A Useful Guide to the IELTS Speaking Test

by / Monday, 20 October 2014

What is it?

An oral interview between a candidate and an examiner.

How long is it?

11-14 mins

How many parts are there?

3 parts

What are they?

Part 1: Introduction and Interview

  • Examiner introduces themselves and checks the candidate’s identity.
  • Examiner asks questions about personal information such as home, studies, family, work, studies, interests etc.

Part 2: Long turn

  • Students are given a topic card and a pencil and paper and have a minute to make some notes.
  • Students then give a short talk on the topic for around 1-2 minutes.

Part 3: Discussion

  • The examiner and candidate discuss issues connected to the topic in part 2.
  • The discussion in part 3 is more abstract than in part 3 and students answer questions in as much detail as possible.

How it’s marked.

The marking criteria is weighted equally the following:

Fluency and Coherence (25%)

Lexical Resource (25%)

Grammatical Range and Accuracy (25%)

Pronunciation (25%)



  • Keep in mind that fluency is just as important  grammatical accuracy so don’t panic if you make a grammar mistake, just keep on going!
  • Don’t worry about having to ask the examiner to repeat a question.
  • When you’re practising at home try recording yourself then listening back for mistakes.
  •  Try to relax and be as confident as possible.

Here’s a link to an IELTS speaking test. This candidate achieved a 7 in IELTS. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2oawkQIgrw

You can also find the public band descriptors on the IELTS website

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