IELTS China 2014 | Will IELTS speaking scores in China improve?

Mainland Chinese IELTS candidates apparently don’t score well in the IELTS speaking interview. The official IELTS website reports that in 2012 the average score in the speaking test for IELTS test candidates in China was 5.3 (for Academic IELTS candidates) and 5.9 (for General Training IELTS candidates) even though the IELTS speaking test is the same for both Academic and General candidates.

It means that Chinese IELTS candidates for Academic IELTS scored as low as IELTS candidates in Quatar (5.3) in the speaking test, the lowest scores recorded globally. However, among the General training IELTS speaking candidature the Chinese IELTS test takers were not the lowest, as South Korea (5.5), Saudi Arabia (5.2) and the United Arab Emirates (4.9) all scored less than the average 5.9 for Chinese candidates sitting the General Training IELTS exam.

IELTS candidates from Hong Kong, in both Academic and General IELTS, scored an average of 6.4 in the speaking test, while candidates from Taiwan scored 5.9 and 6.1 respectively.

This raises some interesting questions such as why is there a bigger difference in the performance of the Chinese Academic and General candidate’s compared to IELTS candidates from Hong Kong and Taiwan? Does international business, trade or internet access play a part? Is the influence of native English speakers, either residents or teachers, stronger in some cases?

There are many English language schools in mainland China, however, it seems that achieving fluency in English speaking still presents a challenge for many.

See full summary of IELTS test scores