IELTS Speaking

The Speaking Module of the IELTS rates your ability to communicate clearly, correctly and meaningfully in English in a variety of situations. You are interviewed alone by an examiner and the conversation is recorded.

The Speaking Module always follows the same three-part structure, though the topics vary from one candidate to the next. You can achieve a higher score by:

  • understanding the structure so there are few if any surprises

  • familiarizing yourself with the common topics

  • practicing extensively with a teacher /tutor so you can get feedback

  • rehearsing till you can speak comfortably and confidently

  • receiving tips, advice and guidance provided online and in IELTS guidebooks






4-5 minutes

Introduction & Interview on Familiar Topics


3-4 minutes

Individual Long Turn
or Extended Speaking


4-5 minutes

Two-Way Discussion
Topic Discussion

In the first part of the speaking section you will usually be asked to give:

  • your full name
  • your identification
  • answers to basic questions about yourself, for example your hometown – what kind of place it is, what is interesting there, what kind of jobs people do, whether it's a good place to live
  • what you do –
    • if working: what your job is, why you chose that kind of work, how long you've been doing it, what you like / dislike about your job.
    • if studying: what subjects, why you chose them, if you enjoy them and why
  • Usually, two other topics, which might include the following topics: your family, learning English, your hobbies, your food preferences, your daily routine, national festivals, what tourists do in your country, etc.

In this part, you will be handed a card with a topic. You will be given one minute to think about it and make notes if you like. Then you need to speak about it for about one or two minutes.

Examples include:

  • Describe someone who has influenced you in your life. Say how long you have known the person, why he / she is special and how he / she influenced you.
  • Describe a book, story or movie which had a major impact on you. Tell the story, and why you think it impacted you so greatly.
  • Describe a person you would like to meet, explain why you chose this person and what effect such a meeting would have on you.
  • Describe a difficult time in your life, the problem, your solution, and what you learned.
  • Describe a place that had a major impact in you, how it affected you and why.

In this section, you will participate in a two-way discussion with your examiner. The topic will be an extension of a subject you spoke about in Part 2. However, in Part 2, the question related more to your personal experience, and in Part 3, you will be asked more general, extended or in-depth questions to test your ability to expand on a topic and express your opinions.

This is shown below:

Part 2
Part 3
Describe a teacher Education in your country, learning styles, etc.
Describe a person Role of the family in modern life, parents’ responsibilities, etc.
Describe a problem Modern life, is it easier or harder than before?

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