IELTS Speaking Tips: How to Improve IELTS Speaking Test Score

International English Language Testing System ( IELTS )

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Aishwarya
Aishwarya Bhatnagar
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Jan 16, 2023 11:44 IST

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is an English proficiency test that helps you relocate to a country where English is the native language. The basic philosophy behind the test is to help the examiners understand whether you will be able to work and communicate, in your daily life, in a country where English is the native language. The test has 4 tasks: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. Besides this, the IELTS test is of two types: Academic Test and General Training Test. The IELTS Academic Test is for those who wish to study, and the General Training test is for those who wish to apply for a PR or for jobs. Based on your performance in either of the two, you will receive a score on a scale of 1-9.

The IELTS Speaking test checks your speaking ability and vocal clarity. It involves a one-to-one interaction between the student and an examiner. The IELTS Speaking section includes three parts, which give the examiner a chance to check the student’s range of different speaking skills. The IELTS Speaking section is recorded at the time of examination. IELTS speaking tips will help you in improvising your speaking fluency which will ultimately fetch you more scores. IELTS speaking tips 2022 includes the knowledge of grammar while using the English language. Avoid unfamiliar words and do not memorize the responses; rather you should be able to frame the sentences on your own.  

Whether it is a paper-based or computer-delivered IELTS test, the face-to-face speaking test comprises three parts. First, understand what you will be asked in different parts of the speaking test, so, you can prepare in accordance with the test.

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IELTS Speaking Test

Part 1: The examiner will ask you general questions about yourself, your family, interests, studies, work, etc.

Part 2: You will be given a card that asks you to speak on a given topic. You will have one minute to prepare before speaking.

Part 3: The examiner will ask you questions related to the topic given to you in Part 2, giving you the opportunity to discuss the issues and ideas connected to the topic.

Duration: 15 minutes (approx.)

IELTS Speaking Pattern

In the speaking section, you are evaluated on the basis of your pronunciation, fluency & coherence, grammar, and vocabulary.

The Speaking test is divided into 3 parts. The details of each part are mentioned below:

A) PART 1: Introduction and Interview

  • The examiner begins the test by introducing himself/herself, mentioning your candidate number, mentioning his/her examiner number, and checking your ID.
  • The examiner then asks for your introduction, your hobbies, some personal information, etc.
  • Questions then suddenly change directions and take the form of small talk.
  • The idea behind this part is to judge a candidate’s ability to communicate on common topics of daily life.
  • The number of questions in this part is not fixed and the duration of this part can be from 4 to 5 minutes.

B) PART 2: Individual Long Turn

  • The examiner will provide you with a Cue Card or a Task Card along with a few sheets of paper and a pencil.
  • The task card will include a prompt, 3 dot points, and an additional sentence.
  • The prompt is the topic on which you have to talk about. The 3 dot points are supposed to be covered in your talk. And the additional sentence is a follow-up question related to that topic.
  • You will be given 1 minute to prepare your notes and then the examiner will ask you to talk for 1-2 minutes.
  • Overall, this part lasts for 3-4 minutes and is designed to test your skills and ability to speak on a particular topic. The examiner is trying to judge how coherently and clearly you can organize your thoughts and ideas.

C) PART 3: Discussion

  • In this part of the examination, you will have a discussion with the examiner on the topic that was covered in Part 2. This will involve a back-and-forth conversation with the examiner. For instance, if you were asked about your travel experience in Part 2, the discussion in Part 3 might involve something on Tourism. This is more of an abstract discussion where you are judged on your ability to express your opinions, to explain a broader topic, etc. Part 3 usually lasts for about 4-5 minutes.

Must Read:- Common Mistakes in IELTS Speaking and How to Fix Them!

IELTS Speaking Tips

Here are some useful IELTS speaking tips for the candidates that will help you in preparing and score higher:

Tip 1: Do not use unfamiliar or big words

If you think that you can make a good impression by using complex words make sure to pronounce them correctly else it can backfire. These mistakes can affect your final band score. Work on your vocabulary and use words that you think can add value to the topic.

Tip 2: Practice common IELTS topics

You have to speak for 2 minutes on the given topic. You can practice some of the common topics with friends and family to improve your vocabulary with the topic.

Tip 3: Do not change your accent

In the speaking test, you should focus on communicating well and not on your way of speaking or your accent. However, make sure to use intonation and stress while speaking. Also, the examiner understands different accents, so, you need to just focus on communication.

Tip 4: Use grammatical structures

The IELTS examiner will assess your speaking skills on the following criteria:

  • Grammatical accuracy
  • Pronunciation
  • Fluency and coherence
  • Lexical resource

Try to use a range of grammatical structures while speaking. Practice speaking with your friends and family in English to spot your errors and improve them. You will be assessed on using different grammatical structures perfectly. So, make sure you use proper tenses.

Tip 5: Pause and think

If you want to take time to process questions then take your time. You can use phrases like 'let me see' and 'It's an interesting question', so, you can get some time to think about the answer.

Tip 6: Extend your answers

Try to give the answer in detail! The examiner should not think that you cannot speak on a topic for long. Extend your answers before the examiner interrupts you. You should be able to speak on the topic extensively.

Tip 7: Avoid fillers

Avoid using fillers and speak confidently! Mostly, we use fillers when we do not have an idea what to say. Do not give examiners any idea that you are taking time and are not aware of what to say.

Apart from these tips, solve IELTS Speaking Practice Papers 2022, so, you can be familiar with the types of questions that can be asked in the IELTS speaking test.

IELTS Speaking (difference between a good and an average score)

Before we get into the preparation part, let us first understand what are the differences between the strategies of those who score above 7, and those who score below 7. The table highlights some of the differences:

Part of the Speaking Test

Below 7

Above 7

Part 1

  • The answers are memorized and the examiner can easily spot this.
  • The answers are very long and off-topic.
  • The conversation feels too formal. Even though it is a formal test, too much of formality gives an impression of memorization.
  • The conversation with the examiner is very natural.
  • The answers given have a balanced length (neither too short nor too lengthy) and at the same time, these candidates do not deviate from the topic.

Part 2

  • Following only the bullet points, as a result of which the candidate runs out of ideas.

§  Focus is on the main topic of the task card and the bullet points are used as a source of help. The content is focused on the main topic, rather than the bullet points.

Part 3

  • Giving very short answers, even though it is a discussion round. This proves to the examiner that the candidate has memorized in Part 1.
  • The other mistake is not answering some of the questions. Remember, this test is not meant to judge your knowledge, it is only meant to judge your English. So you can at least try an answer the question.
  • These candidates attempt every question and answer the questions directly.
  • They are usually well-read, and this helps them to handle conversations on a wide range of topics

IELTS Speaking Topics

In this section, we will discuss IELTS Speaking topics for IELTS Speaking Part 1 and IELTS Speaking Part 2. IELTS Speaking Part 3 involves a conversation between an examiner and a candidate; hence, it is too subjective. However, the discussion in IELTS Speaking Part 3 will be based on Part 2.

IELTS Speaking Part 1 Topics

The table given below provides various IELTS Speaking Part 1 topics. In order to read about IELTS introduction questions, please visit here.

IELTS Speaking Part 1 Topics

IELTS Speaking Part 1 Questions

Work

  • Do you work?
  • Where do you work?
  • Do you enjoy your job?
  • Do you want to change your job?

Study

  • What do you study?
  • Where do you study?
  • Do you enjoy your subject?
  • Do you wish to change your majors in the near future?

Home

  • Where is your home?
  • What is special about your home?
  • Is your neighbourhood good?
  • Are your neighbours friendly?

Food

  • Do you like to cook?
  • What is your favourite dish?
  • Are you conscious about your diet?
  • Who cooks at your home?

Childhood

  • What is it that you remember the most about your childhood?
  • Did you have many friends when you were a child?
  • Did you play computer games in your childhood?
  • What all activities did you enjoy as a child?

IELTS Speaking Part 2 Topics

IELTS Speaking Part 2 or IELTS Cue Card includes a question prompt, 3 dot points, and an additional sentence. Candidates are required to talk on the topic given in the Cue Card. There are 4 main heads under which the IELTS Speaking Part 2 topics usually fall. These have been provided in the chart below:

Main Heads

Topics

Places

House, Country, Tourist Destination, City, Hotel, Building, etc.

People

Family, Famous Person, Your inspiration, etc.

Things

Food, Book, Film, Goals, Gift, etc.

Situations

Birthday, Wedding, When you helped someone, An important decision in your life, etc.

IELTS Speaking Preparation

Let us now get into the preparation part. You can read as many car driving instructions as you want, but you can drive a car only when you practice driving. Similarly, you can score well on the speaking test only when you practice speaking. Here are some of the guidelines for your preparation:

  • Part 1 of the Speaking Test:
    • Directly answer the question rather than confuse the examiner. The length of your answer should be balanced.
    • If you are mentioning a word that the examiner might not be familiar with, you will be better off explaining that word. For e.g., if you want to mention “Poha” as your favourite dish, then you can tell the examiner that you are talking about “Flattened Rice”
    • Make sure that you do not count your sentences. This rigidity will give an impression of memorization. Rather, be organic in your approach.
  • Part 2 of the Speaking Test:
    • Make sure that you do not lose sight of the main topic. Do not get carried away with the bullet points. Use them to form a proper structure for your answer with the main topic in your mind.
    • Do not stop speaking till the examiner instructs you to do so. With practice, you will get better at organizing your thoughts in a coherent manner.
  • Part 3 of the Speaking Test:
    • This part is a bit more abstract. If you are a well-read person, it will always help you speak more naturally on a topic.
    • You can give real examples in this part as well. For instance, if the discussion is about the latest technology, you can mention Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning in your answers.
  • Vocabulary for IELTS Speaking: The vocabulary for the IELTS speaking section does not require unnecessary high-level words. Use these words only if they are necessary. For e.g., if you want to use the word “confusion”, avoid using its synonyms like “discombobulated”. But if the words are absolutely necessary, go ahead!
  • Be coherent: Whenever you answer, make sure that you are hitting the target. Even while making the notes in Part 2 of the test, make sure that there is a clear structure. Don’t make the examiner feel that you are not able to organize your thoughts.
  • Pronunciation: Here, it is much better to focus on clarity rather than a made-up accent. It is more important for the examiner to understand, without putting in any effort, what you are speaking.
  • Resources: Some of the resources that you can follow to prepare for the IELTS Speaking test are:
    • https://www.ielts.org/ : It is the official IELTS website where you can understand the test pattern, go through the sample question, read the official IELTS practice materials, and much more.
    • The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS: This book must form the base of your preparation.
    • Collins Speaking for IELTS: The book is well-structured, and has a good balance of theory, examples, and tips.
    • Recorder: Choose the topics that have appeared on the test, and then record those topics. You will get an understanding of how you speak and what areas need improvement. You can choose topics from newspapers as well. It will also help you gain knowledge that might be useful in Part 3 of the Speaking Test.
    • Cambly App: This app helps you get connected with English tutors through one-on-one video chat. Your conversation with the native speaker will help you in improving your communication skills.

IELTS Speaking Test Format

(Part 1): Introduction and Interview (4-5 minutes)

Here, the examiner introduces him/herself. They will ask you to introduce yourself. You have to introduce yourself beyond confirming your identity. The examiner asks you general questions on familiar topics like family, work, studies, and your interests.

(Part 2): Individual long turn (3-4 minutes)

The examiner will give you a task with a topic having some points you may cover in your speech. You will get a minute to think and prepare. You can note down points on the paper provided. Once you are done with your points then you have to speak for one or two minutes and it will be followed by questions on the same topic by the examiner.

(Part 3): Two-way discussion (4-5 minutes)

The examiner asks further questions that will be connected to the topic of Part 2. It is an opportunity to discuss more general issues and ideas.

Things to keep in mind

  • Once you start speaking, continue until the examiner stops you. Don’t just answer the question in one line and stop.
  • Display your best English language skills. Imagine it was a driving test – keep going straight until told to turn right, left, or park. 
  • There are chances that you have to speak about something you have never heard of, or have no opinion on. If you are unfamiliar with the topic, tell the examiner so he asks you another question. If you don’t tell him and start speaking, the examiner might think that you don’t have the flow because of the language problem.

Also Read:

IELTS Books & Resources

IELTS Preparation

Cue Card IELTS Speaking

IELTS Question Papers

IELTS Speaking FAQs

Q. How many parts does IELTS Speaking test consists of?

A. IELTS Speaking test consists of 3 parts: Introduction and Interview, Individual Long Turn, and Discussion.

Q. Vocabulary for IELTS Speaking needs to be necessarily tough?

A. Having a strong vocabulary definitely helps. However, you should not use tough words unnecessarily. Examiner should not feel as if you have memorized those words. Your speech must be coherent and your ideas must be clear.

Q. My English speaking is weak. Can I still score well on the IELTS Speaking test?

A. Definitely yes. With the right resources and practice, you can score well even if your spoken English is weak.

Q. Is it required that I develop a British accent for scoring well on IELTS Speaking test?

A. No. You do not need a British accent to score well on IELTS Speaking test. However, make sure that your speech has clarity and is organic. An examiner can easily spot a made-up accent.

Q. Are there any digital resources to improve my English speaking for IELTS Speaking test?

A. Yes. You can take the help of recorder, podcasts, British news channels, and apps like Cambly to prepare for IELTS Speaking test.
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Aishwarya Bhatnagar
Study Abroad Expert

Aishwarya is a professional Writer currently working as a Study Abroad Expert in the Editorial Team at Shiksha. She has over 5 years of experience and is skilled at creating Online Content with leveraged knowledge i... Read Full Bio

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Comments

(1)

8 years ago

Is i ask examiner to change my topice of discussion then will it affect my score

Reply to

5 years ago

Not sure about that. but if you're going to write like this, it will.

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