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The IELTS Speaking Module

The test for the IELTS Speaking module consists of an interview and each candidate is interviewed individually. The IELTS Speaking test takes place at a different time to the rest of the examination. You will be informed of the time and place of your IELTS Speaking test by the test centre. Some test centres do the IELTS Speaking before the main exam, others after, so make sure you check the details carefully.

You should arrive early for your interview. I suggest at least half an hour early. If you arrive late, you will not be allowed to take the test. Some test centres specify that you must arrive a certain period of time, perhaps 15 minutes, before the test. If this is the case, you must not arrive later than that time.

When you arrive, the test centre administration staff will check your ID which must be the same as on your application form. You will then be taken to a waiting room or asked to wait outside the interview room. If you are taken to a waiting room, someone will take you to the interview room shortly before your interview. This procedure differs slightly between test centres depending on the facilities available.

When your IELTS Speaking test interviewer is ready, he or she will come out of the interview room and ask for you. You will be greeted and asked to sit down. At an early stage in the interview you will be asked to show the interviewer your ID. This will be quickly checked and the interview will continue.

The interview will be recorded. Recording the interview has a number of benefits. It allows the interviewer to be monitored to check the interview is properly conducted and it allows the interview to be assessed by another examiner if there is some question over your score. Another benefit to you is that if there is any problem during the interview, e.g. excessive noise outside, that, too, will be recorded.

The interview will last between 10 and 15 minutes. It consists of 3 parts. These parts are described in more detail on our speaking tips page. Just follow the interviewer’s instructions and answer the questions.

Much of the interview is predefined, i.e. the interviewer works from a script. However, there are a number of alternative questions for them to choose from. The interviewer has more leeway towards the end of the IELTS Speaking interview. This allows the interviewer more flexibility to help you show just how good your English is. Please don’t think the interviewer is trying to catch you out. In fact quite the opposite is true.

At the end of the IELTS Speaking test the interviewer will thank you and inform you that the IELTS Speaking test is over. You will then leave the interview room and the interviewer will finish any administration of your interview and prepare for the next candidate.

We have compiled many useful hints and tips for completing the IELTS Speaking module.

For information on how to prepare for the IELTS test, check out our IELTS Speaking Preparation and IELTS Resources pages.

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