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Tip and Tricks for IELTS Speaking | How to Score 8+ Bands

IELTS Speaking is one of the most scoring parts of the test, granted you do it right. Speaking, like all other tests, requires you to remain on your toes throughout the test, and perform complex mental planning in a matter of seconds. However, we are letting you in on several tips and tricks to make this scoring a Band 9 a whole lot easier!

Read on to find out and score well!

For both Academic and General Training, the Speaking test is unchanged. Even when you take the IELTS on a computer, the Speaking examination will still be administered face-to-face with a certified IELTS examiner. There are a few cities that have introduced Speaking test through video conferencing. You can check more details on the official website of IDP India.

Duration of the speaking test:

11 to 14 minutes (for both Academic and General Training tests)

There were rumours suggesting an increase in the test timing to 30 minutes. But, that information is incorrect.

What is the format of the IELTS Speaking Test?

Before the test starts, there is Part 0, which is called the introduction part of the Speaking test. Interview and introduction. In addition to confirming your identity, the IELTS examiner will introduce themselves and ask you to do the same. You will be asked general questions by the examiner about your interests, family, studies, and employment. The examiner asks you four questions as follows:

  1. What is your full name?- For this, answer with your full name, as per what your passport has
  2. What can I call you?- Answer with your first name
  3. May I have your identification please?- Tell “Yes, here it is”
  4. Where are you from?- Answer with your native and/or the current location

Bear in mind that for all the four questions, you’re giving full sentences instead of one word answers. One word answers in the speaking are a big turn off!

The IELTS speaking test has three sections:

Part 1: (4–5 minutes) 

In part 1, you have about 9-14 questions ranging over two to three topics, depending on how lengthy your answers are. If you’re wondering what a good length for your answer is, keep it at about 25-30 seconds. The examiner WILL stop you if you’re exceeding time. There is no need to worry if the examiner stops you! Check out this video to understand how to structure your answers well. Make sure you give personal examples here to expand your answers.

Part 2: (3–4 minutes)

The examiner will hand you a task card with a topic and some possible talking points on it. You’ll be given time to prepare for one minute, and you will be given paper and a pencil to take notes. Once you’ve finished brainstorming, you’ll get one to two minutes to talk on the issue before the examiner asks you some questions about it.

Part 3: (4–5 minutes)

Two-way conversation- inquiries about the subject covered in Part 2. This is your chance to discuss more concepts and provide the examiner with an idea of how the structure of your argument is shaped. The more concise and to the point you keep the talking points, and the crisper your language is, the more it will help you score. In this area, make sure your answers are as lengthy as 45 seconds to a minute. Think of worldly examples and dig deep into your knowledge to expand your answer.

Tips and Tricks for the IELTS Speaking Exam:

Some IELTS Speaking tips and tricks for that magical Band 9!

  • Start speaking English to your friends, family, and fellow students before your test. You can also make a recording of yourself to hear how confident you sound, and whether your pronunciation needs improvement. This will help you see how confident you are within people, where you lose confidence, and how you look in the recording while faltering. This will help you avoid mistakes to a great extent. If you have problems learning English, check out this blog on how you can do this.
  • Don’t be afraid to give a response in your test. Keep in mind that the examiner will check your ability to explain yourself clearly in English. If you make a mistake, do not self-correct/repeat what you said. The examiner would not take kindly to time wastage. If, in case, you do commit a mistake, make sure that you acknowledge it in a line with a correction and keep it brief.
  • You don’t need to worry about your Speaking test. The way you express your opinions in a conversation is what the examiner will be grading you on, not the answers you provide. The examiner wants to see three things: your argument structure, how you frame it, and how you maintain fluency and confidence while doing it, along with your speech style. Download the IELTS Speaking band descriptors here to know more about the scoring criteria.
  • Part of your answer shouldn’t repeat the question asked by the examiner. Recalibrate the question in your own language after fully understanding it. If you repeat the question in your answer, your speech may come off as lazy than something that actually addresses the question.
  • Do not speak more quickly or more slowly. Be genuine and speak to people as you would in everyday situations. Making pronunciation errors when speaking quickly is possible. If you feel like you’re speaking fast and fumbling with words, make sure you breathe once or twice while speaking. This will automatically reduce your speed, as your body allocates space for air to flow. Speaking fast may come across as being incredibly nervous or even underprepared.
  • Try to answer in as much detail as you can. Instead of simply responding with a “yes” or “no,” consider developing your responses to each question. The more you develop your answers, the more the examiner will understand your reasoning. A simple “yes” or “no” answer makes you come across as someone who maybe does not understand the argument, or someone who reduces the argument to one side without understanding its nuances.
  • In your responses, always utilise the appropriate verb tenses. Do not respond in the past tense, for example, to the question “What sort of music do you like?” which is asked in the present tense. You can answer with something like: I like vintage rock music because it helps me concentrate on things. Answering in the present tense means you are actually doing the thing that you are preaching.
  • Learn to pronounce the numerals accurately by practising. For instance, the words “Forty” and “Fourteen” may sound the same when pronounced. Pay extra attention to these words, as they may cause confusion between you and the examiner.
  • Make sure you practice for speaking tests well before-hand, and employ these tips and tricks for better scoring!
  • If you are uncomfortable, avoid trying to utilise complex vocabulary in conversation. Be straightforward and informal. However, it will be helpful if you have advanced vocabulary.
  • Make an effort to justify your response. This encourages the usage of more diverse syntax and vocabulary.

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