The Speaking test in IELTS happens one-on-one with the examiner, unlike many other language proficiency tests. However, this makes many students nervous and jittery.
This can be because of two reasons. One is fear of the unknown and unfamiliar questions that can be asked and the second one is talking in front of an examiner.
Today we shall discuss a few of the common subjects that come in the IELTS Speaking test and also will suggest you take guidance from a mentor to overcome the hesitation of speaking in an interview setup.
Both Academic and General Training students have to go through the same Speaking test format.
There is no difference in pattern or the grading of the test for them. The test is 11 to 14 minutes long. Like the Writing module, the speaking one also has four parameters to judge the student’s English language expertise.
Fluency and Coherence
Grammatical Range and Accuracy
Fluency - The first band has two parts to it. The student is judged for the flow of words, the pace of speech and hesitations.
If the student uses a lot of fillers while speaking, his fluency is adversely affected. Fillers should be minimized if not eliminated to improve the band score.
Coherence - When a student is able to speak in the context of the question as well organize his thoughts while speaking, his response is considered to be coherent.
This can be achieved by constant speaking practice.
A combination of both can get you a higher band in this criteria.
Lexical Resource - This band is all about the usage of contextual and complex vocabulary.
Students can also try speaking in the idiomatic language. If done correctly, scoring a band above 7 is a piece of cake :)
Grammatical Range and Accuracy - In the speaking test, your grammar should be absolutely correct and no errors of tenses, prepositions, etc. should be made.
Moreover, you should try to speak in complex sentence structure.
To showcase your proficiency in the English language, you must speak in longer sentences.
Pronunciation - The examiner is keen on hearing the correct pronunciation from you during the test.
However, this should not be misunderstood for talking in a foreign accent. The words should be clear and free from any mother tongue influence (MTI).
As long as the native accent does not hinder the understanding of the spoken words, the student can get a band 7 and above.
Now that we have understood the criteria of evaluation of the Speaking test, let us also look at the topics that can be anticipated.
The IELTS Speaking topics are always experienced based. That means the student is asked questions that he can speak about past events. There will never be a topic that would be intended to test the student’s General knowledge.
Some of the regular topics are illustrated below.
• Where do you work?
• Describe your job responsibilities?
• Is your job common in your country?
• What is your favorite memory of your childhood?
• What was your favorite game or sports as a child?
• Did you have many friends in your childhood? Why or why not?
• Can you describe one thing that is interesting in your hometown?
• How often do you visit your hometown?
• How has your hometown changed since you were a child?
• How do you usually like to spend your evenings?
• Do you do the same things on weekdays and weekends?
• How do young people in your country spend their evenings?
• Do you read a newspaper?
• Do you think the electronic media has killed the newspaper?
• Does the young generation like to read the newspaper often?
• Do you like to go shopping?
• What mode of shopping do you prefer, retail or online? And Why?
• Do you consider the latest fashion trends while shopping?
• What mode of transport did you take today to come to the test centre?
• How easy is it to commute in your country?
• How has the transportation facilities improved in your city in the last few years?
• Which is your favorite weather and why?
• What type of weather is generally observed in your country?
• Does the weather affect the way you feel?
• Which type of music do you prefer to listen to?
• Do the young people and people of the older generation have a similar type of taste in the music? Why or why not?
• Which is your favorite instrument and why?
There is a variety of questions that can be expected in the IELTS Speaking test. Nevertheless, the important thing to remember here is to keep practicing as much as possible and as frequently as you can.
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.