IELTS Vocabulary For Speaking: Practice Speaking & Pronunciation For IELTS

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IELTS is an English proficiency test required for admission to colleges and universities all over the world. It is also a requirement for visa applications to countries where English is the native language. The IELTS exam consists of a speaking section that judges your vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar and fluency in English. 

Since speaking and correct pronunciation are skills that are perfected over time through regular practice. It can be difficult for some students to achieve a high score in the IELTS exam. This article will help you understand the IELTS speaking section in detail and ways to get an assured band score of your choice.

For help and guidance on other sections of the IELTS exam you can go through our blog

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IELTS Speaking Section Format & Practice Topics

IELTS speaking section is the last part of the four-part exam and contributes equally to your band score in the exam. It requires you to have an informal face-to-face conversation with an IELTS examiner. Through the conversation, the examiner will judge you and award you with a band score equivalent to your performance. 

The speaking exam is divided into three parts which span over a total of 15 to 20 minutes. Let us understand the format.

The Greeting

The exam begins with a simple greeting. The questions begin after the greetings are exchanged. Do note, you will be graded on your greeting ability, so it is better to brush up on it. A simple greeting procedure looks like this:

  • The examiner will first introduce themselves and then proceed to ask your name. Keep the reply short and simple by saying, “My name is _____.”
  • After your name, you will be asked where you are from. Simply answer, “I’m from ______.”
  • Lastly, you will be asked to present your identification. After that, the exam will begin.

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IELTS Vocabulary For Speaking: Practice Speaking & Pronunciation For IELTS

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IELTS Vocabulary For Speaking: Practice Speaking & Pronunciation For IELTS

Part 1 

This is the first part of the exam that lasts for 3 to 4 minutes. The examiner will ask you simple questions about you and your life. There is no right or wrong answer during this part as the answer is all about your life; hence it is advised to ease up and answer confidently. Try not to overcomplicate the answer but do not keep the answer too common and plain as well. Questions asked during this part often look like this:

  • What is your country famous for?
  • Where is your hometown?
  • How important is your hometown to you?
  • What do you like about it?

Part 2

The second part of the exam lasts for 3 to 4 minutes. During this part, the examiner will give you a cue card. The cue card will contain the following:

  • A topic
  • 3 to 5 bullet points related to the topic explaining to you what you have to include in your answer
  • A final clause that acts as a further guide to your answer

The topic can be about anything but is related to you in some manner in most cases. You will be provided 1 minute to prepare your answer and take down notes. It is advised to read the cue card carefully, prepare a strong monologue, and include the points with good thematic vocabulary. 

After preparation, you will be given 2 minutes to speak according to the cue card. Once you are done with your monologue, the examiner might ask you 1 or 2 follow-up questions about the topic. An example of a cue card is given below:

Describe an important decision you have made in your life. You should say:

  • What the decision was?
  • Why did you make that choice?
  • Who helped you in the decision-making?
  • Explain the importance of the decision?

Part 3

This part is a follow-up to the 2nd part of the speaking test. It is a dialogue rather than a monologue and will last for 4 to 5 minutes. In this segment, the examiner will ask you questions about the cue card given in part 2. 

The questions will be more elaborate in this part and will strike a conversation between you and the examiner. You will have to provide answers supported by facts and usage of ideas and concepts to support your answers. Examples:

  • How do people in your country feel about art?
  • Do people read more nowadays?
  • According to you, what makes a city a good city to live in?
  • What are the advantages of living in a city?

Must Know Terms for IELTS Speaking & Pronunciation

Regular usage of English is one of the most important ways of improving your fluency. Vocabulary is an important determinant in your English speaking and can be worked upon to improve your band score in IELTS speaking. Accurate vocabulary usage accounts for 25% of marks in the speaking section.  

Good knowledge of vocabulary will help you in your IELTS writing and reading sections. It will help you make your answers more attractive to the examiners, thus resulting in a high score. To improve your vocabulary, you should learn and work on the following elements of the English language.

While preparing for the IELTS exam, you will notice a few common themes that have made a recurring appearance in the exam over the years. Learning new words and phrases related to these themes will help you write and speak better in the exam and get a good score. 

For instance, reading about basic vocabulary related to common themes like family, home, work, hobbies, social media, business and so on can help you fetch a better score.

Collocations

While working on your vocabulary, try to collocate words together rather than learn them separately. Collocations mean the usage of words that combine to portray a specific quality of the object. Phrases such as spicy food, strong wind and so on are examples of collocations.

Idioms

Idioms are phrases of words conjoined together to create a meaning that is different from what the words would mean on their own. They are used frequently in English, and their correct usage can help you create a better answer in the speaking task. Example: On cloud nine, piece of cake, and so on.

Synonyms and antonyms

Synonyms are words that have similar meanings and can be used interchangeably. Good knowledge about synonyms can help you replace the common words in your answer with the ones that express your vocabulary in a much better light. Example: Pretty and beautiful, organize and conduct, connect and associate, and so on.

Antonyms are words that are opposites of each other. Knowledge of antonyms helps you make comparisons and frame your answer better while providing different perspectives. Example: Dark and light, big and small, and so on.

One thing common between synonyms and antonyms is that they help you paraphrase your answer better. Having a concise knowledge about similar and opposite words give you the option to frame your answer differently and in an attractive manner.

Phrasal verbs

Much like idioms, phrasal verbs are chunks of words used commonly in the English language. These phrases are common idioms that will help you bring a much more natural tone to your answer. Phrases like ‘considering all points’ and ‘off the top of my head’ are a few examples of phrasal verbs.

Sample Topics

In IELTS Speaking, there are a few topics that can be the basis of your exam. You can find the commonly occurring topics of IELTS Speaking below:

  • Hometown and accommodation
  • Friends and family
  • TV, music and films
  • Reading, newspapers and magazines
  • Technology and Internet
  • Work and career planning
  • Jobs and volunteer work

Useful Tips & Tricks for IELTS Exam

The IELTS speaking exam can seem daunting for non-native English speakers. But the task can be made easy with proper practice, preparation and a few simple tips. 

  • Speak English every day to gain fluency and improve your skills in it.
  • Study a wide range of topics and learn vocabulary related to it.
  • Do not give the examiner ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers. Answer in an elaborate but simple manner to exhibit your grip on the language.
  • Learn and understand a wide range of vocabulary related to various topics and themes. It will help you gain fluency in speaking.
  • Do not be afraid to correct your mistakes in front of the examiner. If you make a mistake while speaking, correct it immediately in front of the examiner. It will let him know that you have a good understanding of the grammar and good control of your speech.
  • Try speaking only formal English. Usage of slang is unacceptable and can leave a bad impression on the examiner.
  • If you do not understand the question, ask the examiner to repeat or explain it. Answering without proper understanding will lead to an irrelevant answer.
  • Listen to podcasts and watch tv shows in English to understand the usage of common phrases.

Keeping the above-mentioned tips in mind during preparation and during the exam can help you secure better marks in the exam.

Frequently Asked Questions

What traits are judged during the IELTS Speaking exam?

The examiner will judge you based on your grammar, vocabulary, fluency and pronunciation in the English language.

What are the key points to remember in IELTS vocabulary?

The key points that you can study and improve on to get a better score is as follows:

Vocabulary related to familiar and unfamiliar themes
Collocations
Idiomatic expressions
Synonyms
Antonyms
Phrasal verbs


Know more about IELTS

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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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