IELTS Speaking preparation

The Speaking test is a face-to-face interview between the candidate and an examiner. The examiner asks simple questions and asks the candidate to tell about themselves. This section tests the student’s ability to speak and express their thoughts in English in a variety of contexts within a monologue and a discussion.
The candidate is assessed in terms of their vocabulary, pronunciation, accuracy and discourse management.

To succeed in Speaking, learn how to conduct a lively dialog in English with detailed answers and arguments. Avoid the question-and-answer format in favor of the discussion format.

IELTS Speaking Parts

Speaking Part 1: Introduction and Interview
4-5 minutes

Topics: Work, study, hometown, art, childhood, clothes, daily routine, family and friends, food, shopping, hobbies, sport, TV, music.

The examiner asks the student 12 questions on 3 topics. The topics and questions usually relate to the student’s personality, interests, lifestyle and preferences.

Speaking Part 2: Long turn
3-4 minutes

The topics are similar to the first part, but may also include things like birthdays, going out, evenings, travel, news and media, communication, gifts, Internet etc.

The examiner sets a topic, which the student has to reveal in the monologue. The topic may contain several points that the student must address in their speech. The examiner may ask several questions on the topic.

Speaking Part 3: Discussion
4-5 minutes

A follow-up to the topic raised in Part 2. Part 3 involves a discussion between the student and the examiner. The examiner continues to ask questions on the topic started in Part 2, but in a more general and complex way.

If you don’t understand a question in IELTS Speaking, don’t be afraid to ask again, but don’t use «I don’t understand». Use the more neutral «Could you repeat that, please?», «Sorry, could you say that again, please?».

This will not affect your score, but remember that the examiner is not allowed to give explanations about the topic or questions. You may ask to rephrase a question, but not to change the topic of the task.

Speaking tips and preparation

Take your time to study some respected textbooks and materials that will detail the specifics of IELTS testing and pitfalls.

Practice as much as you can. Try to speak English at every opportunity, even in everyday activities. Find friends to communicate in English either live or by video call.

Don’t be afraid to talk to strangers. Do not avoid situations when you need to communicate with people you see for the first time in your life. This will help you get rid of psychological barriers.

Practice speaking on various topics: about yourself, your family, education, work, hobbies, your country, city, home. Record yourself to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.

Broaden your horizons to be able to maintain a conversation on any topic offered.