IELTS Speaking Tips & Tricks (Parts 1-3)

This blog details all IELTS speaking parts 1, 2, and 3. Examples for each question type, how to start, how to finish, etc.

IELTS Speaking Tips & Tricks: IELTS Speaking Part 1 Questions


In this lesson, we will explore the different types of questions, tips and tricks that you need to know for all IELTS Speaking parts. While preparing for the IELTS exam, it’s essential not only to familiarize yourself with various topics but also to understand the different question types that may arise during this section. Here, we’ll break down these questions into categories, provide explanations, and offer examples for each type.


Part 1: Common Question Words


When tackling IELTS Speaking Part 1 questions, it’s crucial to recognize and respond appropriately to the specific question words used. Here are some common question words and examples of questions related to the topic of cooking:


How Often Questions

Example: How often do you cook?

  • Frequency: Questions like these inquire about how frequently you engage in a particular activity. You might answer with, “I cook three times a week,” or “I cook every day.”


Who Questions

Example: Who usually does the cooking?

  • Person: Questions about “who” focus on the individuals involved in a task or activity. You could respond with, “I usually do the cooking,” or “My mother is the primary cook in our family.”

Where Questions

Example: Where did you learn to cook?

  • Place: “Where” questions ask about the location or setting where an action took place. You could say, “I learned to cook at home,” or “I attended a cooking class to learn.”


When Questions

Example: When did you learn to cook?

  • Time: These questions prompt you to provide a specific time frame or date related to the action. You might answer, “I learned to cook when I was a teenager,” or “I started cooking about five years ago.”


How Long Questions

Example: How long have you been cooking?

  • Length of Time: Questions like these inquire about the duration or period during which you have been involved in an activity. Your response could be, “I’ve been cooking for six years,” indicating when you began cooking.


What Kind Questions

Example: What kind of dishes do you like?

  • Category or Type: “What kind” questions ask for specific details or preferences related to the topic. You could say, “I enjoy spicy dishes like curry,” or “I prefer chicken dishes.”


Common Question Structures

In IELTS Speaking Part 1, examiners frequently use specific question structures. These question structures can be categorized as follows:

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Can You Questions

Example: Can you cook?

  • Capability: These questions assess your ability to perform a particular task. You would answer with either “Yes, I can cook” or “No, I can’t cook,” and you can add additional information to elaborate.


Do You Like/Dislike Questions

Example: Do you like cooking?

  • Preference: Questions about liking or disliking something probe your personal preferences. You would respond with your preference and possibly provide reasons. For instance, “Yes, I enjoy cooking because it allows me to experiment with flavors.”


What’s Your Favorite Questions

Example: What’s your favorite dish?

  • Favorites: Questions of this type ask for your favorite choices or preferences within a given category. You would share your favorite dish or item and perhaps explain why you like it.


Prefer Questions

Example: Do you prefer eating at home or eating out?

  • Preference Between Options: These questions require you to choose between two options and justify your preference. You might say, “I prefer eating at home because it’s more cost-effective and healthier.”



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Do You Usually Questions

Example: Do you usually cook for yourself?

  • Habits and Routines: Questions regarding your usual habits or routines can be answered with “yes” or “no,” followed by additional information. For instance, “Yes, I usually cook for myself, and I find it relaxing.”


Do You Ever Questions

Example: Do you ever order food delivery?

  • Current Practices: “Do you ever” questions pertain to your current actions or behaviors. You would respond with “yes” or “no” and provide explanations or examples to support your answer.


Have You Ever Questions

Example: Have you ever eaten any food from a foreign country?

  • Past Experiences: These questions focus on past experiences. You would respond by acknowledging whether you have or haven’t had a particular experience and possibly share details or examples.


Did You Ever Cook When You Were a Child Questions

Example: Did you ever cook when you were a child?

  • Past Tense About Childhood: Pay attention to past tense questions related to your childhood, as they require you to discuss actions or experiences from your past.


Questions About Others

Example: Why do some people dislike cooking?

  • General Questions About People: While most IELTS Speaking Part 1 questions are self-related, some may ask about the behavior or preferences of others, requiring you to offer insights or general observations.



The two best tricks for IELTS speaking parts 1 and 3 are to either make two short points or three long points. This will give you marks in task response.



Crafting an Effective Start for IELTS Speaking Part 2


In this lesson, we’ll delve into how to initiate your talk for IELTS Speaking Part 2, focusing on the topic “describe a book you recently read.” Starting your response effectively is crucial for demonstrating your language skills and conveying information clearly. We will explore two different ways to begin your talk and emphasize the importance of paraphrasing while providing examples for each approach.


IELTS Speaking Tips & Tricks: Two Approaches to Start


There is no definitive right or wrong way to commence your IELTS Speaking Part 2 talk. However, we will discuss two effective approaches:


1. “I’d like to talk about” or “I’m going to tell you about”

Both of these introductory phrases are suitable for the IELTS Speaking test. The choice between them depends on the level of formality you wish to maintain. “I’d like to talk about” is slightly more formal, while “I’m going to tell you about” is less formal. It’s essential to note that using contractions like “I’d” and “I’m” aids in pronunciation, which can contribute to a better band score.


  • “I’d like to talk about a novel which I read two weeks ago.”
  • “I’m going to tell you about a book I recently finished.”

Paraphrasing for Clarity and Depth

Merely reciting the words written on your cue card won’t suffice if you aim for a band score of six or higher. Paraphrasing demonstrates your ability to use flexible language and enhances your language score. Let’s explore a more detailed paraphrase for the topic “describe a book you recently read”:

1. “I’d like to talk about a novel which I read two weeks ago.”

In this example, the word “book” is paraphrased as “novel,” offering a specific description of the type of book read. To further elevate your response, consider differentiating between fiction, nonfiction, guidebooks, self-help books, or other categories when applicable. Additionally, including a time clause such as “two weeks ago” instead of merely saying “recently” showcases your grammatical skills and provides an exact timeframe for your reading.

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2. “I’m going to tell you about a fascinating book I recently finished.”

This second approach enhances the introduction by incorporating an adjective, “fascinating,” which adds depth and engages the listener. Using adjectives like “useful,” “exciting,” or others allows you to provide a more vivid description of the book’s qualities. The paraphrase “recently finished” is a concise alternative to “not so long ago,” maintaining clarity while presenting your sense of timing.


IELTS Speaking Tips & Tricks: Advantages of Detailed Paraphrasing


Utilizing detailed paraphrasing in your introduction offers several benefits:

  • Clarity: Descriptive words provide a clearer picture of the book, making your response more engaging and informative.
  • Grammar Skills: Incorporating clauses and precise timing demonstrates your grammatical proficiency.
  • Band Score Improvement: The more details you provide, the more opportunities you have to impress the examiner with your language skills.
  • Extension Potential: Elaborating on your reading experience later in the talk becomes easier when you start with a detailed introduction.


IELTS Speaking Tips & Tricks: Navigating Challenging Topics in IELTS Speaking Part 3

IELTS Speaking Part 3 is often perceived as more challenging than Part 1 due to longer answers and complex topics. While many people tend to search for information about Part 1, it’s crucial not to underestimate the significance of Part 3. In this guide, we will explore some of the more difficult and unexpected topics that may arise in Part 3 of the IELTS Speaking test. We will provide sample answers and offer ideas and vocabulary to help you excel in this section.


Understanding the Complexity

Part 3 of the IELTS Speaking test is designed to assess your ability to engage in a meaningful discussion. Unlike Part 1, where examiners read questions from a list, Part 3 involves dynamic, follow-up questions based on your responses. Here are some challenging topics you may encounter and strategies to tackle them effectively:



– Do you think certain jobs done by humans will be replaced by robots in the future?

  • Sample Answer: “I believe that many of the jobs we currently perform will inevitably be taken over by robots. It’s just a matter of time before we see a shift towards automation in various industries.”

– Is it a good thing that robots will do certain jobs instead of humans?

  • Sample Answer: “There are certainly pros and cons to this development. On one hand, robots can eliminate the risks associated with hazardous jobs involving chemicals or explosives. On the other hand, job displacement will necessitate retraining for those who lose employment opportunities.”

– Are there any jobs that cannot be replaced by robots?

  • Sample Answer: “Indeed, there are jobs that remain impervious to automation, particularly those requiring creativity and emotional intelligence. Professions like filmmaking, advertising, and roles involving complex human interactions are less susceptible to robot takeover.”

Self-driving Cars

– Do you think in the future all cars will be autonomous and will not need a driver?

  • Sample Answer: “Eventually, I believe we will see a shift towards fully autonomous cars. However, this transition may not happen in the immediate future. While some companies are testing self-driving vehicles, they are not yet equipped to handle all driving scenarios accurately.”

– Are there any advantages of having a self-driving car over a regular car?

  • Sample Answer: “The primary advantage of self-driving cars lies in their potential to reduce human errors, a leading cause of accidents. Additionally, they can offer mobility to individuals who cannot drive due to age or other reasons. However, the cost of the technology may limit widespread adoption.”

– Are there any problems that could be associated with driverless cars?

  • Sample Answer: “Certainly, there are potential issues with autonomous cars. Concerns include the risk of computer malfunctions or hacking, as well as public hesitation to trust vehicles they cannot control. Moreover, the technology required for self-driving cars may make them prohibitively expensive for many.”


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Fake News

– Has the way we get our news changed in the last 20 years?

  • Sample Answer: “Absolutely, there has been a significant shift in how we access news. In the past, newspapers and traditional media outlets were our primary sources. Today, the internet, including news websites and social media, has become a dominant platform for news consumption.”

– Do you think that everything we read online is true?

  • Sample Answer: “Definitely not. While established news agencies and official sources provide reliable information, there is a proliferation of fake news online. It’s crucial to verify the source and rely on credible outlets to avoid misinformation.”

– How can someone determine if a piece of news is fake or not?

  • Sample Answer: “To discern the authenticity of news, it’s essential to check the source’s credibility. Articles from reputable newspapers or official government websites are usually reliable. Be cautious of information shared on social media, as it may lack verification.”


IELTS Speaking Tips & Tricks: Navigating the Discussion


In IELTS Speaking Part 3, it’s vital to remember that this section is a discussion, not a mere question-and-answer session. Examiners will ask follow-up questions based on your responses, creating a conversational atmosphere. Here are some additional strategies to excel in Part 3:

1. Engage Actively: Treat Part 3 as a conversation. Engage with the examiner and be open to discussing various aspects of the topic.

2. Extend Your Answers: Examiners encourage long, detailed responses. Use descriptive vocabulary, provide examples, and elaborate on your points.

3. Balance Your Opinions: In Part 3, it’s acceptable to take a balanced stance rather than a strong, one-sided position. Discuss both the advantages and disadvantages of a given topic.

4. Use Linking Words: Employ linking words and phrases like “on the one hand” and “on the other hand” to structure your responses and present different viewpoints.

5. Seek Clarification: If you’re uncertain about a word or question, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Examiners may explain terms to ensure your comprehension.

6. Stay Calm and Confident: Maintain composure and confidence throughout Part 3. Nervousness can hinder your ability to express ideas effectively.


In conclusion, while IELTS Speaking Part 3 may present challenging and unexpected topics, it’s essential to approach them with confidence and preparation. Use the sample answers and strategies provided in this guide to navigate the complexities of Part 3 effectively. Remember that this section evaluates your ability to engage in meaningful discussions, so embrace the opportunity to showcase your language skills and critical thinking. Good luck with your IELTS preparation and exam!