IELTS Speaking Exam General Information

What is the IELTS Speaking exam?

The IELTS Speaking exam is one of the four parts of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam, which is designed to assess the English language proficiency of non-native English speakers. The Speaking test is a face-to-face interview with a certified examiner, and it assesses a test-taker’s ability to communicate effectively in English through a range of speaking tasks.


What are the format and timing of the IELTS Speaking exam?

The IELTS Speaking exam is divided into three parts and takes about 11-14 minutes to complete. Here is the breakdown of each part:


Part 1: Introduction and Interview (4-5 minutes) – In this part, the examiner will introduce themselves and ask the test-taker some general questions about themselves, such as their name, where they come from, their job or studies, hobbies and interests, etc.

Part 2: Cue Card/Individual Long Turn (3-4 minutes) – In this part, the test-taker will be given a cue card with a topic on it and will have one minute to prepare before speaking for up to two minutes on the topic. The topic will be related to the test-taker’s personal experiences, opinions, or ideas.

Part 3: Two-Way Discussion (4-5 minutes) – In this part, the examiner will ask the test-taker some follow-up questions related to the topic in Part 2. The questions will be more abstract and complex, requiring the test-taker to express opinions, speculate, and hypothesize.


How is the IELTS Speaking exam scored?

The IELTS Speaking exam is scored on a nine-band scale, with each band representing a level of English language proficiency. The score is based on four criteria: fluency and coherence, lexical resource, grammatical range and accuracy, and pronunciation. The examiner will assess the test-taker’s performance in each criterion and give a score between 0 and 9 for each, which will then be averaged to give an overall band score for the Speaking exam.


How can I prepare for the IELTS Speaking exam?

To prepare for the IELTS Speaking exam, it’s important to practice speaking English regularly and develop your skills in the areas assessed in the exam. You can also use official IELTS practice materials, such as sample Speaking questions and practice tests, to get a sense of what to expect on test day. Consider working with a language tutor or taking an IELTS preparation course to get personalized feedback and guidance on your speaking skills. Additionally, try to listen to and speak with native English speakers as much as possible to improve your fluency and accuracy.

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