The Speaking Test is the fourth test in IELTS. It follows the Listening, Reading and Writing tests, usually in the afternoon of the test day.
The Speaking Test is an interview and lasts between 11 and 14 minutes. Part 1 lasts approximately four to five minutes. Part 2 is between three and four minutes and includes the one minute preparation time. The last part, Part 3, is approximately four to five minutes. The interview is recorded.
The 3 parts are constructed to cover a range of language features - verb tenses (present, past and future, active/passive); functions (explaining, describing, suggesting, predicting, narrating, comparing); and grammatical structures (cause/effect, reason, conditionals and comparatives). The candidate is expected to demonstrate a range of sentence types (simple, compound and complex) as well as a logical and well-constructed response. Pronunciation and fluency are also assessed.
A range of topics is covered, from common everyday topics such as the family, lifestyle, transport, diet, travel, and sports to more challenging topics such as technology, society, education, employment, health, and some of the sciences to include topics such as the weather, climate change, pollution, global warming and the environment.
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