TIPS for IELTS Speaking (academic)

Speaking is your birth right. Utilize the opportunities offered to you to speak.

Finally we are now going to discuss the tips for speaking section of IELTS test. We will try here to explore various things we can do to get a good score in the speaking test.

According to me speaking is the easiest part of the test. But for some it might be difficult. Here we will first discuss how should one prepare for the test at home. There may be many effective ways but the ways which I found useful are as the following:

  1. Try to identify first, how good speaker you are. One good way is to ask an expert of English language, but if that is not available to you easily, as it may be for many, you may have to figure it out yourself. One good way to judge your own English is to check if your speaking is as fluent and grammatically correct as those in reputed english news channels. No matter how remote location you live in if you can manage some internet connection you can get multiple good news channels these days for listening news. I would recommend a Japanese news channel called NHK WORLD (http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/), I found their English easy to understand and good for learning purpose. Besides their regular news, they broadcast interesting programs on cooking, science, arts etc. which really are good audio visual experiences, and don’t feel boring. However, you may use any other such news website or television channel of your choice. This is an easy way to listen and learn English, I think. Some although prefer movies, I don’t think movies really help much since it might snatch too much of your emotions and attentions with the story and you might forget to keep pace with the English language. So when you listen to a English commentary try to follow carefully to the way different sentences are spoken.
  2. Now when you speak yourself about a topic try to see if you have a good and grammatically correct flow of speech. You may use an audio recorder to record it and then listen to your own speech. It’s good to speak on anything for practice. If you are on your way to your cousin’s house sitting in a bus just try describing things you see around you in your mind in English. For example, if you see a railway track and you may say to yourself ‘Here we can see the railway tracks. It seems a train is coming. But some men are working on the railway track, I am afraid they don’t get crushed by……..’ just like a news reporter. Therefore you can actually practice speaking at any time at any place whenever you have some free time, all you need is the will to speak English.
  3. Next is speaking in the format of the test. Know the components of the test properly beforehand, and rehearse yourself. There are many free speaking material for practice available on the web.
It is social to smile, we know it since our infancy, but forget sometimes when we grow up. So SMILE!

For the first and third part of the test, when examiner asks you some questions on various issues:

  1. Firstly, DON’T panic. Just imagine yourself as a celebrity who is getting a chance to be interviewed. So keep a smile on your face and simply answer the questions.
  2. If you are asked, if you like to do drawing, a poor answer will be simply to answer yes or no. Make some efforts to explain why you like or don’t like to paint. An example may be ‘I love drawing, it’s actually my passion. Drawing helps me express my emotions by means of pictures. It also is a work which I prefer to do in my free time’. There are hundreds of other ways you may say the same thing in. Just keep on speaking relevant to what you are asked.
  3. Some people try to memorize answers for questions which ask you to describe or introduce yourself. I can’t surely say if that is effective or not, but you may simply state your name, works, studies, hobbies, how other people find you as a person etc. Probably there is no rule except the rule of common sense. Rather, trying to memorizing can confuse yourself and obscure your own qualities of speaking.

For the second part of the test when you are asked to speak about a topic for few minutes non-stop:

  1. This probably is the simplest part of the test although many might perceive this as the toughest part. In this section, the examiner will not ask you anything, just answer whatever is asked in the writen question, simple! Imagine how difficult would it have been if there were no questions in this section and only the topic. So, in a way the questions help us to find some thing to speak.
  2. Its ideal to wear a wrist watch if they allow you (you may seek their permission). A watch with seconds hand is ideal probably. When you are given the topic just keep an eye on the seconds hand of your watch to know how much time you is left.
  3. The one minute time given for thinking about the topic is valuable, utilize it to its fullest. Write down bullet points, about the topic. Write as many points you can. Trying to write sentences might be like committing suicide, but its up to you.
  4. Then calmly start replying. Reply to all queries and keep speaking until you are stopped.
  5. You can do this section nicely, if you do a good amount of practice before hand while you are at home. Keep a clock or watch with second’s hand and keep practicing. You will soon have an idea on your pace and timing.
Nice grooming gives a good feel!

Finally on the days before test day and on the test day:

  1. Be oriented properly about the venue, where the test center is and how to travel there. This can help to alleviate the anxiety of reaching the test center in time.
  2. Try to have good night’s sleep the day before the test so that you can feel refreshed on the test day.
  3. A good grooming and dressing may help you boost your energy up, however this probably is not mandatory. According to me the feeling of well being helps in any exam situation. However, many don’t think in the same way.
  4. Before you enter the test room, if possible and if your situation allows try doing simple conversations in English to warm up, like asking ‘where is the lavatory?’ etc.
  5. Then once you are inside the test room have self confidence. Speak loudly and clearly, so that you are easily audible.

That’s all for the speaking section. Hope, these few tips for the speaking test were interesting and helpful.

The writing above is a clip of an individualized experience of the author of this article and has no relation with any official IELTS exam or its bodies. Please cross check issues that concern you from various competent authorities dealing with IELTS. This blog shouldn’t be used as a tool to prepare for any exam or test.
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