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Speaking test: How are bandscores awarded for Speaking?

The criteria below describe the attributes examiners use to assess the Speaking test. Examiners use a set of very detailed Speaking Assessment Criteria (PDF, 37KB) for these areas. Please take some time to read this now so you can begin to try and assess the band level of the four test taker examples that follow.

Click each criterion to find out more:

Fluency and coherence refers to the ability to talk with normal levels of continuity, rate and effort and to link ideas and language together to form coherent, connected speech.

The key indicators of fluency are speech rate and speech continuity.

The key indicators of coherence are logical sequencing of sentences; clear marking of stages in a discussion, narration or argument; and the use of cohesive devices (e.g. connectors, pronouns and conjunctions) within and between sentences.

Lexical resource refers to the range of vocabulary the test taker can use and the precision with which meanings and attitudes can be expressed.

They key indicators are the variety of words used, the adequacy and appropriacy of the words used and the ability to circumlocute (get around a vocabulary gap by using other words) with or without noticeable hestitation.

Grammatical range and accuracy refers to the range and the accurate and appropriate use of the test taker's grammatical resource.

The key indicators of grammatical range are the length and complexity of the spoken sentences, the appropriate use of subordinate clauses, and the range of sentence structures, especially to move elements around for information focus.

The key indicators of grammatical accuracy are the number of grammatical errors in a given amount of speech and communicative effect of error.

Pronunciation refers to the ability to produce comprehensible speech to fulfill the Speaking test requirements.

The key indicators will be the amount of strain caused to the listener, the amount of the speech which is unintelligible and the noticeability of influence from the test taker's first language.

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