Many find the day of their IELTS Speaking test nerve-wracking. Knowing the process can help calm those nerves and increase your chances of a successful outcome.
Read on to find out more…
Before The Test
Your Speaking test might take place on a different day to the rest of the test. You will need to check with your IELTS centre to see when your test will take place.
You should know that your test will take place face-to-face with a real human.
The IELTS partners consider face-to-face interaction with a real person a unique selling point of the test. You will never have to talk to or through a computer.
Prepare What You Will Take With You
Once you know the date, you need to plan what you will take with you.
Test centres pay a lot of attention to security. When you arrive, test day staff will take any baggage or possessions off you – including your phone, and watch. They might even weigh your spectacles if they look like they contain electronics.
If you would feel nervous about leaving valuables in the care of IELTS staff, leave them at home or take cheaper versions with you.
Apart from yourself, you can only take a bottle of water into the exam room. If you feel you might need a drink, buy a bottle with an easy-to-remove label, anything which contains words cannot enter the room.
Once the IELTS staff have processed your valuables, they will take you to a waiting area.
Keep Your Fingers Clean
Just before your test, the test day staff will check your fingerprint on an electronic sensor. If you have soaked your hand in water, or have a plaster over your finger, the IELTS team might have trouble processing you.
Once they have proven your identity, they will take you to a seat outside the examiner’s room.
Just stay seated until the examiner comes to fetch you. The examiners have a lot of paperwork to process and will get you when ready!
During The Test
When the examiner is ready, he will come and get you. He may want to check your name or candidate number before you enter the room.
When you enter the room, you will see a table with two chairs; you should sit at the side of the table without any paperwork.
You may notice two video cameras on either side of you. Embassies, universities and companies may use the recordings to check that you took the test yourself.
Before the test can start, the examiner must make a short recording with your name and candidate number, as well as his name.
Once he has done that, he will say “Good afternoon…”, from that moment the clock has started ticking.
How To Win More Speaking Time
First, the examiner will ask your full name and check your identification. Having your passport ready and on the correct page will help things to move faster and give you more speaking time.
After checking your ID, the examiner will move to the first set of assessed questions.
The Three Parts Of The Test
The IELTS Speaking test contains three sections, and all follow a strict time limit. In total, you will speak for between 11-14 minutes.
Failing to prepare for the test is the main reason a native speaker achieves an average of Band 7.5.
You can find out more about the types of question you will get, and how to answer them, on my video course.
After The IELTS Speaking Test
The test ends when the examiner says, ‘Thank you very much, that is the end of the Speaking test”.
Say your farewells and exit the room. Handshaking and long goodbyes are unnecessary.
Once you have left the room, the examiner will end the recording and give you a score by checking your performance against the descriptors.
The grading process does not end here. Several situations could cause another examiner to listen to the recording and adjust your score – for example, if you appeal.
As a result, the examiner will not tell you the score he has given you. You will have to wait two weeks and will access your results online.
For now, you can go home or to a restaurant and reward yourself for a job well done!