Last Updated: February 15, 2021

IELTS Speaking Test- What You Need to Know

The IELTS test, which enables candidates to obtain a student visa, has four parts, viz, listening, reading, writing, and speaking. To complete the examination, the candidate needs to appear for all four parts. The total examination time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

The IELTS Speaking test is a face-to-face interview that takes place between the candidate and an examiner. This test has three segments, and each of them follows a particular format to test the speaking ability in different ways. The entire Speaking test is recorded.

If you are wondering as to the different scheme and format of the test and what you need to know to master the IELTS, here is all that you needed to know.

IELTS Speaking Scoring Criteria

To assess the speaking performance of the entire test, certified IELTS examiners are appointed. Four assessment criteria are fixed based on which the examiner marks the candidate. Fluency, coherence, lexical resource, grammatical range, accuracy, and pronunciation are the four parameters based on which the candidate is marked.

Fluency and coherence help to identify how well the candidate can speak at a normal rate of speech without much hesitation. This also includes the sentence formation and the placing of the ideas based on the logical pathway. Also, linkage of the words along with the pronouns, conjunctions, and other parts of speech will define whether or not the candidate is eligible for international studies. On the other hand, the lexical resources are the test where the candidate has judged on his range of vocabulary that one uses appropriately and accurately. Vocabulary and alternate vocabulary are essential to express the meaning and IELTS speaking test marks whether it is good enough for international studies, work, or immigration.

Needless to say, the grammatical range and the accuracy help to assess the grammar range used by the candidate along with its accuracy and appropriation. Pronunciation is another criterion to mark the ability how the candidate speaks effortlessly.

Speaking Test In a nutshell

Here is all that you need to know about the IELTS Speaking section.
The section is divided into 3 parts where you will be asked questions on a personal basis and then asked to speak about a random topic extensively. Your opinions and perspective on this random topic will be then be carried forward to the third section where you will have a discussion with the examiner about your viewpoints regarding the same.

The first section will be of around 3-4 minutes. The second task is given a minute to think about the topic and 2 minutes to talk about it. The final part is also given another 3-4 minutes where you discuss as much as you can about relating ideas.

Section 1-Introduction and interview In this, the candidate is judged on his ability to give opinions and information on day-to-day topics and everyday experiences. The questions that will be asked will be in relation to concepts like home, family, work, studies, and other personal interests. Also, the examiner sees how the candidate answers to the regular situations by answering a certain set of questions. There will be no specific number of questions to this part but the questions will be taken from a script to not appear random.

Section 2-Long turn This is the most important part of the speaking test where the candidate is given a task card by the examiner to speak on a particular topic. All the instructions are stated in the card and also the aspect that the candidate needs to focus on while talking. You will be given 1 whole minute to prepare for your talk. You will also be given a pencil and paper to organize your thoughts into the format you deem will make the most sense. You will be asked to talk for over 1 minute and a maximum of 2 minutes. Hence, this part of the test enables one to understand the appropriate use of the language. The examiner will be able to deduce your organizational skills and the way you can structure your thoughts into words. You are allowed to draw from your own experiences when you talk since the judgment is about how long you can speak without being prompted by the examiner.

Section 3-Discussion The last part, discussion, is related to the topic that was provided in part 2 of the speaking test. The candidate is judged by his ability to retain the opinions and ideas and also helps to analyze, speculate and discuss the given issues. There is no strict number of questions for this section as well. It lasts for around 4-5 minutes in all and is mainly a discussion regarding the previous section.

IELTS Speaking Scoring

The scoring system depends on various aspects like the fluency and coherence of the speaker along with the lexical resource, grammatical range and accuracy, and pronunciation the candidate has. Example conversation with a score of 7

Tips to Ace the Speaking Test




IELTS Resources


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IELTS Speaking


IELTS Practice Tests/Reading


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