Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

It can be difficult to come up with answers on the spot for Speaking Part 3 questions.

You could be asked anything!

In this video, you’ll see a sample IELTS Part 3 answer for this question:

How old should a child be when they start school?

Jessica uses high level Vocabulary and the phrase “neither here nor there” to boost the Speaking Vocabulary score.

Watch the video now!

Jessica’s answer

Wow! You know, it occurs to me that the answer to this would be very different according to which decade one would be in, right? But that’s neither here nor there.

My first, immediate response to this would be to say 6 years old.

I feel like at that age it is an appropriate time to start developing one’s individual responsibility and attitude and learn how to listen to other authority figures besides one’s parents.

I also feel like this age is benefited by exposure to other children of the same age, in the same peer group.

They can push each other to use imagination, to be curious, to learn about the world outside one’s family and one’s home.

To sum up, I would say 6 years old.

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Neither here nor there

In this sample answer, Jessica uses the phrase, “But that’s neither here nor there.”

This is a fantastic native phrase that would really impress the IELTS Examiner!

It is best used when you go off topic a bit.

It means, “but that’s not important right now.”

The best way to use it is demonstrated in the video.

Jessica shares her thoughts, which do not directly answer the question, and then says, “but that’s neither here nor there”.

Then, she gets into her direct answer.


You must use high level words and phrases to get a 7 or higher on the Speaking Vocabulary score!

Practice using the phrase “neither here nor there” anytime you go off topic a bit.

It is perfectly fine to go on tangents, but when coming back to the topic, it’s great to use a transition like this.

Don’t forget that you can find out what you would get on IELTS today!

Take our free, 2-minute quiz to get your estimated band score.

You’ll also receive free resources for your level.

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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