Home»IELTS speaking» IELTS speaking part 3: giving your opinion
In this tutorial, you will:
The speaking test is the same for both IELTS academic and IELTS general training and it always involves a face-to-face interview with a certified IELTS examiner – regardless of whether you take the paper-based or computer-based version of the IELTS exam. The speaking test lasts between minutes, and it is divided into three sections, with each section gradually becoming more challenging. There are four equally important assessment criteria:
* Fluency and coherence – the ability to speak at a good speed and link ideas together
* Lexical resource – the ability to use a range of vocabulary appropriately
* Grammatical range and accuracy – the ability to use a range of grammatical structures accurately
* Pronunciation – the ability to be understood easily
Part 3 lasts between four and five minutes and it is the most challenging part of the IELTS speaking test. The examiner will ask you further, more abstract questions about the topic in part two. He or she will begin part three by saying, for example:
We’ve been talking about a place you’ve visited, and I’d like to discuss with you one or two more general questions related to this. So, let’s consider first of all tourism in your country. a) How do you think tourism has changed in your country in the last twenty years? b) Do you believe this is a positive or negative development? Why? c) In some parts of the world, tourism is having a negative impact on the environment. In your opinion, what can be done about this?All these questions require you to give your opinion. To help ensure that you answer the questions fully, it’s a good idea to use this strategy:
1. Give your opinion. Ideally, try to paraphrase rather than repeating the question, to show off your IELTS vocabulary:
Perhaps, ‘I think the tourism industry in Turkey has expanded dramatically over the last two decades.’
2.Then explain the reasons for your opinion…
‘Improved transportation systems around the world have made it easier to travel than ever before.’ … and provide examples: ‘In the past, tourists who wanted to visit Turkey had to fly into one of the major cities, such as Istanbul or Ankara, but these days lots of the towns along the Mediterranean coast have their own international airports! For example, you can fly directly from the UK to Bodrum, which is one of the most popular resorts in Turkey.’
Let’s try the same strategy with the second question. First, give your opinion – paraphrasing if you can.
‘My feeling is that the advantages of this growth outweigh the disadvantages, at the moment at least.’ Then explain your reasons… ‘Turkey is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and although it is not a country which is dependent on tourism, this industry still generates a significant amount of revenue.’
… and provide examples.
‘Turkey just has so much to offer international visitors. Whether you want to visit historical monuments, bustling bazaars or stunning beaches, there is something for everyone. We obviously need to manage the impact which this increase in tourism is having on the environment, but I think we are heading in the right direction.’
These are some phrases you can use to express your opinion during your IELTS speaking exam: I think… I believe… In my opinion… My feeling / opinion is that… Here is another example of a set of questions you might encounter in part three:
We’ve been talking about a place you’ve visited, and I’d like to discuss with you one or two more general questions related to this. So, let’s consider first of all tourism in your country. a) How do you think tourism has changed in your country in the last twenty years? b) Do you believe this is a positive or negative development? Why? c) In some parts of the world, tourism is having a negative impact on the environment. In your opinion, what can be done about this?Let’s focus on the first question – which is asking for advantages and disadvantages. Again, to help ensure that you answer the question fully, it’s a good idea to have a strategy: First, state an advantage: ‘In my opinion, one of the main reasons for the popularity of online shopping is that it’s so convenient.’
Then explain why it is an advantage… ‘If you want to shop at a shopping centre, you have the hassle of getting there, and shopping centres have fixed opening hours.’’
… and give an example:
‘However, if you shop online, you can shop from the comfort of your own home, at any time of the day or night.’
Then provide a second advantage: ‘Another positive aspect of online shopping is the fact that you have access to a much wider variety of products.’
An explanation… Bricks-and-mortar stores only have so much space to store and display their merchandise, whereas online shops don’t suffer from the same constraints.
… and an example:
For instance, if you want to buy clothes, you will be able to find far more styles and colours to choose from if you shop online.
Then follow the same strategy to help you talk about the disadvantages. Useful phrases include: One of the main advantages / benefits / upsides (of online shopping) is…
Another positive aspect is…
One key disadvantage / drawback / downside (of online shopping) is…
Another negative point is…
You can find a lot more information about part three of the IELTS speaking test – and discover how to receive personalised feedback on your speaking – in our online course.
You can download or listen to the audio version here:
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