IELTS Speaking : Sample Answer to Spoken Topics

Speaking exam tip

In Speaking Part 3 you should try to develop your answers as much as possible. Answer the question directly in your first sentence and then move on to do one or more of the following:

  • Give reasons for your answer
  • Add more information / develop your answer
  • Give examples of what you mean

Special gift

Describe the best present/gift you have received:

  • Who send it? What is the gift? What is it for?
  • When did you receive it?
  • Detail information about the present.

Last year, my wife celebrated my birthday at home. She bought an electronic dictionary as birthday gift. I like the electronic dictionary very much. It's blue and quite small. It fits into my pocket. I remember at that time, my wife said to me: "she decided to immigrate to Canada with me. In future, we must study very hard. And she hoped that the electronic dictionary could help me to improve my English."On that day, I was very happy because my wife agreed to immigrate to Canada finally. Also, with the help of the electronic dictionary, I made such rapid progress that before long I began to write articles in English.

1) In China, when will people send the present?
Oh, attend the party, such as Wedding Party, Birthday Party. During Spring Festival, people give presents each other, including clothes, books, flowers and foods.

2) Compare the gift which people have received 10 years ago to the present that people now are receiving, what's the difference between them?
(try to compare the gift you received in your teenage with the gift children received now)

Oh, I think the gift was monotonic before. For example, I often received a notebook as gift. But now, there are various gifts to choose from. Such as flowers, wine, food, clothes etc.

3) Just image the gift in the future children will receive.
In the future, I think more and more children will receive intellectual gifts, such as electronic dictionary, notebook computer and so on.

4) Just image the gift in the future people will receive.
In the future, oh, in most case, people will give flowers each other. I think flowers will be the most popular present.


  • What is the interesting building in your country?
  • Where is it located?
  • What is it used for?
  • Explain why you think it is the most interesting?

I think the interesting building is the Great Wall. It runs across north China like a huge dragon. It was used to enemies. Soldiers used to keep watch on the Great Wall. When the enemy came, fires were lit to warn other soldiers. I think the Great Wall is the most interesting building. Because it is one of the wonders of the world and it was one of the few man-made objects on earth that could be seen by the astronauts who landed on the moon. Also, the Great Wall has become a symbol of both China's proud history and its present strength.

1) Are there some old buildings in your hometown? Where and Describe it?
Wenfeng Tower, built in 1420, is located in the southern of Anyang City.
During the Ming and Qing dynasties, people came to the tower to worship the God of Heaven and pray for a good harvest. Nowadays, it serves as a museum of history. Murals of Wenfeng Tower give visitors a feel for the great artistic achievements of ancient Chinese civilization. In a word, I think the Wenfeng Tower is the most interesting building, and it is the oldest building in my hometown.

2) Compare the differences between the constructions in your city with them in 20 years ago? Describe the building styles in detail?
The traditional buildings are made of the red brick and always have curved eaves. Thousands of buildings look the same. But now, various buildings with different colors and styles have been going up in my hometown. In addition, room is equipped with kitchen and bathroom. This is very convenient.

3) What are people's attitudes to old building today and that of our later generation? Should we protect them? Why?
People, including our later generation, advocate that government should protect old buildings. Because old buildings represent the great artistic achievements of ancient Chinese civilization.

4) What role do you think the old and modern buildings play in the society?
Oh, modern buildings are for us to live and work, while old buildings are for us to visit and research.

5) Compare the differences between house and apartment?
In China, there is a big yard beside house, where we can plant some flowers and trees etc. But house is more expensive. Apartment is convenient and cheap but small.


  • Who is your best friend?
  • How did you meet?
  • What do you do with your friend?

Tell me the way you make friends with others and you think what people should be your friends?
My best friend is xxx. We were in the same class for 5 years. At that time, we often gather together to study and play. Now, we work in the same company. Friendship is extremely important to me. Itís like being brothers or sisters, but even more than that. I mean, I would do nearly anything for my friend, and I would expect that he would do the same for me. If he didn't help me when I was in need, then I would not consider him a good friend. I have a lot of different kinds of friends. Some are loud, others are shy. I prefer having a real variety of friends.

1) Do you think it is easy to make friends in China?
Yes, of course. Nowadays, transportation and communication are easy and convenient. We have more opportunities to meet all kinds of people and make friends with them.

2) What do you think the difference between adults and children making friend?
The difference is attitude or mindset between adults and children making friend. In general, children like to make friend with good students because they can help each other in studying. But adults make friends with anyone they like.

3) How do children make friend?
Children to children.

4) What is the most important thing in friendship?

5) What is the second important thing in friendship?
Helping each other.

6) What makes friendship break up?
For example, when I studied in Chongqing University, one day, my roommate lost his watch. He thought I had taken it. At that moment, I was very angry but I said nothing, and then I helped him to look for the watch. Finally, we found it in his pocket. My roommate apologized to me. I forgave him his rudeness. So, I think trust is the most important thing between friends.


There are many festivals in China, such as Spring Festival, National Day and Yuan Xiao Festival etc. The Spring Festival is the biggest festival in China. I suppose it's somewhat like Christmas is in western countries. Spring Festival is the only time when all families gather together and stores and business are closed for several days. During the Spring Festival, we eat delicious food, visit relatives and friends, and watch TV to welcome the New Year. I also like to try and contact some friends before and see how theyíre doing and what theyíre up to.
We give each other presents for the New Year.


Describe your latest interesting travel in detail.

  • When and where did you go?
  • Whom did you go with?
  • What things did you do?

Last year, I went to Shilin with my wife. Shilin, is located about 80 kilometers from Kunming. Kunming is the capital city of Yunnan Province. It took us 3 days to get Shilin. Shilin is famous for its large areas of stone forests. All stones in Shilin are vividly shaped, resembling various figures. Some stones look like a monkey, and some stones look like a bird. In a word, the stones are fantastic. In addition, I met a classmate of Chongqing University in Shilin. We talked about the things and persons which we remembered in school. I think that is an interesting trip.

1) Describe some interesting things happened during your travel. Can you describe it for me?
Ok. I met a classmate of Chongqing University. We talked about the things and persons which we remembered in school. I think that is an interesting thing.

2) What is your goal to travel and your reason to travel is
I enjoy travelling. It is so interesting to see how other people live, and it is really an amazing way to learn about different cultures.

3) Describe the advantage and disadvantage of travel for the country
Tourism is a useful source of foreign currency for the country, but sometimes some visitors destroy cultural heritage.

4) Why China can attract people to travel?
A 5000-year cultural heritage attracts more people to China.

5) Do Chinese people like to travel now?
Yes, of course. Since the opening-up, transportation is easy and convenient. Also, we have ample money for the journey.

6) Which festival do people travel in and where do people travel to?
We often go to resorts around National Day, such as Forbidden City, Summer Palace, and Temple of Heaven in Beijing.

7) Compare the difference about travelling among Chinese people between 100 years ago and now?
100 years ago, transportation was very difficult; few people could travel in China because most of people were very poor. But now, transportation is easy and convenient and we have ample money for the journey.

Natural scenery

  • What is the most beautiful natural scenery you have ever seen?
  • What is the specific point?
  • Where did you see it?
  • Who did you go with?

Last year, I went to Shilin with my wife. Shilin, located about 80 kilometers from Kunming. Kunming is the capital city of Yunnan Province. It took us 3 days to get there. Shilin is famous for its large areas of stone forests. All stones in Shilin are vividly shaped, resembling various figures. Some stones look like a monkey, and some stones look like a bird. In a word, the stones are fantastic. Also, there is a lake in Shilin. Surrounded by green mountains and forests, the lake is not destroyed by any pollution. Travellers can row a boat on the lake or stroll on the shores to enjoy its special quiet beauty.

1) What measures does your government take to protect natural scenery?
The government establishes protective zones of natural scenery. Educate people to protect natural environment. People who destroy natural scenery will be punished.

2) Do you think it is effective?
Yes, of course. Establish protective zones can prevent pollution.

3) What role does tourism play in your country's economy?
Tourism is playing a more and more important role in our country's economy. Since the opening up, the number of tourists has increased quickly, and this is a useful source of foreign currency for the country. (159 Also, tourism can accelerate other industry to develop.)

4) What should you pay attention to in travel?
Safety, weather, and I think it is necessary to bring some medicine.

English speaking tip

In order to introduce your personal opinion, you can use:

  • In my opinion, people felt safer in the past.
  • From my point of view, tourism has really changed this place.
  • As far as Iím concerned, it was the holiday of a lifetime.

Note: The phrase According toÖ can be used to introduce another personís opinion. We do not use it to introduce our own opinion. According to the government, the new law will reduce crime.

Phrases which introduce a that clause:

  • I think that the internet has changed the world we live in.
  • It seems to me that people need to care about the environment more.
  • I tend to think that parents are usually to blame.
  • My personal opinion is that education is the key to solving the problem.


Give me some opinion on the transportation in your city?
In my opinion, one of the biggest problems of transportation is traffic jams in Anyang city. It has become common to see passengers and drivers having to wait in long lines of buses and cars moving at a snail's pace on the streets during the rush hours. There are several reasons for this problem. First, the number of vehicles is increasing much more rapidly than the building of roads. Second, there seem to be too many private cars and not enough public buses. Third, many people, including drivers, pedestrians and cyclists do not obey traffic rules properly, especially at busy intersections.
In my opinion, one of the biggest problems of transportation is traffic jams in Anyang city. In view of the seriousness of this problem, effective measures must be taken before things get worse. On the one hand, the government should invest more money in the building of new roads and the repairing and maintenance of old ones, particularly those in busy areas of the cities. On the other hand, the number of private cars in urban areas should be limited while the number of public buses should be increased. At the same time, it is essential that stricter traffic rules and regulations be issued to strengthen traffic control.

1) Compare the different transportation, such as between plane, train and car.
Drive car to travel is convenient because we can set out at any time. But it is too slow and it may spend us much more time. Plane ticket is more expensive. So, I think train is the best transportation for me.

2) Can you just image the transportation in the future and describe it for me?
In the future, the speed of car, train and plane will be faster. And, the transportation will be easier and convenient.

3) Just compare the transportation in the past and now? What transportation do you like and why?
Nowadays, we have more choice on the transportation than the past. Such as tube, plane etc, even though in the small city. I like tube, because tube is safety and tube ticket is cheap.


What role do you think music plays in our life?
Just as other kinds of art, music has become an indispensable part of human culture. It brings us with nutritious spiritual foods, enriches our leisure life .In addition, music can do good to us very much. It can elicit the imagination of us. And, it teaches us how to distinguish beauty from nature. Listening to the music, I am sure you will soon be refreshed from a day's hard work and relax.

1) Can you tell me the western music's impact on the world music?
Oh, it is a difficult question, the western music is definitely great, and it plays an important role on the world music. Many musical talents and eminent musicians have been trained in western country, such as Beethoven, Mozart and so on.

2) Do you think it's necessary to open a music course in high school?
Yes, of course. There is usually 1 or 2 hours each week used for teaching music. I think there should be more, such as at least 3 or more.

3) What effects will take place u think to let children (students) study an instrument?
Music can do good to children (students) very much. It can elicit the imagination of children (students). Also, it teaches them how to distinguish beauty from nature.

4) It is often easier for children to learn music than adults. Can you tell me why?
Oh, thatís because itís important to have soft fingers and palm to learn a music mechanism, such as guitar. Children have more flexible fingers and they are more likely to find the correct feeling.

5) Do you like music or not? Why?
I like music. I like singing, especially in front of many people. I often sing for my friends. When they praise me, I feel happy. Also, listening to the music, I am sure you will soon be refreshed from a day's hard work and relax.

6) Describe the music you like most and tell me why?
I like classic music. It usually has a slow rhythm and a pleasant melody. Listening to the music; I can soon be refreshed from a day's hard work and relax.

7) What are the differences in music between China and western countries?
Oh, it is a big question; in general, the symphony of western countries is long while most of Chinese music is small piece.


What clothes do you like?
Clothes aren't only used to keep us warm. It has become a important part of modern civilization. Different nations have different styles clothes. And different styles clothes represent different cultures. All people want their life to be filled with variety, color and comfort by wearing clothes. We will have a good mood when we wear beautiful clothes. I like leisure clothes very much. Because it is not only cheap but also convenient to wear. (In addition, the material of leisure clothes is more environmentally friendly.) But I must wear work clothes when we are working. Otherwise, I will be fined.

1) What's the prescript on clothes when you are working? and just the prescript on clothes in school.
We must wear work clothes (a school uniform) when we are working (in school). Otherwise, we will be fined.

2) The different between the older and younger people on clothes.
The older people think a lot of style and material. But the younger people would like to follow the fashion. Personality is the first consideration when younger people choose clothes.

3) Compare the differences between the clothes in your city with them in 20 years ago.
In the past, the colors and styles of clothes were very monotonic. Thousands of people look the same. But now, we can wear clothes with different colors and styles.


  • Tell me about your family.
  • Who are you close to in your family?
  • Who are you most similar to in your family?
  • In what way is your family important to you?

1) Tell me about your family.
Although I live abroad now, my dad's family is from Glasgow and my mum's family is from Edinburg. So I'm from a very Scottish family. I would say I come from quite a small family, just my parents, my two sisters and me. But both of my parents come from very large families so my extended family is very large - I have 20 cousins! Our family gatherings are pretty chaotic, but fun. We're a very close-knit family and have reunions at least twice a year. Even though we don't live together any more, the family ties are still very strong.

2) Who are you close to in your family?
The person I'm closest to in my family is my dad, Gavin. He's really sociable, always going out with friends and colleagues. Everyone thinks he's good fun. I look up to him because he's very enthusiastic about everything he does.

3) Who are you most similar to in your family?
Well, there is a strong family resemblance between my elder brother and me, but everyone tells me that the physical resemblance between me and my paternal grandfather is very clear. Sadly, I never got to meet him because he passed away before I was born. But Iíve seen photographs of him at my age and weíre quite alike.

4) In what way is your family important to you?
The most important word in my life is "family". I love my family. I know that my family will always be there for me, no matter what. Every family has their ups and downs, but we are still there for each other. We support one another when there is nobody else.


Describe a teacher who has greatly influenced you in your education.

  • Where you met them?
  • What subject they taught?
  • What was special about them and explain why this person influenced you so much.

I think my first English teacher has greatly influenced me in my education. I had some trouble in studying English when I studied in middle school. I felt English was very difficult, so I didn't like to study it. One day, my English teacher spoke to me about the study of foreign languages. He said: "You must do a lot of reading, listening and speaking. Never mind, keep on trying, I believe you are a good student." In the years that followed, I studied hard and made greater progress. My English teacher loved his job and he was knowledgeable in his field. I love and respect him.

1) Compare the differences between education in your city with them in 20 years ago?
In the past, many children can't go to school, and educational conditions were very poor. But now, government provide 9 years compulsory education. Each child who is 7 years old must go to school. And government provide much better facilities and staff. Also, schoolyards are beautiful than before.

2) Compare the differences between university and middle school.
We study basic knowledge in the middle school. But the course of university is practical and special, such as computer and business courses.

3) Compare the differences between students now and past.
At present, it is difficult for student to find job. So, their pressure is heavier than before.

Sports & Hobby

Describe an interest or hobby that you particularly enjoy.

  • What this interest or hobby is?
  • How long have you been doing it?
  • What effect has it brought to your life?

What do you think about the balance between the work and the leisure?
I am a big table tennis fan, even though I am not very good at playing table tennis myself. I love to watch the game on TV. I have played table tennis whenever I get a chance since I studied in the middle school. Playing table tennis not only refreshes my body and makes me mentally alert, and ready and eager to engage in the work of the day. In addition, a reasonable amount of exercise prepares the body for a good night's sleep. However, over-indulgence in physical exercise can do more harm than good. Because it will make you too tired to stay awake during the work.

1) Is it dangerous for people to spend too much time on hobby?
Yes, over-indulgence in physical exercise can do more harm than good. I have noticed that some of my friends spend too much time on sports make themselves too tired to stay awake during the work.

2) Do you think hobby is beneficial to social life?
Yes, of course. I make many friends during playing table tennis. So, I think that hobby is beneficial the social life.

3) Why do people like to watch games?
Oh, it is an interesting question. Watching games can enrich our leisure life. Also, it is very exciting to watch a close game.

4) What are the advantages and disadvantages for watching games?
Watching games can enrich our leisure life. Also, it is very exciting to watch a close game. But over-indulgence in watching games can affect our rest.

5) What is the difference between watching games and playing games/sports?
Watching games can enrich our leisure life. Also, it is very exciting to watch a close game. Take part in sports can build our bodies and keep us healthy. But, over-indulgence in watching games or in physical exercise can affect our rest.

6) Do you think which sports demand enough courage?
Oh, I think it is boxing. It is very dangerous and it can do harm to health
of athlete.

7) What are the sporting facilities like in your hometown?
Anyang City has a lot of modern indoor facilities offering bowling, table tennis, swimming etc. But, it's too expensive for most Chinese, and you have to belong to the club in order to use the facilities.

Speaking exam tip

Using phrases, rather than just single words, to express frequency will impress the examiner. Instead of I occasionally play tennis, say I play tennis every now and again. Instead of I often take photos, try using this present continuous structure instead: I'm always taking photos.

And don't forget you can use these frequency phrases with any topic, not just with hobbies.


  • Do you often read newspapers?
  • How frequent do you read?
  • What do you like to read the best?

I read newspapers every day, such as Workers Daily, Henan Daily. I enjoy reading.
It is so interesting to see how other people live and it is really an amazing way to learn about different cultures. In addition, reading can do good to us very much. It can elicit the imagination of us. I also like to read the China Today and China Daily. Both of these magazines are in English, and it is a good way for me to improve my English.

1) Do you like to discuss with others when you read books?
Yes, I do. Because it is easy to understand the difficulty of books.

2) How long do you read?
Usually, I read books or newspapers for 1 hour before I go to bed.

3) Where do you like to read?
In the library, because there are all kinds of books which I can read.


Describe a handcraft which is made by yourself Kite flying is popular in China. Kites are often played with around the Qingming Festival in April. I like kites very much and I can make kites myself. Once, I made a kite. It was a beautiful swallow. Firstly, I collected 3 sticks and paper. The paper was adorned with paintings. Secondly, I used 3 sticks to control the paper, one linked to its neck, the other two linked with its wing. And then, the work was completed. The kite flew lightly in the sky as if the swallow was greeting the coming of the spring season.
What handcraft are there in China?
Folk paper cuts, lanterns and kites, shadow play etc.


  • Talk about your favorite restaurant.
  • Why do you like it?

Sichuan dish features pungent, spicy and salty flavors and tend to go well with rice. Sichuan Restaurant is the largest restaurant in Anyang City. The restaurant is a beautiful, clean and its price is cheap. My wife and I often have dinner in the restaurant on the weekend. Stir-Fried Shredded Beef is one of the restaurant's best dishes. It's made of fresh tenderloin and celery. Condiments include vinegar, rice wine and ginger etc. When finished cooking, the beef is red and the vegetables are green. The dish is very delicious.

extension of the card topic:

1) What is the general ideas about fast food among Chinese people?
Although fast food has little nutritional value, it is a blessing for busy people. Few people eat fast food all the time usually for breakfast and/or lunch so they can help to balance their diet by eating a sensible evening meal. And I like to eat fast food.

2) What do you think about science in food processing (production)?
Scientific processing (production) is important. Because it can keep us healthy.

3) What is your opinion on food production and the world's population.
At present, it's difficult to provide enough food for world's population. So, on the one hand, we should limit population of world. On the other hand, we should manage to provide enough food.

Environment protect

  • Is there any pollution in your city?

In Anyang City, pollution is serious. With the development of modern agriculture and industry, more and more waste is produced. Most of this waste is harmful. It goes into the water, the soil and the air. Especially the air is often made very dirty by factories. In places around big factories, trees and vegetables are often killed by the bad air. Also, when we breathe the air, harm will be done to our health. Fortunately, people are beginning to realize just how serious the whole situation is. Government is taking measures to prevent pollution.

What has your government done to prevent pollution The measures are:

1) First, all new projects are to have lower discharge levels.
2) Second, all sources of pollution must be identified and monitored.
3) Third, all enterprises should assure a clean and safe work place.


  • What do you plan to learn in the future?
  • Why do you want to learn it?
  • Where and how will you learn it?

I plan to learn computer science in the future. I am very interested in it. There are too many things that I don't know about computers. Also, computers play an important role in our life and are of great use in every field. I think the whole society will be computerized soon. I need more knowledge in this field to meet the great demands of the application of computers. If things go well, I'd like to further my study in computer science and I want to work on my Master's degree in Canada.

1) What's the most important skill nowadays?
I think it is computer. Because computers play an important role in our life and are of great use in every field.

2) Are there any traditional skills in your country? what are they?
Yes, such as sewing and weave cloth. I remembered that my grandmother used to sew clothes herself. But now, few people can do it.

3) Do you think it necessary to learn these skills?
No, I just don't like to spend much time on sewing. Because we can buy all kinds of clothes in shop.

4) Is there any difference between your parents' study and nowadays children?
In the past, when our parents studied in school, educational conditions were very poor. But now, children are lucky enough because government provides much better facilities and staff.

5) Do schools teach non-academic courses?
Yes, of course, such as music, physical education, and painting etc.

6) Should school responsible for teaching these non-academic courses?
Yes, of course. Because school should stress student's moral, intellectual and physical development in a comprehensive way.

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