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IELTS Support

This guide offers support for preparing for the IELTS exam.



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How long is the Speaking paper?

The Speaking test is an interview with an examiner that lasts between 11 and 14 minutes.

What will I need to talk about?

The interview has three separate parts and is divided up as follow.

Part Timing What will I need to talk about?



4-5 minutes

The examiner will ask you questions about familiar topics (e.g. hobbies, likes and dislikes, daily routine).

2 3-4 minutes

The examiner will give you a booklet showing a topic and some suggestions on it. You need to talk about the topic for 1-2 minutes. You have one minute to write notes before you begin. The examiner may ask you some follow-up questions.

3 4-5 minutes

The examiner will ask you more detailed and more abstract questions linked to the topic in part 2.

How is the Speaking test assessed?

A mark will be awarded based on the following criteria.

Criteria What do these criteria mean?
Fluency and Coherence

Do you speak in a fluent way that is easy to understand?

Do you link your ideas together clearly?

Lexical Resource

Can you accurately use or attempt to use a wide range of vocabulary accurately and effectively?

Can you explain your ideas even if you do not know a particular word?

Can you use or attempt to use higher-level vocabulary accurately?

Grammatical Range and Accuracy

Can you use a wide range of grammatical structures rather than repeating basic structures?

Are your sentences accurate, or do you often make grammatical mistakes?


Is your spoken language clear and easily understood?

Do you use stress and intonation to add extra meaning?

With individual words, do you use stress accrurately?

[The above information is taken from The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS Student's Books by Jakeman, V., Cullen, P. and French, A.]

Key Resources

Speaking Test Samples

Videos from the Official IELTS YouTube channel. You can access all videos the official YouTube channel HERE.

Additional Resource

Related Guide

Online Graphic Dictionary

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