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Common Mistake in Speaking Part 3

Below is a sample answer for a speaking part 3 question. Can you spot the mistake? This isn’t a mistake with grammar or vocabulary, it’s a mistake with technique.

Q. Do you think people do as much exercise today as they did in the past?

A. No, I don’t think so. My grandmother used to do exercise every single day when she was younger. Every morning she used to wake up early and go to the park to exercise with the other people before work. Unlike her, I only do exercise once a week because I have to start work really early and don’t get back home until after dark so I don’t have any time for exercise except on my day off which is just once a week.

Did you spot the mistake? Answer

This is a part 3 question about other people, so it is important to show the examiner that you can talk about people in general rather than your family or yourself as you did in part 1 and probably part 2. Below is a model answer with improved technique:

No, I don’t think so. Decades ago, people in my country used to do exercise every single day. They would get up early before work and go to the park to exercise. While some just did general exercises, like stretching and flexing, others would play sport or dance. Nowadays, on the other hand, people don’t really have the time. The majority of people have to commute to work early in the morning and don’t get home  until after dark which leaves very little time to do any form of exercise.


Error Correction for Speaking Part 1


  1. Hi Liz! Thank you so mush for such a useful website! I would like to ask you about one thing…I’ve just passed my speaking test and while answering part 3 questions I forget to consider both sides and said arguments supporting only my point of view…although the examiner then helped me and asked the question about other side, which I answered properly. But I was supposed to say about other side by myself, without addition question, wasn’t I? Please, tell me, do you think it’s going to lower my band significantly, even if I gave long fluent answers in all parts and gave a full 2-min speech for part 2? Looking forward to see yoo answer cause now feeling pretty nervous because of it 🙁 Thank you so much!

    • Your score is based on fluency, grammar, vocab and pron. This means NOTHING ELSE matters. You are not marked on answering the questions in full.

  2. Hi Liz,
    I just wanted to know if we should be formal during the speaking test, or is it okay to be informal (like conversation-like)? also, is using hand gestures a problem during the speaking test, because I tend to do it accidentally….

  3. Kyrollos Hana says:

    Thank you so much Liz for all your efforts but I guess there is a minor mistake at the end of the first sentence ” To do exercise every single.” ?. Shouldn’t it be ” To do exercise every single day.” ?

  4. Harjeet Singh says:

    Can i get cue cards from here? mam pls

  5. Tony bal says:

    Hi liz

    Can i take my mom or dad name as a best friend in speaking test

  6. Yeasin Arafat says:

    I have been flowing u before 2 months, you don’t solution speaking side 1-10 crambradge practice text book??????

  7. Hi Liz,
    I have my Speaking module on coming Friday. I speak fluent English, however, I mess up with the tenses.
    If I give coherent, clear and fluent answers yet mix up the tenses, does it really bring down my band significantly?

    Thank You.

  8. Hi Liz,

    Thanks for valuable and in depth tips on each of the topics.
    I took test last week in Australia. Reading, Listening were fine. But in writing, I spent more time on Task 1(letter) and got into time pressure for Task2 (topic was “some people has opinion that while visiting foreign countries travelers should pick local culture, language etc – agree or disagree”).

    In speaking test, second part got a rather unexpected topic i.e. snacks. Questions were, 1) what kind of snacks you like ? 2) whether snacks were changed over the years ?, 3) what will be your criteria to choose snacks ? etc. In part 3, discussion topic was whether current education is doing enough for the industry ? Having some graduate hire from the same University in my office, I spoke my heart out with more details and where we need go for this country. After the test when examiner was opening the door and show me the exit that time he said that it was very interesting discussion to start the day. Not sure what will be score !!

    • Time management is one of the biggest problems that students have in IELTS writing and reading. This is mainly because they have not trained themselves to write within the time frame at home. The comments the examiner gave you at the end of the test are very encouraging. It shows that you could express your views well and the examiner enjoyed the conversation. Hopefully your results will be strong for speaking. Here’s a link to page with model answers for the topic of snacks: http://ieltsliz.com/ielts-speaking-part-1-reported-topic-of-snacks/
      All the best

  9. Kha Tran Van says:

    Hi Mrs.

    Im Kha, I’m from Viet Nam.

    Thank you for teaching online, i have learnt from you alot!!!

    i’m going to get band 5.5 in ielts test, it should be on October.

    Could you give me some advice for this level. what should i prepare, and completely.

    Thank you very much!

  10. hello mam i would like to ask about the general things which i have to keep in mind while giving my speaking test . that is on 22nd june

  11. Hi liz,
    Thank you so much for your lessons for ielts preprations. I have given my ielts on 9 th may in saudi arabia. I was asked in my cue card about most colourful place i have visited.
    I replied about miracle garden dubai as lots of flower of diffrent colours. Was it the correct response or I should have told something else.

    • You get no score for ideas. There is no right or wrong answer in speaking. You are only assessed on the English language that you produced on your answer. I think you probably made a good choice of what to talk about but your score will be decided on how well you described the place, the vocabulary you offered, the grammar you used, your fluency and pronunciation.
      All the best

  12. Dear Ma’am,
    Would you please tell me that what is the procedure to start speaking in part 2 (CUE Card Section) ?
    Is there any rules or not?
    Please give some advice for starting to speak about the Q Card.


    • You will be given the cue card, pencil and paper. You will have 1 minute to prepare. You should plan ideas for how to expand your talk and what extra details you will put in. You should follow the prompts. The prompts are not questions to answer, just guidelines of what you can put in your talk. It is your decision what extra information to add. You must speak for 1 minute but you should aim for 2 mins.
      To learn how to start your talk, please watch the video about this – see speaking section.
      All the best

      • Thank you Ma’am for your cordial and quick response. I am very grateful to your efforts.


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