IELTS Speaking Part 3 Tips

In this post, see the top 5 speaking part 3 tips that will help you to achieve a band score 7 or above.

The IELTS Speaking Test lasts 11-14 minutes. 

The test has three parts, where you are interviewed by a trained examiner. You are not allowed to use a dictionary during the test. IELTS Academic and IELTS General students take the same test and it is marked in the same way.

Neighbors: IELTS Speaking Discussion Topic


Part 3 = 3-4 minutes – A conversation between you and the examiner. 

The examiner will lead the conversation by asking general questions, which relate to the topic/cue card used in part 2. 

The questions asked will encourage you to share your thoughts, feeling and opinions. You are scored on your use of English, not on your general knowledge or opinions. 

Here is an example of a part 2 cue card question and related part 3 questions;

Part 2 Question – Describe someone you know who has been a role model to you.

Part 3 Questions 

  • Which type of people are respected most in your society?
  • Do you agree with this situation?
  • What happens when young people lack good role models?
  • What standards of behaviour should teachers set?
  • Do you agree that you should never meet your heroes?

As you can see the questions become a bit more difficult and require more in-depth answers than those in part 1. 

Take a look at our top tips below and see how you can improve your band score >>


To practice with past questions, please look at Speaking Part 2 in more detail.

TIP 1 >> Listen carefully

Listen to the questions the examiner asks you and think about the structure of the question. Are they asking your for your opinion? or to say how something has changed from the past to the present?

Listening carefully to the question will help you to create your answer and deliver it in a logical way, using the correct grammar structures. For example;

  • Has travel become safer in recent years? (The past to present, opinion)
  • What are the pros and cons of low-cost air travel? (Opinion, advantages, disadvantages)
  • How do you think people will travel in the future? (Present, future, opinion, hypothetical)

TIP 2 >> Know About the most common types of questions

Learn about the most commonly asked question types used in the part 3 questions. This will help you to identify how you should respond and what to look out for when you are practising.

Common Types of Questions

  • Opinion – When asked your opinion, be honest or if you don’t really know about the topic, make it up! Think about things you have read about, heard and know from your own experiences to form your answers. Give reasons why and support with specific examples. 
  • Assess – You may be asked what you think about someone else’s opinion, do you agree or disagree? Give reasons why.
  • Hypothetical – These type of questions ask you to comment on something that is an imaginary or unreal situation. Like saying ‘In the future how do you think we will travel?’ You have to use your imagination to give your answer and comment on something that hasn’t happened yet. 
  • Cause and Effect – Think about the cause of the situation and the effects it has had.
  • Compare and Contrast – To look at the similarities and differences of the given topic/question.
  • Past – What has changed from the past until now? (the present)
  • Future – Give your opinion on what might happen in the future (using would or could).

TIP 3 >> Stay Calm and Focus

Stay calm and focus on the day of your exam and give your opinions to the best of your ability on the day. The examiner will test your ability to use English in part 3, even more so than in parts 1 and 2. The questions are more difficult and depending on the topic, may be something you know little about. They will ask you questions to push your limits and see how well you can answer, demonstrating your use of the grammatical structures and vocabulary.

Try to stay calm and think about your opinions, listening carefully to any keywords that tell you if they want to know about the past/present or present/future etc. Answer with confidence and aim for a high band score. Practice as much as possible with a speaking partner or your native speaking English teacher.  

TIP 4 >> Answer All of the Questions

It is common for many people to say ‘I don’t know’ or to lose focus when they get a question they know little about. Always answer the questions and if you feel as though you don’t know about the topic, then buy yourself some time by saying; ‘I haven’t really thought about that before…. but in my opinion……’ then give your opinion, etc. 

Obviously do not do that for every question, only for the ones where you are really stuck for something to say to start off with. The examiner will be looking for your ability to answer these part 3 questions in depth and you need to give it your best shot if you are hoping to gain a high band score. 

TIP 5 >> Take Your Time

Don’t try to answer the questions as quickly as possible, take your time and answer them to the best of your ability. Give your opinion, the reasoning behind it and support with specific examples. If you can remember to do that (answer depending on the type of question asked) then your answers should stretch and show the examiner what you are capable of. 

If you answer quickly, the examiner will keep giving you questions, progressing to more difficult questions as the test goes on. Take your time and answer the questions well, showing off your English language skills. You can also ask the examiner to repeat a question if you have not heard it correctly, but try not to do this for every question (only if you really need to). 

We hope you found this post useful in helping you to study for the IELTS Test. If you have any questions please let us know in the comments below or on the Facebook page.

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If you need help preparing for the IELTS Test, join the IELTS Achieve Academy and see how we can assist you to achieve your desired band score. We offer an essay correction service, mock exams and online courses.

1 thought on “IELTS Speaking Part 3 Tips”

  1. veronique kayitana

    This was very helpful.

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