Established in 1989, IELTS(International English Language Testing System) is one of the most prominent English proficiency tests for non-native English speakers. IELTS is accepted by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for migrating to Canada. IELTS General Training exam is a requirement for obtaining Canadian permanent residency. There are 4 modules in IELTS– Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. Continue reading to get a vivid understanding about how your speaking test is assessed and graded by the examiner.
IELTS Speaking – a general overview
The speaking test has three parts and spans between 11 to 14 minutes. Based on the test’s outline, it will evaluate a person’s vocabulary, pronunciation, fluency, and grammar. Only the speaking test in the IELTS is conducted face-to-face with the examiner. General questions on subjects like studies, interests, friends, family, etc. are covered in Part 1 of the test. Here, the examiner will try to determine whether the candidate can express ideas on common or daily subjects.
In Part 2of the test, the examiner will issue you a task card (aka cue card) containing a specific topic. The test taker has one minute for getting prepared and two minutes to speak about the topic. Here, assessing one’s capacity for an in-depth discussion of a certain subject is the primary objective. Part 3 is a conversation with the examiner. Here, the ability of the test-taker to respond to broad and abstract questions (pertaining to part 2) is evaluated.
They must thoroughly evaluate, defend, and speculate the responses. Understanding the test’s structure will help you prepare for the speaking test. See the table below for a quick understanding of the 3 sections of IELTS Speaking test.
IELTS Speaking – assessment or evaluation criteria
Test results are evaluated by professional and trained examiners. The speaking test band, like in the other sections, ranges between 0 (being the lowest score) to 9 (being the highest score). A band is awarded for you speaking test based on four equally weighted components. They are:
Fluency and Coherence (2.25/9): this pertains to speaking effortlessly at a natural pace and to combining language and concepts in a way that creates speech that is logical and related.
Key factors to achieving fluency and coherence are the usage of topic-appropriate vocabulary and grammar, the use of suitable, powerful, and persuasive language when speaking, and understanding the subject on which you are asked to speak with clarity.
Usage of Lexical resource (2.25/9): the language at the test-taker’s disposal impacts the range of subjects they can address as well as the clarity with which meanings are articulated, and attitudes are communicated.
Key factors to achieving lexical resources are phrases used in various contexts, aim to avoid mistakes, ability to effectively paraphrase and, make use of uncommon words.
Grammatical Range and Accuracy (2.25/9): this corresponds to the test-taker’s wide range of grammatical resources, which will serve to identify the complexity of concepts that may be expressed as well as the exact and suitable use of linguistic forms to meet the Speaking test’s requirements.
Key factors to achieving grammatical range and accuracy are the use of well-structured sentences, tenses should be utilized correctly, and grammatically correct responses are required.
Pronunciation (2.25/9): in order to communicate effectively, a variety of phonological components must be used correctly and consistently.
Key factors to achieving pronunciation are to annotating, appropriate word pronunciation, and the total effect of the accent on comprehension.
As you can see above the “total sub-band score” given for each of the assessment area is “2.25”. Multiplied by 4, it gives 9 [2.25 multiplied by 4] – 9 being the highest band for the Speaking test.