We might be nervous about taking your IELTS Speaking test but with these tips from our words coach and Practice. You will be well on your way to building your confidence and getting the IELTS band score you need. We are going to share with you the most important tips you need to know to gain a band score of 8.0 or above in the IELTS Speaking test.
In both Paper Based IELTS and Computer Delivered IELTS, the face-to-face Speaking test is made up of three parts. By understanding what happens in these three parts of the Speaking test. You will be better prepared.
You will have a 4 to 5 minute conversation with an IELTS examiner about yourself. Topics might include:
2. Home life
4. Personal interests
You will be given a card with a topic. You will be given one minute to take notes on the topic and will be given a pencil and paper to prepare your response, you will then speak on the topic for two minutes.
You will have a conversation with the IELTS examiner around the topic given in part 2, discussing it in more detail. Part 3 should take approximately 4 to 5 minutes to complete.
These are the top IELTS tips I have picked up over the years.
Tip 1: Know what to expect
Nervous students simply do not do well in the IELTS Speaking test. The best way to beat nerves is to know what to expect. So, here’s a breakdown of what will happen on the day.
Tip 2: Don’t memorise answers
Don’t memorise answers, especially in Part 1. Memorised language doesn’t give the examiner an accurate measure of your English-language skills. The examiner will be able to tell if you have memorised your answers and this may influence your final band score.
Tip 3: Understand the marking criteria
To achieve a band score of 8.0+ you need to do the following:
A. Pronounce words clearly
B. Use a range of words but don’t use big and unfamiliar words
– You may want to impress the examiner with big and complex words in your Speaking test. But to be safe, avoid using words you are not familiar with. There is a higher chance of making mistakes by either mispronouncing words or using them in the wrong context. Mistakes can affect your final band score.
C. Avoid grammar mistakes or Use a range of grammatical structures
– Try and use a range of grammatical structures using complex and simple sentences to express what you want to say. Know your own errors and practice speaking to friends in English, or record yourself to see if you can spot errors. If you hear an error, make sure to correct yourself. You are assessed on your ability to use different grammatical structures accurately, so it’s important to practice speaking about the past, the present and the future using correct tenses.
D. Speak fluently and without hesitating
Focus on building your skills and confidence in the 4 areas you are actually marked on, as this is all the matters on the day.
Tip 4: Practice, practice, practice
Fluency and confidence can only be developed through practice at home. You should practice speaking in English for at least 60 minutes each day in the run-up to the exam.
While you can practice speaking alone, finding a study buddy will improve your spoken English much more quickly.
Better yet, undertake a mock exam with an IELTS teacher or examiner so that you can get real-life experience of the test and feedback with tips on how to improve. You can find out more about our mock exam services here.
Tip 5: Don’t worry about your accent
With a face-to-face Speaking test, the IELTS examiner understands a wide range of accents so will be able to understand what you say, unlike an AI machine. If you can communicate well, then there is nothing to worry about. But do be aware of sounds that you have difficulty with and make sure to use stress and intonation as English is a stress-timed language. Practice with friends and they will tell you if they can’t understand what you are saying.
Tip 6: Make a good first impression
As an IELTS examiner, I always try to see the best in the candidates I test and I want you all to do well. However, it never hurts to make a good first impression.
A. You are on time
B. You have your ID documents and a pen or pencil
C. You are polite and professional
D. You smile — it goes a long way!
Tip 7: Pause to think
There is no harm in taking a brief pause to think about what to say. We all do it to process questions. You can use phrases to give you time to think during the Speaking test – phrases such as:
A. That’s an interesting question
B. Let me see
C. I have never thought about that, but…
D. Let me think about that for a minute
Tip 8: Show passion
Let’s face it, some of the topics in Parts 2 and 3 of the IELTS Speaking test are pretty boring.
But, at the same time, you are rewarded for speaking fluently and spontaneously, which we are much more likely to do if we are interested in the topic at hand.
Tip 9: Extend your answers
Try and answer the examiner’s questions in full. Extend your answers and don’t wait for the examiner to prompt you with a question. When your answers are short, this shows the examiner that you cannot talk in detail about a topic. If the examiner says ‘Why?’, they are prompting you to give a reason for your answer and to extend more fully.
Tip 10: Don’t speak in a monotone
We produce a flat sound, a monotone, with little variation. This makes it more difficult to express what you say and makes it more difficult for the listener to identify what parts of your message are important.
A. Don’t speak in a monotone
B. Vary the stress and intonation to add emphasis
C. Use your hands to gesture and help the rhythm of the conversation
Tip 11: Elaborate
You need to be speaking at least twice as much as the examiner. So, if they ask you a question which is one sentence long, you should reply in at least two sentences, ideally more.
Your answers should contain details, examples and explanations so that the examiner can get a true picture of your English language skills.
Tip 12: Practice common IELTS topics
IELTS Speaking test requires you to speak on a given topic for about 2 minutes. Practice common IELTS topics with friends, family or colleagues to improve and to learn vocabulary associated with each topic.
Common topics you can practice for the Speaking test include:
B. Tourism and travel
E. Family life
F. Sport and recreation
G. The internet
Tip 13: Don’t panic, keep talking
Remember, this is not a job or other interview. It is a test of your English skills where the examiner is not judging you on your ideas, but on how you communicate them.
Therefore, if you feel as though you have had no experience of a certain topic or nothing of interest to say in response to a question.
Tip 14: Finish strongly
Speaking in English for the full length of your IELTS Speaking test is exhausting. I can always see how tired the candidates I test are at the end.
Part 3 of the test is also the most challenging section so you need to try and bring as much energy and confidence to the end of the test as possible.
Remember, don’t give up in Part 3. Keep pushing yourself and giving well-rounded, extended answers. You will so nearly be done so make sure you finish with a smile!
Bring these tips into play and improve your band score. In order to score high in the IELTS exam, one thing will definitely be going to help; Practice, Practice, and Practice.
Hope it helps!! Happy Learning