1. IELTS Speaking Test Overview


1.1. Format


The IELTS Speaking takes 11-14 minutes and is the same for both IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. The test is a face-to-face interview and designed to evaluate your use of spoken English. Every test is recorded.


Ielts speaking test


There are three parts in the IELTS Speaking test:

– Part 1: You will be asked several questions about yourself and familiar topics such as home, family, study, work and interests. This part lasts 4-5 minutes.

– Part 2: You will be given a card and asked to talk about a particular topic. You will have one minute to prepare and make notes and up to 2 minutes to talk. You will not be interrupted during this time, so keep speaking. 

– Part 3: You will be asked further questions related to the topic in Part 2. This part, which lasts 4-5 minutes, gives you a chance to discuss more abstract issues and ideas.


1.2. IELTS Speaking Scoring and Assessment


Certificated IELTS examiners will assess your performance throughout the test. You will be scored on the four criteria: Fluency and Coherence, Lexical Resource, Grammatical Range and Accuracy and Pronunciation. 

Here are criteria description:


Fluency and Coherence – Effort or Ease of speaking

– Hesitations

– Use of connectives and discourse markers 

– Ability to develop a topic 

Lexical Resource – Range of Vocabulary 

– Accuracy 

– Use of idiomatic vocabulary/ collocation


Grammatical Range and Accuracy  – Simple and/or complex structures 

– Flexible use

– Mistakes and impact on understanding

Pronunciation – Range of features 

– Control of features

– Easy to understand 

2. Common mistakes in Ielts Speaking Test


2.1. Memorising answers 


Examiners are likely to notice if a candidate tries to memorise answers. When memorising answers, you tend to speak in a “written” style of English and an unnatural intonation. Since examiners are looking for spontaneity and ability to respond correctly and rapidly, memorising answers may reflect poorly on your scores. So, it’s advisable for you to practice speaking on a variety of topics before taking the test. 


ielts spealing test


2.2. Repeating the same word


The IELTS Speaking test is partly designed to assess the breadth of your vocabulary, therefore, using the same word again and again may make the examiners think that you have a limited lexical resource. To boost your language complexity, you need to use different words to express the same meaning.


2.3. Overuse of verbal fillers


In the IELTS Speaking test, you can use verbal fillers (which are words or meaningless syllables you say when thinking of the next idea such as uh, um, like, well, I mean, you know) to organize and connect your ideas. However, if you overuse them, it would greatly affect your fluency.


2.4. Saying too much or two little


In the IELTS Speaking test, you should not talk too much or too little. This is because if you speak too little, you can lose the opportunity to show off your capability. If you speak too much, you can make mistakes and your answers can be less coherent.


2.5. Wrong pronunciation 


As the Pronunciation criterion accounts for 25% of the score in the IELTS Speaking, you need to pronounce words clearly and accurately. If you pronounce words incorrectly, examiners will find it difficult to understand your words and you are likely to get a lower score.


3. Ielts Speaking Tips


3.1. Practice speaking English


Develop the habit of practicing speaking English in your free time! You can practice with your partners or talk with yourself. You can also record your talks so that you can listen back to help you improve.


Ielts speaking test tips


3.2. Practice common IELTS topics


In Part 2 of the IELTS Speaking test, you need to speak on a given topic for about 2 minutes. Therefore, you should practice IELTS Speaking topics in the lead to the test to improve vocabulary and learn ideas related to each topic. 

Here are common topics in the IELTS speaking tests:

– Tourism and travel

– Education

– Transport

– Environment

– Family life

– Sport and recreation

– Crime and punishment

– The Internet

– Advertising and retail


>>>  Practice now: IELTS Speaking Practice Test


3.3. Extend your answers


Try to extend your answers. If examiners ask you a question using one sentence, you should respond with two or more ones. Don’t give short and uncommunicative replies.


3.4. Don’t panic if making a mistake


If you make mistakes, for example, grammatical errors while speaking, don’t panic. Try to correct yourself as smoothly as possible. In case you can’t, keep talking because you will not be given low scores for a few mistakes.


3.5. Ask examiners questions again if you don’t understand


If you don’t understand the examiner’s questions, don’t hesitate to ask. You will not lose any point for doing so.


3.6. Don’t speak in a monotone


Candidates sometimes talk with a monotone. This would make it more difficult for examiners to realize what parts of your speech are important. Try to place emphasis on certain words, which can make your speech more intriguing. 


The IELTS TEST PRO not only provides you with speaking samples, but also tips and strategies to help you get a high score. Download the app now!