In part three, the examiner asks you three to six questions about one topic: the same topic as that of your part-two question.
Part three is similar to part one, with several questions and answers, but you now have to give longer answers. Also, the questions are more difficult, asking your in-depth opinion on various things.
For each part-three question, you have to offer your opinion and then clearly explain it. The examiner wants to hear you explain why you think something.
The following are four tips to help you get a band-seven score in part three.
1. Explain Your Opinion
Whatever the part-three question is, give your opinion and then explain your opinion. You must tell the examiner why you think that.
Practice quickly giving an opinion and then explaining why that opinion makes sense to you. This is the key to success in part three.
Let’s look at an example part-three question:
‘How important is it for people to look after their health?’
You could say:
‘To my mind, there’s nothing more important than looking after your health.’ (Your opinion)
‘When you’re fit and healthy, you feel fantastic and life is easier. But if you lose your health, life becomes miserable very quickly. Moreover, health problems are usually very expensive to resolve.’ (Explaining your opinion)
Then finally, you can support your answer with an example.
2. Give an Example
After you’ve explained your opinion, think of an example. This is a great way to give a super-strong answer every time.
The example can be anything at all. It might be an example from your own life experience, from someone you know, or from someone you’ve heard about.
The example can also be something from the world: one specific example of the general thing you’re talking about (like being a soldier is a specific example of a dangerous job, or having a birthday party is a specific example of a social event).
Your example can even be hypothetical (imagining a specific situation using ‘would’).
Examples From Your Life
For our question about health, you could say:
‘For example, I had a health problem a few years ago. It really took me by surprise and affected my mood. It took a lot of time and money to recover. Since then, I’ve always looked after my health with great care.’ (This is an example from your own life)
Examples From the World
Alternatively, you could use a concrete example from the world, such as this:
‘For example, if someone eats too much sugar and never exercises, they might get diabetes. This disease will change their life dramatically, for the worse. All you have to do to avoid diabetes is watch what you eat and look after your health.’ (A specific example from the world)
Your example could also be hypothetical, like this:
‘For example, if I had a serious health issue right now, I would find it tremendously difficult to concentrate on my English, my work, my goals, and everything that’s important in my life. My entire life would be completely disrupted.’ (A hypothetical example)
So when you practice part-three questions, always explain your answer, then say: ‘For example…’ and try to think of any example to give (you can also say: ‘For instance…’ or ‘To illustrate…’ to introduce your example).
3. Use the Three-Step SEE Method
To help with part-three questions, just focus on this simple three-step method. It’s called the SEE Method.
- Say your opinion
- Explain your opinion
If you focus on these three simple steps and practice a lot, then part three of the speaking test will become much easier for you.
4. Use Phrases for Expressing Your Opinion
If you want to sound more fluent and natural in part three, it’s a good idea to practice using various natural phrases for expressing your opinion. Here are some examples of opinion phrases:
- Well, I think…
- In my opinion,
- To my mind,
- I would say that…
- I reckon…
- I suppose…
- I completely agree that…
- It seems to me that…
- I’m pretty sure that…
- I feel very certain that…
There are many more of these opinion phrases, which you can find online and also in the example answers throughout this website.
5. Use Connecting Words for Fluency
In part three, clarity is extremely important. You want to be very easily understood. One way to ensure clarity is by using connecting words and phrases, such as:
- As a result of this,
- By comparison,
- And many more…
These phrases make it easier to follow the flow of your ideas. You should already be learning many of these connecting words for your IELTS Writing test.
You can use these same written English words and phrases here in part three. They will help make your answers fluent and easy to follow.
6. Practice, Practice, Practice
And of course, like every part of IELTS, practice as much as possible.
Find plenty of sample questions (on this site and elsewhere) and record yourself answering them.
Try to improve a little each time and eventually, you’ll be ready to achieve a band-seven score in part three of your IELTS Speaking test.
So, are you ready to get started?
Check out seven key tips to succeeding in IELTS Speaking here.
Alternatively, you can start browsing ‘Example Answers’ in the main menu at the top of this page.