Many of my general Best IELTS Test tips are relevant to the IELTS Speaking Test; particularly those about controlling your stress and nervousness levels.
For more thorough and more detailed speaking test tips, I recommend you download my free report ‘Speaking Test Tips from an IELTS Tutor’. In this post I will give you some basic sensible tips for the IELTS Speaking Test.
- Your Speaking Test may be on the same day as the other tests, it may be on a different day. In either case, you should make sure you arrive in plenty of time.
- I usually recommend that my students arrive in plenty of time, get their ID checked by administrative staff, make sure they know where their interview room is and how to get there and then to try and relax! Take a book or magazine with you to read; in English would be ideal as long as you promise not to get stressed by any vocabulary you don’t understand!
- OK, once you’re called for your interview, try not to be nervous (even though you will be!); just remember that the Examiner wants you to speak English to the best of your ability and so do you. You’re both working towards the same goal so just be yourself and ‘show the Examiner what you’ve got’!
- Remind yourself of the criteria the Examiner is looking for and see my free report for more detail on what the criteria actually means.
- If you don’t understand what the Examiner has said to you, ask him to repeat the question. This is a positive thing; don’t you also sometimes ask for clarification in your own language? You are assessed on your speaking ability; if you understand the question, the better you will be able to answer it.
- There are no ‘right’ answers; you are assessed on ‘how’ you answer the question.
- My free report has more detailed tips on the three different parts of the Speaking Test. For now I will just say that in Part 1, you should give detailed (but not excessively long, irrelevant) responses; don’t just answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
- In part 2, use your planning time to think about your answer. Remember you have to speak for 1-2 minutes on your topic. Although in my opinion, it is preferable to aim for 2 minutes, if you spoke for say 1 minute 37 seconds and your talk was coherent, with vocabulary and grammar to the best of your ability, you wouldn’t be penalized.
- In part 3, don’t worry if the questions seem ‘difficult’. This section is designed to find what English language teachers call your ‘linguistic ceiling’, in other words, the questions push you linguistically as far as they can.
- Once the Speaking Test is over, don’t ask the Examiner ‘how was it?’ He / She won’t be able to tell you. The best thing you can do now is jot down some notes on what parts you think you did well / badly so that if you do need to sit the test again, you know what to work on. Put your notes away in a safe place and try and forget about the test until you get your results two weeks later.
Here’s to the best IELTS score possible!