The speaking test is an interview which assesses how well you can communicate in spoken English. It is a test of general speaking skills and is broadly the same for all candidates. The interview lasts for eleven to fourteen minutes and is in three main sections:
The first part is on familiar topics such as your work or study experience, your family or home culture and your interests or hobbies.
This is followed by a part where you are asked to talk on a particular topic for one to two minutes. You are given a card which states what you should talk about and you are given one minute to prepare. At the end of your one to two minutes the examiner may ask you one or two questions before moving on to the third part of the test.
The final part is an extension of the part 2 topic to a more abstract discussion of related issues.
You are assessed on your ability to communicate fluently, clearly (i.e. with clear pronunciation) and accurately using appropriate grammar and vocabulary. Your fluency is being assessed so it is important to say as much as you can as well as to speak spontaneously and not to learn what you are going to say. If the examiner thinks you are giving a prepared answer he or she will quickly change the question. Throughout the speaking test, the examiners will ask the questions and control the timing and the move from one part to another. The interview will be recorded. This is to make sure the interviewers and band scores are consistent in all IELTS centres.
The only way to improve your fluency is by getting a lot of practice in speaking. Be confident. Think about what you want to say. Of course you should try to get your English right, but do not worry too much about getting everything absolutely correct. The important thing is that you should speak and listen, that you should engage in an extended interview with the examiner and that you should enjoy using your English to communicate with an English speaker.
In the last few years, thanks to jobs becoming global, the importance of English has increased manifold. It has over the years become an important medium of communication, both at the international and intra-national levels. The importance of spoken English is even more, because there are many cases where one knows his subject well, but fails to communicate it properly. The practice of spoken English, therefore, is quite essential. Learning English in a country where it is not a native language, opens a number of opportunities for the individual. The language of the corporate world is English. An individual can make strides in the management ladder if he/she can speak English fluently. If your English is poor, even though with brilliant business ideas, you may still find yourself languishing at the bottom of the management ladder. Your productivity will drop over a period of time since you will find difficulty in expressing your brilliant ideas. Those who can speak good English will probably usurp your ideas and get the credit for all the hard work you did to get the idea working.
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