How many parts are there in the IELTS Speaking Exam?
Here’s how it breaks down:
General getting to know you questions. Either a variation of ‘where do you live?’or ‘Do you work or do you study?’ and one maybe two general topics with questions.
A presentation on a given topic (2 mins). This always has 5 parts:
- A Sentence for the introduction
- 3 ‘wh’ questions in the body
- The last sentence/question forms the conclusion
You must have a conclusion by the 2 minutes, or you’re penalised.
Think about these:
- How are you going to link and develop your ideas?
- What grammar can you use to get higher marks?
- How can you use the passive?
- How can you use reference words?
These are global questions and there are 3 questions in each section. Each section gets more difficult:
Here’s how the difficulty increases (Approximately):
- Section 1/2 up to 6.5
- Section 2/3 6.5 up to 7.5
- Section 3 7.5 to 9
Think about how to answer these questions:
Do you/did you?/Compare/assess/advantages and disadvantages/agree/disagree/before and now/discuss
First question /Answer in the same grammar
Have you seen Buckingham Palace? Yes, I have.
I went last weekend. Then you control the grammar
How are you going to link and develop your ideas?
What grammar can you use to get higher marks?
How can you use the passive?
How can you use reference words
How long is the Speaking exam?
How many minutes for each section?
1) 4-5 minutes (2 mins+2 to 3 mins)
2) 3-4 minutes (2 minutes of instructions/2 minutes of presentation)
3) 4-5 minutes
What 4 areas is the examiner looking at?
- means no hesitations
- Any hesitations give you band 6 or 5
- Do not use expressions like ‘let me think…’
If you use simple sentences –(subject/verb/object) – you’ll get band 6 or lower
For your extra marks you need to use natural expressions or collocation – listen to TV or read and pull out useful expressions to recycle -maybe general ones/or topic specific (topic specific puts you in band 7)
Developing your ideas – band 7 – Give 2 or 3 reasons for what you say:
- use linking expressions
- one of the reasons is…
- Another thought might be…
If you use simple grammar-band with no mistakes – you’ll only get band 6
See my list of typical student errors – if you are still making these you’ll only get band 5
To get Band 7 and higher (with no basic errors), Include:
- Participle phrases
- Reference words
If the examiner thinks… “what? I’m not sure what you are saying.” You will get band 5 or lower:
“If you can emulate English speech patterns and stress where native speaker’s stress with both your language and your body language, you will start to get band 7”
How can you improve your marks
It is a fluency exam. Practise speaking so that you do not make any hesitations – when the examiner hears hesitations, that automatically puts you in the Band 6 or 5 columns in the public band descriptors. They do not want to hear expressions that you are taught in other classes, for example, “Let me think, etc.”.
In section one
Remember to say WHY you are saying what you say.
Talk for about 3 or 4 sentences. The examiner will stop you.
Make your sentences complex+ at least two ideas in the sentence, or more.
Although I really love football, I rarely watch it.
Develop your ideas in all sections by adding a few reasons.
Practise in your head, so that you get used to it in the exam environment:
I come from Bristol, which I think is one of the most amazing cities in the world. There are many reasons I love this city so much, the most significant being that I was born there and my family live there. You could also say that it is not only full of culture, it also has centuries old buildings to admire too.
How can you apply your patterns to any topic you say?
Don’t forget to use THIS/THESE/DOING THIS/HAVING DONE SO/ instead of IT
Can you use a conditional?
- If you ask me, I think that’s a really excellent idea…
- I have many favourite colours but if I had to choose one, I’d choose red because….
Use the passive if you can
- Governments are frequently asked for solutions….
- Doing this means….
Try to absorb this guidance and implement it in your IELTS Test preparation.
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