IELTS Speaking

Welcome to our dedicated IELTS Speaking page 🙂 The Speaking component assesses your use of spoken English, and takes between 11 and 14 minutes to complete. Every test is recorded. The Speaking component is delivered in such a way that it does not allow candidates to rehearse set responses beforehand. From First English’s perspective, students should never rote-learn or memorize responses. Just like us, examiners can easily pick it up as you lose your conversation’s naturalness.

Please click here for our regular IELTS Speaking tutorial blogs

Here are direct links to some key lessons & helpful points:

IELTS Speaking Frequently Asked Questions

IELTS Speaking Part 2: What you should be doing during the one-minute preparation time

Can I change the topic during IELTS speaking?

Can I ask examiner questions during IELTS speaking?


Part 1
The Examiner will ask you general questions about yourself and a range of familiar topics, such as home, family, work, studies and interests. This part lasts between four and five minutes. Part 1 questions are basic questions on familiar topics including your background, hobbies, interests, routines, lifestyle and habits.

  • In General the first topic in Part One follows either one of these 2 possible paths:
    • Where you live
    • Your studies, work, job
  • After this first ‘personal topic’, the examiner will select 2 more topics based on hobbies, interests, routines, lifestyles and habits

Part 2
You will be given a card which asks you to talk about a particular topic. You will have one minute to prepare before speaking for up to two minutes. The examiner will then ask one or two questions on the same topic to finish this part of the test. (As a rule you are expected to speak for at least 1 minute 30 seconds – anything less than this and your ‘fluency’ score may be reduced. This is because their answers would most likely be too simply, short, direct)

Also, the guidelines on the card are simply there to help the students. If the student wants to talk about those aspects, then that is OK. However if the student does not follow the guideline, that is also OK.  But you should not go off-topic (change the subject and talk about something completely different)

However, for most of the topic cards, it is good idea to use the guidelines because it means you have to think less about content and can therefore concentrate more on the language.

Part 3

You will be asked further questions connected to the topic in Part 2. These questions will give you the opportunity to discuss more abstract ideas and issue. The part of the test lasts between four and five minutes.

Quite often, examiners use your part 3 response to either adjust up or adjust down your marks. This is because they are pretty much sure what your speaking scores would be while you are answering your part 2 task. If they feel you are a band 6 for your part 2 response, they may ask you harder part 3 questions to push the limit for you, and see if you qualify for a band 6.5 or 7. However, they may also adjust down your mark if you answered your part 1 and 2 tasks purely because you memorised your responses well.

Most part 3 questions only need a max of 3 ideas. From our perspective, mentioning 2 ideas is sufficient, which is also the minimum number of ideas you should use.