Tips For The IELTS Speaking Exam

February 7, 2023

For many, the speaking portion of the IELTS exam can be the most nervewracking part! We here at Babel can help you or your team achieve the scores you need with a tailored, flexible programme of study with one of our expert tutors.

Here are five tips for the speaking part of the IELTS exam.

1. Extend your speech/answers
Fluency is one of the four assessment criteria, so it is important that your answers are not short and to-the-point. Try to get into the habit of adding more information and giving more detail when answering questions. For example, if the examiner asks something like "Where are you from?", instead of simply answering with "I am from London, which is in England. I like London because I enjoy shopping", add more information to what you have already said. Always be thinking about questions in your mind that you think the examiner might ask or want to know, and add that detail to your answer!

2. Don't memorise your answers
By far one of the most common reasons why a learner may come away from the test with a score lower than they anticipated. Refrain from memorising large sections of speech or even entire answers. Examiners are trained to be able to recognise if someone is simply reciting a memorised answer. Giving natural, unmemorised answers will also give you a better indication of what your actual level is too!

3. Avoid complicated vocabulary
Learning the right vocabulary is essential for all parts of the IELTS exam, but for the speaking section, the amount of vocabulary you will need to use doesn't have to be too large. It can be tempting to throw in some big, complicated words to try to impress the examiner, but it's best to avoid this. You will have a much higher chance of making mistakes such as mispronouncing a word or even using the word in the wrong context, which will affect your final score.

4. Use your emotions!
While the examiner won't mark you down for speaking in a monotone voice, it can sometimes make it more difficult to express what you mean and can make it more difficult for listeners to identify the key parts of your message. This can be especially true if you are trying to recite a memorised answer (see point 2) as we tend to run through the script in our mind and forget that the IELTS speaking test is more of a conversation.

5. Practice common IELTS questions and topics
"It goes without saying that practice makes perfect, and the IELTS speaking exam can be aced with the right amount of practice and guided tuition. Having a dedicated IELTS tutor to help you practice questions on the most common topics in the test will go a long way to helping you achieve the score you want.

To find out how Babel can help you with your IELTS preparation, contact us on +44 (0) 20 8295 5877 or


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