Techniques for Part 3 Speaking

The topics in speaking part 3 are academic. That means you need to organize your thoughts, give opinions and explain why you think that way. Although the questions are more theoretical and may seem difficult, the best answers will focus on a simple idea. Speaking part 3 is not a test of knowledge, and there are no right or wrong answers: it’s all about your ability to communicate the way you think.

You should try to give slightly longer, detailed answers. A good way to do this is to imagine that you are making a paragraph. Here are two methods:

1. Idea, explain, example
Start with a direct answer to the question, like the ‘topic sentence’ in a written paragraph. Then explain your answer in more detail, and support your explanation with an example.

2. Firstly, secondly, finally
Start with the direct answer, then explain it by giving two or three reasons, and maybe an example too.

1) Do you think that it’s important for people to go on holiday?
Answer using ‘idea, explain, example’

“Yes, I think we all need to go on holiday at least once or twice a year. It isn’t healthy to work all year round without some time off to relax; we all need to take a break and recharge our batteries from time to time. Last summer, for example, I went on holiday to France for a couple of weeks, and it was great to leave all of my usual responsibilities behind me. I came home feeling really refreshed and reinvigorated”.

2) Why do you think some people prefer not to go abroad on holiday?
Answer using ‘firstly, secondly, finally’

“I suppose there are different reasons why some people choose not to go abroad on holidays. Firstly, it’s usually more expensive to travel abroad than it is to stay at home. A second reason could be that some people find it stressful to spend time in a foreign country where they don’t speak the language, or where they feel that they can’t easily integrate with the locals. Finally, many people just love where they live, and don’t feel the need to travel abroad”.

Here is an example video by a student who received band score 6. She mainly uses the first technique of idea, explain, example.

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