Many candidates walk into the exam room without knowing how they are graded. In IELTS preparation, it is necessary to understand the marking criteria. It provides you with a guidance to maximize your score in the test.
To illustrate, let's see below for a simulation example of how the IELTS speaking part 3 is conducted.
Part 3 of the IELTS speaking exam:
Retrieved from (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JM40mvG2GEM) on 14 November 2016
Feedback in terms of the 4 grading criteria:
Fluency and coherence – Band 5
There are repetitions in the candidate's response. He repeats "I think so"; "I hope so"; "so"; and "for example". There are also quite a few pauses and hesitation in his speech. Though generally speaking, simple sentences were produced and the candidate could maintain some basic fluency.
Lexical resource – Band 5
From the video, we can see that the candidate has a limited quantity of vocabulary as most of his response is based on his personal experience. Sometimes he also gives half-complete sentences without fully expanding his answers. Moreover, there are errors in word choices such as "pay money to buy"; "good hobby"; "it's no problem for me"…etc.
Grammatical range and accuracy – Band 5
The candidate used mostly simple sentences. The only attempt to form complex sentences is the usage of conditional sentences ("if" sentences). There are also grammatical mistakes in sentences such as "It's depend on people", "Hobby provides us good feeling" ; "I think it is good for social"; "Always hobby is expensive".
Pronunciation – Band 5
He usually produces clear responses, though there are mistakes in word pronunciation. There are also interruptions in his speech and stress and intonation are sometimes incorrect.
This is a lucid example of a band 5 candidate. This level is probably where most of the candidates in Asia start their IELTS preparation from according to the past IELTS statistics here.