Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

In the third part of your IELTS Speaking exam, you’ll have to talk about “abstract” topics.

That’s how IELTS describes this section, but, are what does “abstract” even mean?

Simple put, these questions are about the world at large. Whereas Speaking Parts 1 and 2 are about you, your personal life and experience, the questions in Part 3 are about the world around you.

This means you’ll have to intelligently and coherently discuss for example, social, environmental and educational issues.

A helpful tip is to remember that these topics are almost identical to those seen in IELTS Writing Task 2.

Let’s approach your IELTS Speaking Part 3 practice in a logical, step by step approach.

Step 1: Follow a Strategy

I recommend following this simple strategy to organize your answers: opinion –> reason –> examples/details –> conclusion.

Step 2: Write Out Your Answers

Before trying to answer out loud spontaneously, it is very helpful to practice responses by writing, first.

When you write, follow our strategy.

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Also, make sure to use high level linking words.

In the meat of your answer, remember that strong, specific support is crucial. You must provide very specific examples and details.

This support can come from your personal experience. Using these ideas is not informal. It is the language you use to express them that must be high-level, in terms of vocabulary and transition phrases.

Listen to some example Part 3 answers to see how this sounds.

After you write out your answers, read them out loud. Try to limit yourself to one minute.

Step 3: Practice

When you are ready to answer spontaneously, do this alone first, perhaps in front of a mirror. This helps take away anxiety and build confidence.

You should record your answers as well. Take notes on the linking words and specific examples you give. Also, write down any vocabulary that you repeat, or words that you think are too easy or informal.

Then, practice the same answer again, adding more high-scoring vocabulary, even more specific support, and more impressive linking words.

What do you think of today’s ideas?

Leave us a message in the comments section below!


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