Speaking test in the IELTS is the second most difficult nut to crack. Most students fear this test as it is face to face with an examiner, and many become nervous. Irrespective of whether you are taking an Academic or a General Training test, the Speaking test will be similar for both.
This test can happen on the same day of the written test or before/ after the reported test date. The test is scheduled within the 7 days of the LRW (Listening, Reading, Writing)
The speaking test is divided into 3 tasks. The duration of the entire test is around 11- 14 minutes. The IELTS speaking part 1 is called ‘Interview questions’. Generally, the questions are around the candidate’s likes, dislikes and the IELTS Speaking Topics can be your hometown, job, daily routines, childhood, birthdays, etc. The number of questions can be approximately 12.
This task is mainly aimed at easing the student into the test. Since these questions are about you and don’t need much preparation, they have to be answered instantaneously.
Tips for preparing IELTS Speaking part 1:
Keep the response limited to 2-3 sentences. Do not answer in 1 or 2 words. Remember, they are not objective-type questions, so refrain from saying only yes or no in response; follow up with a reason in a sentence or two.
Talking about the IELTS Speaking test Task 2, a ‘Cue card question’, is the most challenging task for students. This is because they are required to speak continuously for 2 minutes. You may also call this an extempore. You get limited time to prepare for the prompt given (1 minute). Next two minutes, you are asked to expand on it. IELTS speaking topics in this part are broadly about your experiences such as your favorite vacation, the unusual meal you had recently, the place you visited with friends, and so on.
Tips for preparing IELTS Speaking part 2:
Make quick bullet points in the time provided and keep the sequence of the questions intact so that you do not miss out on answering any question or repeat any point. Make sure not to stop before 120 seconds are over, or else you will be penalized. Do a lot of practice, preferably with a mentor who can give you feedback.
Speaking test part 3 questions are called ‘follow up questions’. More often than not, the questions are related to the topic discussed in the previous part. But some of the students had to answer questions on unrelated topics too. So brace yourself and do not be misled.
In this section, the examiner expects you to give your opinion and justify them with reasons. The replies in this segment have to be longer. Nevertheless, the student doesn’t get any time for preparation. The number of questions asked can range between 5 to 7.
Tips for preparing IELTS Speaking part 3:
Answer the question directly by stating the opinion first. Use transitional words like, I concur to the opinion. In my view, I’m in complete disagreement; I agree to some extent. Use complex sentences while speaking, but this will come only with a lot of practice. Many websites provide a lot of practice questions.
Grammar and Pronunciation are an integral part of the IELTS Speaking test. When speaking about experiences, use the past tense and when talking about likes and dislikes, use the present tense. Pronunciation has to be spot on. However, the test is not about imitating an accent, so do not worry about that.
Fillers in your speech can hamper fluency. Try to avoid fillers or at least minimize that. One way to reduce the fillers of sounds and words is to think and speak. Having said that, the long pauses during speaking will be frowned upon by the examiner. Speaking can be scored only by constant practice and making the English spoken language skills better. Try talking to your friends or family members to assist you or take professional help.
About the Author
I am a certified IELTS teaching professional and have vast experience in training IELTS students to crack their test successfully and nurturing the IELTS trainers with their training journeys.