The IELTS Speaking test is the same for both the Academic and General Training modules. It is different from the other parts of the IELTS test because it is a one-to-one interaction between a candidate and an examiner. The three parts of the test give the candidate the opportunity to use a wide range of speaking skills.The Speaking test is recorded. The following table is the format of the IELTS Speaking test:
- Cambridge Practice Tests for IELTS Series (1 – 14) Student’s Book with Answers with Audio
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Part 1 – Introduction and Interview (4-5 minutes): The examiner introduces himself / herself and confirms the candidate’s identity by asking questions about the candidate. Next, the examiner asks the candidate about familiar topic frames.
Part 2 – Individual Long Turn (3-4 minutes): The examiner asks the candidate to speak for 1-2 minutes on a particular topic. Information is given on a card and the candidate has 1 minute to prepare before he / she starts. The examiner asks one or two questions after the candidate’s presentation.
Part 3 – Two-way Discussion (4-5 minutes): The examiner invites the candidate to partici- pate in a discussion of a more abstract topic related to the topic on the card in Part 2.
The IELTS Speaking test has been designed to test your ability to engage in a conversation and to test how well you can communicate your thoughts and opinions. The IELTS Speaking test is the shortest of the components of the IELTS test – only 11 to 14 minutes. In this short time, you have to convince the examiner who will be speaking with you of your level of English.
As you have seen in the table above, the Speaking test is divided into 3 parts:
Part 1 involves general introduction. Here, the examiner checks that he or she has the right person by confirming the candidate’s name, origin, and identification. This part is also designed to help the candidate relax and it takes only a few seconds. Then, the examiner asks the candidate about familiar topics in life such as his/her country, home town, family, studies/jobs, free-time activities, future plans, etc.This part takes about 4 or 5 minutes.
Part 2 is the individual long turn talk. It provides an opportunity for the candidate to deliver a long, uninterrupted response. The examiner will give the candidate a cue card with a subject such as education, family, work, interests, and lifestyle and some cues or a few guiding questions on the card. These questions are short and the structure of the questions is simple. The candidate must talk for 1 to 2 minutes on this subject. He or she is expected
to demonstrate an ability to construct a long sample of English.The examiner will assess the candidate’s fluency, coherence, range of structures, pronunciation, and vocabulary.
The candidate has an optional 1 minute in order to prepare for his/her talk and is provided with some paper and a pencil in order to make some brief notes. After the candidate’s talk, the examiner will ask 1 or 2 brief questions in order to finish off this part which takes about 3-4 minutes.
Part 3 is the most complex testing part. Here, the examiner will prompt and lead the candidate to a series of questions on the topic spoken about in Part 2. For example, in Part 2, you may have to describe a favourite teacher and in Part 3, you may have to discuss education in your country. These questions will be more demanding and require some critical analysis on the part of the candidate.The examiner is still in control, but must allow the
candidate to produce longer utterances or discuss the questions. You will be scored on how effectively you can develop the abstract ideas on the IELTS test.These questions and discussions may take 4 or 5 minutes.
Note that in Part 1 of the Speaking test, questions cannot be changed or reworded. In Part 3, there is more flexibility. If the candidate does not understand a word in the question, or the question itself, it is possible for the candidate to ask for repetition or clarification. Overall, try to stick to the topic in this specific part of the IELTS test. This is the section where the examiner will really try to get an understanding of your knowledge. Be sure to use proper grammar and accents when appropriate.
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