Tips for the Speaking test of IELTS

The level and pattern of the speaking test is the same for both, the Academic and the General modules of the IELTS. The current speaking module of the IELTS is divided into three categories –

Interview :

Duration – 4-5 mins

The candidate is asked a series of basic questions about everyday life like your interests, hobbies, family, lifestyle, area of work or study and so on. The answers are expected to be short and crisp along with some supporting details. Usage of basic English instead of bombastic language is more advisable.

Individual long-turn

Duration – 3-4 mins

A question is shown to the candidate in the written format and he or she is given a minute to think about the answer. The candidate is then asked to speak for about a minute or two.


Duration – 5-6 mins

This is a direct interaction between the examiner and the examinee. Here the candidate isn’t provided any time to phrase the answer and is required to start responding immediately. Here the mantra is that ‘the longer your answers are, the fewer questions will you be asked’.
Most candidates get a little confused when it comes to the pattern of the IELTS speaking test. After all, everybody wants to perform their best in the test and achieve the highest possible score.

A few of the most frequently asked questions are:

How many questions will be there?

One thing that should be kept in mind is that all the three categories have only a limited time duration. Hence for parts 1 and 3, the number of questions asked depends on the length of the answers. Part 2 has only 1 question that needs to be answered.

How do I need to keep talking in the 2nd part?

How long should my answers in Part 1 be?

What if I fail to understand any question?

How long do I get to think about my answers in Part 3?

What should the score be for gaining entry into a good college?

It really varies from college to college and a minimum of 5 is mandatory.

What are the criteria based on which the scores are given?

Mostly, the examiner will base his or her scores on the following four criteria:

  • Fluency of the answer
  • Pronunciation and clarity of speech
  • Grammar
  • Vocabulary

Hence, it is important to groom oneself and practice as per the set pattern and only this can help you to achieve good scores in the examination.