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Speaking

Note: NO mobile phones or handbags may be taken into the exam room. These must
be left outside with the usher. No conversation is allowed with waiting candidates
after the interview.

Stages
1. Greetings and interview
When you walk into the room, the examiner will greet you. You say your name and
show your identification documents (eg passport). NB_ You should bring the same
document to the interview that you registered with- wherever possible. The
examiner then asks you a few more questions about yourself. These may cover some
of the following areas: family, job, your hometown, sports and leisure activities, your
favourite festivals, food, books etc.

Time 4-5 minutes.

2. Long Turn

The examiner gives you a task card with a brief description of a speaking topic.
This includes suggestions to help you develop the topic. You have one minute to
prepare your talk and make notes if you wish. You are then invited to speak. After
one to two minutes the examiner stops you and may ask one or two simple follow-up
questions.

Time 3-4 minutes.

3. Two-way discussion.
The examiner engages you in a discussion at this stage. The discussion is linked in a
general way to your long turn topic. For instance, if your topic was Describe a
journey you made recently, the examiner will start a discussion on travel, possibly
asking you to compare travel in the past with the present day or speculate on travel
in the future.

Time 4-5 minutes.


General points and hints

1. Your speaking test measures your accuracy, fluency, range of vocabulary,


pronunciation and appropriate use of language.

2. The speaking test is designed to become more challenging as it progresses.


The early stages allow you time to settle down and relax before you have an
opportunity to show off the range of language you are able to control.

3. a) The first minute or two of the interview is to check your identity i.e.
name, candidate number, hometown, passport verification. Your answers are
short and factual.

b) In the next section, either you talk about your job/ studies or some aspect
of where you live.

c) Then you answer 2 sets of questions on other everyday topics, such as


food and clothing.
Your answers should include some detail, not just yes and no.

d) Before you talk on your long turn topic, you should use the one minute
preparation time to make notes in point form. You will have your notes and
the topic card in front of you throughout your talk. During your 2 minute
talk on a topic, you should keep going until the examiner tells you to stop.
Dont worry about minor hesitations, which are quite normal. But long
pauses indicate a lack of fluency and command of the language.

e) The examiner will lead you into the discussion stage and invite you to
give your
opinion on various points related to your topic. This is where you have the
chance to show off your spoken language skills, discussing things of an
abstract or speculative nature. You should answer the questions as fully and
fluently as possible and give reasons for your opinions, whenever appropriate
IELTS Speaking: My Top Ten Tips

1. Use fluency markers like: well, let me think, thats an interesting question to get thinking
time, avoid lots of long pauses or saying: ummm, errr and arrr.. As these are not proper
English words. Also try to think ahead, avoid introducing topics for which you have
insufficient vocabulary to speak about.
2. Dont use slang and informal language. Especially do not swear as it automatically gets
you band score 4 or less!
3. Speak as clearly as you can and watch you pronunciation. Dont worry about accent as it
should not affect your score.
4. Avoid using words or expressions you are not sure of as mistakes may be penalised.
5. Answer questions as accurately as possible do not try to change the topic to suit
yourself, even slightly as the examiner will notice and assume you dont understand the
question.
6. Try not to memorise set answers to proactive questions, as the examiner is looking to see
that you speak spontaneously, naturally and fluently as possible.
7. If you make a mistake it is a good idea to correct yourself. You could say: I am sorry,
what I meant to say was...
8. If you don't hear part of a question or don't understand, you can ask the examiner to
repeat the question: Im sorry I didnt quite catch that, could you repeat it for me? The
examiner will repeat the question, however do not ask them to explain the meanings of
words or of the question as this will affect your band score.
9. If you have forgotten a word dont stop, just paraphrase. Showing the ability to
paraphrase successfully is a sign of a band score 6+ vocabulary and can help your score.
10. The best way to ensure a good score is by speaking every day. The examiners are looking
for fluency and this only comes with practise. Find a good speaking partner or teacher.
Also make sure to time you speaking practice and this will ensure you have no problems
in the exam.