IELTS Speaking Part 3

The IELTS Speaking test consists of three parts. and lasts for about 11 – 13 minutes and is a two-way discussion with the examiner. In Part 3 of the test, the examiner will test your linguistic limits and finalise your score. Basically, they will decide on whether you should stay at the score you are at, based on your performance in Part 1 and Part 2, or whether they should improve your score. That is why many of my students from Singapore find this part a little bit more demanding than previous parts. In this article, we will delve into the details about the 3rd part of the speaking test.

Speaking Part 3 Format

The test is handled in the same way by both the British Council and the IDP. In this part, the examiner will take into account the topic in the previous Part 2. This part will involve a discussion between you and the examiner for about 4 to 5 minutes. You will be asked to answer questions related to the part 2 topic but on a broader aspect. You should expect to be asked approximately 6 questions of increasing difficulty. The questions will be more abstract or general.

Common Topics Part Three:

The topics that usually found in part 3 of the speaking test are very similar to the topics for part 2.

  • art
  • clothes
  • education
  • family
  • food
  • health
  • internet
  • media
  • nature
  • society
  • travel
  • work

Common Question Types for Part 3 Of The IELTS Speaking Test.

As mentioned before the questions in this part are more abstract and general. This is different from the previous 2 parts where you were asked to comment on things from your own personal experiences. In this part, you can be asked to comment on global trends and the opinions of other people as well. There is no fixed list of question types, but I will mention some of the more common Part three questions that you can find in this part of the speaking test.

Questions that ask for your opinion or preferences

For example: Do you generally read a lot of books or do you prefer watching TV? Or What kind of books are considered good reads in your opinion?

Remember don’t just give your opinion, justify your views as well by explaining further and/or giving an example.

Questions that ask you about hypothetical situations or results of something.

These are questions about imaginary situations. To answer a hypothetical question, you’ll need to use the conditional. The clue is the word ‘if’

For example: If you were a writer, what kind of books would you write?

Questions that ask you to compare and contrast

This kind of question asks you to talk about the differences or similarities between two or more things.

For example: Do you think that people read nowadays as they did in the past? Or Between books or movies which one, in your opinion, is better? Why is so?

Questions that ask you to talk about the future

You may also get a question asking you to speculate about the future. Such questions are designed to tests your ability to use future structures.

For example: Do you think books in hard copy form will still have a place in society in the future?

What The Examiner Is Listening Out For In Speaking Part 3

The criteria that you will be graded on remains the same. i.e.

  • Fluency and coherence
  • Lexical resource
  • Grammatical range and accuracy
  • Pronunciation

However, in this part, in particular, the examiner will be listening out for whether or not you can express your opinions fluently and justify them with a wide range of vocabulary.  To do this you must be able to analyse your ideas and defend your arguments.

Important Tips For The IELTS Speaking Test Part 3

It’s best to use a variety of vocabulary and linking phrases and demonstrate that you can use these flexibly with ease.

Remember do not memorize answers by heart, this will only count against you. Memorization of answers can make you sound unnatural.

Although you are allowed to ask the examiner to repeat the question or explain it if you don’t understand, you should definitely not do this often as this creates the impression that you are struggling to keep up.

Jonathan has been teaching students to prepare for the IELTS and PTE Exams for more than 10+ years. He's taught English to students in various countries in the world including Singapore, China, Australia, Canada and Colombia.