Everything You Need to Know About IELTS Speaking Section


Samarpita Goswami
Updated on May 18, 2023 01:09 PM IST

Your thoughts find their best expression when spoken. IELTS gives special emphasis on the speaking section and sees how fluently you can express yourself through correct vocabulary and grammar. Read along to know all about the IELTS Speaking section. 

Everything You Need to Know About IELTS Speaking Section

The IELTS Speaking test is an in-person interview between the examinee and the examiner. It determines the speaking ability of the candidate and identifies those who are proficient enough to study in an English-speaking country.

Overall, the IELTS speaking test assesses the candidates on four speaking skills which include fluency and coherence; lexical resource; grammatical range and accuracy; and pronunciation.

The test, conducted by IDP India, is accepted across the world including the USA, UK, New Zealand, Australia, etc. Other than the speaking test, the IELTS comprises three other components of reading, writing and listening. Let us now look at the IELTS speaking section and have an in-depth understanding of the test.

Overview of IELTS Speaking Section

In this section, we will discuss everything you need to know about the IELTS speaking section in brief:

Parameter Detail


11-14 minutes



Part 1


Part 2

Speaking on a topic seeing task card

Part 3

A detailed discussion with the examiner

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Objectives of the Speaking Section of IELTS

The test of speaking skills in the IELTS exam is designed keeping a few objectives in mind. These are:

  • Firstly, it checks if you are able to communicate basic information and everyday experiences in simple and coherent language.

  • The second part judges whether you can speak impromptu regarding a particular topic.

  • To check if you can speak English fluently.

  • The ability to put words together using correct English grammar and vocabulary is judged.

  • The examiner notices if you are able to justify what you have said.

  • They test your capacity to analyze and discuss a topic.

  • The clarity of mind and ideas are also checked.

Parts of the IELTS Speaking Test

There are two ways to take the IELTS, one on the computer and the other on paper. Whichever mode you choose, you will have to undergo three parts of the IELTS speaking test. They are as follows:

Part 1 - Part 1 of IELTS Speaking comprises speaking and introducing yourself, your family, and your hobbies and you have to answer questions about your studies and work. Basically, here you need to give a general introduction about yourself and your life.

Part 2 - Part 2 is the extempore round. Here, you will be speaking after a cue card has been shown to you. You will be given a minute to consolidate your thought process and translate them into words. This part generally tests your prompt understanding of a topic and your ability to speak on it. 

Part 3 - Whatever you spoke about in part 2 will be assessed here in Part 3 of IELTS speaking based on which the examiner will have a conversation with you. The earlier sections were generally monologues where you were the only speaker but here you will be engaged in a dialogue with the examiner. This section checks your efficiency to hold a meaningful conversation in English. 

From July 2020, online video conferencing speaking tests were started in a few IELTS test centres. This was initiated in a bid to ensure the efficacy and flexibility of the process during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Format of the IELTS Speaking Section

The examination lasts for around 10-15 minutes. It consists of 3 brief sections:

Part 1: Self-introduction.

Part 2: Speaking after a task card is shown to you. You will get 1-2 minutes time to make mental notes and speak continuously later for a few minutes. You can even write down on paper what you want to speak about. 

Part 3: Discussion with the examiner. Here you will be elaborately discussing the ideas and thoughts you expressed on the topic in Part 2.

Tips to Score Well in IELTS Speaking

Here we will share with you some tips to help you speak well and score high in the speaking section of the IELTS. You can also refer to the IELTS band score chart to understand what is considered a good IELTS score.

  • Make Sure You Speak Naturally: You do not need to put an accent that is unfamiliar to you or speaks in a way that is quite different from your natural accent. Here the examiners are sitting to analyse what you speak and not how you speak.

  • Your Fluency will be the Game-Changer: Before appearing for the test, practice in front of a mirror or talk with someone you can trust. This will contribute to your confidence and you will be able to speak well on the day of your examination when you can speak confidently and fluently.

  • Practice Common IELTS Topics: We all know that practice is something that makes us perfect. If you are preparing the way before the examination then go through some probable IELTS Speaking questions and topics along with IELTS Speaking Cue Card Topics/Samples with Answers. This will help you to prepare in advance for the test.

  • Put Stress on Your Grammar: Your grammar, sentence structure, coherence, and lexical knowledge will be judged in the speaking test. So get your basics right. Gather as much information as you can regarding simple sentence structures and practice them well beforehand.

  • Use Simple Language: You don't need ornamental words and phrases. You have to remember that your basics are being checked here which makes you eligible to fly to a foreign country. So try to use relevant words. Flowery languages must be avoided so as to simplify the whole process and make things appear natural.

  • Prepare IELTS Speaking Part 1 in Advance: As you are now well aware that part 1 is all about introducing yourself to the examiner, then you can prepare a speaking task beforehand. You can rehearse it a few times to gain confidence. On the day of the examination, you can easily pass this part with flying colours.

  • Think Before You Speak in IELTS Speaking Part 2: The second part of the IELTS speaking consists of topics where you need to speak on a particular topic. An ample amount of time is given to consolidate your thoughts. So write down what comes to your mind and then speak them at a stretch without pauses.

  • Hold a Meaningful Conversation in Part 3: While in the previous parts you are the lone speaker, in part 3 you will have to converse with the examiner. Remember that whatever you are speaking is meaningful and not out of the context. You will have to be reasonable and polite while you are speaking.

  • Speak Confidently: Confidence is necessary while you are speaking. It should not seem that you are shy and underconfident. Don't fumble while speaking. Be comfortable and don’t be hard on yourself. 

The IELTS speaking test can be tough if you do not have prior experience in speaking English. However, with regular practice, performing well and scoring high in the section would not be a challenge. Additionally, IELTS coaching and its benefits have also helped thousands of aspirants crack the exam on first attempt.

If you want some more details regarding the speaking section of the IELTS exam, get in touch with our experts by writing at abroad@collegedekho.com.

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