This post aims to show you the structures of the IELTS speaking test.

The whole IELTS speaking test goes for about 11-14 minutes. Generally speaking, this time is equally divided for the 3 parts. The length of the test doesn’t change based on the speed or delivery of your answers. If you take more time giving your answers, the examiner would just run you through fewer questions in the exam.

Although each part is conducted very differently, your final speaking score will be an average of the 3. 


IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 

In this part, the examiner will ask you a series of short questions about you. The questions surround your life, work, education, hometown, and hobbies, with some occasional questions about the environment and color. For the exact 10 topics that are covered in this part, you can refer to our eBook. 

As this part is just a warm up, you are not expected to give an answer that lasts more than 30 seconds. This roughly equals to 2-4 sentences depending on your speaking speed. 


IELTS Speaking Test Part 2

You will be given a booklet opened to the page that asks you to talk about a topic for 1-2 minutes. Right after you see the question, you will get 1 minute to plan your answer and write down some notes on a piece of paper. 

A typical question will look like below:

IELTS Speaking Test 3 parts


The topics in this part usually require you to talk about some concrete experience about people, places, objects, and activities. 

After you have given your response, the examiner will then ask you 1-2 follow-up questions to finish this part.


IELTS Speaking Test Part 3

Here the examiner will ask you some more challenging questions which are more abstract and general as oppose to the personal questions in the previous parts. These questions will be an extension of the topic in part 2. 

Following the previous part 2 example, the examiner might ask you the following questions in part 3 speaking:

  • Is shopping a popular activity in your country?
  • What types of shops do teenagers like the most in your area? 
  • Are there certain kinds of shops that are becoming more popular? 
  • What are the advantages of shopping? 

You need to speak immediately after hearing the question. Also, this part is run like a conversation between you and the examiner as sometimes he or she will ask you questions related to your response. 

3 parts of the IELTS speaking Exam

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