The IELTS Speaking section is the same for both the Academic and the General module; it lasts approximately 11 – 13 minutes and it consists of three parts. You are going to be interviewed by the examiner alone (not with another candidate) and your interview will be recorded. The section is graded as a whole; you are not going to receive separate marks for the three parts.
Now, the first part is going to last for about 4-5 minutes and during this time the examiner asks you questions based on personal information and everyday topics. Your hometown, the area you live in, travelling, studies, work, job experience, spare time, activities, family, and friends are all topics that you may be asked about so be prepared for that. During this task you should show that you can understand the questions and that you can answer and communicate accordingly. It will be relatively easy and you know what to expect more or less, so don’t worry about Part 1!
Let’s move on to Part 2! In Part 2, you are going to be given a card with a task on it by your examiner. It will look like this:
Describe a book that you read recently.
You should say:
- what the book is about
- what you liked or disliked about it
- would you recommend it to anyone else and what kind of person would that be.
You will have one minute to think about the topic. The examiner will give you some pen and paper you can use to prepare and make notes during that time. The examiner will indicate when you can begin talking, so you don’t have to worry about that.
You should talk about the topic asked on the card and answer to all the questions in the form of a short monologue since you are required to talk continuously for about 2 minutes. This part of the Speaking section tests your ability to talk fluently about a certain topic in an organised and cohesive way. The examiner may ask you some questions based on the topic after or during your talk, so be prepared for that!
Now, let’s move on to Part 3! In Part 3, the examiner will take into account the topic in the previous Part 2 and s/he will ask you questions related to that topic but on a broader aspect. They will be more abstract or general questions, similar to the questions you would get in A. Writing Task 2. For example, in our case, the questions could be the following:
“Do you think that the development of technology will obliterate traditional books and reading?”
“Do you think that tablets will eventually replace traditional books?”
“Do you think that reading books is still popular among young people?”
As you can understand, you should be able to express your opinions fluently and justify them with a wide range of vocabulary (pretty much like writing). A discussion will follow between you and the examiner in which the examiner wants to see that you can analyse your ideas and defend your arguments.
These are the basics of what you are to expect in all three parts of the IELTS Speaking section. Move on to the following lessons for more details and explanations or watch the video below!!