There are a few important things you should know about your IELTS Speaking Test.
- It will only last between 11 to 14 minutes which means that you don’t have a long time to show them how good your English is. This means you should try to imagine it’s like an interview for a job that you really want – this means that you may not get asked the questions you want or expect but, you have to find a way to show them how much English you know. Try to respond to every question as fully as possible.
- The examiner will give you a score based on your level of fluency and accuracy. This means they need you to show them that you can continue talking in English and that you can use appropriate vocabulary or phrases and accurate grammar.
- Your job is to show the examiner how much language you can produce in a short period of time so try to respond to each question as fully as possible using a wide range of vocabulary not just basic, everyday words. The easiest way to practice this is to write answers to the commonly asked speaking questions.
- If you don’t feel comfortable looking at the examiner, don’t. It’s not a problem! If it makes you feel nervous looking directly at the examiner then just look at the voice recorder or find a spot on the wall and look at that instead. What’s on the voice recorder is what really counts! If you ever ask for a remark then the examiner will listen to the voice recorder.
- Do not try to learn answers to questions off by heart. When you’re feeling nervous in the Test, this can make life more difficult for you. Try to prepare for your test by increasing your vocabulary around the most common topics and focusing on reviewing your grammar. It’s important to show that you can speak using a variety of tenses.
- If you don’t understand a question you can say, “Please can you repeat that?” or “Sorry, I didn’t catch the question. Can you repeat it please?” If you still don’t understand the question then you should just try to give the best possible response rather than asking the examiner to repeat it again. For example, the topic may be weather and the examiner may ask you:
Examiner: “Can you describe a time when you got drenched?”
If you don’t know the meaning of “drenched” then try to think what it could mean? Then give the best answer possible.
You: “Well, I remember one day when I was walking my daughter to school and suddenly it started to rain very heavily. Her clothes were soaked through when she got to school.”
Finally, remember that if your examiner has made you feel uncomfortable in any way or if something has happened in the Test Room that has made you feel distracted or confused, don’t be afraid to ask the Registration staff in the Test Centre for a complaint form. It is important that you report a complaint on the day, before you leave the Test Centre.