IELTS Speaking Part 1
The whole IELTS speaking test is around 13 or 14 minutes long. In part 1, there are 3 different topics and around 9 to 11 questions in total. Part 1 lasts for 5 minutes. Generally, these are topics such as Hometown, Work, Studies, Family, Hobbies, Daily routine and so on (see the picture below). It nearly always starts with questions about your studies or your job.
The main point here is to speak freely without hesitation. It is not a formal test, just speak naturally without memorising answers to specific topics. It is not necessary to give long detailed answers, just keep it simple with around 1 or 2 sentence replies.
Sometimes you may get a slightly unusual topic here though, such as Jeans, Hair, Perfume, Shoes, Smiling, Boats and so on. Take a look at the link below for ideas in case you get unusual topics in IELTS speaking part 1.
IELTS Speaking Part 2
This part of the test involves a specific topic on a card or prompt that is given by the examiner. In this case, there are no questions but you will ‘Describe’ and ‘Explain’ something and talk about the points on the card in a little more detail, you will be assessed on your fluency as well as grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. You have 1 minute to take notes and prepare then you must speak for 2 minutes. The examiner will tell you when to stop speaking. Here is an example task.
Click here for 9 difficult topics and ideas for IELTS Speaking part 2
Click here for IELTS Speaking Part 2: Useful technique for difficult topics
IELTS Speaking Part 3
Here you are asked around 4 or 5 questions by the examiner with various types of questions such as giving an opinion, comparing, predicting the future, talking about the past and talking about people in general. You will need to state an opinion, explain your opinion and give an example. The answers will be more detailed than in part 1 of the test.
This part of the speaking test tends to be the most difficult for students, also the topics in part 3 are connected to the topics in Part 2 of the speaking test.
The key to getting a good score in part 3 is to give longer more detailed answers, the main focus of this is to expand your answer with detail and an example, make sure you stay on the topic also. This part of the test needs a lot of practice to reach a good band level. Part 3 of the speaking test lasts about 5 minutes.
Do you need further practice with speaking? Click here for the IELTS speaking service
Example topics for IELTS Speaking part 3
Here is a 5 step system to practice for free.
Get your smartphone with a recording app.
Ask a friend to play the role of examiner asking the questions.
Record yourself answering the questions as if in the exam.
Playback the recording, make notes on weak areas that need to be improved
Do this regularly and you will see improvements.