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IELTS Speaking Band 5-8: Tips To Improve In IELTS Speaking

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Scoring bands between 5-8 in IELTS Speaking can become an easy task by learning various tricks. But, where do you learn all those tricks from? Don’t worry, you are at the right place! This blog will lay out the requirements for achieving the desired score and help you self-analyse and upskill yourself.

Assessment Criteria of the Speaking Test 

Now, as an IELTS aspirant, you may be aware of how the speaking scores are calculated based on four criteria. They include:

  1. Fluency and Coherence (FC)
  2. Lexical Resource (LR)
  3. Pronunciation (P)
  4. Grammatical Range and Accuracy (GRA)

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IELTS Speaking Band 5-8: Tips To Improve In IELTS Speaking

Now, let us look through each of these criteria, one at a time, and get a deeper understanding of them.

Fluency and Coherence (FC): It is the clarity and the overall structure of your speech.

To Improve your fluency and coherence, keep in mind the following points:

  1. Usage of pauses at the right time
  2. Link your words to connect sentences correctly, so they make sense
  3. Do not stutter or fumble over words
  4. Add all the relevant information that the question requires you to
  5. Your speech should be continuous and smooth

Lexical Resource (LR): It is the level of your vocabulary as tested by your examiner.

Increase your score of LR by:

  1. Widening the range of  your vocabulary
  2. Use appropriate words and give your point of view on different topics
  3. The tone of speaking should be formal or semi-formal
  4. The words should be accurate to make your point of view clear and understandable
  5. Use idiomatic language/idioms

Pronunciation (P): This refers to your natural sounds while speaking.

To increase your score of P:

  1. Speak slowly and clearly
  2. Pronounce words with utmost clarity
  3. Recording your speech will help you work on words you pronounce incorrectly
  4. Stress sentences and words correctly
  5. Use the correct intonations
  6. Do not use words you are not sure of

Grammatical Range and Accuracy (GRA): This checks how good your grammar is.

Improve your GRA score by:

  1. Avoiding grammatical errors
  2. Trying to use advanced grammatical structures
  3. Using the correct form of tenses in your language

Sample Speaking Question with Different Band Answers

Here is an example of two candidates, A and B, with bands 4 and 8, respectively.

The question asked to both the candidates was: “Tell us about your most memorable experience.”

Below are the responses given by both the candidates:

Band 4 Answer

“Umm…so talking about my most memorable experience, erm…I cannot think of any of my experiences at the moment, but I will tell you about….urgh…once during the lockdown period…there were a lot of people who needed help..and umm I am my family set out to help them in many ways. And then another one is my 17th birthday. I was not at home with my family….and….umm and….they surprised me the previous day. It was very unexpected. All my friends and other people knew it except me. I was very happy, and that was very memorable for me. I still remember that birthday to this day. So yeah….umm…this was about it, my memorable experience. There are also many others, but I am unable to remember them right now. Thank you.  

Band 8 Answer

I have had many memorable experiences, but the one I would like to share here is the one about my 17th birthday. I was in Grade 12 and away from home, in a hostel, for the first time pursuing my higher education. My home was at a considerable distance from my hostel. The weekend before my birthday, I was at my place, and I had strictly told my parents I did not want them to plan any surprises. They agreed to it. Fast forward to my birthday, I was already a bit down since I had to take an exam that day. I returned to my hostel after the exam, and I had no idea that all of my family and friends had planned a surprise for me. It was evening, and for some reason, we were not permitted to leave our rooms, which got me more frustrated. Then one of my friends got a call, which, now I know, was from our warden, to bring me down for the surprise. Having no idea about it, I was brought to the party room and was shocked and surprised to see it all decorated. Going ahead, I spotted my parents there, and then even my extended family. I could not contain my excitement. I celebrated my birthday surrounded by my loved ones. Although I told them not to make any plans, I secretly did wish for something like this to happen. So it made me very happy, and that birthday became the most memorable and one of the happiest moments of my life.

Comparison

The difference between both the answers is visible.

The first one makes the speaker sound unsure and under-confident of their answer. It is not engaging enough for various reasons. There is a repetition of words and unwanted voice sounds between the answers. The speaker takes long and unnecessary pauses, and the answer is unclear. There are also many grammatical errors.  The speaker has not elaborated enough on the answer. The answer is missing relevant points, which could have made it better and interesting. The speaker also seems confused, and too much is being said in a short time.

On the other hand, the latter gives a confident answer, filled with clarity. The speaker is sorted in their thoughts and has used appropriate vocabulary and grammar. They have made correct usage of pauses and also appropriately linked their words to connect their sentences and make sense of the answer. Their answer has a flow, making it engaging and interesting to the listener.

In a nutshell, follow these instructions on your test day to achieve bands 5-8:

  • Use correct pronunciation
  • Use correct grammar
  • Speak in a fluent manner
  • Follow appropriate intonation patterns
  • Use complex but error-free sentences
  • Use idiomatic expressions and synonyms

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the validity of the score, and where do I take it? 

The IELTS score is valid for two years, and it has 48 fixed dates a year, which is also dependent on the local demand. You can book your test with the British Council or with IDP.

After how many days is the results usually out?

You will receive your Test Report Form (TRF) 13 days after your test date.

Can I prepare for my IELTS test online in a short span?

Yes, you can prepare for the IELTS exam through online coaching at Leap Scholar. Practice regularly. Listening to podcasts in English and watching English news channels can help you a lot in improving your proficiency. You can also improve your language skills by enrolling in spoken English classes.

How do I decide what university to go to after my IELTS results are out?

After your IELTS scores are out, you can seek the assistance of career guidance counsellors, such as Leap Scholar’s to guide you through the admission process of your desired universities.

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Manisha Angre

Experienced IELTS prep trainer and education management industry veteran. Specializes in public speaking, international education, market research, mentoring, and management.

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