In the IELTS speaking section there are 3 tasks namely:  short answer questions, prepared speech and a discussion.  The test is quite short; it takes a maximum of 15 minutes and is recorded.  It is then assessed by a second examiner to ensure a fair score.  Usually, the speaking score is the highest out of all 4 sections.

The test is evaluated on 4 criteria:

  • Fluency and Coherence – Flowing speech with very few ums, ers or silences. Including, task response which is the content of your reply
  • Grammar – Use of a range of sentence structures including various tenses (past, present & future)
  • Vocabulary – Use of a wide range of words, used appropriately
  • Pronunciation – Correct intonation, word stress, speed. Accent is not usually an issue


Remember this is a speaking test, so talk as much as you can – even more than the examiner.  Talk fluently and be spontaneous.  Try to use idioms and expressions, as well as, adjectives when describing something.

In the discussion, try to develop your answers i.e. make a point, explain the point and support it with an example. 

If you need help with your IELTS or PTE preparation, feel free to email me: or go to