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IELTS Speaking Test: Top Tips

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PART 1

1. Don’t try to use rehearsed answers that you have practiced before the test. To get a good score in IELTS you need to demonstrate natural communication skills which means giving spontaneous answers!

2. Review some common phrasal verbs that you can use when asked about familiar topics related to your home, work, studies, family and interests.

3. Make sure that you can use a variety of verb tenses to talk about your present situation, your life experiences and your future plans.

4. Try to learn one or two idiomatic uses of English which can be used to talk about familiar topics. You may find you have a similar idiom in your language which will make it easier to remember!

5. Try to imagine yourself having an everyday conversation with an English-speaking friend or a colleague, rather than having a test with an examiner. This will help you to relax and allow you to give more natural responses.


PART 2

1. Use your 1-minute preparation time to write down as many key words related to your topic as you can. Don’t waste time trying to write down full sentences; the key words should be enough to enable you to speak for 2 minutes.

2. Don’t limit yourself to the prompts on the cue card. Brainstorm other questions that you can ask yourself about the topic so that you have enough to talk about for the full 2 minutes.

3. Practice speaking alone for 2 minutes before the test to get to know how much you can actually say during the long-turn. Record yourself and play it back so you can make yourself aware of any bad habits you may have!

4. Practice describing different things before the test so you are prepared for a variety of topics. For example, practice describing a person, a place, an event, an experience and an object. What language will you need to describe them?

5. Remember the key word is ‘describe’ so review a variety of different adjectives and adverbs that you can use to make your speech more descriptive and more interesting. Avoid basic adjectives if you can!


PART 3

1. Make sure you can use a variety of expressions for introducing your opinion so that you are not always repeating the same phrase.

2. It’s important to support your opinion with a valid reason, so familiarise yourself with some of the topics that you might be asked about so that you can consider your viewpoint and your reasons before the test!

3. In Part 3 you are expected to extend your answers a bit more, as you would in a real discussion, so try to give one or two examples to illustrate why you agree or disagree with the statement in the question.

4. Try to use a variety of grammatical structures in your Part 3 answers. For example you can use comparatives, conditionals and the passive voice to demonstrate your range to the examiner.

5. Discourse markers and linkers are essential in Part 3 in order to express a clear opinion so make sure you know how to use them effectively. The examiner needs to be able to follow your ideas and thoughts easily!


If you need help with some of the language points mentioned in the tips, you will find useful exercises in our IELTS TOOLKIT

And if you would like to do some online mock tests with a professional IELTS tutor before your test, sign up for our IELTS SPEAKING COURSE

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Anil - India

Anil - India

​I am a doctor from India and I needed an IELTS score of 7.5 for my GMC registration. That was the first step towards my bigger dream of working as a doctor in the UK. iPass IELTS gave me that edge in the exam, it propelled my scores to a band 8 in the first attempt!

The skype sessions with my tutor on the IELTS 7+ course was very helpful. He told me what exactly was expected and where I was going wrong. He also sent me a few general topics I could practice speaking on, surprisingly I was asked to speak on one of the same topics on the main exam day.

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