IELTS Speaking Test Structure

by Kiwi


Duration: Between 11 and 14 minutes.
Format: The test consists of 3 parts. 
Note:The IELTS speaking test is the same for both IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training.

To start the test, the examiner will introduce him or herself, ask you to introduce yourself and confirm your identity. You can expect to hear:

  • Hello! My name is .... Can you tell me your full name, please?
  • What shall I call you?
  • Can you tell me where youÂ’'re from?
  • Can I see your identification, please?


Part 1. Introduction

In this part, which usually lasts 4-5 minutes, the examiner will ask you general questions on everyday familiar topics such as home, family, work, studies or interests.

Part 1

4-5 minutes

In this first part, I'd like to ask you some questions about yourself. So first of all let's talk about cities and town.

  • Whereabouts did you grow up?
  • What's the most famous place in your hometown?
  • Is there anything you don't like about your city?

Now, let's talk about your daily routines.

  • What part of your day do you like best?
  • What is the busiest part of the day for you?
  • When do you have free time?
  • What's your favourite way to relax?

Now, let's move on to talk about shopping.

  • Do you like shopping?
  • Who usually does the shopping in your home?
  • Do you have a regular time to go shopping?
  • What things do you usually buy when you go shopping?
  • Do you prefer shopping in small shops or big supermarkets and department stores?

Part 2. Individual long turn

You will be given a card which asks you to talk about a particular topic for about 2 minutes. Before speaking, you have one minute to think and prepare what you are going to say. Usually, the examiner will ask a quick question when you finish talking.

Part 2

3-4 minutes

OK, I’m now going to give you a topic and I’d like you to talk about that topic for one to two minutes. Before you start to talk, you’ll have one minute to think about what you’re going to say. You can make notes if you wish on this paper. Do you understand?

I'd like you to describe the oldest person you know.

Describe the oldest person you know.
You should say:

  • who this person is
  • how you know this person
  • what kind of person he or she is
and explain what you think about this person.

Follow-up question:

  • What do you like most about this person?

Part 3. Two-way discussion

You will be asked further questions connected to the topic in Part 2.

Part 3

4-5 minutes

OK, we've been talking about an old person and now I'd like to discuss with you one or two more general questions related to this.

  • What do people in your country do in their retirement years?
  • How have the lives of senior citizens in your country changed in recent years?
  • Would you like to stay with the elderly?
  • What changes do you think will take place in the future regarding seniors' lives in your country?
  • How do you think modern technology has affected senior citizens in your country today?

Thank you. That is the end of the speaking test.

Related articles:

How are IELTS speaking band scores evaluated?

More to come...Stay tuned! 
If you have anything (lessons, tips, answers, questions... related IELTS exams) that you would like to share with other learners, please feel free to email your articles to

Download IESpeaking App