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IELTS – Speaking

The test will be divided in three different sections.

Section 1: Interview: The interview will last 4-5 minutes. This is supposed to be a relatively easy, introductory section. The examiner will likely ask your name, where you’re from, how you like to spend your free time, why you’re studying English, etc. Tip: It will be easy to give “yes” and “no” answers in this section, but do your best to give longer responses. Example: “Do you enjoy learning English?” “Yes (keep going!), I think English is a difficult but enjoyable language to learn, and it’s very practical.”

Part 2: Long Answer: In part 2 you will be given a topic about which you must speak uninterrupted for 1-2 minutes. Tip: You will have one minute of prep time. Don’t try to write out complete answers, just make notes and improvise from them. You will sound more natural this way and you’ll be able to map out your entire response.

Part 3: Discussion: In this part of the test you will discuss a topic with the examiner for 3-4 minutes; again, a difficult section. Tip: If you have the chance to make a point through a personal example, this will show you are comfortable and make your conversation more unique.

Do not be nervous – If you are nervous and you are not able to speak you will not get good bands so it is advisable to be confident.

Focus on pronunciation – pronounce the words correctly, if the assessor is not able to understand your words he/she will not give you good bands.

Remember your job is to give the assessor something to assess – if you only say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ during the interview, the assessor will not be able to give you a good score. Your job is to give the assessor as much as possible to consider. This means speaking as much as you can. Do not go off topic, but speak as much as you can.

Remember the assessor won’t prompt you to speak. If you don’t say enough he/she will go onto the next question. If you continue not to say enough, the interview could be very short.

Don’t ask the assessor what questions mean. All he/she can do if you don’t understand is repeat the question. You can though ask the examiner to repeat a question if you are not sure you understood it.

Extend your answers by giving reasons:
a. “I don’t really like going to the cinema.”
b. “I don’t really like going to the cinema because it’s expensive and I don’t like crowds very much.”

Do not use sophisticated vocabulary and difficult grammar without really knowing how to use both. The result will be the score will go down; so speak naturally.

Speak relevant information- do not go off the track.

Avoid the repetition of words – use the synonyms of the words rather than repeating the same word again and again.

Take care of tenses – check in which tense the answer is asked for example if the topic is how you celebrated your last birthday. The answer will be in the past tense.

Don’t worry about lying – this is not a test of assessing your knowledge. If the assessor asks “Tell me about your hobbies and interests” and you reply “I don’t have any” then you aren’t saying enough to allow the assessor to assess you. In situations like this, lie. Make up the story you can imagine.

Make eye contact with the assessor- as it shows that you are confident.