Speaking Section of IELTS

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The speaking section of IELTS checks your speaking ability and vocal clarity. It includes a one-to-one interaction between the student and an examiner. This section consists of three parts, which give the examiner a chance to evaluate the student’s range of different speaking skills. This section is recorded at the time of conducting. The Speaking section checks the use of spoken English of the candidate and it takes between 11 to 14 minutes to complete.


11-14 minutes

Total parts


Parts of speaking section of IELTS

  • Part 1

In the first part, the examiner will ask general questions about yourself and a range of related topics like family, studies, work, habits, interests, etc. This part takes about 4 and 5 minutes to complete.

  • Part 2

In the second part, you will be given a task card that asks you to speak about the given topic. You will have 1 minute to prepare and will be given 2 minutes to speak about it. Don’t speak for less than 2 minutes as you will lose marks for it. After completion of 2 minutes, the examiner will stop you. The examiner will then ask 1 to 2 questions related to that particular topic to finish the second part of the speaking module.

  • Part 3

In the third part, you will be asked further questions related to the topic in Part 2. These questions will give you the opportunity to discuss more conceptual ideas and issues. You need to go deep about the topic and state reasons, examples, and analysis. This part of the test will get completed between 4 and 5 minutes.

Topics of IELTS speaking section

There are unlimited topics on which tests can be conducted but none of them requires you to have specialized knowledge. You won’t be asked to describe the process regarding medical or engineering. Topics will be based on issues that frequently appear in English language media.

1. Part 1 topics are introductory in nature. It is the simplest among 3. Here it is very likely that you will be asked  questions about yourself, such as:

  • Your family
  • Your hometown
  • Your job or studies
  • Your likes and dislikes
  • Your habits 

2. Part 2 topics are personal in nature. You may be asked to describe a family member you appreciate or about a famous festival in your country. You have to include everything which you know about it.

For example: Describe your favorite photograph

  • Who clicked the photo?
  • Where was the photo taken?
  • When was the photo taken?
  • Who all are there in that photo?
  • Why is this your favorite photograph?

3. In Part 3 you have to discuss, speculate and explain more about the topic discussed in the previous part, you may have to state the importance of family or how festivals define our society. 

For example: Describe your favorite photograph(continuation of the same topic of part 2)

  • How to take a good photo?
  • When do people use the camera?
  • How can new technology help us more to take pictures?

How is the scoring of the Speaking section of IELTS done?

Only examiners who are certified will evaluate your speaking. When your IELTS speaking section will be conducted, it will be recorded and assessed later. The examiners who listen to your recording are given a set of rules on the basis of which scoring is done. You will be given marks on the basis of the following 4 criteria of the IELTS Speaking Test.

  1. Fluency and coherence - This is your speed of speaking and ability to make sense.
  2. Lexical resources -This is your vocabulary. 
  3. Grammatical range and accuracy -This is your ability to use different tenses and structures of the sentence accurately and clearly.
  4. Pronunciation -This is how well you can produce the sounds of English.

Preparation tips for the IELTS speaking section

  • Speak some English every day. It is better to speak English a little bit every day and improve your language skills step by step. 
  • Dedicate at least half an hour every day to either listening or reading something in English. When you read, do it aloud. It helps in pronunciation.
  • Learn the correct grammar and functional language and also know when to use those correctly.
  • As the speaking test is a representation of real life, it is better to get connected with this aspect while preparing. Instead of writing down the answers to questions, find a partner to study. Talk to them and practice by having a conversation with them.
  • If you cannot find a partner, speak to a mirror or record your answers. Listening to the audio will help you improve your modulation, pronunciation, and fix grammatical errors.
  • English news channels and podcasts are the best resources for preparing for the speaking test. 
  • Additionally for reading, pick up newspapers, magazines, and blogs in the language. 
  • To get your pronunciation correct, use online dictionaries that let you listen to how a word is pronounced.
  • The best resource to get a solid understanding of spoken English is a tutor. Find one of the best tutors and practice more.

Useful tips for the Speaking test of IELTS

  • Remain calm during the speaking test. The more nervous and uncomfortable you will be, the more difficult it will be for you to keep up your fluency and maintain consistency.
  • Once you start speaking, don’t stop until the examiner stops you. You should not just answer the question in one or two lines and stop, try to explain as much as you can.
  • If you don’t understand anything feels free to ask the examiner. You can say ‘I am sorry, can you explain what this means?’ You can also request them to repeat the question. But you can not ask him/her to explain the whole question.
  • Giving just  ‘Yes,’ and ‘No’ as an answer is not satisfactory. You need to show how good you are at speaking the English language to the examiner. If you give very short answers, then the examiner will not know how good you are at speaking. So give full answers. 
  • Often candidates try to impress the examiner with big and complex words in their Speaking Test. But to be on the safe side, avoid using words you are not much familiar with. There is a higher chance of making mistakes, either mispronouncing words or using them in the wrong sentences. These silly mistakes can affect your score.

So, now you are totally informed about the speaking section of the IELTS and also we have mentioned all the tips and tricks you can take advantage of and crack the speaking module well and score high.

All the best..!!