IELTS Speaking Test Format and Tips – A Complete Guide

IELTS Speaking Test Format and Tips – A Complete Guide

Updated on 18 January, 2022

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

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The IELTS speaking test format comprises three parts, and each one of them requires a different strategy. Part 1 is the warm-up section with some introductory questions, an ID check, and questions on two topics. These are usually on the life and journey of the candidate. Part 2 is where candidates will have one-two minute for speaking about a given topic. They will also get a minute to prepare for this part. Part 3 is a more in-depth conversation based on the topic given in Part 2. The entire test takes 11-14 minutes on average. 


Explaining Each Part of IELTS Speaking Test Format

The format of the IELTS speaking test is quite easy to understand and will assess you based on these parameters: 

  • Your fluency in English and the ability to talk without hesitating or pausing.
  • It will analyze how you use connectors, pronouns, and conjunctions, among other devices.
  • The language and accent should be understandable for the examiner.
  • The examiner will assess your vocabulary along with grammatical correctness and sentence formation.
  • The examiner will also evaluate pronunciation and intonation.



Let us understand each of the parts in detail: 

Part 1- 

  • The examiner and candidate will introduce themselves.
  • The examiner will ask you general questions on your city/town, profession, personal areas of interest, family, and education.
  • The test will take around four-five minutes.
  • In the beginning, you will have to state your name, show your passport/ID and give a name by which you want to be addressed by the examiner.
  • The part examines your ability to share your views and ideas about daily aspects and shared experiences.

Part 2- 

  • You will get a Cue Card. It is also known as the Task Card.
  • You will get one minute to prepare your answer on the given topic.
  • You will have to speak on this topic for one-two minutes.
  • The entire portion covers three-four minutes on average.
  • This part will analyze your ability to speak confidently on any topic.
  • You may get a final question if you have not covered two minutes entirely.

Part 3- 

  • The examiner will ask you questions on the topic given earlier.
  • You will have to express your opinions more deeply and subjectively.
  • The part will cover four-five minutes on average.
  • This section evaluates your ability to assess a topic, share and justify your views and organize your ideas.
  • You will have to provide longer answers to four-five questions.
  • The examiner may interrupt you at times; do not get hassled if this happens.
  • Questions usually cover aspects of your life. However, they may cover broader ideas and themes as well.



Part-Wise Tips for IELTS Speaking Test

Here are some tips for every part of the IELTS Speaking test. 

Part 1- 

  • Arrive before the scheduled time.
  • Smile and relax as you enter the room.
  • Keep your ID handy and avoid being over-formal.
  • You will then be asked two-three questions on topics like your hometown, home, studies, or work. Always use simple language and make a good impression.
  • You will then be asked three-four questions on one topic and three-four further questions on another topic. For these questions, give comparatively shorter answers.
  • Spend roughly 10-20 seconds for every answer, and do not worry if you are interrupted.
  • Most questions will be about your life and experiences. Some questions may require a yes or no. However, expand the answer that you give.
  • Adding detail or two may be a good strategy.

Part 2- 

  • Gather your thoughts and prepare well in the minute given to you.
  • Speak in a relaxed manner without speeding up unnecessarily.
  • Speak for one and a half minutes at least.
  • Practice speaking for two minutes before the test.

Part 3- 

  • You will have to provide in-depth answers in this section.
  • Expand on your opinion. Explain and justify your stand on something and ultimately evaluate the same.
  • When you are interrupted by the examiner, pause and relax. It will not impact your total score.

Learn More About IELTS

General Tips on How to Score Well in IELTS Speaking Test

Now that you know about the format of the IELTS speaking test, here are some general tips for a good score. 

  • Come at least 30-40 minutes before your scheduled appointment. You will get sufficient time to relax before the examination.
  • Always maintain eye contact with your examiner after entering the testing room.
  • Speak clearly and politely without hurrying.
  • Avoid showing any signs of anger or frowning.
  • Talk to your examiner formally and just how you talk to other people. The answers should be conversational without seeming like a speech.
  • Listen to the questions with care and ensure that you suitably answer each one of them.
  • You may not always agree with the opinion of the examiner on a topic. You may disagree with them. However, make sure that you express the reasons in a polite manner.
  • Try to expand your answers whenever you give an opinion. Give relevant answers to every question.

These tips will surely help you achieve a good IELTS Speaking test score. Be yourself, converse normally and relax. Here’s to a fulfilling journey ahead!