IELTS examiner listening to exam taker talking during IELTS speaking exam

How Academic IELTS Exam is Assessed – Speaking Module

IELTS Speaking Marking

IELTS Speaking Module Assessment

How is the Academic IELTS Exam Speaking Module Assessed?

This article is for students preparing for the Academic IELTS test and want to know how the speaking part is assessed. This exam module aims to check students’ ability to communicate effectively in English.

English speaking skills are tested by certified examiners who are appointed by the IELTS exam centre and approved by the British Council.
The candidate’s speaking performance is assessed using detailed performance descriptions relating to the nine IELTS bands and using four different criteria: Fluency and Coherence, Lexical Resource, Grammatical Range and Accuracy and Pronunciation. All these criteria have equal weighting.


IELTS examiner listening to exam taker talking during IELTS speaking exam


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IELTS Speaking Assessment Criteria

Fluency and Coherence

This criterion assesses the capability of speaking with natural levels o continuity, rate and effort as well as the ability to link ideas and language together to compose coherent, connected speech. Speech continuity and rate present evidence of speaking fluency.
The coherence criterion considers logical sequencing of sentences, marking stages of discussion clearly, narration or argument as well as the use of cohesive devices (e.g. pronouns, connectors and conjunctions).


Lexical Resource

This criterion indicates the ability to use various words and to convey meanings and attitudes with precision. The lexical resource criterion relates to the range of vocabulary used, the adequacy and appropriacy of vocabulary used as well as the ability to use synonyms and overcome vocabulary gaps.


Grammatical Range and Accuracy

This component is related to the ability to use a range of grammar structures correctly and appropriately to the context. The length and complexity of sentences, the appropriate use of subordinate clauses and the range of grammatical items used are assessed by this criterion.
The grammatical accuracy refers to the frequency and number of grammatical mistakes and the communicative effect of grammatical errors.



This criterion aims to check the skill to use a range of phonological features with consistency and accuracy to express meaning. The clarity of sounds produced, the suitable use of rhythm, intonation and stress provide evidence of the pronunciation criterion. This criterion also looks into the degree of effort needed by the listener to understand what the candidate says.




Read more about Academic IELTS test preparation:
– About Academic IELTS Courses in London
– About IELTS Test
– About Academic IELTS Writing Module
– How to Sign up for IELTS Exam


Read more about English speaking improvement:
– 20 Tips to Improve Conversational English Skills
– 8 Ways to Improve The Way You Speak English






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