IELTS Speaking Exam
IELTS speaking test lasts only 11-14 minutes; the IELTS examinerwill ask questions in three
Sample of student's speaking transcript
IELTS speaking Part 1: Short Q & A about familiar Topics (3-4
minutes): Always either a question about where you live or where you work/study; and one additional question
about familiar topics such as hobbies, holidays, sports, entertainment.
2: Long Turn (2 minutes plus 1 minute for preparation): Candidates
are given a topic card and then given 1 minute to prepare a 2 minute answer. Topics include describing or
commenting on a person, place, or movie. The examiner may ask 1 or 2 rounding-off questions at the end of this
3: Discussion (3-4 minutes): This is roughly based on the topic
area of the Part 2: Long Turn. Questions typically ask the candidate to compare, analyse or speculate on the given topic. In this part the
examiner may push the candidate hard to see the boundaries of their ability.
speaking test is graded
speaking test is graded and marked from 1-9 in accordance with four key criteria, as
Fluency and coherence: Fluency is about
your ability to speak at a normal speed without excessive hesitation and restarting.
Coherence refers to your speaking being easy to understand. In order to score highly you
need to show willingness to talk at length and develop your
topic, use connectives and discourse
markers, avoid pauses and restarts.
Vocabulary: To score highly you must use higher level words, pay attention
to collocation, and also control your word endings (correctly use singular/plural and use the correct verb
ending for the correct tense). In addition you should try to show an ability to paraphrase and use colloquial
language. You will also be rewarded for uses the correct vocabulary to precisely explain things.
Grammar: To score highly you need to use a variety of sentence types
(simple, compound, complex) and also avoid grammatical errors, such as with articles and prepositions and
sentence order especially when they make your speaking difficult to understand.
Pronunciation: Your grade is influenced by the level to
which your accent makes it difficult to understand what you are saying, and also the degree to which you use
language features of a native speaker such as intonation, stress, and
Special Note: In some instances errors can count in two
categories; for example, many grammatical errors also result in a lower score for coherence. On the positive,
it is useful to learn lots of connective devices because they can
count for Coherence & Cohesion as well as vocabulary. Part
of your self-study should be aimed at efficiently using your time to maximize your grade.
The public version of the IELTS speaking test criteria
Improving your Score
improve your score in the IELTS speaking section, you should focus on the following
- Understanding how the speaking test is graded
- Preparing for and practicing common
questions that are asked
- Learning ways of structuring an
- Learning to paraphrase – this is
important to get a score of over 7
- Improving your accent – ensuring you
can make all sounds correctly (th, l, r, long vowel sounds) and also getting natural sounding stress, intonation, and connected
- Improving spoken grammar – correcting
any frequent errors.
- Broadening your vocabulary –
especially building common phrases that can be used in a variety of
responses, such as
connectives and discourse markers.