General Information about
the IELTS Speaking Test
1) About the Examiner
They can come from any country where English is spoken as a native language.
IELTS examiners are all professional teachers with advanced degrees. They understand the test is difficult. They will be patient with you, as far as time allows.
The examiner hopes you will do well. (It's much more interesting!)
They have received specific IELTS training to make sure they judge you fairly and honestly.
They might be tired on the day of the test, or they might be sick. Even though one examiner might seem unfriendly, your score should be the same in any case.
2) What will the examiner listen for?
Pronunciation - This is only important if it gets in the way of communication. Speak clearly and you will be all right.
Vocabulary - Some students try to improve their speaking score by using difficult words. However, using words incorrectly will LOWER your score! Avoid using difficult words or expressions unless you are sure of how to use them.
Sentence Structure - Using better sentences is the best way to improve your speaking score in a short time, because using better sentences is how we COMMUNICATE.
Fluency and Coherence - Of course fluency is very important but it is useless if you are not understood (if you are not "coherent"). You do NOT have to speak quickly, but too many hesitations are bad.
3) Your Score
If you cannot make good sentences, if you hesitate too much, if your speaking is not clear or if you use words incorrectly, you will be Band 4 or below.
To be Band 5, you can make mistakes and have hesitations, but you must make simple sentences easily and without mistakes.
To be Band 6, you must be able to use longer sentences with fewer hesitations. You need to use a variety of language. You can make some small mistakes if your meaning is still clear. Also, you should be able paraphrase.
To be Band 7, you should be able to do Part 2 with no problem. You must use a variety of sentences and connect the sentences well. You must correctly use difficult vocabulary. You can make very small mistakes if your meaning is clear. You should be able to paraphrase very well.
To be Band 8, you need a very wide vocabulary and the ability to speak fluently on any topic. You may make a few tiny errors, if those errors do not get in the way of communication.