What is the IELTS Speaking test?

WHAT IS THE IELTS SPEAKING TEST?

The IELTS Speaking test is the final part of the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test, a popular exam for people who want to study or work where English is the main language of communication. According to the official IELTS website, IELTS is now accepted by over 8,000 institutions and governments in 135 countries.

The Speaking test is a face-to-face interview with a certified IELTS examiner. It is designed to test your communication skills. The test lasts about 11-14 minutes and consists of three parts:

PART 1

The examiner will ask some general questions on a different everyday topics, such as the your home, family, work, studies and interests. This part lasts between four and five minutes.

PART 2

The examiner will give you a card with a topic on it. You will get one minute to prepare and then 1-2 minutes to talk about the topic. The examiner will then ask one or two questions on the same topic to finish this part of the test.

PART 3

The examiner will ask some questions related to the topic in Part 2. These questions are designed to encourage a deeper discussion. This part of the test lasts between four and five minutes.

SAMPLE TEST

Below is a sample IELTS Speaking test. Please note that at the beginning of the test, the examiner will always ask the same standard introductory questions to check the candidate’s identity. The introductory questions will look something like this:

  1. Good morning (good afternoon). My name’s X. Can you tell me your full name, please?
  2. What can I call you?
  3. Can you tell me where you are from?
  4. Can I see your identification, please?

PART 1

Let’s talk about what you do.

  • Do you work or are you a student?
  • Can you describe a typical working day? /Are you good at the subject you are studying?
  • How long have you been doing this work? / Is your subject interesting?
  • What is your ideal job? / What do you hope to do after you graduate?

Let’s talk about driving.

  • Do you drive a car?
  • Do you think it’s necessary to learn how to drive?
  • Is it necessary to drive a car in your hometown?
  • Do you prefer to travel by car or use public transport?

Let’s talk about languages.

  • How long have you been studying English?
  • Do you think that English is difficult to learn?
  • Do you think it’s important to know more than one language?
  • What do you think is the most effective way to learn a foreign language?

PART 2

Describe an important letter or email you wrote. You should say:

  • When you wrote it
  • Who you it wrote to
  • What you wrote about

And explain why it was important.

Follow-up question

Do you often write letters and emails?

PART 3

  • Which are better, emails or letters?
  • In what situations do you think people usually communicate by phone?
  • How has the way we communicate changed in recent years?
  • How do you think people will communicate in the future?
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