IELTS Examiner Explains How Speaking Test is Scored

For most IELTS test takers the only time they get to see their Speaking examiner is during their Speaking test. And then, your interaction is limited to the actual testing – there is no chance to chat or ask the examiner what he/she thought of your performance and why. All you get after the Speaking test is your overall score, and you don’t get an explanation why.

Today you have a very rare chance to see feedback from a real Speaking examiner where he explains the exact reasons why Alina (the test taker in this video) got her scores in each criterion, and how her overall score was worked out.

First, a short introduction: everyone, meet Adam. Adam was an active IELTS Speaking examiner for 10 years and has an enormous amount of experience in assessing test takers’ Speaking ability. You can be confident that his estimate is very close to your real IELTS score, and in the last 5 minutes of this video he is explaining what scores Alina would get in the real test and (the most useful part!) the reasons why. This is the kind of feedback you would NEVER get in an IELTS test, but learning from it can make ALL the difference to scoring higher!

IELTS Speaking ExaminerAdam said, “I’m pleased to be working with very reputable professionals at IELTS-Blog.com. I was a speaking and writing examiner for 10 years and I’ve taught IELTS for 12 years. This video was made to show why Alina received a 5.5 and ways for her to improve. While you’re watching try to guess why she received a 5.5. Remember there are four categories, Fluency and Coherence, Lexical Resource, Grammatical Range and Accuracy, and Pronunciation. We will do more of these videos with speakers from other countries and scores, so you can better understand what is expected before the next time you sit an IELTS Speaking test.”

In the video you’re about to watch Alina, an IELTS test taker from Russia, is taking an interactive Speaking test online. You will see the questions Adam is asking and Alina’s answers to them.

The breakdown of her score by the 4 IELTS criteria (Fluency and Coherence, Lexical Resource, Grammatical Range and Accuracy, and Pronunciation) is shown at the end of the video, and also in her evaluation report here.

The questions are shown on the screen while Alina answers them. You will see that every question has a number (Q1, Q2, etc) and the examiner in his evaluation report is referring to Alina’s little mistakes in every question. It’s great to watch the entire video first, including Adam’s commentary where he talks about Alina’s performance and score, 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 – ‘family banding’ should be ‘family bonding’

Download Alina’s speaking evaluation report here.

It would be a good exercise for you to make a list of any mistakes or inaccuracies you hear while watching this video, and then compare your notes to the examiner’s feedback. What would you do better? What vocabulary could you use instead?

Try and answer the same questions in your own words, and perhaps even record yourself. It will provide an opportunity to listen to your pronunciation and see what needs work.

If you’d like to get your Speaking evaluated just like Alina did, you can – go here to learn how.

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