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9 Question Types in IELTS Speaking Part 1-2-3

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To earn a band 7 or higher in the IELTS Speaking Test, it’s important to understand what kinds of questions you’ll be asked, and what types of answers you should give in Speaking Part 1Part 2, and Part 3.

Following are the Nine common types of questions asked in IELTS Speaking Part 1, 2 and 3:

  • DO YOU LIKE… ?
  • HOW OFTEN… ?
  • WHY… ? (Causes)
  • WHAT EFFECTS… ? (Results)
  • COMPARE… ? (Advantages/Disadvantages)
  • HOW COULD… ? (Solutions)
  • HOW MIGHT… ? (Possibilities in the future)

Let’s dive into each one of these categories of questions with examples, sample answers and a nice set of Speaking vocabulary.

Type #1 – DO YOU LIKE… ?

These form the major chunk of IELTS Speaking Part 1 and Part 2 question types. Whenever you have something about your likes and dislikes, use adverbs to describe how much you enjoy something:

I really enjoy playing basketball
I’m quite fond of this teacher.

Remember that the IELTS test is a test based on communication: show your feelings! If it’s great, say it with passion! If you dislike something profoundly, make sure the examiner understands:

I really can’t stand the traffic in my home town.
I love the food in my hometown.

Vocabulary to use:

I really like… I really dislike…
I especially like…I especially dislike…
I love…I hate…
I quite enjoy…I can’t stand…
I’m quite fond of…I’m not too keen on…
I’m a big fan of…I’m not a big fan of…
I find it great to…I find it annoying to…

Type 1: Questions & Answers

Let’s see some examples on what sorts of questions that could be asked in Speaking Part 1 and 2:

Do you like your name?

Well yes, I quite like the way my name sounds in my language. In addition, it is very
meaningful because my grandmother picked it for me. It means…

Well, I must admit I’m not a big fan of my name. I think it sounds a little bit stupid and
boring. In Hindi my name means…

Do you like flowers?

Yes, definitely! I find them colourful and beautiful. I think they look great in a garden
or in a house. I especially like roses but I’m also a big fan of daffodils and water lilies.

However, I must confess that I really dislike plastic flowers, you know, the artificial ones. I think they just look terrible.

What types of music do you like to listen to?

Well! I listen to various kinds of music, but I particularly enjoy listening to pop music,
and I really think that Michael Jackson was the king! In addition, I’m a big fan of Ed Sheeran – his ‘Perfect’ song is closest to me.

What is your favourite sport?

Cricket, without a doubt! I’m a huge fan of the T20 Int’l Cricket, and I watch world cup matches on
TV on a weekly basis. In addition, I try to play as often as possible. I really like this sport because it’s fun and exciting.

Do you enjoy spending time with friends?

Yes, definitely! I love hanging out with my buddies. They are so much fun to be with! We dine and we occasionally go for shopping. We often get together to watch a movie or play sports sometimes. I really trust them, and it’s great to have someone to share stories or laughter with.

Type #2 – HOW OFTEN… ?

In this kind of questions, you are expected to speak about the frequency of a habit or an action.

Vocabulary to use:

You can use these terms every time you describe day-to-day actions or hobbies.

On a daily basis = everydayYou can say “every day”, but “on a
daily basis” is better!
Frequently = very oftenDo you often speak English?
Yes, on an almost daily basis at school. I have an English class every day, but I must admit we only speak occasionally. We spend more time
writing and doing exercise
from time to time.
Occasionally = on some occasions
From time to time = sometimes
Hardly ever = rarely = almost never

Type 2: Questions & Answers

Let’s see some examples on what sorts of questions that could be asked in Speaking Part 1 and 2:

How often do you use a computer?

On a daily basis. I work as a Software Engineer so I use my computer every day at work. In addition to this, I am a movie fanatic. I frequently binge-watch TV series on Netflix and Amazon Prime.

How often do you dance?

Hardly ever. I don’t often go out clubbing, and to tell you honestly, I can’t dance. Although some of my friends frequently go dancing, I’m not a big fan of night clubs. It’s usually too loud and smoky there.

Do you often celebrate festivals in your culture?

Yes, absolutely! We have different festivals on almost every month. The most important is of course the Diwali festival We celebrate the festival of lights with friends and family. Moreover, we frequently organise big dinners for significant events.

How often do you exercise?

I try to work out as much as possible. Usually I go running twice a week, and I frequently play football with my friends. From time to time, my friends invite me to play badminton, and I think it’s a great physical fitness exercise.. In the summer, I really enjoy swimming, and I go to the pool on an almost daily basis during my holidays.

How often do you get together with your classmates after college?

Quite frequently! At university, we had a lot of freedom, and since we all lived together
in the same dorm, we had dinner together on every day basis, and we have stick to that ritual till date.

Type #3 – HOW IMPORTANT… ?

Like the name says, this is indeed an important IELTS Speaking Part 1 and 2 question type which revolves around examples in order to explain why ”something” is essential. So, don’t hesitate to give examples.

Vocabulary to use:

It’s extremely important because…
It’s definitely very important…
It’s essential because…
It’s fundamental because…
It’s not that important because…

Type 3: Questions & Answers

Following are some categories of questions being recently asked in Speaking Part 1 and 2:

How important is English to you?

English is extremely important to me, because next year I plan to go to the Canada. I’ll need English in order to communicate with people over there, so you know, to make friends at the university. If my English is limited, I won’t be able to understand my teachers either, so yeah…learning English is definitely very important.

How important is age as a factor in earning?

I think it depends on what you are learning. For instance, if you want to learn how to play guitar, I don’t think age is that important. But I believe motivation is fundamental. On the other hand, if you are learning a foreign language, I think it’s essential to start as early as possible, because kids have a sharp memory, and the younger you start, the better your skills will be.

Do you often celebrate festivals in your culture?

Yes, absolutely! We have different festivals on almost every month. The most important is of course the Diwali festival We celebrate the festival of lights with friends and family. Moreover, we frequently organise big dinners for significant events.

How important is sport in children’s social and physical development?

I think that sport is an essential part of children’s daily routines, because sports can make kids stronger and healthier. In addition, there is no doubt that playing sports is a great way for them to socialize. They can make friends through sports. On top of this, they can learn the notions of “team-work” and “team-spirit”, which are fundamental in today’s world.

How important is tourism for a country?

Tourism can be extremely important for a nation’s economy, because the tourist industry often creates employment and bring economic prosperity to a region. When foreigners visit India, they spend their money in restaurants, hotels, organized tours and transportation. Therefore, tourism is definitely very important for a country.

Type #4 – DO YOU THINK… ?

The fourth category of questions is important for IELTS Speaking Part 1, 2 and 3. These are also called opinion based questions. The examiner is keen on getting your opinion on 2-3 different topics. So, speak from the heart … Show the examiner you have energy.

Vocabulary to use:

9 Question Types in IELTS Speaking Part 1, 2 & 3

Type 4: Questions & Answers

Let’s see some examples on what sorts of questions that could be asked in Speaking Part 1, 2 and 3:

Do you think that English is a difficult language to learn?

Yes, definitely! It’s quite challenging. I guess it requires a lot of practice. It’s so difficult to remember all the words, especially the long words like “sophisticated”, and “longevity.” In addition, the grammar is tricky because of the tenses and the prepositions by, at, for, and of.

Do you think that art should be taught in school?

Well, Yes without a doubt… Art is one aspect of the culture, so it’s important for teenagers to learn about their national art since it represents their cultural heritage. Plus, when they are younger, drawing and painting can definitely help children develop their imagination and creativity. Teachers should definitely guide students to develop their artistic skills.

Do you think that advertising can be dangerous?

Dangerous? Well, I think the word “dangerous” is too strong here. But I, for sure, agree
that advertising could mislead customers from time to time, or tempt people to buy more.
However, this is the aim of advertisements. Isn’t it ?

Type #5 – WHY… ? (Causes)

‘WHY…’ kind of questions are generally specific to IELTS Speaking Part 2 and 3. Here, you are supposed to talk about what has caused a certain situation and what repercussions or effects this has. This language will also be useful in IELTS writing task 2.

Vocabulary to use:

…for a number of reasons…
…for a great variety of reasons…
Several factors contribute to…
There’s a combination of factors…
I guess that = I reckon that = I assume that = I think that…
The main reason is that….
That’s due to the fact that…
The main contributing factor is that…

Type 5: Questions & Answers

Some sample type 5 IELTS Speaking Part 2 and 3 question forms are given below:

Why do the people in cities want green spaces?

Well, I think the answer is very obvious:it’s due to the fact that parks and green areas are pleasant places for people to do recreational activities, and people in urban areas don’t have so many
opportunities to get away from the city’s hustle and bustle). If there is a public garden not far from their house, families can go for a walk and children can play there safely. In short, everyone can enjoy a better lifestyle.

Why is it sometimes important for people to be alone?

Well, I guess that we all need time to ourselves at some point. I am sure I can think of a variety of reasons why people might need time alone: some people might need tranquility to think carefully. A lot of students need time alone in order to focus on their lessons before an important test. Some others might just not feel like talking because they are grumpy, or sad, or irritated.

Why do many people want to be successful?

I think the main contributing factor is that, nowadays, success symbolizes wealth. If people become successful in business, or sports, or science, they will be more likely to get a high salary. With that money, they could lead a very comfortable life, travel, buy anything they want, in other words make their dreams come true.

Type #6 – WHAT EFFECTS… ? (Results)

Probably the most brainstorming IELTS Speaking Part 2 & Part 3 question topics would be ‘Result’ based.

Think about the consequences of each problem. Whenever you come across a question such as “What effects…/What impact…/What consequences…” try to list the results triggered by the situation.

Vocabulary to use:

…As a result……Therefore………Consequently…
…for a great variety of reasons…I suppose that……I think that…
I guess that… I assume that…It pushes people to…
It will influence…It will cause…It has a huge impact on…
It generates… It will affect…It definitely results in…
It sets off a series of consequences…It will trigger……In that case..

Type 6: Questions & Answers

Let’s see some examples on what different varieties of questions that could be asked in Speaking Part 2 and 3:

What effects could using technology have on a child’s personal development?

I guess that using technology is a double-edged sword. On the positive side, using a computer or a mobile phone can help children think independently. I have heard that spending time on a computer will trigger healthy activity in the brain. A lot of computer programs or games require children to make decisions on their own.

What effects can newspapers have on society?

Newspapers definitely have a huge impact on society. They keep people informed of what is going on across their country and the whole world. I think that journalists can make people believe anything they write, because people take it for granted that journalists write after investigating the facts.Newspapers can definitely influence public opinion.

What impact do leaders have on people?

I suppose that leaders usually motivate their staff or teammates; as a result, people can work with more passion, you know, more enthusiasm. Leaders should be able to inspire everyone else, so the team can reach collective goals. Besides, leaders, and especially political leaders, should be good at guiding people. They make decisions that will influence people’s lives after all.

Type #7 – COMPARE… ? (Advantages/Disadvantages)

This IELTS Speaking Part 2 and Part 3 category of questions focuses on comparison between things. Whenever you come across a question such as “What effects…/What impact…/What consequences…”, think about the consequences of each problem and try to list the results triggered by the situation.

Vocabulary to use:

It’s beneficial because…However…There is also a disadvantage…
It is beneficial for a variety of reasons…Yet…It also comes with a few disadvantages…
That is beneficial primarily because…On the other hand…There are couple of problems as well…
It’s most obvious advantage is…Although…When it comes to drawbacks…
There are both distinct advantages and disadvantages of….It will affect…It definitely results in…

Type 7: Questions & Answers

Let’s see some examples on what sorts of questions that could be asked in Speaking Part 1 and 2:

Compare the health advantages of working indoors and outdoors.

Okay, So, I would say that usually working indoors is beneficial for a variety of reasons when it comes to health. It really depends on the job, of course. Working in a factory is obviously very different from working in an office, but in general, if you are working indoors, chances are that your job will be more comfortable. On the other hand, farmers, gardeners, construction workers or other engineers who work outdoors can enjoy fresh air, especially if they work at the countryside. They probably have more freedom too:they can move around, and they are not confined to one small area only.

Are there any disadvantages of being part of a community?

Yes, to some extent! while there are many perks, there are also some notable disadvantages to being part of a community. For example, your neighbors might know your schedule, and they will judge you if you come home very late, or if you go out at night without your wife (or husband): people gossip.In addition, being a member of a group also comes with its share of obligations:you might need to take part in some activities that you would actually rather avoid.

Type #8 – HOW COULD… ? (Solutions)

Be ready to give your point of view on a social issue. Explain how to tackle the problem, and why it is difficult to handle it. These are usually hard questions asked in Speaking Part 3, so take your time to think about it, and organize your ideas as if you were writing:

First… Second… In addition… Fortunately, you only need one or two sentences for each point you are making.

Vocabulary to use:

I guess the best would be to…I guess that requires…
They should definitely do…and…It is indispensable(=essential) for the government to…
In order to solve this problem, the government should…The most effective way to solve this problem might be to…
A number of actions should be taken…In theory…But in practice…
This issue should be taken care of (=tackled) step by step…Initially… Then…And probably most importantly…

Type 8: Questions & Answers

Following are IELTS Speaking Part 3 questions of this type that we’ve gathered through candidate feedback:

How could students considerably improve their English in a short span of time?

Actually, there is no miracle method, but students should definitely hit the books pretty hard, and study as much as possible. I guess the best thing would be for them to get immersed in an English speaking environment in order to practice on a daily basis.

How can individuals achieve a balance between work and leisure?

Well, initially people should definitely understand that they need time to rest and enjoy themselves. if they want to remain efficient when they do their work. Then , workers should arrange their schedule ahead of time in order to plan time for leisure. I really think it’s a matter of being both organized and able to say “no” to work. And probably most importantly, if their boss makes them work too much, employees should have the courage to face their supervisor to discuss the problem, or find a different job.

Type #9 – HOW MIGHT… ? (Possibilities in the future)

These are hypothetical IELTS Speaking Part 3 question types revolving around possibilities in the future.

Try not to use “maybe” too much. Instead, it’s better to say: “We might…People may… It’s likely that…”

Vocabulary to use:

Remember to use these modals (might, may, should, would, must) whenever you are talking about the future or hypothesizing. You can always start your sentences with:

I’m not quite sure yet…People might stop doing..
I haven’t made up my mind yet…It’s just an hypothesis, but people might…
It might happen….The government may decide to…
There’s no doubt that…We’ll definitely see…
It shouldn’t be a surprise if…It would be no surprise if…

Type 9: Questions & Answers

Let’s see some some sample form of questions that could be asked in IELTS Speaking Part 3:

How might shopping change in the future?

I’m not quite sure yet… as we don’t know what is going to happen in the future, but it might happen that more people will buy stuff on the Internet, because it offers more choices and better prices. In addition, it would be no surprise if people use their mobile phones more often, similar to how we use credit cards right now.

What effect might the Internet have on the future of newspapers and magazines?

Well, some people say that newspapers might disappear in the future. It might happen, since they’re being replaced by mobile phones and computers. Nowadays, fewer people read magazines and newspapers compared to the past. It should be no surprise if sales of newspapers will continue to drop in the next few years.

I hope you clearly understood different IELTS Speaking Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 Question types. To know more about the test, including Speaking Part 1 tips & strategies , check out our Speaking Section.

If you have any questions, please write them in the comments below or join the conversation on our Youtube Channel.

All The Best !

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