How to do IELTS speaking part 3

In this article we look at how to do IELTS speaking part 3, the last part of the speaking test. Part 3 is often referred to as the discussion, because it is a discussion with the examiner where you can offer your opinion on a given topic.

How part 3 is conducted

PART 3 of the speaking test is a two-way discussion with the examiner, and this section will last for about 4-5 minutes. So let’s look at exactly what happens in PART 3 of the speaking test.

During PART 3 the time will be controlled by the examiner.

The questions that you get in PART 3 are connected to the topic that you spoke about in PART 2.

These questions will allow you to discuss more abstract issues and ideas.

If you don’t understand a question the examiner has asked you, then you can ask them if they can explain it to you in a simpler way. However I recommend that you make sure you do not do this too much and that you listen carefully to the question you are being asked

How should I answer PART 3 questions

When you are doing PART 3 of the IELTS speaking test you should think of this as a conversation between two people. It is a discussion with the examiner where you will share your personal opinion on a variety of issues.
The most important thing to do during PART 3 of the speaking test is to offer your opinion and to say what you think!

The answers you give in PART 3 should be longer than those you gave in PART 1.

It is great if you can also include examples when giving your PART 3 answers.

If you can offer potential solutions to different social issues this will give you more things to talk about.

Be sure to stay ON TOPIC and not to talk about things that are unrelated to the question.

How you can structure your answers

Here is my advice on how you can structure your answer when you are asked questions in PART 3

1) OPINION – Firstly give an answer to the question that states your opinion or what you think.

2) EXPLANATION – Then give a further explanation as to why you believe this or hold this opinion.

3) EXAMPLES – If you can, give an example or examples that support your argument.

4) CONCESSIONS – You can also talk about opposing opinions or possible alternatives.

Example answer

Here is an example of a PART 3 question and an answer that has been created using the structure we just talked about.

Q: Are people spending too much time on the Internet?

A: Yes I think people are definitely spending too much time on the Internet on a daily basis. (OPINION)
I think we are becoming far too reliant on the Internet and mobile devices to guide us in choosing places to shop, places to eat, and to assist in communicating with our friends. (EXPLANATION)
In many countries it has become a concern that modern technology and the Internet can be addictive and is contributing to the obesity epidemic. (EXAMPLE)
However I can see how using the Internet also does have its advantages in our fast-paced modern world. (CONCESSION)

Please remember though the most important thing you can do is give your opinion and explain why you have that opinion.

Practicing for part 3

PART 3 is probably the hardest part of the speaking test to practice for but here are some ways to practice speaking that will not only improve your PART 3 answers but also your speaking in general.

  • You can use sample IELTS questions and practice giving answers with a partner acting as the examiner. Ask your practice partner to take special note of whether or not you appear confident, and if you talk clearly during your practice.
  • Record your answers and listen back to see how you did when answering the questions.
  • Look at a PART 3 question and make a list of vocabulary that could be used when giving an answer (also check the meaning of any unfamiliar vocabulary in the questions).
    Then try answering the question using words from your vocabulary list.
  • Have a debate – Take opposing sides of a specific topic and argue your case.
  • Discuss newspaper or magazine articles with a friend – Most importantly GIVE YOUR OPINION.
  • Find social topics in newspapers or online and OFFER SOLUTIONS for these social problems.

Things to remember for part 3

Here are some important things that you should note for PART 3 of the speaking test.

Try to relax and think of PART 3 as having a discussion with a friend. You want to try to speak as naturally as possible.

Try to be confident during the test and make sure you speak clearly and at a volume that is easy to hear.

The questions you are asked in PART 3 are those which will initiate a discussion and are generally not YES/NO questions.

In PART 3 you do not need to give information about yourself it is a discussion relating to the topic in the questions.

We covered how to do IELTS speaking part 3 in this article. The most important thing for you to do is to make sure you practice. Practice is important for PART 3 because you may get questions on a wide variety of topics and you do not want to sound like you have memorised answers. Memorising answers makes your speech sound much less natural and is very obvious to the examiner.

If you want to watch a video lesson on how to do IELTS speaking part 3 or any of the the other sections of the IELTS speaking test, then click on the button below.

IELTS Speaking Lessons


To get lessons on all the different task types you could encounter during the IELTS test make sure you check out our online course.

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Damon Bailey
Damon Bailey

As one of the co-founders at IELTS Whiz I really love helping students to achieve their education goals and improve their opportunities for the future. I find it really rewarding to have a positive impact on the lives of students and enjoy assisting them on the path towards reaching their dreams.

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