IELTS Speaking

The speaking module is the same on both the IELTS academic and general versions. Now, this section aims to analyze an applicant’s speaking abilities, evaluating parameters like fluency, continuity in communication, grammar, pronunciation, confidence while speaking, his/her ability to understand what is being asked by the examiner, and how relevant the answers are to the questions being asked.

Designed to test your ability to speak and communicate clearly and articulately, the speaking component is essentially an interview between the candidate and the examiner, and is spread across three parts. In part 1, lasting for 4-5 minutes, the examiner introduces himself, and asks the candidate basic question about himself, his family, friends, occupation and hobbies. In Part 2, the candidate will be given a card which asks him to speak at length about a specific topic, and lasts for 2-3 minutes. In part 3, lasting 4-5 minutes, the examiner and candidate further discuss the topic given in part 2.

Unsurprisingly, the Speaking component is also one which test-takers find the most daunting. They worry about their weak vocabulary, fluency and inability to speak confidently.

The first step towards overcoming that fear is to understand the test format in detail.


What exactly does the IELTS Speaking Section entail?

The IELTS Speaking test lasts anywhere between 11-14 minutes and is conducted in the form of an interview between you and an IELTS official. It consists of three main tasks, namely

Task 1: Introduction & Interview

The first part is an introduction where you will be asked general questions about you, your family, friends, school, occupation, hobbies, etc. This usually lasts between 4-5 minutes.

Task 2: Long Turn

In the second part, you will be given a TASK CARD with a specific topic on it. Based on the Task Card, you will be asked to speak for 2 minutes or so. You will be given 1 minute to prepare on that topic before you start speaking. This section usually lasts 3-4 minutes. After speaking, the interviewer will ask you a couple of questions on your topic.

Task 3: Discussion

In the third part, you and the interviewer will have an extended discussion on the topic you spoke about in the previous task, based on the task card, exchanging views, opinions, and ideas.

What are the benefits of a high IELTS Speaking score?

Having a high IELTS score helps you in many ways, beyond securing a top admit in USA, Canada, Australia etc:

Opens up new academic and professional avenues: Potential employers and universities are convinced about your ability to fluently converse in English.Ease of immigration: In countries like Canada or Australia that follow a point-based immigration system, having a high IELTS score increases the number of points you have, thereby increasing your visa chances.

Tutoring opportunities: In addition to boosting your employability, a high IELTS Speaking score will also allow you to be an English tutor for those aspiring to take the IELTS themselves.

Scholarships and funding opportunities increase.

TA/RA opportunities: The unicorn of the academic world, graduate teaching/research assistantship jobs are highly sought after because they both add to your experience and help you out financially. Because the positions are so much in demand, it always helps to have a high IELTS score, since it proves your ability to speak English fluently and handle a diverse group of students.

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