Speaking

The IELTS Speaking module may be done on the day before, the day of, or the day after the test itself. It is approximately 10-14 minutes in length and, unlike such tests as the TOEFL, which is done while talking into a computer microphone, the IELTS Speaking is done one-on-one with a trained IELTS examiner.

The test is comprised of three tasks.

Task one is made up of a series of general questions on various topics such as where you are from, what your favorite televion series/movie/music is, what kinds of food you like, etc. The logic behind these questions is that each student who takes the test will have a background in and idea about the topic. Example questions include “Do you live in a house or in an apartment?”, “Have you ever had a pet?” and “Which colors have special importance in your culture?”

Task two is called the Long Turn. In this task, students must speak for 1-2 mintues without stopping. Before speaking, test takers are given a card. On the card are a series of prompts (sentences that tell you which topics to talk about). The test taker has one minute to read the prompts, organize a speech, and must then speak for 1-2 minutes. This task emphasizes organization, clarity of speech, and time management.

Task three contains questions which are related thematically to the topic in Task 2. For instance, if in Task 2 you are prompted to speak about a gift you have received, Task 3 will ask you about presents, gift giving and receiving, and perhaps special days on which gifts are exchanged. Task 3 can be the most difficult because it is often not as straightforward ask Task 1. For example, ”Tell me about a special day on which gifts are exchanged.” Answers for this task should be thoroughly answered with relevant examples and experiences from your life.

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