IELTS Speaking Simplified!

Speaking Test Part 1 – Introduction and Interview

The duration of this is 4-5 minutes and the candidates must introduce themselves after which the examiner will introduce himself/herself to the candidate. This way, both will understand each other. The examiner will then ask some questions on basic topics such as school, family, friends, pets, favorite places, and so on. The main purpose of including this part is to check the candidate’s ability to communicate ideas and information on everyday topics.

The candidates will be asked questions about themselves and their lives.

They might include anything connected with the topics that are general or relate to day-to-day scenario, such as:

  • Your work/ study
  • Your home
  • Your family
  • Your hometown
  • Your likes or dislikes

These questions are easy to answer as these questions are related to candidates only. This is just a warm-up round for the rest of the test.

IELTS Speaking 1 Practice 1: Kinds of Questions

Questions Related to Accommodation & Hometown

  • Let’s discuss your hometown. Where is your hometown?
  • Why you like your hometown?
  • Is there anything that you don’t like?
  • How essential is your hometown to you?
  • Do you think you can live in your hometown?
  • Does the place you live in have so kind of amenities?
  • Is there something you want to change about the place you live in?
  • Do you want to live there for an extended time?

IELTS Speaking 1 Practice 2 (Hometown & Climate)

  • What is the most famous thing about your country?
  • Where do you reside in your country?
  • Is it an interesting place to live?
  • Do you want to reside there in the future?
  • How is the weather here?
  • What’s your favorite weather and why?
  • What kind of climate your country has?
  • Do people change the place of living in the summer?
  • Does bad weather affect the overall transport in your country?

IELTS Speaking 1 Practice 3 (Work)

  • Do you have a job right at present?
  • Do you love your job?
  • What kind of responsibilities do you have at work?
  • What is your typical day like at work?
  • What do you like to change about the job?
  • What kind of job do you want to do after five years?
  • What kind of qualifications is needed for this job?

IELTS Speaking 1 Practice 4 (Volunteer Works)

  • Have you ever worked earlier?
  • What was your first day at work all about?
  • What kind of responsibilities do you have at work?
  • Have you ever taken some kind of volunteer work?
  • Why did you do the volunteer work?
  • Do you know some sort of volunteers?
  • How do you define volunteer work?

IELTS Speaking 1 Practice 5 (Hometown)

  • Can you brief me about your hometown?
  • How has your hometown changed in all these years?
  • Is there some way your hometown could be made better?
  • Are there good transportation connections to your hometown?
  • What sort of jobs do the people in your hometown prefer doing?
  • Do you have some friends?
  • Who is your best friend and why?
  • What kind of person can be your friend?
  • Which is more important to you, friends or your family members?

Points to remember in Part 1

  • Respond briefly
  • Build some lists of phrases and topics
  • Listen to the question forms that examiner uses; it will help you form your answer
  • Ensure you give full answers; the examiner wants to listen to you speak
  • Don’t memorise answers
  • Answer directly
Speaking Test Part 2 - Long Turn

In this part, the examiner will provide a cue card that consists of a topic. The candidates will then get a minute’s time to practice for the answer and will be provided with a pencil and paper to note down the important points. The candidates will get one minute of preparation time, after which they are supposed to speak for 2-3 minutes on the topic after which the examiner will ask questions based on the topic. This part tests the individual’s ability to speak about a given topic using proper language and putting forward the ideas coherently.

IELTS Speaking 2 Practice 1 (Advertisements)

  • Describe an advertisement that motivated you to buy a product.
  • What advertisement was it all about?
  • Was the advertisement is shown on TV, radio, or newspaper
  • What was good about the advertisement?

IELTS Speaking 2 Practice 2 (Art)

  • Discuss a painting you want to have in your home.
  • Discuss the cost
  • Discuss the reasons why you want to have it in your home.

IELTS Speaking 2 Practice 3 (Books)

  • Talk about a book you are reading now or have read some days back.

you can say:  

  • How and why they got it
  • How long it took them to read it or how long you have been reading it
  • What kind of book it is
  • And say if you would like to read something else similar or not, and why

IELTS Speaking 2 Practice 3-2 (Books)

  • Talk about a book you have never read but want to read.

you can say:  

  • How well known the book is
  • Why you want to read it
  • Why you have not read it before
  • And say how you think it will compare to other books you have read

IELTS Speaking 2 Practice 4 (Business)

  • Describe a small business you look forward to starting.

you can say:  

  • The kind of business it can be
  • When you want to begin it
  • The reasons for not starting it yet
  • Explain the reasons why you want to start this business.

IELTS Speaking 2 Practices 5 (Change)

  • Describe some sort of positive change within you.

you can say:  

  • What the change was about
  • When it happened
  • describe details of the change that happened
  • Describe the reasons how it affected them later in life.

IELTS Speaking 2 Practice 6 (City)

  • Describe your favorite city or a city you have visited in the past and liked very much.

you can say:  

  • What its name is and where it is located
  • When you visited it.
  • The reasons for liking the university
  • What are the main attractions in this city?

Points to remember in Part 2

  • Understand the topic well
  • Decide an idea you want to present
  • Make up your mind for the tenses you want to use
  • Be ready with the content for the whole talk, not just the opening
  • Do not say anything irrelevant
  • Introduce the topic clearly in the beginning of the talk
Speaking Test Part 3 - Discussion

In the last part, the candidates will ask abstract questions related to the topic given in Part 2 of the IELTS Speaking test with their examiner. Both will have a discussion to know an appropriate way to understand the topic in-depth. The duration of this part is almost 4-5 minutes, and it is included to help the candidates assess their ability to justify opinions and to analyze and discuss the issues.

The examiner will ask questions related to the topic on the cue card discussed in Part 2. This is more like a dialogue between the candidate and the examiner that gives them the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings about the topic or to develop their ideas.

The kind of questions asked in this includes:

  • When do people mostly have parties in their country?
  • What makes a good party?
  • How crucial it is to celebrate important events with your loved ones?
  • Why don’t some people like going to parties?
  • How do people celebrate New Year?
  • Do you think that festivals or celebrations are over-advertised or have lost their true meaning?

IELTS Speaking 3 Practice 4 (Business)

  • In your opinion, do businesspeople need to work long hours?
  • How do businesspeople relax?
  • How can a small-scale business grow?
  • In your opinion, what type of small businesses can youth have in the future?
  • In your opinion, what skills are needed to start a small business?

IELTS Speaking 3 Practices 5 (Change)

  • Do you think change is good?
  • What are some of the main changes that happen to people throughout their lives?
  • Is your country changing rapidly?
  • In what ways has it changed in terms of technology?
  • Why do old people not accept change?

IELTS Speaking 3 Practice 6 (City)

  • In your opinion, what makes a particular city a good one to live in?
  • What are the benefits of residing in a city?Now let’s shift the focus to the negative aspects of cities. In your opinion, what are the negative aspects of living in a crowded city?
  • How can governments help improve the standard of living in crowded cities?
  • What about air quality? How can people improve the overall air quality?

Points to remember in Part 3

  • Provide full answer to each question
  • Answer each question directly, do not beat around the bush
  • Link your ideas well to give flow to your answers
How to Get a Good Score in IELTS Speaking

The candidates’ performance in the IELTS Speaking test is marked based on 4 criteria and is assessed by certified examiners. All the IELTS test examiners are highly experienced and have some teaching experience and are approved by the British Council and IDP: IELTS Australia for conducting the exam.

The 4 criteria based on which the speaking test is assessed include:

Fluency and Coherence

This means the candidates’ ability to talk with a level of continuity and speak the English language with utmost fluency. This criterion is evaluated based on the way connectors, pronunciation, and conjunctions are included in sentences.

Lexical Resources

This criterion is based on the vocabulary used by the candidates and how well they are able to express their opinion. The main indicators for these criteria are the kinds of words used and how adequately and appropriately they are being used.

Grammatical Range and Accuracy

It assesses whether the test takers have used appropriate and adequate grammar. It checks the complexity and how fluently the candidates are able to use spoken language at a stretch. The main deciding factor in this includes the use of grammar and communication skills.


This criterion assesses how effectively one can pronounce difficult and challenging words while speaking. The key indicator to assess this criterion is that the examiner will check if you’re using a wide range of pronunciation features and your language should be easy to understand.

Scoring of IELTS Speaking

Don’t memorize answers

There is no need to memorize answers, especially in Part 1. Memorized language doesn’t give the examiner an accurate measure of their English-language skills. The examiner can easily tell whether you have memorized the answers or not, and this might influence your final band score.

Don’t use big and difficult words

You might be able to impress the examiner with big and complex words in your Speaking test, but it is always suggested to avoid using words that you are not familiar with. There are higher chances that you might make mistakes by either mispronouncing words or using them in the wrong context. So, avoid such kinds of mistakes. Try to use a different kind of vocabulary that you are familiar with.

Use different grammatical structures

When IELTS examiners assess your speaking skills, you will be marked based on your fluency and coherence, lexical resource, grammatical range and accuracy, and pronunciation. Try to use a different kind of grammatical structures using complex and simple sentences so that you can express what you want to say.

You must know your own shortcomings and practice speaking to friends in English. In case you hear an error, try to rectify it yourself. Since you will be judged on your ability to use different grammatical structures accurately, so make sure you have enough practice of the same.

Don’t stress about your accent

While having a face-to-face Speaking test, don’t worry about the accent as the IELTS examiner understands a variety of accents. If you can communicate well, then you don’t need to worry about the same. But make sure that you are able to pronounce the words correctly and don’t feel stressed. Practice more with friends and they will tell help you understand what you are saying.

Pause to think

There is no harm in taking some pauses to carefully think before speaking. You can use phrases to think during the Speaking test. At the same time, speak confidently and avoid using filler words. Many times, we use fillers when we don’t know what to say, however, this gives an impression to the examiner that you don’t have access to the appropriate language. Avoid using the words such as Like, Umm…, Ahh…, Ehh…, Yeah…, etc.

Don’t speak in a monotone

Sometimes while speaking, we produce a flat sound, a monotone, with little variation, which in turn makes it difficult for us to express what we want to say. Also, it makes it difficult for the listener to identify which parts of your message are vital. Make sure you take a pause in between to make the conversation more engaging. While emphasizing on certain words, we can easily compare and contrast ideas by stressing keywords.

Regular practice

Since Part 2 of the IELTS Speaking test needs you to speak on a given topic for about 2 minutes, so you must focus on practice. Practicing common IELTS topics with friends, family or colleagues to improve and learn vocabulary associated with each topic. Some of the common topics you can practice for the Speaking test consist of Tourism and travel, Education, Transport, Environment, Sport and Recreation, The internet, etc.

  1. What is IELTS?
    • International English Language Testing System is an English language proficiency test given by candidates planning to pursue higher education or migrate to an English-speaking country.
  2. Which all agencies accept this test?
    • This test is accepted by at least 10,000 organizations across the world. The organizations include various universities, immigration departments, government agencies, professional bodies, and MNCs among others.
  3. Who prepares this test?
    • The International teams of writers prepare the exam and ensure that it is fair and unbiased.
  4. Are there any types of this test?
    • There are mainly two types of IELTS test one is IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training.
  5. What are the main factors that are different in IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training?
    • The IELTS Academic test is for those who are planning to go higher studies or professional registration in an English-speaking country while the IELTS General Training test is taken by those individuals who are planning to go to English-speaking countries for completing secondary education or for attending some training programs.
  6. Which test should I give if planning to pursue MBA overseas?
    • You must appear for the IELTS Academic test if you plan to pursue higher studies in an English native country.
  7. What comes under this test?
    • IELTS tests mainly have four sections including Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking and you must prepare for all the sections.
  8. How long will it take to complete the exam?
    • The entire duration of the exam is 2 hours and 45 minutes. The first three parts of the test including listening, reading and writing will be conducted on the same day (there will be no breaks between these tests) while the speaking test can be held either on the same day or a few days before or after the exam as well. It depends on the local arrangements.
  9. Is this test available for test takers who have visual, hearing, speaking, or learning difficulties?
    • The students with disabilities can get assistance at the official IELTS test centers.  You need to inform us about it at the center so that special arrangements can be made for you.
  10. When can I give this exam?
    • You can give the exam on any of the 48 fixed dates in a year up to four times a month. So, according to the dates, you can give the exam.
  11. Is the IELTS Speaking test conducted in a single day along with other papers?
    • Not always. The Listening, Reading, and Writing sections of the exam are always completed after each other. Based on the test centre, the Speaking test might be conducted up to 7 days either before or after the test date.
  12. How long does the speaking test take?
    • Since the speaking section of the IELTS exam is included to test the spoken English skills of the candidates, it does not take much time. The Speaking test is usually conducted for almost 11-14 minutes. Part 1 takes approximately 4-5 minutes. Part 2 will take 3-4 minutes. Part 3 will take 4-5 minutes.
  13. What do I need to bring along with me while coming into the Speaking examination room?
    • The students are supposed to carry the same ID documents that they have provided while filling out the IELTS application form. The ID of the candidates will be checked before they enter the interview room.
  14. Will there be more than one examiner?
    • No, the Speaking test is a one-to-one interview conducted by a certified IELTS examiner.
  15. How will I be assessed on my speaking skills?
    • The examiners consider detailed performance band descriptors to award a band score for each of the criteria including Fluency and Coherence (25%); Lexical Resource (25%); Grammatical Range and Accuracy (25%); Pronunciation (25%).
  16. Will the Speaking test be recorded?
    • Yes, it is recorded by the examiner.
  17. Will the Speaking test be the same for Academic and General IELTS?
    • Yes, it will be the same with no difference.
  18. How many questions will be asked in the IELTS speaking test?
    • In total, there will be a total of 12 questions in part 1. These questions will be based on three different topics. In part 3, the candidates have to answer almost 5 questions or more – based on their answer’s length.
  19. What comes in the Speaking test?
    • The Speaking test includes a conversation with an IELTS Examiner who will judge you accordingly. The Speaking test includes three sections, and the test is recorded on an audio cassette or a digital recorder.
  20. What am I supposed to carry for the Speaking test?
    • You have to bring the same ID documents which you have submitted with your IELTS Application Form and used for the rest of the test. The ID of the candidates will be cross-checked by the examiner when they enter the interview room.
  21. How are the marks given in the test?
    • IELTS uses a 9-band scoring system to calculate and report test scores in an appropriate way. The students will get a separate score for Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking and an Overall Band Score on a band scale from one to nine.
  22. Who decides the passing mark for the IELTS test?
    • The educational institution or organizations have set their own level of IELTS scores, and you must meet the individual requirements of the institute to get admission.
  23. Do non-native countries also accept IELTS Scores?
    • There are more than 140 countries that accept IELTS score. The English-speaking countries such as the UK, US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand accept IELTS scores. Besides, many non-English speaking nations also consider a valid IELTS score while offering admission to the students into various courses and programs.
  24. What is the procedure to register for IELTS?
    • You must visit the official IELTS website and then register for the test. You can select the test type and date and then fill in your details in the application form.
  25. How can I improve my IELTS speaking?
    • Some of the ways to improve IELTS speaking include
      1. Before you take your test, start talking in the English language to your known ones as it helps improve your confidence level.
      2. Record yourself to hear how confident you are while speaking.
      3. Don’t be scared of giving wrong answers during the test. Remember, the main purpose is to judge how well you can express your opinions in English.
      4. There is no need to feel stressed out while speaking. The examiner will not give you marks based on the answers you give, but rate on how well you can speak well.
      5. Avoid repeating the same question your examiner has asked.
  26. Is doing IELTS mock test helpful?
    • Yes, there are unlimited IELTS speaking mock tests available online which helps get better clarity on the criteria and kind of IELTS Speaking questions and IELTS Speaking topics. The students can use the available resources and take benefit from them. Practice speaking in English with your friends and relatives as it helps improve your overall confidence level.
  27. What is the IELTS speaking marking scheme?
    • According to the IELTS Speaking marking scheme, each of the four assessment criteria carries 25 percent of the total band score of 9. So, one must have an average of the four scores to get the total speaking band score.

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