How to score higher in IELTS Speaking? 

    Sayantani Barman Sayantani Barman
    Study Abroad Expert

    IELTS or International English Language Testing System, is an internationally accepted, standardised test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers. IELTS exam helps you take admission at a university or college, register for a visa from government agencies in UK, New Zealand, Australia, Canada etc., and basically helps you in your career, be it for your higher education or for migration.

    Exam Format

    • There are two types of IELTS:
      • 1. Academic: Test takers usually who want to pursue higher studies in English speaking nations appear for IELTS Academic. In this exam, examiners measure an academic approach of the test takers. 
      • 2. General Training: Usually those applicants who want to migrate to English speaking nations for employment opportunities appear for IELTS General Training 
    • There are four parameters on basis of which you are evaluated. There is a reading test, a writing test, a speaking test, and a listening test. 
    • Reading and Writing sections differ depending on which exam you choose. The listening and speaking parts are the same for both.
    • The total duration of the exam is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

    IELTS Speaking Test Basic Information

    • The test mainly has four sections:
      • 1. ID Checking, greeting
      • 2. Part 1: Questions & Answers, lasts for 4 to 5 minutes
      • 3. Part 2: A 1-2 minute talk, followed by rounding up questions for 1 minute
      • 4. Part 3: Discussion, for 4 to 5 minutes

    Marks are evaluated on basis of four criteria:

    How to score higher in IELTS Speaking?

    Now the section which you have mainly come for, here's looking at some preparation tips for IELTS, and expected questions which will help you to score great marks in the IELTS speaking exam

    • Vocabulary (25%) : You are evaluated on the basis of your choice of words while speaking. To obtain more marks corresponding to this criterion, you should avoid using same words again and again, and try to use a wide range of words.
    • Grammar (25%) : As the name suggests, you'll be evaluated in this criterion on basis of your grammatical skills. So, keep in mind, not to make any grammatical mistakes, and you'll be alright.
    • Fluency & Cohesion (25%) : Marks given corresponding to this criterion is on basis of, how much smoothly you can speak, without those ummmms and uhhhhs. You should be able to speak in a fluid manner to get great marks corresponding to this criterion.
    • Pronunciation (25%) : As this is conducted by British Council, you should have a general idea of the British English pronunciations, so as to obtain good marks related to this criterion.
    • There is only one test for speaking. So, whether you are an academic candidate or a general training one, it doesn't matter. The test would be the same.

      So, these are some tips which should come handy in your preparation for the IELTS speaking test and help you score higher. Remember, it's a simple test to crack if you keep calm, and give answers in a relaxed and fluent manner. Till the next time, ciao!

      1. Even if you are giving a computer-delivered IELTS, your IELTS speaking test will be a face-to-face interview.
      2. The whole exam is recorded, so that you can ask for a remark later.
      3. IELTS speaking test is an informal one. The test lasts between 11 to 14 minutes.
      4. The examiner will listen to your speech and will discuss what you have said in Task 2. For Task 3, it is a warm discussion between the test taker and the examiner 
      • Smile
        • This might seem unnecessary and obvious, but most of the candidates get nervous before and during the exam, and as a result, can't perform to their full potential.
        • So, smile and relax. Doing this will also mean that you are using intonation, that is taking your voice levels up and down. It will also mean that your voice would have emotion, and you'll be able to stress upon the right words.
        • This is exactly what the examiner wants from your side.
      • Prepare according to what the examiner wants
        • Just having a good level in IELTS Speaking doesn't always work, you have to know what the examiner is looking out for, and speak accordingly.
        • We already know that the examiner tests you on vocabulary, fluency, grammar, and pronunciation. So, you have to keep in mind that you don't mess up in any of these things.
      • Use linking words
        • Since vocabulary is such an important part of the evaluation and testing, you should try using more of linking words, which would maintain your flow and enhance your vocabulary.
        • For eg, in Part 1, you can use words like but, as well, and etc.
        • For part 2, let's say you are narrating a short story, you can use words like after that, at long last, subsequently, next etc.
        • For part 3, you should use longer words like moreover, furthermore, as a result, etc. 
        • Using these linking words will not only improve your score in fluency and coherence, but also in vocabulary, in the IELTS speaking test.
      • Practice speaking
        • "Yes, uhhh, thanks a lot, ummmm, I'll take care of it." Does your speech sound somewhat similar? Definitely not good news!
        • If you intend to score good marks in the speaking test, you must maintain a proper fluency throughout and minimise these pauses and interruptions in your speaking as much as possible.
        • And for that, you need practice. Lots and lots of it. Try speaking to yourself in the mirror, or try talking to native speakers. Whatever you do, try to improve your fluency, and speak uninterrupted. 
      • Use "different" vocabulary
        • Only speaking fluently won't work. You have to ensure that you do not speak only textbook English. The examiners are looking for that.
        • So basically, you have to incorporate daily life English things like idiomatic phrases so that your English seems more flowing, more natural.
        • For eg, in parts 1 as well as in 2, you can use slang terms like "chill out", "hang out", etc, or phrases like "it thrills you to bits", or "you're over the moon!" etc.
        • In the third part, the questions are more formal, and your vocabulary should be a level higher too. You can use phrases like "To be frank, I think that", or "I completely agree with the notion that".
      • Remain calm
        • A quite obvious tip, but a very much needed one. Being nervous will bring bad impact on your IELTS Speaking test completely
        • Remember, the IELTS speaking test format, the examiner, everything is designed to assist you, encourage you, so that you do your best. So just relax, smile, and give the best you can.
      • Improvise
        • At the end of the day, you're a human. You can make mistakes, you can forget things. Now if that happens, try to be graceful about it, and work your way around. Confused about what I'm saying?
        • Well, let's say, you don't know the answer to something. Instead of replying in the lines of "I don't know", reply with "That's a tricky question!". That sounds so much more flowing and natural than the former straight forward approach 
      • Clarify any doubts
        • During IELTS speaking test, if you have any doubts regarding anything asked of you, or something else entirely, don't hesitate to ask.
        • Remember, giving ambiguous answers would not help your case, so it would be much better for you to simply ask and clarify any doubts which might arise during the test.
      • Try to tell the "why"
        • One of the questions examiners frequently asked in IELTS is "why?". This is being asked because examiners measure how well the test takers speak on a particular topic. This section is all about fluency
        • But, here's the catch. If the examiner has to ask you "why" again and again, high chances, it'll affect your total score.
        • So what you got to do is, that you have to give the reason behind your answers along with the answer. This will make your answers long and much better, which would help you in obtaining great scores in the IELTS speaking test.
      • Know the usually asked questions
        • Whole of IELTS speaking test has a fixed pattern and format, which you can take to your advantage.
        • Because of a set format, the questions asked are more often that not, similar in nature, and can be practiced in advance, which will lead to more confident and better answers overall, and subsequently more marks in IELTS speakingtest. So, here's looking at some sample questions asked in each part:
          • Part 1 (The common topics from which questions are asked are work, study, home, hometown, childhood, birthdays, art, daily routine, evenings, family, pets, internet, hobbies, food, flowers, going out, etc.)
            1. Why did you choose your job?
            2. What do you study?
            3. Do you often visit your hometown?
            4. What would you change about your home?
            5. What kind of art do you like?
            6. Can you remember a birthday you celebrated as a child?
            7. What is your first memory of your childhood?
            8. What is your daily routine?
          • Part 2 (1 topic to speak on for 1-2 minutes, 1 minute given to think upon the topic, topic is chosen by you by drawing out a task card)
            1. Describe a language you've learned.
            2. Describe a song you like.
            3. Describe a useful website.
            4. Describe a gift you recently gave to someone.
            5. Describe an interesting hobby.
            6. Describe some good news you recently received.
            7. Describe sports you would like to learn.
            8. Describe a place you've recently visited.
          • Part 3 (Questions are asked based off your topic in Part 2)
            1. Why do some companies ask their staff to wear uniforms?
            2. Do you think computers will one day replace teachers in the classroom?
            3. Why do some people enjoy eating out?
            4. Do you think there will be less illness in the future?
            5. Do you believe everything you read in the newspapers?
            6. Why should people be concerned about the environment?
            7. What is the difference between major crime and minor crime?
            8. Why do some people prefer to travel abroad rather than in their own country?



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