IELTS Examiner Talk about IELTS Speaking | IELTS Eddy Suaib

IELTS Examiner Talk about IELTS Speaking

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Ordinary IELTS preparation courses may wouldn't tell you what IELTS examiners' perspective on Speaking and Writing sections. The fact is the Examiners are prohibited to reveal the exact scoring criteria. But some insight about what an examiner is looking for may be useful for the test takers. In this article we’ll explore the speaking test in the eyes of the examiners.
There are four aspects of your speech that will be officially assesed in the IELTS speaking test:
  1. Fluency
    Fluency basically means ‘the ability to keep going’. Try to give nice long answers to questions (never one-word answers), and try to avoid too much hesitation (errrrrr, ummmmm). If the examiner asks you what your favourite food is, for example, you could also mention how often you eat it, or where your favourite restaurant is that sells this type of food. The more you speak, the more natural you’ll sound, and the more you’ll be able to get the ‘fluency’ things.
  2. Grammar
    Yes, it’s important, but sometimes people are so focused on using correct grammar that their fluency and vocabulary suffer. It’s better to speak naturally and fluently and confidently with a few grammatical errors than to attempt to use 100% perfect grammar but sound unnatural and use simple vocabulary. It’s all about finding the right balance (and practising!). The examiner is looking for correct grammar, but also grammatical range. This means you’ll get a higher score if you can show you’re able to use a range of tenses, complex sentences, passive and active forms, and other grammatical structures. Study these forms well, then practice using them as much as possible. Speak naturally.
  3. Vocabulary
    Vocabulary assessment is quite simple. You should use a wide range of vocabulary. However, the IELTS test is not a good opportunity to experiment with new vocabulary, so stick to words that you know are correct. Try to avoid ‘boring’ words (e.g. good, bad, nice, big, small) and use more advanced, interesting words (e.g. beneficial, detrimental, appealing, enormous, minuscule)- these will stand out and impress the examiner. Unlike in the writing section, it is OK to use less formal words (e.g. kids, guys, stuff, hang out), and using these words can help you to sound more natural – after all this is the way natives speak. Also unlike the writing, it’s good to use contractions such as ‘don’t', ‘won’t’ and ‘gonna’ in the IELTS speaking test.
  4. Pronunciation
    When it comes to pronunciation, to get a band 6 or band 7 the examiner will need to understand everything you say very easily. You don’t need to have a native speaker accent, but you need to be clear and easy to understand. Speaking nice and slowly can help, and make sure you don’t whisper! Record yourself speaking, and (yet again) practice practice practice.
These are the four main assessment areas in the IELTS speaking test, but there are several other aspects of communication which you should also be aware of:
1. Confidence
You are far more likely to get a higher score if you are confident. Nervousness often leads to short answers, simplified vocabulary, more grammar mistakes, and quieter speech.
2. Body language
You don’t want to appear arrogant or over-confident, and you don’t want to seem shy and withdrawn from the conversation. Sit up straight, make regular eye contact with the examiner, and use hand gestures when you’re speaking. And smile!
3. Your answers to the questions.
You may have noticed that you don’t receive a score for the answer to the question. However this doesn’t mean you can just talk about anything and still get a good score! The key here is to give detailed answers, and try (wherever possible) to be interesting.
If you have practised speaking as much as possible, then the you don't need to afraid of IELTS speaking test. Try to enjoy the experience, and you’ll soon be success with your IELTS.

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