updated on 23-03-2023


IELTS Speaking

IELTS Speaking

IELTS speaking test is one of the important parts of the IELTS test, where you will have an informal discussion with the examiner. The speaking test will be conducted for 11-14 minutes in front of the certified examiners, on a separate day after the completion of the other 3 sections. Here you will be assessed for your grammar skills, pronunciation, vocabulary, and fluency. 

The IELTS speaking test has 3 parts namely introduction, long-run speech, and discussion. Here the test taker will be having a face-to-face round with the trained examiners to exhibit their speaking skills. Let's see about the speaking test format, its marking criteria, and the tips to improve your band score in this article.

Test format for IELTS speaking

The IELTS speaking test duration is 11 - 14 minutes, where you will be facing 3 parts of the speaking test. The entire speaking session will be recorded to assess your speaking skills. 

The IELTS speaking test format is given below for your reference. 

Test format for IELTS speaking

IELTS Speaking part 1 - Introduction and interview

The first part of the speaking test is the introduction round, where you will have an informal discussion with the examiner. First, you will be introducing yourself to the examiner, and then he/she will introduce themselves to you. After this, the examiner will ask a few basic familiar questions about your everyday life like school life, job, city, etc. this round is to check your communication skill in everyday life. Part 1 speaking test will be conducted for 4- 5 minutes. 

IELTS speaking part 2 - Long-run

In the IELTS speaking test part 2, you will be given a cue card and asked to speak about the given topic. You will be provided with a paper and pen to note down your thoughts during the 1 minute preparation time. Then you will be speaking about the topic and expressing your views about the topic with suitable examples in 2-3 minutes. Here you will be assessed for your ability to speak about a particular topic and the way you can coherently add on details to express your views. 

IELTS speaking part 3 - Discussion

The IELTS speaking test part 3 is the follow-up section, where you will be having an opportunity to explain your views spoken about the cue card topic in part 2. The examiner will be expressing his doubts about your speech and you can explain to him to clear his queries in a brief manner. This round takes place for 4-5 minutes. Here your ability to justify your views and discussion skills are assessed. 

IELTS speaking test- Marking criteria

The speaking test recording will be evaluated by the examiners to score your speaking test on a scale of 0-9. The examiners are trained and certified to assess your speaking test. The IELTS speaking test will be scored based on 4 marking criteria. They are 

  • Fluency
  • Lexical resources
  • Grammar range and accuracy
  • Pronunciation

To score a band 8 or above, your speech must be able to score equally well in all these 4 criteria. Each criterion carries an equal percentage of marks. Let's see about these IELTS speaking band descriptors in detail in the following sections. 

Fluency and Coherence

Fluency is the ability to speak continuously in English. It is a little tricky but can be fixed using a good vocabulary, grammar skills, and confidence. These criteria assess your ability to use connectors, conjunction, and pronunciations in your sentences. 

Lexical Resources

Lexical resources refer to your ability to use the IELTS speaking vocabulary to communicate in a better way. Use of vocabulary means the appropriate usage of the uncommon words in your sentence. This doesn't mean using only high words and idioms is going to score you the best band score. Here you will be assessed for how appropriately and adequately you can use the word without disrupting the main theme of the speech. 

Grammar Range and accuracy

Here your communication skill and grammar usage are checked. The use of tenses, pauses, etc is assessed during your speech. The way you can communicate a long stretch of speech with correct grammar usage is assessed to score your speaking test. 


Your pronunciation skill is assessed by looking for how you pronounce your vocabulary during your speech. Your speech must be easy to understand the words must be pronounced appropriately so that the examiner can understand the meaning of the message you are expressing. 

Speaking test Topics

To prepare for the speaking test, you may find these speaking test topics to be useful. The common speaking test topics are mentioned below for your reference, 

  • Art
  • Bicycles
  • Birthday
  • Childhood
  • Clothes
  • Computers
  • Daily routine
  • Dictionaries
  • Evenings
  • Family and friends
  • Flowers
  • Food
  • Going out
  • Happiness
  • Hometown
  • Home 
  • Hobbies
  • Internet
  • Leisure time
  • Music
  • Neighbors 
  • Newspaper
  • Pets
  • Reading shopping
  • Sports
  • Study 
  • Tv
  • Transport 
  • Weather
  • Work 

Top IELTS speaking tips

Scoring a good band score in the speaking test is required as it contributes to 25% of the overall IELTS score. To improve your band score in the IELTS speaking test, you can make use of the following expert-proven tips. 

  1. Start speaking in English with your friends, family, and neighbors. This will help you in developing your communication skills on an everyday basis. 
  2. As you are assessed only for how well you are expressing your ideas, you need not worry about the correct answer. You are just required to express your views on the particular topic. 
  3. Give more attention to your pronunciation. This is important because the examiner must be able to understand what you are speaking about without much difficulty. 
  4. Avoid repetition of the words. If you cannot remember high words, you can also use simple words to explain your views without stammering. Use idioms for IELTS speaking test to enrich your language coherence. 
  5. Try answering your questions using the correct tense. If the question is related to your past experience or a completed event use the past tense, if it is related to your current situation use the present tense and if it is related to your goals, use the future tense. 
  6. Try giving your answers suitable answers with perfect examples. Give examples that have taken place in your life and are reliable. You can also explain your examples with suitable phrases for IELTS speaking
  7. Do not complicate your speech with complex words that are hard to pronounce. Always use words that you are comfortable with and familiar with. 

Hope these IELTS speaking tips will help you in scoring a band 7 and above. Make use of these tips to improvise your speaking skills and excel in the final IELTS test. 

IELTS Speaking Practice Questions

You can use the following IELTS speaking cue card questions to prepare for your speaking test. 


IELTS speaking test can be quickly excelled if you have good communication skills and a strong vocabulary. We hope this article would have offered you all the necessary information required to aid you in your preparation. 


1. What is the duration of the speaking test?

The speaking test is conducted for 12-14 minutes. Part 1 is for 4-5 minutes, part 2 for 3-4 minutes, and part 3 for 4-5 minutes. 

2. Do I need a British or American accent?

No, there is no need of having a British or American accent. Having clear pronunciation with good fluency is enough for scoring a higher band score on the Speaking test. 

3. Can I use contractions while speaking?

Yes, you can use contractions in your speech. This will be adding value to your speech. Contractions are generally used in the communications of native speakers. 

4. How can I improve my fluency?

Fluency is the ability to speak continuously without any pauses or stammerings. This can be improved by speaking in English regularly and through regular practice. 

5. Will I get a lower score if I ask the examiner to repeat the question?

No, your score will not be affected by asking the examiners to repeat the question. If you are not able to understand the meaning or not able to hear the question, you can genuinely ask the examiner to repeat the questions. 

6. Should I give examples in my answer?

Yes while answering the questions, providing real-time examples will be an additional point to support your views. Usually in part 3, while discussing with the examiner, you can use examples. 


About Author Nivethitha

Nivethitha is an experienced IELTS trainer based in Chennai, who has helped over 1000+ students achieve their desired band scores and gain admission to their dream universities. With over 3 years of experience and a strong educational background in English literature, she is an expert in the language and its nuances. She holds both TEFL and Business English communication certifications, further enhancing her skills and knowledge in the field. Nivethitha believes in the importance of practice tests and incorporates them heavily into her training to help boost her students' confidence and skillset. She aims to provide practical tips and actionable advice to make the aspirants achieve their academic and career goals through her trusted authority in the field of IELTS training.

More Articles Post by Nivethitha

Kanan International is an IRCC-certified global education partner that offers reliable services, products, and solutions for students and education institutions. We support students throughout their study abroad journey, ensuring a hassle-free experience. Our expertise and commitment to excellence make us the go-to partner for expanding global horizons. The company provides coaching for IELTS, GRE, TOEFL, and SAT exams and services like visa consultation, accommodation, scholarship assistance, and education loans.

FREE Online IELTS Mock Test 2023

A truly global higher education partner to learners and education institutions Support learners at every point in their global education journey with reliable services, products and solutions.

Global Headquarters

Kanan Int EdTech Inc

229, Yonge Street Suite 406 Toronto Ontario, Canada M5B 1N9

Indian Headquarters

Kanan International Pvt. Ltd.

D-wing, 2nd Floor, Trident Complex, Ellora Park Vadiwadi Road, Vadodara, Gujarat 390007

IT/ Digital Campus

Chennai Office

132, Habibullah Rd, Satyamurthy Nagar, T. Nagar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600017

kanan-ftr-phone+91 63570 12000


Copyright © 2023 KANAN.CO All rights reserved.