Are you a good conversationalist? Speaking section in your IELTS exam tests your ability to discuss a wide range of topics with practised ease. Your ability and willingness to maintain the flow of a conversation without hesitation or repetition with minimal error in speech is important, especially if you aim to achieve a band score of 9. Here are some tips that you should keep in mind to nail that score!
Maintain your composure
You might be excellent at communicating in the English language under normal circumstances, but remember you are giving a test! Sometimes even good speakers may struggle to give a good answer under stress. So, relax and keep your cool.
Do not use ‘umm’ ‘hmm’ etc.
If you want some time to develop ideas coherently, use filler words instead of abruptly pausing or hesitating. If you did not understand the question, politely ask the examiner to repeat it. Remember to use this strategy as a last resort, do not overuse this strategy as it might indicate your inability to communicate in English.
Use appropriate vocabulary
To express your ideas precisely, you will need to use a range of vocabulary related to the topic of discussion. Practise common IELTS speaking topics using appropriate vocabulary in your speech. If you find yourself using long broken sentences then you are not using enough lexical resource. Try to use idiomatic language wherever possible to bring that band 9 on your score sheet.
Keep track of time
IELTS is a time-based exam so make sure you practise your speech by timing yourself. Usually the speaking module lasts for 12-16 min. Speaking part 1 is for 4-5 mins, part 2 is for 4-6 mins and part 3 is for 4-5 mins. While practising, stick to this time-frame.
Willingness to speak at length
To achieve a band score of 9, it is important to display your ability to discuss different topics at length. Always elaborate your responses. Do not give answers in one word or sentence. You can site examples, facts, personal anecdotes to maintain the flow of the conversation. But also remember to stay on topic, do not start to discuss matters which are not relevant to the topic/question.
I am going to be the bearer of bad news here. There is no short cut to scoring a band 9. Practise IELTS speaking topics daily until the day of your test. Seek professional help if you need assistance with pronunciation, fluency and grammar. We, at Wings Education give IELTS practice materials and are dedicated to helping students with all of the above.
All in all, if you have done your homework scoring band 9 is not an impossible task. The tips I listed here will definitely help you achieving your desired score. On the day of exam, remember to relax. Have a good night’s rest and a good breakfast in the morning. Stay hydrated so that your voice won’t run dry. Come see us in Brisbane or Gold Coast, if you have any questions! All the very best for your exam.