Are you planning to attend the IELTS exam in 2021? IELTS Test Pattern 2021 is out now with minimal changes in the pattern. Often IELTS students make a quick sweep through the Reading, Listening and Writing subtests. But when it comes to speaking, they get on their nerves. Why is that? Most of the intermediate English speakers will share the same story. It is because you have to be spontaneous, your once recorded speech cannot be taken back. Above all, there is an element of surprise to the speaking session- the CUE CARD round!
Facts apart, let’s put it straight. There are high chances you lose out on your band score in speaking even after practising relentlessly. So, how can your hard work create the right impact during your IELTS speaking? The best way to do this is by mixing them with some tips.
Here are the seven tips that will take you to an 8+ band score.
- Always adopt a natural accent
- Never Memorise Answers
- Extend your Answers
- Feel Free to Clarify Questions
- Do not make a vocabulary show
- Say “No” to Silence
- Restructure your Answer
Always adopt a natural accent
Even though the speaking test is all about your flair for English, you need not sound like an American or British. The accent with which you speak is NOT an assessment criteria for a better score in the speaking subtest. Examiners are bound to check your pronunciation, tonal changes, stress on specific words and so on. If they figure out your attempt at mimicking a foreign accent, you are more likely to lose points.
Never Memorise Answers
Since in the first part of the speaking test you speak about yourself, it is more likely that you may prepare a speech beforehand. This can be a very bad idea. You are judged on your natural way of speaking according to a situation. Tailored answers can be easily identified by the examiners and are never going to impress them.
Extend your Answers
What if you answer a question with a single yes or no? Or merely in a sentence? It is not going to tell your examiner how excellent you are with your English speech. While you elaborate on your answers, take care not to go too far. Stick to at least a minimum of three sentences for questions that can be only answered with a word. For others, you may elaborate as you please but again do not go too far. You may bore the examiner by going off-topic.
Feel Free to Clarify Questions
Most test-takers hesitate to ask the examiners to repeat a question if they don’t understand it. As a result, they end up answering wrong, getting a poor score. You don’t have to! It’s perfectly ok to ask for clarifications if you don’t follow a word or question. Use phrases like “I’m afraid that I couldn’t follow you, do you mind repeating the question please?” But do not make this a habit, by regularly asking for clarification you also show the examiner your inability to follow spoken English.
Do not make a vocabulary show
Using complicated words is not going to earn you more marks in your speaking. It will make you sound more artificial. Stuffing in all the heavy words you have memorised beforehand will lead you to make more mistakes. Only use “big” words if it perfectly fits the sentence. Although vocabulary is a factor that decides your score, be careful to use words whose meaning and pronunciation you are confident about.
Say “No” to Silence
You may encounter a question you have no answer for. It doesn’t mean you need to remain quiet and wait for another one. Always come up with an answer that some way connects with the question. There are no correct answers here, only different ways of answering a question. It is only then that the examiner gets an opportunity to evaluate how good your English is. Silence is not acceptable during IELTS speaking.
Restructure your Answer
Whenever a question is thrown at you, make sure you do not mimic the question in the answer. Find a different way to put your answer forward. For instance : Question: What is your favourite pastime? The answer could be something like “ I’d prefer reading a book or watching tv when I have enough time to spare” instead of “My favourite pass time would be reading a book or watching TV”
Here Speaking will no longer be a nightmare if you know what is expected of you. Now that you do, practice until you make it!
Shajahan is a graduate in English language and literature, who is passionate about teaching and making his students successful by efficient teaching methods in all components of language. As a trainer, he is responsible for developing linguistic ability and enhancing English competency level for professionals especially those who are in the healthcare domain who undertake English proficiency tests such as OET and IELTS for working or studying in native English-speaking countries.