Choose your course
+44 1273 721771
ELC English language class

ELC Blog | IELTS Preparation Tips And Tricks For The Speaking Test

Date Added: | Comments: | Category: | Tags:
Tags: exam | ielts | learning | speaking | tips

IELTS Preparation Courses in Brighton

The IELTS test assesses your English language ability in all 4 skills – listeningreadingwriting and speaking. There are 2 types of IELTS test – IELTS Academic and IELTS General training. Typically students wishing to study at a UK university at undergraduate or post-graduate level will require IELTS Academic and so most language schools in the UK offer this training. 

Simon gives his top tips for the IELTS speaking exam. Assistant Academic Director at ELC Brighton and IELTS examiner, Simon Cummings has more than 10 years' experience helping students prepare for IELTS. Here he gives some personal advice on how to approach the speaking paper.   

Pre-Test IELTS Speaking Test Practice

In the IELTS speaking test you will need to talk about yourself, the things you do and like and experiences you have had.  You will also be asked to talk more generally about the world and other people. 

While it is quite easy for most people to talk about themselves, you should remember that you might get asked things you don’t often think about.  Remember, this is not a “natural” situation and it is not like talking to your friend in a coffee shop!  It might be useful to think of what you might say if asked about books, films, TV, technology, nature, travel, etc.

In the last part of the test you will be asked general questions and you will need to give opinions and be able to back these ideas up with examples.  The examiner may challenge you to justify what you say or talk further about something.  The more you know about the world in the 21st century the easier this becomes.  Read articles in magazines and newspapers (paper or online) about the environment, modern technology, the media, education and modern life in general.  (This will also help you with task 2 writing.)

Also, before taking the test you might find it useful to check the public version of the examiners’ marking criteria for the speaking: https://www.ielts.org/~/media/pdfs/speaking-band-descriptors.ashx

IELTS English language class

 

Be Nice!

We are all human and your examiner may be in the middle of a very long afternoon’s work so a bright, friendly, positive attitude from a candidate can make him/her feel good about the upcoming conversation.  This might also lead to better scores for fluency and pronunciation because your enthusiasm can increase your ability to keep going and improve your intonation.  Remember, correct intonation can add precise/subtle meaning to your speech.

Whole Test

You will be assessed over the whole test so try not to worry if one question gives you problems, focus on the next one. However, the test becomes more demanding as it goes on so you will need to concentrate hard for the whole 12-14 minutes.

You don't have to tell the truth!

Nobody is going to phone your friend to check what you say is true! So, you can make some things up or mix separate events into one narrative during the long turn in part two (2 minute talk). However, you should be careful not to sound too crazy or go too far off topic.

Also, do not talk about anything that might upset you – you don’t want to burst into tears half way through or find yourself overcome with emotion!

Listen

Make sure you listen carefully to each question and answer the question the examiner asks, not the one you wished he/she had asked!  If you don’t have a clear answer, say so and explain why this topic area doesn’t interest you or why you have never thought about it before but still be prepared to speculate if the examiner asks you to.  However, you cannot continue to do this throughout the test - one time only!

ELC English language class

Long turn

Use the whole of the one minute thinking time before the long turn in part two – it is a valuable opportunity to think of some good vocabulary and grammar as well as the content of what you are going to say.  Make notes but do not write sentences – just a list of single words and phrases to remind you of what you are going to say.  Again, MAKE NOTES!

Try to talk for the whole two minutes and cover each of the points on the topic card.  It is much better to have too much to say than not enough – you can’t lose marks for having a lot to say!

Discussion

After your two minute talk the examiner will ask you general questions connected with that topic.  These questions are designed to see if you can talk not about yourself or your country but about the world in general so try not to talk about yourself.  Say clearly what you think without being afraid of the examiner disagreeing with you – he/she might challenge you on what you say but feel free to say exactly what you think!

Simon Cummings is Assistant Academic Director at The English Language Centre, an English school in Brighton, Sussex, on the south-coast of England. ELC offers intensive 4-week IELTS exam preparation courses that help students prepare for Academic IELTS. Simon has helped students learn English for more than 20 years and has more than 10 years' experience helping students successfully prepare for IELTS. He is also an IELTS examiner and regularly teaches on the IELTS exam preparation courses at ELC.

Simon Cummings MA, DELTA Teacher

Your Comments: (0)

There are currently no comments for this post.
Back to top

Add Your Comments:

 
Back to top
We use cookies for analytical and technical purposes. By continuing to use this website, you are agreeing to our Cookie Policy. X

COOKIE POLICY

We use cookies on our website so that we can provide you with a good user experience and so that we can develop and improve our website. If you continue to browse our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

What are cookies?

A cookie is a small text file (often including a unique identifier of letters and numbers). We send these to your browser from our website and they are then stored on your computer’s hard drive, mobile device or tablet. A Cookie stores a small amount of data about your visit to our website on your computer.  These cookies do not contain any information that is personally identifiable to you.

Why do we use cookies?

We use the following cookies:

Essential cookies: These are cookies that we need for our website to operate well... They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website (such as ELC online and ETO area), use our booking wizard or make secure online payments.

Analytical cookies:We use Google Analytics to track how visitors use our website – for example, which pages are more popular and which countries visitors come from. This helps us to improve how our website works, for example, by making sure that users can easily find what they are looking for. Google Analytics - used to analyse the usage of our website.

Functionality cookies: These are used to recognise you when you return to our website. This enables us to personalise our content for you, greet you by name and remember your preferences (for example, your choice of language or region).

Third Party Cookies

Social Media Cookies - When you share a page by using a social media sharing button (eg facebook, twitter) on this website, the third party social media website will use a cookie to enable this function.

Live Chat Cookies – when you use the Live Chat function, Live Chat uses cookies to improve their service and recognise previous use.

How do I manage cookies?

Most browsers allow you to refuse to accept cookies and to delete cookies. The methods for doing so vary from browser to browser, and from version to version. You can, however, obtain up-to-date information about blocking and deleting cookies via these links:

If you block cookies, you will not be able to use all the features on our website.

If you wish to read our full privacy policy please find it here.