The IELTS Speaking is the same for both General Training and Academic and assesses your use of spoken English. All speaking tests are conducted face-to-face with a certified IELTS examiner and are recorded in case they need to be reviewed.
The Speaking test takes between 11 and 14 minutes and consists of 3 parts. Part 1 is the first part of the test where the examiner will ask you some general questions about familiar topics like work, family, studies and hobbies.
In Part 2 you will be given a card with a topic. You will be given one minute to take notes on the topic and will be given a pencil and paper to prepare your response. You will then speak on the topic for two minutes. In Part 3 of the interview, you will have a two-way discussion with the examiner where they will ask questions related to the topic discussed in Part 2.
The Speaking test may be conducted on the same day as the other tests or a week before or after the other test parts.
Smiling can help you feel relaxed which in turn might help you perform better. However, if you smile or laugh too much, it might not be appropriate for the topic you are discussing. Every examiner is trained and monitored closely to be fair to every candidate and to assess your level of English. The examiners will not give you more or fewer marks if you are smiling and laughing. It is best to try and relax as much as you can and communicate in a natural way.