How the IELTS speaking test is scored

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How the IELTS speaking test is scoredOn this page, we will look at how the IELTS speaking test is scored. The examiner is looking for you to demonstrate ability in four areas in your speaking test, with each ability being rated from 0 to 9. Your total score for speaking is the average of these 4 scores. The 4 criteria are:

  • Fluency and Coherence
  • Lexical Resource
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy
  • Pronunciation

Now let’s look at each part of how the IELTS speaking test is scored in more detail:

First, Fluency and Coherence

  • Can you keep speaking at normal speed, without noticeable pauses?
  • Are your ideas relevant and connected?

Lexical Resource (this just means ‘vocabulary’)

  • Can you use a range of vocabulary?
  • Are you able to express yourself even if you do not have all the vocabulary you need?

Grammatical Range and Accuracy

  • Can you use a variety of grammar structures?
  • Can you use more complex grammar?

Pronunciation

  • Is your speech clear and easy to understand?
  • Does your native language interfere with your meaning?
  • Can you show how you feel through the sound of your voice (bored, interested, excited etc – this is ‘intonation’)

Each of these 4 criteria are graded for the speaking test as a whole – you are not marked with a different score for Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 separately.



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