NOTE – Synonyms and advanced vocabulary have been included in bold. Structural vocabulary (linking words/phrases) have been included in italics.
Notes for what the speaker should explain/add have been included in […]
1. What are the differences between a new house and an old house?
SAMPLE – “Okay, let me see. Well, houses that have been built more recently generally have more modern conveniences [like what?]. They might have some time-saving appliances like dishwashers . Moreover, newer homes are often constructed in a better way [How?]. They often have better insulation, which means they are warmer and drier, and there occupants are more comfortable and healthier.
TIPS – (1) Aim for some synonyms from the question. In this example, “built more recently” and “newer” [comparative vocabulary] have been used instead of “new” (2) Express your exact meaning with words like “generally” (3) Try to add some topic-specific and/or advanced vocabulary.
2. How are people wasting energy at home?
SAMPLE – “People waste energy around the house in numerous ways. I think, in most cases, it’s just because it’s easier to do nothing and it doesn’t seem like a major problem at the time [can you make it clear with an example?]. For example, someone might leave the light on instead of switching it off when they leave the room. Another common lazy habit is leaving the tap running when someone is brushing their teeth.”
TIPS – (1) Many Part 3 questions require you to list some “reasons” or “ways” or “types”. You can begin your answer with a general statement (like above) and then give some specific details (2) Simple changes like “at home” to “around the house” can help to boost your score (3) Make sure you link your different points with appropriate vocabulary. In the Speaking Test, it is best to use simple words like “Also” or “Another thing”.
3. How can solar heaters help to save energy?
SAMPLE – “Do you mean something like solar panels on the roof of the house? [Examiner – “Yes.”] …Okay, um, solar power is a great way to conserve power because instead of using electricity from the local grid people can simply use energy from the sun. This is especially important in countries where the power supply is not stable [what do you mean?] – I mean there are frequent power cuts.”
TIPS – (1) This is a difficult question. If you are not sure exactly what is being asked, you can ask the examiner to clarify the question (like in the sample above). However, the examiner is NOT able to explain words for you (2) This is an example of a question where you need to have a good vocabulary to answer it well. It is a good idea to read and learn about as many “modern” topics as you can before you take the Speaking Test.