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Top 10 Tips for the IELTS Speaking Test

The most essential tips for IELTS Speaking candidates


Improving your speaking in a short time is not easy. If you need Band 7 or higher, you need to achieve a pretty good score for fluency (= how well you can speak without hesitating too much), lexical resource (= how wide your vocabulary is), grammatical range and accuracy (= how good your grammar is) and pronunciation.

I've prepared a list of ten very important tips that can help you get a high score in the Speaking test.

1. Connect your ideas

To get a high score for fluency, you need to connect your ideas in a logical way. For example, don't say "The weather in my country is very cold in winter. It rains a lot." Say something like:

"The weather in my country is very cold in winter. On top of that, it rains a lot."

2. Listen to the questions

If you answer the wrong question, you will get a negative score. So make sure you listen carefully to the questions. Ask the examiner to repeat if necessary.

3. Use synonyms

If you repeat the same words all the time, you will get a low score for 'lexical resource'. So, try to say the same thing in different ways, e.g. 'wonderful','great', 'fantastic', 'excellent' instead of repeating 'very good' all the time.

4. Always have something to say

If you make a lot of silent pauses, you will get a low score for fluency. If you don't know what to say, at least say something like "Hmm...let me think..."

5. Don't give one-word answers

If you give very short answers, you will also get a low score for fluency. Try to answer questions with at least a few sentences.

6. Don't memorize model answers

Studying model answers is very helpful. But don't try to memorise them word for word. You will sound unnatural and the examiner is trained to notice pre-prepared answers.

7. Don't experiment

On the day of the test, it is too late to use words or structures that you have just learnt but have never used in speaking. Just try to use what you already know.

8. Don't speak too quietly

To get a good score for pronunciation, you need to speak clearly. So if you have a habit of speaking quietly, try to speak louder than usual.

9. Don't make mistakes with simple grammar

To get a good score for grammar, you can make a few mistakes with advanced grammar. But you shouldn't make too many mistakes with simple grammar.

10. Keep it simple

If you are not confident, it is better to express your ideas in a simple way and be understood than to make mistakes with advanced structures and not be understood.


Free 5-Day Tips

If you really want to improve your speaking and get a high band in the IELTS Speaking test, a good place to start is my free 5-day tips. When you sign up for this free course, I will send you one essential tip every day with examples. You will also get some great materials to download for free. To learn more, go here:


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