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Learn Quality English Online

By choosing Oxford English Academy’s language school,

you will be opening up yourself to an amazing English learning experience!

Learn Quality English Online

By choosing Oxford English Academy’s language school, you will be opening up yourself to an amazing English learning experience!

Learn Quality English Online

By choosing Oxford English Academy’s language school, you will be opening up yourself to an amazing English learning experience!

IELTS Exam

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

  • What is an IELTS exam? This exam tests your ability to communicate in English. The skills test is divided into four sections namely, reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. You can either take the IELTS academic exam or the IELTS general English exam. Candidates usually take the IELTS academic exam to gain access to study in another country, the IELTS general exam is usually taken for migration purposes.
  • Why take the IELTS exam? If you need a visa to work, study or migrate to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and USA.
  • How long does the test take? The testtakes approximately 3 hours.
  • What is the difference between IELTS and other Cambridge exams? Preparation for an IELTS exam takes approximately 1 month (depends on your level and the score you need to achieve). The preparation for FCE, CAE and CPE Cambridge exam, is 3 months.
  • How will I be graded? IELTS uses descriptors or bands, to grade candidates on a scale of which ranges from 0 – 9.
This blog focuses on different aspects of the speaking assessment (same for both IELTS academic and IELTS general).
  • How you will be assessed?
  • Typical questions asked in the interview
  • Tips on how to get a good score

How you will be assessed?

The IELTS speaking exam is a face-to face interview with the examiner. The examiner grades your performance on the following criteria:

Fluency and coherence

This is your opportunity to show your ability to respond to questions without hesitation. You should be able to speak at a standard level of fluency by effortlessly linking or connecting your ideas to form coherent responses.

 

Lexical resources

This refers to your ability to use a wide range of vocabulary accurately and in the appropriate context. The examiner also focuses on the strategies you use when you cannot remember a word and the attempts you make to avoid potential gaps of silence.

Grammatical accuracy

The examiner assesses your competence in using a wide a range of grammatical structures with precision. You will also be graded on how you use complex grammar structures with minimal errors.

Pronunciation

The focus is on word stress, intonation, and rhythm and the degree of effort the examiner makes to understand you.

 

Typical questions asked in the interview
The speaking assessment consist of 3 parts.

Part 1 – Introduction

Typical questions?

  • Can tell me about your daily routine?
  • What do you do in your free time?
  • Why are you taking the IELTS exam?
  • Can you describe your hometown?
  • What is your job/occupation? What do you do for a living?

Part 2  

The examiner gives you a topic card, you have I minute to prepare or think about the topic. You are required to speak about that topic for approximately 2/3 minutes.

In your preparation time, write down a few key words that will help you focus on the topic and not digress. When candidates are nervous, they tend to digress easily.

Typical topics on the card.

Gift

Describe a gift you have recently given to someone.
You should talk about:
  • why you bought the gift
  • the occasion / reason for buying the gift
  • why you chose to buy that specific item
  • describe the kind of person he / she is

Travel

Describe a place you have visited recently.
You should talk about:
  • where and when you went
  • the people you went with
  • how you travelled
  • the leisure activities / types of entertainment
  • explain why you enjoyed the holiday

Music

Describe the type of music like:
You should talk about:
  • why you enjoy listening to that type of music
  • the first time you listened to that type of music
  •  your favorite song/songs, give reasons
  • the effect that music has on your life (its importance)

Part 3 – Brief discussion with the examiner (you do most of the talking).

Examples of topics of discussion:

 

Education

  • Do you think education has changed in the past 20 years?
  • Do you think that teachers will be replaced by robots in the future?
  • How has technology changed education in your country?

Work

  • What is more important to you – job satisfaction or a high salary?
  • Which jobs are the most essential or valuable to society?
  • Would you prefer having a male or female manager?

    Sport 

    • Do you think sport has a positive or negative effect on society?
    • Is it important to encourage children to play sport?
    • What is the most popular sport in your country?

    Tips on how to a good score  

    • Relax, smile, be friendly and enjoy it!
    • If you do not understand the question, ask the examiner to rephrase the question.
    • Your knowledge about a topic is not being tested. If you can express your ideas with confidence, it shows that you are comfortable with the language and that gets you a good score.
    • Watch videos of speaking assessments on ielts.org, www.britishcouncil.or.za or www.ieltsindicator.com.

    Conclusion

    Your speaking assessment takes between 11 – 14 minutes. It will probably be the shortest exam you will ever take! You have less than 15 minutes to impress the examiner with your language skills, so do your best and remember to smile 😊and enjoy it!

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