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ielts speaking module

IELTS Speaking Module – Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most asked questions about IELTS Speaking test that we have received from our students. These questions are capable of sufficing any exam related query that you might have.

Let’s take a look:

Q1) How many sections are there in IELTS Speaking module?

A1) IELTS Speaking module comprises of three sections of an interview about self introduction, talk about a particular topic and discussion about the given topic. Part 1 , 2 and 3 are generally of 5 minutes, 3 minutes and 5 minutes respectively. Total duration is of 11 to 14 minutes.

For more details about IELTS Speaking module, please refer to:

Q2) Can I use short one word or two word answer for part 1 of IELTS Speaking test?

A2) You will loose marks if you do that. Part 1 of IELTS Speaking test requires short answers of 1 or 2 sentences. The questions asked will be of general topic and will not require long or one word answers from you. Although in part 3, you need to give long and elaborate answers based on topics given in part 2.

So, don’t answer with one word or two word answers, your scores will be affected negatively if you do so.

Q3) What is the marking criteria of IELTS Speaking test?

A3) Pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar and fluency are the criteria based upon which your answers will be assessed. Each criterion carries equal weightage of 25% of overall marks.

Please refer to the following link for more details:

Q4) How long do I need to speak on the given topic in part 2?

A4) It is advised to speak for more than 1.5 minutes for better scoring in the second part of IELTS Speaking test. Ideally, if you can talk for whole 2 minutes, it gives an impression to your examiner that you are able to speak at length and can make fluent speech. Even if you can speak for a minute, with fluency and no error, your scores are secured.

Q5) What will happen if I cross over the time limit in part 2 or 3? will I be penalised?

A5) No, you won’t be penalised for speaking more than the allotted time. If you exceed the time, your examiner will simply stop you and move on to the next segment.

Q6) What accent should I use to get high scores in IELTS Speaking test?

A6) There is no such parameter for type of English accents to be used in the IELTS exam. You can use your own accent for taking the speaking test. Just make sure to speak clearly and with no grammatical mistakes.

Your accent has no impact over your IELTS score. The examiner should be able to understand what you say. They can’t assess your answer if they can’t comprehend your speech. In this manner, if your accent is incomprehensible, you could loose marks.

Q7) Can I use informal speech in IELTS Speaking test?

A7) IELTS Speaking test is based upon questions related to general topics. You can give answers in any format as you prefer. So, yes you can use informal speech in the speaking test.

Q8) Do I get to choose a topic to speak about in part 2 of speaking test?

A8) No, you don’t. Your examiner will give you a topic cue card and you will be required to speak about the given topic. You’re gonna have to speak about the topic and there is no way you can change it. You should try to speak on the topic given to you even if you don’t prefer it or have little knowledge. You will be assessed on how you convey the information rather than the content of the information.

Q9) If I didn’t quiet understand the question, can I ask the examiner to repeat the question? How many times can I make that request?

A9) You are not supposed to ask questions to your examiner for part 2, because they won’t help you. For part 1 and part 3, you can ask to repeat the question or rephrase it if you didn’t get it the first time.

You can ask, “ I’m sorry, but could you repeat the question?”or “ could you rephrase that?” 

You can ask your examiner twice or thrice to repeat the question, not more than that.

Although, asking your examiner to repeat the question will not affect your score. Just keep the repetitions limited to be on safer side.

Q10) What to do if I don’t know anything about a given topic in speaking part 3? Can I request for another topic?

A10) You will not be given a new topic in any circumstances. If you don’t have any knowledge about the given topic, you can honestly mention so in your answer. The examiners are there to test your English speaking skills, not your knowledge. Anything you speak during the test, becomes your answer. Don’t ever simply say, “ I don’t know!” or ask for another topic. Both will not serve your scores well.

For example, if you have been asked about newest government policy for poverty alleviation, and you are clueless, you could start by- “ In my opinion, poverty is a huge problem for our country’s development and I’m sure our government have been taking necessary measures to resolve it. To be honest, I’m not aware of the current measures being incorporated/ taken.”

This answer is acceptable as it shows decent range of language. You can modify it anyway you like, just make sure to use correct grammar and tone.

Q11) I got interrupted by the examiner while speaking. What does that mean?

A11) It could have different possible meanings:

  • Your answer was too long and reached time limit.
  • You went off topic for too long.
  • Your language skills in your answer were satisfactory and the examiner wanted to move on to the next question.

 Either reasons mean no disadvantage to your scores. Just focus to the next question asked by your examiner.

For more details about IELTS module, please visit

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