The test is conducted as a conversation between you and an examiner who evaluates you by asking structured questions in three parts, each about four minutes in length. The examiner uses a script and a cue card. Your speaking test will last between 12 and 15 minutes in total.
The examiner will begin Part 1 by asking you some questions about yourself from a question script. The objective here is to put you at ease by asking you questions you do not have to think too much about, For instance, he or she may ask you about where you live, what you like to do in your spare time, where you have had your most recent holiday, if you play sports, etc.
Keep your answers short so that the examiner can ask followup questions and maintain conversation flow.
In Part 2, the examiner will give you a topic on a cue card. You will be asked to speak on the topic for about two minutes and will be given one minute to prepare your thoughts and make notes, For example, you may be asked to talk about the person who is most important to you or what your favourite memory is. After you have finished speaking, the examiner will ask you a few quick followup questions which you should give short answers to.
In Part 3, you and the examiner will have a conversation that relates to and expands on the subject you discussed in Part 2. You will be asked to express an opinion on an issue such as the media's influence in your life, and your personal position; you may be asked to predict the role the media will have in the future and explain why you feel this way. Although the examiner does have a list of questions, he or she can respond freely to what you say and this part of the test will feel more like a normal everyday conversation. However, the examiner will be very aware of the time remaining and will direct the conversation and change topics as needed.
How to Achieve The IELTS Speaking Score You Need
Think about your answer before beginning to speak – keep your tone and volume pleasant and consistent throughout. Only use vocabulary with which you are comfortable – your speaking evaluation is not the time to try out new and unfamiliar words that you are likely to use in the wrong context or mispronounce.
If you are asked how many languages you speak – don't just say French or Spanish, provide additional detail as to when you began speaking each, which is easier or more difficult and which you like better. The key here is that you should maintain a natural conversational flow. Keep your answers on topic and look to the examiner for signals as to whether you should continue or stop.
Practice Leads to Improved English
The more you practice, the easier it will be for you to achieve the IELTS Speaking band you need.
Speaking out loud to yourself is helpful, even when you are not practising your answers to structured IELTS questions. Recording yourself when you speak and playing it back a few minutes later will help you hear the errors you make and think about how you might have more naturally answered the question.
You may find it easier to practice with a friend who is also preparing for IELTS, but this is not the best way to judge your responses for the range of vocabulary needed for the test. Your friend probably does not have the same abilities in English as a native speaker would.