IELTS Speaking Tips: Tips to improve your score

IELTS Speaking Tips Before the Test

Remember! No-one is going to accuse you of lying – it’s a language test! 

Use Appropriate Structures

You will be marked on your grammar and sentence structures, so use the structures commensurate with the level you need to achieve.

To score level 5, you need to use level 5 structures. To score level 9, you need to use level 9 structures.

If you do not know which structures belong to which level, you need to take some classes! You may only need one class to familiarize yourself with the requirements! Call, we’ll probably be able to  schedule your class for later today! Call or text 613-614-6460.

Familiarize Yourself with the Test

Familiarize yourself with the test. Knowing what to expect reduces your stress and increases your chances of success.

The IELTS Speaking test for General and Academic is the same.

There are three sections in the IELTS Speaking Test

  • introduction
  • presentation
  • conversation

Before you go in to your test, make sure you know what you need to do in each section to get your score.

Practice Producing Cohesive Responses

You will be marked on your fluency and how well your response sticks together.

Record your responses and listen to yourself for:

  • repetition
  • big gaps
  • frequent self-correction
  • obvious thinking in your own language
  • answers that don’t make any sense
  • anything that hampers your fluency

“…I felt more confident after a few classes…”

Prepare Multipurpose Stories

You know that you will be asked to talk about a personal experience, so make up a couple of little stories about yourself that you will be able to use in a variety of situations.

Your ‘most embarrassing moment’ could be the same experience as ‘a time when you felt determined’, or ‘a memorable family outing’. It might even be related to ‘a person who inspired you’. Be creative.

Practice Using a Range of Sentence Structures and Tenses

This example uses:

One of the most historic places I’ve visited (present perfect) is (present) London Bridge. It’s located (present) in London and spans (simple present) the river Thames.

I visited (simple past) the bridge with my family back in 2012 and was (simple past) very impressed by the sheer size and strength of the structure. The current bridge was preceded (past passive)  by several bridges dating (gerund) back to London’s (possessive) Roman founders. That first bridge had been built (past perfect) from timber.

Leaving the bridge (participial), I wondered (simple past) how on earth the Romans had managed (past perfect) to build (infinitive – double action) anything across such a large expanse of water.

IELTS Speaking Tips During the Test

Make a Good First Impression

Answer your examiner’s first question with a response that is informative and interesting. Don’t try to rehearse your introduction because you risk being so preoccupied with remembering it that you don’t listen to the examiner’s question. This IELTS speaking tip is absolutely critical if you’re looking for a score above band 6.

Speak More Than Your Examiner

Make sure you speak more than the examiner, because, while the test is conversational, you should aim to speak for about 80% of the time.

Provide Complete Answers

Listen to the question carefully and answer every part of it.

Start your answers with the big picture and then drill down to details before concluding your response.

For Example, if you are talking about a historic place you’ve visited, you might say:

Big picture:  One of the most historic places I’ve visited is London Bridge. It’s located in London and spans the river Thames.

Details: I visited the bridge with my family back in 2012 and was very impressed by the sheer size and strength of the structure. The current bridge was preceded by several bridges dating back to London’s Roman founders. That first bridge had been built from timber.

Conclusion: I left the bridge wondering how on earth the Romans had managed to build anything across such a large expanse of water.

Statement -> Explanation -> Example

Use a Broad Vocabulary

Your examiner will give you a score for your vocabulary, so as you practice each of the three sections, make a note of any words you have to look up. After that, make sure you use this vocabulary every time you practice.

Endings Matter

Make sure your examiner hears ALL of your endings.

Say the whole word. If you miss an ending off a verb, the examiner won’t know whether the action is in the present, past, or future. When examiners can’t hear your time indicators, they can’t give you the score you want.

Use our One-A-Day workbook series to improve your vocabulary and increase your tense accuracy.

Get even more tense practice with our classes and videos.

Speak Clearly

If you are going to make a mistake, make a good one! Speak clearly so that the examiner doesn’t assume you have made a mistake.

Use a range of phrases and vocabulary

Being able to draw on a range of appropriate phrases and vocabulary that allow you to express yourself efficiently is hugely important. One free resource is the Makkar IELTS speaking pdf. The questions and sample answers don’t start until you get to page 12, but, from then on, there are questions and answers about a huge variety of topics along with a wealth of phrases and vocabulary that’s likely to come in very handy.

Correct Yourself

If you know you’ve made a mistake, correct it.

It is best to speak fluently, but being able to correct yourself shows the examiner that you recognize your error.

There are probably many times when you correct yourself in your native language – it’s normal!

Take a Class

If you are unsure about your ability to achieve the level you need, please call us to discuss tutoring.

You may only need to take a single one-on-one class to familiarize yourself with the high-scoring structures you need to include to get your score.

You could probably take a class today. Call or text 613-614-6460 to check available class times.

Please call/text Angela at 613-614-6460 for more information.