The IELTS is one of the most common and easy international English language testing exams. The IELTS tests your ability to read, speak, write, and listen to English by different types of questions.
There are a total of four sections in the IELTS exam:
- Speaking section
- Reading section
- Writing section
- Listening section.
Many students often face difficulty in the Speaking section of the IELTS, and thus, many students have questions about how to improve IELTS speaking skills.
The speaking section is hard for students as you have to pronounce the words correctly without making any grammatical mistakes, and you have to do all this while sounding like a native English speaker.
To get a high score in the IELTS, you have to prepare for the Speaking section individually to secure maximum marks in it and thus to get your desired band.
Format Of IELTS Speaking Section
To get more clarity about how to improve IELTS speaking skills you have to first understand the format of the IELTS speaking section so that you can plan your preparation accordingly. The Speaking section of the IELTS consists of three parts. Each part tests your speaking skills with different tasks.
Part 1 – Introduction
Part 1 of the speaking section of the IELTS is the warm-up part. This part has some introductory and some basic questions to set you in a flow. The first part also has an ID check and some questions on the life and journey of the candidate.
The examiner will first introduce him or her to you. The examiner will then ask you general questions about your city, profession, personal areas of interest, hobbies, family, friends, and education.
This part is a general one, and it is kept to make you comfortable and has a look at your daily activities and interests. The duration of part 1 is around 4-5 minutes.
Part 2 – Cue Card
Part 2 of the speaking section is for 2 to 3 minutes. You will be given a topic to speak on for two minutes, this topic will be a recent one that is informative and easy to understand. You will also be given one minute to prepare and think about the topic.
To get the IELTS Speaking pdf 2023 to get the sample answers of the latest exam-based cue cards, read our other blog.
Part 3 – Follow Ups
Part 3 of the speaking section of the IELTS will be an in-depth discussion on the topic given in part 2. The discussion will mostly revolve around what you spoke about the topic and counter-questions related to it. The entire speaking section of the IELTS lasts 11-14 minutes.
Now that you are clear about the format of the IELTS, you must have gained more clarity on how to improve IELTS speaking skills.
How To Improve IELTS Speaking Skills
As we discussed above, there is a total of 3 parts in the speaking section of the IELTS. We will now focus on strategies and tips for these 3 parts. All parts are different and require a different approach to get a full score. Following these tips will give you more clarity about how to improve IELTS speaking skills.
Part 1 Tips
- Part 1 is all about making you comfortable, so try to arrive early and make yourself at ease.
- As you enter the room smile and relax to let the examiner know that you are comfortable.
- You have to show your ID, so keep it handy and try to be spontaneous.
- The examiner will ask 2 – 3 basic questions about where you live and what do you do study or work, although you may have prepared for these answers, try to answer in simple language.
- The examiner will ask 2 – 4 questions on two different topics; while answering these questions, avoid long answers and try to give each answer only 10 – 20 seconds.
- The examiner may interrupt you for whatever purpose, so don’t panic and try not to lengthen the answers.
- Most questions will be regarding your life and journey till now and may require just a yes or no, but adding a little detail will make a good impression.
These are some tips on how to improve IELTS speaking skills for part 1 of IELTS exam.
Part 2 Tips
- You will be given a random topic to speak on and one minute will be provided to think about the topic. Correctly organize your thoughts in this one minute, don’t overthink, and be at ease.
- We tend to speak fast when we are tense, so do not speak fast. Try to speak in a relaxed way and do not use hard words unnecessarily.
- This part is much more focused on your speech about the topic, so do not cut your answer short try to lengthen your answer and bring it to one and a half minutes at least. Do not speak about something without having the correct information about it, as counter-questions may reduce your marks.
- To lengthen the topic, looks for speaking test topics on the internet and try to speak for 2 minutes at least. Check your timings with a timer and then look at the answer to see what you could have included and what did you miss.
These are some tips on how to improve IELTS speaking skills for part 2 of the IELTS exam.
Part 3 Tips
- Part 3, as we discussed, is the discussion round. In this round, you will have to discuss with your examiner the topic on which you spoke in Part 2. This conversation would be an in-depth one, and you will need to provide a detailed view and answer.
- Whatever the topic, maybe it would require you to frame an opinion of yours. Try to keep your opinion as flexible as possible it should not look like an extremist viewpoint, rather, it would look as if you are willing to understand other perspectives and evolve your opinion on the basis of them. Don’t just keep your viewpoint but also explain how you got to the viewpoint and what was your mindset for it. In short, justify your stand.
- There is a possibility that in between your answers, you get interrupted by the examiner, it is completely normal so you need not panic. Just pause, relax, and listen to what the examiner is saying and then answer accordingly. The interruption won’t affect your total score.
Read our other blog for Idioms For IELTS Speaking With Meaning And Example.
General tips for How to improve IELTS speaking skills
Now that you know the specific tips for each part of the speaking section, let’s focus on some general tips that would be helpful in all the parts and will help to build your understanding of how to improve IELTS speaking skills.
- Arriving at least 30 minutes early always helps you to get relaxed in the atmosphere. Many students get under exam pressure and are unable to answer the questions, so try to arrive early and make yourself at ease.
- Your body language also affects your score a lot. So try to maintain eye contact with your examiner while answering the questions.
- Many times students get tensed for the answers and speak in a hurry which makes a bad impression. Try to speak fluently, and at a normal pace, it is okay to stop in between and think about what you want to say but do not get in a hurry while answering.
- While answering some questions, you may experience tension and anger or you may feel a frown for not answering correctly, but these emotions should not reflect on your face. Try to maintain a good posture and be confident.
- Do not talk to the examiner over-formally. The answers should look like a conversation not like a quiz in which you are continuously speaking mugged-up answers. Try to talk to the examiner like the way you talk to other people.
- The examiner may merge two-three questions in one, so listen carefully, and ask again if you are not clear, but remember to answer every question by giving equal importance.
- Do not agree with all the opinions of the examiner. Sometimes the examiner may deliberately frame their opinion in a way to receive a disagreement from you. So, if you do not agree with the examiner on something, then express your disagreement politely.
- Whenever you are giving your opinions, try to expand your answers. Don’t just state your opinion but try to elaborate on it by giving relevant justification for your answer.
- Do not use hard or sophisticated words if not required. Try to keep the language as simple and professional as you can. Never use a word if you are not completely sure about its usage or the meaning of it.
- The speaking section is to evaluate and test your speaking skills. Try to not mug up the answers, your answers should look like you are having a real conversation with an examiner. Look at the speaking section more as a conversion section, they want to test how good your communication skills which are based on your speaking skills.
Scoring Criteria Of IELTS Speaking
After knowing how to improve IELTS speaking skills, you must understand the scoring criteria of IELTS speaking. Your speaking score is measured based on the four different criteria; it is important to understand the scoring criteria of the IELTS speaking, so you can improve the part you lack out of these four Criteria. You will get a score on a scale of 0 to 9 in your IELTS speaking.
Fluency and Coherence
This refers to how well you can express yourself smoothly and naturally, with a good flow while speaking. In this, it is also measured how well you can connect and organize your ideas coherently.
In this criterion, your range and accuracy of vocabulary are being measured. In this, the examiner will check how well you can use different vocabularies and phrases in your speaking. You should use the words and phrases whose meanings you are sure about.
Under this criterion, your grammatical structure and accuracy in using grammar are being checked. You will get full marks under this criterion if you do not make grammatical mistakes in your sentence.
This criterion measures your ability to pronounce any word in English correctly. It checks how well you can speak any simple or difficult word in IELTS speaking without fumbling.
Common Mistakes To Avoid In IELTS Speaking
Here I will mention some common mistakes students should avoid in IELTS speaking. This is also very essential to understand once you know how to improve IELTS speaking skills. There are some of the most common mistakes students should avoid:
- Giving short or incomplete answers
- Using memorized answers
- Lack of fluency and coherence
- Using incorrect grammatical structure and vocabulary
- Not pronouncing words correctly
- Not managing your time effectively
In this blog, I have explained how to improve IELTS speaking skills. I have provided some of the best tips that a test taker can follow to improve his or her speaking skills and get a good band score. You will also get some common mistakes that students make in IELTS speaking.
Contact our experts if you need additional guidance on improving IELTS speaking skills. We wish you good luck with your exam, and for more content like this, keep visiting CourseMentor™.
Is IELTS speaking difficult?
No, the IELTS speaking module is not difficult. You just need proper guidance and practice IELTS speaking with full concentration to get a good band score.
Is it OK to speak slowly in IELTS?
Yes, it is ok to speak slowly in IELTS as long as you are maintaining a steady pace. Just don’t speak too slow, it can make your speaking monotonous.