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IELTS English speaking course - Simply IELTS

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  1. Introduction
    General Overview of IELTS Speaking Test
  2. Evaluation criteria to assess IELTS Speaking test
  3. Do’s and don’ts in IELTS Speaking
  4. Frequently asked questions on IELTS Speaking section
  5. Speaking Test – Part 1
    IELTS Speaking Part 1 format and general approach
  6. Tips for IELTS Speaking Part 1
  7. Speaking Test - Part 2
    A step by step guide to IELTS Speaking Part 2 or cue card
  8. IELTS Speaking Part 2 topics
    Describe your first day at school IELTS Cue Card
  9. Describe an aquatic animal IELTS Cue Card
  10. Describe a bag you want to own IELTS Cue Card
  11. Describe a time you got up early IELTS Cue Card
  12. Describe an art or craft activity IELTS Cue Card
  13. Describe a person who solved a problem in a smart way IELTS Cue Card
  14. Describe an exciting book that you enjoy reading IELTS Cue Card
  15. Describe a cafe you like to visit IELTS Cue Card
  16. Describe a plan in your life that is not related to work or study IELTS cue card
  17. Talk about an article which you have read about health IELTS Cue Card
  18. Describe a time you were friendly to someone you didn’t like
  19. Describe a time you bought something from a street or outdoor market
  20. Describe a time when you are waiting for something special that would happen
  21. Describe a place you visited on vacation IELTS Cue Card
  22. Describe a creative person whose work you admire
  23. Describe a difficult decision that you once made
  24. Describe a good service you received IELTS Cue Card
  25. Describe a famous athlete you know IELTS Cue Card
  26. Describe a habit your friend has and you want to develop
  27. Describe a bicycle/motorcycle/car trip you would like to go on
  28. Describe a decision made by others/someone that you disagreed with
  29. Describe a businessman you admire
  30. Describe a town or city you would like to live in the future
  31. Describe an activity that you do after school/work
  32. Describe a foreign person who you have heard or known that you think is interesting
  33. Describe a time when you tried to do something but weren’t very successful
  34. Describe a piece of equipment that is important in your home
  35. Describe someone older than you whom you admire
  36. Describe an argument two of your friends had
  37. Describe a natural talent you want to improve
  38. Describe a law on environmental protection
  39. Describe a puzzle you have played IELTS Cue Card
  40. Describe a live sports match that you have watched
  41. Describe an occasion when you were not allowed to use your mobile phone
  42. Describe a piece of local news that people are interested in
  43. Describe a time you saw something interesting on social media
  44. Describe an art or craft activity that you had at school
  45. Describe a company where you live that employs a lot of people
  46. Describe a quiet place you like to spend your time in
  47. Describe a time when you helped a friend
  48. Describe a leisure activity near the sea that you want to try
  49. Describe a time when you shared something with others
  50. Describe your favorite movie IELTS Cue Card
  51. Describe your favorite singer
  52. Describe a time you made a promise to someone
  53. Describe an art exhibition that you visited
  54. Describe a time when you told your friend an important truth
  55. Describe a skill that you can teach other people
  56. Describe a time when you needed to use your imagination
  57. Describe a special hotel you stayed in
  58. Speaking Test - Part 3
    Tips to crack IELTS Speaking Part 3
  59. Actual Speaking Exams
    IELTS Speaking test sample answer: Accommodation and House
  60. IELTS Speaking test: Behaviour, Patience and Politeness
  61. IELTS Speaking test: Computers, Internet and Technology
  62. IELTS Speaking test: Friends
  63. IELTS Speaking Test Answers Family
  64. IELTS Speaking sample answers: Hometown
  • Writing Correction




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Lesson 1 of 64
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General Overview of IELTS Speaking Test

General Overview of IELTS Speaking Test

General Overview of IELTS Speaking Test
General Overview of IELTS Speaking Test

In this first lesson of IELTS speaking course, you will know the General Overview of IELTS Speaking Test and general overview of IELTS Test itself. So, Let’s start with general overview of IELTS Test.

General Overview of IELTS exam

There are two IELTS tests: Academic and General, which are graded in the same way. Each has four sections, which are completed in the following order: listening, reading, and writing on one day, with no break between the tests, and then speaking on either that day or within seven days before or after it.

A score between 1 and 9 is awarded for each section, and the final IELTS score is the average of the four.

A. Listening Test (~40 minutes)

Listen to four recordings of native English speakers (~30 minutes) and answer 40 questions, and then you have 10 minutes to transfer your answers to the answer sheet.

B. Reading Test (60 minutes)

Read three texts and answer 40 questions:

• Academic: three long texts taken from books, journals, magazines, or newspapers
• General: three texts taken from books, magazines, newspapers, advertisements, or company handbooks and guidelines.

C. Writing Test (60 minutes)

Complete two writing tasks:

• Academic: Task 1: a report (150+ words/20 minutes) based on a graph, table, chart, or diagram, and Task 2: an essay (250+ words/40 minutes)
• General: Task 1: a letter (150+ words/20 minutes), and Task 2: an essay (250+ words/40 minutes)

D. Speaking Test (11-14 minutes)

Answers questions in Parts 1 & 3, and speak for 1-2 minutes in Part 2

Part 1: (4-5 minutes) Answer up to 12 questions based on three different everyday topics
Part 2: (3-4 minutes) 1-2 minute talk, with one minute to prepare before speaking
Part 3: (4-5 minutes) Answer up to 6 questions based on two topics similar to Part 2.

General Overview of IELTS Speaking Test

IELTS tests a candidate on four skills: Listening, reading, writing and speaking. Out of them, a few consider IELTS Speaking to be the easiest whereas few literally fear the IELTS Speaking test. 

  • Time for IELTS Speaking test: 11 to 14 minutes interview
  • Number of parts = 3
  • Number of questions Part 1 and 3 =  approximately 6 to 10 each
  • No preparation time in the case of Part 1 and 3 in Speaking
  • Preparation time for Part 2 or cue card = 1 minute
  • Speaking time for Part 2 or cue card = 1 to 2 minutes

How is IELTS Speaking conducted?

The IELTS speaking test is divided into three parts. Part one consists of a personal interview and general discussion. Part two is termed as Cue Card while part three has some follow-up questions and questions related to your opinion. Let’s look at these parts one by one.

IELTS Speaking Part 1

The first part of the speaking test aims to make the candidate comfortable with the environment, and hence most of the questions in this part would be concerned with the student himself.

If you look at this part of the speaking test, you will find that it is divided into two subparts. The first sub-part is a personal interview, in the sense that the interviewer will ask you questions based on your life and past experiences.

Second sub-part can be considered as an extension of the previous one as it will consist of questions about your surroundings, your preferences and your pastimes.

How many questions are asked on IELTS Speaking Part 1?

In general, both sub-parts have about four questions and hence part one of the speaking tests, usually, will have about eight questions.

IELTS Speaking Part 2

The second part is called a “cue card”.

How is IELTS Speaking Part 2 or cue card conducted?

You will be given a card printed with a situation along with related 4 questions. These four questions assist you in elaborating on the situation well and hence acting as a cue or a clue.

How much time do I get to prepare on IELTS Part 2?

You will be given 1 minute to think on the cue card, and in this 1 minute, you may make notes on the blank sheet if you wish. For writing, the examiner will provide you with a sheet of paper and pencil in advance. Since you won’t be carrying any wristwatch or mobile phone the examiner will let you know once a minute is over.

After 1 minute of preparation, you must speak on the given topic for about 1 to 2 minutes using the notes you have taken.

IELTS Speaking Part 3

Part three is very similar to Part one in structure but quite different in terms of the topics discussed.

Like Part one, there are two subparts: First sub-part is called follow-up and the second is known as a general opinion.

How many questions are asked in IELTS Speaking Part 3?

Subpart one or follow-up has about three questions which are closely related to the topic of discussion in Part two. While in subpart two, the examiner asks your opinion about issues remotely associated with the cue card.

In total, you should expect about six questions in part 3.

In the video attached below, you will know exactly how an IELTS Speaking test is conducted.

When is the IELTS Speaking test conducted?

Well, the answer to this question depends on the mode of the test and Geography.

IELTS Paper-based test

In India

If you book a paper-based IELTS in India, your Speaking test will not be conducted on the same day of your rest of the section.

For example, if you book 20th August as test date, you will appear for the Listening, Reading and Writing sections on this day, but not for the speaking section. Since, the speaking test, in this case, is conducted on a day in a week prior or later, it will be conducted on any day between 14th August to 27th of August but never on 20th of August.

Now the question is when do you get to know about your final date of the speaking test? Well, you will be notified about your date of speaking test as well as your venue at least one week before the test. So, in this case, IELTS will inform you on any day between 7th of August and 14th of August.

Outside India

In most other countries, the Speaking test will be conducted strictly on the same day when your different sections are tested.

IELTS Computer-delivered test

If you have booked IELTS Computer-delivered test, irrespective of the geographical location, you will appear for all sections of the IELTS test on the same day.

Is the IELTS Speaking interview conducted in person or on a computer?

Well, the IELTS Speaking test is conducted in-person almost everywhere. Despite the COVID-19, practically everywhere, these tests are in person. If you wish to know more about COVID 19 guidelines during pandemic on IELTS exam centres, click here.

4 essential precautions to take on IELTS Speaking test

The Speaking section is conducted in the form of an interview of 11 to 14 minutes and mainly judges the articulation capabilities of the student. In other words, the examiner checks whether the applicant can put forth his ideas efficiently or not.

The speaking and writing sections, expect precision and conciseness of words. It is the same for both the Academic and General training aspirants.

1: Speaking test is not a “job interview”.

In the actual test, an examiner sits across a table and asks a few questions which the candidate must answer. Many students are tense the moment they hear the word ‘interview’.

They perceive this interaction like a job interview where they should try their best to impress the interviewer. However, it is worth revising the purpose of the test.

For example, imagine that you work long hours and you don’t get any time to watch TV daily. As a result, you don’t like watching TV in general.

Now, in the test, the examiner asks you, “Do you like to watch TV?” Now, just not to upset the examiner and instead to influence him or her, you answer, “Yes, I do watch TV regularly.” The next question could be, “So, can you name the most popular programme on TV in your country?”

Since you don’t watch any programme, you may not be able to offer even one example. So, instead, at the beginning, itself, if you admit that you don’t get much time to watch TV and hence lately you are not updated on the kinds of TV shows that aired, you need not face the question about the popular TV programmes.

Overall, don’t consider the speaking test on IELTS as a job interview. Instead, consider that it is just a conversation with a person.

2: Don’t use jargons.

In addition to this, you must restrict the use of profession related jargons. Many of the students use words that only the specialist in a particular trade or field will understand.

For example, when talking about what work you do, several students mention their job responsibilities that consist of their industry-related terminology. The software engineer may say new technologies or a doctor may talk in specific medical terms that a typical person may not understand at all.

You must realise that the IELTS Speaking test examiner need not be an expert in your field. Our advice is to avoid such terms. Simplify them in such a way that even an average Joe understands them.

3: Don’t worry about accents on IELTS Speaking?

Many students unnecessarily feel that they must have a British accent or an American accent to excel on the IELTS Speaking test. Well, IELTS Evaluation criteria never state anything about that.

All that the IELTS examiner wants to check is that your pronunciation is understandable and acceptable. Your pronunciations should not have an influence of your mother tongue on your speech.

It is a test of how well you use the English language, and hence, you need not try too hard to impress with the examiner.

4: Don’t use local terms or words from the local language

Many times students, especially in countries where English is a second or third language, find it difficult to remember an English word for a local language word.

For example, if asked, What is your favourite festival, many Indians say it’s Diwali. And while explaining it many unfortunately say, we light diyas on this day.

Now, a native speaker would not know what do you mean by diyas. I understand that there are few words in everyone’s language that may not have any similar words in English. In such cases explain those terms assuming that the examiner doesn’t know anything about your culture or language. You must say, “We light diyas, that is earthen lamps on this occasion.”

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