I think almost every student freaks out when they think about the IELTS Speaking test. Well, here are my ultimate IELTS Speaking tips which may help you to get band 8 or above.
First of all, if you are trying to get a high band score in the speaking test, you should have a clear understanding of two things:
1) How will you be assessed?
2) What the examiner expects from you?
In this article, we will briefly discuss the assessment criteria along with some IELTS Speaking tips to improve your skills in each section.
In the IELTS Speaking test, you will be assessed on 4 different things. These are:
1) Fluency and coherence
2) Lexical Resource
3) Grammatical Range and Accuracy
Every assessment criteria are equally important for your speaking test and if you focus to improve your speaking skills in these areas then you can expect to get a higher score in.
Fluency and Coherence
Fluency and Coherence are the two important measures to describe “are you able to communicate logically and clearly?”
Here, Fluency means your spontaneous speaking ability and Coherence means your ability to link ideas.
The examiner will check:
1) Can you speak in a fluent way that is easy to understand?
2) Are you able to link your ideas together clearly?
IELTS Speaking Tips to improve your Fluency and Coherence
1) Stop thinking too much
First of all, it is not a test of your intelligence, it is just a speaking test. So, don’t think too much about any question, just keep talking. But make sure, everything you say should relate with the questions that examiners ask you. You can’t go off-topic while speaking.
2) Use linking words
Using some linking words can help you to sound more fluent in front of the examiner. It also helps the examiner to follow your ideas.
Example of Linking words
i) Adding information: And, also, another reason is, as well as.
ii) Time Phrases: Nowadays, at the moment, in the past, years ago, right now.
iii) Giving Example: For instance, for example, such as, like.
iv) Opposite View: On the other hand, although, while, or, but.
3) Don’t take a lot of pauses
Taking a lot of pauses may not be a good idea for the IELTS Speaking test. Many students make sounds like “Uhh”, “Ahh”, ”Umm” while thinking. And it reduces their fluency rate. So, try to avoid taking lots of pauses to prove your fluency.
To avoid pauses, you can ask the examiner for some time to think. You can say:
– Well, it’s a tough question, let me think for a moment.
– I don’t really know about this, let me think about this.
This way you can have a few extra seconds to think and you will be able to deliver a well-structured answer.
4) Extend your answers
In the speaking test, never answer the question just by saying “YES” or “NO”. Try to explain your every answer or add an example to support your opinion. For example:
Question: Do you like using the internet?
Student A: Yes, I do.
Student B: Yes, I do. I can learn many things by using the internet. Besides, I can contact my friends and relatives by using the internet.
So, what do you think? Form Student A and B, which one sounds more fluent? Obviously, Student B.
By the way, among all the speaking tips, this one is really important for IELTS Speaking Part 3. It is better to answer elaborately in part 3.
5) Control your mumbling rate
If you mumble too much, the examiner may think you are struggling with linking your ideas together, as a result, he may end up giving you a low band score in Fluency and Coherence. So, it is essential for a student to control their mumbling rate.
6) Avoid using too much Filler words
Using filler words like: “Well..”, ”So..”, “Actually..”, “Let me see” in a limitation is good for a natural conversation. You can use the filler words in the starting of your answers. For example:
Question: Are there any homeless people in your city?
Answer: Well, there are a few homeless people in the city. But, I think the number is not significant.
I have also seen many people who use them almost in every sentence, and it is really not a good practice for an IELTS candidate.
Here, Lexis means the stock of words and the Resource means the range and the variety. So, Lexical Resource means the range of words or vocabulary.
In the speaking test, the examiner will check:
i) Are you able to use a wide range of vocabulary accurately and effectively?
ii) Can you explain your ideas even if you don’t know any particular word?
iii) Are you able to use higher-level vocabulary accurately?
IELTS Speaking Tips to improve your Lexical Resource
1) Grow your vocabulary
Well, I’ve seen most of the students do very well in the IELTS Speaking Part 1, but not in part 2 or 3. Only because, the questions of part 1 are easier and they can explain their ideas by using common vocabularies which are frequently used in everyday life.
But, one can’t fully answer Part 2 and 3 questions using the common vocabularies, because the topics are more abstract and it requires a wide range of vocabulary to explain your answers.
So, it’s essential to grow your vocabulary if you are planning for a high band score. Using common words somehow you can manage to answer the questions of part 2 and part 3, but it won’t be enough to score a perfect band.
2) Use Paraphrasing
Try to avoid repeating the questions while answering and practice paraphrasing the question.
Well, you can paraphrase any question by:
i) Using synonyms and,
ii) Changing the sentence structure
Example of Paraphrasing
Question: What is the reason for the increased level of pollution?
Answer(A): The reason for the increasing level of pollution is industrial development and overpopulation. (Non-paraphrased)
Answer(B): The causes of rising levels of pollution are industrial development and overpopulation. (Paraphrased)
3) Avoid using words that you don’t know
Sometimes student tries to empress the examiner by using higher-level vocabulary that they even don’t have any proper idea of using it. As a result, they make mistakes which causes them a low band score.
So, never try to use any higher-level vocabulary without knowing how to use it.
4) Use idioms and Collocations
Using idioms and Collocations in your answers is a great way to prove your strength in lexical resources. But, before using them, you should have the proper practice of using them accurately with a wide range of topics.
Grammatical Range and Accuracy
Many times you may hear a piece of advice that, grammar is not important for Speaking. Certainly, it’s not true for the IELTS Speaking test. You will also be assessed on the grammatical range and accuracy.
You can boost your band score by avoiding grammatical mistakes and using a wide range of sentence structure accurately.
On the test day, the examiner will check:
i) Do you have the ability to use a wide range of grammatical structure?
ii) Are you repeating the basic sentence structure?
iii) Do you often make grammatical mistakes?
iv) Are your sentence structures accurate?
IELTS Speaking Tips to improve the Grammatical Range and Accuracy
1) Find a speaking partner or a teacher to point out your grammatical errors.
Sometimes it becomes hard to point out your own mistakes. So it’s a good idea to start your speaking practice with a speaking partner or with an expert English teacher.
As a result, they can easily find out your grammatical mistakes and you will also be able to correct your errors.
2) Record yourself
If you are unable to find a speaking partner, then try to record yourself, in this way you can find out your own mistakes also you will be able to check your progress.
3) Practice using a variety of grammatical structure
To empress the examiner, you should use a variety of grammatical sentences, rather than repeating the basic structure. But, if you make frequent grammatical mistakes, then it can affect your expected band score.
4) Read English newspapers or books
Reading English newspapers and books can help you to improve your grammatical skills naturally. If you are reading newspapers and books for a long period of time, not only it will help you to improve your grammatical skills, it also can help you to extend your vocabulary as well as the reading skills.
It’s become a common tendency among students to neglect the pronunciation criteria. They become so busy with the other three criteria, they don’t even pay attention to improve their pronunciation skills. But, it can affect your band score similarly as other.
In the Speaking test, the examiner will check:
i) Is your spoken language clear and easily understood?
ii) Do you use stress and intonation to add extra meaning?
iii) With individual words, do you use stress accurately?
IELTS Speaking Tips to Improve your Pronunciation
1) Don’t worry about your accent
In the test day, the examiner won’t check whether you are speaking in a British or American accent. He will pay attention if your spoken language is clear to understand or not. So, don’t be worried about your accent.
Rather try to improve your word pronunciation. You can mimic the native speakers, also watching English movies and TV series can help you to improve your pronunciation naturally.
2) Avoid speaking like a robot, feel what you say
In the speaking test, try to act naturally. You should make proper eye-contact with the examiner while talking, also pay attention to your body language.
Try to feel everything you are saying. For example, if you are talking about your joyful experiences then share it by keeping a simple smile on your face, If you are angry or worried about something then put some extra stress on the words to mean it.
The examiner will notice it if you are using any extra stress on words accurately for adding some extra meaning. So, practice it.
3) Watch YouTube videos
You can find tons of high band speaking test videos on YouTube. Watch them and try to follow how they are describing anything or their body language.
Practice the same topic and record yourself, then compare yourself with the YouTube video you followed. As a result, you can have an idea about your speaking level and you will be able to know which section you should focus on to improve your skills.
So, try to follow these IELTS Speaking tips, and start your preparation. Remember, without practice, these tips won’t make any difference