Common IELTS Speaking and Writing Task 2 Topics


Common IELTS Speaking and Writing Task 2 Topics

Here at, we believe the best way to score highly at the speaking and writing tasks of IELTS is to develop a bank of answers for commonly asked questions. Some of these topics come up more often in the speaking; others in the writing. However, the knowledge for both is the same. Here is a list of common topics from 2012,2013,and 2014. We have omitted topics which you will see in Cambridge books 1-3 as they are no longer asked today.

1. Advertising: your favourite advert. An advert you remember as a child. An advert that influenced you to buy something. The morality of advertising, particularly in relation to children.

2. Customs and culture: the decline of traditional customs. Are cultures becoming more alike? The impact of computers/technology on culture; the impact of tourism on host countries.

3. Crime: much less common now but still asked. Views on crime and punishment. Drug use.

4. Education: probably the most common topic in Bangkok in 2013. Areas to cover include: the role of the teacher in educating the child. The topics children should study in schools. What is the role of schools/university: to educate, help business or create the best society possible. The use of technology in education. Co-education versus single sex education. Setting according to ability versus mixed ability classes.

5. Environment: what can be done to lessen environmental damage.  People’s role and government’s role.

6. Family: more common in speaking and General IELTS. Care for the elderly. The size of the family.

7. Gender: less common now than in the past, questions on gender and education still common in speaking and writing.

8. Globalisation: usually looked at from the point of view of the developing nation: how does tourism affect developing countries. Immigration is commonly asked too.

9. Government: this can come in many different forms – when talking about schools, the environment, charities, health, advertising. The question is really always the same: What role should the state play in society. This is quite tough to answer at first but once you grasp it you will pray you are asked a government question.

10. Health: role of government in promoting health: state health systems, private healthcare. How to reduce the use of alcohol.

11. Housing/buildings: Do you live in a house or apartment. Name a building you like. Should governments build more housing?

12. Science: a very broad topic admittedly but one that is easy to learn: what is science’s role in society. Should we encourage more science/maths in schools? Why has science declined as a subject at university level? The humanities versus science.

13. Shopping: favourite shops and shopping malls. Materialistic society.

14. Sport: sports you have played. The state of professional sport. The role of sport in society.

15. Technology: the internet and mobile phones: how have they changed communication?  Describe a piece of technology you own.

16. Tourism: holidays you have been on; positives and negatives of tourism, for the individual tourist, and for the host country.

17. Transport: traffic. The use of public transport.

18. Urbanisation/city life: do you live in a city. Why are cities more popular with young people? City life is more stressful than life in small towns and villages – discuss.

19. Water: water supply – should government regulate the supply of water.

20. Work: work/life balance; work for young people; globalisation and the workplace.

Even though this is a long list – and we don’t pretend we have covered everything – you should notice some common themes. Put in the time and you will develop a bank of knowledge to answer any IELTS question. Good Luck!

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