A Guide to IELTS Speaking: Format and Question Types
The IELTS speaking test consists of three parts and takes around 11-14 minutes to complete. The test is conducted in a face-to-face interview with an IELTS examiner.
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, their work/study, hobbies, interests, etc. This part aims to put the test taker at ease and assess their ability to use every day English.
Part 2: Cue card (3-4 minutes) In this part, the test taker is given a cue card with a topic to talk about. They are given one minute to prepare and then need to speak for up to two minutes on the topic. The topic usually asks the test taker to describe, compare, or discuss something. After the test taker has finished speaking, the examiner may ask a follow-up question.
Part 3: Discussion (4-5 minutes) In this part, the examiner will ask the test taker some more abstract questions related to the topic in Part 2. The aim is to assess the test taker’s ability to express and justify opinions, speculate, and evaluate ideas.
The speaking test is recorded and assessed by a trained examiner using a set of criteria that assesses the test taker’s fluency, coherence, lexical resource, grammatical range and accuracy, and pronunciation. The speaking test is designed to assess the test taker’s ability to communicate effectively in English in real-life situations.
IELTS Speaking test is a face-to-face interview between the test taker and an IELTS examiner. The test is usually conducted at an official IELTS test center, and it lasts for around 11-14 minutes. During the test, the examiner asks the test taker a series of questions related to everyday topics such as family, work, hobbies, and interests. The purpose of the test is to assess the test taker’s ability to communicate effectively in spoken English, including their fluency, vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, and coherence.
Task Focus: The task focus of the IELTS Speaking test is to assess the test taker’s ability to communicate effectively in English through a conversation with an examiner. The test taker is evaluated on their ability to speak fluently and coherently, to use a range of vocabulary and grammatical structures accurately, and to express their opinions and ideas clearly and appropriately. The test is designed to assess the test taker’s ability to use English for social, academic, and professional purposes. The Speaking test consists of three parts, each with a specific task focus, including:
1. Part 1: General Conversation – to assess the test taker’s ability to answer questions about familiar topics and to give personal information about themselves.
2. Part 2: Long Turn – to assess the test taker’s ability to speak at length on a given topic, to organize their thoughts and ideas, and to use a range of language effectively.
3. Part 3: Discussion – to assess the test taker’s ability to express and justify opinions, to analyze and evaluate ideas, and to speculate on abstract issues.
Performance descriptors: The IELTS Speaking test is assessed based on four criteria, each of which has a number of band descriptors that are used to determine the test taker’s score.
|Fluency and Coherence||Talking at length
Talking without pause or hesitation
Talking without self-correction
Able to be understood
Using linking devices
|Lexical Resource||Using a range of words and paraphrasing
Using less common vocabulary
|Grammatical Range and Accuracy||Using a range of sentence structures
Using a range of grammar tenses
|Pronunciation||Able to be understood throughout the test
Able to use intonation
Accent does not affect understanding
Accurate word and sound pronunciation