Yesterday we looked at how IELTS Writing scores are calculated. Today it’s the turn of IELTS Speaking scores.
The first thing you may notice is a close resemblance between the codes used for IELTS Writing and IELTS Speaking scores. We’ve met LR and GRA before, haven’t we? FC looks familiar: maybe it’s a cousin of CC. But P? Where did he spring from?
If you’re serious about improving your IELTS Speaking score, you’ll want to match your speaking style to the four assessment criteria. Let’s look at each of them in turn and how they might influence your way of speaking.
However, remember that the IELTS exam certificate will NOT tell you the individual scores for each of the four criteria. Only my IELTS Speaking practice test with feedback will tell you that.
FC = Fluency and Coherence
Fluency and Coherence is similar to Cohesion and Coherence, which we encountered before. In IELTS Speaking, however, it’s a measure of how well you can keep talking and be understood, including:
- Do you avoid silence or hesitation?
- Do you speak at length on each topic?
- Do you use words to connect your ideas?
LR = Lexical Resource
Lexical Resource refers to your use of vocabulary, including:
- Do you use a wide range of vocabulary?
- Do you use idioms and collocation common to spoken English?
- Do you paraphrase to avoid repetition?
GRA = Grammatical Range and Accuracy
This refers to your skill with English grammar, including
- Do you speak in complex sentences?
- Do you use a variety of grammatical forms?
- Do you avoid too many grammatical mistakes?
P = Pronunciation
Pronunciation is naturally part of the IELTS Speaking assessment, including:
- Do you pronounce words accurately?
- Do you join sounds together?
- Do you vary intonation?
There’s no quick fix to improve your English vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation: all of these require hard work and practice over months and years. A more immediate way to improve your IELTS Speaking score is to learn fluency techniques, including spoken English phrases, collocations, and emergency language for use when things go wrong. A good teacher can coach you in speaking techniques for better fluency.
How IELTS Speaking scores are calculated
The examiner gives you a score for each of the criteria based on your performance throughout the test, in particular Parts 2 and 3. There are no individual scores for each part of the speaking test.
The criteria are equally weighted so that each is worth 25% of your IELTS Speaking score. The scores for each criteria are added together and divided by four to give an average, which becomes your overall score. Scores of .25 and .75 are rounded up. For example, 7+7+7+6 = 6.75 is rounded up to 7.0 overall.
How to find out your IELTS Speaking score
Obviously you can take the IELTS test, but your results will take 13 days to arrive and will only show your overall score for each module. You will not find out your scores for the four assessment criteria in IELTS Speaking this way.
To get a more detailed breakdown of your IELTS Speaking score, take my practice test with feedback. It takes only 15 minutes to practice the test on Skype. This is immediately followed by another 15 minutes of coaching, during which we will look together at your scores in the four assessment criteria.
My practice test will give you a much better idea of where you need to target your efforts in order to improve your IELTS Speaking score. Is it your vocabulary? Are you making too many mistakes? Or is your pronunciation letting you down? Get the answers now»
This article was produced by IELTS Academic, bringing you strategies for success in the IELTS test and supporting your dream of work or study abroad. Search for more articles below or take an online practice test.