IELTS Speaking

What to Expect in the IELTS Speaking Test

What is IELTS Speaking?

The Speaking section of IELTS is the same for both the Academic and the General Training modules of the test. In this test, you will be given a certified examiner, who will see you through the entire test. It is basically a test to understand how well you can speak, understand and form coherent sentences in English. These are the factors for which you will be tested in the exam. The country of origin of your examiner will be unknown to you; they can be from any part of the world. It is also of little consequence to you. Examiners are usually professionals and teachers who are highly qualified. They are facilitators in the literal sense of the word and are there to help you. They have also received training to be in the position of an examiner for the test.

What are the Contents of IELTS Speaking Section?

The Speaking test goes on for quite a long time. Each student has to speak for at least 11-14 minutes on a given topic. However, the time is divided into three parts. The first part is usually about yourself, wherein you talk about yourself and your family. You divulge information about your interests and your plans for the future etc.

A sample interview will go on like this:

Let’s talk about your school.

  • What kind of place is it?
  • What’s the most interesting part about your school?
  • Where is it located?
  • Would you say that it is a good school to go to? Why?

In the second part you will be given a topic to speak about. The topics are very close to real life. They will refrain from asking you something very technical, since they want to test your speaking skills and not your awareness of academic subjects and general knowledge.

The topics given could be similar to:

Talk about the most important person in your life

Ideally you should talk on the following aspects in response to this topic.

Where is he/she from?

How long have you known the person?

Why is he/she so important?

You examiner may further ask you:

Talk of some memorable time that you may have spent with that person.

Can that person be replaced by anyone else?

The third part of the Speaking test is discussion. Let us look at a sample:

Let us discuss how cultures have changed in different countries.

You approach to this statement can be first to explain the meaning of culture, you can then explain changes in culture (since this is the main idea of the topic you need to spend more time talking about it). You can explain how cultures of countries change in time. You could probably state an example in the case of the culture of your country. Next you can state two or three changes that have occurred and then you can elaborate upon them.

How to Score Well in the IELTS Speaking Section?

Let us look at the tips for scoring well in the Speaking section.

    • Confidence is irreplaceable and easily detectable in case of speaking test. You must consistently show that you are confident with the help of your body language and your tone.
    • Since this is not a written exam, and you have a person before you to test you, be sure to greet that person when you enter the room. Good and polite manners show that you are a confident person.
    • Don’t talk too much but don’t talk too less either. It is good to be specific but since this is a speaking exam, it is preferable to be interactive than being insular. Keeping to yourself and answering only when asked can earn you negative points. Talk to the point and see to it that even if you are straying from the point, steer yourself back to the point with grace.
  • Be calm when you answer and keep a smile. This will show that you are a pleasant person.

Keeping the above points in mind will certainly help you earn a good score in the speaking section.