Here is the current list of confirmed IELTS Speaking 2021 topics (January – April) with model answers.

I am confident that the list is accurate so you can expect these topics in your coming IELTS speaking test.  

Unfortunately, this season is extremely similar to the late 2018 season which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but some awkward topics have come up once again.

Firstly, check the list below for the current topics being used in Part 1, 2 and 3, then select a topic from the list for possible questions and model answers.

IELTS topics Jan to Apr 2021

Topics > Questions > Model Answers.

1. Museums
  • How often do you visit museums?

Uhm, not as much as I’d like to… Actually, I can’t even remember the last time I went to a museum. To be perfectly honest with you, I’ve only been to museums a couple of times throughout my life.

  • What kind of museums do you like?

Honestly, I don’t have any particular kind that I like more than others, I guess I like any museum that takes my fancy, really. Because I’m keen on technology, I’d love to visit any museum related to science or technology.  

  • When you were younger, did you visit any museums?

Yeah… If my memory serves me well, I went on a school trip to a children’s museum which is called Eureka. It’s a pretty famous museum in the UK that most kids who are in primary school visit. I can’t remember much about it though- cuz’ it was such a long time ago…

  • Do you think the museums in your country are of good quality?

Uhm, I’m not sure, really. I guess it depends on how well the museums kept and what’s inside them. I’m sure the more well-known museums are fantastic, but the smaller, local ones might not be up to par with them.

  • Are there any famous or special museums in your country?

Yeah, there must be, but I haven’t got a clue what they’re called. I’m not exactly an expert on the subject, nor do I have much interest in history or museums in general. I’d say the one I mentioned before is pretty famous as most of the people I know who went to different schools visited it at some point in their lives. 

2. Farms & Farming
  • Have you ever visited a farm before?

Yeah, back when I was in primary school we went on a school trip to an animal farm. It was pretty cool actually, I got to feed the pigs and watch the cows, etc. I have quite a few fond memories of it.  

  • Have you ever worked on a farm?

Uhm, no. Unless you consider what I just mentioned as working on a farm, then yeah, sure. Because I’ve lived in major cities throughout my entire life, I haven’t had so many chances to…  

  • Do you like farms? Why / why not?

Yeah, I suppose so. Believe it or not, I absolutely love the smell of them. There’s just something about it that makes me feel alive, y’know? Plus, I reckon it’s important to understand where our food comes from and how it’s cultivated, I guess that’s something I’ve always been interested in. 

  • What kinds of farms are common in your country?

Uhm, I’m not sure, really. I guess it’d predominantly be livestock and crops here in the UK. We’ve got plenty of grasslands dedicated to livestock where sheep n’ cows can roam freely and graze… In terms of crops though, I honestly haven’t got a clue. 

  • Are there any farms near where you live?

No, non at all. Like I mentioned earlier, I’m a typical city boy. The nearest farm to my house is a fair drive away that I wouldn’t be willing to make. If there are any, then I haven’t discovered them yet. 

  • When you were younger, did you want to be a farmer? Why / why not?

Not that I remember, no. I always thought that one day I’d become an artist or a teacher, obviously the latter ended up coming into fruition as I’ve been tutoring the IELTS for the past 5-years. 

  • How important is farming?

I reckon it’s absolutely essential. Though most people consider medicine and education the most vital industries within society, I actually believe that farming is the backbone of all other industries. Agriculture should be seen in a different light, rather than unattractive, manual labour, people should realize how noble and crucial it really is. 

3. Happiness
  • What makes you happy?

Gosh, all kinds of things, really. Uhm, it’s quite tough to pinpoint exactly what makes me happy. It could be a special moment or a new gadget, even having some free time makes me happy, whether it’s a day off or just a short break from work… 

  • Are you a happy person?

Yeah, I’d say so. Well, at least for the most part, yeah. I always try to maintain a positive outlook on life, and I reckon it’s vital to do so, especially during difficult times like we’re all experiencing now thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

  • Do you stay happy all of the time?

No, of course not. I think it’s only natural to experience negative emotions throughout our lives. That being said, I’m much happier recently as I’ve been able to rebuild my website and gain new clients again. I’d say that I’m happier more often than not these days. 

  • Were you happier as a child than you are nowadays?

Hmm… It’s not easy to say. Looking back to when I was a kid, I used to have way more free time and I had less responsibility than I do now. Having said that, these days I have more freedom to do the things that make me happy, plus because I’m financially stable, I can get whatever I want, when I want, unlike when I was younger.

  • What made you happy recently?

Without a shadow of a doubt, rebuilding my website. Over the past 2 years, I put my heart and soul into developing my blog, writing model answers, offering free advice to students who might not be able to afford professional help whilst preparing for the IELTS. Now it’s back up and running, I couldn’t be happier. 

  • Do you think money can make you happy?

Wow, errr… yes and no. It can certainly give us the ability to do whatever makes us happy, though I don’t believe it can buy happiness. I’ve met a few people over the years who are financially sound but aren’t happy. I guess it really depends on what we do with the money and the way we look at it. 

  • How do you feel when you speak to a happy person?

Great. There’s just something about meeting someone who oozes positive energy, it’s infectious, right? I always feel better when the person I’m speaking to is smiling and giving off a really nice vibe. I reckon the conversation flows smoother, I feel more secure and generally just love it.  

4. Your home country
  • Will you live in your home country in the future?

Possibly, at some point, though I haven’t got any plans to right now. I’m quite happy with my life here in Vietnam, but then again, if something happens back home that I need to deal with, then I may need to move back temporarily. 

  • Which part of your country would you like to live in?

In the UK? Uhm, I’d have to say Manchester, simply because it’s where I was born and it’s what I know and love about the UK. All of my friends are there, my entire family is in and around the city, there’s no reason for me to want to live in any other part. 

  • Do you know your country’s history?

Yeah, quite a bit but not as much as some people. I needed to learn all about it at school, plus I chose to take up history as a subject in high school in order to learn more about it and avoid doing music classes. I reckon it was a good move. 

  • What interests you about your country’s history?

Hmm… I’d probably say the industrial revolution that happened between the 1700s and 1800s in the UK fascinates me the most. When I read about the ingenious contraptions British inventors came up with, and the utterly shocking quality of life the workers experienced, it really sparks my interest n’ gets my imagination running in overtime. 

  • Are most people proud to be from your country?

I’m not sure, I guess for the most part, yeah. The majority of people tend to have some sense of national pride, but I guess the same could be said for all countries, right? Even though we’ve had quite the embarrassment over Brexit and the EU, I still think we’re all proud to be British. 

  • What makes you proud of being from your country?

Hmm… I’ve never really given that much thought before. I can’t say the food because we mostly eat other nation’s cuisine, I can’t even say our culture because we’re such a diverse, multicultural society… Maybe the way we speak our language? It’s poetic and there are endless ways to express ourselves orally.   

  • How would you improve your home country?

Personally, I’d love to revert the tuition fees back to what they were when I was at university. I reckon that’d encourage more teens to consider furthering their education, and it’d provide more skilled workers to fill up our nation’s workforce. Though I understand why tuition fees were increased, I genuinely believe everyone would benefit from it. 

5. Names / Your name
  • Do you like your name?

Sure, it’s got a nice ring to it. 

  • Does your name have any special meaning?

Uhm… It might have, though I’m not aware of it. As far as I know, I’m named after a saint. 

  • How popular is your name in your country?

It’s a typically British name, for sure. James, Jamie, Jim and Jay are pretty common among people my age. Actually, so many of my mates have the same name as me, it can get quite confusing at times so we typically alter the name, hence, I’m known as Jim rather than James. 

  • Is it easy for you to remember other people’s name?

Yeah, I think so. Every now and then I may mistake someone’s name for someone else’s but nine times out of ten I can. Whenever I meet a new face, I try to repeat their name back to them at least 3 times during the encounter, that way it sticks with me. 

  • Are there any special or unique names in your country?

Sure, they’re usually names of Saints or important figures throughout history though. Names like Michael and Jacob for boys, and names like Elizabeth and Rose for girls. There are probably loads more but I can’t think of them so easily off the top of my head. 

  • Do you want to change your name in the future?

No, no. I’m quite happy with Jim. I couldn’t imagine ever going by another name. 

  • How do you feel when someone doesn’t remember your name?

Hmm… If it’s someone who I’ve spent a fair amount of time with, then pretty upset. Although, if it’s just someone I’ve met once or twice before, there’s no harm done, really. We’re all human after all so mistakes happen.

6. Scenery / Views
  • Can you see any nice scenery from your home?

Luckily, yeah. I’m fortunate enough to live in a really nice part of town so I have a decent view of my area. It’s nothing special, but compared to other properties I’ve lived in here in Hanoi, it’s absolutely wonderful. 

  • Which room in your home has the best view?

My bedroom, for sure. I can look out over the street and surrounding area which might not sound great, but I live in a quiet neighbourhood with rather unique looking houses. Plus there are plenty of trees outside on the street which is quite special in Hanoi. 

  • How often do you look out of the windows at home?

Hmm… Quite frequently, I guess. I usually spend 15-20 minutes each morning by the window to enjoy my morning coffee. There’s just something about watching the world from within a window frame that feels great, y’know?

  • Do you think it’s important to live in a home with nice views?

For me personally, no. I think it’s vital to consider everything about a property before I rent or buy it. Some things I consider before the views are nearby amenities and its location. A decent view is simply an added bonus, right? But, if the price is right and it ticks all the right boxes, sure. 

  • Do you prefer to live somewhere affordable or with nice views?

Well, if I had to choose between them, I’d probably pick affordability over the scenery. Though it’d be great to live somewhere with a view, I always consider the costs beforehand. 

  • Where is the best scenery in your area?

There’s a great spot nearby where I live along ‘The Red River’. You can chill out at one of the cafes by it and look out over the entire city, honestly, it stretches as far as the eye can see. In terms of my area, it’s definitely got the best view. 

  •  Are homes with some nice scenery around them expensive in your country?

Of course, homes, in general, are expensive in the UK. Naturally, if the surrounding area is beautiful, it’ll add value to the property. I’m sure the same could be said about anywhere. Don’t get me wrong, that’s not to say houses with unremarkable views are cheaper, take South London for example. A single terrace house can sell for a few million pounds and the view isn’t exactly something to write home about. 

7. Resting
  • How often do you rest during the daytime?

Hmm… I barely get any chances to rest throughout the day, though whilst I’m working, I do get two 30-minute breaks which I feel is just about enough for me.  

  • Do you take a nap when you rest?

No, definitely not. There’s simply not enough time to do so, I suppose it’s just something I’ve never got into the habit of doing on my breaks

  • Even at work?

Especially at work.

  • What do you usually do when you rest or take a break at work?

Hmm… Well, because I need to be really careful with my time during breaks, I typically just whip up something light to eat for lunch. I can put together a decent egg salad within a few minutes, after eating I just try to stretch my legs as much as possible then crack on with more work.

  • How do you feel after taking a rest?

Fantastic, but sometimes it’s difficult to get back into the swing of things after a nice meal n’ a quick walk around the block. I try to recharge as much as possible whenever I get a few moments to rest. 

  • Do you think it’s important to rest during the daytime?

Yeah, for sure. I reckon it’s absolutely essential for me to take a few minutes out to sit back & take it easy a few times each day, otherwise, I may run out of steam before my day is over. Most of my students can tell straight away if I’m tired or not, so it’s key that I stay on top of my game throughout the day. 

  • Is it common to nap during the daytime in your country?

In the UK? No, not at all. I can’t speak for everyone, but I’ve never heard of anyone having a quick siesta during the day, it’s just not something we normally do. That being said, here in Vietnam, almost everyone will take an hour or so to catch a bit of shuteye during the day time- it’s quite common.

8. Waking up early
  • How often do you wake up early?

Uhm, each and every single day of the week, but over the weekend, hardly ever, I try to get a few hours extra on Saturday and Sunday. 

  • How do you feel about that?

Great. I think it’s the best way to live, y’know? The way I see it, if I wake up 3 or so hours before I start work, I get 3+ hours extra time to do whatever I want with. Usually, I’m too tired to do much after work, so those extra hours really help me stay productive.  

  • Do you need to use an alarm clock to wake up early?

Not anymore, no. My body clock is pretty reliable now. For some reason, I just naturally wake up at the same time each day, it’s quite spooky actually, but I suppose it’s a good thing.

  • Have you ever missed your alarm clock?

Yeah, that’s happened a number of times, mostly whilst I was attending university. I was a rather lazy, typical student back then- I’d go to bed late and wake up when it was necessary. Once I even missed a lecture because I hit the snooze button on my alarm. 

  • Do you wake up early on weekends? Why / why not?

Not usually, no. I try to get a few hours extra sleep over the weekends as I mentioned before. I consider it as a little treat at the end of each week, especially during any national holidays.

  • What do you do in the early morning?

I have quite an odd habit, actually. Each morning I start my day off with a cold shower, then I’ll clean my bathroom before making breakfast. Once I’ve showered n’ eaten, I’ll brew some green tea and check the news. After that, I tend to have around 2-hours before I start work so I’ll either read or work on my blog. 

  • Do you wake up earlier nowadays than you did when you were younger?

Definitely, haha. Looking back to when I was a kid, I used to sleep as much as possible… That’s to say, as much as I could before my mum would come and kick me out of bed. Having said that, these days I take pride in my sleeping habits more and try to be more productive. 

9. TV / TV programs (shows)
  • Do you watch TV? Why / why not?

Yeah, but not on the TV. I just stream shows online these days rather than tuning in on the TV.

  • What is your favourite program/show?

I have a few, though I absolutely adore The Sopranos. It was one of the first HBO programs I ever saw, and even to this day, I still think it’s the best bit of television programming I’ve ever seen. I can’t think of a single fault with it, but then again, there are so many great shows that deserve a shoutout. 

  • How often do you watch TV?

Sadly, not as much as I’d like to. I’d say maybe once or twice per week if I had to put a finger on it. After I finish work, I cook dinner, work on my business or go out with my wife. There’s just not enough time in a day to watch it regularly.  

  • Did you watch more TV as a child than you do now?

No, I wouldn’t say so. Looking back to when I was a kid, I spent most of my time outdoors with my friends and cousins, plus, we didn’t even have a TV at home because my dad didn’t agree with them. That being said, these days I tend to use TV shows as a form of escapism. It’s not that I’m lazier now than I used to be, but it’s just come with age, y’know? 

  • When you were younger, did you want to be on TV?

Not that I remember, no. I always thought that one day I’d become an artist or a teacher, obviously the latter ended up coming into fruition as I’ve been tutoring the IELTS for the past 5-years. (Note, this is the same answer I gave in the topic about ‘farming’)

  • Are there any famous TV shows in your country?

Yeah, loads. Us Brits are well-known for enjoying a good bit of telly. There were a bunch of shows back in the day that took the UK by storm, like: “Brass Eye”, “Only fools and horses” and “The vicar of Dibley” to name a few. In recent years though, I haven’t got a clue.

  • Do you prefer to watch TV shows or movies?

Hmm… If I had to choose between them, I’d probably pick TV Shows. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with movies, but I just prefer TV shows because I can pick them up n’ put them down when I please, whereas, with movies, I need to sit down for a while longer.

10. Trees
  • Are there many trees near where you live?

Yeah, I’m fortunate enough to have quite a bit of greenery dotted around my area, which is quite lucky considering I live in the capital city.

  • Do you want to live somewhere near lots of trees?

Uhm, I haven’t thought about it, actually. I suppose it’d be great to live by more, but that isn’t really something I’ve given much thought to before. 

  • How often do you visit forests?

Gosh, not as much as I’d like to… Actually, I can’t even remember the last time I went to one. To be perfectly honest with you, I’ve only been to forests a couple of times throughout my life. (Note, this is the exact same answer to “How often do you visit museums?”)

  • Do you think trees are important in your city/town?

Yeah, most definitely, they’re absolutely essential to anywhere with lots of people n’ traffic, right? They’re not just nice to look at, they help clean the air we breathe, too. Honestly, I’d love to see more trees planted around Hanoi, that’d definitely benefit everyone.  

  • Are there any special or unique trees in your country?

Hmm, there must be, but I haven’t got a clue what they’re called. I’m not exactly an expert on the subject, nor do I have much interest in trees or nature in general. I don’t really have enough knowledge on the matter to answer that.  (Note, this is almost the exact same answer to “Are there any famous or special museums in your country?”)

  • When you were younger, did you climb trees?

Yeah, I reckon most kids who grew up in the late 80s n’ early 90s did, even though my parents told me not to, I used to love climbing higher than my mates could. We even built a den (treehouse) in a giant oak tree which was next to the stream that ran through my hometown, I must’ve spent hours chilling up there whilst reading comics with my friends. 

  • Have you ever planted a tree?

Unfortunately, no. I’d love to do my bit for the environment, but I’ve never gone out of my way to plant one. I know it’s something we should all do, yet I haven’t thus far. 

11. New year
  • How do you celebrate the new year?

Well, I usually have a small gathering with some mates at my friend Mark’s home. He has a sizeable garden which is perfect for a do-it-yourself firework display, I usually bring a few rockets and snacks with me in order to help cover the costs. We’ll just socialize for most of the evening, till the hand strikes midnight, then we let some fireworks off.   

  • How do people traditionally celebrate the new year in your country?

In the UK, it’s kinda changed in recent years… There used to be more people celebrating at home with fireworks and social gatherings, but these days, it seems like the majority of people want to go out to town or stay at home. 

  • What did you do on New Year’s eve?

This year, I went to see the firework display here in Hanoi. I have to say, it was absolutely spectacular! The atmosphere was electric, everyone I met seemed to be carefree, plus, after the year we’ve had, it was such a great way to bring about 2021. 

  • Do you think the new year is a new beginning?

Uhm, I do and I don’t, really. Personally, I don’t do any new year resolutions, nor do I publicly announce any plans for the year like so many do. That being said, I do try to spend a fair bit of time reflecting on the previous year to see how far I’ve come. 

  • Did you celebrate the new year when you were a child?

Yeah, some of my fondest childhood memories are of New Year’s Eve. Every year, my father would take us to buy fireworks, firewood and apples. We’d rush home, make ‘toffee apples’, start a bonfire, and wait to welcome the new year. 

  • Have new year celebrations changed in your country?

I think so, yeah. Back in the day, there were more fireworks being set off in people’s gardens, yet these days, I hardly see it happen anymore. I’m not sure exactly why though because it’s all part of the fun, right?

  • Do you have any special plans for next year?

Ideally, once the pandemic is over I’d like to go back to the UK to celebrate the New Year with my family again. I managed to do so 3 years back, but haven’t since so I think it’d be a great way to welcome 2022. 

12. Decorations
  • Do you like how your home is decorated?

Sure. It’s contemporary and quite minimal. I take great pride in my home’s appearance, though some people have said it doesn’t feel so homely, to me it’s perfect. 

  • How often do you redecorate your home?

Never, I don’t think my landlord would allow me to repaint or replace the furniture that came with the apartment. In terms of decorations, I have a few new plants and banzai trees, some paintings that I put up, but that’s about it, really.  

  • Are there any special or unique decorations in your home?

None that I can think of, no. Unless you consider a banzai tree as special, actually, I guess for back home’s standards, a banzai tree is remarkable, but here it’s totally normal. 

  • Which room in your home is decorated better than the others?

I’d have to say my bedroom. There’s nothing wrong with the other rooms in my home, but my room has the most greenery dotted around, plus it’s the only room with noticeable decorations like paintings n’ flowers. 

  • Do you prefer to decorate your home or employ someone to do it?

Well, I’m really into anything DIY so I’d have to say doing it myself. The same can be said about other things, too. Like, a few weeks ago, I bought a new shoe rack which needed to be assembled by hand. I absolutely loved putting it together and following the instructions provided. 

13. Reading
  • Do you like reading?

I do, yeah. Depending on my mood, I actually prefer to read than watch.

  • How often do you read?

Uhm, it’s quite tough to say, actually. I haven’t picked up a new book for a while now, but I’m constantly reading the news online. I reckon I used to read way more than I do these days because the kind of books I read aren’t readily available here in Vietnam, it’s rather difficult to get my hands on them.

  • Do you prefer reading at home or in other places?

Well, if I had to choose between them, I’d definitely pick at home. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with taking a book out into the world, but I just prefer to stay at home and read because there are fewer distractions. I feel like my mind is more at ease at home, plus, I find it easier to become immersed in the test. 

  • What is your favourite book?

This might sound odd, but I absolutely adored the book I read a number of years ago about the study known as “NLP”. This was probably the most informative, life-changing book I’ve ever read. It totally changed the way I think throughout my daily life. 

  • Are there any famous authors in your country?

Yeah, plenty. Joanne Rowling is, of course, the first that comes to mind. She’s better known by her pen name J.K Rowling, but I know her not just as an author, but a philanthropist, too. I’d say she is one of the most successful authors of all time in the UK. 

  • Which book would you recommend me to read next?

If you haven’t already, then I’d strongly recommend “NLP, the new meta”. It’s all about being more conscious of the things we think about in certain situations and our daily lives in general. Plus, it’s related to the language we use in our own internal dialogue with ourselves. I believe more people should be careful about what they say to themselves. 

  • Did you read books when you were younger?

To be perfectly honest with you, no. I was too busy playing outside with my friends back then to read, though I probably should’ve read more, I preferred to play outside than anything else. 

14. Singing
  • Are you good at singing?

I think so, even though others don’t. Whenever I hear any track by Queen, I can’t help but sing along, y’know? 

  • Do you want to take any singing classes in the future?

Right now, I’ve got no plans to try any. It’s simply something I have no interest in doing, but I may do if any pop up which takes my fancy. 

  • When you listen to music, do you sing along with the song?

Embarrassingly, I do, loudly, too. For some reason or another, I think I can sing exactly like Freddy Mercury whenever I listen to Queen, how alike is another story, but in my mind, it sounds great. 

  • Do you know anyone who is very good at singing?

I may do without knowing that they sing, but off the top of my head, I can’t think of anyone right now who has a decent set of pipes on them. 

  • Did your parents sing songs to you when you were a child?

That’s a funny story, actually. Whenever my dad would clean the house or cook, I can still clearly recall him singing along to tunes by AC/DC and Queen… Like father like son, I guess. 

  • Are there any famous singers in your country that are famous in other countries?

Yeah, too many to mention right now, actually. The UK has always had a booming music scene on an international scale. I won’t say any names now because I’ll probably get carried away, but I’m confident you’ve heard of tons of English artists. 

  • What is your favourite song to sing?

Gosh… Believe it or not, that’s the most challenging question you’ve asked me so far… Uhm… I’d have to say a tune by Led Zeppelin which is called Over the hills and far away. There’s just something about it that makes me sing along every time I play it. 

15. Activities
  • What activities do you usually do?

Hmm, all sorts, really. I don’t do much during the week, but over the weekend there are a few things I absolutely love to do. During the week, cooking and cleaning, over the weekends, road trips and hanging out to name a few.

  • Do you do any activities with your family?

Yeah, mostly eating though. I don’t get to see my family as much as I’d like to, so whenever we do get a chance to do anything, we’ll just cook a lovely meal together and enjoy it.

  • Do you prefer to do activities alone or with others?

I don’t think it’s as black and white as that, really. For me, it depends on what I’m doing and my mood on the day. Due to the kind of work I do, I’m around others all day so it’s nice to do something alone sometimes. Whether I prefer it or not isn’t something I can state right now.

  • What is your favourite activity?

Well, I absolutely adore going on road trips. I tend to do a short tour once or twice per month on my motorbike with a few bike enthusiasts I’ve met over the years here in Vietnam. It’s a great way to get out of the city, soak up the sights and of course, for me to practice my second language.

  • What activities do you do during the weekend?

Most weekends, I’ll start by tidying my apartment, then either work on my website or hang out with some mates. I tend to stay at home more than I go out recently due to the pandemic.

  • Did you do any activities at school?

Yeah, quite a few, actually. Back when I was in primary school, I used to go swimming every week with my class, on top of that, we had a few school trips, too. I can’t recall any in high school though, I think it’s because we were all so busy preparing for college at that time. 

  • Are there any unique or special activities in your country?

For sure, there are plenty of things to do in the UK, even some that you can’t do anywhere else in the world. Some of the more well-known ones are visiting Buckingham Palace and seeing other sights around London. Up in the north, you could visit the Old Trafford stadium and watch my home team play football. 

16. Math / Numbers
  • Are you good at math?

Yeah, I’m alright at it even though I wasn’t exactly a whiz-kid in math classes. That said, it’s a skill I hardly ever use these days. 

  • How difficult were math classes at school?

Hmm… They were relatively challenging, I guess. I used to be much better at English and Science than I ever was in Math. Yet I still I managed to scrape a grade B in my GCSEs.

  • Do you use a calculator to solve math problems?

Always, haha. I guess it’s because I’m either too lazy to work out sums in my head, or I just doubt my own ability so I wanna’ make sure I get it right the first time. 

  • What do you use math for nowadays?

Not much, really. I only really use it to tally up my daily expenses VS earnings. My parents emphasized the importance of money management from an early age, and the habit of calculating all of my expenses has kinda’ stuck with me, y’know? 

  • Are there any lucky or unlucky numbers in your culture?

Yeah. I reckon there are loads of people who associate the number 13 with their superstitions, I’m not sure why though as I’ve never looked into it before. Personally, I don’t believe any numbers hold any significance in my life. 

  • Can you remember your own phone number?

That’s a funny question, do you actually want to know it or? Ahhh, embarrassingly, no. Whenever I need to provide my cell, I always need to check my phone to find it out, simply because I’ve switched numbers so many times since I’ve lived in Vietnam, it’s hard to keep track of ’em. 

  • How often do you need to remember numbers?

Luckily, not so much. In my line of work, remembering numbers is totally unnecessary, though I do need to associate numbers with certain uses of the English language in order to assess my students accurately. 

Reused Part 1 topics & Possible questions

1. Age / Getting older
  • Are you happy with your current age?

Uhm… Yeah, I guess so. Needless to say, I’d love to be a tad bit younger, but there’s nothing wrong with being in my mid-30s. 

  • How do you feel about getting older?

To be perfectly honest with you, it scares the living daylights out of me… Even though I know it’s an inevitable fact of life, I can’t help but worry about being in my 40s before I know it.  

  • What worries you the most about being old?

Hmm, my health, for sure. During my 20s, I didn’t exactly take good care of myself, I just hope that doesn’t come back to haunt me in my later life. That being said, I’ve started looking after myself much better these days and I’m watching what I eat more n’ more. 

  • What is the most important stage of your life so far?

It’s quite tough to pinpoint an exact stage, actually. Every period from childhood to now has had its own significant moments n’ milestones, but if I were to say which, then I’d have to go with my college days. That’s when I really found myself along with my passion for languages.  

  • Where do you see yourself in 5-years from now?

Ha, that’s a question I quite frequently ask myself. My wife and I are planning to start our own family next year, we’ve worked hard to get ourselves in a position to do so, so hopefully, everything will go according to plan. In terms of my career, I’m banking on becoming an IELTS examiner next year, too. 

  • At what age do you think people enjoy their life the most?

I reckon that’s subjective really, isn’t it? I imagine most people have the time of their lives in school or early childhood, but some might prefer being older and having more freedom to do the things they love with the people they cherish. 

2. Picnics
  • How often do you go for a picnic?

Hmm… Not as much as I’d like to, really. Even though I absolutely love the great outdoors, I just don’t get many chances to go for one. 

  • What kind of food do you eat on picnics?

Typically sandwiches and cakes, I suppose. As you might already know, we Brits love a good ham & cheese sandwich, in or outdoors. We probably eat other kinds of snacks too, but nothing too heavy I imagine. 

  • Do you think picnic food can be as good as home cooking?

I reckon so, yeah. Though based on the picnics I’ve been on, there were hardly any ‘cooked meals’ at all. That being said, I recently watched TV-chef Gordon Ramsay whip up an assortment of picnic-friendly snacks… Needless to say, what he made was better than anything I’ve ever cooked at home 😛 

  • Are picnics popular in your country?

I’d say so, yeah. Whenever I walk by or through a park, I normally see people enjoying a quick bite to eat together on the grass. It’s such a lovely way to spend a summer’s afternoon with family or friends, so I’d say most people fancy it. 

  • Is there anywhere nearby where you live to have a picnic?

Unfortunately, no. Due to living in a pretty busy part of town, there aren’t any parks or reserves where I can enjoy one. I’d need to travel a fair bit in order to go to Thong Nhat or Lenin park, which isn’t something I’ve done in the 5-years I’ve lived here in Hanoi.  

  • When was the most recent time you went for a picnic?

Gosh, to be perfectly honest with you, I haven’t got a clue when it was. It must’ve been during my teen years at some point, or even further still- when I was a kid. Having said that, I went camping recently and of course, we cooked up a few things to munch on. 

3. Weekends
  • What do you like to do over the weekend?

Gosh, all sorts, really. I’m part of the BMW adventure team here in Hanoi, so we usually go for a weekend trip once or twice per month. On a typical weekend, I tend to either chill at home to work on my website or I’ll go see some mates, but that doesn’t happen so much nowadays thanks to the pandemic. 

  • Did you do anything special last weekend?

No, not really. I managed to write a bunch of model answers like this one and spent some time with my wife tidying up our home. I for one, don’t consider that special whatsoever. 

  • Do you have any plans for a weekend soon?

I do actually, yeah. I’ll be riding up to ‘Ho Ba Be’ with my team 2-weeks from now, it’s a pretty long ride but the scenery is utterly mindblowing! I’ve done this ride a few times before, and for me, it never dulls. 

  • How do you feel when you need to work/study over the weekend?

Ha, like most people, I feel kinda down about it. Due to the pandemic affecting so many people nowadays, the demand for online IELTS classes is through the roof right now. Though I’m not proud to admit that weekends tend to be my busiest days for work, I always try my best to suck it up and do what I must. 

  • Do you prefer to go out or stay at home during the weekend?

Hmm, it totally depends on my mood and plans, really. If I have to choose between them, then I’d probably pick going out. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with a quiet weekend at home, actually, I love it. But I just prefer having something to look forward to at the weekend, I guess it just helps me to stay motivated throughout the week. 

  • What would you recommend for me to do over the weekend in your hometown?

In Manchester? Uhm… Absolutely anything & everything, really. There’s so much to do that you probably wouldn’t be able to fit it all into a weekend. You could visit the Old Trafford stadium, Affleck’s Palace, the Northern Quarter, take the tram down to Media City where I used to work, or even just chill out in any of the amazing bars n’ restaurants throughout the city. 

4. Text messages
  • How often do you send and receive text messages?

Embarrassingly enough, I’m constantly texting people all day every day. That being said, whenever I’m at work or with others, I’ll never check my phone or even touch it. I reckon it’s dead rude to do so.

  • Have you ever received a confusing text?

Plenty, yeah. Mostly from my bank though as they don’t write them by using Vietnamese tones whenever they send me an SMS update, from what I’ve heard, it’s also difficult for native Vietnamese speakers to understand them.

  • Do you prefer texting or calling your friends?

Hmm… If I had to choose between them, I’d probably pick texting. Don’t get me wrong, calling mates can be great at times, but I just don’t want to disturb them as most people I know are busy 24/7. I reckon sending a text is a safer bet, that way they can read it when they’re free and reply when they have time.

  • Do you use emojis (emoticons)?

Always, haha. They’re so much fun to use, right? To be perfectly honest with you, they’ve actually become a part of my vocabulary 😛

  • Which is your favourite emoji to use in text messages?

It’s gotta be the red love heart one. I reckon it conveys a really friendly tone in my messages which may be lost without it, sometimes I even use it as a response instead of writing ‘yeah’ or ‘okay.

  • Could you live without texting others?

Probably, but I wouldn’t want to. I’ve gone a few weeks without my phone before when I did a ‘device detox’, but the benefits of being able to send messages to mates and family is something I really don’t wanna miss out on.

  • How do you feel when someone doesn’t reply to your text?

Hmm… It doesn’t really bother me as long as they reply eventually. But then again, I wouldn’t want to wait 3 or 4 days to know if someone will meet up over the weekend, I’d find that pretty rude, y’know? For the most part, I really don’t mind whatsoever. 

5. Recycling
  • Do you recycle at home?

Regrettably, no, not right now. Here in Hanoi, it’s quite difficult to do so, which for me, is rather upsetting. Being from the UK, we highly regard recycling as doing our bit to protect the environment so being unable to doesn’t sit well with me. Having said that, I do sort through my rubbish in order to separate plastics/metals/aluminium cans n’ hand them over to an old lady who collects them. 

  • How important is recycling for you?

Yeah, for me it’s absolutely essential. Even though there aren’t any quick fixes to burning so many fossil fuels, nor are there any feasible alternative energy sources right now, I genuinely feel like recycling is something we can all chip in and make a difference to our carbon footprint. 

  • Do enough people recycle their waste in your country?

In the UK? Absolutely. Whether or not you live in a major city or a rural area, all of our waste is separated into colour-coded bins and collected regularly. It’s something we’ve done for a number of years now, it’s almost become second nature for most people to do it, too. Sadly, here in Vietnam, it’s another story entirely. 

  • Do more people recycle nowadays than they did in the past?

Yeah, looking back to when I was just a young kid, we never used to appreciate where our plastics came from or how dangerous aluminium is to the environment, whereas these days, every household must separate their rubbish into colour-coded bins which are checked regularly by the council. That’s all thanks to the legislation our government passed a number of years ago. 

  • When you were younger, did you recycle your waste at home?

Not that I recall, 30-something years ago people weren’t so aware of what or how to do so. Those who were found it a logistical nightmare to manually transport their waste to a recycling plant, plus there weren’t so many either, even in major cities or larger towns.

  • Is it easy to recycle waste in your country?

Yeah, it’s unbelievably simple to. Every home has 4 separate wheelie bins provided by the council which are collected weekly. The black bin is for non-recyclables, the blue one is for papers and cardboard, the grey one is for plastics, glass and aluminium, and the brown one is for general garden waste like cut grass or dead flowers, etc. 

6. Sports
  • Do you like sports?
  • Do you play any sports?
  • Which sports are popular in your country?
  • When you were younger, did you play sports?
  • Do you have any plans to try a new sport?
  • Are there any famous sportsmen or sportswomen in your country?
7. Lists
  • How often do you make lists?
  • What kind of lists do you make?
  • Can you remember what groceries to buy without making a list?
  • Do you prefer to write a list on paper or make a list on your phone?
  • At work, do you need to make any lists?
  • Do you have a bucket list?
8. Handwriting
  • Do you think your handwriting is easy to read?
  • What do others say about your handwriting?
  • Has your style of handwriting ever changed?
  • How often do you write?
  • Was your handwriting good at school?
  • How difficult was it for you to learn how to write?
9. Concentration
  • How difficult is it for you to concentrate for a long time?
  • Do you prefer to listen to music or not when you need to concentrate?
  • What kinds of things distract you when you need to concentrate?
  • Do you need to concentrate at work?
  • Is your concentration better now than it was when you were younger?
  • What do you do to help you concentrate?
10. Changes
  • How do you feel when things change? 
  • What has been the biggest change in your life?
  • Have you changed much since you were younger? 
  • Are those changes positive?
  • Do you want to change anything about your life?
  • Do you think changes are natural?
11. Furniture
  • Does your home have a lot of furniture?
  • What is your favourite piece of furniture at home?
  • Are there any unique or specials kinds of furniture in your country?
  • Do you think wooden furniture is better than plastic furniture?
  • Have you ever received furniture as a gift?
  • Do you want to change the furniture in your home?
12. Your area (the area you live in)
  • Are you happy with the area you live in?
  • What do you like the most about the area you live in?
  • Would you recommend others to live in your area?
  • Are there any services or facilities nearby you?
  • Do you want to change the area you live in?
  • If you could, what would you change about your area?

And of course, the core topics

  1. Work 
  2. Study
  3. Hometown
  4. Accommodation

IELTS Speaking 2021 topics January – April, Part 2 topics & cue cards: New topics

Storytelling topics

1. Describe a time when you needed to use your imagination.
  • When it happened
  • Where you were
  • What you imagined
  • And explain why you needed to use your imagination
2. Describe an occasion when you needed to tell your friend the truth.
  • When it happened
  • Who you told the truth to
  • What you told him/her
  • And explain how he/she reacted to it
3. Describe a time when you made a promise to someone you know.
  • Who you made a promise to
  • What you promised
  • Why you made it
  • And explain how you felt about it
4. Describe a time when you were near to a wild animal.
  • When it happened
  • Where you were
  • What you were doing
  • And explain how you felt about being close to a wild animal
5. Describe an occasion when you needed to wait in a queue for a long time.
  • When it happened
  • Where you were
  • Why you waited for a long time
  • And explain how you felt about it
6. Describe a time when you felt bored.
  • When it happened
  • Where you were
  • What you were doing
  • And explain why you felt bored
7. Describe a time when your computer broke or had a problem.
  • When it happened
  • What you were doing with the computer
  • How you fixed it
  • And explain how this affected you
8. Describe a time when you encouraged someone to do something that they didn’t want to do.
  • When it happened
  • Who you encouraged
  • What you encouraged them to do
  • And explain what the result was
9. Describe a time when you gave advice to others.
  • When it happened
  • Who you gave advice to
  • What advice you gave
  • And explain how your advice affected this person

Presentation topics

1. Describe someone’s home you visited that you wouldn’t want to live in.
  • Who you visited
  • Where their home is
  • How the home looked
  • And explain why you wouldn’t want to live in it
2. Describe a job which you would like to have in the future.
  • What job it is
  • What you know about it
  • Who currently does this job
  • And explain why you would like to have this job
3. Describe a part of your city or town that you enjoy spending time in.
  • Where it is
  • What you normally do there
  • How far away it is from your home
  • And explain why you enjoy spending time there
4. Describe your favourite kind of weather.
  • What kind of weather it is
  • Where you go during the weather
  • What you normally do during this weather
  • And explain why this kind of weather is your favourite
5. Describe an interesting conversation you had.

Detail: Describe an interesting conversation you had.

  • Who you spoke to
  • When it happened
  • What you spoke about
  • And explain why you think it was an interesting conversation
6. Describe something important that your family has owned for a long time.
  • What it is
  • When your family first got it
  • How long your family has had it for
  • And explain why your family has owned it for a long time
7. Describe something you ate for the first time.
  • When you ate it
  • Where you were
  • What you ate
  • And explain how you felt about it
8. Describe something you bought which you were happy with.
  • What you bought
  • Where you bought it from
  • How expensive it was 
  • And explain why you were happy with it 
9. Describe a trip or journey you occasionally do which you don’t like.
  • How often you do it
  • Where you go to and from
  • Why you occasionally do it
  • And explain what you don’t like about it 
10. Describe a toy from your childhood which you liked.

Detail: Describe a toy from your childhood which you liked.

  • Which toy it was
  • Who gave it to you
  • When you got it
  • And explain why you liked it
11. Describe a live game of sports that you have seen.
  • Which game it was
  • When you watched it
  • Where you were
  • And explain how you felt about it
12. Describe a skill that you think you could teach others.
  • What skill it is
  • How you learned it
  • Who you would teach it to
  • And explain why you think you could teach it to others
13. Describe a polite person you know.
  • Who this person is
  • What they do
  • How you know them
  • And explain why you think they are polite
14. Describe a person who you think wears interesting or unusual clothes.
  • Who this person is
  • What they do
  • What kind of clothes they wear
  • And explain why you think they wear interesting or unusual clothes
15. Describe a famous person you are interested in.
  • Who this person is
  • How you know of them
  • What they are famous for
  • And explain why you are interested in them

Reused Part 2 topics: 

(storytelling topics)

  1. Describe a time when you needed to work in a team or group.
  2. Describe a time when you changed your opinion.
  3. Describe a time when you received good news. 
  4. Describe a time when you saw children behave badly in public. 
  5. Describe an occasion when you forgot something important. 
  6. Describe an event you experienced which you didn’t like the music. 
  7. Describe an occasion when you went somewhere and got lost. 
  8. Describe an occasion when you first spoke to someone in a foreign language. 

(Presentation topics)

  1. Describe a photograph of you that you like.
  2. Describe an ambition you have had for a long time.
  3. Describe a tradition in your country.
  4. Describe an expensive activity that you enjoy doing occasionally.
  5. Describe a conversation topic that you were not interested in. 
  6. Describe a prize that you have received.
  7. Describe an area of science that you are interested in. 
  8. Describe a book you read which was useful.
  9. Describe a line or a few words from a poem or song that you remember well. 
  10. Describe a movie that made you laugh. 
  11. Describe an energetic person you know.
  12. Describe an intelligent person you know. 
  13. Describe a person who often helps others. 
  14. Describe a person who you think is very open with others. 
  15. Describe a family (not your own) which you are happy to know.  

One thought on “IELTS Speaking 2021 topics January – April

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