IELTS speaking strategies

The IELTS speaking test takes about 15 minutes. There are three tasks: a personal interview, a little speech and a discussion.

In the speaking test, you should try to give full answers. Avoid answers like ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. Remember that during the speaking test, the examiner is trying to assess your speaking skills. If all of your answers are short, he or she doesn’t get an opportunity to do that. That said, you are not supposed to speak just for the sake of speaking. All the answers you provide should be relevant to the question. You must also stay on the topic.

Study the three sample responses to the same question.

Examiner: Do you enjoy reading?

Candidate 1: Yes, I do.

Candidate 2: Yes, I enjoy reading. I especially like reading biographies because there are a lot of things that we can learn from the lives of great men and women.

Candidate 3: Yes, I enjoy reading. I also like singing and dancing. In fact, I have been learning dance and music since I was a child.

Analysis of the answers

Candidate 1 has given a very short answer for which he or she will not receive high marks.

Candidate 2 has given a descriptive answer that also stays on the topic. He will receive good marks.

Candidate 3, too, has given a descriptive answer but he has also added information that is not relevant to the topic. Although he has proved that he is capable of speaking English, his inability to keep to the original topic will lower his score