Speaking part tests your ability to produce spoken English in an academic environment. It also tests your ability to understand a variety of accents, both native and non-native.

Speaking (total time 30-35 minutes)

Task type Number of tasks Task description Skills assessed Prompt length Text/ Recording length
Read aloud 6-7 A text appears on screen. Read the text aloud. reading and speaking text up to 60 words varies by item, depending on the length of text
Repeat sentence 10-12 After listening to a recording of a sentence, repeat the sentence listening and speaking 3-9 seconds 15 seconds
Describe image 6-7 An image appears on screen. Describe the image in detail. speaking N/A 40 seconds
Re-tell lecture 3-4 After listening to or watching a lecture, re-tell the lecture in your own words. listening and speaking up to 90 seconds 40 seconds
Answer short question 10-12 After listening to a question, answer with a single word or a few words. listening and speaking 3-9 seconds 10 seconds

Each recording is played only once. You may take notes using the Erasable Noteboard Booklet and pen, and use these notes as a guide when answering the tasks.
Speaking task types are not timed individually. In this sections you can refer to the timer in the upper right-hand corner of the computer screen “Time Remaining” which counts down the time remaining for the Speaking section.


COMMUNICATIVE SKILLS Enabling skills and other traits scored
Read aloud
Each replacement, omission or insertion of a word counts as one error.
Maximum score: depends on the length of the task prompt.
Pronunciation and oral fluency.
  Repeat sentence
Errors = replacements, omissions and insertions only.
Hesitations, filled or unfilled pauses, leading or trailing material are ignored in the scoring of content.
3 All words in the response from the prompt in the correct sequence.
2 At least 50 percent of words in the response from the prompt in the correct sequence.
1 Less than 50 percent of words in the response from the prompt in the correct sequence.
0 Almost nothing from the prompt in the response.
Pronunciation and oral fluency.
  Describe image
 SPEAKING Content:(0-5)
Pronunciation and oral fluency.
  Re-tell lecture
Pronunciation and oral fluency.
Answer short question
1 Appropriate word choice in response.
0 Inappropriate word choice in response.


Describes all elements and their relationships, possible development,aspects and actions and conclusion or implications.
4 Describes all the key elements and their relations, referring to their implications or conclusions.
3 Deals with most key elements and refers to their implications or conclusions.
2 Deals with only one key element and refers to an implication or conclusion. Shows basic understanding of several core elements.
1 Describes some basic elements, but does not make clear their interrelations or implications.
0 Mentions some disjointed elements of the presentation.
5 Native-like
All vowels and consonants are produced in a manner that is easily understood by regular speakers of the language. The speaker uses assimilation and deletions appropriate to continuous speech. Stress is placed correctly in all words and sentence-level stress is fully appropriate.
4 Advanced
Vowels and consonants are pronounced clearly and unambiguously. A few minor consonant, vowel or stress distortions do not affect intelligibility. All words are easily understandable. A few consonants or consonant sequences may be distorted. Stress is placed correctly on all common words, and sentence level stress is reasonable.
3 Good
Most vowels and consonants are pronounced correctly. Some consistent errors might make a few words unclear. A few consonants in certain contexts may be regularly distorted, omitted or mispronounced. Stress-dependent vowel reduction may occur on a few words.
2 Intermediate
Some consonants and vowels are consistently mispronounced in a non-native-like manner. At least two-thirds of speech is intelligible, but listeners might need to adjust to the accent. Some consonants are regularly omitted, and consonant sequences may be simplified. Stress may be placed incorrectly on some words or be unclear.
1 Intrusive
Many consonants and vowels are mispronounced, resulting in a strong intrusive foreign accent. Listeners may have difficulty understanding about one-third of the words. Many consonants may be distorted or omitted. Consonant sequences may be non-English. Stress is placed in a non-English manner; unstressed words may be reduced or omitted, and a few syllables added or missed.
0 Non-English
Pronunciation seems completely characteristic of another language. Many consonants and vowels are mispronounced, misplaced or omitted. listeners may find more than half of the speech unintelligible. Stressed and unstressed syllables are realized in a non-English manner. Several words may have the wrong number of syllables.
5 Native-like
Speech shows smooth rhythm and phrasing. There are no hesitations. repetitions, false starts or non-native phonological simplifications.
4 Advanced
Speech has an acceptable rhythm with appropriate phrasing and word emphasis. There is no more than one hesitation. one repetition or false start. There are no Significant non-native phonological simplifications.
3 Good
Speech is at an acceptable speed but may be uneven. There may be more than one hesitation, but most words are spoken in continuous phrases. There are few repetitions or false starts. There are no long pauses and speech does not sound staccato.
2 Intermediate
Speech may be uneven or staccato. Speech (if more than 6 words) has at least one smooth three-word run, and no more than two or three hesitations, repetitions or false starts. There may be one long pause, but not two or more.
1 Limited
Speech has irregular phrasing or sentence rhythm. Poor phrasing, staccato or syllabic timing, and/or multiple hesitations, repetitions, and/or false starts make spoken performance notably uneven or discontinuous. Long utterances may have one or two long pauses and inappropriate sentence-level word emphasis.
0 Disfluent
Speech is slow and laboured with little discernable phrase grouping, multiple hesitations, pauses, false starts and/or major phonological simplifications. Most words are isolated, and there may be more than one long pause.