IELTS study plan part 5: speaking…

Skill specific strategy: speaking

As mentioned in the previous posts, you need to know what happens in the test, its format, and how it is assessed. If you have taken the exam before, then you already know what to expect, if not, read on.

So, the speaking test is in three parts and is around 14 mins in total, more or less. When you enter the room, you will be greeted and the examiner will introduce themselves and ask for your full name, then they will ask what you would like to be called and where you are from, they will ask for your ID and the test proper will begin.

In the first part (4-5 mins) the examiner will ask about you and your family, or your studies, hobbies, or any familiar topics. This is designed to get you “warmed up”, relaxed and talking naturally.

In part 2, you will be given a topic card, this usually asks you to describe and explain something, and will have a list of points that you should talk about. You have a minute to prepare and up to two minutes to answer the question, the examiner will not usually speak during this time.

For part 3, the examiner will ask general and abstract questions related to the topic on the card (4-5 mins). These questions might be about past, present, future, you might be asked to speculate, hypothesise, make comparisons, etc, there are 7 question types more or less.

See more here

To see how the introduction works and the opening part 1 questions see the videos below

And for part 2

And 3

These should give you an idea as to what to expect.

Next step is to understand what the criteria are for this section, you can download a table here

If you want to see the difference between the band scores then search YouTube for IELTS speaking band 9,8,7, etc, and you will find many video examples of the differences and that should give you a better idea.

What you need now, if you have not taken the test before, is to get your current level assessed, this is what we will do/have done when you contact/ed me. I will tell you/have told you what you need to improve and offered advice on how to do so.

In our lessons together I will elaborate/will have elaborated on the strategies and techniques you will need to answer all three sections of the test. I have written more about this on my blog which you can find below.

The main thing is, to get more speaking practice, either or, in person, or possibly more realistically for some of you, online. I have written more about how this works in my other free e-books, so I won’t repeat my self here. All I will say is that there are opportunities to meet English speakers in some social activities (depending where you live) and/or online on several websites for language exchange. You can download my books at the links below and read all about it there.

Ok, that’s about it for the study plan, the links and suggestions you have read will easily be sufficient to see you through, as always, if you have any questions feel free to get in touch anytime. My email is