More Tips for IELTS Speaking Success
Most of you may have a very good speaking ability and think you have the chance to get that 7 or above band score that you require. But you actually have to know the following few things before you can get this score.
Understand the structure of the exam
The first thing we need to know is the structure of the exam and we can do this by finding out how the test is scored. If you don’t know how it is scored, you could have a near-native ability in English but not actually answer the questions correctly. The examiner then cannot possibly give you those high marks, and this is why it is extremely important to understand and follow the structure of the exam.
We need to speak naturally in the speaking exam so make sure you do not put on an accent that is not your own. I’ve heard many examples of students trying to copy someone else’s accent in their exam and it does not help or relax the student at all. In the speaking exam, you need to be relaxed, or else you will miss out because you are not telling the examiner about yourself, and you are not demonstrating your speaking skills to the examiner.
Fluency is also the key here. You should really concentrate on the fluency of your own accent and the way you naturally speak English.
Has a native IELTS teacher ever assessed how naturally you speak English? Take a trial speaking class with one of our IELTS Speaking UK Native teachers who will assess you and give you immediate feedback on what you need to improve by clicking the link below:
Please remember that fluency is 25% of the IELTS speaking examination and you can only develop fluency by practising frequently with IELTS speaking partners, teachers and native teachers.
Focus on all areas equally
Following on from what has been said earlier about fluency being 25% of the IELTS exam, vocabulary will be another 25%, your grammar range and accuracy will be another 25% (read our articles about grammar and accuracy) and finally your pronunciation will be 25% (check out our article about pronunciation here), therefore it is so important that you focus on all four areas equally.
Speak as much as possible?
In general, we are saying: speak as much as possible. This is especially true in part 2 where we know that you have to speak for 2 minutes. If you didn’t already know this, that is how long you are expected to speak about a given topic.
But it is even more important you know when to extend answers. This is especially important in both parts 2 and 3 but remember not to do it in part 1! You may lose marks if you are speaking for 2 minutes on 1 question in part 1 because the examiner is also working within a time limit and simply cannot ask you any other questions.
How to answer Part 1 then?
How have you answered questions to part 1 in the past that you think are effective? A good tip is to answer as short as possible, but still include the main and most important information. You know you’re going to be asked 5 or 6 questions in part 1 and you only have 3 or 4 minutes to answer them all. Therefore you should try and keep your answers short and sweet. For example, they might ask you “where is your hometown?” They are only asking you where it is, but not asking about it or who lives there. In fact, they will probably ask these as the following questions. If you answer them all in question 1, you will have to answer them again in the following questions, so remember to get straight to the point.
Part 1 is still important!
Most students are worried about parts 2 and 3. Well, this doesn’t mean that you should be less worried about part 1 because it is still very important. Please don’t expect that you’ll be great at answering part 1 without any practice or preparation beforehand, and that you’ll immediately know how to answer it. Just remember that the main take-away is to watch the length and timing of your answers, and we will go through part 1 in more detail in a future article – so look out for this.