IELTS Tips - Speaking

1. Give a full answer. Don't just give one word answers. Include more information. For example, when asked where you're from, instead of just saying the name of the place, speak in a sentence which states the name, the location, and how long you've been there. This shows the examiner you are confident speaking in English. But don't speak too long or the examiner will think you've misunderstood the question!

2. Speak clearly and don't worry about your accent. Everyone has an accent when they speak English. The important point is that you enunciate the best you can so the examiner can understand you. Rehearse in advance to overcome any obvious pronunciation problems. If you make a mistake, don't worry, just correct yourself and keep going.

3. Use descriptive words. Don't use boring words like good, bad, nice, or okay. Use exciting words that covey emotion. Practice using higher level words for every simple word you know – such as thrilled instead of happy, or depressed instead of sad.

4. Speak up. Sometimes, students mumble and speak very softly because they are nervous or unsure of their words. Use simple, correct language rather than complicated vocabulary and speak loudly enough that the examiner does not have to strain to hear you. This indicates self-confidence and command of the language.

5. Don't use slang. You have 11 minutes to display the best English you know in all the years that you have been learning English! Choose to be formal rather than informal.

6. Keep a steady pace. Don't speak too fast or too slow.

7. Don't try to memorize answers to sample subjects. The examiner has enough experience to recognize that you are not speaking naturally and spontaneously and will change the subject or give you a lower score. Use the sample subjects to give you practice speaking on a variety of topics, but not to memorize.

8. Explain names or words which are in another language. For instance, if you are asked to speak about a festival, which involves using words in your language, say the words clearly and give the meaning if any afterwards, so the examiner can follow your explanation.

9. Ask questions, if necessary, in Part 3 only. You cannot ask questions in Parts 1 and 2, but you can do so, if necessary in Part 3.

10. Practice speaking with a watch. Get an idea of how long two minutes is and approximately how much content you will have to cover.

11. Stay on topic. Don't change the subject or the examiner will think you have misunderstood and may give you a lower mark.

12. Have daily discussions with friends. Take turns asking each other questions about current events and develop your ability to speak about various topics, using varied sentence structure and vocabulary.

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