Student prepares for her IELTS speaking test with our IELTS videos

In this section, we will explain the IELTS Speaking test format as well as the four assessment criteria: vocabulary, grammar, fluency and pronunciation. You will find a video for each criteria.

IELTS Speaking: test format

Task Description Time
Interview Questions about familiar and everyday topics (work, daily activities, hobbies, etc.). 4-5 minutes
Presentation You will receive a card with a specific topic and you will have one minute to prepare your presentation, it will last a maximum of two minutes and then you will have to answer some questions about the topic. 5-7 minutes
Analytical discussion You will be asked further questions about your presentation where you can give your reasons and arguments. 4-5 minutes

IELTS Speaking: videos, tips and assesment criteria

In this section you will see our four videos about IELTS Speaking, we will explain the assesment criteria of this IELTS test component and we will share some tips to help you improve your vocabulary, grammar, fluency, coherence and pronunciation.


Your score will be based on the vocabulary you use during the test. The wider your vocabulary, the better your chances of getting a good score. Key factors that contribute to higher scores are:

  • appropriate and natural use of uncommon words in context
  • the ability to paraphrase (saying the same thing in different words) using a range of words and expressions to avoid repetition
  • accurate use of phrasal verbs, figurative language and idiomatic expressions
  • accurate use of collocations E.g. go shopping and not do shopping
  • making the right word choice for the right connotation E.g. slim conveys a positive meaning, whereas skinny may be used negatively

Check out our video and improve your vocabulary


This section assesses your accuracy and grammatical range when speaking. You may need to demonstrate you can use a good mix of various grammatical structures accurately like:

  • using a balanced combination of simple, compound and complex sentences
  • using a range of tenses including perfect, future forms and narratives
  • using  modals for different functions
  • using  referencing and connectors to link two or more ideas 
  • using subordinating and relative clauses
  • using comparative and superlative adjectives 
  • using active and passive voice appropriately 
  • using conditionals to speculate, talk about past events that cannot be changed or hypothetical (imaginary) events

Check out our video and improve your grammar

Fluency and coherence

You will be tested on your fluency and coherence when speaking in English. Key factors that contribute to higher scores in fluency and coherence are:

  • the ability to keep going and talking about the topic without much hesitation, repetition or self-correction
  • understanding the topic and producing logical ideas connected with it, while developing your points
  • using a range of linking words and other strategies used for presenting your ideas
  • self-correction should be done but limited in frequency
  • hesitation can be content related (looking for ideas) but language related hesitation should be minimised
  • avoiding the repetition of certain words or phrases, often used as ‘fillers’ for fluency e.g. like, you know, etc.

Check out our video and improve your fluency and coherence


The last criteria you will be assessed on will be your pronunciation. Various features of pronunciation include:

  • correct individual sounds (phonemes)
  • strong and weak sounds in sentences
  • stress - at word and sentence level
  • intonation - to convey the right emotion
  • linking sounds and contractions for fluency
  • chunking - combination of pause and stress, for emphasis

Check out our video and improve your pronunciation

Follow these tips and practise with our free IELTS practice tests in order to improve your IELTS score.

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