Updated Oct. 24, 2019


IELTS Speaking Test Summary  

(with a few hints and suggestions)


The I.D. Check

4 questions (25 to 30 seconds)




   The Actual Test

Part 1 (4 to 5 minutes)

Topic 1 – about 4 questions

Topic 2 – about 4 questions

Topic 3 – about 4 questions




Part 2 (3 to 4 minutes)

1 minute of thinking time

Topic 4 – 1 to 2 minute monologue

(Possibly) 1 or 2 wrap-up questions





Part 3 (4 to 5 minutes)

Topic 5 – about 4 or 5 questions

Topic 6 – about 4 or 5 questions






The I.D. Check

The examiner's intention here is really to check your identity because it has been known for a, "double", someone who looks like the candidate named on the application form, to take the test for the real candidate. Obviously that has been done because the double speaks better English than the real candidate. The examiner has your application form in front of him or her, the form you filled out, with your photo on it and, in addition to asking you a few questions, he or she has to compare the person sitting in front of himself or herself  with the photo.

If the ID check were to be considered in terms of linguistics, the language function is, "Verifying One's Identity". The idea here is to give appropriate (= suitable) answers to simple questions that are used to verify your identity. For this, "appropriate answers" means, "short and crisp answers", not long answers or answers that are full of extra details after you have answered the basic question. But if you are friendly and can speak fast, a short, quick comment along with some answers would not damage your "performance".

   The Standard Introduction Questions
  1. Good morning/afternoon. My name is _____ . Can you tell me your full name, please? (= Could you tell me your full name, please? = Please tell me your name.)
  1. What can I call you? (= What shall I call you? = What should I call you?)
  1. Can you tell me where you’re from? (= Could you tell me where you’re from? = Where are you from?)
  1. Can I see your identification, please? (= Could I see your identification, please? = May I see your identification, please?)

Note that every candidate is asked the same questions, exactly or almost exactly as written here.

A more detailed explanation of how to speak in the Introduction phase of the test can be found on this page,


    Part 1


    Part 2

  1. read the card,

  1. decide what example you’re going to talk about, (each card asks for an example) and

  1. think about (i.e., plan) your answer and jot down some points on the notepaper that is given to you. Hint: Concentrate on ideas and vocabulary rather than on forming sentences in your 1 minute of thinking time.  

A Typical Part 2 Question

(In the following example, note that “them” means, “him or her”.)

Describe a teacher who has greatly influenced you in your education.

           You should say:

                 where you met them

                         what subject they taught

                         what was special about them

           and explain why this person influenced you so much.  


    Part 3