IELTS Speaking Test Format


IELTS Speaking Format in Detail

The Speaking test is a face-to-face interview between the test taker and the examiner. It determines the speaking ability of the candidate. Every speaking test is recorded so that it can be used for reassessment or remarking of the test if required. To familiarize yourself with this test, you can attempt IELTS Speaking topics, record your responses and listen to them in order to analyze your performance and understand the speaking criteria.
11-14 minutes
Academic & General Training

Types of Questions asked in the IELTS Speaking Test include:

IELTS Speaking Part 1

  • The test taker & and the examiner introduce themselves.
  • Examiner asks general questions on topics related to personal interest, work, hometown, studies, and family.
  • Lasts for 4-5 minutes
Skills Assessed
Ability to convey ideas and views on daily topics, circumstances, or common experiences by answering a range of questions

IELTS Speaking Part 2

Cue Card
  • A Cue Card is given to you
  • 1 minute is provided to prepare for the topic and if you wish, make a note of them.
  • You then have to speak on that topic for 1-2 minutes.
  • Lasts for 3-4 minutes.
Skills Assessed
Ability to speak at length on a given topic using appropriate language

IELTS Speaking Part 3

  • The examiner asks questions based on the topic given in Part 2
  • You get a chance to express your views in a more abstract way
  • Lasts for 4-5 minutes
Skills Assessed
Ability to analyze the topic, express views, justify an opinion, organize and evaluate ideas

Know the Scoring Criteria in Detail

The examiner assesses your speaking skills based on the below listed four criteria.

Fluency & Coherence

The IELTS speaking criteria examine how fluently you can speak at length, your ability to talk without any pause or hesitation and self-correction. It also assesses the efficient use of cohesive devices like pronouns, connectors, conjunctions and more. You must speak in an accent and language that is easily understood by the examiner.

Lexical Resource

In this criterion, the examiner determines whether you use a wide range of vocabulary or not, try to convey the meaning in different words and use less common vocabulary. The usage of collocations and paraphrasing at the proper place is also taken into consideration. You must avoid errors while speaking.

Range & Accuracy

Here, your formation of sentences i.e. building complex sentence structures and proper application of grammar is determined. The structures must be set so accurately that their use sounds natural and appropriate while you talk. Overuse of prepositions, conjunctions and articles must be avoided too.


Your ability to use intonation (i.e. rise and fall of the voice while speaking) and the way you pronounce any word are taken into account. Your accent must be such that it is clearly understood by the examiner. Yet, having a mother-tongue influence your speaking is fine as long as you are understandable.

To know the IELTS Speaking band score in detail, click here
You can attempt IELTS Speaking mock tests to get an idea of the type of questions asked in the actual exam.
Practicing speaking English in everyday life with friends, family or colleagues can also improve your skills.
General Tips
  • Relax, be confident, and speak naturally
  • Be spontaneous and talk as fluently as possible
  • Don’t speak pre-prepared answers
  • Ask for clarification if necessary
  • Express your opinions clearly
There are many IELTS speaking mock tests available online that give clarity on the criteria and type of IELTS Speaking questions and IELTS Speaking topics. Utilize the resources available and benefit from them. Practice speaking in English with your friends, relatives, or colleagues on daily basis to ensure better performance.