The IELTS Speaking Exam – A Complete Guide For Candidates

The IELTS Speaking Exam – A Complete Guide For Candidates

The IELTS Speaking Exam – A Complete Guide For Candidates – PDF Download

A very important step in doing well in the IELTS speaking exam is understanding each of the part of the exam. It is important to know the format of the test and to know what is expected of the candidate.

If you are aware of what will happen during the IELTS speaking exam you are less likely to be nervous. It is also important that you answer the questions in a way that the examiner expects.

A Few Tips For All Parts Of The IELTS Speaking Exam:

  • Sit up straight and make eye contact with the examiner.
  • Smile and speak in a friendly tone of voice.
  • Speak slowly, loudly, clearly and confidently.
  • Listen carefully to the examiner throughout the exam.
  • Answer the question directly then add more details.
  • Know how long your answers should be for each part.
  • Use complex sentences and a range of linking words.
  • Use a wide range of vocabulary and grammar.

IELTS Speaking Exam PART 1:

The Format: Part 1 of the IELTS speaking exam takes 4 to 5 minutes and is a conversation between the candidate and the examiner. The questions are about general everyday topics such as family, friends, sport, food, jobs or study. There are usually 3 to 5 questions on 3 different topics.

What Is Expected: Candidates are expected to give short responses to these questions. A short response should be 1 or 2 complex sentences answering the question and then giving extra details.

Tips & Advice: This first section of the exam is designed to help the student relax by the use of simple, familiar topics. Study as many sample questions for part 1 as possible. Don’t just read the questions, answer them out loud. The more you do this part of the exam the more comfortable you will feel which will help you relax for the rest of the IELTS speaking exam.

Sample IELTS Speaking Exam Part 1 Questions

Do you work or are you a student?
Could you describe your typical day at work/school?
What do you like about your job/school?

How do you spend your free time?
Do you often spend time alone or with others?
When do you usually go out?

What do you usually eat for breakfast?
What things do you eat that are not very healthy?
Do you think your diet is healthy or unhealthy?

IELTS Speaking Exam PART 2:

The Format: In this part of the exam candidates are given a topic card with 3 or 4 points to talk about. The candidate must speak for 1 to 2 minutes without any input from the examiner. The candidate will be given a pen and a piece of paper to write notes about the topic, the student only has 1 minute to do this.

What Is Expected: You are expected to write notes and use the 1 minute you are given. This is designed to help you when you speak and improve your fluency. Have your ideas on the paper so you won’t hesitate when it is time to speak. The minimum requirement is one minute of speaking, the examiner will stop you once you have spoken for more than 2 minutes.

Tips & Advice: Use the 1 minute you are given to write notes. So many students think they don’t need notes, these are the same students who struggle to find something to say after speaking for 30 seconds. Write short and fast notes, don’t write in sentences, you don’t have time. When you are speaking look at your notes for a second or two then look at the examiner when you speak, do not read from your notes.

Always try to speak for 2 minutes, if you try to speak for 2 minutes but only manage 1 minute and 30 seconds you have still reached the minimum amount needed. If you try to speak for 1 minute but stop after 45 seconds your mark will be affected because you have not met the 1 minute requirement.

Don’t just talk about the points on the topic card, add more information. You score well by speaking about the topic for 1 to 2 minutes not by simply answering the questions on the card.

Sample Part 2 Topic Card

Describe a person you admire.

  • Who is this person?
  • What does this person do?
  • How long have you known this person?
  • Why do you admire this person?
Use your phone or computer to record yourself answering IELTS speaking test questions. Listen to your recording and give yourself feedback on pronunciation and fluency. Audacity is free recording software that I recommend to students to record themselves.

IELTS Speaking Exam PART 3:

The Format: This part of the IELTS speaking test involves 6 to 8 questions related to the topic in part 2. The answers should be global and not personal. Listen very carefully to the questions, they will be difficult, ask for the examiner to repeat the question if you need to.

What Is Expected: Your answers for this part of the test should be 3 to 4 complex sentences. Give your answer in a clear and logical order: answer the question directly then give supporting information.

Tips & Advice: This is your chance to really impress the examiner. Prepare well for this part of the test and you will separate yourself from lower level candidates. Practice using a clear structure in your answers to these questions.

Sample IELTS Speaking Exam Part 3 Questions

What makes a person famous?
In your opinion, is being famous easy to live with?
Do famous people have responsibilities because of their fame?
What are some of the benefits of being famous?
What personal qualities are helpful to famous people?
What kinds of people become famous in your country?
Should people be allowed to invade the privacy of famous people?

Here’s What To Do Next To Prepare For The IELTS Speaking Exam:
1. Record yourself answering the questions in this post.
2. Leave a comment or ask a question in the comments section below.
3. Look for a speaking partner on The IELTS Coach Skype Speaking Partners Forum.
4. Share this article with friends who are preparing for the IELTS speaking exam.

What do you think of these tips for the IELTS speaking exam?
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