IELTS Speaking, Part 3: Practice Questions with Sample Answers

Today we will look at six example questions from Part 3 of the Speaking module of IELTS. The questions cover the three topics introduced in our Part 2 practice, and include a variety of question types: Indicate a preference; Yes/No; Agree/Disagree; Open-ended. Try answering these questions yourself first and then compare the sample answers below with your own. Remember to expand your answers as much as possible.

Questions 1 & 2

Is it better to make important life decisions on your own or is it better to consult other people?

Do you think good decision-making can be taught?

Questions 3 & 4

Is watching TV a good way of forgetting about work or study?

Should coworkers also spend their leisure time together?

Questions 5 & 6

Do you agree that English should be the main language of international exchange?

What are the difficulties in creating a universal language?

See below for sample answers and analysis

Questions 1 & 2: Sample answers and analysis

Is it better to make important life decisions on your own or is it better to consult other people?

There are good reasons for both, I suppose. Ultimately, it’s your life so I suppose you should make the decisions. On the other hand, any decisions you make can affect other people so it seems only right to discuss things with others first. Like many philosophical questions, there’s no simple answer, I’m afraid.

Do you think good decision-making can be taught?

Well, if you go to a bookstore you’ll see lots of self-help books that claim to teach decision-making. I’m not sure any of them are effective though. I suppose it depends on the type of decision you mean. If it’s a business strategy, then I’m sure some decisions are better than others and business schools teach this. But if it’s a moral issue then I’m not sure anyone can claim to know the right decision, so how could anyone teach it?

This IELTS candidate scores highly by:

  • Giving balanced answers to both questions
  • Using a time-buying strategy before answering Question 2: Well, if you go to a bookstore…
  • Using it depends and conditional sentences to explore different possibilities
  • Using verbs of speculation such as suppose
  • Using you in the general sense to mean ‘any person’
  • Returning to the original question at the end of each answer

Questions 3 & 4: Sample answers and analysis

Is watching TV a good way of forgetting about work or study?

Absolutely, yes. These days there’s so much choice available that we can completely immerse ourselves in entertainment. I mean, you can turn on a good drama or comedy show and pretty soon you forget about everything that happened that day. I think that without TV we’d all go a little crazy.

Should coworkers also spend their leisure time together?

I’m completely against this. The problem with people going out together after work is that they just gossip about certain people in the office or factory, and this can hardly be a good thing for the company, can it? Another thing is that there’s always the risk that you will say something you regret after a few drinks and then you have to face your colleagues again the next day. So, in short, I would definitely advise people to think twice about socialising with colleagues.

This IELTS candidate scores highly by:

  • Using strong expressions of (dis)agreement: Absolutely, yes; I’m completely against this
  • Using ellipsis or substitution to avoid ‘parrotting’ the question: Absolutely, yes; I’m completely against this
  • Supporting opinions with more than one reason
  • Using you, we and they to make general observations about people
  • Paraphrasing key elements of the question: entertainment; colleagues; socialising
  • Summarising the main argument when an answer becomes quite long: So, in short…

Questions 5 & 6: Sample answers and analysis

Do you agree that English should be the main language of international exchange?

That’s a very interesting question. I’ve never really thought about it before, actually. We all just assume that it should be English, don’t we? But what other languages could we use? I suppose Chinese is becoming quite an important language, but the pronunciation is too difficult for most people. English is already the main language of universities and business, so maybe it should stay that way.

What are the difficulties in creating a universal language?

Do you mean inventing a completely new language? Yes? Well, I mean, er, it’s never been done before, has it? There was Latin, of course, which was used by people all over Europe, but I’m not sure if it was really created for that purpose. Actually, I think there used to be a universal language about a hundred years ago. What was it called again, Esperanto? But that disappeared quite quickly. Er, what I’m trying to say is, I don’t think anyone has ever succeeded in creating a universal language, so I doubt if it will ever be possible in the future.

This IELTS candidate scores highly by:

  • Using filler expressions to buy time: That’s a very interesting question; Well, I mean, er…
  • Thinking aloud rather than staying silent (both questions)
  • Asking a checking question rather than simply asking for help: Do you mean…?
  • Using a fluency expression to rephrase an idea: What I’m trying to say is…
  • Indicating an opinion at the end of each answer, even when uncertain at the beginning.

These sample answers show that there at least three different ways of getting a good score in IELTS Speaking, Part 3. How you answer will depend on various factors including the nature or difficulty of the question, your own personality, and your level of interest in and knowledge of the question topic.

There are also factors such as pronunciation (not mentioned here) as well as nonverbal communication which, although not included in the scoring criteria for IELTS Speaking, can certainly influence an examiner’s judgement of your ability.

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11 comments

  1. Pingback: IELTS Speaking: 10 Common Mistakes to Avoid « IELTS Academic
  2. Anonymous

    good questions.. helped me alott in learning something new..and also helped me in improving my vocabulary as well as speaking skills..

    • Sara

      salam,mamnoon babate etalaete khoobi ke dar ekhtiyaremoon mizarid.man alan sale 2vome karshenasiye modiriyyate bazargani hastam,2 ta az baradar ham holland zendegi mikonan,khodam ham tasmim daram baraye edameye zendegi be oonja beram vali age majboor nabasham nemikham az tarighe pazireshe uni eghdam konam,va mikham too in 2 sali ke moonde be payane darsam,eghdam haye avaliyaro anjam bedam.2 ta soal daram:yeki inke rahi baraye mohajerat be oonja hast bedoone paziresh ba tavajoh be inke baradar ham oonja hastan? va ye ki inke age az tarighe paziresh shodani tar bashe, man englisham ziyad khoob nist,enghadram class raftam dige azash zade shodam,mitoonam reshtei be zabane khode hollandi baraye arshad begiram dar daneshgahi ke ghabool kone ya baz ham baraye karshenasi aghdam konam vali dar ye reshteye dige?dar zemn man 2 mah ba vizaye didane aghvam be oonja oomadam.mamnoonam

  3. Pingback: IELTS Speaking: 10 Common Mistakes to Avoid « IELTS Academic
  4. Anonymous

    To what extent do you think people’s decisions are affected by advertisement through the mass media?

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