6 Tips to Speak Better in the IELTS Speaking Interview

IELTS Speaking Tips

The IELTS exam speaking section is quite short (it takes less than a quarter of an hour), but it does tend to cause candidates a lot of nerves. Are you ready for it?.

Here are 6 strategies to enable you to successfully confront the face-to-face IELTS speaking interview with the examiner:

1. Make a good impression and look the IELTS interviewer in the eye

Difficult as it might be, smile! Talk with enthusiasm and confidence. The first impression is very important and may predispose the examiner favorably. Also, be sure to maintain eye contact with the examiner: look him/her in the eyes throughout the IELTS speaking test.

2. Listen to IELTS questions carefully

It is important to understand the questions before beginning to speak your response: listen carefully to the interviewer. If the question is not clear, ask to examiner to repeat it to you. They do not penalize you for it (unless you do it every time!). Also, if the examiner proposes to talk about a topic that you don't know anything about, you can indicate this to the examiner so that they can change the topic.

3. Focus on speaking well, not the content

When you speak, answer the question, but focus on speaking well rather than worrying too much about the exact content of your answer: in the IELTS speaking test, the examiner is not going to assess your knowledge of a topic, but how you express yourself speaking in English.

4. Try and develop your answers

Do not simply respond to the questions in monosyllables. You have to develop your answers appropriately. You should speak more than the examiner. Remember that the speaking time is to demonstrate your skills of oral communication: not to stay silent. And do not take prepared answers: it is extremely easy for the examiner to detect this.

5. Take care of your pronunciation and your accent

Your pronunciation can tell more than you think. Good pronunciation will lead the examiner to think that your English is good; maybe better than it really is! On the contrary, your English can be very correct grammatically, but if your pronunciation is not good, it will give the impression that your English is not so good and possibly make it difficult for the examiner to understand you easily. Don't forget that the IELTS oral English test will evaluate how you communicate effectively in English, not only grammatical correctness.

6. Preparation is the key: speak English frequently

Your spoken English should be fluid and natural. And the only way of acquiring fluency with language is using it. So speak English frequently: search for somebody with whom to practice language and English speaking, even in front of the mirror, speaking out loud. And warm up by speaking English also immediately before the test so that the change of language in your head is already underway. That way it does not appear as if speaking English is a great mental effort, and it does not appear that you are constantly translating from your mother tongue to English.