IELTS Speaking Part 3 Questions

In the third and final part of the IELTS speaking test, you will be asked discussion questions on two topics loosely connected to part 2.

Strategy

These questions expect a longer answer than those in part 1, and also expect you to speak impersonally about these topics. For example, if the question is “what age should children in your country learn about healthy eating?”, you may use your own personal experience as an example, but on the whole you should talk about ALL children.

There is no maximum or minimum length for answers here, although I would suggest that 45 seconds per answer is a good rule of thumb.

In terms of structure, think of your part three answers like a body paragraph in the writing. You need to have a main idea, some supporting explanation and examples, and then to conclude.

These questions often concern big issues that there is no perfect answer to. You may therefore want to buy a few seconds to think about the question. In this case, you can do the following:

  • Ask for clarification of the question, e.g. “when you say …, do you mean …?”
  • Comment on the question e.g. “that’s an interesting question, I’ve never really thought about that before”
  • Comment on the issue e.g. “that’s a difficult issue. Many people have different views on this topic”
  • Ask for a moment e.g. “can I just take a second to think about that”
  • Ask the examiner to rephrase the question e.g. “I’m not sure I get what you are asking, could you rephrase your question?”

Practice Questions

Business

What types of local businesses are in your neighbourhood?

Are local businesses important to a neighbourhood?

How do large shopping centres affect local businesses?

Why do some people want to start their own business?

Are there any disadvantages to running a business?

What are the most important qualities that a good business person needs?

Celebrations

What are the main reasons that people organise parties in your country?

Some people spend a lot of money on parties to celebrate family events. Why do you think this is and do you think it is a good or bad trend?

Are there many differences between family parties and parties thrown by friends?

What kind of national celebrations do you have in your country?

Who do you think enjoy national celebrations more: old or young people?

Some people think that national celebrations are a waste of government money. Do you agree or disagree with this view?

Should people have time off work for national celebrations?

Celebrity

What kind of people become famous these days?

Is this different to how people became famous in the past?

Are there any advantages to being famous?

What do you think would be difficult about being famous?

How are famous people treated in your country?

Why do you think ordinary people are interested in the lives of famous people?

Do famous people have a responsibility to their fans?

Ceremonies

How important are ceremonies in our lives?

Do you think public and private ceremonies will become more or less important in the future?

Have attitudes to marriage changed in recent years?

In what ways do men and women feel differently about marriage?

Childhood

How much time do children spend with their parents in your country?

How important is it for children to spend time with their parents and other relatives?

Have relationships between children and parents changed in recent years?

What are the most popular free-time activities for children?

Do you think children live healthy lifestyles nowadays?

Choices

What important choices do people make at different stages in their lives?

Should teenagers make important choices about their lives, or their parents?

Why do some people like to discuss their choices with other people?

What kind of choices do people make in their everyday life?

Why do some people choose to do the same things every day?

Do you think that people today have more choices to make today than in the past?

Communication

How has technology impacted the way we communicate?

What are the possible effects of poor communication skills at work?

Community

What are some ways people help others in their community?

Why do some people like to help others?

Some people say that people help each other less than they did in the past. Do you agree or disagree?

What types of services are available in your  local community?

Which groups of people need the most support in a community?

Who do you think should pay for the services available to the people in a community?

Are people in a small town more helpful than people in a large city?

Do some people deserve more help than others?

Competition

Why do some school teachers use activities that get children to compete?

Should schools offer prizes to children who do well in their studies?

Do you think children today are more or less competitive than when you were a child?

What are the benefits for young people participating in competitive sports?

Some people believe competition leads to better performance. Others think that it makes people feel insecure. What is your opinion?

Is it possible to be too competitive?

Education

How has education changed in your country in the last 20 year?

How do you think education will change in the next 20 years?

What expectations do today’s school leavers have?

What role do extracurricular activities play in education?

Do children in your country do enough extracurricular activities?

What method of learning do you think works best?

Is it better to group students according to age or ability?

How can schools best prepare students for the future?

What advice would you give a teenager who doesn’t like school?

How do you think school life is different to university life?

Is it important to continue learning after school and university?

Festivals

Why do you think people like attending festivals?

What kind of festivals are popular in your country?

What are the benefits and drawbacks of a festival to the local area where it is held?

What role do the media play in festivals?

Film and TV

What are the most popular kinds of TV programmes in your country?

Are there too many reality and game shows on TV nowadays?

Is TV one of the main ways to get information in your country nowadays?

Have cinemas increased or decreased in popularity in the last 10 years?

What are the benefits of making films about real-life events?

Should film-makers always try to depict historical details accurately?

Should films and television be censored?

Do you think there is too much sex and violence in movies these days?

How do you think censorship laws will change in the next 30 years?

Whose responsibility is it to prevent children from seeing inappropriate films or television programmes?

Why type of products are advertised in films and TV programmes?

Should advertising in film and television be regulated?

Food

Why do some people go to restaurants when they want to celebrate?

Which is more popular in your country: fast food restaurants or traditional restaurants?

Is the food in an expensive restaurant always better than the food in a cheap restaurant?

Do you think there will be more or less choice of food in supermarkets in the future?

How has technology affected the way food is produced?

Is it important for a country to grow all the food it needs, without importing any food from other countries?

Do you think people eat healthier now than they did in the past?

Should families eat meals together?

Friends and Acquaintances

What do you think are the most important qualities in a friend?

For some people friends are more important than family, and for others, the opposite is true. Why do you think that is?

What causes friendships to break up?

Do we have different kinds of friendships at different stages of our lives?

Is it easy to make friends with people of a different age group?

Is it important to have friends from different cultures and backgrounds?

Is it possible to be friends with someone you have never met in person?

How do friends influence our lives?

What other relationships are important in people’s lives?

Do people in your country have good relationships with neighbours?

Is it important for people to spend time alone?

Games

Do children today play the same kind of games as when you were a child?

Why do children like playing games?

Do all games have some educational value?

Are competitive games good or bad for children?

How can games help to unite people?

How do 

Genetics

In what ways can family members be similar to each other?

Do daughters always take after their mothers and sons after their fathers?

Is personality more influenced by family or friends?

What are the benefits of research into genetics?

Who should fund research into genetics: governments or private companies?

Health

How do people keep healthy in your country?

How important is it for people to do some regular exercise?

Why do some people think that modern lifestyles are unhealthy?

Who is responsible for making people’s lifestyles healthier?

What can be done to encourage people to live more healthily?

History

Do you think historic buildings should be preserved?

What benefits do historic places provide to the local area?

How were you taught history at school?

Apart from school, what other ways can people learn about history?

Will history still be studied in schools in 100 years’ time?

Home

What kinds of home are most popular in your country?

What are the advantages of living in a house rather than an apartment?

Is it true that everyone would like to live in a bigger home?

Why do some people like to have a lot of things in their home?

Why do some people not care how their home looks?

How easy is it to find a place to live in your country?

Do you think it is better to rent or buy a place to live in?

Do you agree that there is a right age for young adults to stop living with their parents?

Ideas

“Education is about memorising the important ideas of the past.” Do you agree or disagree?

Should education encourage students to have their own new ideas?

How can teachers help students to develop and share their own ideas?

Should employers encourage their workers to have new ideas about improving the company?

Why do some people dislike new ideas?

What is more difficult: having new ideas or implementing them?

The Internet

Why do some people find the internet addictive?

What would the world be like without the internet?

How has the internet affected the way we communicate?

Why do you think the internet is being used more for communication these days?

How reliable is the information on the internet?

Why do some people prefer to shop online instead of in physical shops?

Is it easy to buy and sell things online in your country?

Do you think online shopping will become more or less popular in the future?

Are social media websites a positive or negative development?

Why do some people post negative comments about others on social media?

Will it be necessary to have a social media account in the future?

Leisure Time

Is it good for people to have hobbies?

Can someone spend too much time on their hobby?

How can someone find a hobby?

In your country, how much time do people spend working and how much on leisure?

How has the balance of free time changed in the last 50 years?

Do you think people will have more or less free time in the future?

Money

Why do some parents give their children money to spend each week?

Should schools teach children how to manage their money?

Is it good for students to earn money while working?

Can money buy happiness?

What are the disadvantages of a society where there is a big gap between the rich and poor?

Should richer countries help poorer countries?

Music

What kinds of music are popular with young people in your country?

What influences a person’s taste in music?

How has technology changed the way people listen to music?

Is there any traditional music that is important in your culture?

Why do you think some cultures have musical traditions?

Why do countries have national anthems or songs?

New Things

Why do some people like trying new things?

What problems can people have when trying new things for the first time?

Is it best to do new things on your own or with other people?

What things do children learn to do when they are very young?

Do children and adults learn to do new things in the same way?

Is the ability to learn new things an important skill to have at work?

News

What kind of national events make headlines in your country?

Does the media in your country focus more on national or global events?

When do people like to read the newspaper?

What does a good newspaper contain?

Why do some people prefer to read the news online instead of in a newspaper?

Is the news on the internet different to news in a newspaper? How?

Will the internet ever completely replace newspapers?

Possessions

What kind of possessions do people in your country use to show status?

What types of things do young people want to own?

Why do people feel the need to own things?

Does owning a lot of things make people happy?

Modern society is often called materialistic. Why do you think this is?

Do you think consumerism is a positive or negative development?

Do you think having a lot of possessions will be seen as a sign of success in the future?

Problems

Why is it good to discuss problems with other people?

Is it better to talk to friends or family about problems?

Is it a good idea to tell lots of people about a problem?

Reading

What kind of books are most popular with children in your country?

Why do you think some children do not read very often?

What are the benefits of parents reading books to their children?

How do you think children can be encouraged to read more?

Should parents let children choose the books that they read?

Is being able to read quickly a useful skill to have?

Are there any jobs where people have to read a lot?

Which do you think is more popular: reading novels or reading factual books? Why do you think that is?

How popular are ebooks in your country?

Will ebooks ever completely replace printed books?

Shopping

Do people in your country enjoy going to open-air markets that sell food, clothes and antiques?

How do you think attitudes towards shopping are different between young and old people?

Are there any advantages to buying from a shop rather than a market?

How does advertising influence what people buy?

Do you prefer to shop at big chains or in smaller, local shops?

What kind of things do people in your country buy online?

Why has shopping online become so popular?

Skills and Abilities

What skills and abilities do people most want to have today?

Which skills should children learn at school? Are there any they should learn at home?

Which skills do you think will be important in the future?

Which kinds of jobs have the highest salaries in your country?

Are there any other jobs you think should have high salaries?

Some people say it would be better if everyone got the same salary?

Surveys/Questionnaires

What type of organisations want to know people’s opinions?

Are surveys or questionnaires a good way to find out people’s opinions?

Why might some people not like to give their opinion?

Would it be a good idea to ask school children their opinions about their lessons?

Success

How important is for everyone to have a goal in life?

Is it necessary to work hard to achieve success?

Are successful people always happy people?

Technology

What kind of machines are used for housework in your country?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using machines to do housework?

What new machines do you think we will see in modern houses in the future?

What kind of technology helps people to do their jobs today?

How do advancements in technology affect employment?

Why do some people argue that technology brings more stress than benefits?

At what age should children learn about technology?

Should schools use more technology to teach children?

Will computers replace teachers one day?

Has technology improved the way we communicate with each other?

Do you think the pace of change in technology will slow down?

Why are some people trying to reduce their use of technology?

Theatre

How important is the theatre in your country’s history?

Do many people in your country regularly go to the theatre?

Should theatres be run as businesses or as a public service?

Travel

Why do people need to travel every day?

What problems can people have when they are on their daily journey?

Some people say daily journeys will be less common in the future. Do you agree or disagree?

What can people learn by travelling to other countries?

Can travel make a positive difference to a country’s economy?

Can society benefit from people travelling to different countries?

What areas of a town or city do tourists tend to visit?

Is it important for governments to look after tourist attractions?

Should people have to pay to go to museums?

How should tourists behave in foreign countries?

How can local people help tourists enjoy their visit?

Waiting

In what situations should people arrive early?

Is it important to be on time in your country?

How can technology help people to arrive on time?

What kind of jobs require a lot of patience?

Do people get more or less patient as they get older?

Weather

What type of weather do people in your country dislike most?

What jobs can be affected by the weather?

Are there any festivals in your country that celebrate a season or type of weather?

Is it important to check what the weather will be?

How can people get accurate information about the weather?

Is it easy or difficult to predict the weather in your country?

Work

What makes an office comfortable to work in?

Why do some people like to work outdoors?

What kinds of jobs do young people not want to do in your country?

Is money always the most important thing when choosing a job?

What would life be like if people didn’t have to work?

Are all jobs equally important?

Which jobs are the most difficult?

Why do some people choose to do difficult jobs?

Why do some people become addicted to their work?

When should people look for a new job?

Do you believe there is a perfect job for everyone?

Are people under more pressure nowadays to work long hours and take less holiday?

How can governments and employers ensure workers have a good work-life balance?

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