IELTS Speaking Preparation : Tips and Test Format

IELTS Speaking Preparation : Tips and Test Format

Updated on 18 January, 2022

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

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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 over 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 both 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 over English, the examiner will check if you are able to use discourse markers and connecting phrases.

Discourse markers: These 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 on 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 on 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.

Ready for your preparation for the IELTS Speaking test? Here are top tips by experts

1. Tip 1

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

2. Tip 2

As the English-speaking test is all about communicating, so make sure that you have had enough practice of speaking English with your colleagues, at a 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 and that helps you improve.

3. 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.

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4. Tip 4

Pronunciation is the most important skill that you should master in the IELTS Speaking test. In very simple words, without clear pronunciation, it does not matter how good you may be at fluency, grammar, or vocabulary. If the examiner finds difficulty in 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.

5. Tip 5

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

6. 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.

7. Tip 7

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

8. Tip 8

If you have been given a topic that you aren’t sure of, then 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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