IELTS Speaking Test

How to Prepare Yourself for IELTS Speaking Test

The IELTS or the International English Language Testing System is a standardised test that is conducted globally. The test is a competence test to measure the competence of an individual in the English language. It is an internationally recognised test that is administered by the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, IDP Education from Australia and the British Council. The official website for the test is The test measures the ability of an individual in four areas of English.

The IELTS Sections are:

1. Listening: Consists of four sections.

2. Reading: Consists of three sections.

3. Writing: Consists of two sections or tasks.

4. Speaking: Consists of three sections.

The Subparts of the IELTS speaking test section are:

1. Introduction and Interview:

This section is an introductory section where both the candidate and the examiner greet each other in English and then both of them go on to introduce themselves by stating their name, academic qualifications, family details etc. These are general pleasantries that are exchanged between the candidate and the examiner to test the speaking skills of the candidate. The total time used for this section of the speaking test is around 4-5 minutes.

2. Individual long turn:

In this section the candidate is on his/her own. There is no conversation as such but a topic- wise discussion between the examiner and the examinee. The topic is provided in a topic card that is given to the candidate with a list of tips and suggestions about the topic. The candidate is given around 60 seconds to prepare on the given subject and then he/she speaks on the subject for a couple of minutes. After the candidate is done speaking, the examiners question the candidate on the same subject for a few minutes. The total time used for this section of the speaking test is around 3-4 minutes.

3. Two-way discussion:

As the name of this section suggests, this section consists of a discussion between the examiner and the candidate taking the test. The discussion is on the same topic that was given in section 2 of the speaking test. After the basic discussion on the subject is over the examiner questions the candidate further on various angles of the subject to assess the prowess of the candidate in the language and the subject. The time used for this section of the speaking test is 4-5 minutes.

How to prepare for the IELTS speaking test:

  • Prepare an introduction for yourself that is not very wordy but is impressive enough to set the base for the first section of the  test.

  • Try speech exercises that will ease you into the process of speaking to an audience.

  • Practice speaking on definite topics and take notes while practicing also. The habit of making notes will came in handy during the final run.

  • Practice time-bound prep-tests as much as you can because the few seconds that you get to prepare in the final speaking test will not be enough for you if you have not prepared for the pressure conditions before.

Things to remember:

  • The speaking test lasts for around 11-14 minutes.

  • The test is recorded so that it can be heard again to assess and score the candidate.

  • This test measures the candidate in various dimensions of speaking.

  • The many areas on which candidates are tested in the test are general English speaking, greeting and self-introduction, ability to understand a subject and speak about it in a short span of time, ability to confidently answer questions in English, ability to provide examples and justify the points that the candidate makes in speaking about the topic etc.

  • The test is assessed by the examiners in every section of the test. One should not be misled by thinking that only the question-answer sessions are scored. Every area is marked in a different way. The details of score band and assessment techniques for the speaking test can be found at the link:

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