IELTS Speaking Test

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What is the purpose of the test?
The Speaking test is an oral interview between you and the examiner. The purpose of the test is to determine how effectively you can communicate in English.

How long is the test?
The test is 11 to 14 minutes long. There are three main parts. Each part is clearly divided into specific time units – see image above.
Note that you do not have to worry about how long each section is as the examiner will manage the time for you. The examiner will move you from one part to the next with such phrases as, ‘Now let’s talk about …’. He or she can interrupt you if you have spoken long enough on a topic.

What is the procedure on the day of the test?

The Speaking test is the final part of the IELTS test. It takes place after the Listening, Reading, and Writing tests. The procedure for the Speaking test is:
1. The test administrator will give you an interview time, a room number and the name of your interviewer.
2. Close to the time of your test, you will be shown to a waiting area – make sure you are on time.
3. The examiner will call you into the test room and ask you to sit at a table facing him/her.
4. The examiner will record the interview on an audio cassette. Don’t let it worry you because all interviews are recorded to ensure fairness.

What is the structure of the test?
The test is divided into three main parts. Each part is different in terms of:
– the type of task you are given
– the type of language you need to use
– how you and the examiner interact.

What style of speaking should you use?
Your style of speaking should be:
– relaxed
– natural – never memorise an answer beforehand
– appropriate for an interview.

It should also show that:
– you are confident
– you are interested in the topic
– and that you are enjoying speaking to the examiner.

How is your interview assessed?
Your IELTS Speaking test is assessed by a qualified examiner using four specific categories:
– fluency and coherence
– lexical resource (vocabulary)
– grammatical range and accuracy
– pronunciation.

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