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Top tips for the IELTS Speaking test

Conversations keep us engaged, allow us to meet new people, and allow us to participate in our local communities. Knowing how to communicate successfully in a language allows you to effectively communicate your concerns, needs, and goals, gaining the help you need to step on and excel. Engaging in conversation with another human is the perfect way to assess your language abilities. That is why the IELTS Speaking test employs human examiners to ensure that the test is as realistic as possible.

IELTS Speaking Test Format

The Speaking exercise is conducted in a discreet COVID-19 secure room with you and an experienced human interviewer to ensure that you are not distracted. Each test is videotaped and lasts 11–14 minutes. The exam is divided into three sections:

Part 1: Introductory remarks and an interview (4-5 minutes)

The interviewer will present himself or herself, and you will be asked to do the same. The interviewer will ask you general questions about your personal life, such as your family, jobs, and hobbies.

Part 2: Long individual turn (3-4 minutes)

You’ll be given a card that asks you to discuss a specific subject. The examiner will provide you with topics to discuss in your answers. You have one minute to plan and should take notes on paper with a pencil. The interviewer will ask you one or two questions about the same topic after you have spoken for two minutes on the subject.

Part 3: A two-way conversation (4-5 minutes)

The interviewer will ask you more questions on the same subject as in part 2. This allows you to demonstrate your language skills while still discussing more general topics and concepts.

Why does the IELTS use human examiners, while several other testing platforms use AI?

There is a widespread belief that AI is objective. The proof is mounting that this is not the case. We are learning more about prejudice in AI as a global society, and we now have the ability to objectively evaluate whether a machine can truly reproduce the nuances, intuition, and real-world understanding that comes with speaking with a human. Human examiners are used for IELTS because they are well equipped to comprehend test takers and have a realistic and precise measure of their speaking abilities.

Do not change your accent

Face-to-face speech tests do not require participants to think about their accent. Examiners will be able to recognise and interpret a variety of accents.

Breathe, and take a moment to collect your thoughts

You do not have to hurry; take a minute to collect your ideas before responding. You should use phrases such as, “Let me ponder that for a moment” or “You bring up an intriguing point”, to buy yourself more time to ponder during the Speaking exercise.

Believe in yourself

Have faith in yourself and what you’re saying. When we are stressed or unsure of what to say, we always use filler terms. This demonstrates to the interviewer that you lack the required vocabulary or concepts, so resist using fillers like Like, Umm, Ahh… Instead, use expressions like the ones above.

You do not need flashy vocabulary to score a good band

You would want to use large, complicated terms to please the examiner. This is because, if you are unfamiliar with them, you are more likely to make an error by mispronouncing terms or using them incorrectly. Use words that you are familiar with and that is important to the subject at hand.

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