IELTS Speaking Preparation Tips
Okay people, time to get down to business. Let’s take a look at the things that will actually make you speak better in the IELTS test and get you a higher band score.
I’ve got to warn you though, I’m not messing about here, there’s zero point reading this, if you are not prepared to take action on these recommendations. That means you actually have to do these things!
Don’t be one of those people who spend most of their time ‘googling’ and youtube watching thinking that will help them prep for IELTS speaking.
All the information you need to prep for IELTS instead of spending time searching for stuff, instead do these things below they will help prepare you for your IELTS speaking test properly. Here we go:
Tip #1 Speak English everyday
You need to be able to answer the examiner's question spontaneously, which means without thinking. You cannot do this if you are not used to speaking English as you will be searching ro your words and you may even be thinking in your own first language and translating. So, to get over this speak English daily for at least half an hour, out aloud.
If you can’t get anyone to speak with, then speak out aloud which brings me to my next tip…
Tip #2 Copy native speakers
Find a video on Youtube and repeat what the speaker says in the same way. That includes copying the speed they speak at, the way they pronounce words and the intonation they use. Particularly pay attention to the way they link words together.
It is best to do this sentence by sentence. So just keep replaying the same sentence over and over again until you get it just right. You can even record yourself doing this and play your recording back to yourself to see how close you are getting to sounding like the native speaker.
The final test for this is to start speaking at the same time as the original video, turn the sound down as you are speaking and then turn the volume back up again at the end of the sentence to see if you are speaking at the same speed and style as the video still.
Do this for longer more complex sentences and even short paragraphs. Repeating this daily wil absolutely have you sounding more native like. You might want to focus on one particular accent though so that you to start to speak in one particular style and tone.
Tip #3: Fill Up Your Facebook with useful English
One of the biggest problems that candidates report having in the speaking test is that they won’t have any ideas about what to say or even write about in their essays. So, to combat that problem fill up your Facebook feed with useful English articles by subscribing to news feeds from The BBC, CNN, National Geographic and so on.
That way, whenever you log onto your social media accounts you will automatically have an opportunity to practise your English and get ideas about different topics to speak about rather than just scrolling through ‘mindless’ photos of food from your friends 😉
Tip #4 Get used to the style of questions
The test is so much easier if you know what is coming and you have developed some simple techniques to use in each part of the test.
On this page I have given you enough sample questions for you to prepare with. You already have what you need to succeed. Get a friend, tutor, or speaking partner to run through the test with you. In this way you will feel more confident on test day and are likely to speak better as a result.
As a former examiner myself, it was always very obvious which students had prepared properly for the test or not and it is no surprise that they are the ones who generally scored higher bands!
Tip #5 Get feedback
As a native speaker, teacher or friend to listen to you completing a long turn speaking task and ask them to tell you what you could improve. Of course, your friends might be too kind to you and not tell you exactly what mistakes you are making, so you may want to get a professional opinion and do a mock test with real IELTS examiners.
This is the place I go to get mock speaking tests done for my students, fantastic feedback every time.
Tip #6 Act on the feedback!
Push yourself to improve by really listening to the feedback you get and by doing something about improving those areas that are weaker. So many times this is where people go wrong. People practise hard but few attempt to get feedback and then even fewer push themselves to improve by working on their feedback.
If you have already done the test once or twice and not got the score you need. You are probably going to get the same band score again if you do not do something to improve!
So, stop kidding yourself that you will ‘get luckier’ next time or that the questions will somehow ‘be easier’, they won’t be! You need to do some of the things I have suggested above to improve.
Sorry to be so forceful with my advice, but I have put thousands of people through the IELTS test. I have done everything from driving students to the test centre on test day, watching students receive their results and bursting into tears from both happiness, and sadness.
I hate seeing people not get the result they want so please follow my advice carefully to give yourself the best possible chance of success! Now go get it done!