Introduction to the IELTS exam

Introduction to the IELTS exam

I will introduce you to the general format and structure of the speaking portion of the IELTS examination.  The International English Language Testing System or IELTS Speaking test lasts 11-14 minutes the test consists of three parts (Part 1, 2 and 3).

During the exam you cannot use a dictionary and generally IELTS Academic and IELTS General candidates do exactly the same test and it is marked in the same way.   The exam measures how well you can describe your own experiences and express your own thoughts and feelings.  As your IELTS Coach, I will help you learn to communicate your thoughts and emotions.

You will be graded on a scale of  0 to 9. Many candidates who effectively express themselves on most topics, but make several mistakes will receive band 5. A native or fluent speaker will get a band 8.5 or 9. My goal is to help you get the highest score possible.

These are the four criteria for IELTS speaking:

  1. Pronunciation
  2. Lexical Resource
  3. Grammatical Range and Accuracy
  4. Fluency and Coherence

Let’s start with pronunciation…

Can you say these words correctly?

  • obvious
  • information
  • decision
  • photograph
  • demonstrate
  • negotiate
  • dependence
  • violence
  • chemical
  • better
  • myself
  • buffet
  • watched
  • wanted
  • loved
  • through
  • though
  • thought

I have randomly included these words for a good reason. In my experience, they are only a few of common mispronounced words.  One way to remember the correct pronunciation is to use what I call the “Rhyme technique”. This technique will help you maintain the correct sound. Here are a few examples:

Words ending in “ous” like, obvious rhyme with “kiss” or “miss”

Words ending in “tion” or “sion” like information or decision, sound like shin

Words ending in “ate” like demonstrate sounds just like “eight”

Words starting with “ch” typically sound like “k” as in chemical

Next is lexical resource …

You will need to expand your vocabulary if you want to get a high band score.  Let’s practice! What is the synonym for these words?

  • Car —> _____________
  • Fast —> _____________
  • Quiet —> ____________
  • Advice —> ___________
  • Difficult —>___________
  • Interesting —> ________
  • Exciting —> __________
  • Dangerous —> ________

You should try to have at least more than one way to say each word or phrase when you speak.

We will go on to grammar which is a critical part of the test. Again, for a high band in IELTS Speaking, you need to be able to form simple and complex sentences correctly.

Can you find the mistakes in these sentences?

  1. The spring of 2015 have been very rainy.
  2. During I was in Morocco, I enjoy going  to the markets.
  3. Tina wants for going to the beach next weekend.
  4. If I was rich, I will buy a bought.
  5. I want cup of coffee and water, please.
  6. When will you come back to your country?
  7. I look forward to meet you tomorrow.
  8. The light is on can you turn off it.
  9. Yesterday I watch TV with my friends.
  10. Teresa and me go to the cinema on weekend.

Practice. Practice. Practice.

Now it’s time for fluency and coherence…

A fluent speaker is someone who can speak naturally on a wide range of subjects. You should talk about many topics as much as possible so that you can become natural when speaking.

Here are some topics you can practice with…. what will you say?

Let’s talk about…

  • Your house or apartment
  • Your job or studies
  • Your favorite sports or hobbies
  • What you like to eat
  • What kind of films, music or books you enjoy
  • Your favorite sports or hobbies
  • Your family or friends

Now you are off to a good start!  Ready to prepare for the exam? Here’s the Practice IELTS Speaking Part 1.

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