The IELTS Speaking Module is the final part of the exam. It does not need to be taken on the same day as the other Modules. It takes the form of a three-part oral interview, which takes between 11 and 14 minutes.
Introduction and interview (4-5 minutes)
In the first part of IELTS speaking, the examiner will ask you a number of general questions. Be prepared to introduce yourself and talk about things which are personal to you, for example, your country and home town, your family, your studies or work and what you might do in the future.
Individual long turn (3-4 minutes)
In this part, the examiner will give you a card that asks you to talk about a person, place, event or object. You will have 1 minute to prepare to speak, and then you will talk for 1-2 minutes, during which the examiner will not speak. The examiner will then ask one or two rounding-off questions.
Two-way discussion (4-5 minutes)
In the last part, you will talk with the examiner about issues related to the topic on the card. However, the discussion will be on less personal topics. For example, in Part 2 you may talk about a teacher you had at school, but in Part 3 you might talk about education in your country.
Performance is assessed on the following criteria:
Fluency and Coherence: Do you express ideas and opinions clearly and coherently, without long hesitations?
Lexical Resources: Do you use a wide range of vocabulary?
Grammatical Range and Accuracy: Do you use a wide range of structures and make only a few minor mistakes?
Pronunciation: Are you easy to understand? Do you use English pronunciation features naturally?
The overall result is translated into a score on the IELTS nine-band score.
What can I do to improve my performance at the Speaking test?
- Be relaxed and try to be friendly. Remember the examiner is trying to find out what you know, not what you don’t know.
- You can ask the examiner to repeat the question if you did not understand it the first time.
- Record yourself or practice speaking on a variety of topics for 1 – 2 minutes. This will help you gain confidence and practice time management.
- Vocabulary – don’t use unfamiliar, long words if you are not sure of their meaning.
- If you cannot remember the exact word you want, paraphrase and try to express your idea using similar words.
- Practice making notes, spider-grams, and mind maps which will help you to talk on various topics in one minute.
- Try to develop your answers instead of answering in just one word. Speak loudly and clearly into the recorder.
- Avoid using slang and abbreviations.
- Please do not tell the examiner what grade you require or ask how well you have done. This will only cause embarrassment.
- Do not use memorised chunks of language. Examiners are trained to recognise this. Furthermore, what you have memorised may not be relevant to the topic being discussed.