Do you know what score you would get in the IELTS Speaking test? Many people don’t; it’s hard to guess, especially taking the IELTS for the very first time. So here is a way – if you can speak like Rafael in the video below, your score is likely to be close to his (Overall Band 8).
In this video Rafael, an IELTS test taker from Brazil, is answering typical IELTS Speaking questions. His goal is to estimate his current IELTS score, and learn how to increase it. The breakdown of Rafael’s score by 4 IELTS criteria is revealed by the examiner at the end of this video (Fluency and Coherence, Lexical Resource, Grammatical Range and Accuracy, and Pronunciation).
The questions are appearing on the screen as Rafael answers them. Note that every question has a number (Q1, Q2, etc) and the examiner in his evaluation report is referring to Rafael’s little mistakes in every question. It’s great to watch the entire video first, and then go back to the specific questions as you read the evaluation report. It will help you understand what exactly the examiner means when he says something like
Q4 – plural ‘cinema’ should be ‘cinemas’ as you are talking in general.
Joanne is doing a full simulated IELTS Speaking test with an examiner, who is asking her typical IELTS Speaking test questions. This video shows you what happens on the test day in the real examination room.
IELTS Speaking Test has 3 parts.
In Part 1 you should expect personal questions on familiar topics, for instance about your job or studies, your home, your family, etc.
Part 2 is different, because you receive a single topic to talk about for 1 to 2 minutes, with 4 bullet points you should cover in your speech. Another difference between Part 2 and the other parts is that in Part 2 you get 1 minute preparation time and you can write down some ideas to talk about. This doesn’t happen in Part 1 or Part 3.
Part 3 is a longer discussion where the examiner asks you questions related to Part 2 topic. You are expected to give longer, more elaborate answers and talk in-depth about the topics your examiner brings up.
Here is how you can learn from this Speaking test video
1. Get familiar with everything that happens in the Speaking test. It will help you feel prepared when it’s your turn.
2. Listen to the questions the examiner asks and how Joanne answers them. Then think about what YOU would say in response to these questions.
3. Spot Joanne’s mistakes and avoid them when you speak.
4. Go over Examiner’s Feedback below to learn how he rated Joanne’s performance and why (he also points out some of her mistakes!)
5. You can even use this as a Listening exercise, and switch on subtitles on YouTube to understand every word on the recording.
This section shows you what goes on in the examiner’s mind when he rates a Speaking test. Make sure you read this before looking at the scores he gave Joanne in every criterion, because this explains the reasons she got those scores.
Joanne spoke fluently and confidently in her section 1, showing that she was perfectly comfortable speaking in English. Joanne had an excellent range of lexis that she used and her vocabulary choices were natural and appropriate; there were only rare instances of her using a mildly awkward expression, i.e. “that goes to a certain extent.” Joanne’s grammatical range was always appropriately varied and there was excellent accuracy. Joanne had no discernable Swedish accent and even had a slight U.S. accent. This allowed her communication to be excellent. One criticism of Joanne is that she provided quite short answers and she was short on the required amount of time for section 1. She naturally spoke quite fast, but fuller answers would have put her in a better position.
Joanne was again very fluent and confident. She communicated well and had no problem with the vocabulary and grammar needed for what she had to say. One issue again was that she spoke very fast and frenetically, and she only managed around 38 seconds of speaking, when she needed to produce between 1 to 2 minutes. Slowing down would have helped her and maybe a bit more calm would have allowed to her to realise she had not addressed all the points on the answer sheet – she didn’t really talk about the type of food served (a lot could have been said on this) and the restaurant’s atmosphere was only touched on by saying that it was “open and friendly”. Joanne’s lexis were well chosen and mostly appropriate, with only one slightly awkward collocation, “so much effort”. The grammatical range and accuracy were excellent and again, Joanne’s pronunciation was extremely good, creating the feeling of a native speaker.
Joanne delivered a good section 3 and she provided some intelligent and thoughtful answers. This time, even though she spoke quite fast again, she managed to give fuller answers to the more demanding questions and speak for the required amount of time. She was not quite as fluent as before and she occasionally got a bit tongue-tied (this could have been down to nerves) and she tailed off a bit at one point. In Joanne’s case, the greater difficulty of the questions actually allowed her to show that she had a greater lexis range than was apparent earlier, i.e. “rooted in the history”, “it impacts”, “specific dietary needs”, “lactose intolerant” and “glucose intolerant” are some examples. She also knew some specific scientific vocabulary, i.e. “allergens”. Together, this showed Joanne had an accomplished English vocabulary. Joanne also produced an excellent and accurate grammatical range and was accurate all the way through. Her pronunciation, as before, was of native speaker standard.
Joanne’s IELTS Speaking score
The marking of the IELTS Speaking Test is done in 4 parts.
Fluency and Coherence 7 Lexical Resource 9 Grammatical Range and Accuracy 9 Pronunciation 9