Confused with prepositions? Need more vocabulary about money? Watch this short but very useful video to learn more words related to Money and the prepositions that go with them. Post your comments or questions in the comment box.
Scoring high in the IELTS Speaking Test requires hard work and employing proper techniques. I have collated tips and suggestions from several books, articles and videos below. Feel free to ask questions and add your suggestions in the comment box.
- Familiarize yourself with the IELTS speaking format. Know what how you will be assessed in the test. Even native English speakers do not always score high in the IELTS speaking exam. The reason is that IELTS has its own test structure that candidates should be familiar with.
- Know the most common IELTS Speaking topics and expand your vocabulary on each of the said topics. Some common topics are: Family, Education, Hobbies and Free time, Travelling and Transportation, Technology and the Media, and others. Read more about such topics. Have a dedicated vocabulary notebook where you can list the words and phrases you’ve learned. Use a good dictionary to help you with the correct usage of certain words so it is easier for you to use them in your practice conversation.
- Learn how to answer each of the 3 sections of the speaking test: Part 1 (Interview), Part 2 (Cue Card/Long Turn) and Part 3 (Discussion). For example, you are expected to have only short and straightforward answers in Part 1 while in Part 3, you are expected to explain things to the examiner and use a good range of vocabulary.
- Your behavior during the test matters. You should showcase not only your ability to use a wide range of vocabulary and accurate grammar structure but also your confidence. You should be able to speak with the examiner as if it was just a natural conversation and not a scripted or memorized exchange of ideas. Constant practice in front of the mirror, with a friend or a teacher or a language partner will help you boost your confidence.
- Listen to the questions very carefully and do not try to interrupt the examiner. You must exhibit full understanding of what is being asked. You do not want to provide an answer that is not related to the question because you misunderstood the question.
- It is important to note that you are allowed to repeat the question, to buy time or to express a lack of opinion. If you did not really understand the question, do not try to answer right away. You may repeat the examiner’s question to make sure that you understood it. Learn how to use Time Fillers in our “Time Fillers”
- Practice answering common IELTS Speaking Questions with a partner or you can record yourself. This will help you evaluate which topics are more difficult for you to talk about. Use a timer to simulate the actual speaking test. You can access free our TOP IELTS SPEAKING TOPICS and sample speaking questions to practice with.
- Make sure to arrive early during the test day. Have enough rest before the big day. Eat well before you leave home. Allow enough travel time to go the test center to avoid getting stressed. You should know where the test center is before date itself. Make sure you have everything you need before you leave home. When you are know you have prepared well, then you should feel more relaxed.
- During the test, do not hesitate to correct yourself if you make mistakes but make sure to limit it. Too much of this will affect your overall confidence during the exam. Speak in a natural pace – not too slow and not too fast. It is important that you make yourself understood by the examiner. Do not worry about your accent. As long as you speak clearly, your accent will not affect your score.
- Keep an eye contact with the examiner, smile when appropriate and show your confidence. Do not be intimidated with examiners who do not smile or look too serious. They do not intend to scare you, it’s probably just the way they are.
Do you have other tips on how to score high in the IELTS Speaking Test? Feel free to share them in the comment box.
What are the most common IELTS Speaking Topics?
I have compiled below the most common topics of IELTS Speaking questions. It would be a great idea to expand your vocabulary on these topics in preparation for your IELTS exam.
- Home and Hometown – this is quite common Part 1 IELTS questions. In this interview part, you will be asked questions like “where are you from”, “describe your hometown”. Questions about where you live, whether you live in a house or an apartment, what is your house/apartment like, etc.
- Work – You will be asked what type of work you do, whether you like it or not. You will be asked to describe your typical day at work, what types of jobs are popular in your country, etc.
- Studies – You will be asked what subjects are you taking, what subjects do you like or dislike (your favorite or least favorite), whether those subjects are important or not and other related questions.
- Hobbies and Free time – You will be asked what you typically do at weekends, how do you spend your free time, if you have a lot of free time, what are your hobbies and if you still do them or would like to learn something else.
- Family – You will be asked whether you have a big or small family, whether you live with your parents or not, whether it is typical to have a small family or a big one in your country, whether you get along well with your family members, etc.
- Relationships – These are questions related to friends and co-workers and your relationship with them; you will be asked questions about the cultural practices related to relationship between parents and children, siblings, husband and wife, teachers and students, employee and the boss.
- Neighbors and the neighborhood – You will be asked how well you know your neighbors, whether you have a good relationship with them, whether you like them or not, whether it is important to have neighbors, etc.
- Food – Typical questions about food are: your favorite food, popular food in your country, your favorite cuisine, whether you prefer to cook or buy food, whether you eat out often or not, what kinds of food you like or dislike, etc.
- Travelling – typically you will be asked whether you like travelling or not, how often you travel, what places you visit and would like to visit, what places are popular to tourists in your country…
- Magazines and Newspapers – you will be asked about the reading habits of people in your country, your preference on reading materials, whether reading habits have changed in your country and similar types of questions.
- Music and Arts – Typical questions here are about your favorite music, music in your childhood, popular music in your country, whether music and arts have changed recently, whether you like arts or music, whether music and arts are important, whether they are taught in school, etc.
- Transportation – you will be asked about the typical mode of transport in your city/country, which one you typically use, whether you are satisfied or not with the transport system in your country, how do you go to certain places or whether it has changed or not in the recent years.
- Sports and Entertainment – You will be asked to about the popular sports in your country, whether you play sports or not, whether you like a kind of sport or not, whether sport is important, what types of entertainment are available in your city or popular forms in your country, what changes have your observed recently, you will be asked about celebrities (who do you like or don’t like, your favorite ones).
- Movies and Books – you will be asked about your favorite movies, popular movies in your country, your favorite book, whether you like to watch movies or read books, reading and watching habits of people in your country.
- Childhood – be ready to answer questions about your childhood memories, changes in your life from childhood to now, childhood life in your city, etc.
- Daily Routine – you will be asked about your typical morning/day/, what time you wake up or go to bed, what you eat everyday and similar topics.
- Weather – you will be asked about you favorite weather, the typical weather/climate in your country/city, what is your least favorite type of weather etc.
- Shopping – you will be asked whether you like shopping or not, the shopping habits in your country, whether you shop online or not, how often do you shop, types of shopping places in your city /country, etc.
- Pets – you will be asked about pets and animals, whether you like them or not, whether you have one or not, your country’s attitude towards animals/pets, etc.
- The Internet – you will be asked about your usage of the internet (when and for what purpose), whether it is good or bad, internet usage/habits in your country, and other related questions.
For IELTS Speaking Test Questions, access them free here.