Structure and tips for IELTS speaking part 3

IELTS speaking

In IELTS Speaking part 3 you need to give longer answers.

The main focus of this part of the test is to talk at length and give examples. The questions are much broader than in part 1 of the speaking test. You are marked on grammar, vocabulary, fluency and pronunciation.

You will not be marked on your ideas. There are about 6 or 7 question types that could come up. They might be about giving an opinion, comparing, predicting something in the future, talking about people, contrasting and so on. Click here for a lesson on the types of questions in speaking part 3.

If you are given an opinion question you can use these techniques below. Remember that you should not go into the exam with memorised answers.

The model answer below is just an example of a good response. Another thing to remember is to be natural and don’t try and impress the examiner with very formal or complicated sentences. The IELTS examiners are trained to spot this.

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Here is a general structure you could use.

  • Give your opinion.

  • Give a reason for your opinion.

  • Give an example.

Example topic:  Shopping

1. Is shopping a popular activity in your country
2. How have shopping habits changed over recent years?
3. Do you think shopping habits are likely to change in the future?

Let’s have a look at question 3

‘Do you think shopping habits are likely to change in the future?’

This question asks for your opinion and also asks for a prediction about the future.

OpinionAs far as I’m concerned shopping habits will change considerably over the next few years, particularly with online purchases and the use of smartphones to pay for items.

Reason: This is because most people now prefer online shopping, so carrying paper cash is becoming a thing of the past as digital payments are gaining in popularity now.

Example: For instance, if I want to buy books, a new PC, clothing or just about anything, it’s often much cheaper and quicker to buy on Amazon. There are also more options to pay with Apple Pay or PayPay when doing grocery shopping. Also very few people use cash now as shopping is becoming more efficient and digital.

Tips for Part 3 of IELTS Speaking.

In part 3 of the IELTS speaking test don’t worry too much about using highly advanced vocabulary or formal words. Of course, you need to have a good range of vocabulary as this is being assessed, but the main point of Part 3 speaking is to give a long detailed answer, with an example. Also, make sure you stay on topic.

Remember: State an opinion, explain it and give an example. Try to stay on topic.

Useful Expressions.

Some useful expressions for introducing your opinion are important to use in part 3 of IELTS speaking. Beware that some of these we cannot use in the writing part of IELTS because they are too informal in writing.

Giving your opinion

  • As far as I’m concerned…..

  • If you ask me I think…

  • To be honest I think…

  • I reckon…..

Giving the public opinion

  • Many people would say that…

  • It is often said that…

  • It is widely believed that…

Giving Examples

  • For instance…..

  • One reason for this is…..

  • One example is……

  • Let’s take…….. for example

  • In the case of…..

Saying you don’t know and getting thinking time.

If you are not sure or don’t have a clear opinion never just say ‘I don’t know’, use these expressions below, they sound much better, but you will still need to offer an opinion or example and you cannot ask the examiner for a different question. These are also useful when you need more time to think of a response.

  • I haven’t really thought about it but I reckon…

  • It is not something I have considered, however, I think…

  • To be honest, I don’t really know but I would say…

  • I don’t know much about the issue, however, I would say that…..

  • That’s a tough question, …well I reckon that…..

  • Well, that’s an interesting question, let me see….. I think…

Part 3 of IELTS speaking can be difficult and needs practice because you have to talk in detail and it must sound natural, not like you have memorised an answer or are talking from a script...

ielts speaking

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