a pictures with an expensive camera compared to using a mobile phone?
  • What can someone do to avoid (or, prevent) their expensive camera from being stolen?

Describe something you regularly do that helps you do your work or study.

You should say:

 what you do

 Where you do it

 .................

 and explain how it helps you.

Part 3

Daily Routines

  • In general, what do people have to do everyday?  (= what is the daily routine of most people)
  • How is the daily routine of adults different to that of children? 
  • In general, what do you think are the benefits of maintaining a routine in one's life?
  • Do you think it's important for children to have a (regular / habitual) daily routine? 
  • Would you say it's important to establish a daily routine from a young age?
  • When do people break (change) their routines?
  • Do you think it's important to stick to a routine in one's leisure time?

Routines at Work

  • How important do you think it is to maintain a routine in the workplace?
  • Is is important for working people to take a break from their work routine?

Describe something you want to do but have never had time to do.

               You should say:

 what it is you want to do 

 where you would do it  

 who you would do it with  

 and explain why you haven't had time to do it.  

 

Part 3

How People Spend Their Time

  • Can you give any more examples of the kinds of things that people would like to do but don't have time to do?
  • Can you explain why people want to do things that they can't do?
  • Besides working, what do most people do with their time?
  • (Similar to above) What things do you do during the day?
  • Do you think that what people do in their free time changes as they grow older?

Time Management

  • Do you often feel that there isn't enough time to do the things you want to do?
  • Would you say most people manage their time well?
  • What do you think are some effective ways to mange one's time?
  • Are there any commonly used apps on smartphones that help people use their time more efficiently?
  • Besides daily work or study, do you think it's necessary for people to live their lives according to a time schedule?
  • Is it necessary to have time for (rest and) relaxation?
  • Do you have any suggestions on how a person can give themselves enough time for relaxing and enjoying life?
  • (Similar to above) How can a person improve the quality of their life in the free time that they have?
  • Do you think successful people have better time management skills than others?
  • Do you think elderly people are better time managers than young people?
  • Do you think it's easier for boys to waste time than girls?
  • Would you say time management is important?

Describe a time when you found something that someone else had lost.

               You should say:

what it was

where you found it

how you found it  (what you were doing when you found it) 

 and explain what you did with it.

            

Part 3

Losing and Finding Things

  • Do you think people often lose things?
  • What sorts of things are most often lost be people?
  • Have you ever lost anything?
  • How do people find their lost things?
  • How can parents teach their children to avoid losing things?
  • What do people usually do when they find something that someone has lost?
  • What do you think people should do when they find something that someone has lost?

Collecting Things

  • Do many people in your country like to collect things?  
  • Can you suggest why some people like to collect old things?  
  • How do they get those old things?  
  • Are there any old things that are especially interesting in the study of history?
  • Where can those things be found? 

Describe a time you taught something new to a younger person.

        You should say:

    who you taught

                    what you taught

                    why you taught it to this person

        and explain how you felt after doing this.

Part 3

Learning (or Teaching) In General

  • Do you think a person needs to be especially trained in order to teach skills to other people?
  • What are some differences between good trainers and ordinary people?
  • How do (or should) a good trainer teach a skill?
  • Do you think a person needs to be motivated to learn a new skill?  
  • Would you say most students (high school & university) are motivated to learn?  
  • Can you suggest some ways to motive a person to learn something?  
  • Do you think having curiosity is important when learning something new?

Skills in General

  • What are some examples of the skills that adults typically have today?
  • (Similar to above) What are some examples of the skills that adults typically need to have today?
  • Do you think that driving a car is a skill that most people should learn?
  • (Similar to above) Do you think that driving a car is an important skill to have?
  • Are the skills that people have today different to the skills that people had in the past?
  • Can you suggest how the skills that people will have in the future will be (or, might be) different to the situation today?
  • (Similar to above) What do you think will be (or might be) the most important skills to have in the future?
  • Are there any particular skills that you want to (or, would like to) learn?

Teaching Skills to Children

  • Do you think it's important for children to learn new skills?
  • (Similar to above) Do you think it's important for people to learn skills in their early childhood years?
  • What skills would you say all children need to (or, should) learn?
  • What skills do children have to (or, should) learn before they start school? 
  • Who do you think is more important for the teaching of skills to children?  
  • Do parents and school teachers usually teach the same skills to children? 
  • What can a parent or teacher do to make a child more interested in learning?

Describe a time when you used the internet to solve a problem

               You should say:

 what problem it was

 when you did this

 how long it took you

 and explain why you used the internet to solve this problem.

Note

  • The first line might be, "Describe a time when you used the internet to answer a question."

Part 3

The Internet

  • What influence does the internet have on people (individually), and the society?
  • What influence does the internet have on universities?
  • Do you think libraries will disappear one day?
  • What do people use the internet for?
  • Do you think it's a waste of time to "surf the internet"? 
  • (Similar to above) Would you say many people waste time "surfing the internet"? 
  • Would you like to study via the internet?
  • What do you think the internet will be able to do in 10 years (time)?
  • (Similar to above) How do you think people will be using the internet in 10 years (time)?

Describe a job that one of your grandparents did.

               You should say:

 what it was

 how long they did this job

 how easy the work was 

 and explain whether you would do that work.

  

Part 3

Easy & Hard Jobs

For these questions, you need to clearly define what you mean by, "easy" work and, "difficult" work.

  • Would you choose to do the job that your grandfather/mother did (or, had)?  
  • Can you give me any examples of jobs that are simple, or easy to do?
  • What are some examples of jobs that are difficult to do?  
  • What makes those jobs difficult to do?
  • Would you say difficult jobs are more interesting than easy jobs?  
  • Would you say being a doctor (= a medical practitioner) is difficult work?
  • Would you say being a company CEO is difficult work?
  • Would you say it's easy doing the work of an office cleaner?
  • In general, what types of people do the difficult jobs?
  • In general, what types of people do the easy jobs?
  • Do difficult jobs have higher salaries than easy ones?  
  • (Similar to above) Do you think people who do difficult work earn (or, make) more money than people with easy jobs?
  • Is it easy to find well-paid work in your country?
  • Can you explain why some celebrities earn more than scientific researchers?

Work

  • Would you say that a person's identity is formed by (or, shaped by) the work they do?  
  • How do you think the quality of people's work-life could be improved?
  • Do you think "bosses" (company owners & / or managers) would benefit if the quality of their employees' work-life were (or, was) improved?
  • Do you think challenges at work help a person develop their skills?
  • Do you think it is (or would be) good for a company to encourage the development of their employees' skills?  
  • (Similar to above) Do you think it's beneficial for employers to provide training for employees?
  • Do you think robots will replace human workers in the future?  
  • What are the benefits of using robots?
  • What kinds of work (or, what jobs) do you think are more likely to done by robots in the future?
  • What do you think will (or, might) be the consequences of (large-scale) robot use in the workplace?
  • Do you think it will be good, or bad if people don't do any work?
  • Do you think the usage of robots will influence the personality (or the psychology) of people who lose their jobs?

Describe the ideal house for you.

               You should say:

 where it would be

 what it would look like

 what features it would have

 and explain why it would be ideal for you.

            

Notes

  • In order to talk about why it would be ideal for you, you have to talk about your own particular tastes and preferences.
  • Use "would", not "will".

 

Part 3

Housing in Your Country

You need to pay close attention to which of the following words are used in a question: "flat" (or apartment), "house", "old", or, "modern"

  • What kind of homes do most people in your country live in?  
  • What are the differences between living in a flat and and in a house?   
  • Why (or how) do people choose whether to live in a flat, or a house?
  • What are the shortcomings of living in a house?
  • Is it good to live in an old flat?
  • What do you think are the advantages, and the disadvantages of new and old houses?
  • Which do you think would be better, to live in an old house or a modern apartment?
  • Are there any examples of old houses that many people would like to live in?
  • Are houses in the countryside (or villages & small towns) different to houses in the city?

City versus Country Living

  • What are some of the differences between living in a big city and living in the countryside?   
  • What are some of the differences between the facilities in urban and rural area?  
  • What do you think are the advantage and disadvantage of living in a city?  
  • Why do you think many people living in the city are not happy?   
  • (Similar to above) Why do people feel that living in the city is difficult?    
  • What do you suggest could be done to make people in the city live a happier lives?   
  • How do you think the problem of traffic jams in the cities could be dealt with? 
  • Do you think cities today are much different to those of the past?  
  • (Similar to above) What has changed in urban development?