IELTS Speaking Part 3: What is asked?

The final part of the IELTS Speaking test lasts for roughly 5 minutes. Unlike Part 1 and Part 2, IELTS Speaking Part 3 does not focus on personal questions. Rather, general questions related to topics one would expect to find in the news are asked.

You can expect discussion about abstract ideas and/or serious issues affecting the world in IELTS Speaking Part 3 test. Although such questions are not personal, candidates can draw upon personal experiences to expand on their answers.

Moreover, the topic of discussion in IELTS Speaking Part 3 is always related to the cue card in Part 2. So for an example, if you are asked to describe you favorite singer in Part 2, then IELTS Speaking Part 3 questions will be related to music and arts. Likewise, if “Describe a meeting you have attended” is the topic for Part 2, then in IELTS Speaking Part 3 you will be asked about “meetings”.

Consider the following set of Part 2 and Part 3 questions:

IELTS Speaking Part 2 Cue card

Describe your favorite sports.
You should say:
• what it is
• how it is played
• when you first saw it
and explain why you like this sport.

IELTS Speaking Part 3 Discussion topics

1. Should sports be a compulsory part of school curriculum? Why? Why not?
2. Which sports are appropriate for kids in primary school?
3. Some people believe that adults should focus on life and career rather than on sports. Do you agree?
4. How has the way people of your country view professional athletes changed in recent years?
5. What is the difference between physical sports and computer games?
6. How will the proliferation of computer games affect physical sports in the future?

However, do not assume that the questions are based on your response in Part 2. No matter what you say in Part 2, examiners ask questions from a premade list.

IELTS Speaking Part 3 Question types

As has been said, general interest questions which require some degree of critical thinking are asked in Part 3.

Some questions will focus on listing factual information. These questions often begin with “What…” or “Which…“. For example:

What types of jobs are the most crucial for society?

Which is the most important subject in school?

Most of the time, you will be asked to explain the reasons behind something with “Why…” or “How…” questions such as:

Why do people like to buy expensive phones?

How can the government ensure the health of its citizens?

Other times, candidates will have to portray the past condition of something or predict the future of something. For instance:

What types of television shows are popular in your country now compared to the past?

What innovations in automobiles are most likely to happen in the coming decades?

Last but not the least, there are also questions which ask you compare and contrast two or more things:

How is learning online different from learning in the classroom?

In what ways is partying with friends different from partying with family members?

people in a party

For a comprehensive list of sample questions for IELTS Speaking Part 3, click here »

How to answer IELTS Speaking Part 3 questions?

The examiner expects a short answer to the questions in IELTS Speaking Part 3. By short, I mean between 30 seconds and 1 minute for each question. The examiner would not stop you even if you speak longer than this, but you should be aware of the format and be mindful about answer lengths.

The response has to be structured and well organized using discourse markers and complex sentences. You have to be able to present logical arguments as well as back those arguments with evidences.

To learn more about how to answer Part 3 questions in the IELTS Speaking test, click here »

Next lesson:

IELTS Speaking Part 3: Collection of latest questions

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