Practical, simple & helpful IELTS Speaking exam tips from a current Examiner

The IELTS Speaking test is basically one of the most difficult parts of the IELTS examination. Most students that have studied with First English dedicate much of their time preparing for their speaking test, they usually formulate answers and memorize it which make it difficult for them to prepare. In which case, they have less understanding how examiners rate their oral capability. Remember that, these exams are challenging and can be very important for your future. Luckily, I’ve rounded up four simple ways to loosen you up.

  1. Speaking test is not an IQ or a knowledge test

Most students can go wrong because they evaluate it like an intelligence test and forget to use good English. Again, this is not an academic test, perhaps, it’s a language test. Know how the exam is marked so you can give the examiners exactly what they want. Here are 4 criteria you must consider:

  • Fluency and Coherence
  • Lexical Resource
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy
  • Pronunciation
  1. Study each section.

  • Part 1: Interview: This is supposed to be a relatively simple, introductory section. The examiner will likely ask your name, where you’re from, how you like to spend your free time, why you’re studying English, etc. Tip: It will be effortless to give “yes” and “no” answers in this section, but do your best to give longer responses. Example: “Do you enjoy learning English?” “Yes (keep going!), I think English is a difficult but entertaining language to learn, and it’s very practical.” The interview will last 4-5 minutes.
  • Part 2: Long Turn: In part 2 you will be given a topic about which you must speak uninterrupted for 1-2 minutes. This tends to be very difficult for most examinees. Tip: You will have one minute of prep time. Don’t try to write out complete answers, just make notes and improvise from them. You will sound more natural this way and you’ll be able to map out your entire response.
  • Part 3: Discussion: In this section of the test you will discuss a topic with the examiner for 3-4 minutes; again, a difficult category. Tip: If you have the chance to make a point through a personal anecdote, this will show you are comfortable and make your conversation more unique.
  1. Acquire the updated topics.

Knowing the food on the table will make a huge difference compared to people who is taken off guard. By learning about the topics you can create hints to each topic, in this way you can excel in spontaneity. You don’t necessarily need to memorize the answers because it is impossible for you to remember and it might sound recorded when you speak it out. Just jot down the main ideas and it will do the trick.


  1. Apply it in real life situation.

Apparently, reading English materials, listening to foreign music or watching foreign films might be a little helpful. Yet, interacting with someone is the best way to apply your oral skills whereas you can form a habit of being comfortable when using the English language. Here’s where tutors come in, practice with someone who could speak good English, they can guide you in so many aspects of the speaking test. Also, you can learn about your strength and shortcomings from your response and can identify which area of your language skills needs improvement.