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10IELTSSpeakingTipsforSuccess

JUNE3,2014BYWILLGEMMA

InsomesectionsoftheIELTS,suchastheessaywritinginPartII,youhavetheluxuryofbeingableto
gobackandreviseyouranswers.Butinthespeakingsectioneverythinghappensquicklyandyourfirst
responseneedstobeyourbesteffort.ThefollowingIELTSspeakingtipsaredesignedtohelpyou
prepareefficientlyandspeakfluentlyandconfidentlythereareevensometipstohelpyouinteract
withyouradministrator.Onceyouvegotthesespeakingtipsdownpat,roundoutyourIETLS
preparationwiththisExpressIELTSPrepcoursethatcoversallfourcomponentsofthe
exam.

1.TimingAndScoring
Itsanexcellentideatomemorizethetimingofthespeakingpartoftheexam,aswellashowitisscored.Therearethreepartstothespeakingsection:
Part1:Interview:Theinterviewwilllast45minutes.Thisissupposedtobearelativelyeasy,introductorysection.Theexaminerwilllikelyaskyour
name,whereyourefrom,howyouliketospendyourfreetime,whyyourestudyingEnglish,etc.Tip:Itwillbeeasytogiveyesandnoanswersin
thissection,butdoyourbesttogivelongerresponses.Example:DoyouenjoylearningEnglish?Yes(keepgoing!),IthinkEnglishisadifficultbut
enjoyablelanguagetolearn,anditsverypractical.
Part2:LongAnswer:Inpart2youwillbegivenatopicaboutwhichyoumustspeakuninterruptedfor12minutes.Thistendstobeverydifficultfor
moststudents.Tip:Youwillhaveoneminuteofpreptime.Donttrytowriteoutcompleteanswers,justmakenotesandimprovisefromthem.Youwill
soundmorenaturalthiswayandyoullbeabletomapoutyourentireresponse.
Part3:Discussion:Inthispartofthetestyouwilldiscussatopicwiththeexaminerfor34minutesagain,adifficultsection.Tip:Ifyouhavethe
chancetomakeapointthroughapersonalanecdote,thiswillshowyouarecomfortableandmakeyourconversationmoreunique.
Thescoringismuchmorequicklyunderstood:therearefoursectionsthatallcarryequalweightingrading(thatis,eachsectioncountsfor25%ofyour
grade):Pronunciation,FluencyandCoherence,Grammar,Vocabulary.Abalancedskillsetwillyieldthehighestscore.Youshouldthinkaboutreadingover
thisfantasticpostonIELTSlisteningtips,asunderstandingyourexaminerisoftheutmostimportance.

2.FluencyOverVocabulary
Whilefluencyandvocabularytechnicallycarrythesameweightingrading,itsbettertobefluentandfluidthantospendseveralsecondsthinkingofthebest
word.Youroverallimpressionwillbemuchstrongerifyouspeakfluidlyandonlyhuntaroundforagreatwordonceortwice.Chancesarethatifyoukeep
talking,yournextchancetospeakwillyieldastrongvocabularyword.
YoumightalsoconsiderbrushinguponyouraccentwiththisacclaimedcourseonEnglishpronunciation.

3.AvoidMonotone
Youknowthewaybeginnerstalkwhenlearninganewlanguage:aslow,flatmonotone.Nothingislessimpressiveandmoreyawninspiring.Evenifyou
speakperfectly,ablandtonecanmakeyousoundlessfluentthanyoureallyare.Addingsomerangetoyourtoneswillmakeyousoundmorefluent,
interestingandaccomplished.

4.HowToBuyYourselfTime
Itwouldberareforsomeonetogothroughanexamandunderstandeverything.Evenifyoudounderstandeverything,youmayneedsomeextratimeto
formulateyourresponses.Inpart2,thisisnotapplicablebecauseyouhavetimetotakenotesand,sinceyourerequiredtotalkwithoutpause,youwillhave
noexcusestobuyyourselfmoretime.Butinsections1and3thereareafewtacticsyoucanemploy:
Theexaminermightask,WhatwasyourfavoritepartofgrowingupinParis?Whilesometipsouttherewouldrecommendrepeatingthequestion,I
findthistacticobviousandnotveryflatteringtoonesabilitytounderstandalanguage.Instead,youcanmakeacomplimentaboutthenatureofthe
questionandachievethesametimebuyingeffect:Iveneverconsideredthatbefore,butitsaninterestingquestion.Thisismorenaturalanditwill
allowyoutonot,literally,takethewordsoutofyourexaminersmouth.
Youmayalsonotunderstandsomething.Iftheexaminerusesawordorphraseyoudontunderstand,dontpanic.Behonestanddemonstrateyour
abilitytorespondnaturallytosuchasituation:Imnotacquaintedwiththatexpression,couldyoupleaseelaborate?orInevercameacrossthat
wordbefore,wouldyoumindclarifying?orevenImsorry,butcouldyoupleaseexplainwhatyoumean?

5.HowMuchToSpeak:2RulesofThumb
FirstRuleofThumb:Therearetwobasic,unspokenruleswhenitcomestohowmuchyoushouldspeakduringthespeakingsection.Thefirstistospeak
asmuchaspossiblethemoreandthegreatervarietyoflanguageyouuse,thebetter.Youdontwanttotalkincessantlyandrepeatyourselfjustforthesakeof
talking,butyoushouldtrytospeakasmuchaspossiblewithinreason.Aslongastheconversationislivelyandinteresting,youcanttalktoomuch.
SecondRuleofThumb:Ifyouarentthetalkativetypeandyouarentworriedabouttalkingincessantlyaboutunrelatedthings,anotherruleofthumbis
thatyoushouldtalkmorethantheexaminer.Soiftheexaminerasksyouaonesentencequestion,trytorespondinatleasttwosentences(andsoonandso
forth).
IfyouhaventyetdecidedbetweentheIELTSandTOEFL,conferwiththisgreatblogpostonwhatyouneedtoknowaboutboth.

6.ThrowAwayYourPreparedAnswers
Ifyouvegonethroughthetroubleofpreparinganswerstodifferentquestions,throwthemaway.Partofspeakingfluentlyisspeakingspontaneously,andthe
examinerwillimmediatelyknowifyoureregurgitatingresponses.Thiswilldrasticallyhinderyourscoreastheexaminercannotcounttheseasanswers
becausetheyarenothingmorethanmemorization.Thekeyistoberelaxed,havefunusingEnglishandresponddirectlytothequestionsasked.Plus,theres
nothingworsethantryingtomakeapreparedanswerfitaquestionthatisjustslightlydifferent.

7.WhatToDoWhenYouMakeAMistake
Ithappenstothebest:mistakes.Evenwhenyourespeakingyournativetonguesometimesthewrongwordscomeout.Youmightbetalkingtooquicklyorjust
accidentallysaythewrongword.Ifyouareabletoquicklyandfluentlycorrectyourself,goforit.Thiswillshowtheexaminerthanyouareconsciousandin
control(and,ofcourse,thatyouknowthecorrectanswer).
NOTE:Ifyoudontknowhowtocorrectyourselfsmoothly,dontworryabout.Justkeepgoing.Ifyoutrytocorrectyourselfandcant,nowyouveturnedyour
averagetongueslipintoaprolongeddisaster.

8.VocabularyTips
#1:LikeIsaidinmyintroductiontothispost,youcantgobackandreviseyourspokenresponses.Thisisparticularlyrelevanttovocabulary,asmany
studentsjustwritedowneasywordsintheIELTSwritingsectionandthenchangethemoncetheyvefinishedwritingtheessay(ifyouneedhelpwiththe
writingsection,too,checkoutthisIELTSWritingcourseonhowtoscoreaBand7orhigher).Butinspeakingyoushouldhaveafewreallystrong
vocabularywordsatyourdisposal.
#2:Youropinionisveryimportantinthespeakingsection,solearnwordsandphrasesthatallowyoutoexpressyourself.YoudontwanttosayIthinkin
theexactsamewayeverytime.Learnthingslike,Ifeel,Ilike,Iprefer,etc.

9.MatchTheGrammarInTheQuestion
Thisisasimpletrickthatcanhelpyoustayontrackduringyourresponse.Payattentiontothegrammartheexamineruseswhenheorsheasksyoua
question.Thisisparticularlytrueofverbtenses.Toreuseoneofourquestionsfromabove,theexaminermightask,Whatwasyourfavoritepartofgrowing
upinParis?Thisisinthepasttense(was),soyouwouldnotanswer,Myfavoritepartis...Matchingthegrammarwillhelpyouavoidsimplemistakes
andyoucanquicklylearnthebasicswiththisintroductiontoEnglishgrammarcourse(orifyouthinkyouvegotwhatittakes,thiscoursefor
advancedEnglishgrammar).

10.FirstImpressions
Makeagoodfirstimpressionbyshowinguppresentable.Itisbasicallyaninterview,soact,dressandprepareaccordingly.Makesureyouveshowered,
brushedyourteeth(breathmint)anddressedappropriately.Youshouldalsositupstraight(butnotuncomfortablystraight),makeeyecontactwiththe
examiner,engagecausallybutenergeticallyinconversationandspeakatanaturalpace.Whilethisalonewontgiveyouahighgrade,itsinfinitelybetter
thanbreathingfoulairintoyourexaminersface.Astrongfirstimpressionwillgoalongwayandthisfivestarcoursecanhelpyoumakeapowerful,
professionalfirstimpressionthatlasts.