IELTS Speaking Test

How Is The IELTS Speaking Test Judged? 

Speaking Test
Know the key aspects of the IELTS speaking test

The IELTS speaking test is an in-person or a virtual interview between the candidate and the examiner. With all aspects in mind, the IELTS speaking test assesses your ability to communicate in English.   

An Overview Of The IELTS Speaking Test 

It will take 11-14 minutes to complete the IELTS speaking test. It is divided into three parts: 

Part 1:The first part of the IELTS speaking test asks open-ended questions about yourself, your studies, work, or hobbies.

Part 2: After you’ve completed the first part of the IELTS speaking test, you’ll be provided with a cue card with three things to discuss on the subject matter.

You will have one minute to prepare and take notes and two minutes to share your thoughts.

Part 3: You have a more in-depth discussion on the topic. The examiner will ask further questions relevant to what you spoke about in part 2.

A word of advice: There are no right and wrong answers when taking the speaking test. 

Know The Scoring Criteria In Detail  

Marking Criteria
The marketing criteria for IELTS speaking test

The IELTS Speaking test is evaluated by IELTS examiners who are trained and accredited. They must have extensive teaching experience. They have set an international standard to score your performance when assessing your Speaking test. 

Examiners assess your performance based on four criteria: pronunciation, fluency and coherence, lexical resource, grammatical range, and correctness. 

Your Speaking performance is provided as a band score ranging from 0 to 9. The band score represents your level of English language proficiency.

Read along to learn more in detail about the IELTS Speaking test assessment.  

Criterion 1. Fluency And Coherence  

Fluency And Coherence
Practice expressing your thoughts and ideas for IELTS speaking test

When taking the IELTS speaking test, it is crucial for you to be fluent. But what exactly is fluency? 

Here is a common misconception: Since we were shown examples of news reporters when learning fluency in School, people often think that the faster they speak, the more fluent they are. 

Fluency is determined by your ability to convert ideas into words. You will not struggle to find the right words or sentence structures to express yourself if you’re fluent. You will be able to translate your thoughts into words without pausing or correcting yourself. 

When it comes to speaking, coherence refers to how logically you can express yourself. The responses should be concise and make sense in the context of the discussion.

That said, you must avoid introducing sentences or ideas abruptly. To ensure consistency in the responses, you must use proper connecting words and sentences.

You’re probably wondering how an IELTS examiner will score you on these hazy points in your speaking. The examiners can use four indicators to judge whether you are fluent and coherent, including: 

Logical answers: Responses that are sensible and do not stray from the topic.

Rare idea repetition: If you repeat thoughts using different words, the examiner can assume you don’t know the answer, cut you off, and move on to the next question.

Rare hesitancy: Hesitancy, regardless of the cause, indicates that you are unable to translate concepts into words and hence lack fluency.

Rare self-correction: If you must correct what you’ve been saying, at the very least, utilize signal words that indicate whether the topic of discussion will continue or end.   

Criterion 2. Lexical Resource  

Lexical Resource
Improve on your lexical resource for IELTS speaking test

Lexical resource refers to a language-related resource. IELTS test a student’s lexical resource by taking the following points into consideration:   

Usage of various words

The examiner looks for indications of your ability to use a wide range of words while speaking. Many test-takers, unfortunately, assume that they must use high-flown words. 

It’s important to remember that the goal of the IELTS speaking test isn’t to test your ability to use bombastic words. It merely seeks to separate those who are fluent in English from those who are not. 

Also, because most of us are unfamiliar with these uncommon words, we may not be able to use them correctly. Misusing such words, like plethora, could make you lose points.   

Using Precise Words  

The candidate may have a vast vocabulary, but the meaning changes if it is not used in the proper context. Your scores may go down south due to your incorrect use of language.   

Proper usage of common phrases and collocations

If you can use phrases and collocations in your sentences, you’ll get a higher score. Phrases are collections of words that are used in a specified order. They simply explain what the words imply.  

Collocations are words and phrases that are frequently used together. Collocations include words like “hard-earned money,” “cold winters,” and “to land a deal.”  

Criterion 3. Grammatical Range And Accuracy  

Grammatical Range And Accuracy
Avoid making grammatical mistakes in your IELTS speaking test

You’ll also be assessed on your grammatical correctness in your IELTS speaking test. It covers things like tenses, articles, prepositions, adjectives, and adverbs, among other things. 

The speaker must be able to use tenses correctly. If you’re asked about your childhood hobbies, you must utilize the simple past tense to demonstrate your childhood hobbies. 

The examiner is also looking to determine if the candidate can talk in a range of sentences. Some students use only simple sentences. Using compound and complicated sentences will land you on a higher band score.   

Criterion 4. Pronunciation  

Pronunciation is another critical aspect of testing your English speaking competency. This criterion has to do with how well you can enunciate words that are often longer. Overall, the IELTS interviewer focuses on these key elements: 

1. Understandable and acceptable sounds

If the person sitting across the table understands what you’re saying and isn’t bothered by your pronunciations, you’re doing okay.

Taking this advice to its logical conclusion, many students assume that they must develop a heavy accent to succeed. Remember that your IELTS speaking test has nothing to do with your accent.  

2. Minimal influence of mother-tongue   

Your mother tongue’s influence on your speech should be minimal. Some people, for example, pronounce “CUPBOARD” as “CUPBORD” instead of “CUPBURD”. This will affect your IELTS speaking test score.   

3. Appropriate pause   

Pauses are used for two main reasons. To begin with, adequate breaks assist the audience in fully comprehending your discourse. Second, pauses give the speaker a chance to catch their breath.  

4. Filler words

Fillers are sounds that are repeated so often that the listener is unable to focus on the communication and is thus distracted. Sound effects such as hmmm and ah after each syllable can be distracting. 

Not only these sounds but other words that are repeated excessively are also used as fillers. “You know,” “actually,” and “essentially” are some examples of filler words.    

Tips to Help You Ace The IELTS Speaking Test  

Tips and tricks for IELTS Speaking Test

Whether you choose to study or work in an English-speaking country, you’ll have to achieve a good band score to break through the door. Here are some surefire tips that will help you perform well in your IELTS speaking test:  

1. Know Your Strengths And Weaknesses 

Grammatical Range And Accuracy
Avoid making grammatical mistakes in your IELTS speaking test

Emphasize more on your weaknesses to improve for IELTS speaking test

The main difficulty of learning a language is that you are not always aware of your errors. You must, however, be mindful of the areas in which you need to improve your speaking skills. 

Fluency, vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation will all be evaluated in the IELTS speaking test. Determine which of the following are your strengths and weaknesses.

Decide where you need to emphasize more. If you put equal emphasis on every part of the test, you’ll be wasting your time.  

2. Commit To Speaking English Every Day 

Get into the habit of speaking English every day. The good thing about speaking English is that you don’t always need someone to practice speaking with.    

The inability to communicate in English fluently is a major hurdle. As a result, the reading and writing sections are often easier to complete. 

And if you keep practicing, you’ll see how much progress you’ve made in just one week.

Thinking in English will help you communicate faster, more precisely, and fluently. Your ability to talk will significantly improve, and your tone will sound more natural. Now is the time to make good use of it. 

3. Consider Taking Sample Tests  

Mock Test
Consider taking a sample test with CTI for IELTS speaking test

Consider taking a sample test with CTI for IELTS speaking test

Taking sample tests and familiarizing yourself with IELTS formatted questions is an excellent way to make yourself comfortable with the IELTS speaking test. 

You can either take a sample test or have your performance evaluated in a real-world test scenario, such as those provided by Chhundu Training Institute (CTI).  

The more consistent your practice, the more chances you’ll have to achieve extraordinary results. Make it a point to do it at least once if you’re pressed for time.

Allow yourself some time to consider as you learn how to prepare answers for the various sections of the test. If you’re stumped on how to react to a question, consider one of these phrases to help you out such as, 

That is an interesting question.

 I haven’t thought about it before. 

Let me see 

4. Focus On Grammatical Corrections 

Undoubtedly, using the proper tense is an essential aspect of grammatical accuracy. Although it is a fairly common mistake, candidates often use improper tense when answering a question. 

Grammatical mistakes are all too common in the IELTS Speaking test, and it is one of the main reasons people receive poor grammar scores.

Let’s get you on a little secret for the problem: Determine the examiner’s tense in their question and use it in your response. For instance: 

Question: Have You Been to Bangkok? 

Good Answer: No, I’ve never been to Bangkok, but I plan to visit there on my next vacation. 

5. Avoid Using Unfamiliar Words  

Using Unfamiliar Words
Avoid unfamiliar words that will affect your IELTS Speaking test score

Avoid unfamiliar words that will affect your IELTS Speaking test score

You might wish to use uncommon words in your IELTS speaking test to impress the examiner. However, if you want to be cautious, steer clear of using unfamiliar words.

You’ll likely make a mistake by mispronouncing or misusing terms. These errors may have an impact on your band score.

Make use of a wide range of words related to the subject. Make a list of new terms you learn each day to help engrain them in your vocabulary.  

There you have it! Whether you choose to sit for pen and paper or a computer-based IELTS test, the IELTS speaking test will be a one-on-one exam between the examiner and the candidate. 

The four key areas used to judge your performance are Fluency and coherence, Lexical resource, pronunciation, and grammatical range and accuracy. Remember that there are no right answers. You’re evaluated on your competencies in speaking English.  

If you plan to take the IELTS preparation course here in Thimphu, consider Chhundu Training Institute (CTI). Our highly expert IELTS tutors can provide you with the most comprehensive IELTS tuition.  

If you want to learn more expert-approved tips for preparing for the IELTS speaking test, consider reading, Preparing For Your IELTS Speaking Test: 8 Things You Must Know.


No responses yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *