header ielts speaking
1. FORMAT AND DESCRIPTION

On the day of your Speaking Exam, you will be interviewed by an examiner and your conversation will be recorded. It will last between 11-14 minutes and it will be divided into 3 parts. 

Preparing yourself for this section of the exam is important, not only because you must control and be fluent in certain topics, but because practicing the situation beforehand will help you feel less nervous. 

Your result will be presented as an average of the four skills of the exam (Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening). The band score represents the level of English you have achieved. 

2. TEST FORMAT

The Speaking is an oral interview with an examiner, who will be marking how you are using the language. They will pay attention to your grammar, the vocabulary you are using, your pronunciation, and fluency. Remember this process will be recorded.

As we mentioned, the conversation will last between 11 to 14 minutes and will be divided into 3 parts. Let’s have a look at what you must do in each section: 

PART 1

The examiner will ask you general questions about yourself and general topics.

This part lasts between 4 to 5 minutes.

PART 2

You will be given a card which asks you to talk about a particular topic.

You will have 1 minute to prepare before speaking for up to 2 minutes. The examiner will then ask 1 or 2 questions on the same topic.

PART 3

You will be asked further questions about the topic in Part 2. These will give you the opportunity to discuss more abstract ideas and issues.

This part of the test lasts between 4 and 5 minutes.

PART 1 INTRODUCTION AND INTERVIEW

First, the examiner introduces him/herself and checks your name. The examiner will then ask you questions on a range of familiar topics, such as home, family, work, studies, and interests.

This part of the test focuses on your ability to communicate opinions, give information on everyday topics and common experiences or situations by answering various questions.

Give an honest, clear response to the questions. There is no need to make it too complicated and add unnecessary information.

PART 2 INDIVIDUAL LONG-SPEAKING

The examiner will give you a written task card about a particular topic, it includes points to cover in the talk as well as instructions to explain one aspect of the topic. You have 1 minute to think and take some notes before you have to speak for 2 minutes.

The task card may look something like this:

Describe an interesting sport that you play. 

You should talk about: 

What sport it is 

How to play it

How often you play it

And explain why you think that sport is interesting.

The examiner will then ask some questions at the end of your talk.

This part of the test focuses on your ability to speak at length on a given topic. So, using the points on the task card effectively as well as making notes during the preparation time will help you to think of appropriate things to say, structure your talk, and continue talking for the full length of time.

PART 3 TWO-WAY DISCUSSION

In the Speaking section part 3, the examiner will ask you further questions about the topic discussed in part 2. The questions will require you to expand the point you made previously, giving an explanation or examples of experiences to support this point. The task will last around 3-4 minutes.

This part of the test focuses on the ability to express and justify opinions and to analyze, discuss and speculate about certain issues.

Your responses should not be too short, although they should not be too long either. You want to develop an answer that has an example or justify your views while giving the examiner time to ask you some more questions.

IELTS Speaking Exam
3. ADVICE TO IMPROVE YOUR SPEAKING SCORES

-Speak some English every day – The more you practice consistently, the more you will improve your speaking skills and fluency.

-Ask the examiner questions if you don’t understand – It is better to understand the question completely so you can give a correct response than to respond without knowing what exactly to say.

-Give full answers – Do NOT use ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers.

-Study and improve your vocabulary – This will help you give complete answers.

-Try to enjoy speaking English – Speak with a smile and be motivated, it will make you sound better while you are speaking.

4. EXAMPLE

Look at an example, remember that this candidate wants to achieve a band score of 8,5 which is an advanced level. Pay attention to the examiner´s instructions and the way the candidate behaves and how he explains his ideas. 

Band 8.5 - 9.0
5. HOW IT'S MARKED?

Candidates will be marked by a trained assessor. They are going to mark you in 4 areas. They are:

  1. Pronunciation: How natural you sound when you are speaking.
  2. Lexical Resources: Vocabulary
  3. Grammatical Range and Accuracy: Grammar mistakes and advanced grammar structures (eg. conditionals, passive tense, etc.) 
  4. Fluency and Coherence: How clear and well-organized your ideas are explained. 

In general, what does the examiner want to see?

They want to see how well you can communicate through spoken English and give appropriate responses to the questions. Remember that the examiners in the IELTS Speaking exam are simply testing if you can understand and communicate in English.

Don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be! It’s better to speak less but more confidently than speak more but with hesitations and mistakes.

6. RESULTS

A preview of your results will be available shortly, depending on the type of exam:   

paper-based: 13 days from the exam date. 

computer-delivered: 3 to 5 days from the exam date. 

The Test Report Form (TRF), will be sent to you via mail: 

  • 13 days after the paper-based 
  • 3 to 5 days after the computer-based. 

 The delivery might take up to 7 working days.  

7. RECOMMENDED MATERIALS

These are some of the materials we recommend:

BOOKS

Remember that practice makes perfect! Also, if you need any help you can always contact us for more information.

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