IELTS Speaking Criteria explained

IELTS Preparation

How is IELTS Speaking marked?

When it comes to speaking, IELTS examiners rely on 4 criteria to analyze and evaluate a candidate’s language capabilities. These include: Fluency & Coherence, Pronunciation, Lexical Resource and finally, Grammar range & accuracy. During the exam, IELTS examiner will make notes on most of these factors. It is the same examiner that gives you your final score. Let’s break each of these criteria down and talk about the most important things to keep in mind to achieve the highest score possible.

IELTS Criterion - Fluency
Pronunciation IELTS Criterion

1. Fluency & Coherence

The word fluency is quite a tricky one to define. It comes from the word “fluentia”, meaning “flow”. It is the property of a person or that delivers information quickly and with expertise. What this essentially means is that a candidate should speak freely, without noticeable hesitation, as well as rather quickly (we do speak rather fast in English!) Coherence is the quality of being logical and consistent. In other words, your answers have to make sense, be well-connected together and rather structured.

2. Pronunciation

Pronunciation is simply the way in which a word is pronounced or spoken out loud. In IELTS, however, this criterion includes much more than just pronouncing the words correctly: it also includes intonation, enunciation as well as overall clarity. To achieve a 7+, candidates must demonstrate the use of wide range of pronunciation features

Vocabulary icon
Grammar IELTS Criterion

3. Lexical Resource

Lexical resource, or simply, Vocabulary, also plays a major role. You must show the examiner that you can freely discuss multiple topics, your awareness of words’ meanings as well as style and finally, your ability to paraphrase and avoid repetition.

4. Grammar Range & Accuracy

No need to explain – grammar is vital aspect of any language, it is the glue that connects words into phrases, phrases into sentences, sentences into paragraphs. IELTS examiners pay close attention to candidates’ grammar range and accuracy. Having said that, they don’t explicitly ask direct grammar knowledge questions (how to make a sentence in Present Perfect?) It is your task to demonstrate your thorough grammar knowledge to the examiner.

For more IELTS tips and recommendations check out other articles.

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