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IELTS Speaking | Overview

IELTS Speaking Test:
  • The IELTS Speaking Test is the final part of the exam. Your test will usually be at some time between 1.30pm and 5.00pm. You can take only your ID document into the exam room
  • The test lasts between 11 and 14 minutes. You will be interviewed by an examiner who will record your conversation. Timing is strictly controlled by the examiner, so do not be surprised if he or she interrupts you during an answer.

There are 3 parts in the Speaking Test:

  • Introduction/ interview: around 10 questions in 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Short presentation: talk for 2 minutes with 1 minute to prepare.
  • Discussion: around 5 questions in 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Preparation is the key to a good score in IELTS Speaking. Different skills are tested in each part, so you need to know exactly what to do.
  • We can predict the kinds of questions that the examiner will ask. We will prepare ideas, possible answers and good vocabulary for each part of the test.

Which part is the most important?

  • Do the 3 parts of the speaking test carry equal weighting when your score is calculated, or is one part more important?
  • The simple answer is that the 3 parts are not scored separately; the examiner rates the student's performance as a whole. In this sense, neither part is more important. However, it's useful to think about the 3 parts like this:
  • Part 1 is supposed to be quite easy (like a warm-up), so you won't get a high score if you only do well in this part.
  • Part 2 is when the examiner really gets a chance to assess how good you are. He/she will now have an idea of what scores to give you.
  • During part 3, the examiner is making his/her final decision. A good performance here can boost your score. .

If you don’t understand, …

  • What should you do if you don't understand a question in the speaking test? Here are some tips:
  • In part 1, the examiner is not allowed to help you, but he/she can repeat the question. Just say: "Sorry, can you repeat the question please?" If you still don't understand the second time, try to say something related to the topic or any of the words that you heard. Try your best, then focus on the next question.
  • In part 2, you are given a task card with the question written on it, so you shouldn't have any problems in this part. If there is a word that you don't understand on the task card, don't ask the examiner - he/she is not allowed to help.
  • In part 3, the examiner is allowed to rephrase the question. If you don't understand, just say something like: "Sorry, can you explain that question in a different way please?"

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