IELTS Speaking is the final skill assessed in your IELTS test. Similar to IELTS Listening, IELTS Speaking will not have different test formats for IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. During this test, the test taker will discuss a variety of questions with the IELTS Examiner. The test will be taken in a quiet room where the Examine will encourage you to speak on various topics. The IELTS Examiner will assess you during the time you speak.
IELTS Speaking test will assess your spoken English and all the speaking test will be conducted face-to-face with a certified IELTS Examiner. The entire test will be recorded in case they need to be reviewed.
Time Duration: 11-14 mins
IELTS Speaking Test will be conducted within 11- 14 minutes and within this time, the test taker and the Examiner will discuss a variety of topics. The Examiner will ask you general questions and give you prompts to encourage you to speak.
The Speaking test will assess your English Speaking skills in three parts
- Part 1- The test taker will be asked general questions about themselves with a range of familiar topics like home, family, work, studies, and interests.
- Part 2- The test taker will be given a task card and is required to talk on the given prompt. The Examiner will ask you a few questions after you finish speaking on the task.
- Part 3- More questions will be asked related to the task topic from Part 2, this will allow further discussions on the topic for more abstract ideas and issues.
Details on Parts of the IELTS Speaking
Speaking test in IELTS is almost like an oral interview, the test is taken in parts and each part fulfills a specific function in terms of interaction pattern, task input, and test-takers output.
Part 1: Introduction and Interview
For this part of the test, the test taker is asked to introduce themselves. The examiner will ask general questions on familiar topics such as home, family, work, studies, and interests, and the test taker is required to answer all questions that are asked.
The questions for this test are usually taken from a script. The examiner may ask you “why” or “why not” based on your answer; this test will prompt the test taker to speak and express.
This part of the test will last around 4-5 minutes. This part of the test follows the question and answer format and will focus on your ability to communicate.
Part 2: Long Turn
In this part of the test, the examiner will give a topic to the test taker and ask them to speak on it for a minute or two.
The topic will be given on a card that will contain prompts and a few points that the test taker can cover while they speak on the prompt. The test taker will also be provided with a piece of paper and a pencil for making notes on the prompt they need to speak on. The test taker will be given a minute to prepare for the topic.
The examiner will ask to speak for 2 minutes after the time for preparation ends. They will also tell you that they will stop you after the 2 minutes end. The examiner may ask you questions based on what you have said before the next part start.
This part of the test assesses the test taker’s ability to speak at a length. The format of the test is also made so that the test taker must speak for 2 minutes on the topic.
This part of the test will take 3-4 minutes including the preparation time. The test taker must answer the prompt with appropriate language in a logical, organized way. The test taker may add their own experience on the given topic to elaborate on the long turn question type.
Part 3: Discussion
Here, further discussions will be done on the topic given during Part 2. The topic from part 2 will be discussed here in a more general and abstract way. There will be a two-way discussion between the examiner and the test taker, here the test taker needs to show that they are capable of expressing and justifying opinions, analyzing, speculating, and discussing the topic in depth.
This test will take around 4-5 minutes and will assess the test taker’s ability to justify opinions and test the speaking skills of the test taker.
For IELTS Speaking, the test takers are assessed by IELTS Examiners. These Examiners are qualified and recruited by the test centers and approved by the British Council or IDP: IELTS Australia. The test-takers will be scored based on the following four criteria:
1. Fluency and Coherence
The test-takers will be assessed on their ability to talk with an adequate level of continuity. They will also be accessed based on their capability to link ideas and languages together to form a coherent and connected speech.
Speech rate and Speech Continuity are the key indicators of Fluency in IELTS Speaking. These are accessed with the test takers’ ability to make a constant pace in their speech. Their speech must be continuous, with a constant pace and without long pauses.
Logical sequencing of sentences, clear marking of stages of discussion, use of cohesive devices, and narration are the key indicators of Coherence. The test taker must have well-connected speech with the ideas that develop gradually. The test taker must be capable to express their answers with proper development narrations with a clear indication of what they are talking about.
2. Lexical Resources
Here the test takers will be assessed based on the vocabulary they use and whether they are used correctly or not. The IELTS test taker appearing for the IELTS Speaking test must have a rich vocabulary with the knowledge of using it properly.
Word Variety, Adequacy, and Appropriacy of the words used are the key indicators for Lexical Resources. The test taker must be able to use a variety of words, and synonyms and must be able to paraphrase words with proper meaning and accuracy to the context.
3. Grammatical Accuracy
The test takers are assessed based on the accurate and appropriate use of grammar, and the range of grammar used in Grammatical Range and Accuracy.
Length and complexity of the sentences, use of appropriate subordinate clauses, and range of sentence structure are the key indicators of Grammatical range. The test taker must be capable of showing that they can use a variety of sentence structures, citing long and complex sentences at times. The test takers must be capable of using appropriate subordinate clauses, and complex sentences and still be able to express themselves clearly.
The number of Grammatical Errors and the Communicative effect of Errors are the key indicators that determine Grammatical accuracy. For this, the test takers must use accurate grammar and must conduct proper communication. They should be able to carry out the test swiftly even if they make a grammatical error or even if they realize- they made an error.
The test taker will be assessed based on how clearly and naturally they can pronounce the words and express themselves making the examiner understand what they say. The test taker must be able to produce a comprehensible speech fulfilling the other requirements for the IELTS Speaking test.
The strain caused to the listener, unintelligible speech, and the noticeability of the speaker’s first language determines the pronunciation. Thus, the test taker must be able to produce clear enunciation of individual sounds and maintain rhythm in words and sentences with proper pauses and word stressing. Using a recognized accent is NOT a contributing factor for IELTS Speaking.
Tips For IELTS Speaking
- Be sure to practice your Speaking before the test. Practice speaking and expressing your views on different topics.
- Remember your English Speaking skills are assessed here not your knowledge.
- Be confident and chat freely with your examiner. IELTS Speaking test is not a formal interview, the test taker can be open and friendly with the examiner.
- Answer directly to the question, again, this test is not a knowledge test, don’t waste time thinking for answers in part 1 and part 3, simply answer the questions.
- In the second part of the test, the examiner will not look at your notes and you are free to look at the notes you made while talking.
- Try to talk as much as you can, express yourself and continue in a conversation, you also need to make eye contact with the examiner.
- Don’t be nervous, even when the examiner interrupts you. Listen to your examiner and simply continue with the test.
- Keep talking till your examiner stops you. You need to express yourself in English in order to score on the test. If you speak less, the examiner might not have enough content to score you.
- Try showing your skills, use complex and compound sentences, grammatical range and accuracy, and show off your vocabulary. But don’t use unfamiliar and inaccurate words.
- Use fillers. Speaking continuously is important for this test, but at times flow breaks, use fillers like “That’s an interesting question, I have never thought about that, but…, Let me see, That’s a good point “ instead of “Umm.., well…”.
- Even if you make grammatical errors, it’s okay. You can correct them if you want or simply continue with the test. Don’t go back to correct your grammar too much.
- Don’t speak in a monotone, you need to use variation as you speak; vary the stress and intonation to add emphasis. Use hand gestures and help the rhythm of the conversation.
- Ask for clarification, if you don’t understand the question.
Click here to learn more tips for IELTS Preparations.
Practice for IELTS Speaking
- Practice speaking as much as you can.
- Get familiar with the test format. Know how to answer the question.
- Aim to improve your vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation.
- Watch many movies, documentaries, and podcasts to listen and understand the language.
- Try using the language in your daily life.
- You can practice by writing down the things that you will have difficulty speaking. If your grammar is poor, then writing will also help you to speak up and gain more confidence while speaking.
- Even Reading newspapers, novels, blogs, etc can help you with the vocabulary. Some Pronunciations can be hard to pronounce so, reading books, and newspapers can come in handy.
- Whereas listening to music, podcasts can assist you with pronunciation.
- The more you practice or study, the more chance to score the best result.
- You can try testing yourself at home by giving a topic. And testing where you have a weak spot and focusing on that spot for a better outcome.
We hope our Gurubaa blog on “IELTS Speaking” helped you to clarify everything for your Speaking test. If you have any questions regarding the IELTS Speaking test, feel free to comment on your queries on this blog. You can also contact or visit Gurubaa Educational Institution for more information.