What to Expect on the IELTS: Speaking Module

When you walk into the testing facility, you will be asked to secure any cell phones or other electronics, so you might want to leave those at home.

Do bring two forms of identification.


The speaking portion of EITLS will last 11 to 14 minutes and is broken down into three sections. The entire speaking module is conducted one-on-one with the examiner asking questions, interview-style. You are responsible for responding competently and intelligibly.

  • Part 1: Introduction. The easiest part, you will be asked your full name, where you are from, and to present identification. In addition to cursory information, you usually will be asked about three conversational topics. These may include you, your interests, or your opinions on things such as your hobbies, home, family, work, et cetera.
  • Part 2: The long form. This portion is more difficult because you must talk continuously for at least a minute, or up to two minutes. You will be given a card with an opening question and several followup questions. With this card in hand, will have only one minute to take notes for your response. When you begin, you must address the topic on the card during your response. To achieve a high score, your response must be coherent and well-organized. You will not be given followup questions during your one to two minute long response, so it's important to make your explanation flow naturally without interaction between you and the examiner.
  • Part 3: Discussion. Following up on the topic from Part 2, this portion of the exam requires you to respond intelligently to verbal questions from the examiner. The examiner will ask higher level questions that require well-thought-out responses. You will be scored on your ability to maintain a conversation using advanced vocabulary and proper structure. Your conversation should flow naturally with minimal grammatical errors.

Feature image courtesy of Ethan on Flickr