Life skill A1 Test

Speaking Skills

The IELTS speaking test is the same for both academic and general training candidates. You are assessed by an IELTS examiner in a one-to-one interview which lasts 11-14 minutes. It is divided into three parts. 

Part one: You are asked some questions about either your home, hometown, study or work, and then questions around two other topics randomly chosen by the examiner. These could be about things such as holidays, the weather, visiting museums, reading, fashion, travelling etc.

Part Two: You have to speak for two minutes on a topic the examiner gives you. For example, you could talk on a teacher you liked, a dinner party you attended, or a favourite place to visit. You are given a pencil and paper and given one minute to prepare your talk.

Part Three:  You have a discussion with the examiner around more complex topics related to your part two talk. So for example if you spoke about a teacher you liked in part two, part three could be questions about the educational system in your country and more generally.+


The listening module lasts 40 minutes – 30 minutes listening and 10 minutes to add your answers to an answer sheet. There are 4 sections, each one getting more difficult.

Section One: 

A conversation between two people in a social situation. 

Section Two: 

A speech in a formal situation, such as at work or college. 

Section Three:

A conversation between two or three people, perhaps a discussion between a tutor and two students. 

Section Four:

A lecture or talk by one person.

Instructions to candidates

In the actual test you will be given the following instructions:

  • do not open this question paper until you are told to do so
  • write your name and candidate number in the spaces at the top of the page
  • read the instructions for each part of the paper carefully
  • answer all the questions
  • write your answers on the answer sheet; use a pencil
  • you must complete the answer sheet within the time limit

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