IELTS Speaking is the last section of the IELTS examination. The IELTS speaking test consists of 3 parts and it involves having a face-to-face conversation of 11-14 minutes with the examiner. The IELTS speaking test will be the same for both, Academic and General training sections.

  • IELTS Speaking Part 1 is a 4–5-minute interaction wherein the examiner asks questions about test taker’s everyday situation and choices. The general theme of this part is based on generic topics such as childhood, school, family, friends, and so on.
  • IELTS Speaking Part 2, is a 3–4-minute part, in which the examiner provides a cue card, or a task card based on which test taker is asked to speak. The candidates will get 1 minute to prepare for the answer.
  • In IELTS Speaking Part 3, the examiner asks abstract questions related to the topic given in part 2 of the IELTS speaking examination.
IELTS Assessment Factors

IELTS Speaking Scoring Criteria

IELTS Speaking criteria is broken down into 4 different types. You must know the speaking assessment criteria of IELTS as it will help you get the band score you desire.

IELTS speaking marking criteria:

  • Fluency and Coherence
  • Lexical Resource
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy
  • Pronunciation
IELTS Speaking Score Chart

IELTS speaking marks will be calculated based on the 4 different levels. The overall IELTS Speaking Score will be calculated by the arithmetic mean taking into consideration all 4 different criteria.

Here is the IELTS speaking band score chart that provides an idea regarding the IELTS speaking score:

Fluency and Coherence 6
Pronunciation 7
Lexical Resource 7
Grammatical range and accuracy 8
Total IELTS Speaking Score 7
IELTS Scoring Criteria: Details

The examiner assesses the candidate’s speaking skills based on the below listed four criteria.

Fluency & Coherence

The IELTS speaking criteria examine how fluently one can speak at length, the individual’s ability to talk without any pause or hesitation, and self-correction is considered. It also assesses the efficient use of cohesive devices. The test takers must be able to speak in an accent and language that is easily understood by the examiner that too without hesitation or long pauses in an easy-to-understand way.

Band score Criteria
5.0 and lower This band score means many students have used much repetition and self-correction while talking. There is an uneven flow of delivery.
6.0 Occasional hesitation and repetition. There is the use of different words and phrases for presenting thoughts and ideas.
7.0 and higher Ability to talk at length with very few hesitations. The test taker used various connective words and transitions. Development of ideas into short self-contained stories.

Tips to Improve

  • Try to connect sentences by using linking words & sign points
  • Add some significant details to the answer
  • Try to speak softly and continuously
  • Use the pauses accurately

Lexical Resource

In this criterion, the examiner checks whether the candidate is able to use a wide range of vocabulary or not. The student must try to convey the meaning in different words and use less difficult words. The usage of collocations and paraphrasing in the proper place is also considered and scores are given after considering all the factors.

To increase the score for LR:

  • use a wide range of vocabulary
  • discuss different topics freely, using appropriate words
  • speak formally or semi-formally
  • choose words accurately
  • use idiomatic language
  • this criterion judges the overall usage of vocabulary in particular contexts.
Band score Criteria
5.0 and lower The student has a limited range of vocabulary, which is not perfect to convey their thoughts. There is very less paraphrasing of the questions asked.
6.0 Enough flexibility of words to communicate the thoughts clearly, but with minor errors. There is sufficient paraphrasing of the questions.
7.0 and higher The students have a huge knowledge of different context-specific vocabulary to effectively communicate a variety of ideas. There is effective paraphrasing of the questions.

Grammatical Range & Accuracy

Here, the student’s formation of sentences, the building of complex sentence structures, and proper application of grammar are examined. The structures must be set accurately so that it looks natural when spoken. Try not to use more prepositions, conjunctions, and articles as it will result in overstuffing.

To increase the score for GRA:

  • avoid making grammatical errors.
  • try using different grammatical structures (like passive voice, direct speech, different tenses, conditional sentences, etc.)
Band score Criteria
5.0 and lower There is more use of basic sentences. There are many grammatical errors while forming longer and more complex sentences causing hindrance to comprehension.
6.0 The students have used a combination of simple, compound, and complex sentences. There is some grammar but without hindering comprehension.
7.0 and higher The students have used a different range of complex grammatical structures with very less errors.


In this section, the individual’s ability to use intonation and the way they pronounce any word is considered. Make sure to use a clear accent so that the examiner can clearly understand it.

To increase the overall score:

  • try pronouncing all the words clearly.
  • focus on words and sentences correctly
  • use correct intonations

This section judges individual’s ability to produce English sounds as close to native speakers as possible.

Band score Criteria
5.0 and lower Mispronunciation of words results in confusion. There is an inability to produce different types of sounds common in English.
6.0 Understandable pronunciation of most of the words. Mispronunciation of some kinds of words.
7.0 and higher Precise pronunciation of words as spoken by native speakers. The test taker used easy-to-understand words.



Pronunciation and accents are two separate things. The IELTS test does not ask candidates to speak in any particular accent, like the American or British accent. However, knowledge of accents can enhance pronunciations as well.

IELTS Speaking Score Calculation

Each of these criteria will score from 0 to 9 points. After that an arithmetic mean is calculated to check the overall section’s score. For example, if the marks of candidates are: FC – 7, P – 8, LR – 7, and GR – 6, then the total score will be (7+8+7+6) divided by 4 = 7

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