IELTS Academic Speaking Test - Prepare for IELTS

IELTS Academic Speaking Test


To study in a country where English is the native language, you must have a good IELTS Academic band score. The Academic test is conducted for all four language skills: listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. Here, we are going to the IELTS Academic Speaking test.

The IELTS Academic Speaking test involves a discussion between the candidate and a qualified examiner. It aims to assess the candidate's English communication skills through a structured set of questions and tasks. This section is divided into 3 parts -

Part 1 - The examiner will inquire about general aspects of the candidate's life, such as family, work or studies, and hobbies or interests.

Part 2 - The candidate will receive an IELTS cue card with a topic. They have one minute to prepare for the topic and two minutes to speak about it. Following the speech, the examiner may ask one or two follow-up questions.

Part 3 - This section delves deeper into the topic discussed in Part 2, with the examiner posing more detailed questions for the candidate to respond to.

IELTS Academic Speaking Part 1: Introduction and Interview

It is an introduction part where the examiner will ask questions about yourself, your work, family, education, interests, hobbies, etc. The purpose of the introduction is to build the link between you and the examiner so that you get warmed up for the upcoming parts and perform better.

IELTS Academic Speaking Topics Part 1

Check some topics that are asked in IELTS Speaking Part 1.

  • Advertisements
  • Art
  • Bags
  • Celebrities
  • Chocolate

IELTS Academic Speaking Part 1 Tips

Here are some additional strategies to further enhance your IELTS Speaking test performance.

  • Regular speaking practice - Make speaking English a regular part of your routine to improve fluency and confidence. Engage in conversations with friends, join language exchange groups, or practice speaking with a tutor to hone your speaking skills.
  • Thorough preparation - Take the time to familiarise yourself with common topics and questions frequently appearing in IELTS Speaking Part 1. Practice responding to these topics to develop fluency and ease in discussing a variety of subjects.
  • Build rapport with the examiner - Create a friendly and positive atmosphere during the test by maintaining good eye contact, smiling, and engaging with the examiner. This can help alleviate nerves and make the speaking experience more comfortable.
  • Expand on your answers - Instead of giving brief 'yes' or 'no' responses, aim to provide extended answers that showcase your ability to express ideas and opinions in detail. Use examples, explanations, and anecdotes to enrich your responses and demonstrate your language proficiency.
  • Showcase language variety - Impress the examiner by using a wide range of vocabulary and grammatical structures in your responses. Incorporate synonyms, idiomatic expressions, and complex sentence structures to showcase your linguistic versatility.
  • Focus on pronunciation - Pay close attention to your pronunciation and intonation to ensure clear and understandable speech. Practice pronouncing difficult words and sounds, and listen to native speakers to emulate natural speech patterns.
  • Maintain a natural pace— Speak at a natural pace, neither too fast nor too slow. Aim for a comfortable rhythm and cadence in your speech, allowing for pauses and emphasis where necessary. This ensures that your speech is clear, coherent, and easy to follow.

IELTS Cue Card - Academic Speaking Part 2

In part 2, you have to talk for at least 2 minutes on the topic provided by the examiner. The test taker will give you 1 minute to prepare for the topic, and you can draft your response on the paper and start speaking on what you have prepared. This part of the speaking test is called the IELTS cue card and task card. The purpose of this part of the speaking test is to evaluate whether you are able to talk at length or not.

IELTS Academic Speaking Topics Part 2

Check some topics that are asked in IELTS Speaking Part 2.

  • Describe your first mobile phone
  • Describe a birthday party
  • Describe an old friend you got in contact with again
  • Describe a festival that is important in your country

IELTS Academic Speaking Part 2 Tips

Here are some tips to help you best in the IELTS Speaking Part 2.

  • Understand the topic - Make sure you fully grasp the topic and task given by the examiner. Take a moment to clarify any uncertainties before you begin speaking.
  • Effective preparation - Use the one-minute preparation time wisely to organise your thoughts and plan your response. Outline key points or jot down keywords to guide your speech.
  • Utilise the full time - Aim to speak for the entire two minutes allotted for each speaking task. Use this time to showcase your language proficiency and demonstrate your ability to sustain a conversation.
  • Language variety - Impress the examiner by incorporating a diverse range of vocabulary and grammatical structures into your speech. This adds richness to your language and highlights your linguistic flexibility.
  • Provide examples - Support your arguments or opinions with specific examples or personal stories whenever possible to show the depth and authenticity of your responses, making them more compelling and memorable.
  • Natural delivery - Speak in a natural and conversational tone, as if you were discussing with a friend. Project confidence through your voice and maintain eye contact with the examiner to convey sincerity and engagement.
  • Stay focused - Throughout the speaking test, stay focused on the task and avoid getting distracted or going off tangents. Concentrate on delivering clear, coherent responses that address the examiner's prompts.

IELTS Academic Speaking Part 3: Discussion

It is the last part of your speaking test; you will be asked questions related to the Cue Card given to you. The test taker will ask you questions that are thematically connected to your IELTS cue card. It is a two-way communication, and you are expected to provide descriptive answers.

IELTS Academic Speaking Part 3 Topics

Mostly, the examiner will ask the question from the following field in IELTS Speaking Part 3.

  • Public Speaking
  • Leadership
  • Travel and Holidays
  • Beauty
  • TV Program & Movies

IELTS Speaking Part 3 Tips

Here are some tips to help you understand the scoring criteria and perform best in the IELTS Speaking Part 3.

  • Pay attention to the questions - Take your time to listen carefully to the examiner's questions. Make sure you fully understand what is being asked before you begin your response.
  • Provide specific examples — Use concrete examples and evidence to support your answers. This will demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively and add credibility to your responses.
  • Express your thoughts clearly - Clearly articulate your thoughts and ideas, ensuring they are logically organised and easy for the examiner to follow. Avoid rambling or going off on tangents.
  • Use a variety of language - Show off your language skills by using diverse words and sentence structures. This not only showcases your vocabulary but also enhances the overall quality of your speech.
  • Listen actively - Listen attentively to and respond directly to the examiner's questions. Avoid rehearsed responses and tailor your answers to address the specific points raised.
  • Maintain coherence — Organise your thoughts coherently, using linking words and phrases to connect ideas and maintain a smooth flow of speech. This will help ensure that your responses are well-structured and easy to follow.
  • Speak confidently — Approach the test with confidence and a positive attitude. Even if you feel nervous, try to speak with conviction and enthusiasm. Confidence can significantly enhance your communication.
  • Avoid unclear answers - Aim to provide detailed and insightful responses, avoiding vague or general statements. The more specific and detailed your answers, the more impressive your performance will be to the examiner.

IELTS Speaking Scoring Criteria

In the IELTS Speaking test, candidates receive a band score ranging from zero to nine. Achieving a band score of 8 indicates a strong command of English. This score is determined by evaluating candidates across 4 equally weighted criteria, which are as follows -

  • Fluency and Coherence
  • Lexical Resource
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy
  • Pronunciation

Qualified examiners assess candidates based on these criteria. Scores are given in half or whole bands without negative markings. Moreover, decimal scores are rounded up to the nearest half or whole band.

Topic Marking Criteria
Fluency and Coherence 6
Lexical Resources 7
Grammatical Range and Accuracy 8
Pronunciation 7
Total IELTS Speaking Score 7

IELTS Speaking Scoring Criteria: Fluency and Coherence

Fluency and Coherence refer to the structure and clarity of your speech. Check the tips to improve your fluency.

  • Employing suitable words and phrases, connect your statements
  • Provide a thorough explanation of your responses with all pertinent information.
  • Maintain a fluid and continuous speech pattern.
  • Make sensible and productive use of your pauses.

IELTS Speaking Scoring Criteria: Lexical Resources

Lexical Resource assesses your vocabulary. Take into account the following to improve your LR score.

  • Make use of a wide variety of terminology.
  • Talk openly about a range of subjects while using appropriate language.
  • Speak in a formal or semi-formal manner.
  • Make exact and correct word choices.
  • When appropriate, use colloquial language.

IELTS Speaking Scoring Criteria: Grammatical Range and Accuracy

The grammatical Range and Accuracy evaluate your level of grammatical knowledge. To increase your score, follow these tips.

  • Cut down on grammatical mistakes.
  • Learn tenses and how to use them.
  • Make an effort to use more intricate grammatical constructions, such as conditional phrases, direct speaking, passive voice, and different tenses.

IELTS Speaking Scoring Criteria: Pronunciation

Pronunciation assesses your level of naturalness. You may improve your Pronunciation score by following the tips below.

  • Make an effort to pronounce words.
  • Take a video of yourself speaking and concentrate on fixing any mistakes.
  • Correctly emphasise words and phrases.
  • Employ the proper intonation patterns.
  • Make sure the examiner can understand what you say.

Common Mistakes in the IELTS Speaking Test

During the IELTS Speaking test, it is important to avoid some common mistakes. Here are some common mistakes that you should avoid in the IELTS Speaking Test.

  • Misunderstanding the question
  • Giving brief or single-word responses
  • Trying to remember prepared answers
  • Straying off-topic during your response
  • Speaking at an excessively fast or slow pace
  • Using limited vocabulary and sentence structures
  • Making mistakes in grammar
  • To avoid these common errors, you can follow the below-mentioned tricks –

  • Take a moment to really listen and understand what the examiner is asking. If you're unsure, don't be afraid to ask them to explain or repeat the question differently.
  • The examiner wants to hear you talk. Don't just give one-word answers. Take your time to expand on your thoughts, give examples, and explain your ideas in detail.
  • Trying to memorise your responses might seem like a good idea, but it can hurt your score. Instead, focus on practising speaking about a variety of topics so you feel comfortable talking about anything on the day of the test.
  • Stay focused on the question at hand. If you find yourself drifting away from the topic, gently guide the conversation to where it needs to be.
  • Speak at a natural pace that's easy to understand. If you rush through your answers, the examiner might miss important points. And if you speak too slowly, they might lose interest.
  • Show off your vocabulary skills by using various words and sentence structures. Avoid repeating the exact phrases over and over again.
  • Try your best to speak accurately, but don't stress too much about minor mistakes. If you can get your point across clearly, the examiner won't penalise you too harshly for small grammar errors.

IELTS Speaking Tips & Tricks

To prepare well for the IELTS speaking part of the test, here are some tips to help you do your best.

  • Don't just memorise your answers for the IELTS speaking test. It is better to speak naturally.
  • Keep your language simple during the IELTS speaking test. Using big, complicated words can make it harder for the examiner to understand you.
  • Try to speak smoothly and without too many pauses during the IELTS speaking test. Pausing too much can make you sound unsure.
  • It is wise to practice using free IELTS speaking tests that you can find online. PrepareIELTSExam (PIE) also provides free sample papers of the IELTS Speaking test that you can get by logging into the website.
  • It is totally fine to take a short moment to think about your answer during the IELTS speaking test. Just try not to take too long, or you might not know what to say.
  • Practice talking about common topics that often appear on the IELTS test, such as hobbies, family, work, and travel.
  • Don't worry too much about your accent. It is okay to have a strong accent as long as you speak clearly and confidently.
  • Take a little time to think about what you want to say before you start speaking. This can help you organise your thoughts and give a better answer.
  • Don't forget to smile while you speak. It can make you sound friendlier and more confident, which is always good during the IELTS speaking test.

IELTS Speaking Practice Test Sample

For your reference, here is an IELTS Speaking question with sample answers. To improve your academic speaking score on the IELTS, thoroughly go over them.

IELTS Speaking Part 1

Here is the sample answer for IELTS Speaking part 1.

1. What is your full name?

My name is Ridhima Saxena.

2. Can I see your ID?

Yes, here is my ID.

3. Where are you from?

I'm from Delhi, India's fourth-largest city and capital. Known as the "city of kings" for its rich history, Delhi is famous for its delicious cuisine and iconic landmarks.

4. Do you work or study?

Currently, I am a student at one of India's top universities. The faculty is friendly and supportive, providing academic education and valuable extra knowledge.

IELTS Speaking Part 2

Here is the sample answer for IELTS Speaking part 2.

Describe a person you follow on social media

You should say

  • Introduction
  • Who do you follow on social media?
  • How do you know this person?
  • What does this person post on social media?
  • Why do you follow this person on social media?
  • Conclusion

Sample Answer –


In today's world, social media serves as a primary source of information across various domains. Unlike traditional methods, it offers instant access to the lives of prominent figures, making it easier to stay updated.

Who do you follow on social media?

One of my favourite personalities on social media is Gaur Gopal Das, renowned for his life coaching and motivational talks.

How do you know this person?

During the pandemic, I turned to social media for entertainment and enlightenment. While scrolling, I stumbled upon Gaur Gopal Das's video, where he shared insightful advice on navigating challenging times. His words resonated with me instantly.

What does this person post on social media?

Gaur Gopal Das diverges from typical influencers, focusing instead on profound knowledge that can spark positive changes in people's lives. His posts cover many inspirational topics, including problem-solving techniques and spiritual guidance from religious texts.

Why do you follow this person on social media?

I follow Gaur Gopal Das because his teachings inspire me to think differently. Whenever I feel demotivated or anxious, his videos provide a much-needed boost of confidence and strength.


In conclusion, meeting someone like Gaur Gopal Das would be a dream come true for me. His uplifting philosophy, generous nature, and captivating demeanour make him a role model worth following.

IELTS Speaking Part 3

Here is the sample answer to IELTS Speaking Part 3.

Question: What can people do on social media?

Answer: Social media serves various purposes, including staying connected with friends and family, following celebrities for entertainment and learning, finding job opportunities, advertising products, sharing videos and talents, connecting with like-minded individuals, and learning new skills like cooking and gardening.

Question: Do you think older and younger people will use the same social media software?

Answer: While people of all ages can access the same social media platforms, younger generations tend to use them more actively for sharing and engagement. In contrast, older individuals may use them more passively for entertainment.

Question: Do older people spend much time on social media?

Answer: Generally, younger generations spend more time on social media compared to older individuals, who may be less familiar with the latest features and prefer other forms of entertainment.

Question: Are non-social media like television and newspapers still useful?

Answer: Traditional media like television and newspapers remain valuable for many people, especially those without internet access. They are often considered more reliable sources of news compared to social media, which can sometimes spread misinformation.

Question: What are the advantages and disadvantages of using social media?

Answer: Social media allows for accessible communication and talent showcasing, but it also poses privacy risks and can lead to addiction, taking time away from other important activities like studying.

List of Common IELTS Speaking Topics with Sample Answers

Below, you can check the IELTS Speaking topics with sample answers to get good scores in parts 1, 2, and 3.

  • Talk about an article which you have read about health
  • Describe a skill that you can teach other people
  • Describe a person who solved a problem in a smart way
  • Describe a time when you felt bored
  • Describe a prize that you received
  • Describe a historical period
  • Describe an interesting old person you have met
  • Describe a piece of good news
  • IELTS practice speaking test - part 3 topics
  • What is the IELTS vocabulary?
  • Improve your vocabulary and boost your ielts speaking score


The IELTS Academic Speaking Test is conducted to assess your ability to speak English. The examiner takes your speaking test to determine your level of English speaking ability.

For part 2, there is no separate band score, so if you don’t speak for 2 minutes but speak confidently and correctly and give all the answers to parts 1 and 3, you will get a good band score in IELTS.

Yes, many candidates find the speaking test difficult compared to the other tests. The main reason behind this is that it is like an interview process: the test taker asks some questions in English, and you are required to answer them correctly. So, it can be a stressful exercise for many test takers.

A naturally slow rate of speech is completely acceptable in IELTS. You need to avoid long thinking pauses before your responses, but speaking slowly is fine.

Never speak the memorised answers. Many candidates think that remembering scripted answers to all common questions helps to get a good band score. But this is a bad idea. This is because examiners are trained and can easily spot the memorised answers.

No, as long as your pronunciation is correct, your accent does not matter. You need to be aware of the proper pronunciation features, and you are good to go. It is a misconception that you need to use a native accent to score well. However, faking accents can reduce your scores significantly.

Yes, you should. Adding idioms while you speak reflects a good command of the language and gives an impression that you know it very well. But you need to be sure about what idiom to use and where.

The purpose of the IELTS Academic Speaking Test is to assess your language ability to communicate in English, particularly in academic contexts. It evaluates your spoken English skills, including fluency, coherence, vocabulary, and pronunciation.

You can expect different types of questions ranging from personal experiences to abstract topics. Questions may include discussing hobbies, interests, family, and studies or giving opinions on broader issues.

The IELTS Academic Speaking Test is scored based on four criteria: fluency and coherence, lexical resource (vocabulary), grammatical range and accuracy, and pronunciation. Each criterion is scored on a 0 to 9 scale, and the average of these scores determines your overall Speaking Band Score.