Have a look at the video below. When you book a mock IELTS Speaking test, Rochelle will give you tips on how to prevent common mistakes and get the best score possible.
Top 5 mistakes to avoid in the IELTS Speaking test
IELTS Speaking tip #1: Use a conversational tone
Now, when you do your test, your examiner is testing your English conversational skills. But some people talk too formally. They would speak like they do in a job interview. Or a speech from a podium. Or as a newsreader.
The whole idea is to speak in the way you would speak to people in the country of your choice - the country where you want to go to (or stay in). So, please don't use words like “furthermore,” moreover” or “firstly/secondly,” because that’s probably a bit too formal. And that's what we would like for you to use in Academic Writing, for example. When you’re speaking, please just stick to a conversational tone.
Use the way you speak (tone) over dinner with colleagues in your IELTS Speaking test. Not too formal, but also not too casual.
You can find some IELTS Speaking test sample(s) here.
IELTS Speaking tip #2: Avoid Overthinking
Now, sometimes when you’re doing a test, you're thinking so hard that it's almost difficult for an examiner to listen to what you’re trying to tell: your story. So, try to be a good storyteller. While it matters what you’re saying (you want to make sure that you answer the examiner’s question), it can also matter how you say it. Even if you think your answer is not that interesting, make it sound interesting! How do you do this? Try to focus on the person you are speaking to. Just try to get tell your story, get your point across instead of worrying about what the examiner might think. Doing this will help you relax more.
Don’t make up a story because you think it’s more interesting for the examiner. Instead, focus on your experience.
IELTS Speaking tip #3: Note-taking
When you do Part 2, you will be asked to make notes before you talk about a topic. People who don't make notes can often stumble over their words. And they forget what they need to say. You may think you feel confident, but you are in a test situation, so it's best to make notes: just to make sure you have your ideas right in front of you!
Write down some notes during Part 2 of your Speaking test. Or use a mindmap to help you.
IELTS Speaking tip #4: Avoid sounding rehearsed
Now, some people like to prepare quite extensively for their test. That’s great, of course, but the only problem with that is that you may come across as rehearsed. When you prepare for different sorts of topics, or just different questions, for example, the weather or something, try and keep it conversational. Because this is an English conversational test, they need to see if you can have a conversation naturally.
Prepare for your Speaking test, but don’t memorise answers. You can always practise with an IELTS Speaking Coach.
IELTS Speaking tip #5: Don’t self-correct too often
So, a lot of test takers correct themselves when they make mistakes to show the examiner that they know they've made a mistake. But if you do that too often, it could disrupt your flow. Try not to correct yourself too much. Just keep going. The reason the Speaking test is not just two minutes long, but over 10 minutes long is because we want to make sure that you have ample time to show your language skills.
When you make a mistake during your Speaking test, keep going. Don’t worry. You have plenty of time to show the examiner your skills.
More tips to pass IELTS
Okay, you can't really pass or fail IELTS (the test gives you a band score, not a pass/fail score). But there are some tips to get the best possible score. So, some tips for your IELTS test:
Check our guide to the best official IELTS mock tests, sample questions, and IELTS simulation tests. And, the best news of all? Most of these are free.
Also, we regularly write easy tips in our IELTS resources. Most of these short, easy blog posts give you an insight into the IELTS test with some tricks on getting the score you need for migration, work or study. For example, our Grammar 101 series explains the difference between commonly confused words: believe vs belief or elude vs allude When you start looking, you’ll find a lot of these words that are spelled the same but have different meanings. They’re called homophones, homographs or homonyms.
Other articles help you with your general English language skills. Do you know how to pronounce “debut?” Our most visited post 50 most commonly mispronounced words provides a good start to help you articulate and enunciate words correctly. We also have some quick guides on understanding verb tenses or how to improve your vocabulary and spelling.
If you are new to IELTS, you can also have a look at some of the pages that explain the test. For example, should you do IELTS Academic or General Training? Also, check out the IELTS on computer tips.