IELTS Speaking Part 3 | Do you agree or disagree that the older people are, the more patient they are?

Suggested Answer:

I definitely agree with that.1 Older people have a lot more patience because they’re more comfortable in their own skin,2 as opposed to youngsters who are always a bit too eager to impress.3 I think this eagerness that younger people have causes anxiety, which in turn makes them a lot less patient.4 Older people, on the other hand,5 are more relaxed about life and are therefore a lot less worried about minor things such as waiting an extra ten minutes for a bus. When a person is comfortable with who they are, they tend to care less about insignificant things.


1 – Make sure you answer the question. If the examiner asks you whether you agree or disagree with something, so you need to answer that. A common mistake for A or B questions is simply stating your opinion (“Older people are more patient”). The examiner asked you a question: do you agree or disagree? Now answer it!

2To be comfortable in your own skin is the kind of idiom IELTS students should be using, unlike the classic ‘trying too hard’ idioms such as raining cats and dogs that no native speaker actually uses. People are comfortable in their own skin when they have confidence about who they are, i.e. they are not trying to be someone else.

Before I got married, I was always trying to impress women. Now I’m more comfortable in my own skin.
If you’re comfortable in your own skin, you don’t care what others think.
She seems comfortable in her own skin.

3 To be eager to impress is a high-level collocation that I would expect from a band 7+ student. It means to really want someone to think highly of you. It can be used either with or without an object, with the object being the person/people you want to impress.

It’s my first day at the job, so I‘m eager to impress.
It’s my first day at the job, so I‘m eager to impress my boss.

4 – In IELTS Speaking Part 3, you really need to layer points. It is not good enough to answer every question with a straight answer plus an example. You need to show cause and effect. In this example:

eager to impress – become anxious – less patient

I have included three layers in my answer: (1) Younger people want everyone to think they’re cool. (2) This makes them more worried about what’s going on around them. (3) This causes them to be impatient, as something unimportant like a bus being late is more important in their eyes.

5 – This is a good example of a small difference between native and non-native English speakers. There is nothing wrong with using on the other hand at the beginning of a sentence, but I rarely hear non-native speakers use this phrase after the subject. It’s a small difference, but it is a nice weapon to have in your arsenal.

I like watching movies. On the other hand, my brother prefers listening to music.
I like watching movies. My brother, on the other hand, prefers listening to music.

Both of these are correct. The first example is more common in written English, whereas the second example is more common in spoken English.

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