“Occasion” frequently appears as a subsequent topic in IELTS Speaking Part 3. The following compilation includes potential exam questions and answers you might come across in this section of the IELTS Speaking test.
These questions draw from actual IELTS speaking exams, providing a valuable resource for Part 3 prediction and aiding in your test preparation.
Occasion Speaking Part 3 – Discussion 1
- What do you think of people who achieve success independently?I admire individuals who are successful and have achieved something off their own back. People that come from working class backgrounds and become successful entrepreneurs for example. It really shows that without money, people can achieve something with drive and determination.
- When do you think people quit their efforts while trying to achieve a goal?In my opinion, people are more likely to give up when the going gets tough. If you haven’t achieved your goal by the milestone you wanted to, this can be really disappointing. For example, once I set an unrealistic goal to lose 5 kilos in a month. When I didn’t achieve it, I went back to old habits and put on weight again. That’s why it is important that goals are realistic.
- What in young people’s opinion is the most important thing in school life?From my experience, the most fundamental aspect of life at school for young people is making friends and fitting in. Although it should be studying and getting good exam results, at that time in your life you are working out who you are and belonging is a really important part of that.
Occasion Vocabulary Speaking Part 3 – Discussion 1
- off their own backs – self motivated, without help
- when the going gets tough – when life gets difficult
- fit in – belong to a social group
- Let’s talk about the topic of convocations.Alright!
- What are the main reasons for having convocations?Convocations are opportunities to assemble people for formal occasions. In some cases, it could be for religious or political purposes, but it could also refer to formal gatherings of people in other contexts, such as a graduation or a wedding.
- Do you celebrate naming ceremonies in your country?Yes, we do. There are different types of naming ceremonies in Greece, but the most common one is the Greek Orthodox Baptism. During baptism, a priest reads blessings and baptises the newborn with the presence of the child’s parents, godparents and other relatives.
- How are weddings celebrated in your country?At Greek Orthodox Churches, the priest first blesses the rings three times. He crowns the couple with wreaths that are linked through a ribbon, then he reads from the bible. The couple sip wine from the same glass, walk around the altar three times, and are blessed by the priest.
- Do wedding traditions differ in depending on locations in your country?Yes. When it comes to food, for example, in the Island of Crete it is traditional to serve ‘gamokoulouro’, which ingredients include bread with raisins, pine nuts and berries. It is a wedding specialty, and may be given as a present to the maid of honour.
Vocabulary for Discussion 2
- purposes = goals
- newborn = baby
- wreaths = floral crowns
- sip = drink only a few drops
- What do you usually do on your birthday?On my birthday, I get together with my family and we usually have a small party with food and a cake. I usually receive a few small gifts from my family, less now than when I was a child. The important thing is being together and having a laugh, it doesn’t matter as much where you are or what you do.
- Does money make people happy?I believe to a degree, it does. People need a certain amount of money to get by; pay the bills and buy food and this makes them feel happier. On the other hand, I don’t think having an enormous amount of money necessarily goes together with happiness. Rich people often have less time and more responsibility to others and that could be stressful.
- Is it important to have goals in life?It is very important to have goals as this is what motivates us to do better and fulfil our potential. If you don’t have goals then life could seem hopeless. Having said that, goals can be whatever you want to achieve, they don’t have to be about being rich or famous, that is not the be all and end all.
- Do you have a life goal?Yes, I would like to have a family one day and to have a job that earns enough to support them. I have always enjoyed being part of a large family and I would like to continue that with my own children. That is some way off yet, but something I would like to achieve.
- Why do people work hard to achieve their dreams?I think there is a deep sense of satisfaction when you achieve something that has taken hard work and effort. If everything was easy come easy go, we wouldn’t appreciate it in the same way. For example, saving some money and buying something gives an enormous sense of achievement.
- Does it matter if you fail to achieve a goal?Of course it is important, but it is not the end of the world. For instance, if you fail an exam, the most important thing is to pick yourself up and try again and not to give up on yourself. Some goals are harder to achieve than others and it takes a few attempts and a lot of effort to get what you want.
Vocabulary for Discussion 3
- to get by – to survive with enough money for basic needs
- the be all and end all – the most important thing
- easy come, easy go – so get something without trying
- the end of the world – catastrophic, something terrible happens
- Have you ever done anything to raise money for charity?When I was at school, we did a sponsored silence. We asked family members to give us some money and then we had to be quiet for two hours. I managed to complete it but lots of the kids couldn’t keep quiet to save their lives. I think we only raised a few pounds but it was a good way to introduce children to charity.
- How can children get involved with charities?By organising similar things like sponsored events, helping relatives for money or doing a sport to raise money. It is good to get them involved from the outset so they can continue giving to charity throughout their lives. Kids love doing activities and sports so it isn’t a chore, they can enjoy it and do a good deed at the same time.
- Do you think children should be encouraged to do charity work?Yes, I think that parents and schools should encourage it because there is always someone worse off in the world and everybody has a responsibility to make it a better place. By motivating them at a young age, children can think of charitable acts as the norm and continue to do it.
- Are the government obliged to give money to charity organisations?It depends on the economy of the country. If the country is wealthy I think they have more obligation to help others, for example, aid to war victims or refugees. Also it sets a good example to the citizens if the government is seen to donate to charities.
Vocabulary for Discussion 4
- couldn´t (do something) to save their lives – impossible for somebody to do
- from the outset – from the start
- worse off – person in a less fortunate position in life, e.g. with less money
- set a good example – at do something positive that others can copy
- Why do people throw parties?People sometimes wish to celebrate important moments or new chapters in their lives. Some of those changes may be a little nerve-racking for some people, and so having other people’s support is very valuable. Other parties are thrown to share joy with people, and to ensure happy memories are created.
- Have you ever thrown a party?I threw a big party for my thirtieth birthday. It was an important milestone for me, and I invited close family and friends. We had a delectable meal, and we talked about turning over a new leaf. We tried to strike a balance between serious and happier topics.
- How different are parties now from ones in the past?I think that the accessibility and the activities involved in parties have shifted. You may find more diversity in many parties now than in the early twentieth century, for example. Naturally, music and catering have changed, and are now consumed more freely by people, regardless of gender or ethnic background.
- What makes a good party?When planning a party, I think it is important to choose your audience well, so that everyone can make the most of it. Depending on the occasion, music, food and drinks can make a significant difference. Hosting and the way guests are welcomed will also determine the party’s success.
Vocabulary for Discussion 5
- nerve-racking = causing great anxiety
- delectable = delicious
- turning over a new leaf = starting a new beginning
- strike a balance = ensure there is a healthy amount of
- shifted = changed
- catering = food and drinks
- audience = (in this case) the people involved
- determine = decide
- Do you know anyone who enjoys getting up early?I know some friends of mine who like to wake get up early, because they feel that they can spend their time more wisely and productively that way. I think it’s a matter of habit, although I understand that it may be challenging to those who aren’t used to it.
- Why do you think that people get up early?I think that people get up early to maximise their time where they can be productive. A lot of businesses, for instance, only open during the day, so it often offers a greater payoff to start the day early, to get more things done.
- What kind of situations require arriving early?Situations such as job interviews and meetings would necessitate arriving early. Not only does it show professionalism, but it also appeases the mind to know that you are where you are meant to be with time to spare. It helps feel more prepared and confident.
- Why do you think that some people like to stay up late?It could be that some people have a fear of missing out, so they want to stay up as late as possible. I think there may also be an innate fear of the night that dates back to prehistorical times, where the night might have perplexed people.
Vocabulary for Discussion 6
- a matter of habit = it’s about creating a habit/routine
- payoff = benefit
- necessitate = need
- appeases the mind = relieves stress
- time to spare = earlier than required, with time between the arrival and the beginning of the event that is to come
- perplexed = confused
- What are necessary qualities for taking care of older people?I believe that compassion and patience are crucial for such practice. Elderly people may feel lonely and may seek human interaction. A good listening ear is therefore key. It’s also important to be resilient, because if a dear elderly person passes away, it could be hard to handle such loss.
- Do you think it is best for older people to be looked after at home?I believe it depends on the person and on their relationships with the people looking after them. Some people may prefer to have frequent social interaction with friends, in which case a retirement home or facility may be more suitable for them.
- How can we help the elderly during an epidemic in our neighbourhoods?We can provide emotional support through phone conversations. It is also possible to help order their groceries online so they are delivered to their door. Soliciting help from the community to create virtual social events could also help a great deal.
- Have you ever witnessed such help?Yes. My neighbourhood actually provided online events, such as quizzes and bingo nights that took place virtually. I believe it really made a difference to a lot of people’s mental health over the Covid-19 pandemic, where quarantine was taking its toll on them.
Vocabulary for Discussion 7
- crucial = essential
- listening ear = being there to really listen with care to someone
- resilient = sturdy, won’t break down easily
- soliciting = ask for a favour or service
- a great deal = a lot
- taking its toll on = to have serious and bad effects on someone or something