7 Tips to crack the "Speaking Section" at IELTS
The speaking test at IELTS is the biggest fear for most of the students. However, it is an exam which is very close to your real life and highly interactive in nature. There is nothing to be scared of, but there are a couple of precautions that need to be taken. The uniqueness of this test lies in the following facts:
• The test is highly interactive in nature.
• The test is very close to real life situations.
• It is conducted by a certified examiner whose accent may be very different from yours.
• The test is recorded.
• It is aimed at assessing multiple skills like your general awareness, ability to speak at length, ability to express yourself and organize your ideas, discuss and speculate issues and your fluency and correctness of language.
Time Duration: The duration of this test is nearly 15 minutes and the segregation of these 15 minutes is as follows:
• Part 1 – Introduction and interview (4-5 minutes).
You will introduce yourself to the examiner and will be required to answer general questions about your family, home etc.
• Part 2 – Individual long turn (3-4 minutes)
You will be given a task card by the examiner which will contain the topic on which you need to speak. You will be given 1 minute for preparation followed by 2-3 minutes of continuous un-interrupted talking.
• Part 3 – Two way discussion (4-5 minutes)
You will be asked more questions by the examiner pertaining to the topic in part 2 and you will be expected to express your opinions more elaborately.
Marking and Assessment: The marking for the IELTS speaking section is done on 4 fixed parameters which are:
• Fluency of speech and coherence of thoughts
• Grammar and vocabulary
• Lexical resource
The following tips however, help in not only cracking this section but also getting a good band:
1. No one-word answers: Always, give a full answer. Yes/No or one word answers are not accepted. Always reply in one or more “complete” sentences.
2. Do not imitate Western accent: Speak clearly and speak in your accent. Your expression is the highest when you speak comfortably in your accent. Do not imitate Western or any other accent. However, the pronunciation of the words should be correct. For this, you should start speaking in English at least couple of days before the test.
3. Have a versatile vocabulary. Use descriptive words rather than monotonous words. This will give you an edge over other candidates.
4. Speak, don’t mumble. It is a general observation that due to low confidence level and inability to find right kind of words, students start stammering or they mumble so softly that it becomes hard for the examiner to hear or understand them. This should be completely avoided. You should use simple and correct language instead of trying to look for fancy words but make sure you speak on your own. Don’t give a chance to the examiner to prompt you again and again. This leads to huge deduction in marks.
5. No slangs: You have to project your best English in these 15 minutes. Slangs, jargons and informal language have to be completely avoided.
6. Slow and steady wins the race: Don’t speak too fast or too slow. Keep a steady pace, a pace which is most comfortable to you.
7. Be original and do not digress: Your answers should be original and your creation. Do not speak the answers you would have read in the sample papers. Also, keep a track of the topic. Do not deviate from the topic.