Tips to help you feel less anxious in your IELTS Speaking Test


Do you get nervous in interviews, even when you’re speaking in your own language?

You’ll not be surprised to hear that many people find the IELTS Speaking Test challenging for several reasons:

  1. It can be scary just being in a room, face to face with another person.
  2. The topics can be strange and it can be difficult to think of ideas quickly.
  3. It can be hard to say everything within the timeframe, especially in Part 2.

To help you get the highest score possible, here are some quick tips:

  • Be kind to yourself – avoid caffeine, get enough sleep before the interview and do some exercise beforehand. Maybe organise to speak to a friend or family member in English before your test so that you can walk in feeling positive and strong.
  • Visualize success – think about what you will be able to do once you pass this test e.g. apply for PR or work in your professional field. Then, during your interview, try to imagine being in a professional job doing what you enjoy.
  • Reduce stressors – make sure to wear clothes that make you feel good, know how to get to the test location and organise yourself so that there’s nothing causing you extra stress on your test day.
  • Do your research – prepare well in advance and practice writing answers to a variety of questions so that you can think of ideas quickly on a range of different topics. Before taking the test do some exercises that will help you to have more ideas more quickly.
  • Don’t let the pressure get to you – if you feel the examiner/interviewer is being tough or mean to you, try not to take it personally. If they do this to you, they may be trying to push you to help you increase your score. Alternatively, it may be their style and they’ll probably do it to others. If you feel that you need to make a complaint, make sure to do this before you leave the test centre.
  • Manage nervous energy – if you know that you fidget or talk too much/too little when under pressure then make sure to have a strategy to manage this during the test. Perhaps you need to put your hands in your lap to help you avoid playing with the pencil on the table or, you may need to practice how to answer the specific question that has been asked without losing focus and talking too much.
  • Take your time – if you take an extra few seconds to think about your answer before you start to speak, it can often help increase the quality of your response. Take time to breathe, think clearly and speak at a natural pace. If you speak too fast, your pronunciation may not be as clear.
  • Congratulate yourself – after your test is over, take time to reward yourself for doing your best. Think about what you did well and what you think you could improve.

Good luck!