Things an Examiner Looks for in the IELTS Speaking Test

Apr 03,2023

Things an Examiner Looks for in the IELTS Speaking Test

IELTS Speaking test is undeniably the most daunting task in the IELTS Exam. Speaking in an unfamiliar language on a random topic can be a nightmare for many of us. Most candidates achieve low band scores in the IELTS Speaking test part of the IELTS Test. This article will discuss the essential things an examiner is looking for in your answer.

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Overview of IELTS Speaking Test:

This module of the IELTS Exam assesses your English speaking skills in three main sections:

Part 1 – Introduction:

This section is more like a short introduction of yourself. Here the examiner will ask you a few questions about your hobbies, education, family, work, daily life, etc. It is usually 4-5 minutes long, and you must give short answers to the questions.

Part 2:

In part -2 of the speaking test, you will be given a topic on which you have to speak for about one minute. You will be given a pen and paper, and you will have one minute to prepare your answer. The examiner will ask you to start speaking and have to talk about the given topic for one minute without a break.


Part-3 is like a two-way discussion in which test takers are asked a few more questions connected to the Part-2 topic. These questions need a detailed explanation of your views on the given situation, and you must present clear ideas with real-life examples.

Must Read: 13 Best Tips to Improve Your IELTS Speaking Score

Skills an Examiner Looks for During the Speaking Session:

IELTS Speaking test is conducted by an experienced IELTS Examiner who has extensive teaching knowledge. With clearly defined speaking assessment criteria, these examiners can test your English speaking abilities without bias. Examiner assesses your speaking proficiency based on four factors: Fluency and coherence, Lexical resource, Grammatical Range and accuracy and pronunciation.

Examiner gives you a band score from 0 to 9 based on your performance in all three sections of the IELTS Speaking test. While the nine-band stands for outstanding performance, band four is considered as below average skills in Spoken English.


To score a band 7 or band 8 in your IELTS Speaking Test, you must maintain your fluency from the introduction part of the speaking test, which means the candidate:

  • Do not make long pauses to think of ideas
  • Give detailed answers to the question. Do not limit to yes/no answers
  • Speak without any hesitation and nervousness
  • Understand the question and develop complete responses in a short period.
  • They neither repeat words nor waste time searching for a replacement word. 


An examiner must be able to understand every word you say. No matter what accent you speak, the examiner must be able to get your point. Using fancy vocabulary and creative ideas will not help if your pronunciation is not up to the mark. Examiner looks for an effortless and natural accent.


Candidates must not limit themselves to common or repeatedly used words. There are thousands of words in the English dictionary. Although, it is impossible to know them all. You can try to learn different words and efficiently use them in your IELTS Speaking test. Good vocabulary range increases your chances of gaining more bands.

Grammatical Range and Accuracy:

Proper use of tenses and clauses in your answer will surely leave an outstanding impression on the examiner. An examiner generally looks for a wide range of grammatically correct structures. The candidate must maintain consistency while using various tenses and forms.

Besides this following factors also play a crucial role in improving your IELTS Speaking test score. 


Well-presented and structured ideas sound more realistic. Especially in the part-2 task of the IELTS Speaking test, where you’ve to present a situation or a scenario, a structured representation of your thoughts makes it easy for the examiner to understand your point of view.


An examiner always looks at your ideas and thoughts on a given topic. You must stick to the point and express your views on the situation. You may lose marks for irrelevant or off-the-track answers.

These skills may be simple and obvious in speaking. But, during the test, you may get nervous and fumble for words. Thus, it is a clever idea to work on your weaknesses before you appear for the IELTS Speaking test.

Top 5 Tips to Improve Your Band Score in IELTS Speaking Test:

  • Avoid using fillers in your answers. Instead, take a pause in between.
  • Do not keep your answer short. Extend your answer.
  • Ensure that you use a good balance of grammatical structures.
  • Don’t answer in a monotonous tone. Make the conversation exciting.
  • Do not try to imitate the accent of native English speakers.
  • Practice speaking in English with your friend or tutor.
  • Although it tests your vocabulary range, ensure you do not use fancy words.
  • Find sample practice tests and common topics asked in the Previous IELTS Speaking examination.

Follow: IELTS Preparation Tips: Determine Strengths and Weaknesses

An Important Strategy to Boost Your IELTS Speaking Score:

Most of the time, test takers hesitate when they make an error or forget a word in IELTS Speaking. This is when an examiner will judge you based on your reaction. 

If you get nervous or stop talking, the examiner will believe you lack the potential skills of a fluent speaker. The confident speaker will correct themselves immediately or move to the next word without hesitation. 

The best solution is to record yourself during the practice sessions and examine your recording for your performance. This approach will help you analyse your weak points and correct them before the IELTS test. Some of the experienced IELTS Coaching centers can also help you improve your fluency and pronunciation. 

End Note:

Our last piece of advice for you is not to lose your confidence, even if the topic is entirely new to you. Take a moment to think about the ideas and start speaking without any hesitation. An IELTS examiner wants you to present precise and clear statements to the specific question.

 We hope that you’ll get the IELTS Band Score with the above information. Read our blogs on IELTS Exam for more tips and strategies. All the best!

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Written By

Himani Dave

Himani Dave is an IELTS and PTE tutor with over three years of experience. She is a Cambridge and Pearson IT-certified tutor and has helped hundreds of students ace the exams and achieve their dream scores. With her friendly and approachable teaching style and a knack for making even the most difficult concepts easy to grasp, she is a rockstar among peers and students.


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