Our team put together essential IELTS Speaking tips, hints and golden rules to help you perform at your best for the IELTS Speaking section. You’re guaranteed to learn something new here which will result in getting a good IELTS Band score.
– Part 1 (4-5 minutes) is for the Examiner to ask you questions about yourself.
– Part 2 (3-4 minutes) is for you to prepare and give a short talk of 1-2 minutes on a
♦ Speak as much English as you can.
♦ Prepare yourself for the exam by knowing what is involved.
♦ You need to sound natural and not as if you have learnt answers by heart.
♦ Be spontaneous and relevant.
♦ Do not be put off by the tape recorder in the room. It is there to help you not the Examiner!
♦ Be positive. The exam is nearly over, so smile and breathe evenly.
♦ Remember that the adrenaline produced by your nervous feelings actually helps you to perform better.
♦ Use a wide range of vocabulary. People generally use less than they know when they speak. Practise to activate what you know.
♦ Concentrate generally on what you are saying rather than being accurate. You will then make fewer mistakes.
♦ Practise speaking clearly. This does not mean slowly, but naturally and evenly.
How to be fluent
• Concentrate on the planning and organization. These help you to control your nerves and to be fluent. If you go into the exam unprepared, it will make you nervous.
• Concentrate only on the part you are doing. Forget about the other parts of the exam.
• Keep eye contact with the Examiner, even if he/she looks away or makes notes. If you do not usually maintain eye contact in your culture, practise speaking while keeping eye contact before the exam.
• If the Examiner is writing, looking away or not smiling, this does not mean that you are doing badly. It just means the Examiner is doing his/her job.
Also check : IELTS Speaking preparation tips
Part 1 : Introduction and interview
• Remember that the Examiner is just like your teacher. In fact, Examiners are usually teachers, so they are aware of how you feel, because their own students feel the same!
• The Examiner has a set of questions. Answer the questions without trying to repeat the whole question in your answer:
What’s the most interesting building in your home town?
Do not reply: The most interesting place in…is….
• State your answer and then expand, if possible.
I/Many people find it fascinating, because …
• Try to use synonyms of the words used by the Examiner. If you can’t, don’t interrupt your fluency, just say what you can.
• The topics are usually familiar topics and the Examiner asks you about yourself. Try to give examples and create ideas. Do not say: I don’t know
You might be asked about:
– a place or a hobby
– your daily routine
– your interests
– places in your country
– special foods/events in your country.
The questions are designed to encourage you to talk. They are not new or unpredictable.
Part 2 : Individual long turn
• The topics on the task card are about a book, film, television programme, clothes, piece of music, object, place you like, special journey, special day, people you like or who have influenced you or a skill you have learned, etc.
• Use the time to plan. A common criticism of candidates is that they do not plan. You are not impressing the Examiner if you start immediately without planning, whatever
your level. Make a brief written plan, as it helps to keep you on the subject and stops you from wandering away from the points you are asked about.
• If your talk is not organized, you will lose marks.
• Remember you are being checked on your fluency and coherence. Coherence involves following a logical and clear argument.
• Remember that being relevant is as important being fluent.
• When candidates do not plan, they tend to describe the general aspect of the question rather than the specific parts.
• Be aware how much you can say in two minutes maximum. You will probably only be able to say between 200-250 words.
• Make sure what you say is natural and do not sound as if you have learnt something by heart. It will affect your score
• Remember the Examiner will know if you are doing the task properly or not
Planning and making notes
• Write notes not sentences. The task card asks you to describe a place, etc. and then to give reasons for your choice. For each point, write only one or two words for each
prompt. In total you should have no more than 10-20 words.
• Write the points in a vertical list and in order. It is easier to see them this way.
• Draw a line between the words relating to the description and the explanation. It will make it clearer for you as you speak.
• As you speak, refer to the list to organize your answer. This should ensure that you answer all parts of the task.
• Use nouns, verbs, adverbs and adjectives for your notes.
• Do not learn your notes or full answers by heart and then repeat them word for word in the exam quickly. This sounds artificial and affects your score.
• Think about connecting words/phrases that will guide you as you speak, but don’t write them in the notes.
• Like the other parts of the test, the Speaking tests your ability to organize what you say. Good organization improves your fluency and coherence and reduces your mistakes.
• Practise making notes and using them to help you speak.
• Learn to build what you say around the prompts on the card and your notes.
• Record yourself; even write your answer down to see how much you need to say.
• Do not learn what you have written by heart, but do learn words and phrases that prompt and guide you.
Prompt words for Part 2
• Use prompt words to guide you rather than leaning whole topics.
• Here are some introductory prompt phrases:
– I’d like to talk about…
– I’m going to talk about/describe how to …
– I want to talk about…
– What I’d like to talk about is…
• Here are some phrases to talk about background detail:
– Place: It is near…
– Name: A called/which is called…
– Location: is situated …on the shores of/on the edge of…
•Time: It took place …/It happened…
– Recent time: It has been going on …/I have known …
– How: First of all, you prepare …; then …is prepared…
• Here are some words and phrases to help develop your theme:
– First of all, …/Secondly, …
– and also/as well as/what’s more/moreover
– Another thing is… /Another reason I… /Another reason why I… /Another reason
behind my decision to …
– And why do I like it so much? Well, it…
• Here are some words and phrases to talk about things you like:
– I like/enjoy something/doing something
– I like…..more than anything else
– I like…..the most
– I love something/doing something
– ……appeals to me, because …
– I take get (a lot of) pleasure out of
– I am fond of…
• Here are some words and phrases to state that something made an impression on you:
– .. made an impression on me.
– .. influenced me.
.. had an (enormous) impact on me
– … affected me.
– … had an effect on me.
– … seems to have a had lasting effect on me.
… brought home to me …
. . changed the way I look at things
… moved me.
… impressed me.
touched me deeply.
– … disturbed me.
• Use synonyms of words in the task card.
– benefits: advantages, positive aspects
– ways: measures, steps, courses of action, solutions
– causes: reasons behind
– effects: consequences, repercussions, results
– developments: changes
– example: instance, good example, best example
• Collect your own examples of synonyms.
• As you think about and give your talk, be prepared for questions to connect what you have said in Part 2 to lead into Part 3.
Part 3: Two-way discussion
• Listen carefully to the Examiner’s questions.
• Try to be fluent and only correct yourself if it is easy to do so. Don’t focus on your mistakes.
• Concentrate on the organization and being coherent.
• Remember the Examiner asks you a range of questions to encourage you to speak.
• You need to go into greater depth to explain your opinion, give reasons and speculate about the future
• To stop yourself from panicking about Part 3, think how long it lasts; how many
questions the Examiner can ask you (six to eight); and the nature of the questions.
• The questions will be open questions, for example:
– What kind(s)/sort(s)/type(s)/benefit(s)/effect(s) of… are there?
– What kinds of things…?
– what changes/advantages/disadvantages/differences/ways…?
– Why do you think …?
– How important/useful/beneficial/essential…?
– How does …?
– (A statement) Why do you think this is?
– What will happen in the future?
– Can you give me some examples?
– Do you think …? Why?
– What is the role of…?
• The Examiner can invite you to comment by asking: What about…. ?
• Keep to the topic. Think of your answer as the Examiner is speaking.
Prompts to help you begin and develop your answers
• If you don’t understand the Examiner’s question, tell him/her or ask him/her to repeat it. There is no point answering a question you do not understand.
• Make sure that your answer fits the Examiner’s question.
• A memorized response to something similar you have learnt is not suitable. However, prepare some prompts for yourself so that you can get yourself talking. These prompts
give you a few seconds to think and organize what you want to say.
• Remember that the Examiners are not checking whether you are telling the truth, but your ability to speak English.
• The Examiner introduces a general topic and then asks you a question about a specific aspect.
• When the Examiner asks you a question, listen for words you can build your answer around: What do you think the benefits of being able to speak more than one language are? Obviously, you need to speak about the benefits. When you answer, use a paraphrase: advantages/positive aspects or… is beneficial.
• Put your list into an order: The main advantage. I think, is and give one or more reasons:… because… and it…
• You are taking part in a two-way conversation. Allow space for the Examiner to ask you questions. Don’t talk over the Examiner. However, if the Examiner doesn’t interrupt you, continue speaking.
• Don’t speak fast or slowly, but clearly.
• Organize what you are saying. Don’t make just the beginning relevant, but also your supporting evidence. Bear in mind the principles of writing a paragraph.
• Concentrate on the message and the organization rather than your grammar and it will help you to be fluent.
• The Examiner might ask a question that changes direction slightly. Follow his/her lead.
• When you state something, try to qualify it and expand to support your opinion/reason:
– The main way/step/measure I think, is to …
– … because this wHI/can lead to … and also…
– For example, …
– And another way is … I also think/feel/believe …In my opinion/From my point of view ..
• Use, but don’t overuse, adding words: Moreover/What is more
• If you have time, draw a conclusion:… and therefore…
• You can vary the response in any way you like as long as it fits and is relevant.
• The Examiner might ask an unexpected question for you to comment on: What about… ? Agree or disagree: That is possible, but I think... and give your reasons.
• Use words and phrases to state different sides of an argument:
– To some people … is a downside/drawback/disadvantage, but on balance I think …
– … but/however/nevertheless I…
• Talk about possible results or consequences:… and so/therefore …
• When you are asked to speculate about the future, use: will/going to/might/could/ should…
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