Tips for IELTS Speaking Section

Many students dread going in front of an examiner for an interview. They find the reading, writing and listening section comparatively easy as they require them to master the technique. One way to overcome hesitation is to work on the areas where you might not perform well.
Here are a few tips which might help you in acing the IELTS speaking test:-

1. Avoid memorizing the script
Speaking test examines the candidate’s ability to survive in an English speaking country. The examiner would expect you to start a conversation. Thus, it would appear automated if you mug up the conversation starters. The conversation should flow naturally.

2. Don’t use many uncommon words and slangs
You need to show the examiner that you have a huge lexical range. However, it doesn’t imply that your conversation has to be wordy. Using uncommon English words, especially when you are conscious of what you speak the entire time, would only result in incorrect usage of these words. Remember that the IELTS speaking is semi-formal speaking test i.e. the conversation mustn’t be completely formal or informal. Above all, don’t use slangs.

3. Work on your grammatical range and accuracy
Grammatical errors, while speaking, are common even with a native speaker. When we speak, we use broken language and avoid complete sentences to save time. This isn’t how your IELTS speaking answers are supposed to be. You must use complete sentences and use various kinds of sentences (such as compound, and complex).

4. Pay attention to what you will wear
The examiner records the entire speaking test and usually evaluates once the candidate leaves. One might be tempted to wear casuals as no one is going to record our appearance. Keep in mind that the first impression is the last. Furthermore, wearing appropriate attire will give you confidence and create more impact on the spoken content.

5. Practice with non-verbal language
Most of our communication is non-verbal. Using hand gestures and facial expression help in maintaining the flow of the conversation. It also creates a connection with the listener. Many public speakers have said that moving their hands during a speech gives them more confidence.

6. Take natural pauses
You don’t need to rush from one sentence to another because you have a timer over your head. You ought to take breaks to breathe and to start a different sentence. Practice your pauses as a comma requires you to take a shorter break as compared to a full stop.

7. Don’t change your accent
The speaking test requires you to enunciate each spoken word. You don’t need to develop an American or British accent to get an 8 or even 9 band in the IELTS speaking test. You must, however, have a neutral accent. This means that your mother tongue should not influence your conversation in English.

8. Avoid using informal fillers
Words like “ah”, “amm” “yeah”, “you know”, “so”, etc don’t create an appealing picture for the test takers. They show the examiner that the candidate lacks the conversational content in English. It also reflects low self-confidence. Even if the points you would be making are extraordinary, you will still lose a band because of these fillers. Instead, you should use conversational fillers such as “that’s a good question” and “I have never really thought about it”

9. Utilize the time properly
This section is a timed test. Each task has maximum time allotted for it. You must ensure that you make the most of the time given to you. For instance, in task 2 you have to give a speech or a monologue. You should have enough points to keep your speech going for at least 2-3minutes.

10. Use stress and intonation
You should use stress and intonation whenever you want to emphasize a particular word or phrase. This will keep the conversation interesting and the examiner will be able to connect with your recording as he or she will be evaluating your answers after you leave.

11. Use the scratch paper
You must write complete sentences on the scratch paper. You are not supposed to read from the scratch paper. It is only a point of reference if you get stuck. Create the structure of your answer on it and write only the important keywords.

12. Identify common topics to practice
As you practice, you will find that some topics are repetitive in previous IELTS test series. Make a list of these and start practicing with a friend or a family member.