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IELTS Speaking Test Format: Tips For Speaking Test

Updated on 27 February, 2024

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

The IELTS Speaking test format comprises of three parts, and each requires a different strategy. The 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. The Part 2 is where the candidates will have one-two minutes for speaking about a given topic. They will also get a minute to prepare for this part. The 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. Let us unfold all three parts in detail.

Recommended Read: IELTS Common Speaking Topics With Questions And Answers

IELTS Speaking Test Format: All Parts Explained

All the test takers have to give the same IELTS speaking test. This implies that the IELTS General Speaking and Academic Speaking formats remain the same. The IELTS Speaking test structure is easy to understand and will assess you based on these parameters: 

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

The IELTS speaking test pattern comprises three different parts. Let us understand each of the parts in detail: 

Part 1


  • The examiner and candidate will introduce themselves.
  • The examiner will ask the candidates general questions about their city/town, profession, personal areas of interest, family, and education.
  • In the beginning, candidates will have to state their name, present passport/ID, and share the name by which they want to be addressed by the examiner.
  • This part examines the candidate’s ability to share their views and ideas about daily aspects and shared experiences.

Duration: Part 1 of the test will take around four-five minutes. 

Tips for Part 1 Speaking Test:

  • 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.

Important Resources to Read About IELTS:

Is Computer-based IELTS Easier

Is Passport Required for IELTS

How to Check IELTS Revaluation Results

IELTS General Training vs Academic

IELTS for Australia

How to Get IELTS Certificate

Vocabulary for IELTS Writing Task 2 Band 8

IELTS Scholarship

IELTS Speaking Band Score

How to Download IELTS Score Card

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Download E-Books for IELTS Preparation

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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 minute
  • 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

Duration: The entire portion covers three-four minutes on average.

Tips for Part 2 Speaking Test:

  • 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


  • The examiner will ask you questions on the topic given earlier
  • You will have to express your opinions more deeply and subjectively
  • 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 sometimes; do not get hassled if this happens
  • Questions usually cover aspects of your life. However, they may cover broader ideas and themes

Duration: Part 3 will cover four-five minutes on average.

Tips for Part 3 Speaking Test:

  • 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

More Resources to Read About IELTS:

How to Prepare for IELTS in One Month

Common Spelling Mistakes in IELTS

Tips to Improve Pronunciation

How to Fill IELTS Answer Sheet

How to Prepare For Computer Based IELTS

How to Improve IELTS Score From 6.5 to 7

IELTS General Training Exam

IELTS Introduction Sample

How to Write Conclusion in Writing Task 2

IELTS Essay on Art and Culture

Global Warming Essay For IELTS

Government and Society IELTS Essay

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.

General Tips on How to Score Well in IELTS Speaking Test

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

  • Arrive 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 the way you talk to other people. The answers should be conversational
  • Listen to the questions carefully and ensure that you suitably answer each one of them
  • You may not always agree with the examiner's opinion on a topic. You may disagree with them. However, make sure that you express the reasons politely
  • 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! 

Recommended Reads:

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Download IELTS Sample Papers

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much time does the IELTS speaking test take?

The IELTS Speaking test is undertaken in an interview format between a test taker and a certified and trained examiner. Overall the test takes 11-14 minutes in total. Part 1 is for four to five minutes, part 2 takes three to four minutes, while part 3 consumes four-five minutes of the candidate.

Is IELTS speaking difficult?

The IELTS speaking test can only be difficult for those candidates who have not prepared for the exam well. It is important to practice well for the IELTS Speaking test and follow the tips to score well in the test.

How to score band 9 in IELTS speaking?

To score band 9, you should follow some simple tips for the IELTS speaking test. These are common tips for both IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training.

  1. Don’t be shy and enjoy your conversation with the examiner.
  2. Your knowledge and ideas may not be the parameters to judge you; your confidence and language skills are the focus areas.
  3. Use excellent English skills with good ideas to score band 9 on the speaking test.  
  4. Think about your life experiences while answering. For example, if the topic is about your favorite destination in India, think about your past experiences when you visited a place.

What to wear for the IELTS speaking test?

There is no set dress code for the IELTS interview. However, candidates are advised to wear something that makes them comfortable throughout. Tight-fitting shoes can only make them uncomfortable, so it is suggested to avoid wearing them. One should also not overdo too much perfume or fragrance. As per the government regulations, the candidate must wear face masks. However, they may be asked to remove the mask for a while when the speaking test is underway.

Is the IELTS speaking test conducted on the same day?

The listening, reading, and writing sections of the IELTS test are conducted on the same day. However, in some test centers, the speaking test can also be done on the same day or seven days before or after the test date. The speaking test can be taken on the same day as the IELTS computer exam, either before or after the other three sections.

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upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

We are a dedicated team of study-abroad experts, ensuring intensive research and comprehensive information in each of our blogs. With every piece written, we aim at simplifying the overseas education process for all. Our diverse experience as journalists, content writers, editors, content strategists, and marketers helps create the most relevant and authentic blogs for our readers.

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