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.