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IELTS Preparation - The IELTS Speaking Test

This IELTS preparation page gives you tips and suggestions on how best to study for the IELTS Speaking test. For information and tips on taking the IELTS Speaking test please see our IELTS Speaking Module page.

To be successful in the IELTS Speaking test you need to have something to say about everything. All questions made during the IELTS Speaking test are general, about 'normal' everyday things, so you won't be asked something you don't know about. The question is, can you talk about it in English?

Try to be interested in everything that goes on around you and think about it in English. Question everything, and make sure you can express everything concerned with day to day life.

Recommended:

If you are looking for a good book to help you improve both your speaking and listening, why not kill two birds with one stone and get IELTS Preparation and Practice: Listening and Speaking, Second Edition - don't forget the set of 2 cassettes that goes with it.

Section 1

For the first section of the IELTS Speaking test you need to be able to talk about yourself. Make sure you can talk about you home, where you live, your family, your job (or the course you are studying) and your interests and hobbies.

Section 2

The second section requires you to talk about a topic for 1 - 2 minutes. The topic set will be of general interest. First practise talking for 2 minutes on any topic that interests you. You should time yourself as this will help you to gauge the amount of time you have used and gain confidence. Once you are able to talk for 1 - 2 minutes on topics that interest you, find some sample topics, for example in the IELTS Handbook, and use those. In each case you should practise making brief notes in one minute and then talking for two minutes. Practise until you can confidently talk for two minutes without repeating yourself and without much hesitation. You might find it useful to record yourself so that you can tell how fluent you really are!

Section 3

As section three is more flexible you cannot practise specifically for it. The best preparation is to spend time in conversation with a fellow English learner or with an English speaker. Restrict yourselves to a particular topic area. Your partner should ask the questions allowing you to answer them. Allow just 4 - 5 minutes for this.

For further materials and other resources to help you prepare for the IELTS Speaking Test check out our IELTS Resources pages.

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