The purpose of the IELTS speaking test is to assess how well you use the English language in your regular conversations. During the examination, you will be requested to sit in a quiet place with an examiner who will engage in a conversation with you. Most Indian students find the speaking section of the IELTS exam to be the toughest.
This section assess your lexical resource, fluency and coherence, pronunciation, and accuracy. In this blog, we will discuss how with enough practice you can achieve fluency and confidence in your English speaking skills and achieve a speaking band 9.
IELTS Speaking Section Structure
Before moving on to the tips and tricks to score IELTS speaking band 9, it is important to understand the structure and pattern of the test:
- Introduction and discussion (4–5 minutes)
You will be asked some basic questions about yourself, such as about your family, career, education, interests and hobbies, and so on.
- Flashcard (2–3 minutes)
The examiner will next provide you with a flashcard with a specific topic on it. You will have a minute or two to familiarise yourself with the topic before being asked to speak for roughly two minutes on it. Following your talk, the examiner may ask you a few questions to test your knowledge of the subject.
- Discussions (5–6 minutes)
Based on the chosen topic and your speech, more in-depth inquiries and abstract conversations will be held. You will have the chance to expand on the issues surrounding your chosen topic.
Useful Tips for Getting IELTS Speaking Band 9
The speaking examination is the same regardless of whether you take the paper-based or computer-based form of the test for IELTS academic and/or IELTS general training. It always includes a face-to-face interview with a professional IELTS examiner. If handled well, it is the easiest part of the IELTS exam because it involves realistic approaches.
Here are a few tricks and tips to get IELTS speaking band 9:
- Do not emphasise your accent: The examiner will realise you are not a native English speaker from an English-speaking country. But do not worry about your accent, either; if you pronounce everything correctly, the accent will not affect your overall IELTS score.
- Avoid fillers: Speaking clearly and without hesitation will significantly improve your overall IELTS score. Fillers should be avoided. When a candidate is stumped about what to say in response to a question, they generally resort to fillers. However, this could create the wrong impression to the examiner, leading them to believe you lack the requisite language skills. Avoid these, and instead, utilise idioms and phrases to strengthen your response. Also read ‘Latest IELTS idioms’ for some idioms and phrases.
- Make use of a range of speaking styles: We may speak a word coldly or monotonously when we say specific sentences. Using good speaking techniques, such as emphasising keywords and modulating your voice, will assist you in leaving a lasting impression on the examiner about your speaking skills.
- Avoid rushing words: Speaking too quickly will not increase your fluency score and may cause you to make more mistakes. Instead, keep calm, communicate properly, and speak at a comfortable pace.
- Do not resort to memorising: The questions in the Speaking segment all follow a similar structure. While it is necessary to have useful vocabulary, common phrases, and collocations (common word groupings), it is also important to avoid memorising large portions of speech. Examiners are trained to spot memorised responses and will penalise you accordingly.
- Vocabulary and idioms: You should learn current vocabulary and idioms by categorising terms into groups like sports or movies. This method can also help you enhance your vocabulary for other areas of the IELTS test; the more vocabulary you have, the better your score!
- Use your one minute wisely: The examiner will offer you one minute to rehearse your argument in part two of the speaking section, where you will speak about a specific topic. Make the most of this time. If you do not know much about the subject, do not worry; you may make up a tale or imagine yourself in somebody else’s shoes and explain the story from their point of view. Suppose you need to talk about a sporting event you went to, but you are not a sports enthusiast. In that case, you may put yourself in the shoes of a friend who is, and talk about their experience as if it were your own. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers; you are simply being judged on your ability to communicate. The points you will be covering will be listed on a cue card, so use your one minute to jot down phrases or keywords on your writing paper so you can refer to them if you get stuck.
- Always stay relaxed: Relaxing will be a challenge with everything on your mind. But you should remember the examiner is not looking for your blunders but instead the excellent qualities of your speech. They would like to see what you can accomplish, not what you cannot, and will do everything they can to make you feel at ease. Look at the speaking test as a quick conversation with a friend. It is all about communicating, something you do daily.
Always keep in mind that the examiners for the IELTS Speaking exam are merely determining whether or not you can communicate well in English. Keep things simple and express confidence by smiling while speaking to get IELTS speaking band 9!
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Frequently Asked Questions
What should I bring to the speaking examination?
You must bring the same identity documents you provided on your IELTS application form and utilise the same ID for each section of the test.
Should I use body gestures during my oral exam?
The examiner is only interested in hearing how well you communicate in English. It is entirely up to you to employ body language or gestures. Feel free to use body language when speaking because most people find it natural. Above all, it is critical that you remain relaxed and speak naturally during the test.
Is it okay if I use contractions?
Yes, using contractions when speaking is beneficial because this is how most native English speakers communicate.
What are the most common topics of discussion in the IELTS speaking section?
The most common topics of discussion include education, environment, family, transport, tourism, sports and recreation, crime and punishment, advertising, internet, and retail.