IELTS Speaking Topics – Personal Experiences

For Part 2 of the IELTS Speaking test you will be given a  cue card with a topic to talk about for 1 – 2 minutes. You will have 1 minute to prepare.  After you talk, be ready to answer 1 or 2 follow-up questions from the interviewer.

The following speaking cue cards/topics are centered around describing personal experiences. Before you go into the IELTS interview, ”jog” your memory about significant experiences that have meaning to you  so that you won’t waste too much time in trying to remember an experience to talk about.

Sample Topics:

Describe a special occasion for which you arrived late.

You should say:

  • what occasion you were late for
  • when it happened
  • how you felt

and explain why you were late.


Describe your first day in a new job or at college.

You should say:

  • what the job or course was
  • what you had expected before you started
  • what happened on the first day

and explain how you felt at the end of the day.


Describe how you behaved in a stressful situation.

You should say:

  • what the situation was
  • how you behaved
  • how other people might have behaved

and explain how you felt about your behavior afterwards.


Describe an important choice you had to make in your life.

You should say:

  • when you had to make this choice
  • what you had to choose between
  • whether you made a good choice

and explain how you felt when you were making this choice.


Describe an occasion when you couldn’t pay for something you wanted.

You should say:

  • what you wanted to pay for
  • why you weren’t able to pay
  • what you did

and explain how you felt about the situation.


Describe a party you particularly remember.

You should say:

  • why the party was held
  • who attended
  • what happened

and explain what made it memorable.


Describe a difficult skill you learned successfully.

You should say:

  • what skill you learned and how it is difficult
  • when and where you learned it
  • why you learned it

and explain what helped you to learn it successfully.


Describe a  job you have done.

You should say:

  • what the job involved
  • how you got the job
  • how long the job lasted

and explain how well you did the job.


Describe the most frightening thing you have ever done.

You should say:

  • when and where you did this
  • what it was you did
  • why you did this

and explain why it was so frightening.


Describe the most exciting thing you have ever done.

You should say:

  • when and where you did this
  • what it was you did
  • why you did it

and explain why it was so exciting.


Describe an idea you had for improving something at work or college.

You should say:

  • when and where you had your idea
  • what your idea was
  • who you told about your idea

and explain why you thought your idea would make an improvement.


Describe a competition (e.g. TV, college/work, or a sports competition) that you took part in.

You should say:

  • what kind of competition it was and how you found out about it
  • what you had to do
  • what the prizes were

and explain why you chose to take part in this competition.




I'm an English teacher specializing in IELTS preparation - especially writing and reading. If you have any questions, please ask! You can also sign up for weekly tips and lessons for IELTS and English!

Posted in IELTS Speaking, Speaking Topics Tagged with: ,
One comment on “IELTS Speaking Topics – Personal Experiences
  1. sara says:

    Nice post about IELTS Writing Topics it is very helpful for students

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