How does the IELTS Speaking test take place?

by IDP IELTS — August 25th, 2020

The Speaking part of the IELTS is the same for both Academic and General Training and evaluates your spoken English skills. Take IELTS either on the computer or on paper; all Speaking tests are held face to face or as a Video Call Speaking by a specially trained IELTS examiner and recorded. How does the IELTS Speaking test take place?

Part 1

4 to 5 minutes

The first part of the test begins with the examiner asking you to provide your name and ID. General questions are asked about yourself, such as where you live or what you are currently doing (working or studying).

You are then asked about a range of familiar topics such as your favorite music, cooking, weather, or movies you love.

If your answers to the questions in this section are too short, the examiner will ask you to expand your answer with questions such as why and why not. So try to say at least 2 sentences without going off-topic.

This part of the test follows a question-and-answer format that focuses on your ability to convey ideas and information on everyday topics by answering a series of questions.

Part 2

3 to 4 minutes

After Part 1, the examiner gives you a topic and asks you to talk about it for two minutes.

You will be given a question card with the subject you will talk about and pen and paper to take notes. On the card, you will see the subject you are asked to talk about and some points you need to mention.

You will have a minute to prepare and take notes before speaking. The examiner will tell you when your time is up using a timer.

The examiner tells you when to start your conversation and reminds you to stop after 2 minutes. The points indicated on the task card will help you think about what to say, and you should keep talking for 2 minutes. Before moving on to the next section, questions may be asked about what you said.

This part of the test assesses your ability to speak at length on a particular topic, using appropriate language and organizing your ideas in a logical way. In this section, you can talk about your own experiences on the topic to be helpful.

Part 3

4 to 5 minutes

The questions in the third part will be linked to the topic you mentioned in the second part. By discussing the topic in a more general and abstract way, it is the section where you will show the examiner that you can express and justify your views, analyze, discuss and talk about the topic in more depth.

If the question in this section is about a nice place to visit in your city, this section can start by talking about beautiful places, and the first question might be “Do you think it’s important to maintain beautiful places in cities?”

The examiner will talk to you further in this section and will ask you to justify your views to see how well you can communicate about abstract ideas compared to the personal issues you mentioned in the first two sections.

The third part evaluates your ability to express and justify opinions and analyze, discuss and comment on a series of problems related to the general topic you mentioned in the second part.

Check sample IELTS Speaking questions

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