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Skip to 0 minutes and 1 secondHi everyone, and welcome back. So, how was the quiz? For those questions, you have learned a bit more about the test and how it is structured. Now we would like to talk about how your IELTS speaking test is assessed. What does it mean to get a band six, a seven, or even an eight? How do the examiners come up with the final mark? For this, we need to look at the IELTS Public Band Descriptors, which you can download through the link below. But before you look at these band descriptors in detail, it is important for you to understand what they were written for, which is for language and teaching specialists, so let us explain them to you.

Skip to 0 minutes and 44 secondsYour IELTS speaking test is assessed by a qualified examiner, using four specific categories, fluency and coherence, lexical resource, grammatical range and accuracy, and pronunciation. The examiner gives you a score of one to nine for each category, and your final score is an average of these. For fluency, the examiner will look at your rate of speech. How fast or slowly do you speak? Can you speak continuously without effort, or do you stop speaking frequently when you try to think about what to say next? Your aim is to speak at a relaxed, natural pace, not speaking too quickly, because that is not going to impress the examiner.

Skip to 1 minute and 31 secondsYou should also try to speak continuously with as few pauses as possible and to avoid long silences and repetition. For coherence, you are assessed on how logically you organize your ideas. Are you using signposts, like firstly or secondly, to mark each stage? What sort of cohesive devices or linking words do you use to move from one idea to the next? Your aim is to organize what you say clearly and logically, and we will show you the language that you need in order to do this well. The second criterion, lexical resource, refers to vocabulary. You will score well in this category if you use a variety of vocabulary appropriately and accurately.

Skip to 2 minutes and 18 secondsFor a good score, you should not repeat the same words. You should look for new words and synonyms to make your vocabulary more interesting. The third criterion is grammatical range and accuracy and, as its name suggests, this considers the kind of grammar you use when speaking. The examiner will look at how long, complex, and varied your sentences are. Are all your sentences short, or do you shift appropriately between simple and complex sentences, and how many grammatical mistakes do you make?

Skip to 2 minutes and 55 secondsAnd the final criterion is pronunciation. For this part, you will be assessed based on how easy it is to understand you, how you use different pronunciation features to convey meaning, and how your own language influences your speech in English. This means that, as you speak, the examiner is considering all these four aspects of your speech. That sounds like a difficult job. Well, it is, but the examiners are well-trained to do this and they are regularly re-trained and audited to make sure that their assessments and scores are fair to all candidates, so you should not be worried about this. So let's learn more about the public band descriptors with the next quiz.

How is your IELTS Speaking Test assessed?

In the next step, we have prepared some simple questions to help you better understand the public band descriptors and the differences between the bands. This helps you identity and reflect on areas to improve.

Download and refer to the Public Band Descriptors as you answer the questions.


Before you take the quiz, consider the four different criteria in the Public Band Descriptors. What are your strengths and weaknesses across these four criteria? Why?

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Improve your IELTS Speaking score

Macquarie University