When helping students prepare for the IELTS test, one of the biggest fears is how to do well in IELTS Speaking.
IELTS Speaking is a face-to-face, informal discussion with an IELTS examiner, and is the same for both Academic and General Training. The test is divided into 3 parts and is designed to test your pronunciation, fluency, grammar and vocabulary.
IELTS Speaking Test: Band 8 Video example
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a standardized English language proficiency test that assesses the language ability of non-native English speakers. The IELTS speaking test is divided into three parts, and the first part is designed to assess the test taker’s ability to communicate effectively in a basic, everyday context.
During the speaking test, the test taker will be given a question or a topic to talk about for one to two minutes. The purpose of this part of the test is to assess the test taker’s ability to speak fluently and coherently on a general topic. The test taker will be expected to provide a clear and detailed response to the question or topic, using appropriate vocabulary and grammar.
The speaking test is conducted in a one-to-one format with a certified IELTS examinator. The examinator will ask the test taker a series of questions related to the topic or question given, and the test taker will be expected to provide a response to each question. The examinator may also ask follow-up questions to clarify the test taker’s responses or to probe for more detailed information.
The topics covered in the speaking test are generally related to everyday life and may include topics such as work, education, hobbies, family, and travel. The test taker will not be expected to have specialized knowledge on any particular topic, but will be expected to demonstrate the ability to speak about a variety of topics in a clear and coherent manner.
The examinator will be assessing the test taker’s ability to speak fluently and coherently, as well as their use of vocabulary and grammar. The test taker will also be evaluated on their pronunciation, intonation, and stress patterns. It is important for the test taker to speak clearly and at a natural pace, using appropriate pauses and stress to convey meaning.
In addition to speaking fluently and using appropriate vocabulary and grammar, the test taker will also be expected to demonstrate good listening skills. The examinator may ask follow-up questions or provide additional information, and the test taker will be expected to demonstrate understanding and respond appropriately.
Overall, the speaking test is designed to assess the test taker’s ability to communicate effectively in English in a basic, everyday context. It is important for the test taker to be well-prepared and to practice speaking about a variety of topics in order to do well on the test.
Top 5 IELTS Speaking tips
Visit this : IELTS Speaking tips
(1). Speak some english everyday
This is something that all my Band 7+ students have in common.
It is better to practice a little bit every day and improve your skills gradually than to speak your native language all week until you have IELTS class. You’ll find more advice for IELTS Speaking practice here.
(2). Ask the examiner if you don’t understand
Your IELTS Speaking test is meant to be like a normal conversation between 2 people. Therefore, if you don’t understand a word you can ask the examiner to explain what it means. Just say ‘I’m sorry, could you explain what X means?’
You can also ask them to repeat the question. However, you can’t ask the examiner to explain the whole sentence.
(3). Do a 24 hour english warm-up before exam
It takes most IELTS students 10-15 minutes to ‘warm-up’ and perform to the best of their ability on test day. Just like an athlete needs to warm up before a sporting event, you also need to warm up before your IELTS exam.
(4). Give full answers
Yes’ and ‘No’ are NOT satisfactory answers in your IELTS Speaking test – you need to show the examiner how good your English is.
If you give very short answers, there is no way the examiner can know how good you are. Therefore, you should try to extend your answers with explanations and examples.
(5). Correct your mistakes
- People make small mistakes when they speak all the time, especially when they are nervous in an exam. By correcting your mistakes as you make them, you can show the examiner that you really do know your grammar and vocabulary.
When you make a small mistake, simply say sorry and repeat the sentence correctly.
(6). Smile and be yourself
Smiling can help you to calm your nerves which thus helps your pronunciation of things and helps boost confidence. Try to speak plainly, offering an explanation that is to the point to make progress in the IELTS Speaking Test. A confident speaker has an added advantage to him/herself and this is an important IELTS Speaking tip for scoring high.
(7). Know what the Exam wants
It’s vital that you understand the format of the Speaking test. If you know exactly what to expect, you’ll already be a step closer to achieving the result you want. You’ll be well prepared and not facing surprises on the day that will prevent you from doing your best.
(8). Grow your vocabulary
Vocabulary makes up 25% of your mark for the Speaking and Writing parts of the IELTS exam. Knowing a broad range of words is also essential for scoring well in the Listening and Reading tests.
Learning topic vocabulary is one key aspect of increasing your word power. Use the topic vocabulary pages I’ve just mentioned to help you with this. The words and phrases are relevant for all four parts of the IELTS exam as any given topic could come up in a Speaking, Writing, Reading or Listening question.
(9). Use lots of linking words
As per the criteria for assessment, a suitable aspirant for Band 7 will be able to use linking words and connectives flexibly. Use expressions such as although, however, on the other hand, in other words, and more. Your range is what will get you noticed. The examiner does not want you to say the same thing again and again. Record your speech and identify whether you are repeating any phrase a little too much. Consider replacing the same with another sentence. Linking words will always get you better scores.
(10). Speak some english everyday
The great thing is, you don’t have to have a speaking partner to practise speaking English and for the first of our IELTS Speaking tips, you don’t need anyone else.
The practise technique I recommend you use will teach you to think in English. This is one of the most valuable skills you can develop. It’s a very simple technique and will fit easily into your everyday life.
Learning to think in English will help you to speak faster and with greater accuracy and fluency. You’ll quickly see a massive improvement in your speaking skills and your language will sound far more natural. Start using it today.
(11). Always use idioms
Make sure to use some idioms in your speech while demonstrating knowledge of collocation and proper style. The examiner will look for clues that you can delve beyond simple textbook knowledge. They will appreciate your usage of actual English. You can pick up phrases online or even through dedicated learning apps.
(12). 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.
(13). Don’t use big or 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.
Use a range of vocabulary that you know which is relevant to the topic being discussed. Look at the topics in Tip 10, making vocabulary lists or mind maps to help you learn more words and phrases connected to these topic areas.
(14). Use a range of grammatical structures
Using the correct tense is obviously an important aspect of grammatical accuracy. However, it’s very common for candidates to use the wrong tense when answering questions despite it being a pretty basic error.
The result is that they don’t actually answer the question. This sort of mistake occurs all too frequently in the Speaking test and it’s one of the main reasons why people score poorly for grammar. This makes Tip 7 one of the most important IELTS Speaking tips.
There’s a simple way to avoid this problem. Identify the tense the examiner uses in their question and use the same one in your answer.
(15). Don’t worry about your accent
The IELTS examiner doesn’t mark your response based on accents. Candidates only need to focus on coherent responses while responding to IELTS speaking part 1 questions, and also the other two parts. If you can use the language well there is nothing to stress over. With a face-to-face IELTS speaking test, the examiner can comprehend your English speaking skills and accent.
(16). 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:
- That’s an interesting question
- I have never thought about that, but…
- Let me see
- That’s a good point
- That’s a difficult question, but I’ll try and answer it
- Well, some people say that is the case, however I think…
- Let me think about that for a minute
(17). Avoid using fillers
Speak confidently and avoid using filler words. We generally use fillers when we don’t know what to say, however, this shows the examiner that you can’t access the appropriate language or ideas so it’s important to avoid them and to use the phrases we gave you in Tip 5.
Avoid the following fillers:
- You know
(18). Don’t speak in monotone
Sometimes when we speak, 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. Putting emphasis on certain words and pausing at sections in your speech can make your conversation with the IELTS examiner more engaging. When we emphasise certain words it makes it easier to compare and contrast ideas by stressing key words. It also increases the flow of conversation, so remember:
- Don’t speak in a monotone
- Vary the stress and intonation to add emphasis
- Use your hands to gesture and help the rhythm of the conversation
(19). Practice Common IELTS topics
Practice the most common IELTS speaking topics which has been introducing from last 5 to 6 years. You can ask your IELTS teacher about previous PDF’s which contains the most common IELTS speaking topics.
(20). Be emotional and natural
Speak with emotions. Nothing separates the experienced speaker from beginners as tone of the speech. Express your feelings like you would do using your native language.
(21). Don’t be panic
It may happen that you have made a mistake while speaking. Instead of panicking, try to answer in a smooth way. If you are unable to resolve it, simply continue with your IELTS speaking response. The examiner will not deduct much from your IELTS speaking score.
(22). Know the strength and weaknesses
One of the challenges of being a language learner is that you can’t always recognise your own mistakes. However, you will be aware of what you are good at and what aspects of your language skills you really need to work on. This is the subject of the sixth of our IELTS Speaking tips.
Be totally honest with yourself. Which of the four areas of assessment is your weakest – fluency and coherence, vocabulary, grammar or pronunciation? Maybe it’s particular aspects of several of these.
Identify where you need to make the most improvement and plan your timetable accordingly. If you give equal emphasis to the things you have already mastered and those you are not so good at, then you’re wasting valuable preparation time.
Earlier I suggested recording yourself speaking English. When you do this, you will notice things that need improvement that you might not otherwise be aware of.
Here are some of the sorts of things you might notice:
- You repeat the same words and expressions frequently rather than varying your vocabulary.
- You pause and hesitate a lot.
- Your voice is monotone with little variation in your intonation.
- You focus too much on grammatical accurately at the expense of fluency.
(23). Work on your pronounciation
Pronunciation should perhaps have come top of our list of IELTS Speaking tips. Why? Because, if you have poor pronunciation and the examiner can’t understand what you’re saying, they have no way of assessing your English language skills.
You won’t be expected to sound like a native English speaker. Indeed, many nationalities speak English and each has their own accent and slightly different ways of using intonation.
What you will be assessed on is how easily the examiner can understand you and how well you pronounce the key sounds of the English language.
Pronunciation is generally the last skill that English learners master so the requirement for a high band score, say a Band 7, are actually quite low. Having said that, any small improvements you can make will increase your marks.
Use these 4 methods:
1) Listen to spoken English every day.
There are many ways to do this. Use the resources I recommend on my IELTS Resources page.
Podcasts and radio shows are better than TV and videos because you will only be listening to the language rather than being distracted by the visuals. You’ll find spoken material on almost any subject you can imagine.
2) Focus in
Record short extracts from these sources and replay them over and over again so that you can study and copy the stress and intonation.
3) New Vocabulary
When you learn new words, make sure that you learn and practise their pronunciation as well.
All good online dictionaries have an audio button so that you can hear the word spoken, as well as a phonetic transcription of how each word is pronounced. I especially recommend the Cambridge Online Dictionary.
I have also added audio tracks to all my topic vocabulary pages so that you can hear the correct pronunciation of all the words and phrases.
4) Identify Common L1 Errors
It can be really helpful to identify the common pronunciation errors in your L1 language so that you can focus in on them, or at least be aware of where key pronunciation challenges may lie.
Just Google the phrase ‘common pronunciation mistakes in English for _______ speakers’. Insert your own language in the space. You should find several websites that list common errors in your native language.
This is one of the best IELTS Speaking tips for improving your pronunciation that I can give you.
That brings us to the end of our top 9 IELTS Speaking tips.
Do read all the pages I’ve high directed you to. They will help you with everything I’ve talked about on this page and are also packed full of additional IELTS Speaking tips.
(24). Focus on Fluency
For the next of our IELTS Speaking tips, we’re going to go a step further with the technique I introduced you to in Tip 1 – learning to think in English.
Poor fluency is often caused by the fear of making mistakes. This leads to the speaker pausing and hesitating far too much or speaking too slowly as they try to get their grammar and vocabulary perfect.
Since fluency carried 25% of the marks, you need to get a good balance between correct language and fluent speech. The only way to do this is to practise.
The method I’m going to suggest is something for you to do on your own so that you aren’t worried about making mistakes. There are many ways you could do it but here are two.
1) Towards the end of the day, think of one thing that went really well or that you are happy about and something that could have been better.
Talk out loud about them for 1 minute, focusing on fluency.
This will also be great practise for using the past tense, but also conditionals and modals (‘If I had…’ ‘I should have…’) which are more advanced grammar and will impress the examiner if you use them.
2) Choose a photo in a newspaper or magazine and talk out loud about it for at least 1 minute.
Here are a few ideas as to what to say:
- Introduce the subject matter.
- Describe what you can see.
- Talk about any activity that is going on in the photo. (present)
- Guess what might have been going on before it was taken. (past)
- Suggest what might happen next. (future)
If you vary the type of subject matter you choose for this activity, you will be practicing a wide variety of language. For example, choose a picture of a beautiful room or landscape one day and a topical news item the next.
Record and play back your talks to assess your fluency. It will very quickly begin to improve.
IELTS Speaking part 1
IELTS Speaking part 1 – Band 9 mock test
Here are some tips for practicing for the IELTS speaking test Part 1:
- Familiarize yourself with the format and timing of the test. Part 1 is a short introduction and interview lasting about 4-5 minutes.
- Practice speaking about familiar topics, such as your hometown, your family, your hobbies and interests, your education, and your work.
- Work on your pronunciation, intonation, and fluency. You can do this by listening to native speakers and repeating after them, or by practicing with a tutor or a language exchange partner.
- Use a range of vocabulary and structures to express yourself clearly and accurately. You can do this by reading and listening to a variety of materials in English, and by trying to use new words and phrases in your practice sessions.
- Use the practice materials provided by the IELTS test makers and other reputable sources. These materials will give you an idea of the types of questions you can expect to be asked, and help you to develop your skills in the areas that will be tested.
- Practice speaking in front of an audience, such as a friend or a tutor, to get used to speaking in front of others and to build your confidence.
- Record yourself speaking and listen back to identify any mistakes or areas for improvement. This will help you to become more aware of your strengths and weaknesses, and give you the opportunity to practice specific areas that need improvement.
Remember to relax and try to speak naturally during the test. It’s important to take your time and speak at a pace that is comfortable for you. With practice and preparation, you can do well on the IELTS speaking test.
Part 1 common topics and sample answers
Here are some common topics that may come up in the speaking part 1 of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam:
- Personal information: This may include topics such as your name, age, where you come from, what you do (e.g., your job or studies), and your family.
- Hobbies and interests: You may be asked about your hobbies and what you like to do in your free time.
- Study or work: You may be asked about your current studies or job, including your responsibilities, what you like about it, and any challenges you face.
- Travel and holidays: You may be asked about your travel experiences, including any places you have visited or would like to visit in the future.
- Home and accommodation: You may be asked about where you live and what your home is like.
- Food and drink: You may be asked about your favorite types of food and drink, and any traditional dishes from your country.
- Weather and climate: You may be asked about the weather and climate in your region, and how it affects your daily life.
- Fashion: You may be asked about your personal style and any current fashion trends you are interested in.
It’s important to remember that these are just a few examples of the types of topics that may come up in the speaking part 1 of the IELTS exam. The exact questions will depend on the specific test you take.
Easy ways to extend your answers
There are several ways you can extend your answer in an English speaking interview:
- Provide examples: Giving specific examples can help to illustrate your points and make your answer more concrete. This can also help to make your answer more memorable for the interviewer.
- Elaborate on your points: Instead of just making a statement, try to delve deeper into the topic by explaining why you think something is important or how it relates to your experiences. This can help to add depth and nuance to your answer.
- Use transitions: Transitions, such as “in addition,” “furthermore,” or “on the other hand,” can help to smoothly connect different parts of your answer and make it easier for the listener to follow.
- Use body language: Nonverbal cues, such as hand gestures, eye contact, and facial expressions, can also help to communicate your ideas and engage the listener.
- Reflect on the question: Take a moment to think about the question and consider how you can provide a more thoughtful and thorough answer. This may involve asking for clarification or elaborating on certain points.
- Practice: The more you practice speaking in English, the more comfortable and confident you will become. Consider finding opportunities to practice speaking in English, such as joining a conversation club or participating in mock interviews.
Speaking part 1 Do’s and Don’ts
Here are some tips for the speaking part 1 of the IELTS exam:
- Practice speaking English as much as possible before the exam. This will help you feel more confident and fluent during the test.
- Listen carefully to the questions asked by the examiner and make sure you understand what is being asked.
- Answer the question honestly and naturally. Don’t try to memorize responses or give overly rehearsed answers.
- Use appropriate body language, such as making eye contact and using natural hand gestures, to show that you are engaged in the conversation.
- Use a variety of vocabulary and sentence structures to show that you have a good command of the English language.
- Don’t speak too fast or too slow. Try to maintain a natural pace of speech.
- Don’t use filler words or phrases, such as “um” or “like,” too frequently.
- Don’t give one-word answers or short responses. Try to provide a more detailed and complete answer to the question.
- Don’t be afraid to pause and think before speaking. It’s better to take a moment to think about your answer than to ramble on without fully answering the question.
- Don’t use slang or overly casual language. Remember, this is a formal exam, so use more formal language.
Overall, the key is to be natural, confident, and well-prepared. With practice and preparation, you can do well on the speaking part 1 of the IELTS exam.
IELTS Speaking part 2
In the IELTS Speaking test, Part 2 is a long-turn speaking task that lasts for about 2-3 minutes. During this part of the test, you will be given a topic card and asked to speak about it for 1-2 minutes. The topic card will contain a prompt, such as a statement, question, or situation, and you will need to respond by discussing a specific aspect of the topic.
Here’s how the Part 2 task works:
- You will receive a topic card from the examiner. The topic card will contain a topic, such as a person, place, object, or event, and you will be asked to speak about it.
- You will have one minute to prepare your response. You should use this time to think about what you want to say and make some notes on the topic card.
- You will then be asked to speak for 1-2 minutes on the topic. You should use the notes you made during the preparation time to guide your response and provide examples to illustrate your points.
- The examiner will listen to your response and may ask you follow-up questions to clarify or expand on your points.
It’s important to keep in mind that the IELTS Speaking test is designed to assess your ability to communicate effectively in English. Therefore, it’s not just about what you say, but also how you say it. You should aim to speak clearly and fluently, using a range of vocabulary and grammar structures appropriately. You should also try to use a variety of sentence structures and vary your pacing and intonation to make your response more engaging and natural-sounding.
IELTS Speaking part 2 tips
- Practice speaking in English as much as possible. This will help you get used to the rhythm and flow of the language, and improve your pronunciation and vocabulary.
- Use a variety of sentence structures and vocabulary. This will help you express your ideas more clearly and accurately, and make your responses sound more natural.
- Prepare a list of possible topics in advance. This will give you a chance to brainstorm ideas and practice speaking about a variety of subjects.
- Use the planning time wisely. Use this time to organize your thoughts and come up with a clear, logical structure for your response.
- Stay focused on the topic. Avoid digressing or getting sidetracked, and make sure that your responses are relevant to the prompt.
- Use examples to support your points. This will help you explain your ideas more clearly and make your responses more concrete and convincing.
- Use gestures and facial expressions to help convey your message. This can help add emphasis and help you engage with the audience.
- Use a natural, conversational tone. Avoid speaking in a monotone or sounding rehearsed.
- Take a deep breath and pause before speaking. This will help you relax and gather your thoughts, and give you a chance to compose yourself before starting your response.
- Practice speaking in front of others. This will help you get used to the pressure of speaking in front of an audience and improve your overall delivery.
Speaking part 2 strategy
The IELTS speaking part 2 is a long-turn speaking task in which you are given a topic and asked to speak about it for 1 to 2 minutes. Here are some strategies you can use to prepare for this task:
- Understand the task: Make sure you understand the prompt and the requirements of the task. You will be given a topic card with a prompt and you will be asked to speak about it. The prompt will usually include a specific task, such as “Describe a memorable event that you have experienced” or “Talk about a place you have visited that you would like to recommend to others”.
- Plan your response: Take a few minutes to brainstorm and plan your response. Think about the main points you want to make and the examples you want to use to illustrate your points.
- Practice speaking: Practice speaking about the topic out loud. This will help you get comfortable with the material and improve your delivery.
- Use a variety of vocabulary and sentence structures: Use a range of vocabulary and sentence structures to make your response more interesting and varied. Avoid repeating the same words and phrases too often.
- Use examples to illustrate your points: Use examples and anecdotes to illustrate your points and make your response more engaging.
- Use linking words and phrases: Use linking words and phrases to connect your ideas and make your response more cohesive.
- Use natural intonation and stress: Use natural intonation and stress to make your response more expressive and engaging.
- Use appropriate body language: Use appropriate body language to engage the listener and convey your message effectively.
- Time yourself: Practice timing yourself to make sure you stay within the time limit.
By following these strategies, you can effectively prepare for the IELTS speaking part 2 task and deliver a well-organized and engaging response.
IELTS Speaking part 3
The speaking part 3 of the IELTS exam is a two-way discussion between the examiner and the test taker. During this part of the exam, the examiner will ask the test taker a series of questions on a particular topic, and the test taker will need to respond to these questions and engage in a conversation with the examiner. Here are some tips on how to prepare for the IELTS speaking part 3:
- Practice speaking about a variety of topics: The IELTS exam covers a wide range of topics, so it’s important to practice speaking about a variety of subjects. This will help you to feel more comfortable and confident during the exam.
- Use a range of vocabulary and expressions: In order to do well on the IELTS speaking part 3, it’s important to use a range of vocabulary and expressions. This will demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively in English.
- Use transitions and linking words: Using transitions and linking words will help you to connect your ideas and make your responses more coherent.
- Use good pronunciation and intonation: Pronouncing words correctly and using appropriate intonation will help you to communicate effectively and be understood by the examiner.
- Practice with a partner or a tutor: Practicing with a partner or a tutor can help you to feel more comfortable and confident during the exam. They can give you feedback on your pronunciation, grammar, and overall performance.
By following these tips and practicing regularly, you can increase your chances of doing well on the IELTS speaking part 3.
Speaking part 3 common questions
Here are some common questions that may be asked in the speaking part 3 of the IELTS exam:
- How has the Internet affected the way people communicate with each other?
- What are the benefits and drawbacks of living in a big city?
- Do you think it is important for children to learn a second language at school? Why or why not?
- How can we reduce the amount of waste we produce?
- What are the benefits and drawbacks of using public transportation?
- How do you think technology has impacted the way we work?
- Do you think it is important for people to learn about different cultures? Why or why not?
- How do you think we can encourage more people to exercise regularly?
- Do you think it is important for people to travel abroad? Why or why not?
- How can we encourage more people to recycle?
It is important to note that these are just examples and the actual questions that you will be asked in the exam may vary. It is also worth noting that the speaking part 3 of the IELTS exam is designed to test your ability to discuss more abstract and complex ideas, so the questions may be more challenging than those in the speaking part 1 and 2.
IELTS speaking part 3 tips
Here are some tips to help you improve your performance in the Speaking part 3 of the IELTS test:
- Practice speaking about different topics. The Speaking part 3 task will often ask you to discuss a specific topic or theme. To prepare for this, try practicing speaking about a variety of topics, such as education, technology, environmental issues, and social trends.
- Use a range of vocabulary. In Speaking part 3, you will be expected to use a wide range of vocabulary and grammar structures. Make an effort to use a variety of words and phrases to express your ideas and opinions.
- Use linking words and phrases. Linking words and phrases, such as “however,” “on the other hand,” and “in contrast,” can help you connect your ideas and express your opinions more effectively.
- Make use of examples. Examples can help to illustrate your points and make your arguments more persuasive. Try to include examples in your responses to help clarify your points.
- Use a natural speaking style. While it’s important to use a range of vocabulary and grammar structures, it’s also important to speak naturally and avoid sounding too rehearsed or scripted.
- Take breaks to think. It’s okay to take a few seconds to think about your response before you start speaking. This will give you time to organize your thoughts and come up with a clear and coherent response.
- Practice speaking with a partner. Practicing speaking with a partner can be a great way to improve your skills and get feedback on your performance. Find a friend or family member who can help you practice speaking in English and give you constructive feedback.
Most common IELTS speaking part 3 mistakes
Here are some common mistakes that candidates make during the speaking part 3 of the IELTS exam:
- Not providing enough examples or elaboration to support their ideas: It is important to provide specific examples or elaboration to support your points, as this will help you demonstrate your understanding of the topic and your ability to express yourself fluently.
- Struggling to generate ideas or ideas that are too general: It is important to come up with specific and relevant ideas to discuss in the speaking part 3. Avoid giving vague or general answers that do not address the question directly.
- Struggling to articulate their thoughts clearly: It is important to speak clearly and fluently during the exam. Avoid using filler words or pausing too often, as this can disrupt the flow of your speech.
- Not using a wide range of vocabulary: Using a varied and appropriate range of vocabulary is important in the IELTS exam. Avoid using too many simple or repetitive words, and try to use more advanced vocabulary where appropriate.
- Struggling to stay on topic: It is important to stay focused on the topic and answer the question directly. Avoid going off on tangents or discussing unrelated topics.
- Not managing their time effectively: The speaking part 3 of the IELTS exam is relatively short, so it is important to manage your time effectively. Make sure to allocate enough time to each task and avoid spending too much time on any one task.
By avoiding these mistakes and focusing on expressing yourself clearly and accurately, you can improve your performance in the speaking part 3 of the IELTS exam.
IELTS speaking practice for IELTS speaking test
Ways to improve your IELTS speaking score
Here are some tips that may help you improve your IELTS speaking interview score:
- Practice, practice, practice! The more you practice speaking English, the more comfortable and confident you will feel during the interview.
- Improve your vocabulary and grammar. A strong foundation in the English language will help you express yourself more accurately and fluently.
- Pay attention to your pronunciation. Make sure you are using the correct stress and intonation when speaking.
- Use a variety of sentence structures. Avoid using the same sentence structure over and over again, as this can make your speech sound monotonous.
- Use linking words and phrases to connect your ideas and make your speech more cohesive.
- Use the right pace. Speak at a natural pace that is neither too fast nor too slow.
- Use gestures and facial expressions to add emphasis and interest to your speech.
- Make sure to pause and take a breath when necessary. This will help you speak more clearly and avoid running out of air.
- Use appropriate body language. Make eye contact, smile, and use appropriate facial expressions to show that you are engaged and interested in the conversation.
- Relax and be yourself. Don’t try to be someone you are not. Instead, be confident and genuine, and the interviewer will respond positively.
IELTS speaking marking criteria
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is a widely-recognized English language proficiency test that is used for various purposes, including admission to universities and immigration purposes. The IELTS Speaking test is designed to assess the candidate’s ability to communicate effectively in English in a variety of real-life situations. The test is conducted face-to-face with a trained IELTS Examiner, and it consists of three parts:
- Part 1: Introduction and Interview (4-5 minutes) In this part of the test, the Examiner will introduce themselves and ask the candidate some general questions about themselves, their background, and their interests. The questions are designed to be fairly straightforward and easy to answer.
- Part 2: Individual Long Turn (3-4 minutes) In this part of the test, the candidate is given a card with a topic on it, and they are asked to speak about the topic for 1-2 minutes. The topic could be about a variety of subjects, such as a person, place, object, or event. The candidate is given one minute to prepare their talk and is then asked to speak for 1-2 minutes on the given topic.
- Part 3: Two-way Discussion (4-5 minutes) In this part of the test, the Examiner will ask the candidate some more complex questions related to the topic they spoke about in Part 2. The questions are designed to elicit a more in-depth response from the candidate and to test their ability to express and defend their opinions, as well as to engage in a two-way conversation with the Examiner.
The IELTS Speaking test is scored on a scale of 0-9, with half-band scores also possible (e.g., 6.5, 7.5, etc.). The test is scored by trained IELTS Examiners based on the following criteria:
- Fluency and Coherence: This refers to the candidate’s ability to speak smoothly and clearly, with appropriate pacing and the use of natural-sounding fillers (e.g., “um,” “ah,” etc.). It also refers to the candidate’s ability to link their ideas together logically and coherently, making their speech easy to follow.
- Lexical Resource: This refers to the candidate’s vocabulary and the range and accuracy of the words they use. The candidate should use a wide range of vocabulary and should use it accurately, without making too many mistakes.
- Grammatical Range and Accuracy: This refers to the candidate’s ability to use a range of grammatical structures accurately and appropriately. The candidate should be able to use a variety of tenses, as well as complex structures such as conditionals and modals.
- Pronunciation: This refers to the candidate’s ability to pronounce English words accurately and naturally. The candidate should be able to pronounce English sounds correctly and should use stress and intonation appropriately to convey meaning.
- Interaction: This refers to the candidate’s ability to engage in a two-way conversation with the Examiner and to respond appropriately to the Examiner’s questions and prompts. The candidate should be able to ask relevant follow-up questions and to show interest in the conversation.
Overall, the IELTS Speaking test is designed to assess the candidate’s ability to communicate effectively in English in a variety of real-life situations. To do well on the test, candidates should be able to speak fluently and coherently, use a wide range of vocabulary accurately, use a variety of grammatical structures accurately and appropriately, pronounce English sounds correctly and naturally, and engage in a two-way conversation with the Examiner.
Is accent important in IELTS speaking test?
Accent can be a factor in an English speaking test, but it is not typically the most important factor. The main goal of an English speaking test is to evaluate a person’s ability to communicate effectively in English. This means that the focus is on the content and clarity of the message being conveyed, rather than on the accent of the speaker.
Having a strong accent may make it more difficult for some listeners to understand the speaker, but it is generally not a disqualifying factor in an English speaking test. Instead, the evaluators will focus on the speaker’s ability to use grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation appropriately and effectively to communicate their message.
It is important to note that there is no one “correct” accent in English, and speakers from a wide range of linguistic backgrounds can be successful in an English speaking test as long as they are able to communicate effectively.
5 ways to improve your IELTS speaking preparation at home
There are several ways you can prepare for English speaking at home:
- Practice speaking out loud: Choose a topic and speak out loud as if you are having a conversation with someone. You can also record yourself speaking and listen back to identify areas for improvement.
- Improve your vocabulary: Expand your English vocabulary by reading and listening to a variety of materials, such as news articles, podcasts, and books.
- Practice with a partner: Find a friend or family member to practice speaking with. You can also find language exchange partners online or join a language learning group.
- Use English at home: Try to use English as much as possible in everyday situations at home, such as giving instructions or asking for things.
- Take online courses or lessons: Consider taking online English courses or lessons with a tutor to receive personalized feedback and guidance.
- Watch movies or TV shows in English: Watch movies or TV shows in English with English subtitles to improve your listening skills and become more familiar with natural speech patterns.
- Listen to English radio or podcasts: Find English radio stations or podcasts to listen to in your free time. This can help you improve your pronunciation and become more comfortable with hearing and speaking English.
How to talk about an unfamiliar topic?
Here are some tips for talking about an unfamiliar topic in English using a cue card:
- Begin by introducing the topic and explaining why it is important or interesting. This will give your audience context for the rest of your discussion.
- Research the topic thoroughly before your presentation. Use a variety of sources, such as books, articles, and websites, to gather as much information as you can.
- Make an outline of the key points you want to cover. This will help you organize your thoughts and keep your presentation on track.
- Use clear and concise language to explain the topic. Avoid using technical terms or jargon that your audience may not understand.
- Use examples to illustrate your points and make them more concrete and relatable.
- Use visual aids, such as graphs, charts, or images, to help your audience understand the topic better.
- Practice your presentation beforehand, either by yourself or with a friend. This will help you become more comfortable with the material and give you a chance to iron out any kinks in your delivery.
- Finally, be sure to conclude your presentation by summarizing the key points you covered and explaining why the topic is important or relevant to your audience.
Asking the examiner questions
Yes, you can ask questions to the examiner during the speaking interview for the IELTS test. However, it is important to keep in mind that the purpose of the speaking test is for the examiner to assess your ability to communicate in English, and not for you to ask questions. Therefore, you should not ask too many questions, and you should try to focus on answering the questions that are asked of you.
If you do have a question during the speaking test, it is best to ask a clarifying question about the task or topic that you have been asked to speak about. For example, you might ask the examiner to explain the task more clearly, or to provide more information about the topic. You should avoid asking personal or irrelevant questions, as these are not relevant to the speaking test and could distract from your performance.
Overall, it is important to remember that the speaking test is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your ability to communicate in English, so you should focus on speaking fluently, accurately, and appropriately in response to the tasks and topics that are given to you.
Formal or informal
It’s generally best to speak in a way that is appropriate for the context and audience. Formal English is more formal and is generally used in professional or academic settings, while informal English is more casual and is typically used in casual conversations with friends or family.
Here are some situations where you might use formal English:
- Making a presentation at work or in a classroom
- Writing a business letter or email
- Participating in a formal debate
- Giving a speech at a formal event
On the other hand, you might use informal English in the following situations:
- Texting or messaging with friends
- Having a casual conversation with someone you know well
- Writing a personal letter or email
It’s important to consider the purpose of your communication and the audience you are addressing when deciding which type of English to use. Using the wrong type of English in a given situation can make you appear inappropriate or unprofessional.
IELTS pronounciation Improvement tips
Improving English pronunciation can be a challenging but rewarding task. Here are 12 steps you can follow to help improve your English pronunciation:
- Start by familiarizing yourself with the basic sounds of English. This will help you understand how English words are pronounced and give you a foundation for learning new words.
- Pay attention to the stress patterns of English words. In English, certain syllables are emphasized more than others, and this can change the meaning of a word.
- Practice saying English words and sentences out loud, paying attention to the sounds and rhythms of the language.
- Use a mirror or record yourself to get a better idea of how you are pronouncing words and identify any areas that need improvement.
- Work with a tutor or language exchange partner to get feedback on your pronunciation and receive guidance on how to improve.
- Listen to native speakers and try to imitate their pronunciation. You can find plenty of resources online, such as podcasts and YouTube videos, to help you practice.
- Take a class or enroll in a pronunciation course to get more structured and focused practice.
- Use pronunciation dictionaries and other resources to help you understand the correct sounds and stress patterns for specific words.
- Practice tongue twisters and other exercises designed to help you improve your pronunciation skills.
- Pay attention to the way you are forming your mouth and tongue when you speak. Proper mouth and tongue placement can greatly improve your pronunciation.
- Practice speaking slowly and enunciating your words clearly to help you get a better handle on the sounds of English.
- Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see improvement right away – learning to pronounce English well takes time and practice. Keep at it and you will see progress.
In conclusion, the IELTS speaking test can be a challenging aspect of the IELTS exam for many test takers. However, with proper preparation and practice, it is possible to improve your speaking skills and increase your chances of getting a high score on the test. Some key strategies to remember include:
- Familiarizing yourself with the format and structure of the speaking test
- Practicing your speaking skills with a native English speaker or a tutor
- Building your vocabulary and speaking fluently and naturally
- Being prepared to discuss a wide range of topics
- Paying attention to your body language and tone of voice
By following these tips and practicing regularly, you can confidently approach the IELTS speaking test and increase your chances of success.