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IELTS Speaking Test

Everything you need to know about IELTS Speaking test, preparation materials, free practice tests, and mock tests.

The IELTS Speaking is the same for both the General Training test and the Academic test and assesses your use of spoken English. Each speaking test is given face-to-face with an IELTS-certified examiner, and each one is recorded in case further review is necessary.

The Speaking test takes between 11 and 14 minutes and consists of 3 parts where you will discuss a variety of topics with an IELTS examiner.

You will be given a quiet environment for the examination, and the examiner will encourage you to talk more. An IELTS examiner, as opposed to an AI test, will be able to relax and reassure you. Additionally, they can recognise your accent to help you receive the highest possible grade.

The Speaking test consists of three parts:

IELTS Speaking Test Part 1: Introduction and questions on familiar topics

You will be asked general questions about who you are as well as questions about a variety of familiar subjects, including your home, family, job, studies, and interests. This part lasts between 4 and 5 minutes. You will be asked a couple of scripted questions by the examiner. If your answers are too brief, the examiner will ask you to elaborate with a “why?” or “why not?”.

How to answer IELTS speaking part 1?

This part of the exam uses a question-and-answer format and focuses on your capacity to share thoughts and knowledge on common topics by responding to a variety of questions.

IELTS Speaking Test Part 2: Individual long turn

Following Part 1, the examiner will provide you with a topic and ask you to speak for one to two minutes about it. You will be handed the topic on a card, and you will also be handed a pencil and a piece of paper for making notes. You will see the speaking prompt and some points related to it on the card. You will have exactly one minute before speaking to prepare and make notes. When your time is up, the examiner will use a timer to notify you. You will then start your ‘Long Turn’ where you need to speak for up to 2 minutes.

How to answer IELTS speaking part 2?

Your talk will begin at the specified time, and the examiner will remind you that they will stop you once you have reached two minutes. You can use the task card's points to help you come up with ideas for your talk, and you should aim to speak for the full two minutes. Before moving on to the next part, they might ask you a question regarding what you have said. This part of the exam evaluates your ability to speak at length on a certain topic while using proper language and structuring your thoughts logically. During the long turn, you can talk about your personal experience on the topic.

IELTS speaking Part 2: how many minutes?

IELTS speaking Part 2 duration is 3 to 4 minutes.

IELTS Speaking Test Part 3: Two-way discussion

The questions in the third and final section will relate to the general topic you discussed in Part 2. In order to demonstrate to the examiner that you have the ability to express and explain your thoughts as well as analyse, discuss, and speculate on the subject in greater detail, you will discuss the topic in a more general and abstract manner.

In this part, the examiner will speak more with you and may ask you to defend your arguments in order to assess how effectively you can talk about abstract concepts in contrast to the more personal and familiar topics you discussed in Parts 1 and 2.

In Part 3, your proficiency in expressing and defending viewpoints, as well as in analysing, debating, and speculating on a variety of subjects related to the broad theme you covered in Part 2, will be evaluated.

How long is IELTS speaking Part 3?

IELTS speaking Part 3 is 4 to 5 minutes long.

When can you take the IELTS Speaking test?

The Speaking test can be taken on the same day as the other components of the tests, or a week before or after, please check with your local test centre.

  • Can I do all parts of the test on the same day?
    The Listening, Reading, and Writing parts of the test are completed immediately after each other on the same day. In some test centres, you will sit the Speaking test on the same day, or up to 7 days before or after your test date. If you take IELTS on computer, the Speaking test will be taken on the same day, either before, or after the other three parts of the test.
  • What to do if I am late to my test due to situations beyond my control?
    If you experience difficulty on a test day, please inform the test centre immediately. The test centre may offer you a test on the next available test date.
  • What should I bring on my test day?
    You must bring the same passport or national identity card that you used to book your IELTS test. If you do an IELTS on paper test, you can take pens, pencils and erasers into the examination room. If you do an IELTS on computer test, the centre will provide you with pencils and paper. You must leave all of your personal belongings outside the examination room in a secure area or locker. Mobile phones, pagers and smart watches must be switched off and left with your personal belongings. If you keep mobile phones or electronic devices with you, you will be disqualified.
  • What order will I complete the IELTS test in?
    If you take IELTS on computer, you will do the tests in the following order on the same day: Listening, Reading and Writing, with the Speaking test before or after this test session. If you take IELTS on paper, you will do the tests in the following order: Writing, Reading and Listening. Depending on the test centre, the Speaking test can be done on the same day, or up to 7 days either before or after the test date.
  • What do I need to bring to my Speaking test?
    You must bring the same passport or national identity card that you used to book your IELTS test. Your ID will be checked before you enter the interview room and again during the interview.
  • What accents can be heard in the Listening and Speaking tests?
    As IELTS is an international test, a variety of voices and native-speaker accents are used in both the General Training and Academic tests.
  • Do I have to write in pencil for the IELTS on paper test?
    Pencil is recommended for the IELTS Listening, Reading, and Writing tests. This is because tests are scanned and work best with pencil. It also means that you can easily erase and rewrite words. If you forget to bring a pencil, the test centre will provide one for you.
  • If I take IELTS on paper, can I write notes in the question booklets?
    Yes, you are encouraged to write notes on the question booklets. IELTS examiners do not have access to your question booklets.
  • Can I make notes during the IELTS on computer test?
    Yes. IELTS on computer provides a note-taking and highlight function. You can also write notes on the login details sheet you receive at the beginning of the test.
  • Can I write my answers in capital letters?
    Yes, you can use all capital letters in the IELTS Reading and Listening sections. If you use capital letters in the Writing section, make sure that your punctuation is correct and the examiner can see where you start and finish sentences.
  • How can I improve my Writing band score?
    Read the assessment criteria used for both Academic and General Training Writing tests carefully before your test day. The examiner will assess your writing based on four criteria for Task 1 and Task 2. Remember that Writing Task 2 is worth twice as many marks as Task 1. You can improve your Writing band score by practising.
  • What happens in the IELTS Speaking test?
    The Speaking test is a discussion with a highly qualified IELTS examiner who assesses your ability to talk about a range of topics. The Speaking test has three parts and is recorded. A description of the three parts of the interview is found in the Information for Candidates booklet.
  • Should I apply for an EOR, or just wait to re-sit my test?
    EOR requests and all IELTS test day matters are handled by your test centre. IDP responds to the EOR requests by using a team of senior examiners.
  • Is a health condition considered to be a special requirement?
    Yes, it is. We can provide a variety of arrangements to support you during the test if you have special requirements due to hearing loss, low vision, learning difficulties, medical conditions or infant feeding. We can provide modified and enlarged print papers, braille papers, braille and enlarged print versions of the Speaking test, lip reading version of the Listening test, extra time for the Reading and Writing test or use of a computer (e.g. for candidates with dyslexia), a scribe to write answers on your behalf or a special Listening Test (e.g. using amplification equipment and/or lip-reading version of the Listening test for those with hearing difficulties). Test centres deal with all applications for special arrangements individually. You will be asked for full details of your particular circumstances.
  • Do I need to give my test centre notice if I have special requirements?
    Yes, it is best to contact your local test centre as early as possible informing them about your special needs. Giving adequate notice is necessary for the modified test versions to be prepared or special administrative arrangements to be made.

IELTS Speaking Practice Questions 

Visit our Practice library to download the practice questions 

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