BULATS Speaking Part 1- Topics


Common personal subjects in Part One of the BULATS Speaking exam

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Lesson Plan Content:

BULATS Speaking Part One topics game

Choose a card (either below or from a cut up pack) without your partner seeing it and ask your partner personal questions about that subject. After they answer each question, they can guess (once only) what the topic on the card you picked is. Continue until they guess exactly those words, then take turns doing the same.   





























Days off




Free time








Future plans



How are (most of) the topics above usually combined in the BULATS test, do you think? (“Now let’s talk about… and…”)

What are the differences between similar paired up words, e.g. holidays and days off?

Choose one of the (combined) categories and brainstorm personal questions that might be in BULATS Speaking Part One, including a mix of past, present and future tenses.

Compare your ideas with that category from the big list of questions on the next page. Are there any questions you don’t understand or are surprised by?

What do you think of using the topics above for small talk in business situations?

What similar topics and questions can you use to start an email in a friendly way?

Roleplay starting a conversation with someone you have never met and use the good topics that you discussed to continue the conversation.

Do the same for meeting someone again.

Do the same for introducing two people to each other.



  • Can I just check your name?/ So you are____________. Is that right?
  • Could you tell me your (full) name please?
  • So, it says here that your name is ________________ Did I pronounce that right?
  • Can I check how to pronounce/ spell your name?
  • What would you like me to call you?/ What should I call you?
  • Would you prefer me to use your first name or your family name?/ Is it okay if I use your first name?/ Should I call you _____________?


Work or studies

  • Are you working or are you a student?/ What do you do?/ Are you working at the moment?
  • What are the best things about your job/ studies?
  • Do you enjoy your studies/ work? (What makes you say that/ Why?)/ What is the most interesting aspect/ part of your studies/ work?
  • Is there anything you dislike about your work/ studies?
  • What job would you like to do? / What job do you hope to be doing in ten years’ time?
  • If you hadn’t chosen that subject/ job, what would you have done?
  • Do you want to study anything in the future? / Is there anything you’d like to study?
  • Why did you choose that subject/ job?
  • Is it a difficult job/ subject?
  • Are you studying anything at the moment?
  • Is there anything you want to study in the future?
  • What is your typical day like at work/ at school/ in college?


Hometown and accommodation

  • Are you from (Tokyo)? / Are you from round here?/ Where are you from?
  • How long have you been in (Tokyo)? (Is Tokyo the only place you have lived in?)
  • Do you live in a house or a flat? / What kind of accommodation do you live in?
  • Where do you live now? (How long have you been living there?)
  • Do you live near here?
  • What is your local area like?
  • Can you tell me about where you are living at the moment?
  • How long do you think you will continue living in your present accommodation?/ Would you like to move house? (Why/ why not?)


Free time (evenings and days off/ hobbies and interests)

  • Do you have much free time?
  • What do you like doing in your free time?
  • What are your hobbies? / Do you have any hobbies or interests?
  • Are there any new leisure activities you would like to take up?
  • How do you usually spend your weekends/ days off/ evenings?
  • Do you prefer to go out or stay at home in the evening? (Why?)
  • What did you do last weekend?
  • Do you often eat out?


Future plans

  • What do you think you will be doing in ten years’ time?
  • Do you have any plans or ambitions for the future?
  • Would you like to have your boss’s job? (Why/ Why not?)
  • What are your plans for your next holiday? / Do you have any plans for your next holiday?
  • What are you going to do at the weekend/ on your next days off?


Holidays and travel

  • Have you visited many foreign countries?/ Have you travelled much? (What was your favourite place? Why?)
  • Would you like you live abroad? (Why/ Why not?)
  • What things would you recommend a foreign tourist to do in your country?
  • Have you ever had any problems while you were travelling? (What happened?)
  • When do you think you will next travel abroad? (Where would you like to go?)/ What countries would you like to visit (in the future)?
  • Have you been to any English-speaking countries? (What do you think about it/ them?)
  • If you could live in any country/ travel anywhere, where would you choose?
  • Do you travel for your work?
  • Do you prefer to travel to cities or the countryside? (Why?)


Sports and exercise

  • What do you do to keep fit?
  • Do you do any sports and/ or exercise?
  • Are you interested in sport?

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