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What do you need to do in the Speaking test?

Watch this conversation from Cambridge English in which Nuria, a learner of English, discusses the IELTS Speaking test from Gad Lim and Jill Cosh.
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This is Jill Cosh, who used to be a university lecturer in English, and also a teacher/trainer of English language teachers. Now, she’s a consultant to Cambridge English Language Assessment and together with Gad, they will try to answer my IELTS Speaking questions. So Jill, can you please remind me how this speaking test works? There are three parts, aren’t there? Yes, there’s three parts. And overall, the test lasts between eleven and fourteen minutes. And you will be in a room just with the examiner and the test will be recorded. And let’s start with Part 1. What happens there? In Part 1, you’ll be asked a series of questions about familiar topics, things like routines, hobbies, your likes and dislikes.
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And Part 1 lasts four to five minutes. So it’s really just to get you settled in and comfortable speaking with the examiner. Yeah, I see. So what about Part 2? Well, Part 2 is when you speak on your own. So you’ll be given a booklet, and it has a topic in it, and they’ll be some suggestions about what you might like to speak about. And you are given one minute to prepare, and you can write some notes if you want in that one minute. Yeah. And at the end of the two minutes, the examiner may ask you a follow-up question. Should I keep speaking for the two full minutes?
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What happen if I run out of ideas of what to say? So you definitely should try to keep going as long as you can. And if you run out, don’t worry about it because the examiner will try to help you along. So just keep speaking. At some point the examiner will stop you, and that’s all right. Perfect. You might find it helpful to practise with a timer and some topics. Practise speaking for two minutes so you get an idea of the length of time. You could also practise, too, making notes, finding which notes help you to remember ideas while you’re talking. So what about Part 3? What happen there?
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In Part 3, it’s also like Part 1, about four to five minutes, but this time you’ll be answering questions of the more general nature, but on the same topic as you discussed in Part 2. All right. So that’s a good thing, right? Yes. Because you already started thinking about that particular topic, and you’re using the words from that particular topic. So you’re all set for Part 3. One thing as well I’m worried about is that, especially when I’m nervous, I might not understand what the examiner wants to ask me. And also sometimes I hesitate about what to say. What can I do if this happens?
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Well, if you’re not so sure of what the examiner asks, then you can always ask the examiner to repeat the question. And they will do that, so don’t worry about that. OK, great. You might also find it helpful to prepare some phrases just to give yourself a little time to think. You could say things like, that’s a really interesting question. I’ve never thought about that. Or let me think. Yeah, okay that’s a good thing. And it buys you some time. Yeah. Perfect. Thank you very much.
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