IELTS Speaking Structure

The best way to start preparing for the IELTS speaking exam is to take a look at the following video:

The above video should give you a good idea of what the test is like.

Part 1

You examiner checks your I.D., takes your full name, and then starts to ask you basic questions about yourself: Your life, what you like to do at the weekends, what music you like, hobbies, and similar questions.

From my experience the examiner asks you questions where you will need to use different tenses. You will also be asked about a specific favourite of yours, for example, your favourite sport, dish, or activity.

Part helps you ease into your exam. Lots of practice with this part of the exam will help you greatly as you will start to get used to the type of questions asked.

Part 2

In this part you are handed a card and asked to talk for one to two minutes about this topic. The card always starts with the word describe. Here is an example:

Describe you favourite type of sports activity.

You should say:

Why it is your favourite sport.
How often you play it.
If you are good at it.

You are given one minute to prepare for the topic before speaking.

These topics are usually quite simple and focus more on your experiences. As each one focuses on a description, it is important to know adjectives.

You may be asked about experiences (present perfect and past simple), plans for the future (future tenses), or habits or likes (present and other tenses).

You may be asked further questions after finishing.

Part 3

Part three is a two way discussion and the focus in on something more abstract rather than yourself. Topics include education, sports, politics, traditions, travel, the environment, transport, the role of advertising and so on.

This lasts for 4-5 minutes and gives you the opportunity to really show what English you know.

How You Are Tested

You are tested using the following criteria:

  • Fluency and coherence
  • Pronunciation
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar

Speaking Questions and Topics