5 essential things to focus upon when preparing for an IELTS Speaking Test

The Speaking Test has always been an important part of the IELTS Test, and speaking skills are often the most difficult to master using the English language, especially for students who are struggling with the correct pronunciation of words.

The best way to approach this oral challenge is to consult your IELTS private tutor and regularly practise specific speaking techniques.  As with any test, the more you practise the correct techniques, the more confident you will be when taking the test.

This article focuses on how to prepare for the IELTS Speaking Test through employing different strategies that will allow you to become better mentally prepared and ready to perform at your best on the day of the test.

1. Create your own topics and questions to practise orally:

The first part of the IELTS Speaking is made up of a series of questions asking you to talk about familiar personal topics.  You can start to prepare for this by thinking about how you verbally respond to such real life topic questions.

You can create a list of personal topics for yourself, formulate questions relating to the topics, and then practise answering the questions in a clear and concise way.

For example, under a topic of ‘Books’, think about and answer questions like:

  • Have you ever bought a book?  Why/Why not?
  • Do you think reading a book will be useful to you in the future?  Why/Why not?
  • Are books the best tool to educate yourself?  Why/Why not?

Then proceed to plan a response to the questions and also practise talking about other personal topics like ‘Learning to Sing’, ‘Playing a Guitar’, and ‘Cycling’.


2. Always correct your mistakes:

Everyone makes small mistakes all the time when speaking, especially if feeling nervous in a test.  By correcting mistakes as you make them, you will demonstrate a stronger understanding of English grammar and use of effective vocabulary to the examiner.  Should you make a minor mistake, simply apologise politely and repeat your sentence correctly.

However, making major mistakes in the IELTS Speaking Test must be avoided, as these mistakes will negatively impact your overall mark.  Such major mistakes include wrong pronunciation, unclear enunciation, and struggling to express yourself clearly (often by stuttering and stammering).

5 essential things to focus upon when preparing for an IELTS Speaking Test

3. Speak English aloud to someone, or even to yourself:

One key thing to prepare in the second part of the IELTS Speaking Test is speaking English aloud to someone you know, or even to yourself, for two minutes.  Through practice, you will empower yourself to concisely express personal ideas using correct pronunciation and grammar.

Practice allows you to become more familiar and confident when speaking to an audience.  Students often struggle to speak fluently when they are very nervous in front of an examiner.  But regular practice of expressing opinions and ideas when alone by speaking aloud in a clear and concise way will help you to become more comfortable when speaking to an actual audience or examiner.


4. Always give full answers:

Simply replying ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ to questions asked by an examiner is NOT a satisfactory response to make in your IELTS Speaking Test.  This is because you must demonstrate to an examiner the quality of your spoken English by using a variety of sentence forms and descriptive vocabulary.  

If you only give a very short answer, there is no way the examiner can assess your proficiency in speaking the English language.  So you must try to extend your answers with explanations and examples.


5. Think before you speak:

It is normal to speak more quickly when feeling nervous, but this means you may have a greater risk of making mistakes, especially if you are rushing and not thinking carefully first about what to say.  Many IELTS Speaking Test candidates get nervous before their test, however always remember that when a question is asked you do not have to respond immediately.  Listen carefully to the question and consider how to respond in a clear and detailed way.  If you briefly pause before making each response, your overall spoken fluency and accuracy of pronunciation will be greatly improved.


In conclusion:

Always remember the idiom: ‘the more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war’.  If you can keep these five IELTS Speaking Test tips in mind and practise them regularly, you will be better prepared to conquer every challenge you may face in the IELTS Speaking Test.

Are you now in the process of considering whether to take an IELTS Test?  If the answer is yes, you are invited to guarantee success by joining the ‘English for Everyone’ IELTS Preparation Course in Johor Bahru!  A weekly lesson with our IELTS private tutor will not only provide you with excellent preparation for the IELTS Test, but also give valuable practical advice on how to clearly express your thoughts and ideas by confidently speaking English using correct pronunciation and grammar alongside an effective range of vocabulary.