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The IELTS Speaking is the same for both General Training test and Academic test and assesses your use of spoken English. All speaking tests are conducted face-to-face with a certified IELTS examiner and are recorded in case they need to be reviewed.

The Speaking test takes between 11 and 14 minutes and consists of 3 parts.

  • In Part 1, the first part of the test, the examiner will ask you some general questions about familiar topics like work, family, studies and hobbies.

  • In Part 2 you will be given a card with a topic. You will be given one minute to take notes on the topic and will be given a pencil and paper to prepare your response. You will then speak on the topic for two minutes.

  • In Part 3 of the interview, you will have a two-way discussion with the examiner where they will ask questions related to the topic discussed in Part 2.

The Speaking test may be conducted on the same day as the other tests or a week before or after the other test parts.

Additionally, we're happy to inform you that video call Speaking tests are available at some select test centres. At IELTS – we hear you.

Learn more about the IELTS Speaking test

Why the IELTS Speaking test is better

The IELTS Speaking test is with a real person

  • The IELTS Speaking test has always been one-on-one and face-to-face. Unlike some other English tests where you have to speak into a computer, the IELTS test is structured more like a conversation between the examiner and the test taker.

Don't get timed out with IELTS

  • We won’t cut you off if you take too long to start. Get the time and consideration you deserve with IELTS.

Clarify the question

  • Choose to take a test with a person, someone who will understand you pace and skill level. They can clarify the question and make sure you understand it.

We hear your accent

  • IELTS is an international test, and we accept your accent wherever in the world you’re from. Your examiner will match your speaking pace and proficiency.

Get expert coaching with IELTS Speaking Coaching

  • Practice your speaking skills with an IELTS expert and receive a personalised action plan to improve your IELTS Speaking band score.

How is the IELTS Speaking test assessed?

In the IELTS Speaking test, there are four assessment criteria:

  • Fluency and coherence

  • Lexical resource

  • Grammatical range and accuracy

  • Pronunciation

Your Speaking results are given as band scores ranging from a band 0 to a band 9. Your IELTS Speaking band score will contribute to your overall IELTS band score .

The assessment criteria used by IELTS examiners are the same for both the General Training and Academic tests.

Learn about Speaking band scores

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Find out how speaking performances vary across bands 5 to 8 in the IELTS Speaking test.

IELTS Speaking test format

Test duration: Between 11-14 minutes

  • Part 1: Introduction and questions on familiar topics
    Length: 4-5 minutes

  • Part 2: Individual long turn
    Length: 3-4 minutes

  • Part 3: Two-way discussion
    Length: 4-5 minutes

Part 1: Introduction and questions on familiar topics

  • The examiner will start by introducing him or herself and asking you to state your name and show your identification.

  • Next, you will be asked general questions about yourself such as where you live or what you are currently doing (working or studying).

  • The remaining questions in this section are of a personal nature and topics will be familiar, for example, about the music you like, cooking, the weather, or movies you prefer.

  • Usually, you cover one or two more topics and you may get two or three questions about each of them.

Part 2: Individual long turn

  • The examiner will give you a topic and ask you to talk about it for one to two minutes.

  • The topic will be handed to you on a card and you will also be given a piece of paper and a pencil for making notes. On the card, you will see the speaking prompt and some points you can cover in your talk relating to this.

  • You will have exactly one minute to prepare and make notes before you speak.

  • After the one-minute preparation, you will be asked to begin and the examiner will listen to you for two minutes. They may ask you a couple of follow-up questions when the time is up before going on to the next section.

Part 3: Two-way discussion

  • The questions in Part 3 will be loosely connected to the topic that you spoke about in Part 2.

  • They will become more complex and abstract as you go along. You will need to be able to express and justify your opinions, analyse, discuss and speculate on given subjects.

  • The examiner will speak more with you in this section and may challenge your opinions to see how well you are able to converse about abstract ideas versus the personal topics contained in Parts 1 and 2.

  • Support and extend your answers. State your opinions clearly and provide examples and reasoning as you talk. You do not have to believe your opinion, or you might not have one, so turn to what you think others are saying about the subject and create a line of reasoning from that.

  • Remember the more you say, the more you show how you can use English to communicate.

Ask IELTS

IELTS Speaking Coaching

Practice and improve your speaking band score with one-on-one coaching with official IELTS Speaking Coaching.