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IELTS Speaking Test Explained – FAQs & Know How

So you’ve decided to take the IELTS Exam, well done! It’s THE Test that’s recognized and respected around the world. In this Questions and Answers session you are going to find out everything you always wanted to know about the IELTS Speaking Test.

I’m going to share with you some frequent questions that my dear students have asked me about the IELTS Speaking Test.


IELTS Speaking is a one-to-one interaction between the candidate and an examiner. The three parts give the candidate the opportunity to use a range of different speaking skills. IELTS Speaking is recorded.

TIME AND PARTS: There are 3 parts to the IELTS Speaking Test. There is an interview which includes introduction and general questions, part 2 is Long Turn – a talk between you and the examiner (long turn for you because here you’re given a cue card/ or a task card with some prompts and you have to prepare for a minute and speak for 1-2 mins.) and part 3 is an Analytical discussion with the examiner. It takes a total of 11-14 minutes. Part 1 is 4-5 mins, part 2 is 3-4 mins and part 3 is 4-5 mins.

MARKING CRITERIA: There are four marking criteria for the IELTS Speaking Test: FLUENCY AND COHERENCE, LEXICAL RESOURCE (Vocab), Grammatical Range and Accuracy, Pronunciation. Each one accounts for 25 % of your marks. In order to learn how to score better in each criteria watch my other IELTS videos.

HOW MANY QUESTIONS: You will be asked 12 questions in Part 1 (these are based on three different topic) and in part 3 you’ll be asked 5 or more questions- it depends on the length of your answers. Try to aim for long, detailed answers in part 3.

Now let’s look at some general questions that my students have mostly asked me.

General Questions which students have before taking the IELTS speaking test:

Q-1: Can I ask the examiner to repeating his question?

Q-2: Should I correct my mistakes while speaking?

Q-3: What is the examiner interrupts your answer?

Q -4: Can I use Body language while speaking?

Q-5: Is the speaking test face to face with an examiner or by computer?

Task 01:

Q-6: What should I do first when I enter the exam room?

Q-7: What if my answer include the next question on examiner’s list?

Q-8: Why do I need to expand my answers in the speaking test?

Task 02:

Q-9: Can I choose my topic to talk about in part 2?

Q-10: Can i ask examiner to change the topic?

Task 03 :

Q-11: What if I don’t have any ideas for the answer in part 3?

Answers at a glimpse:

Every time you stop speaking to correct a mistake, it will affect your speaking score. You can ask the examiner to repeat his question if he doesn’t understand by saying “Sorry, Could you please repeat that”. If it happens that the examiner interrupts your answer, don’t worry about it. Just focus on the next question and answer confidently.

It is essential to remember that the examiner is only interested in hearing your English Language. It is your choice if you want to use body language or not. Most people find it natural to use body language while talking so feel free to use it. It is important that you are relaxed and talk naturally during your test.

When you walk into the speaking exam room, the examiner will greet you and you should greet him back saying, Hello/Good morning/ Good afternoon etc. and then do an ID Check.

To get band score 6 and above for the criterion of fluency you must show the examiner that you are willing to speak at length. However, if you are not a confident speaker, don’t try to push it too far and just aim for slightly over one minute.

It may happen sometimes happen that you are asked a question for which you have no ideas. Here’s a typical example “How do you think space exploration benefits mankind”? If you get a question but you no ideas for the answer, you can say “To be honest, I’ve never really thought about it before. I guess there are benefits to space exploration but I can’t say what they are.” This answer is still good. You are still using a range of good language.

If you have any other questions about the IELTS speaking test please watch my IELTS Speaking Test Series or you can leave your questions in the comments below. Thanks for watching J

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