IELTS Speaking: Part 3 – Choices Pt.1

Choices 1


(1) Part 3 is the most difficult part of the speaking section. You need to give answers about some academic topics that can be quite difficult, especially if you are lacking in vocabulary.

(2) You may notice that some of the questions in Part 3 are similar to writing prompts in Task 2 (essay writing). Therefore, you should try to organise your answer like a BODY paragraph in an essay. This means that you should (i) have a clear main idea (ii) add details/examples to make your idea clearer (iii) link to any new ideas

(3) Once your answer is well-organised, think about adding some topic-specific vocabulary (i.e. words related to “making choices”). This can be quite difficult, but at least aim for some synonyms (e.g. “decisions” instead of “choices”)

NOTE – The following questions each contain two sample answers: a simple one and an advanced one. Each contain useful linking words/phrases in italics and useful vocabulary (synonyms and topic words) in bold. The advanced answers are written at a Band 9.0 level.

Choices 3

QUESTION ONE – What are the typical choices people make at different stages of their lives?

SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Basic) – “Well, there are many common decisions a person has to make in their life. For example, most people have to choose what job they will have. Another big choice is who you will marry or whether you will get married at all. These are major choices that almost everyone has to make.”

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced) – “There is a common set of core decisions that most people will be forced to make throughout their lives. One of the most impactful is what career to pursue. Another decision with potentially serious consequences is who and when to marry, or perhaps making the decision not to get married at all. These are the two main ones I can think of off the top of my head.”

Choices 4

QUESTION TWO – Should important choices be made by parents rather than young adults?

SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Basic) – “Well, I think this question has two sides. I think it’s important that young people learn to make decisions for themselves. On the other hand, some big decisions – like what to study at university – can have serious consequences, so maybe it is better if a parent makes this decision, or at least gives some useful advice.”

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced) – “I think it’s essential that young people – teenagers or adolescents – learn to stand on their own two feet. In other words, they need to learn how to make tough choices on their own and deal with the consequences of them. However, adults generally have more life experience, so getting some outside input from them is often beneficial to making a wise decision.”


Choices 2

QUESTION THREE – Why do some people like to discuss choices with other people?

SAMPLE ANSWER ONE – “I think the main reason people like to talk about a choice they have to make is because they want a different point of view. If you discuss your problem or the thing you’re trying to decide on with someone else, they can add their own experience and ideas and this can help you to make a better decision. Also, sometimes it just feels better to share your problems with other people.”

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO – “Asking others for help in a choice you have make is popular because it gives you a different perspective and maybe helps you to look at the decision from a different angle. The person you’re seeking advice from might have some specialized knowledge that will help you to make a better decision. I think another reason is that sometimes decisions make people stressed and, by talking about it with someone else, they can just get it off their chest.”

COMMENT – Notice how the simple and advanced answers have a similar structure. The main difference is in the level of vocabulary and grammatical range. The advanced answer also uses some idiomatic language (“get something off your chest” and “stand on your own two feet”), but only use idioms if you are 100% they are accurate for what you’re talking about.


IELTS Speaking: Part 2 – Making a Choice

IELTS Speaking Part Three: Sport and Business

IELTS Speaking Part 3 Real Test: Public Speaking



One thought on “IELTS Speaking: Part 3 – Choices Pt.1

  1. Pingback: IELTS Speaking (Real Test 2019): Part 3 – Health | IELTS UNLOCKED

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