In this blog post you’ll learn everything you need to know about IELTS Speaking Part 3.

We’ll share some critical tips on how to tackle Part 3 along with sample answers that can fetch you high scores.

First off, let’s understand what happens in IELTS Speaking Part 3?

  1. IELTS Speaking Part 3 lasts for about 4-5 minutes.
  2. The examiner will ask you 4-6 questions related to the topic you spoke about in part 2.
  3. These questions are more general or abstract in nature.

For instance, if in Part 2 you spoke about, “Describe an article on health that YOU read from a magazine or online”, then in Part 3 the examiner will almost certainly ask you questions related to health or reading habits in general.

Such as, “Do you think most people worry more about their health as they get older?” or “Do you think people read more these days?”

Questions asked in IELTS Speaking Part 3 are not straightforward like the ones in Part 1 and 2, where questions are more about YOU, YOUR LIFE and YOUR EXPERIENCES.

Part 3 is not about you. It’s about how well you can express your thoughts, feelings and opinions about general or abstract concepts. This round lets the examiner know that you can talk about abstract topics, not just about yourself and your life.

Well this round is a bit trickier but don’t worry, we have got you covered. Let’s go through some Tips and Strategies that you can follow to get high scores in Part 3.

IELTS Speaking Part 3 Tips and Strategies

  1.       Use filler phrases to give yourself thinking time.

Sometimes candidates find it difficult to get started. They need a few seconds to organize their thoughts before answering. But one cannot sit there in silence while thinking about what to say.

So, what to do?

You can fill your thinking time with filler phrases.

For instance, say, “That’s a good question. I have never really thought about it before”.

Go slow and while you are saying the filler quickly organize your thoughts. This also lets the examiner know that you are working on your answer.

But we would advise you to use them in a sensible way. Make sure you don’t answer every question with a filler. Save them for the more complicated questions when you really need some extra thinking time.

  1.       Ask if you are unsure

Many candidates worry, what if they don’t understand the question.

Well it’s highly unlikely that you won’t understand the question. They are not going to ask you about quantum physics or biochemistry. The questions are about general topics and they are designed so that anyone can answer them. So, don’t worry at all about not understanding the question.

Yes, it could be possible that you don’t understand a word or term, in that case simply request the examiner to repeat the question.

Let’s say the examiner asks you, “Are people becoming more materialistic these days”?

and maybe you don’t know the meaning of the word materialistic.

In such a case ask the examiner to explain the question.

You can say something like, “I am sorry, I haven’t really understood the question. Could you explain it please?”.

Consider it as a normal conversation between two people and when two people talk it is totally normal to ask for clarification if you don’t understand something. Right? So, always ask for clarifications if you are unsure, otherwise you’ll end up giving a wrong or meaningless answer.

But also keep in mind that this is for emergency cases only. You cannot ask for clarifications for every single question. This will give the impression that you have got a limited vocabulary and you’ll end up losing marks.

  1. Learn to develop your answer

In Speaking Part 3 you should try to make your answers around 3-5 sentences long, not too short like Part 1 and not too long like Part 2.

To extend your answers you can:

  • Give reasons to support your opinions. Why do you agree or don’t agree? You can use words like – for, because, since, as. 
  • Add examples from your or other people’s lives. You can use – for example, for instance, such as.
  • Give contrasting details. You can use linking words or phrases such as – however, although, while, whereas, on the flip side, on the contrary.
  • Speculate, if you are not sure of something. Talk about possibilities. You can use words like – maybe, could, might, I think, I guess, probably.

All these techniques help you to give longer and coherent answers.

  1. Make use of Phrasal Verbs

Phrasal verbs may sound like something complicated but they are more common than you think! We are sure you use them too without knowing that they are called Phrasal verbs.

For example, run into, give up, take over, take a break, come up. These all are phrasal verbs. Just think of them as a combination of two or three words which together form a single unit.

Using phrasal verbs in your speaking section can push your score to band 8 or higher. They show that you have a good command over the language. They make you sound more fluent and natural just like native speakers. So, try to learn as many phrasal verbs as possible and incorporate them in your speaking.

Let’s discuss some sample questions and answers to understand better.

IELTS Speaking Part 3 Sample Answers

  1.   Do you think people have become more health-conscious in recent years?

Yes, I completely agree. I see more and more people getting into some sort of physical activity be it yoga, aerobics, dancing or something as simple as walking. People have also become mindful of what they are eating. They choose healthy and wholesome foods over junk or packed foods.  – Reasons to support opinion; Phrasal verb used.

They proudly share about it on social media as well. For instance, when I open my Instagram account, there is at least one friend who has posted a photo of his or her workout regimes or healthy meals.  It’s kind of inspiring too. – Example from personal life

  1. Do you think people should read health articles?

Absolutely! I believe reading health-related articles is one of the best as well as inexpensive ways to educate ourselves about our bodies. We get to learn about various diseases from common seasonal diseases to rare ones, what causes them, the symptoms, and how we can protect ourselves from them.

Besides covering diseases, these articles cover life issues as well such as relationships and stress management. The best thing is you become more self-aware and then you pass on this knowledge to others as well.  – Reasons to support opinion; Phrasal verbs used.

  1. Why should people develop the habit of reading?

The best thing about inculcating the habit of reading is you’ll always have a companion by your side. I see many people, non-readers, getting bored when they have nothing to do, for example, while traveling long distances. But a reader would simply take out a book and get engrossed in it. – Reasons to support opinion; Phrasal verb used

Many people, including me, find reading de-stressing too. Whenever I feel stressed, I just grab my novel, lie down and lose myself in it. – Example from personal life; Phrasal verb used

Besides this reading is the best way to acquire knowledge and it improves your hold over the language too.

  1. What type of reading is preferred more in your country?

Well, it is actually difficult to pinpoint one particular genre. India is a diverse nation, so people here have diverse tastes.

I guess millennials are more oriented towards reading fictional, tech books, or fashion magazines. I see many young boys and girls ogling over pictures of models in magazines such as Vogue and Femina. – Speculation

Whereas most of the elderly enjoy reading newspapers to keep themselves updated on current events. – Contrasting details

And then there are people like me who love reading historical and spiritual books.

As you can understand from the sample answers,

  • Appropriate reasons are given to support opinions
  • Instances from personal life are stated
  • Contrasting details are given
  • Speculation is used when not certain.
  • Phrasal verbs are also used to give a native feel.

Remember this strategy and you can answer any question in part 3 of the IELTS speaking exam.

Above all practice as much as you can. Learn to form opinions on common topics such as environment, technology, education, health and work.

Apply these strategies in your IELTS Speaking Part 3 practice to achieve a higher IELTS band score.

If you have gone through all of our blogs on the IELTS speaking exam, you should now have a good idea of what to expect and what to do in the IELTS speaking test.

If you are getting ready for IELTS, check out our online courses taught by expert trainers. All courses are taught online with live classes. Our curriculum includes group live classes, one-to-one live classes, mock tests, practise tests, and speaking sessions. You can also join our Youtube channel for more than 50 video lessons on various IELTS topics. Come for a free demo class today at

I hope you had a good read!