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The IELTS Speaking section assesses your use of spoken English and is the same for both the General Training and Academic test. 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 section takes between 11 and 14 minutes and consists of 3 parts. You will see the available Speaking test slots when you book your test, or you may contact your test center to find out when the Speaking test is held. After registration, you may confirm with your test center the date and time of your Speaking test.

How can I improve my speaking in IELTS?

In the IELTS Speaking test, it is easy for test takers to feel anxious, at a loss for words & consequently become unable to answer the question properly.

This is partly due to trying to think and speak at the same time. Sometimes, test takers try to think in their own language and translate their ideas into English at the same time, which is not recommended in an IELTS test.

By reading through our IELTS Speaking tips, you will be better prepared and more confident on your test day.

  • Tip 1: Don't memorise answers

  • Tip 2: Don't use big and unfamiliar words

  • Tip 3: Use a range of grammatical structures

  • Tip 4: Don't worry about your accent

  • Tip 5: Pause to think

  • Tip 6: Avoid using fillers

  • Tip 7: Extend your answers

  • Tip 8: Smiling helps pronunciation

  • Tip 9: Don't speak in a monotone

  • Tip 10: Practice common IELTS topics

As the saying goes, practice makes perfect, so with plenty of practice you will be well on your way to getting the band score you need in your IELTS Speaking test.

Is it OK to use idioms in IELTS Speaking?

Of course, you can! You are advised to use a wide range of vocabulary and show the examiner that you can use natural idiomatic language.

Here are some common idioms that can be used in IELTS Speaking but remember do not repeat them. IELTS examiners are listening for the variety of language and synonyms that you use. Focus on using a variety of language and synonyms.




Piece of cake


That puzzle is a piece of cake

A slap on the wrist

Light punishment

All he got was a slap on the wrist

Same boat

Same situation

We’re all in the same boat

Hold your horses


Hold your horses

On the ball

Doing great

You’re on the ball today

Can I use collocations in IELTS Speaking?

Yes, you should. Using collocations (words that go together regularly in English) in IELTS Speaking makes your English sound more authentic and can improve your score. Here are some examples:

  • Do an exam or take an exam (not make an exam)

  • Bright idea

  • Foot the bill

  • Strong criticism

  • Solve a problem

  • Highly successful

Practice should be a key part of your IELTS Speaking preparation. You need to show the IELTS examiner that you have the language skills to communicate clearly and naturally in English. You can always refer to our IELTS Prepare hub, which will help you to practise and be well on your way to getting the band score you need in your IELTS Speaking test

For more information, contact IDP IELTS or visit your local IDP office to book your IELTS test.