IELTS Speaking Section in the UAE: Effective Strategies for Speaking Confidently




When it comes to comprehensive language assessment, the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam is one of the most renowned and globally recognized tests. One of the key sections in the IELTS exam is the speaking section, which gives students a chance to demonstrate their abilities in communicating verbally with fluency and confidence. In the UAE, the IELTS Speaking Section in the UAE plays a critical role in evaluating students’ skills in English language and their ability to use it effectively and efficiently in everyday and academic situations. 

The difference between the IELTS General Training Speaking test and the Academic Speaking test:

The IELTS Speaking Section in the UAE includes two different types: General Training Speaking and Academic Speaking. Here is the difference between them:

General Training Speaking:

  • Objective: Aims to assess the candidate’s ability to communicate in everyday and general situations.
  • Target audience: Targets test takers who want to migrate or work in English-speaking countries, or students who want to pursue secondary education or vocational training.
  • Topics: Topics relate to daily life, such as family, work, travel, shopping, sports, culture, hobbies, personal events.
  • Instructions: The candidate is directed to answer questions and comprehend the conversation in general terms.

Academic Speaking:

  • Objective: Aims to assess the candidate’s ability to communicate in an academic and university environment.
  • Target audience: Targets test takers who want to enroll in universities or academic institutions or obtain a study visa.
  • Topics: Topics relate to education, academic research, science, technology, culture, arts, history, politics, sociology.
  • Instructions: The candidate is directed to answer questions and comprehend the conversation in an academic and practical manner.

Candidates need to be aware of the differences in General Training and Academic speaking and practice each one separately. Regardless of the type, candidates are evaluated in the Speaking section based on their verbal communication abilities, responsiveness to questions, use of the English language accurately and proficiently, organization of ideas and logical coherent presentation.

The General Speaking Test:

The general speaking test in IELTS aims to assess the candidate’s ability to communicate fluently and effectively in everyday situations. The test consists of three parts according to the following criteria:

Part One: Introduction & Interview

In this part, general questions are asked to the candidate about personal and common topics. These questions are simple and designed to get to know the candidate and encourage them to speak confidently and clearly.

Part Two: Individual Long Turn

In this part, the candidate is provided with a topic to speak about and discuss for two minutes. The candidate is given three minutes to prepare before starting the conversation. This part requires the candidate to be able to organize their ideas and present them in a logical and cohesive manner.

Part Three: Discussion

In this part, the examiner converses with the candidate in a two-way discussion about the topic introduced in Part Two. The candidate’s ability to participate in an enlightened discussion, steer the conversation, and express an opinion in an evidence-based and logical way is evaluated.

These three parts aim to assess the candidate’s skills in verbal communication, organization, linguistic understanding, use of vocabulary and proper pronunciation, expressing opinions, and participating in a meaningful discussion.

It is best for the candidate to practice speaking English regularly and participate in general conversations, listen to audio materials, watch English language programs and movies. Specialized IELTS review resources and practice with oral exam questions can also help prepare well for the IELTS Speaking Section in the UAE.

The Academic Speaking Test:

The academic module in the IELTS Speaking Section in the UAE aims to assess the candidate’s ability to communicate in an academic and university environment. The candidate is evaluated on a specific set of skills and capabilities required for effective communication in an academic setting. Here is some information about the academic speaking test:

Test Objective: The test aims to determine the candidate’s ability to communicate in an academic environment in fluent English. This includes the ability to participate in classroom discussions, deliver presentations and reports, and engage in academic research activities.

Test Structure: The academic speaking section consists of three main parts:

  • Introduction & Orientation: The candidate is directed to have a discussion with the examiner on specific academic topics.
  • Individual Task: An academic topic is presented to the candidate and they are required to prepare a discussion, review perspectives, provide examples and evidence to support them.
  • Joint Task: The candidate and examiner have to work together to discuss a particular academic topic, exchange views, information, and provide examples.

Test Topics: Academic test topics vary greatly and cover a wide range of academic fields such as science, technology, arts, history, culture, education, politics, sociology. Candidates may receive specific or general topics to analyze and discuss.

Performance Evaluation: The examiner evaluates the candidate’s performance based on several criteria, including listening and comprehension skills, oral expression, use of vocabulary and academic terms, organization of ideas and logical coherent presentation, and appropriate interaction with the examiner.

Proper preparation and regular practice of academic speaking skills can help achieve better results on this test. You can improve your abilities by regularly practicing academic conversations, increasing your academic vocabulary and expressions, and developing analysis and critical thinking skills. Additionally, you can make use of reliable educational resources and websites that provide academic speaking examples and exercises. You should be able to deal with academic topics confidently and present specific viewpoints, recall examples and details to support your perspectives. You should also practice active listening and interacting appropriately with the examiner.

Here is the translation to English:

What about the excelling Oral Questions for IELTS?

In the IELTS Speaking Section in the UAE, candidates are asked a variety of oral questions. These questions aim to assess the candidate’s ability to express opinions and communicate effectively. Here are some common examples of the types of questions you may encounter:

Questions about personality and hobbies:

– Do you prefer reading or watching movies? Why?

– Do you practice any hobbies? What are the benefits of practicing them? 

– Do you like traveling? What is your favorite travel destination?

IELTS questions about education and work:

– What is your university major? Why did you choose it?

– Do you prefer working in a team or working individually? Why?

– Do you have any plans for future education or professional development?

Questions about society and social issues: 

– What is your opinion on the government’s role in developing infrastructure?

– What is the most important factor in choosing friends?

– How can the environment be better protected in our community?

Questions about trips and tourism:

– Have you visited any famous tourist sites? What did you gain from this visit?

– What is the importance of tourism in boosting the local economy? 

– Do you prefer traveling by plane or other means of transportation? Why?


These are just a few examples of questions you may encounter in the IELTS Speaking Section in the UAE. It is best to practice responding to a variety of questions so that you can express your opinions and ideas clearly and coherently. can help you to improve speaking section. 

Tips for excelling in Oral Question for IELTS Test:

– Practice daily English conversation as much as possible to improve your oral and listening skills.

– Listen regularly to English language audio and visual materials to get used to different accents. 

– Practice having short conversations on various topics like work, study, family, etc.

– Try to respond in complete, clear sentences and avoid short answers that may show lack of understanding.

– Use diverse vocabulary and correct language structures to demonstrate proficiency.

– Be confident when responding and speak clearly and fluently to the examiner.

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