Tips for IELTS Speaking

7 Tips for IELTS Speaking Test

IELTS is an internationally accepted and recognized test that measures the proficiency of English Language of the candidates who choose to take this test either for studying or working in an English-speaking country. The joint owners of the test include the British Council IDP, IELTS Australia and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations. This test is the most congruent and unbiased method of testing the English Language skills of the students and the test is administered in over 800 centers that are spread across 130 countries. It has the following versions:

  • General Training: This is taken by those candidates who are interested to migrate to an English-speaking country and pursue their studies below degree level.
  • Academic Training: This module is taken by those applicants who are keen to pursue undergraduate or postgraduate studies in a country where English is the primary mode of communication.

These two modules should be chosen by the candidates while applying for the test based on the requirement of the organization or institution in which they have applied.

Sections of IELTS

IELTS include the following four sections:

  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Writing
  • Reading

While the Listening and Speaking tests are similar for both modules, there is a difference in the format and content of Reading and Writing tests for General and Academic versions. The Speaking Test is conducted seven days before or after the actual test date.

Format of Speaking Test

The Speaking test is an oral test in which the candidates are required to perform three tasks before the examiner. The entire section is completed within 11 to 14 minutes and in the first task includes a general introduction of the candidate and the questions asked by the examiner is related to family, home, work, education etc which is completed within 4-5 minutes.

In the second task that is called Individual Long Turn, the candidates are provided particular topic and the points related to those on which the candidates should speak and answer the questions within 3-4 minutes.

The third task includes a Two-way discussion, based on the topic of task two and continues for 4-5 minutes.

General Tips on Speaking Section

As far as the  tips for speaking are concerned, it is the most appalling task to speak in front of the examiners about an unknown and unprepared topic in which a candidate probably has little or no knowledge. However, among the numerous tips the candidates are directed to speak by maintaining a natural flow rather than to communicate in a restricted way e.g. responding by saying "yes" or "no". Simply responding to the questions or limiting the conversation will imply that a candidate is not proficient while communicating in English or he/she does not have sufficient knowledge on everyday topics, the two basic things that are tested in this section. Besides this, the candidate should remain bold and confident while performing the speaking tasks and this is one of the most significant  tips that should be considered.

7 Tips for IELTS Speaking Test

The Speaking Section is a challenging part of the test and the following pointers may help the candidates acquire more knowledge about how to perform the speaking tasks with better clarity:

  • The most important thing is not to think too much on this section because it is challenging. A candidate should try to speak with conviction and the expression should be natural and lucid.

  • While it is necessary to work on the pronunciation because it is an oral section, a candidate should divide his/her time equally and not devote the entire time on this aspect. The guidelines by experts suggest that a student should also work to improve or strengthen the vocabulary and general knowledge.

  • A candidate should take care to speak on relevant points as digressing from the topic will suggest that he/she is confused and nervous. In short, it is necessary to remain on the track while speaking even if the topic is about something on which the candidate has never heard or spoken.

  • While performing the speaking tasks, a candidate should answer each question because an unanswered question will force the examiner to move on to the next one and this will surely affect the score if repeated often.

  • It is necessary to ask the examiner politely to repeat a question if a candidate is unable to understand or hear it properly, but nothing beyond that e.g. the meaning of the question etc.

  • For the second speaking task, the best way is to prepare by asking questions to self about the topic given, during the one-minute preparation time.

  • Mock speaking tasks should be practiced while preparing for the test particularly to overcome the fear and anxiety about tacking this section.


Among the preferables, the best thing is to get the message across by communicating in a clear and confident manner and a candidate should never doubt their speaking skills rather work on them to take the test with greater conviction and enthusiasm.