IELTS Speaking Part 3 – Band 9 Strategies – Value of Art

Here are the Speaking part 3 questions that we covered in the past. Remember to practice your speaking by clicking, “Student Partner Speaking” in your My Student Account at (Use code A8TW9 to get a 10% discount when you join the Premium Package).


Describe a beautiful piece of art that you have seen or heard, as a painting, or movie, or music.

You should say:

-What was the work of art?
-Where did you see it?
-What made this work of art beautiful?
-The meaning of this artwork and the impact this work of art had on you.

You will have one to two minutes to talk about this topic.
You will have one minute to prepare what you are going to say.

A wonderful piece of art that has had a significant impact on my life is the move called, In the Pursuit of Happiness. This movie was released in 2003. The story is set in that time in the city of San Francisco, and the main character, a poor salesman who struggles to raise his son as a single parent is played by Will Smith. The directing is by Gabriel Muccino and he does a fantastic job of bringing this story to the silver screen. This movie was a blockbuster and along with millions of people I had watched it at the time of its release with my friends and family in our home. We rented it on DVD and watched it together on the weekend. The story is based on the real-life events of Chris Gardner who became improvised after losing his life earnings in bad investments and then rose to the top of a brokerage firm starting at the bottom of the latter as an intern. He was strongly motivated by his son, he wanted to give him a happy and prosperous childhood. The lesson that I learned from the movie is that I have to be determined and focused to pursue my life goals and happiness, and never stop trying. I even took a quote from the movie and wrote it on my office door, “When you fall on the ground, fall forward, so you can see what you fall on.” One of my dreams is to move to Canada and I will never give up pursuing this. And, for this reason, I really think that this movie is a wonderful work of art and highly recommend it to others.


Art and value

What makes a work of art valuable?
I believe that the talent of the artist as well as the powerful emotions that are elicited by a work of art can make it extremely valuable. Like Leonardo de Vinci’s Mona Lisa, truly reflects the mastery of the renaissance style and creates a strange emotion for the audience because of Mona Lisa’s strange and magnetic smile. For these reasons, this painting is valued at over 600 million dollars.

Why are some works of art very expensive, while some are not?
I think that some masterpieces are extremely costly because of the talent, effort, and money invested, like the movie I talked about in part 2, which cost millions of dollars to produce. However, many works of art are much simpler and demand very little, such as a homemade flick shot in the basement or garage. This simply would not get billions of dollars in revenue.

Do you believe art is a worthwhile endeavor for human beings to pursue? [Why?]
Yes, I most certainly feel that it is a good passion to create art for people as it is the sincerest form of self-expression and has the power to change society, like the movie In the Pursuit of Happiness has inspired millions of people to be the best version of themselves and never give up on their goals. Songs, paintings, and other works of art motivate and influence people around the world every day, and for this reason, individuals should always be excited about creating art.

Art is displayed in publically funded galleries and museums all over the world. Do you believe this is a positive usage of taxpayer’s money? [Why/Why not?]

Yes, I support the practice of using tax money to fund galleries and museums as this helps both societies to become more educated and grow an appreciation for works of art and history as well as provides freedom of expression to artists without the pressures of the private sector.

Aesthetic experiences

Besides works of art, what other objects can a person have an aesthetic experience of?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There are many different objects which may be regarded as beautiful, such as a rock or a mountain. For others, there may be abstract objects of beauty like a piece of literature or dance choreography.

Do you believe that human beings have an innate sense of beauty? How is this shown in society?
Do you believe that your experience of art is an emotional experience? Can physical emotions be elicited from works of art such as paintings or music?

Thinking outside the box – creatively and laterally is key to getting high band scores on exams including the IELTS!
Here is a challenging exercise to help you with this.

Rules – connect the following nine dots with four STRAIGHT lines WITHOUT lifting your pen/pencil off the paper!

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