IELTS Speaking Test Structure

In IELTS speaking test a certified examiner will talk to you, and your voice is recorded during the test.

The speaking test is identical in both General and Academic module.

How can I impress my examiner?

  • Communicate opinions and information on everyday topics and common experiences; to do this you will need to answer a range of questions
  • Speak at length on a given topic using appropriate language
  • Organise your ideas coherently
  • Express and justify your opinions
  • Analyse, discuss and speculate about issues
  • Make sure that you relax and talk fluently. You will need to speak naturally.

How long does the speaking test take?

The IELTS Speaking test takes 11-14 minutes.

What is the structure of the speaking test?

The Speaking exam is conducted in three parts:

Part 1 (4-5 minutes): The examiner will introduce him or herself and ask you to introduce yourself and confirm your identity. The examiner will ask you general questions on familiar topics, e.g. home, family, work, studies and interests. This section should help you relax and talk naturally.

Part 2(3-4 minutes): The examiner will give you a task card which asks you to talk about a particular topic, including points to include in your talk. You will be given one minute to prepare and make notes. You will then be asked to talk for 1-2 minutes on the topic. You will not be interrupted during this time, so it is important to keep talking. The examiner will then ask you one or two questions on the same topic.

Part 3(4-5 minutes): The examiner will ask you further questions which are connected to the topic of Part 2. These questions are designed to give you an opportunity to discuss more abstract issues and ideas.


What is the marking criteria in speaking?

  • fluency and coherence
  • lexical resource
  • grammatical range and accuracy
  • pronunciation

Read more here.

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