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IELTS Speaking: Part 3 Topics, Questions & Tips

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by Chanmeet

by Chanmeet

ILAC IELTS Teacher

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The IELTS Speaking test is designed to evaluate how easily and effectively a user can communicate their ideas and opinions on everyday topics. You do not need any special knowledge to be successful in this section. The test is divided into three parts: Part 1 focuses on familiar topics such as your city, your likes, or your work; Part 2 requires you to speak on a given topic for a duration of 2 minutes; and lastly, Part 3 is about participating in a meaningful conversation with the examiner on the topics that need critical thinking such as, ‘Why do people enjoy going to a party?’ orDoes education guarantee a good job?

(Click here if you’re looking for our IELTS Speaking: Part 2 blog!)

How Part 3 Works

Part 3 of the Speaking test includes questions on general topics based on the topic cards from Part 2. For example, if Part 2 was about ‘your favourite phone app’, the Part 3 questions may be about, ‘technology and its social impact’.

This part of the exam takes around 4-5 minutes, and the examiner will ask questions that give you an opportunity to analyze situations, express and justify opinions and offer solutions.

The examiner is expecting a spontaneous and fluent reply. There will be no preparation time, so you need to think quickly and answer immediately. Your response should include at least 4 sentences demonstrating a range of vocabulary, grammatical accuracy, and a clear voice.

The 4 Step Strategy

The real challenge in Part 3 is putting together ideas in such a short period of time. Use a 4 step strategy to help you provide a detailed response.

The following examples illustrate the use of this strategy: 

Topic: Shopping

EXAMINER: What things do young people like to buy in your country? 

STEP 1: Give a direct answer to the question 

“The youth in my country is really interested in buying goods such as clothes and gadgets.”

STEP 2: Explain with reasons

“The reason behind these purchases could be the intense competition and desire to be in style.”

STEP 3: Give an example  

“It is common to come across TikTok videos of young people sharing their shopping experience with a particular clothing brand or giving reviews about a newly launched mobile or a hair dryer.”

STEP 4: Give an alternative/ Consequence 

“As a result, consumerism is on the rise among this section of the population.”

You can practice this strategy with these questions:

  • Do all people enjoy shopping for clothes? 
  • What can shops do to make shopping more pleasant for their customers? 
  • Do you think that in the future people will do most of their shopping using the Internet?  
  • Why do some people like shopping with friends? 
Topic: Internet

EXAMINER: Do you think the internet is a reliable source of information? 

STEP 1: Give a direct answer to the question 

“The internet provides knowledge on a wide spectrum of subjects, but we cannot trust every piece of information that we see or read.”

STEP 2: Explain with a reason or reasons 

“With the technological advancements, users now have the tools to upload images and texts and within minutes the information goes viral. It is difficult to verify if the information is genuine or fake.”

STEP 3: Give an example  

“The data and statistics presented by authentic sources like BBC, The Economist or a Government organization are fact based and reliable.”

STEP 4: Give an alternative/ Consequence 

“On the other hand, there are many dubious websites that present information which can be misleading.”

You can practice this strategy with these questions:

  • Is having internet access a basic Human Right? 
  • How can people find reliable information on the internet?
  • How has the internet changed the way we live?
  • How has the internet changed the way we work?
  • Do you think the internet is safe for children to use unsupervised? 
two women sitting beside table and talking

Tips For Success in Speaking Part 3

Part 3 of the Speaking test is the final chance for you to show off your language ability. If you are not prepared to deal with this question type, it could seriously affect your overall performance on the Speaking test, and the IELTS test itself.

Follow these tips to improve your score in the task: 

The Do’s
  • Listen carefully and ensure that you have understood the question, before attempting to answer it. 
  • Each of your responses should be at least 3-4 sentences. 
  • Show your knowledge of vocabulary, by using appropriate synonyms (like ‘affluent’ instead of rich and ‘deprived’ rather than poor). 
  • Be careful of your grammar use.
  • Include examples to support your logic. 
  • Present ideas in a way that they connect (opinion + reason + example + consequence). 
  • If you are not prepared to start your answer, you can buy some thinking time by using expressions like, “That’s an interesting question…” or “I haven’t thought about that before…”
The Don’ts
  • Do not lose focus while the examiner is asking questions otherwise you may miss the key ideas that they want you to discuss in the response. 
  • Do not overdo the answers, avoid long responses with unnecessary details. 
  • Do not take too long to respond, be prepared to answer the question immediately. 
  • Don’t respond with a single sentence – remember to elaborate your answers.
  • Avoid repeating the same words in a sentence. 
  • Do not use a word if you have doubts about its correct usage. 
  • Never say, “I don’t know”, or provide very generalized information on the topic. 

Part 3 of the Speaking test requires you to not only show your language skills but also critical thinking skills. Therefore, it is important that you understand the expectations and format of the test and familiarize yourself with different topics, so that you can face the examiner with confidence. 

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