How to get 7 Band in Speaking
01) Practice all 3 parts of the test
The examiner is listening to you speak and judging how well you speak from the first minute you enter the room. Don’t just practice for 1 or 2 parts of the speaking exam, prepare for all 3 parts.
Each of the 3 parts contribute to your overall speaking score. There is no mark for part 1 or part 2 or part 3. Make sure you know what to do and how to structure your answers for each part.
When you do practice speaking tests you don’t need to do a full test every time but you should practice for each part for an equal amount of time in your study schedule.
02) Fluency is more important than accuracy
Grammar and vocabulary range and accuracy are important marking criteria for the speaking exam. However, be careful not to focus too much on accuracy and lose marks for poor fluency.
It is OK to correct yourself when you make grammar or vocabulary mistakes but don’t do it every time you make a mistake. By stopping in the middle of a sentence and correcting yourself every time, you will not speak fluently. It will also be difficult for you to speak about all of the points in part 2 in 2 minutes if you do too much error correction.
03) Use the correct tense in your answers
Twenty five percent of your mark in the speaking exam is connected to grammar range and accuracy. The questions that the examiner asks you are designed to get you to use different grammar and tenses.
If the examiner asks a past simple question, then your answer should be in the past simple tense. So, it is important that you listen to the question carefully so you know what tense to use in your response. When you do practice speaking tests, look carefully and notice the variety of tenses being used in part 1 questions.
04) Practice with a partner
Self study is an important step in preparing for the IELTS exam but when it comes to the speaking exam, actually speaking to another person is important. Find a speaking partner who is also preparing for the exam and help each other.
Get your speaking partner to act as an examiner and make sure they let you know what you are doing well and what you need to improve. Having a partner can also make the studying process less boring and lonely.
(05) Use authentic IELTS speaking exams
As with all skills in the IELTS exam it is important that you practice using real IELTS test questions. Make sure the practice speaking materials you use follow the format and include the topics that are likely to be in the real test.
For the same reason, make sure your answers also follow the structure and marking requirements for the speaking exam. Each part of the speaking exam should take 4 to 5 minutes to complete. If your answers are too short in part 1 or part 3, then the examiner will simply ask you more questions.
06) Understand the marking criteria
With any exam that you take it is important to know what you need to do to get a good score. I am often surprised to hear many students say that all they need to do in the speaking exam is to speak a lot. This is not true.
IELTS examiners have very clear criteria which they use to asses each students speaking ability. The four marking criteria are: Fluency & Coherence, Lexical Resource, Grammar Range & Accuracy and Pronunciation.
(07) Record yourself doing a speaking test
One of the easiest and most effective ways to identify your mistakes when doing speaking test practice is to record yourself. Use your computer or mobile phone to record yourself answering real test questions.
When you listen to your recording make notes about
what you did well, according to the marking criteria, and what you need to improve. Don’t be too surprised or upset at how bad you may sound, use this as a way to monitor your speaking exam progress.
08) Spend most of your time speaking
This may sound like an obvious tip but a lot of my students spend hours preparing for the speaking exam without actually speaking. Make sure you say your answers out loud and speak as you would in the exam.
It is OK to read about tips and even write a few notes about what you might say but make sure that most of your speaking exam preparation time is spent actually speaking. The more you speak English at home, in class or with friends then the more comfortable you will be on exam day.
Even as you are reading these tips you can practice speaking. Read these tips out loud to practice your pronunciation and rhythm.
09) Learn to take and use notes
This tip is specifically for part 2 of the speaking exam. Use the 1 minute that you are given to write notes that will help you be more fluent when you speak.
Even if you think the topic is easy, make sure you write notes that you can use while you are speaking. Note taking is a skill that you must practice, make sure you do this anytime you practice for part 2.
Also, while you are speaking about your part 2 topic be sure to look at your notes, but don’t read from them. Your notes are there to help you address all of the points and to remind you about details of your topic.
10) Never give up on your goal
A lot of students fail to get the IELTS score they desire simply because they stop trying. Yes, the IELTS exam will be difficult but if you keep trying you will eventually get the score you need.
It is important to stay motivated and keep working towards your goal and remember what it will feel like once you achieve your target score. Think of what you will be able to do once you have the IELTS band score that you are striving for.
You can’t really fail the IELTS exam, you can just stop trying to get the score that you are aiming for. Make sure you never give up!
Thanks for reading through all of the IELTS speaking tips. I will continue to send you some more speaking tips and advice so that we can work together towards your goal.