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The IELTS Speaking Exam – Listening Lesson (B2-C1)

Are you preparing to take the IELTS speaking exam? Do you know what four aspects of your speaking are covered in the marking scheme, and how you could improve your performance for each of them?

In this free lesson from Oxford Online English, you will listen to examples of a candidate doing the three parts of the IELTS speaking exam, and consider what to practise for the four areas of the marking scheme.

The format of the exam

The IELTS speaking exam has three parts. In parts one and three, you answer the examiner’s questions, while in part two, you speak by yourself for up to two minutes. You will hear examples of all three parts in this lesson, and you can find out more on the IELTS website.

The format of this lesson

In this listening lesson, there are three parts — one for each part of the exam — and a total of 30 questions. In each part, you will hear five pairs of questions, each time focusing on a different aspect of the marking scheme. The first question in each pair illustrates a problem, while the second question shows how the issue could be resolved. Your job is to identify the problem and solution each time.

The marking criteria in the exam

The marking scheme covers fluency and coherence, lexical resource (which means vocabulary), grammatical range and accuracy, and pronunciation. You can see the IELTS marking scheme here. The tips in this lesson are for candidates who need band 7, which is a typical requirement for universities and professional organisations. If you are aiming for less than band 7, it is still useful to practise the ideas in this lesson. You’ll get one score for fluency and coherence, another score for pronunciation and so on. Your final total is an average of all four.

Preparation for this lesson

This lesson will help you recognise and address some common difficulties in the IELTS speaking exam, but it is not intended to be an introduction to the exam. If you haven’t yet seen our free video guides to the three parts of the IELTS speaking exam, click on the following links:

IELTS Speaking Exam Part One — video lesson
IELTS Speaking Exam Part Two — video lesson
IELTS Speaking Exam Part Three — video lesson

You can also see our free video demonstration of the full IELTS speaking exam here. The target score in this video is band 7.

When you’re ready, click Start Quiz in the three parts below, and listen carefully!

IELTS Speaking Exam Part One

In part one of the IELTS speaking exam, the examiner asks you questions about your life and experiences.

IELTS Speaking Exam Part Two

In part two of the IELTS speaking exam, you speak for one to two minutes by yourself. There is one minute of preparation time before you say your answer. Open the tab to see an example task.

Describe a celebration event that you attended.

You should say:

• What the celebration was for
• Where it took place
• What other people were there

And explain why you liked or disliked the event.


IELTS Speaking Exam Part Three

In part three of the IELTS speaking exam, you have a conversation with the examiner about issues that affect other people and society in general.

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