In this IELTS Speaking video, I talk about how the IELTS speaking test is scored and what test takers need for a Band 7+ score.
I go through each of the Public Band Descriptor categories (fluency and coherence, lexical resource, grammatical range and accuracy, pronunciation) and give an action step at the end for how candidates can use this information.
IELTS Speaking Scoring: The Details
Long story short, your score is the average of 4 categories
- Fluency and Coherence
- Lexical Resource
- Grammatical Range and Accuracy
(7 + 7 + 6 + 6)/4 = 6.5
Knowing what you need to do for a high score in each category can help you to focus on your weaknesses and improve your strengths
Next we’ll look at each category in more detail
Band 7+ Fluency & Coherence
- Can you speak fluently without too much effort?
- Do you repeat or self-correct only rarely?
- Can you develop your topic in a logical way that’s easy to follow (coherence)?
- Do you give full answers (rather than incomplete ones)?
- Can you produce more than just simple sentences?
Band 7+ Lexical Resource
- Do you have a wide range of vocabulary for various topics?
- Can you paraphrase effectively?
- Do you use collocations correctly often?
- Can you choose correct words most of the time?
- Can you use some less common words?
Band 7+ Grammatical Range and Accuracy
- Do you have a wide range of grammatical structures you can use?
- Are most of your sentences accurate?
- Are your errors “non-systemic”?
- Can you use both simple and complex structures effectively?
Band 7+ Pronunciation
- Can you be understood completely even with an accent?
- Do you use a wide range of pronunciation features?
- Correct sounds
- Natural Intonation changes
- Connected speech
- Idea groups
Record yourself doing an IELTS speaking test. Then, listen to the recording and score yourself using the public band descriptors. After that, answer the following questions:
- Where do you think you are right now?
- What do you need to do to improve?
Knowing the details of IELTS speaking scoring can make your path to a higher score easier. It won’t help you overnight, but identifying your weaknesses and improving on your strengths will certainly be helpful in the long run.