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.

Speaking

The Speaking module of the IELTS is not always done on the day of the test. It may be done the day before the test, the day of the test, or the day after the test. It lasts 10-14 minutes and is done one-on-one with an IELTS examiner, who will be a native speaker of English.

The test consists of 3 sections, or tasks.

The first task consists of a series of general questions, which means that every student who comes into the room will have an idea about the topic. Example questions include “Where did you grow up?”, “What do you do in your spare time?” and “What is your favorite color?”

The second task is called the Long Turn. This part requires the student to speak on their own for 1-2 mintues without stopping. Students are given a card with a series of prompts on them. The student has one minute to look at the card, arrange their speech, and then talk for 1-2 minutes. The focus in this task is on clarity of speech, organization and time management.

The third task consists of a series of questions that are connected to the topic presented in the second task. For example, if the second task prompts you to talk about a concert, the third task will follow up with questions about music, entertainment, and other related topics. This task is often the most difficult because it asks questions in a more abstract way. An example is “What kind of music is best to listen to while studying?” Answers for this task should not be too short.