It is common to get topics related to using a mobile phone in IELTS Speaking part 2. Below you will see some typical cue cards for this topic that are also in use at the moment.

On this page, you will find:

  1. sample cue cards for the topic of mobile phones
  2. useful language
  3. a sample answer for a current IELTS cue card
  4. examples of IELTS speaking part 3 questions for this topic

1) Mobile Phone Topics for IELTS Cue Cards

A time you were not allowed to use a mobile phone

You should say:

  • when it happened
  • where you were
  • why you couldn’t use your phone
  • how you felt about it


A time when you received an important text message

You should say:

  • when it was
  • who you were talking to
  • what the message was about
  • why you remember it so well

Other Mobile Phone Topics

An app you use on your mobile phone

You should say:

  • when you first started using the app
  • how often you use it
  • what it is used for
  • why you find it useful


A time when a smart phone was very helpful

You should say:

  • when it was
  • what happened
  • how the smart phone helped you


Your favourite smart phone

You should say:

  • when you bought it
  • what did it look like
  • what was so special about it


Your first smart phone

You should say:

  • when you got it
  • why you bought it
  • what you liked or didn’t like about it


A place where you couldn’t use your phone

You should say:

  • when it happened
  • where the place was
  • what prevented you using your phone
  • how you felt about it


A time when you made an important call on your phone

You should say:

  • when it was
  • who you were calling
  • what the call was about
  • why it was important to you


A useful device you use frequently

You should say:

  • what the device is
  • why you use it so often
  • what you use it for
  • why it is important for you

2) Useful Language for Mobile Phones

The lists below are not just for vocabulary, they are also for ideas of what you can talk about in your IELTS Speaking Part 1, 2 or 3 in relation to mobile phones. Having a good list of things to introduce into your answer will help with both fluency and vocabulary scores.

  • wireless handheld device
  • pocket-sized
  • a handy device
  • the battery runs out quickly
  • a long lasting battery
  • a quick / slow charge time
  • the battery died
  • landlines are still useful / landlines are becoming redundant
  • a useful device when you are on the go
  • connect to wifi / hotspots
  • cellular network
  • a weak/strong signal
  • a patchy signal
  • the reception is poor
  • a bad line (the line keeps cutting out / crackling)
  • 3G, 4G or 5G network
  • 5G hasn’t fully been rolled out in my area yet
  • security features
  • fingerprint / voice / face recognition
  • touch screen
  • optical zoom lens
  • front and rear camera
  • stylus pen for smart phone screen
  • apps run without glitches
  • emojis
  • organise contacts
  • unlimited calls
  • limited data / unlimited data
  • pay as you go
  • monthly contract
  • a handy device
  • slimline
  • thick like a brick
  • light weight / heavy
  • couldn’t live without it
  • I would be lost without

Uses of a Mobile Phone

  • to call
  • to text / to message
  • to take photos
  • to take selfies
  • to email
  • to make video calls
  • browse online (surf the internet)
  • online banking
  • weather updates
  • photo edit
  • create videos
  • make recordings
  • keep track of appointments

Useful Apps on a Smart Phone

  • banking apps
  • calendar
  • calculator
  • camera
  • clock
  • facebook
  • games
  • language apps
  • messenger
  • news
  • spotify
  • instagram
  • whatsapp
  • zoom

3) IELTS Mobile Phone Cue Card Sample Answer

A time you were not allowed to use a mobile phone

You should say:

  • when it happened
  • where you were
  • why you couldn’t use your phone
  • how you felt about it

Cue Card Sample Answer

Note: I have underlined language which the examiner will note either due to grammar or vocabulary. For grammar, you can note the range of tense used: present tense, future form, past simple, past prefect, past passive and past perfect passive. For vocabulary, you can note high level topic related vocabulary, such as “flick through a list”, “ultra slim”, “click send”, “silent mode”, “muted keypad”. There are also examples of great collocations and other relevant vocabulary.

I’m going to talk about a time last year when I was stopped from using my mobile phone in an urgent situation. It was around February when it happened. I remember because it was just after my birthday and I had been given my phone as a birthday present. I was in the library when I realised I had missed an important appointment. I was in such a panic. So, I took my ultra slim, light weight phone out of my pocket , flicked through my contact list and  then clicked call. Even though my phone was on silent mode, the librarian came over before I could make the call and reminded me that I couldn’t make calls inside. I apologised and then proceeded to type out a text message. But again, before I could finish the message and click send, the librarian asked me to turn my phone off. I was really annoyed. Sending a text message isn’t intrusive to others and the keypad was muted. In the end, I went outside. 

I really believe that smart phones are great pieces of technology allowing us to have instant communication with others no matter where we are. Having a silent mode on the phone means we can use it without disturbing others. While libraries are supposed to be silent, I really didn’t think sending a text would be a problem. However, I believe rules are to be followed so I left the library and made my call outside. Luckily my appointment was rescheduled for the next day. Hopefully, next time I’m in the library, I won’t have anything urgent to deal with.

Note: the above answer is not based on my personal experience or my personal opinion. It is purely fictional.

4) IELTS Speaking Part 3 Questions for Mobile Phones

  1. Do young and old people use smart phones the same way?
  2. What are the most popular smart phone apps in your country?
  3. How has the smart phone changed the way we live?
  4. Are there any disadvantages to a smart phone?
  5. Do you think text messages are better than phone calls?
  6. Should children be allowed their own smart phone?
  7. What are the problems allowing children to have their own smart phones?
  8. Why do some people get addicted to using their smart phone?
  9. How do you think smart phones might develop in the future?

For more IELTS Speaking free lessons, topics and tips, click here: IELTS Speaking Main Page

I hope you found this lesson useful. All the best, Liz 🙂

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