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IELTS Speaking

Here you will find a wealth of information about the Speaking test as well as tutorials to help you prepare for your test.

The IELTS speaking test consists of three parts:

IELTS Speaking Part One (4-5 minutes)

In the first section of the speaking test, the examiner will introduce him/herself and check your identity for the IELTS exam. Examiners are required to follow a script throughout the interview to help ensure consistency across all IELTS speaking tests.

In this part, the examiner will usually start off by asking you straightforward questions about where you live or what you do – so it is definitely a good idea to be ready to talk about these topics. He / She will then move on to asking questions about familiar subjects such as family, shopping, eating out or what you do in your free time. There is no set number of questions.

IELTS Speaking Part Two (3-4 minutes)

In this section of the test, you will be asked to give a short talk using a cue card. 

You will have one minute to think about the prompts and prepare what you’re going to say. You will then be expected to speak for 1-2 minutes. When the time is up, the examiner will ask another question or two to wrap up this stage of the test.

IELTS Speaking Part Three (4-5 minutes)

The last part of the test involves a discussion. The examiner will ask you open-ended questions related to the topic from Part Two and you will be expected to give extended answers. As with Part One, there is no set number of questions.

How is the test assessed?

The speaking test is assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Fluency and coherence
  • Lexical resource
  • Grammatical range and accuracy
  • Pronunciation

Each of these areas contributes 25% to your overall band score for the  speaking test.

Detailed information about the band descriptors can be found in this tutorial.

In order to achieve a Band 6 score in the speaking test for IELTS test, you will need to show that you:

  • are willing to speak at length
  • have a wide enough vocabulary to discuss topics at length
  • use a mix of simple and complex structures
  • use a range of pronunciation features


If it’s a Band 8 score you’re after, you will need to:

  • speak fluently with only occasional repetition or self-correction
  • use a wide vocabulary resource readily and flexibly
  • use a wide range of structures flexibly
  • use a wide range of pronunciation features


Do you know which areas you need to work on? 

If not, find out by taking a mock speaking test, which we offer as part of our ‘IELTS Speaking Confidence Course

Once you know which areas to focus on, follow the links below to help you improve your performance in each of these areas:

Take a look at some useful resources to help you prepare and pass your  IELTS exam :