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In this article we’ll be focusing on Part 1 of the IELTS  Speaking section, we’ll be giving you candidate cue cards as well as common topics and sample answers so that you can prepare for the IELTS Speaking test!

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IELTS Speaking Practice Tests, Topics & Answers

IELTS Speaking Topics And Practice Tests Online For Free
IELTS Speaking Part 2: Topics, Questions & Answers
IELTS Speaking Part 3: Topics, Questions & Answers
IELTS Free Online Practice Tests

IELTS Speaking Part 1 Practice Test: Candidate Cue Card #1

This part of the test begins with the examiner introducing himself or herself and checking the candidate’s identification. It then continues as an interview.
This interview feels more like informal conversation with 5 questions.

Question 1: In your country, do people prefer drinking tea or coffee?


It is important that you answer questions fully and explore your ideas in your responses. If your response is too short, you will not be able to demonstrate the full range of your abilities.


Well, both actually. You know, people enjoy both tea and coffee throughout the day, it tends to be that in the morning people drink coffee, because they want to stay awake and it’s part of people’s breakfast routine. Generally, they start having tea later, particularly in the evening. So, I mean, for me personally, I always have a cup of tea with my mom in the evening when we’re watching TV and I think that is pretty typical. But people drink a lot of different varieties of tea, like herbal, green or black tea, that’s really quite popular.

Question 2: How often do you drink coffee and tea during the day?


If you need to buy time it’s a good idea to use fillers such as ‘you know’ or ‘well’ but don’t use them too often.


Well, actually I drink coffee and tea throughout the day. I ‘m not sure I could say on how many occasions. Too many I guess. I have about two coffees in the morning. And like a few cups of tea, as well, including some herbal tea in the evening. I think tea is actually, you know, a big part of my home life. My family, my mother and sister and I often talk over a cup of tea once every day. You know, I also have some tea, some special tea in my cupboard that helps you get to sleep so we normally have that before we go to bed. But, you know, I also have regular tea as well with milk and sugar. So yeah, I guess you can say that I have tea and coffee a lot throughout the day.

Question 3: Do you ever go to a cafe for coffee and tea?


Use discourse markers, for example, ‘so’, ‘you know’ to provide time to think about responses but not disrupt your flow of speech. Also have some phrasal verbs ready, such as ‘catch up’.


Well, yeah, particularly during weekdays and times like that. But I don’t usually have tea when I go there, just coffee. I always stop by a cafe on the way to work to pick up a coffee and maybe a pastry or something for breakfast. I go there because the quality is a bit better than the kind of coffee you can buy in the supermarket. So it’s quite nice to buy, and they do lots of speciality coffees. Like the one with special flavours and things like vanilla latte or something like that. But on weekends. I also go to cafes actually because I like the atmosphere and cafes are friendly places.  They’re good for reading or you know catching up on a bit of work or even just meeting friends. so yeah cafes are a big part of my life.

Question 4: When was the last time you drank coffee or tea?


You can refer back to your earlier answer which can help to clarify your points and improve the coherence of your response.


I drank coffee before coming here, because, you know, I needed a little bit of a pick me up, in order to help me, concentrate and do this exam. As I said before, I always have two coffees in the morning so this isn’t anything strange or unusual or anything like that. I might go to a cafe after as well just to relax. So, yeah, that was the last time I had coffee and I think I might have another one later too. Not too many of course though, I want to be able to sleep tonight!

Question 5: Would you offer tea or coffee to a guest in your home?


When answering questions get used to using language of contrast such as ‘whereas’ and also use comparatives and conditionals, as you can see in this example response. Always demonstrate the range of language skills you have.


Well, where I’m from, providing hospitality to your guests is really very important. So, if people come to your house it’s very important that you offer them something to eat, and some tea or coffee. You know it’s expected. Personally, I would offer people both, because I think these days, some people will drink tea but other people will drink coffee so I would offer some coffee and a range of teas with some biscuits or something. It tends to be the younger generation that like coffee these days, whereas the older generation like tea a bit more. And maybe that’s because historically in the past people always had tea. So I guess now we have to offer both. If someone is really thirsty they might want to drink both anyway!

man speaking on the phone

What Are the Main Topics for the IELTS Speaking Part 1?

One way of preparing for the IELTS Speaking test is to look at what are the main topics the examiner will ask you to speak about. Remember, the secret to any test is preparation! We’re going to introduce you to some of the key subjects, as well as show you some typical questions which may come up.

Do you study or do you work?

  • What do you study?
  • Is that a popular subject to study?
  • Why did you choose it?
  • Do you enjoy the course?
  • Would you like to have a job which uses this subject?

Food and Drink

  • Do you prefer sweet or savoury food?
  • Do you dislike any food?
  • Do you like cooking?
  • Do you have a healthy diet?
  • Is there a typical dish which people eat in your country?

Your Hometown

  • What’s the main activity in your town?
  • What would you show a visitor to your town?
  • Has your hometown changed a lot from when you were a child?


  • What would your friends say are your best qualities?


  • Do you consider relaxation an important part of your lfie?
  • What are your favourite leisurely activites?

Seasons and Weather

  • Describe your favorite time of year or season


  • What would be your ideal mode of transportation?

The Internet

  • How often do you buy things online?
  • Do you have a website you’d recommend?
  • How much time do you spend online every day?
  • Do you prefer to study online or in class?
  • Do you think internet time should be limited?


  • Do you need to focus and concentrate for your work or studies?
  • When is concentrating especially important?
  • When do you find it particularly hard to concentrate?

Personal Style and Taste

  • How long have you had your current hairstyle?

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