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IELTS Speaking: General Tips and Guidelines

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Whether you intend to take the IELTS General or Academic, the speaking module of the test is exactly the same. It is well advised to take these comprehensive general tips in consideration if you are planning to get the band score you long for. Remember that you do not need to sound or speak as a native speaker, you just need to provide decent accurate responses in addition to IELTS private tuition.

Better be prepared than surprised

You might not be used to being asked a series of standardized questions, so it is mandatory to go over some practice tests before. Part 1 and 2 are not supposed to be an open conversation. The examiner is going to ask you predefined questions. In part 3 however, there is a certain degree of freedom for the examiner to talk openly with you about a given subject. It is worth noting that your answers are going to be recorded, as you might already know, but the recording is not there to test your level of English. It is rather used to make sure that the examiner is doing his or her job properly.

Take the initiation and be positive

If you want to give a very good first impression, your first answers should be direct and right to the point. In other words, be as informative as you can. Bear in mind that your body language, way of talking, and your comfortable way of sitting should reflect how relaxed and engaged you are in the conversation. Nonetheless, try not to be over relaxed. The examiner is not your “buddy” after all.
You should demonstrate a sense of willingness to speak. Answering questions with only “yes” or “no” is not the way to do that. Remember that the examiner is just there to guide you and not be the dominant figure of the conversation. You are the one to talk for at least 75-80% of the allotted time. Therefore, try to give the impression that you are a positive well-informed candidate, and provide interesting responses.

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Inside the examiner’s mind

Just to put you in the right picture, the examiner will determine your score based on four abilities:
1. Pronunciation: Your English should sound understandable, not necessarily native. Intonation, stress, and pauses are also areas the examiner takes into consideration.
2. Lexicon: Your vocabulary items should not sound limited. You should use an acceptable variety of vocabulary in your test.
3. Coherence and fluency: Your line of arguments and thoughts should be easy to follow and understand. There should be a harmony between your ideas.
< b> Grammar and Accuracy: Make sure your grammatical forms are correct. It is advisable to revise some grammatical notions before you sit for the test, such us (tenses, pronouns, passive voice, reported speech…)

The fastest shortcut to your success

Avoid complicated answers and complex sentences, especially in ordinary questions like “where are you from? Which type of restaurants do you prefer?” This is not how you are going to impress your examiner. In fact, providing simple, informative, and concise answers will undoubtedly prevent unwanted hesitations and increase your chances of getting a higher sore. Be that as it my, you should be aware that giving extremely short answers would not only show how limited your command of English is, but would also lead the examiner to move to the next question sooner than expected.

Practice makes perfect as they say. So keep practicing and good luck in your test.

Rum Tan

Rum Tan is the founder of SmileTutor and he believes that every child deserves a smile. Motivated by this belief and passion, he works hard day & night with his team to maintain the most trustworthy source of home tutors in Singapore. In his free time, he writes articles hoping to educate, enlighten, and empower parents, students, and tutors. You may try out his free home tutoring services via or by calling 6266 4475 directly today.