IELTS Speaking Parts
The IELTS Speaking test consists of three parts, each designed to evaluate different aspects of a test taker’s English speaking ability:
Part 1: Introduction and Interview (4-5 minutes)
In this part, the examiner introduces themselves and asks the test-taker to introduce themselves and answer general questions about their life, work/study, hobbies, and interests. This part is designed to evaluate the test-taker’s ability to communicate basic personal information and engage in small talk.
Example Part 1:
Examiner: Good morning/afternoon. Can you tell me your full name, please?
Test-taker: Yes, my name is John Smith.
Examiner: Thank you, John. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
Test-taker: Sure. I’m from Australia, and I work as a graphic designer. In my free time, I enjoy playing guitar and going for hikes in the mountains.
Examiner: That’s interesting. What kind of music do you like to play on guitar?
Test-taker: Mostly rock and blues. I’m a big fan of Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton.
Part 2: Cue Card/Individual Long Turn (3-4 minutes)
In this part, the test-taker is given a cue card with a topic and is asked to speak on that topic for two minutes. The topic may be related to personal experience, opinions, or general knowledge. The test-taker has one minute to prepare their response before speaking. This part is designed to evaluate the test-taker’s ability to speak at length on a given topic, organize their thoughts, and convey ideas clearly and coherently.
Example Part 2:
Examiner: Now, I’d like you to talk about a memorable holiday or trip you have taken. Here is a cue card with the topic on it. You will have one minute to prepare before you begin speaking, and I will tell you when to start and when to stop. Please begin preparing now.
[One minute later]
Examiner: OK, John. Please begin speaking now.
Test-taker: Sure. One of the most memorable trips I’ve taken was to India a few years ago…
[The test-taker continues to speak for two minutes on the topic of their trip to India, describing the places they visited, the experiences they had, and why it was so memorable.]
Part 3: Two-Way Discussion (4-5 minutes)
In this part, the examiner asks follow-up questions related to the topic in part two, as well as more general questions related to the test-taker’s opinions and experiences. This part is designed to evaluate the test-taker’s ability to discuss abstract ideas, express and justify opinions, and engage in a meaningful conversation.
Example Part 3:
Examiner: Thank you, John. Now, I’d like to ask you some follow-up questions related to your trip to Thailand. Can you tell me more about the food you tried there?
Test-taker: Sure. The food in Thailand was amazing. I tried a lot of different dishes, like pad Thai, green curry, and mango sticky rice.
Examiner: That sounds delicious. Did you have any trouble communicating with the locals there, since English is not their first language?
Test-taker: At first, it was a bit challenging, but most people spoke enough English to help us out when we needed it. And we also tried to learn some basic Thai phrases to communicate better.
Examiner: That’s great. And do you think it’s important for people to travel and experience different cultures?
Test-taker: Definitely. I think traveling is a great way to broaden your horizons, learn about different cultures, and gain new perspectives on the world.
Overall, the IELTS Speaking test is designed to evaluate a range of language skills, including fluency, coherence, grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation, as well as the test-taker’s ability to engage in natural and meaningful communication in English.