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  • Writer's pictureSte Sharpe

Time for IELTS Speaking... part 3


Learn about part 3 of the IELTS Speaking test
A clipper board with part 3 written on it

Time for IELTS Speaking… part 3

Now that you know the basics of the IELTS Speaking Test part 1 and part 2, it’s time to have a look at part 3.


In my experience, candidates always struggle with part 3 of the IELTS Speaking test, as they don’t understand that the questions focus on more general and abstract ideas, but hopefully this post will clarify any doubts you might have.


Let’s have a look at part 3…


What is part 3 of the IELTS Speaking Test?

Part 3 is known as the ‘discussion’ and lasts between 4-5 minutes.


The examiner will ask you questions related to the topic of part 2. These questions are more general and abstract, so it’s important that you don’t answer these questions from a personal perspective; these types of questions are covered in part 1.


The questions will encourage you to compare and contrast, explain, give your opinion, imagine, predict or suggest on general topics. The examiner will also ask you some follow-up questions based on your answers to find out more information.


What are the questions like part 3 of the IELTS Speaking Test?

To show how part 2 and part 3 are related, let’s look at an example cue card and a set of questions taken from the official IELTS website.

Part 2 Describe something you own which is very important to you. You should say: where you got it from how long you have had it What you use it for And explain why it is important to you.


Part 3 Let’s consider first of all how people’s values have changed. 1-What kind of things give people status in your country? 2-Have things changed since your parents’ time? Finally, let’s talk about advertising. 1-Do you think advertising influences what people buy?


Here, we can see that part 2 talks about ‘owning something very important’.


Part 3 then looks at the topics from a general view by asking the candidate to talk about how people ‘value things’ and how ‘advertising influences what we buy’. The questions also encourage the candidate to explain (What kind of things give people status in your country?), compare (Have things changed since your parent’s time?) and give their opinion (Do you think advertising influences what people buy?).


Are there any tips for preparing for part 3 of the IELTS Speaking Test?

Here are some of my top tips to help you deliver your best in part 3:


-Listen carefully to the questions

As I mentioned above, the questions will encourage you to compare and contrast, explain, give your opinion, imagine, predict and suggest on general topics, so it’s important you listen carefully to know what type of language to use.


-Talk about the topic in a general sense…it’s not about YOU!

Remember that part 3 is a discussion about topics from a general point of view, so your answers should be based on a general perspective, not a personal one. Look at the example questions below and compare how the answers differ:


What kind of things give people status in your country?

A-In my country, products such as TVs, cars or any expensive technological device usually give people importance.


B-I like buying expensive products to show that I’ve got money, which usually gives me high status.


In answer A, the answer is from a general point of view; however, answer B is from a personal point of view, which you need to avoid. If you start answering questions from a personal point of view, the examiner will remind you to answer from a general point of view.


-Expand on your answers

Remember that this is a discussion, so you need to provide reasons and examples for what you’re saying. The examiner will ask follow-up questions to keep the discussion going and find out more information.


-Practise, practise, practise!

As I mentioned in my previous posts, try to practise as much as possible. You can find example part 3 questions from official IELTS practice test books, or the Internet, and can record yourself answering them. The more exposure you have to these types of questions and answering them, the better prepared you will feel


-Ask if you don’t understand something

It’s perfectly fine to ask the examiner to repeat something if you don’t understand a question, or to explain a word.


-Relax… this is an informal setting

As I mentioned in my posts about IELTS Speaking test part 1 and part 2, try to relax. If you’re stressed, you’re not going to give your best, so think of this discussion in part 3 as one where you’re talking to your friends.


So, what do I do now?

If you want to learn more about the IELTS Speaking Test part 3, check out my online IELTS Speaking Course where you’ll not only learn all about the test format, but you’ll also practise and improve your speaking skills so you can deliver your best on the test day.

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Guest
May 18

Thanks for sharing this amazing information.

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