The IELTS Speaking test is often considered one of the toughest aspects of the IELTS exam. Students from Singapore and other parts of the world often struggle to understand the language requirements that are expected of them during the test. It is also overwhelming to produce complex language structures and use uncommon vocabulary without any time to prepare your answers. In this article, I have written a few band nine sample answers using questions from past IELTS exams, in order to give you a better idea of the language skills and vocabulary needed to score well in the IELTS Speaking test.
The Speaking Band Criteria
Each of these makes up 25% of your overall score and are of equal importance during the speaking test.
Do The Following To Get A Band 9 In The IELTS Speaking Test:
Extend your answers. While it is important to make sure you actually answer the question, your answers should not be too short. You need to give the examiner as much information to assess you on. You can so by:
- Adding further details.
- Speaking about frequency where possible.
- Comparing different situations.
- Adding relevant examples.
It’s good to show the examiner that you could speak further if necessary.
You should also give the examiner sufficient opportunity to assess your use of tenses and complex sentence structures. This will help you to achieve your Grammatical range and accuracy targets. Talk about the past and the future where possible
Make sure that your ideas flow well and the relationships between them are clear. This can be accomplished by using effective grammatical linking words. Doing so leads to one’s speech being more connected and logical. The criteria of Fluency and Cohesion for BAND 7 indicates that the candidate should use a range of connectives and discourse markers with some flexibility
The examiner will be listening out for your ability to use a wide range of vocabulary flexibly when you answer the questions. In order to score, well you must learn topic-specific vocabulary for the common topics that appear in the speaking test. To score above a band 7, you also need to use idiomatic expressions and collocations comfortably.
Sample IELTS Band 9 Speaking Answers
Q How do you usually spend your weekends?
Answer: Well, it depends on if I have any special plans or not. For example, last weekend I went to visit a friend for the weekend. I try to make it a habit to try to go out and do something different, either with friends, family or even by myself, every other weekend
But a normal weekend, when I have nothing in particular planned, would revolve around my family and just being at home relaxing.
I usually help around the house and I might help her out with grocery shopping and preparing the meals and then we might watch a movie together, as a family, in the afternoon or evening.
Later in the day, I try to spend some time reading or planning what I need to do during the coming week.
This sample answer is quite long. You will not be expected to speak for so long in Part one, but it is good to show the examiner that you could speak further if necessary.
This answer uses the correct connectives and discourse markers, such as well, but, for example
The speaker uses interesting pieces of vocabulary and a mix of tenses. They extend their answer comparing a normal weekend and a special weekend and gives examples as well
Q Which kinds of jobs have the highest salaries in your country? Why is this?
Answer: In my country, software developers, investment bankers, doctors, university professors, engineers, dentists and marketing managers receive the highest salaries. I believe the primary reason these professionals earn a huge sum of money, is that those are all special kind of skills and expertise that a very small percentage of people have. A successful investment banker or a dentist in my country earn at least 5 to 10 times higher than the average wage earners.
I also believe the value of a professional depends on the profitability of the job sector. For instance, a skilled software programmer works for a company that earns in millions and even sometimes in billions, while an expert tailor or a fashion designer works in a company that doesn’t have that type of turnover at the end of the year. So naturally, the pay gap is huge.
This is a well-organised answer. In this case, the speaker has answered the first part of the question and explained why by adding further examples. They have also extended their answer by adding further useful background information related to the topic (pay gap and profitability).
They have also demonstrated that they can paraphrase by using the word turnover instead of repeating the word profit. Adjectives help to make your sentences sound more engaging. There are also some good examples of the use of adjectives in this sample answer, such as skilled software programmer, successful investment banker or expert tailor.
Q. How do large shopping malls and commercial centres affect small local businesses? Why do you think that is?
I think the keyword here is convenience, shopping malls and commercial centres offer almost everything you need under one roof, and while it’s true that you might find better quality at your local store it’s quite cumbersome to have to move from store to store in search of what you need.
There’s also the prices, the chain stores and franchises present in a mall have a greater buying power which most privately owned businesses do not. Therefore, they can buy in bulk and negotiate much lower prices, this all boils down to money saved on the part of the customer.
There are two parts to this question, make sure you answer both parts. The speaker answers by giving two reasons and extends on them well enough by adding supporting details to justify their opinion. This answer also uses topic-specific and uncommon vocabulary. Remember to give the examiner the impression that you could speak more if needed.