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The interview: section three – IELTS

Task description

Section three is like a role play. The examiner will explain a situation to you and then instruct you to ask questions to find out more information. The examiner will give you a card with around six question prompts to help you make the questions. You should use the question prompts to ask all the questions on the card. Be ready to ask additional questions if the examiner invites you to, or if the examiner looks expectantly at you after you have asked all the prompted ones.

What is being tested is your ability to:

  • use a question form correctly
  • use a variety of question words
  • ask questions politely

>> Sample questions

The examiner says:
‘I have just enrolled in a new course. You want to find out about the course. Look at this card carefully and when you’re ready begin to ask your questions.’

Interview card

The interviewer has just enrolled in a course. Ask the interviewer some questions to find out about the course.
Title of course?
How long?
Location?
Purpose?
Cost?

Strategies for approaching the task
Before the test, you need to practise making correct questions using a variety of question words appropriate to the situation.

You also need to practise making your questions polite. There are two main ways to do this.

1. Use an introductory sentence politely, asking the interviewer to give you the information. For example:

  Marianne, I’d like to ask you some questions about your course, if that’s all right.

  (Interviewer responds by nodding agreement or saying ‘Certainly. What’s the name of the course?)

2. Use embedded questions. For example:

  Could you tell me the name of the course, please?

Notice that with embedded questions we use the statement word order, not:

  Could you tell me what is the name of the course?

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