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IELTS Speaking criteria

March 5, 2017, 7:22 pm

There are also four criteria for Speaking. Unlike Writing, where the tasks are rated separately, there is only one score given for the candidate’s whole Speaking test. In brief, the criteria are:

IELTS Speaking criteria

There are also four criteria for Speaking. Unlike Writing, where the tasks are rated separately, there is only one score given for the candidate’s whole Speaking test.

In brief, the criteria are:

1 Fluency and Coherence [The ability to keep speaking; accurate use of linkers; sound logic]

2 Lexical Resource (Vocabulary)

3 Grammatical Range and Accuracy (Grammar)

4 Pronunciation

IELTS Speaking criteria


You can see that there’s no Task Fulfilment criterion. This means the examiner doesn’t

judge the content of the candidate’s answers – the candidate can say pretty much anything he or she likes. If you want to say your mother’s an astronaut on the International Space Station and your father’s Bill Gates’ best mate, that’s fine, as long as your English is correct.

Like Writing, each criterion is worth 25%.

Generally, candidates still find Vocabulary problematic. Fluency is also a challenge because it’s possible the candidate has never spoken for so long in English. Also, almost no teachers or textbooks focus on Fluency. (Is it anywhere in the Table of Contents of your best mate’s IELTS book?) Depending on what your first language is, pronunciation may be difficult. If you’re German, it’s not so hard; if you’re Vietnamese, it’s hell. Let’s say you’re from Ho Chi Minh City, and you want permanent residence in Australia. Currently, the Department of Immi- gration requires a Seven as a minimum for Speaking to get any points towards residence.