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IELTS Speaking Preparation : Tips and Test Format

Updated on 13 April, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

ielts speaking preparation

Good speaking skills will certainly take you a step closer to achieving your desired band score in IELTS (International English Language Testing). However, decent command of language alone doesn’t promise a high score in the speaking section of the language proficiency test. You also need to be aware of the IELTS speaking preparation tips and format. On this note, let us begin our preparatory journey into the IELTS speaking test.

What is the IELTS Speaking Test?

 It is face-to-face interaction with an examiner and is mandatory for IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training test-takers. This section is further divided into three parts that check an aspirant’s fluency, grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary. To assess your command of English, the examiner will check if you can use discourse markers and connecting phrases.

Discourse markers are words and phrases used to move fluidly from one idea to the next. They are also used to introduce new topics or return to old ones. These markers reflect your fluency and coherence. Some examples of this are phrases like–in my opinion, to be honest, frankly speaking, as far as I am concerned, and many more.

Speaking Test Format

Duration: 15 minutes (approximately)

1. In the first phase, there is an “introduction and interview” round of 4-5 minutes in which the examiner first introduces himself/herself and then asks you to do so.

2. In the second phase, there is an “individual long turn” of 3-4 minutes, in which the examiner will give you a particular topic to speak on. With it, the examiner will also provide you with some key points to cover, and then towards the end, the examiner will ask a couple of questions about the content you have just delivered.

3. In the last round, there is a two-way discussion, in which the examiner allows you to interact with him/her on popular topics.

Please note that your performance on the speaking test is assessed based on the following criteria- fluency and coherence, grammatical range and accuracy, lexical resource, and pronunciation.

Tips For IELTS Speaking Test Preparation 

Tip 1

Try not to memorize the answer, as doing so will not showcase your actual grasp of the language. The examiner will quickly get to know that you have mugged up the answer, which will badly influence your desired band score.

Tip 2

The English-speaking test is all about communicating, so make sure that you have had enough practice speaking English with your colleagues, at the workplace, or even on calls. You can also record your conversations and listen to them whenever required. You can also make experts listen to those conversations, which helps you improve.

Tip 3

Do not worry if the answers are right or wrong, as an examiner will only assess you based on your skills to express ideas and opinions in English.

Tip 4

Pronunciation is the most important skill you should master in the IELTS Speaking test. Without clear pronunciation, it does not matter how good you may be at fluency, grammar, or vocabulary in simple words. If the examiner finds difficulty understanding your words, you may find yourself in a tight spot. Speak clearly at a slow pace. Speaking at a faster pace increases the chances of committing mistakes.

Tip 5

Avoid repetition, as it will make your spoken content redundant. Avoid fillers like “actually,” “basically,” “so,” and others in your speech.

Tip 6

Try to listen to English songs to improve your pronunciation and flow. Don’t worry about your accent but be aware of the stress and intonation.

Tip 7

Don’t be nervous. To avoid last-minute stress during your one-to-one interaction, ensure that you have had ample practice.

Tip 8

If you have been given a topic you aren’t sure of, and you must inform the examiner. The interviewer will change it, and you will also stand a better chance of scoring well.

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Download IELTS Preparation Guide For Free

Get to know about the latest updates on the IELTS Exam, Eligibility, Preparation Tips, Test procedure,  Exam Pattern, Syllabus, Registration Process, Important Exam Dates, and much more!! This guide is a one-stop solution for every IELTS Aspirant who aims to crack the exam with an impressive band score.

IELTS Preparation Speaking Questions With Answers 

Here are some examples of IELTS preparation speaking questions with answers: 

How do you spend your weekends?

On weekends, I usually spend time with my friends. During the summers, we indulge in outdoor activities, while we do more indoor activities during the winters. We also play outdoor sports, visit museums, and go sightseeing.

Do you often listen to music?

I listen to music in my leisure time or when I am doing my household chores. I avoid listening to music while studying or working since I get distracted by it.

Do you prefer watching movies at home or at the movie theatre?

Going to the movie theatre is fun. However, I also enjoy watching movies at home since there are so many options on OTT platforms. 

Have you always liked visiting museums?

I have always liked visiting museums since I appreciate art. Also, I get to know about things from the past.

Recommended Read: IELTS Common Speaking Topics With Questions And Answers

IELTS Speaking Test Preparation 

In the IELTS speaking section, a test taker is in an informal face-to-face conversation with the examiner. The test is divided into three parts and is designed to examine a candidate’s fluency, grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. Let’s discuss the tips to prepare for all the three parts of the ILETS speaking test:

Tips to Prepare For IELTS Speaking Part 1 

In section 1 of the IELTS Speaking test, candidates are usually asked to talk about themselves and their daily lives. This section lasts for around 4-5 minutes. To prepare well for this, candidates should practice the familiar topics that are asked in the test.  Candidates should try to create a good impression and try to remain interested in the questions asked. Furthermore, test takers should give answers with yes or no.

IELTS Speaking Part 2 Preparation Tips

In part 2 of the IELTS Speaking test, candidates are asked to talk about a particular topic. The examiner gives a cue card that the test takers need to understand and speak about in 1 or 2 minutes. Here are some to prepare well for this section: have a strategy, prepare in advance, use the first one minute wisely, try to relate with personal experiences, expand your ideas

Preparation For Speaking Test Part 3

After the 2-minute monologue in part 2 of the speaking test, the examiner asks the test-takers at least five questions about the same topic. Here are some tips candidates must follow to prepare well for part 3: Don't finish fast, examiner tries to stretch, don't be afraid to ask questions, and always answer.

Recommended Read: Idioms for IELTS Speaking

Prepare for IELTS with upGrad Abroad

To cater end-to-end requirements of learners planning to pursue higher education abroad, upGrad Abroad has launched a Booster Program. This 12-week-long Booster Program has been designed to support students in preparation for IELTS, Academic Writing, Profile Building, International Faculty Masterclass, and University Application, Education Loan, and Visa Support.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How can I prepare for IELTS Speaking at Home?

Fluency in spoken English is an integral part of the IELTS examination. Examiners can assess the candidate's proficiency in English speaking on this criteria.

Here are some tips to prepare for IELTS speaking at home: 

Converse in English at Home: Test-takers should try to converse as much as possible in English to increase fluency, diction, and clarity in pronunciation.

Avoid repetition: Test takers improve their vocabulary, start using synonyms, and practice framing sentences keeping in mind the vital pointers. 

Answer instantly: It is important to pace the conversation well to be a confident speaker. Accuracy and speed in answering help gain better scores in the section.

How can I get 8 band in IELTS Speaking?

Practicing and learning new vocabulary can help you score 8 band in the IELTS speaking section. Some tips to get a good band score are: 

Speak fluently

Use vocabulary

Avoid grammatical errors

Pronounce words clearly

What are the types of IELTS speaking test?

Types of questions in the IELTS speaking test are: 

  • Introduction and questions on familiar topics: In this section, the test-taker will be asked to talk about himself  
  • Individual long turn: In this section, the test takers will be asked to speak about a particular topic 
  • Two-way discussion: The questions in the third section will be connected to the general topic that the test taker spoke about in the second section.

How can I improve my speaking skills for IELTS Test?

Here are some tips to improve speaking skills for the IELTS test:

Don't memorize, make the most of the time provided, speak clearly, do not rush, and record yourself.

What to carry for the IELTS speaking test?

For the IELTS speaking test, test takers should carry their identification, either a passport or national identity card.

How to start speaking in IELTS?

The first thing that a test taker should do while appearing for IELTS is to start introducing himself.

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The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.