Before you start practicing for achieving a score of at least 7 in IELTS Speaking, you should first make sure that you fully understand on what grounds your speaking skills are assessed and what elements in speaking contribute to your overall IELTS speaking score.
In IELTS Speaking Test, your speaking skills are evaluated on the four assessment criteria that are all equally weighted:
- Fluency and Coherence – learn cohesive devices for IELTS
- Lexical Resource – read news, books or watch TV series
- Grammatical Range and Accuracy – have a grammar book next to you to dip into every now and then
- Pronunciation – you are not expected to sound like a native speaker; you need to sound clear enough
Therefore, if you practice for the IELTS speaking test, you should cover the different sides of speaking to improve your score.
Next, we have listed 7 TIPS that help you practice speaking and achieve a band score of 7+.
Practice answering sample questions
Practice answering sample questions on everyday topics like home, work, studies, job, your particular interest, and so on. Learn appropriate vocabulary and be prepared for the exam.
You can easily list speaking topics that are usually used in the IELTS exam. Write these topics on sticky notes and blindly take one topic. For instance, ‘home’ (describe where you live, describe your living room, who you live with, and so on).
It is a very good idea to play the exam situation with a friend or why not alone as well. Why not do it when you are walking a dog, jogging, preparing dinner, or just chilling at home. It is much more developing if you can do it out loud! Just pick a topic and talk about it as much and as fluently as you can.
Practice being prepared for silly questions
The questions you need to answer could be sometimes quite silly. So you may feel that you simply do not know the answer, even in your native language! For that case, we have listed useful phrases for IELTS Speaking to help you out.
You do not need to worry if you don’t have an answer for every question, you just need to show your ability to interact with the examiner.
You can easily ask the examiner to specify the question or give the reason why you do not have a good answer. Feel free to express yourself as you like, just be sure to avoid simple ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ answers!
Practice equally all the parts of the speaking test
There is a tremendous amount of topics available online, and here we have listed some as well. For example, you can start from IELTS Speaking Questions & Topics for Part 1.
However, it is essential that you equally practise all parts of the speaking test, and not just Part 1. It is even more important to focus on the IELTS Speaking Test Part 2 and Part 3.
Make sure you practice IELTS Speaking Part 2 many times, so you can speak for 2 minutes with ease and feel confident to present a story within the set time.
Practice using linking words and cohesive devices
- What is more, …
- On the one hand, …
- I am inclined to believe that …
- To my mind of thinking …
- What I’m trying to say is …
Practice being creative with your answers
In IELTS Speaking Test, no one will check the facts. It means that the answers you provide do not need to be true. The IELTS Speaking Test assesses your ability to interact with the examiner, not the facts! If you don’t have ideas about what to talk about, you can make things up!
For instance, you may need to describe a recently finished book. Rather than explaining that you have not had much time for reading, you can describe a recent TV series you have watched as a book.
To get ideas, read a book or, why not, search materials about your hobbies and interests in English. There is a great chance that you have to speak about your hobbies. And if not, you can always direct your conversation somehow to more familiar topics of yours.
Practice speaking fluently
Speak fluently and don’t rush. If you speak too fast, you can easily run out of ideas or put yourself in a difficult situation in other ways. Don’t worry too much about using rich and sophisticated vocabulary. Being fluent is more important.
Try also to be relaxed since being too nervous can easily let you down. This is why you need to practice speaking with a friend, a partner, or why not to yourself so you could feel more comfortable. Try to do this as often as possible.
Practice giving fuller answers
Extend your speech. As said before, never give just ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answers. If needed, give yourself time to think and you can use phrases like:
- Well, it is not a simple question …
- I’ve never thought about that before …
- Well, if you ask me, …
You are always allowed to reformulate the examiner’s questions. Learn useful vocabulary for IELTS Speaking.
The best way to improve your speaking skills is to practice until you feel comfortable enough and eventually enjoy it. Also, using linking words will give your score surely a boost!
While you practice, keep in mind our tips, and achieving a band score of 7+ becomes very likely!