The IELTS Speaking Test takes the form of an interview with a specially trained IELTS examiner. The Speaking Test is done at a different time to the listening, reading and writing tests; sometimes it is in the afternoon, sometimes on a different day.
The IELTS Test Centre will inform you of your interview time and I STRONGLY suggest you arrive early. Apart from it being polite to be on time, if you arrive late, some test centres won’t allow you to take the test. In any case, if you’re late, it’s bad for you, the examiner and the other candidates.
I think it’s a good idea to arrive at the Test Centre at least half an hour before your interview time to give you enough time. Every test centre is different but one thing that is the same at EVERY centre is that your ID will be checked by administration staff. IELTS security is very thorough so please make sure you bring exactly the same ID as is on your application form or you will not be allowed to take the test.
After the ID check, you may be taken to a waiting room (someone will come to take you to your interview room just before the test) or asked to wait outside the interview room. Bear in mind that you may have to find the interview room yourself and that it may be on a different floor. Lifts/elevators are famous for being unreliable in educational institutes so leave plenty of time to allow for this.
When it is time for your interview, your IELTS Speaking Test interviewer will come out of the room and call your name. When you return to the room, the interviewer will show you where to sit and then when you are both seated, he/she will start recording everything from this point (don’t worry about the recording, it’s not to test YOU, it’s so that the IELTS board can monitor that all examiners are conducting their interviews correctly).
Once the recording has started, the examiner will verify your name and nationality and check your ID and then get straight into Part 1 of the test. The Speaking Test lasts between 11 and 14 minutes and consists of 3 parts. In part 1, you will answer questions on familiar topics e.g. your family, your hometown etc, in part 2, you must speak about a topic the examiner will give you for 1 – 2 minutes and in part 3, you will have a discussion with the examiner based on themes from part 2.
Just remember that the examiner wants you to perform to the best of your ability so don’t be waiting for ‘trick questions.’ There aren’t any!
Here’s to the best IELTS score possible!