IELTS Speaking: Basic Information
The IELTS Speaking Test is the final part of the exam. Your test will be at some time between 1.30pm and 5.00pm. You can take only your ID document into the exam room.
The test lasts between 11 and 14 minutes. You will be interviewed by an examiner who will record your conversation. Timing is strictly controlled by the examiner, so don’t be surprised if he or she interrupts you during an answer.
There are 3 parts to the Speaking Test:
- Introduction/interview: around 10 questions in 4 to 5 minutes.
- Short presentation: talk for 2 minutes with 1 minute to prepare.
- Discussion: around 5 questions in 4 to 5 minutes,
Preparation is the key to a good score in IELTS Speaking. Different skills are tested in each part, so you need to know exactly what to do.
We can predict the kinds of questions that the examiner will ask. We’ll prepare ideas, possible answers and good vocabulary for each part of the test.
IELTS Speaking Advice: get to the point
Native speakers say things like:
– I think…
– I guess…
These words/phrases might seem less impressive, but you have to remember that examiners are not impressed by the long phrases either! The important thing is to get to the point of your answer.
IELTS Speaking: avoid these phrases
In the speaking test, examiners don’t like it when students use phrases like:
– That’s a very interesting question…
– It is my personal opinion that…
– Personally, I would have to say that…
– I am of the opinion that it depends on…
– To be honest, I personally believe that…
These phrases sound unnatural, and it is obvious to the examiner that the student has memorised them.
So what should you do instead?
Just answer the question directly. Stop using memorised phrases, and just get straight to the point.
IELTS Speaking: if you don’t know the answer
How do you answer a question when you don’t know
There are 2 things you can do:
1. Be honest and explain why you don’t know
2. Guess, and tell the examiner that you are guessing
– How has technology affected the kinds of music that young people listen to?
The answer, using both tips above:
(1) To be honest I don’t really know the answer to that because I’m completely out of touch with what young people are listening to, and I’m not a fan of pop music.
(2) However, I suppose that technology must have affected music. Maybe young people are listening to music that has been made using computer software instead of real musical instruments like the piano or guitar.