Speaking Practice for IELTS – X Best Practices and Mistakes to Avoid

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a globally standardized test taken to evaluate the candidates’ English language proficiency belonging to non-native English language countries. The IELTS exam which was started in 1989 is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP, IELTS Australia, and Cambridge Assessment English.

If English is not your first language, then you have to show your efficiency in the language by taking an IELTS test. The score of IELTS is accepted by the university programs that are taught in the English language. Most universities or colleges worldwide need an IELTS Band 6 score, with 6.5 being the most common requirement to pursue a course from a university located in an English-native country. The IELTS exam consists of four sections including Reading, Speaking, Writing, and Listening modules.

Each module has its importance and should be given equal weightage. The overall score is given considering the marks gained in all four modules. Hence, devoting time to each is recommended. This content focuses on the best IELTS Speaking practices and how applicants can get a good score in the test. Also, we are going to cover information about the best practices and mistakes to avoid specifically while preparing for the Speaking Module.

IELTS Speaking

IELTS Speaking is an informal interaction with an IELTS examiner. This test remains the same for both, IELTS Academic and General Training. The test is segmented into three parts and is designed to test the pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, and fluency of the test takers.

The duration of IELTS is 11 – 14 minutes 

The IELTS Speaking test is conducted to assess candidates’ use of spoken English. The duration of the test varies from 11 -14 minutes and candidates will discuss different topics with an IELTS examiner. The test will be conducted in a quiet room with an examiner who will encourage test takers to share his/her thoughts.

There are 3 sections in the IELTS Speaking test.

Part 1 

In this part, the examiner will ask general questions about the candidate and a range of familiar topics, like home, family, work, studies, and interests. The duration of this section is anywhere between 4 and 5 minutes.

Part 2 

In this part, candidates will get a task card and they are supposed to talk on a particular topic. The candidates normally get a minute’s time to prepare before starting to speak.

Part 3

In this section, more questions connected to the topic in Part 2 will be asked in the exam. This part of the test will be of 4 – 5 minutes.

X Best Practices and Mistakes to Avoid While Speaking Module Preparation

We have discussed the ten best practices and mistakes one should avoid strictly while preparing for the Speaking Module.

They are as follows:

  1. Do not memorize answers

Do not memorize answers in the IELTS, especially in Part 1. Memorizing language does not give the examiner an accurate measure of English-language skills. The examiner can clearly tell if you have memorized an answer. It can impact your final band score.

  1. Do not use big and difficult words

Though you might want to impress the examiner by using big and complex words in your Speaking test try to avoid using difficult words to be safe. Do not use words with which you are not familiar. By using difficult words, there are higher chances of making mistakes by either mispronouncing words or placing them in the wrong manner. The mistakes made by the test takers can affect his/her final band score. Thus, IELTS speaking practice is important for every applicant.

  1. Take care of the accent

With a face-to-face Speaking test, the IELTS examiner understands different kinds of accents, so he/she clearly understands what you say. If you are able to communicate well, then there is nothing to worry about. But make sure you are aware of sounds and use those words only with which you are familiar. Practice with friends and they will help you understand what you are saying.

  1. Pause to think and avoid using fillers

There is no shame in taking a short pause to think before saying. The test takers can use phrases to think before using the phrases.

Speak with confidence and avoid using filler words. In most cases, we use fillers when we do not know what to say. However, this gives the impression that the examiner is not able to access the appropriate language or ideas. Thus, it is advised to avoid them and to use familiar phrases only. Avoid using fillers as you know, Umm, Ahh, Ehh, Well, etc.

  1. Use a variety of grammatical structures

Though the IELTS examiners evaluate the speaking skills of the candidates, the test takers are marked against the assessment criteria including Fluency and coherence, Lexical resource, grammatical range and accuracy, and Pronunciation.

Try using a combination of several grammatical structures so that you can express your thoughts in a more presentable way. Know your flaws and try to speak in English with your known ones, or record yourself to see if you can spot errors. In case there is an error, try to correct it yourself. You are assessed on your skills in using different grammatical structures in the right way, so it is crucial to practice speaking in the right manner.

  1. Put more emphasis on areas that need improvement

Be clear on what you need to improve your overall scores- whether it is the speaking, listening, writing, or reading section, you must focus on your weaker section. Once you have identified the skill, look for ways to improve specific areas within that skill.

Always remember that if you have scored a 6.0, then you need to work on specific areas to boost your overall score. This can be possible in case you have answered all the components of the question, improved your spelling mistakes, and are using English words in your routine activities as well.

  1. Study the assessment criteria

In the Speaking section, the examiner will evaluate candidates based on the standard assessment factors. The criteria are quite detailed, and if you look at them carefully, you can get a brief idea of what skills you need to show. For instance, in the speaking section if you get a Band 7, then you can speak comfortably while stopping in between to search for the words. Also, you can use a wide range of words supporting your ideas to improve your speaking practice IELTS.

  1. Communicate more

The more you communicate with others in the English language, the better understanding you will develop. With effective communication, you can easily broaden your English language skills. You can look at the sample responses and can learn from others. With the help of hard work and a clear understanding of what skills you need to work on, you will be able to improve your IELTS band score with IELTS speaking practice.

It is recommended to practice a little bit each day and improve your skills gradually rather than speaking your native language for the entire week.

  1. Speak with confidence

Try to talk to your examiner confidently. You can also use hand gestures while talking. In this case, your vocabulary, coherence, and pronunciation skills are judged by the way you talk to the examiner.

  1. Practice, Practice and Practice

An IELTS 6.5 band score indicates that a person is ‘competent’ and can easily understand what is being taught to him/her in the classroom. Assuming that you have a general language ability of at least band 6, it is important to use strong strategies that can help in scoring a 6.5 band score. Study language intensively and focus on reading a lot using English in your routine life.

As the saying goes, more IELTS speaking practice makes perfect. So, with a lot of practice, you will be well on your way to getting a good IELTS Speaking score. We hope, the above-discussed details related to the best practices and mistakes to avoid will help a candidate pass the IELTS with a higher Band in the first attempt itself.

To know more about speaking practice IELTS and how to get a good score in the exam, reach out to our professional IELTS teachers at Study Smart. Our study centres are available in the cities like Pune, Delhi, Mumbai, Ludhiana, Surat, and more. Book your seat for the IELTS coaching today!

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