IELTS speaking tips and tricks

IELTS SPEAKING

IELTS exam is an International English Language Testing System that assesses the English knowledge of a candidate. Undoubtedly, succeeding in this test can open loads of opportunities for everyone such as establishing a high-quality relationship with others especially foreign people, and also applying for universities and jobs.

Structure of the IELTS test

IELTS contains four major modules

  • Listening: In the listening module candidate is tested to show their ability in listening to various accents and speed of recognizing new and complex words.
  • Reading: in the reading, comprehension of the candidate from reading, and also time management is tested.
  • Writing: in this part of the IELTS exam which has two-part, task1 and task2, apart from English knowledge four other factors such as task response, Task achievement, Coherence and cohesion, Lexical Resource, Grammatical Range, and accuracy are tested.
  • Speaking: the four band descriptors on the speaking test are, Fluency and Coherence, Lexical Resource, Grammatical Range and Accuracy, Pronunciation

One of the most challenging parts of the IELTS exam is the speaking part. This part highly depends on your personality. personality in this part of the IELTS exam means whether you are a shy person or a gregarious one, whether you can control your stress when you are being asked about some topics that you have not thought About it. We mentioned the four band descriptor a bow in are explained below:

Fluency and Coherence

This descriptor considers how you speak, the flow of your words and thoughts, whether you repeat yourself, hesitate, and/or self-correct. This descriptor also looks at how natural your speaking sounds. At the higher levels (Band 7 and higher), it will be important to speak at length, with limited effort and hesitation, as well as with limited repetition and self-correction. One way to sound natural when speaking is to use connectives and discourse markers. These elements of language help connect your ideas, move on to another point, and organize your thoughts.

Fluency is your ability to speak smoothly (not quickly) without noticeable effort or loss of coherence. Poor fluency is normally associated with frequent self-correction, hesitation, pausing, or repetition.

Possible problems with fluency

Problem # 1- Trying to speak too quickly
Problem # 2- Trying to think of convincing ideas
Problem # 3- Focusing too much on grammar and vocabulary
Problem # 4- Stress
a. It is a common misconception that good fluency means having a very rapid speech or ending the sentence as fast as possible. Trying to speak too quickly in any language will cause a loss of coherence because your brain simply cannot keep up with your mouth. If you have a lot in mind to mention, do not worry and just try to get to each idea calmly. By this, you can also pay more attention to your words and structures in order to reduce your mistakes.
b. If you are very nervous and stressed out during your test, it is logical to claim that you are going to be less fluent than normal. Stress is entwined with human nature and just its degree can vary from a person to another. By familiarizing yourself with common IELTS Speaking topics, this level of stress can reduce to some extent.
c. Candidates are often worried that if they cannot think of relevant and convincing ideas, they will lose marks. Nevertheless, it should be noted that there is no mention of ‘good’ ideas in the official assessment criteria. As long as you try not to avoid the question that the examiner has asked you, you will not lose any mark. IELTS Speaking test is not a test
of your ideas or general knowledge. Focus on the quality of your speaking.
d. It is true that Lexical Resource and Grammatical Range and Accuracy account for 50% of your score, but a candidate’s fluency in speaking is undeniably more influential. Instead of having constant pauses to employ the best vocabulary items and grammatical structures in speaking, it is more effective to aim at addressing each question coherently and fluently.

Lexical Resource

This descriptor considers the variety and use of vocabulary during the speaking exam. Your IELTS examiner will consider whether the words you use help to make your ideas clear and whether the vocabulary is understandable, appropriate, and relevant to the topic. At higher levels (Band 7 and higher), your IELTS examiner will consider whether you use paraphrasing effectively when speaking, as well as whether you use less common or idiomatic words and phrases. Keep in mind that accuracy is very important here, alongside how natural these words and phrases sound.

Grammatical Range and Accuracy

For this descriptor, your IELTS examiner will look at the range of structures you use when answering the questions, such as the use and frequency of simple and complex structures, and the accuracy of the sentences. Your examiner will also consider the frequency of grammatical errors. For Band 7 and higher, it is essential to have a high number of error-free sentences throughout your speaking.

Pronunciation

For this descriptor, your examiner will carefully attempt to determine how easy it is to understand you, and whether your pronunciation is clear. While you don’t have to worry about altering your accent for the IELTS exam, it’s important to ensure you pronounce the words clearly and correctly, as your examiner will consider the frequency of mispronounced and hard-to-understand words. Having a range of pronunciation features will also play an important role.

Some important questions and tips

  • How do examiners decide on scores? (Part 1)
    Here’s a rough guide to how examiners decide what scores to give in the speaking test.
    Speaking Part 1
    Examiners are aware that part 1 questions are quite easy, and that candidates will only be able to give relatively short answers. Therefore, they are not expecting to hear any super-impressive language at this stage. Instead, examiners are getting an overall impression of the candidate’s ability in the following areas: pronunciation, avoiding mistakes in simple/easy sentences,  answering without too much hesitation, speaking fluently without too much repetition. Tip: Candidates perform better if they focus on answering fluently. Easy answers are fine; just make them as fluent and natural as possible.
  •  How do examiners decide on scores? (Part 2)
    Here’s a quick guide to how examiners judge candidates’ performance in part 2 of the speaking test.
    Speaking Part 2
    Part 2 gives the examiner a chance to listen to the candidate’s English.  In this part of the test, the examiner can judge all aspects of performance. But above all, part 2 is the candidate’s best chance to impress the examiner in one key area: vocabulary (lexical resource). In order to give a high score, the examiner needs to hear some ‘less common’ and ‘idiomatic’ vocabulary. In simple terms, this means that candidates need to use some phrases that a native speaker might use in a normal conversation. Tip: Part 2 is your best chance to impress the examiner with good language. But it does not mean complex grammar and lots of fancy linking words. Focus on giving a coherent and detailed description that contains a range of relevant words and phrases.
  • How do examiners decide on scores? (Part 3)
    Let’s consider what an examiner might be thinking during part 3 of the speaking test.
    Speaking Part 3
    After part 2 of the speaking test, the examiner probably has a pretty good idea of the candidate’s level. Part 3 is useful because it allows the examiner to probe a little deeper to make sure that he/she is right. For example, if the examiner is unsure about what score to give for grammar, he/she might choose a question that requires the candidate to compare the past with the present (i.e. using different tenses) or a question that requires the candidate to imagine something (perhaps using a conditional). Many examiners see part 3 as an opportunity to push candidates a little harder. They try to get them to open up, express themselves, and explain their opinions. In other words, the examiners are giving candidates a final chance to impress them with some good English. Tip: Don’t let your energy or effort level drop after part 2. Do your best to leave a good impression on the examiner.

Common Question types

A.
1. What are some advantages and disadvantages of online classes?
2. What are some advantages and disadvantages of exams?
3. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages that tourism brings to an area?
4. What are some advantages and disadvantages of keeping animals in zoos?
5. What are some advantages and disadvantages to having your own job?
B.
1. Why are teenagers getting more obese these days?
2. Why do many people want to study in a foreign country?
3. Why is the pollution level rising day by day?
4. Why do people feel tired a lot nowadays?
5. Why are some people interested in extreme sports?
C.
1. What are some problems regarding living in a megacity?
2. What problems have the Internet created for people?
3. What are some consequences of not sleeping enough?
4. How does social media affect people’s self-esteem?
D.
1. How can a person master a foreign language?
2. What suggestions do you offer to make people interested in reading books?
3. What are the best ways to control the issue of traffic congestion?
E.
1. Are shops nowadays the same as shops 20 years ago?
2. How has people’s entertainment changed over the past few years?
3. Are schools nowadays better than in the past?
4. Do you think people nowadays do more physical activities or less compared to the past?
F.
1. What skills will be more important in the future?
2. How do you predict the future of education?
3. Do you think people in the future will travel more or less?
4. Do you think that there is still a future for radio with television and the Internet being so popular?
5. What food problems can you predict in the future?
6. What types of environmental problems will get worse in the future?
G.
1. Do you think technology has made people lazier these days?
2. Do you feel that film stars are overpaid for what they do?
3. Some might argue that only locally made movies should be shown on television, do you agree?
4. What is your opinion about unpaid work for teenagers?
5. Do you think it is easier for people to become successful nowadays?
6. Do most people agree with the government funds to protect historical buildings?

Topic Specific Words

in the IELTS speaking there are some topics that have been frequently asked the are Holidays, Advertisement, Relationships, Technology, Sports, Food, Education, Work, Shopping, Shopping, Books and Movies, Clothes and Fashion, Personalities, Appearance, Towns and Cities, Music, Weather, Environment, etc.

 

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  • […] to test candidates in terms of Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. In the previous blog, see IELTS Speaking tips and tricks, we talked about the module of Speaking in IELTS examination and we investigated how can we improve […]

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