IELTS Speaking Part 3: Environment

Below are some questions for the topic of the environment for IELTS speaking part 3.

  • Are there many environmental problems in your country?
  • Are people concerned about environmental problems in your country?
  • Do you think enough is being done to deal with them?
  • What can  individuals do to help?
  • Do you think older people have as much awareness of environmental problems as the younger generation?
  • Do you believe that climate change is a serious problem?
  • What causes climate change?
  • Do you think recycling is important?

Here are some sample answers:

  • Q) Are people concerned about environmental problems in your country?
  • A) Well, it’s hard to say for sure. I think some people are concerned but probably not enough of them. There are people who take environmental problems seriously enough to actually recycle their rubbish appropriately but I don’t think there are enough people who concern themselves with resource depletion which I consider to be a pressing issue. So many people are using energy and buying products without any thought to the impact of their actions. We all know that the world’s resources are being used at an alarming rate but no one seems to actually feel it’s their responsibility to change the way they live. So, I guess, although there are some people who are concerned, it’s not enough and more people in my country need to change the way they live.

  •  Q) Do you believe climate change is a serious problem?
  • A) Yes, I do. The issue of climate change has been growing over the past few decades and we are now witnessing serious changes in global weather patterns. While some countries are suffering heat waves, other countries are suffering from terrible snow storms. But that isn’t the worst of the problem. The changes in the climate are also causing extreme weather such as typhoons, earthquakes and tsunamis, which are devastating many countries. On top of that, there are also concerns about rising sea levels, which although not a problem now, will be a serious concern to any low lying country in the future. So, I feel that climate change is something which needs to be taken very seriously.


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  1. Hi liz,

    I noticed your sample answers take around a minute for each. And as we all know that the speaking part 2 asks the candidate to speak just between one and two minutes. Don’t you think that answering part 3 question for around a minute of long for each is a bit long? Moreover, your sample is long a minute in a native speaker speed, so imagine how long will it take with others. It could take quite longer or near to hit 2 minutes.

    The second thing I’d like to ask you is you said in the second sample ‘On top of that, ..’. Sometime I a bit confuse between using ‘that’ and ‘this’ in like that sentence. why didn’t you say ‘On top of this’ ? I think you’ve just mentioned some points and then you need to highlight another more important point, so you may say ‘on top of this’ or ‘on top of these’ as ‘this’ or ‘these’ refers to near idea you’ve just said previously.

    Thank you for educating us..

    Best wishes


    • Hi Anas,

      There is no right and wrong length for an answer in speaking part 3. The aim is to give a long answer with lots of ideas and examples, the examiner will interrupt if he or she wants to move one. These sample answers are to give ideas, language and show a general method of answering questions. The length is also fine for someone with band score 9. Sample answers should be used to learn from, not to copy. Don’t over think. It is a natural test, answers are not a specific length. While some answers might be 1 min, others could be only 30 second.
      It is fine to say “On top of that..”. It’s an idiom which is fine to use when referring to something in the same paragraph or sentence – for speaking, not academic writing.
      All the best

  2. prajeesha says:

    Hello mam… I have been receiving your posts since a week ago. I had a 2 year gap in the formal IELTS training. However, I just attempted an exam on 28th February by studying your materials only. I did this just to know my level and just to assess myself that how far I improved being in the UK for 1 year. I am keep on practicing your materials as I want to write again after a good preparation. the reading was tough for me. one passage was about finding the given information from the passage, matching the information with the author or researcher in that passage and sentence completion. these three I had problems with. Though I could complete in 1 hour, I need to do it in hurry to attempt all questions. If you give some tips on these that will be a great help.

    The writing task 1 was a diagram about electricity production from coal. Task 2 question was: in many countries, a few people receive high salaries. Some says this is good for the country. Others say government should not allow the salary above a certain limit. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
    One side I wrote about the money can be saved and that can be used for the development of the country, improving health care, free medical treatment, education, transport and so on. The other side I wrote about equal salary promote equality among people, avoid gap between rich and poor, harmony, avoiding violence and so on. In conclusion I wrote that salary should be according to the qualification and experience to enhance productivity. Government get enough funds in the form of tax. That can be utilized for the development.
    If you give your views and share, your other students will benefit from it. Thank you mam.

    • Hi,

      I have a free video lesson to learn about true false not given questions (you can find it on the home page in the right hand column) but tips for sentence completion are in written lessons. It sounds like you have very good ideas for your essay but your score will also depend on how you used the ideas and your level of English. I’ll put more ideas for this task 2 essay question on my blog later this week. Your score will also depend on where you stated your opinion and how much you explained it – the opinion has equal importance to the discussion.
      Let me know your results when you get them.
      All the best

  3. hi liz! i read a discussion essay with an instruction to write an essay on ” benefits and risks of living long” , but the writer gave an opinion in the introduction “that it is not beneficial”. is it right to give an opinion in the introduction of discussion essays? or is it preferable to write an opinion in the conclusion if one wishes to write?

    • Hi,

      It’s depends on the instructions. If the instructions are to discuss both sides and give your opinion, then you must follow the instructions. That means both the discuss and opinion are equally important. So, you would need to put your opinion in the introduction, state your opinion again in the body somewhere and then conclude it. If it doesn’t ask for your opinion, then don’t give it at all.
      All the best

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