IELTS Speaking Part 3: follow the steps (in your head)


When answering questions in part 3 of the speaking test, you should have three (or maybe four) steps that you follow.

Practise checking off these steps in your head as you answer:

  1. Give a direct answer to the question
  2. Explain with a reason or reasons
  3. Give an example (e.g. a personal example)
  4. Explain the opposite or an alternative (you don’t always need this step)

For example, here’s a question from a recent lesson:

Why do you think people like taking photos of themselves and others?

Here’s my answer, following the first three steps above:

(Direct answer) I think the main reason why people take photos of themselves and their friends and family is to collect memories. (Explain) What I mean is that photos are like souvenirs that remind us of special moments in the past; people like looking back over their lives and seeing what they were doing or how young they looked at a particular time. (Example) My niece is a good example; she takes ‘selfies’ whenever she goes somewhere interesting, and she loves to look through them with her friends.

My answer is already long enough, but can you add the fourth step?