In this tutorial, we look at recent IELTS Speaking cue cards for Part 1, part 2 and part 3 which appear in the IELTS test (as reported by students).
In the cue cards, I answer the questions, give reasons for my answers, share vocabulary, and explain techniques used in my answers.
At the end of the tutorial, I share two useful websites. One is great for generating ideas relating to the IELTS speaking cue card topics; you can also find useful vocabulary and terms there. Go to answer the public, type in your term, and see what happens!
The second site looks ugly but is useful, especially for finding collocations. You can find it here: www.freecollocation.com
Listen to the full tutorial here.
IELTS Speaking Exam Part 1
- What is your full name?
- Can I see your ID?
- Where are you from?
- Do you work or study?
Have you ever been on a boat?
Yes, I love sailing, but unfortunately, I do get seasick, (mini-story) a few years back I once started a sailing course but after the first ten minutes, I realised I was getting seasick and nauseous.
Would you take a vacation on a boat?
I probably wouldn’t, no, I don’t think it’s for me. It would be quite restrictive I think, although (mini-story) I read online a story about a man who explained that he had spent the last 3 years on a cruise ship, that was his home and work office. He said everything was taken care of, no house insurance, no taxes, no laundry (details!)… quite interesting I thought, and great advice! It might be the answer to the modern problem of work-life balance.
Would you like to own a boat?
Definitely! I think it really is a classic example of freedom, some people say a motorcycle and car are freedom but (contrast) with a boat it really gets interesting. For example, the only constraints are the weather and perhaps fuel, but if you have sails then that’s irrelevant. Another factor with the boat is that in seas like the Mediterranean you can literally sail over to beautiful places like Ibiza and the Balearic islands, visit a new country (details), rather than staying in a crowded place like a seaside resort. In the near future, I’d love to own a boat.
What kind of music do you like?
To be honest, I’m quite open-minded when it comes to music, I love electronic music for working while on my laptop and spend the most time listening to that, because (give a reason!) it usually doesn’t have as many lyrics in it. Lyrics, especially in English usually distract me. I like hip hop or techno for working out in the gym or running and drowning out background noise if I’m in a public place. When I’m cooking I like music with lyrics, usually old American soul, or old British rock music, it also depends on my mood.
My guilty pleasure music would be Elton John, you see we used to listen to it all the time in the car when we went on holiday when we were younger and always felt happy! Hearing that music makes me feel as if it’s going to be a special day. I’ll always choose music over a television programme (small story / anecdote).
How much time do you spend listening to music every day?
Like many of my friends, I probably spend around 20 minutes each day actively listening to music, and around 2 – 3 hours while working. (talk about the past) I used to listen to more, but a wise man once said “music is bubble gum for the ears”, so I felt guilty, and I reduced the amount of time and started to listen more to audiobooks and tutorials I find on the internet, like IELTSPodcast. ?This week I’ve heard a great podcast on how to approach the IELTS cue card!
IELTS Speaking Part 2- #1
In part two, you will be presented with an IELTS candidate cue card. On the card, you will have a topic you must speak about. Below are some cue card samples and model answers.
Describe a thing that you purchased recently. You should say:
– What it was
– What it looks like
– How you bought it
And explain how you felt about it.
Read the full sample answer here
IELTS Speaking Part 3- #1
- What would you do if you bought something disappointing from the internet?
- Why is online shopping so popular these days?
Read the full sample answers here
IELTS Speaking Part 2- #2
Describe a product you bought and felt happy with it
This is another of my favourite topics – and it is also a cue card that most candidates will be able to answer. You can always talk about a product arriving (or not arriving) from another country. Remember the task response score, the cue card will have a few bullet points for you to talk about.
Read the full sample answer here
- What are the disadvantages of online shopping?
- Why is consumerism changing?
- Why do people replace things rather than repair them?
Read the full sample answers here
To further your preparation, practice as many IELTS cue card topics as you can to improve your fluency and confidence in the IELTS speaking test. Each IELTS speaking cue will be different but with practice, you’ll be able to answer them all. Challenge yourself to try every cue card we have!
An IELTS cue card may ask you to speak about an interesting animal, explain how you felt at an event, describe a time you learned something new or met a new person, talk about a visit to a new public place or talk about a trip to another country. For each answer, look at the IELTS speaking cue and try to give a real-life example…. and remember to explain how you felt.
VIDEO: 3 IELTS Cue Cards ANSWERED
Download the podcast here:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How many Cue cards are there?
For every IELTS test, there is only one cue card which has been chosen by random selection ahead of time. However, there have been literally thousands of different cue cards since IELTS began so you’ll have plenty to practice from!
Can you choose the cue card topic?
No, you can’t. However, you have the flexibility to adapt the question as you like. For example, if the question is about a beautiful garden and you can speak confidently about a great wedding you went to – with photos in the garden – you’ll be fine.
Do IELTS speaking topics get repeated?
Absolutely, yes. Although the questions and bullet points may be phrased differently, the same topics come up again and again. Be sure you know the format and practice as much as you can.
IELTS Speaking Tutorials
- IELTS Speaking Idioms
- How to give your opinion in the speaking exam
- Making notes for speaking part 2
- How to speak about your hobbies in part 1
- How to get band 9 in your IELTS Speaking
- Tips for IELTS Speaking Part
- IELTS Speaking vocabulary to help you prepare
- Band 9 pronunciation for IELTS Speaking
More IELTS Speaking Questions
- 15 IELTS Speaking Cue Cards with follow-up questions
- IELTS Speaking Cue Cards about Entertainment
- IELTS Speaking Cue Cards about Places
- IELTS Speaking Part 2 Cue Cards about People
- IELTS Speaking Cue Cards about Accommodation
- IELTS Speaking Part 2 cue card topics and sample answers
- IELTS Speaking Vocabulary