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How to Master Time Management for the IELTS Speaking Test?

Time Management in IELTS Speaking Test

The IELTS Speaking Test pattern is same for both the IELTS Academic and the IELTS General Training tests. The test takes 11 to 14 minutes to complete, and it is conducted like a face-to-face interview. In the IELTS Speaking Test, you have to talk to an ‘IELTS Certified Examiner’. The test is carried out in three parts:

IELTS Speaking Test Part 1:

ielts speaking test time management

ielts speaking test time management

In this part, you would have to answer questions asked by the examiner on your daily life. The test is carried out for 4 minutes in maximum. Within the short period of time, the examiner asks 3 sets of questions based on day-to-day topics. As a whole, 12 questions in total would be asked in part 1 of the ‘Speaking Test’. You would have to answer in fluent English in brief and well-composed sentences, maintaining good grammatical skill and using a wide range of suitable vocabulary. You would have to be careful about the time because the examiner would note the time consumed by you for each answer. Answer of no questions is desired to be longer than a few sentences but not as short as 2 or 3 words in length.

Example:- Do you have a strong family bonding?
Ans.: Yes, Madam. Yes, Madam, we have a very good family bonding. So much so that we dine together, even on the working days. ***This is neither a short answer nor a big one as well; it is a perfect sample of the exact answer. Don’t give a negative answer like No madam, we don’t have a family bonding, we don’t care for each other at all….(Even if that is the hard truth).

This part of the test is undoubtedly the easiest of all parts of the tests. You just don’t need to show off or talk too much; thus managing time is not very tough in this case at least.

IELTS Speaking Test Part 2:

In this part, you will get one minute to prepare your answer, and then you would be allowed to talk about 2 minutes on the topic given on the cue card. Usually, the topics are Places/ People/Events or your Personal Experience. Your key skill of speaking spontaneously in a fluent and well composed English for at least two minutes. If you don’t be able to speak fluently you would be penalized.

Here time management is a crucial factor. During the preparing phase, you have to learn ‘How to use the one-minute thinking/ preparation time’ and then answering in ‘Not less than 2 minutes’. The examiner will notice the coherence in your answer. You would be penalized if you fail to deliver a coherent/well-composed answer and the examiner fails to get your idea clearly. So, for answering in a coherent and compact way in a restricted time period, your time management would lead you to success.

Therefore, you have to master the art of answering in 2 minutes. It’s not that during the test you look at your wrist watch and seeing that ‘2 minute’ is over, you stop answering. You have to complete your full answer in 2 minutes; a few seconds more or less would not matter, but you are not allowed to keep talking till the examiner asks you to stop, resulting in an incomplete answer and getting penalized.

IELTS Speaking Test Part 3:

In this part, the examiner would ask you 4 to 5 in depth questions on the topic of part 2. The examiner’s aim would be checking your ability to present an opinion or express your view. Your efficiency to speculate or compare/contrast situations would be put to the test including your fluency, vocabulary, and depth of knowledge in English. You would be allowed to talk for approximately 4 minutes.

The part 3 of the speaking test is a bit tough compared to the other two parts. If you are not prepared properly about what type of questions you might get and how to answer all of them fluently and comprehensively by managing time, you will land up in trouble. This part is specially designed to gauze a candidate’s grip over the language and skill of answering questions without getting out-witted.

As fluency and an instant answer is expected from you, you have to master on ‘Speaking Strategy’ while preparing yourself. Mastering the speaking strategy also needs to master managing time. If you get stuck at any point, you have to ‘buy time’ to avoid fumbling. For buying time like an expert speaker, you have to use the gap fillers like:- well…, actually…., what happens is or you can call it… This gap fillers are of extreme importance. These would save your face if you know how to apply and when to apply them properly; otherwise, the person you are talking to (here the examiner) would think that you are weak in English, and that is why you are fumbling and searching for appropriate words.

For scoring high in the IELTS test, you have to have adequate and applicable ‘vocabulary’. These would be extremely useful when you are giving opinions like:- I think.., from my point of view…. or talking about likes/dislikes, providing examples, drawing comparisons or contrasts, etc. In all such cases consciously or sub-consciously you are managing time. Interestingly enough, if you don’t know the answer to a question asked by the examiner out of his mind, you wouldn’t get penalized for that. Example: What is the population of your city? Or, How many buses ply on your city?. You might or might not know the answer, no problem.

But, if you say Shakespeare is your favorite author and fail to name a play of Shakespeare, you will get penalized for sure.

Originally posted 2017-09-12 13:15:23.

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