Test takers are often nervous about facing an examiner on test day. By reading through our IELTS Speaking tips, you will be better prepared and more confident on your test day.

Tips for the IELTS Speaking Test

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.

Don’t use big and 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.


Use a range of grammatical structures

When IELTS examiners assess your speaking skills, they mark you against the following assessment criteria:

1. Fluency and coherence

2. Lexical resource

3. Grammatical range and accuracy

4. Pronunciation

Try to use a range of grammatical structures using complex and simple sentences to express what you want to say. Know your own errors and practice speaking to friends in English or record yourself to see if you can spot errors. If you hear an error, make sure to correct yourself. You are assessed on your ability to use different grammatical structures accurately, so it’s important to practice speaking about the past, the present, and the future using correct tenses.


Don’t worry about your accent

With a face-to-face Speaking test, the IELTS examiner understands a wide range of accents and will be able to understand what you say. If you can communicate well, then there is nothing to worry about. But do be aware of sounds that you have difficulty with and make sure to use stress and intonation as English is a stress-timed language. Practice with friends and they will tell you if they can’t understand what you are saying.

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 – such as:

It is  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

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 .

Avoid the following fillers:

Like, You know, Umm…,Ahh…,Ehh…,Well,Yeah…

Extend your answers

Try to answer the examiner’s questions in full. Extend your answers and don’t wait for the examiner to prompt you with a question. When your answers are short, this shows the examiner that you cannot talk in detail about a topic. If the examiner says ‘Why?’, they are prompting you to give a reason for your answer and to extend more fully.

Smiling helps pronunciation

Smiling can help calm your nerves which in turn helps your pronunciation. Make sure to enunciate clearly, opening your mouth wide enough so that sounds come out clearly. When we smile, our mouth is bigger and the tone of our voice is more friendly.

Don’t speak in a 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 keywords. So, don’t speak in a monotone

Thanks for reading.




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