IELTS Speaking

IELTS Speaking | Understand the Speaking test:

The Speaking test is as close to a real-life situation as an exam can get. The Speaking test is 11-14 minutes long and is in three parts. You will answer questions about yourself and your family. You will speak about a topic. The Speaking test is the same for both IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training tests. You will talk to a certified examiner in the IELTS Speaking test. The test is interactive and as close to a real-life situation as a test can get. A variety of accents may be used, and the test will be recorded. The Speaking test is a face-to-face interview between the test taker and the examiner. It determines the speaking ability of the test taker in different ways. Every speaking test is recorded so that it can be used for reassessment or remarking of the test if required. To familiarize with this test, you can attempt IELTS Speaking practice tests, record your responses and listen to them in order to analyse your performance.

The content of the IELTS Speaking test is the same for both the IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training tests.

Purpose of the test:

The IELTS Speaking test is designed to assess a wide range of skills.

The examiner will want to see how well you can

  • 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.


The IELTS Speaking test takes 11-14 minutes.

Three sections:

The Speaking test is made up of three sections:

Section Duration Information
Part 1 Introduction and interview 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 Individual long turn 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 Two-way discussion 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.
Correct your Pronunciation:


You will be assessed on your performance throughout the test by certificated IELTS examiners. You will be marked on the four criteria of the IELTS Speaking Test Band Descriptors:

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

Scores are reported in whole and half bands.

Speaking test advice:

Follow this Speaking test advice and try to talk fluently.

The Speaking test is a face-to-face conversation with a certified examiner. It is as close to a real-life situation as a test can get.

The examiner will ask you about familiar topics such as home, work or studies in part 1. This should help you feel comfortable when speaking. Try and relax so that you can speak as naturally as possible.

Take time before the test to practise speaking with a partner, friend or teacher.

Make the most of your Speaking test:

  • try to talk as much as you can
  • talk as fluently as possible and be spontaneous
  • relax, be confident and enjoy using your English
  • develop your answers
  • speak more than the examiner
  • ask for clarification if necessary
  • do not learn prepared answers; the examiner is trained to spot this and will change the question
  • express your opinions; you will be assessed on your ability to communicate
  • the examiner’s questions tend to be fairly predictable; practise at home and record yourself