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 candidates are wondering about the different schemes and formats of the test and what they need to know to master the IELTS, here is all that is 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 sentence formation and the placing of the ideas based on the logical pathway. Also, the 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 to speak effortlessly.
In a nutshell
Here is all that one needs to know about the IELTS Speaking section.
The section is divided into 3 parts where candidates will be asked questions on a personal basis and then asked to speak about a random topic extensively. Candidates' opinions and perspectives on this random topic will then be carried forward to the third section where they will discuss with the examiner about their 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 candidates discuss as much as they 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 about 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 in 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 as well as the aspect that the candidate needs to focus on while talking. Candidates will be given 1 whole minute to prepare for their talk. Candidates will also be given a pencil and paper to organize their thoughts into the format they deem will make the most sense. Candidates 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 the candidate's organizational skills and the way they can structure their thoughts into words. Candidates are allowed to draw from their own experiences when they talk since the judgment is about how long candidates can speak without being prompted by the examiner.
Section 3-Discussion The last part, the 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 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
Keeping eye contact implies that the candidate is confident in their thoughts. So, maintain eye contact.
Disagreeing with the examiner creates the impression that the candidate is firm in their opinions and that they are not a people-pleaser. It also keeps the conversation lively and going.
Stick to the point. The questions asked will never be in general except for section 1. If the question is specific, candidates should keep their answers specific. Meandering is fine as long as they don’t stray far from the topic.
Understand the time limit. Do NOT blabber to fill time. Do NOT cut short contemplating about time. Candidates' Focus should be on conveying their thoughts.
Talk. Keep in mind that it is a conversation and not a speech. In case candidates have studied a speech for the first section, deliver it like a conversation.
Keep demeanor pleasant. Smile and nod politely. Do NOT show anger and frustration if the examiner has differing views.
Candidates are advised NOT to use pompous words to reflect their vocabulary skills. Use words in their context. Keep it simple.
All accents are acceptable. Do NOT fret over your accent and fake another accent.
Avoid the use of fillers. Silence is better than fillers.
Candidate's fluency and use of language matter more than the content. So, candidates should stay confident in their language skills even if they can only produce mediocre content for the given topic.