The IELTS Speaking Guide with Marking Criteria

The IELTS speaking test is excellent training and skill for the IELTS exam and a real transferable skill to take further in your life. In this lesson, we will be a walkthrough of the IELTS Speaking Guide with Marking Criteria to know what is expected of you and what the examiner will be looking for to achieve a high score!

People often get scared of the speaking test because it entails talking with a real person. Whether it’s the IELTS examiner, manager or the admissions team for the University – you want to make a great impression, which we will cover in this blog.

Where is Your Destination?

Planning your dream trip is crucial because most applications require a formal interview, whether you want to get that dream job, University, or destination.

Most applications require a formal interview. Many people hate interviews; they often see it in the wrong way. Interviews are a way to express yourself, meet people, and build connections. It is the most relaxed part of the test. It is the time for the examiner, your manager, or your hiring body to get to know you. They want to hear about your life, profession, dreams, and opinions. They want to see if you can express yourself and make a connection. The IELTS speaking exam or any formal interview or public speaking will not be an issue if you are confident and prepared.

Three Parts of the IELTS Speaking Section

Task one is Introduction.

You will be doing a noticeably brief introduction with an IELTS examiner; Hi, what is your name, how did you get there, and a very informal part of the speaking test. It focuses on your ability to communicate essential opinions and information on everyday topics. 

Task two is 2-minute cue-card improvisation. 

They test your ability to speak at length on a topic, use appropriate language, and organise your ideas coherently. The examiner will give you a cue card, a subject, and a few little pointers on what they would like you to include. This section requires you to speak for up to two minutes. You get one minute to prepare, and then they will expect you to talk for up to two minutes on that topic. You need to prepare, research, and understudy what you enjoy, which makes studying a lot easier.

Task three extends task two…

You will be asked more significant questions relating to that topic; they want you to go into a little more detail but surround the same issue you have previously discussed in section 2. This stage is a little more elaborate and complex; it focuses on drawing your own experiences to give your opinion. They might ask you about the environment or how much we use technology nowadays.

Speaking Ability Grading

They grade you based on understanding and responding to a question, organising and linking your ideas, vocabulary, and grammar while speaking on different topics. For instance, if you are having a conversation with somebody, they can respond to you and understand what you asked about that question? Then you are already halfway there, and you are having a conversation. They want to know how you organise or link your ideas to make a structured argument. They also want to see how you have a chat and talk about complex topics and if you’re able to express your opinion. They are interested in vocabulary and grammar when speaking on different topics.

What are the Marking Criteria?

 Let us look at what the actual examiners used to mark you to set achievable and manageable targets, so there are four criteria for the speaking exam:


They will be checking if you are fluent, easy to understand and converse without too many breaks or pauses.

Grammatical Range and Accuracy:

The examiners will be testing if you use the correct tenses at the right time. Ask yourself, what kind of grammatical devices do you use? How many tenses do you use? How do I know which tense to use?


People get apprehensive about pronunciation and worry that they don’t have a British accent. For pronunciation, they want to see that you are understandable. They are not expecting you to have a British accent; they embrace diversity; and what you bring when you use the English language.

Lexical Resource:

Do you have an expensive enough vocabulary to discuss the range of topics that might appear in the Speaking test? Essentially, this is checking your range of words, phrases and idioms. To prepare for this, use a dictionary and use our handy guides to build up your library of adjectives, synonyms, collocations and more.

Your IELTS Speaking Study Plan

Lesson 1 – First, you’ve read this post to be familiar with the Speaking Exam and what to expect. If you want a summary and guidebook to all the other posts attached to this training, come back to this post.

Lesson 2 – Part 1

Lesson 3 – Part 2

Lesson 4 – Part 3

Need More Help?

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to leave a comment below, and we’ll get back to you.

 If you would like to read more on the IELTS Speaking Marking Criteria, please visit the British Council Website for further details. Please, check out our Intensive Courses for live tutoring,  which guarantees results or your money back!

Good luck and I’ll see you in the next class!

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