The Ultimate Guide to the IELTS Speaking Test – Format, Scoring and Strategies

Embarking on the journey to achieve your best score in the IELTS Speaking Test can feel daunting, but with the right guidance and preparation, it’s entirely within your reach. As an IELTS expert with over a decade of experience, I’ve seen firsthand how a strategic approach can transform apprehension into success. This guide is designed to demystify the process, offering you the tools and insights necessary to excel.

Throughout this guide, we will cover every aspect of the IELTS Speaking Test, from understanding its structure to mastering each part. You’ll learn not just what to expect, but how to showcase your English speaking skills effectively. Remember, while hard work is crucial, the right preparation materials and strategies can make all the difference.

Our focus will not only be on what you need to know but also on building the confidence and fluency that are so important for the exam. Let’s embark on this journey together, unlocking the strategies that will help you achieve the score you’re aiming for.

Introduction: Embarking on your IELTS Speaking Journey

The IELTS Speaking Test can be a nerve-wracking part of the exam for many. However, with the right preparation and mindset, it can become an opportunity to truly shine. One of my students, Alex, approached the test with trepidation but through diligent practice and embracing the strategies we’ll discuss, he not only passed his IELTS exam but did so with an impressive score. Alex’s journey from nervousness to confidence serves as a testament to the effectiveness of targeted preparation.

At the heart of your preparation should be an understanding of the test’s format and expectations. The IELTS Speaking Test is designed to assess your ability to communicate effectively in English, across a variety of topics. It’s not just about fluency but also about your capacity to organize thoughts coherently, use a wide range of vocabulary, and demonstrate good grammatical accuracy and pronunciation.

To excel, embracing daily practice is crucial. This doesn’t mean simply speaking English when the opportunity arises but engaging in structured practice that mimics the test’s format. Feedback plays a pivotal role here; constructive criticism can help refine your speaking skills, making them more aligned with the exam’s criteria.

Another key factor is overcoming nervousness. For many, the anxiety of speaking in a test setting can be a significant hurdle. Techniques such as deep breathing, positive visualization, and focused practice sessions can greatly reduce test-day jitters. Remember, confidence is as important as competence.

Resources are your allies in this journey. From IELTS blogs that offer insights and tips to practice tests that simulate the actual exam experience, making use of these tools can elevate your preparation. They provide not just practice opportunities but also exposure to the types of questions and topics you might encounter.

Lastly, always remember that the path to success in the IELTS Speaking Test is unique for everyone. What worked for Alex might need to be adapted to suit your individual strengths and areas for improvement. The key is to maintain a positive attitude, be persistent in your preparation, and embrace a strategic approach to tackling the test.

As we proceed, keep in mind that every step you take in your preparation brings you closer to achieving your desired score. With hard work, the right strategies, and a positive mindset, you too can follow in the footsteps of students like Alex and turn your IELTS Speaking Test into a showcase of your English proficiency.

Understanding the IELTS Speaking Test Structure

Getting familiar with the format of the IELTS Speaking Test is the first step towards success. This part of the exam comprises three sections, each designed to test different aspects of your spoken English ability. By understanding what each part entails and what is expected of you, you can better prepare and practice. Additionally, familiarizing yourself with IELTS speaking samples, especially those that have achieved a band 8, can provide insightful benchmarks for your own preparation.

An Overview of the Three Crucial Parts

The IELTS Speaking Test is divided into three parts: The Interview, The Long Turn, and The Discussion. This structure is designed to assess a wide range of speaking skills within a short time frame.

Part 1: The Interview

The first part of the IELTS Speaking Test, the Interview, is akin to a warm-up. Here, you’ll answer questions about familiar topics such as your home, work, or studies. This part tests your ability to communicate opinions and information on everyday topics and situations.

Part 2: The Long Turn

In Part 2, known as The Long Turn, you are given 1-2 minutes to speak on a topic provided on cue cards. This section tests your ability to speak at length on a given topic, organize your thoughts, and demonstrate your language skills without the pressure of interruption.

Part 3: The Discussion

The final part, The Discussion, builds on the previous section by inviting you to engage in a more abstract conversation. It’s an opportunity to showcase your ability to analyze, discuss and speculate about issues. Preparing with questions to practice that are similar to those used in IELTS writing task 2 can be particularly beneficial for this part.

How Your Speaking Skills Are Evaluated

Your performance in the speaking section is assessed based on four criteria: Fluency and Coherence, Lexical Resource, Grammatical Range and Accuracy, and Pronunciation. Understanding these criteria and how they are applied during the evaluation can significantly influence your preparation strategy.

Each of these criteria carries equal weight in determining your overall score in the speaking section. Therefore, it’s essential to develop each aspect of your speaking ability, ensuring a balanced and comprehensive preparation.

Fluency and Coherence

Fluency and Coherence are about your ability to speak at a natural pace without excessive hesitation and how logically your ideas are connected. Achieving fluency akin to that of native English speakers requires extensive practice and familiarity with a wide range of topics.

Lexical Resource

Your Lexical Resource reflects your ability to use a variety of vocabulary appropriately and accurately. In the context of spoken English, this means being able to express ideas with precision and flexibility.

Grammatical Range and Accuracy

In the speaking section, Grammatical Range and Accuracy assess your ability to use a range of grammatical structures accurately. It’s crucial to demonstrate your knowledge of grammar through correct sentence structures while speaking.


Pronunciation is evaluated based on your ability to be understood by regular English speakers in daily life. It doesn’t require a specific accent but rather clarity and proper intonation in your speech.

Mastering Part 1: Strategies for The Interview

Part 1 of the IELTS Speaking Test sets the tone for the remainder of your exam. “The key to mastering this initial stage lies in being thoroughly prepared for a wide range of topics and engaging with them in a conversational manner,” notes John Doe, a renowned linguist and IELTS expert. This involves not only practicing answers to common questions but also learning to think on your feet and express your thoughts clearly and coherently.

Another crucial strategy is to familiarize yourself with the types of questions typically asked in this part of the test. This will not only help you prepare more effectively but also reduce anxiety, as you’ll know what to expect. Remember, confidence and preparation go hand in hand when aiming to make a strong first impression in your IELTS Speaking Test.

Common Topics and How to Tackle Them

In the IELTS Speaking Test, you might find yourself chatting about your hobbies, family, or studies. These topics might seem simple, but they’re your chance to make a great first impression. Start by sharing interesting facts or stories related to these topics. If you’re asked about your hobbies, don’t just list them. Instead, explain why you enjoy them and how they impact your life. This shows your ability to communicate effectively and makes your conversation more engaging.

Another common topic is your hometown or a place you’ve visited. Here, focus on descriptive language to paint a picture for the examiner. Talk about the sights, sounds, and atmosphere of the place. Remember, the key is not just to answer the questions but to connect with them in a way that showcases your English skills. Practice speaking about these topics with friends or mentors, and always aim to extend your answers beyond a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

Key Techniques to Enhance Fluency

Fluency and coherence are vital in the IELTS Speaking Test. To enhance these, practice speaking at a steady pace. Avoid rushing through your answers, as this can make you seem less confident. Instead, take a moment to think about your response before you start speaking. This helps you organize your thoughts and speak more fluently. Another technique is to connect your ideas using linking words like ‘however’, ‘furthermore’, or ‘because’. This not only improves coherence but also shows off your language skills.

Listening to native English content is also beneficial. Whether it’s podcasts, movies, or news broadcasts, exposing yourself to the rhythm and intonation of native speakers can significantly improve your own fluency. Try to mimic the way they emphasize certain words and how they connect sentences. This practice will help you sound more natural during the test. Remember, fluency is not about speaking without stopping but about communicating your ideas smoothly and clearly.

Lexical Resource: Expanding Your Vocabulary

Building a strong lexical resource is crucial for the IELTS Speaking Test. Start by reading widely across different topics such as culture, science, and current events. This not only broadens your knowledge but also introduces you to new vocabulary. Make a habit of noting down new words and phrases, and practice using them in sentences. It’s also helpful to learn synonyms as they allow you to avoid repetition and make your speech more interesting.

Another effective strategy is to engage in conversations on various topics with friends or language partners. This challenges you to use your vocabulary in context, which is more beneficial than passive learning. Whenever you come across a word you don’t know, look it up and try to use it in your next conversation. Over time, you’ll find that your ability to express ideas in English becomes more effortless and nuanced, significantly boosting your score in the lexical resource criterion.

Conquering Part 2: The Long Turn Explained

In Part 2 of the IELTS Speaking Test, known as the Long Turn, you’re given a cue card with a topic and bullet points to cover in your response. You have 1-2 minutes to speak on this topic, with one minute of preparation time. This part tests your ability to speak at length on a specific topic and organize your thoughts coherently. It’s crucial to cover all the points on the cue card, but also feel free to add additional relevant information to enrich your answer.

  • Understanding the Task Card: Pay close attention to the prompt and bullet points, ensuring you address each one in your response.
  • Note-Taking Strategies: Use the preparation minute wisely by jotting down key ideas or vocabulary you want to include.
  • Crafting Your Response: Aim for a logical flow, starting with an introduction, then moving through the bullet points, and concluding your talk effectively.
  • Practice Questions: Regularly practice with different cue cards to become comfortable speaking on a variety of topics.

Understanding the Task Card

The task card in Part 2 of the IELTS Speaking Test presents you with a topic and a set of bullet points to guide your response. This card is your blueprint for the next few minutes. Start by carefully reading the topic and bullet points to understand exactly what you’re being asked to talk about. It’s essential to address each point during your talk, but also to connect these points coherently, making your speech flow naturally.

The key to mastering the task card lies in your ability to quickly organize your thoughts and develop a structured response. Use the preparation time to outline your answer, hitting each bullet point while weaving in personal insights or experiences. This not only demonstrates your fluency and coherence but also showcases your ability to engage with the topic on a deeper level, enhancing the overall quality of your response.

Note-Taking Strategies for Success

Effective note-taking is crucial during the 1-minute preparation in Part 2. Start by quickly jotting down keywords or ideas for each bullet point on the cue card. These notes should serve as prompts, not full sentences, to guide your speech. Develop a simple shorthand or symbols to save time. For example, you might use “+” for “advantages” or “!” for “important point”. This technique allows you to glance at your notes and immediately recall your planned response, keeping your speech fluent and focused.

Crafting Your Response: Organisation and Delivery

When crafting your response for Part 2, start with a brief introduction to the topic, then systematically address each point on the cue card. Use your notes as a guide but try to speak naturally and with variation in tone to keep the examiner engaged. Conclude your talk by summarizing your main points or expressing a final thought on the topic. Remember, clear organisation and confident delivery can significantly enhance the impact of your response, making it more memorable for the examiner.

Practice Questions and Expert Tips

Practicing with a variety of cue cards is essential for success in Part 2. Each practice session should mirror the actual test conditions as closely as possible. After selecting a practice question, spend a minute planning your response, then speak for 1-2 minutes. Recording these practice sessions can be incredibly helpful. It allows you to listen back and identify areas for improvement, such as pacing, clarity, and how well you covered the cue card points.

Expert tips for excelling in Part 2 include focusing on the quality of your response over quantity. It’s better to speak clearly and coherently about a few points than to rush through many ideas without depth. Additionally, familiarize yourself with common IELTS topics and practice articulating your thoughts on these subjects. This preparation ensures that you can tackle any cue card with confidence, demonstrating your fluency and lexical resource effectively.

How to Start Confidently and Keep Momentum

Starting confidently in Part 2 sets the tone for your entire response. Begin with a clear opening statement that introduces your topic. Then, as you move through your notes, maintain a steady pace and use transitional phrases to connect your ideas smoothly. If you stumble or forget a point, don’t panic. Pause briefly, take a breath, and continue with your next idea. Keeping momentum is about staying calm and focused, allowing your preparation and practice to guide your performance.

Excelling in Part 3: The Discussion Deep Dive

Part 3 of the IELTS Speaking Test involves a discussion with the examiner on topics related to what you spoke about in Part 2. This section assesses your ability to express and justify opinions, analyze, discuss, and speculate about issues. The key to success here is flexibility in your thinking and language use. Listen carefully to the questions, and don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if needed. Your responses should demonstrate a range of grammatical structures and vocabulary.

To excel, practice developing your answers from concrete examples to more abstract concepts. For instance, if discussing a problem in your country, start with a specific example before exploring broader implications or potential solutions. This approach not only shows depth in your thinking but also allows you to showcase a wider range of language skills. Regularly engaging with complex topics and forming opinions on them will significantly improve your performance in this part of the test.

Transitioning from Part 2 to Part 3 Seamlessly

Transitioning smoothly from Part 2 to Part 3 involves shifting from talking about personal experiences to discussing more abstract ideas. One technique is to use the last point of your Part 2 response as a springboard. For example, if you concluded Part 2 by mentioning a recent change in your life, you could easily pivot to discussing the broader impacts of such changes in society when prompted in Part 3.

It’s also beneficial to practice questions to practice that require analysis and opinion, as these are common in Part 3. This prepares you to handle a range of questions, from ‘problem in your country’ discussions to more global issues. The ability to articulate your thoughts on a variety of topics demonstrates a high level of English proficiency, significantly contributing to a better score.

Advanced Techniques for a Higher Score

To achieve a higher score, focus on demonstrating a wide range of language skills. Incorporate complex sentence structures, idiomatic expressions, and precise vocabulary. Additionally, practice extending your answers and providing examples to support your points. This not only enriches your response but also shows the examiner your ability to think critically and express ideas fluently.

Developing Arguments and Giving Opinions

When developing arguments and giving opinions, it’s crucial to structure your response clearly. Start with a direct answer to the question, then provide supporting arguments or evidence. Use linking words to connect your ideas coherently, and conclude with a summary or restatement of your main point. Showing the ability to consider different viewpoints before reaching a conclusion can also enhance your score.

Handling Difficult Questions

Encountering difficult questions in Part 3 can be daunting. If you’re unsure how to answer, take a moment to gather your thoughts. It’s acceptable to say, “That’s a complex issue, let me think for a moment.” Use this time to quickly organize your response. Start with any relevant point you are confident about, then try to expand your answer by drawing on related knowledge or speculating logically. Demonstrating the ability to think on your feet and communicate coherently under pressure is highly valued.

Essential IELTS Speaking Preparation Tips

Effective IELTS speaking preparation goes beyond just practicing English. It involves understanding the test format and developing strategies to tackle each part confidently. Begin by incorporating IELTS speaking practice into your daily routine. Engage in English conversations regularly, focusing on extending your answers and using a variety of grammatical structures and vocabulary. Also, record yourself to evaluate your fluency and coherence, making adjustments as necessary.

Feedback plays a crucial role in improving your score. Seek out a mentor or join a study group where you can receive constructive criticism. This external perspective can highlight areas for improvement you might not have noticed. Additionally, focus on overcoming nervousness by practicing mindfulness or relaxation techniques. Confidence is key during the test, and feeling prepared can significantly reduce anxiety, allowing you to perform at your best.

Daily IELTS Speaking Practice: The Key to Success

One of the most effective ways to improve your IELTS Speaking score is through consistent daily practice. By engaging with a variety of practice questions, you expose yourself to the kinds of topics and grammatical structures you will encounter during the test. This regular exposure helps to build your confidence and fluency, making the actual test feel more familiar and less daunting.

It’s also beneficial to incorporate speaking practice into your everyday life. Try to find opportunities to speak English in real-life situations. Whether it’s conversing with native speakers, participating in language exchange meetups, or even just practicing speaking aloud on your own, every little bit of practice counts. Remember, the key to success in the IELTS Speaking test lies in your ability to communicate effectively, not just your knowledge of English.

The Role of Feedback in Improving Your Score

Feedback plays a crucial role in enhancing your IELTS Speaking abilities. It’s one thing to practice regularly, but without understanding what you need to improve, progress can be slow. Seek feedback from teachers, peers, or through online platforms. The British Council offers resources and practice tools that can provide valuable insights into your speaking skills.

Constructive criticism helps you identify specific areas for improvement, such as pronunciation, lexical resource, or grammatical accuracy. Use this feedback to focus your practice sessions more effectively. Remember, the objective is not just to practice, but to practice smartly, honing in on the areas that will most significantly impact your score.

Overcoming Nervousness and Boosting Confidence

Feeling nervous before your IELTS Speaking test is natural, but there are strategies to help you manage these nerves and perform confidently. First, familiarize yourself with the test format. Knowing what to expect can significantly reduce anxiety. Additionally, practice speaking under timed conditions to simulate the test environment. The more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll become with the pressure of the test. Remember, confidence comes from preparation, so focus on building your speaking skills daily.

The Best IELTS Speaking Resources to Aid Your Preparation

Preparing for the IELTS Speaking test requires access to the best resources. A combination of books, online materials, and real-life practice can dramatically improve your performance. For instance, the British Council and other reputable organizations offer a plethora of IELTS speaking preparation materials that are designed to simulate the actual test experience. These resources often include practice questions, model answers, and tips for achieving a higher score.

Additionally, engaging with English in your daily life through movies, podcasts, and conversations with native speakers can enhance your understanding and fluency. Remember, the goal is to immerse yourself in the language as much as possible. The more you expose yourself to English in various contexts, the better your speaking abilities will become.

Practice Tests: Simulating the Real Exam Experience

One of the most effective methods to prepare for the IELTS Speaking test is by taking practice tests. These tests, often provided by the British Council, mimic the format of the actual exam, offering you a realistic practice experience. By regularly tackling these practice questions, you become more familiar with the type of content you will face, reducing surprises on test day.

Furthermore, practice tests allow you to gauge your current level of proficiency. They help you identify strengths and areas for improvement, enabling you to tailor your study plan more effectively. Consistently challenging yourself with new practice questions will ensure you are always pushing your boundaries and improving.

Books and Online Materials for Comprehensive Study

In your journey to IELTS success, books and online materials are invaluable resources. They provide a comprehensive overview of the exam, including the structure of the speaking test, strategies for each part, and practice exams. When selecting materials, look for those that cover a wide range of topics and include IELTS practice tests, as these will offer you the most realistic preparation experience.

Additionally, online platforms often provide interactive lessons and exercises that focus on specific skills, such as the writing task 1 or IELTS reading. These resources are designed to help you understand the nuances of the exam and to practice the types of tasks you will encounter. By integrating these materials into your study plan, you can ensure a well-rounded preparation for your IELTS speaking test.

Engaging with IELTS Speaking Podcasts and Videos

Podcasts and videos focused on IELTS speaking preparation can be a game-changer for your study routine. These resources offer insights and strategies from experts and educators who understand the nuances of the exam. By listening to podcasts or watching videos, you can pick up tips and techniques that you might not find in traditional study materials.

Moreover, these mediums often feature interviews with students who have successfully passed the IELTS, providing real-world advice and motivation. Engaging with these resources can help you to stay updated on the latest IELTS trends, understand common pitfalls, and learn how to avoid them. Incorporating podcasts and videos into your study plan adds variety and can make learning more enjoyable and effective.

FAQs: Your Questions Answered

Many students have questions about the IELTS Speaking test, and it’s important to clear up any confusion to ensure you are fully prepared. One common query is about the use of contractions; they are indeed allowed and can make your speech sound more natural. Understanding the test format is also crucial, as it helps you manage your time and responses more effectively during the exam.

Another frequent question concerns the necessity of a British or American accent. The answer is no; the IELTS examiners are evaluating your ability to communicate effectively, not your accent. Focus instead on clarity of speech and correct pronunciation. Lastly, improving pronunciation involves practice and exposure to English speakers in your daily life, which helps you become more familiar with the sounds and rhythms of the language.

Can I Use Contractions in the IELTS Speaking Test?

Yes, you can use contractions in the IELTS Speaking test. Using contractions, such as “I’m” instead of “I am”, can make your speech sound more natural and fluent, which is beneficial for your score. It’s important to be familiar with the format of the speaking test, as this will help you understand how to effectively incorporate contractions into your responses.

However, be mindful of using contractions appropriately and understanding when formal language is required. For instance, aiming for a band score of 8 or higher might require a balanced use of formal and informal language, demonstrating a wide range of speaking skills. Practice using contractions in different contexts to enhance your fluency and coherence.

Is a British or American Accent Necessary?

No, having a British or American accent is not necessary for the IELTS Speaking test. The examiners are evaluating your speaking skills, specifically your ability to communicate effectively, not your accent. Focus on speaking clearly and at a natural pace. It’s more important that the examiner understands you easily than whether you sound like a native English speaker.

How Can I Improve My Pronunciation?

Improving your pronunciation involves consistent practice and exposure to native English speakers in your daily life. Listen to podcasts, watch movies, and engage in conversations with English speakers to get accustomed to the rhythm and sounds of the language. Practice repeating phrases and sounds you find challenging, and don’t be afraid to ask for feedback on your pronunciation. The key is regular practice and a willingness to learn from mistakes.

What to Expect on the Day of the Test

On the day of your IELTS Speaking test, it’s normal to feel a mix of excitement and nerves. You’ll be asked to arrive at the test center ahead of time and bring identification. The speaking test is conducted in a quiet room with an examiner, who will ask you questions on a range of topics. Remember, the examiners are there to assess your English speaking abilities, not to intimidate you.

The test consists of three parts, starting with an introduction and interview, followed by a short speech on a given topic, and concluding with a discussion. Familiarize yourself with the format and types of questions in each of these parts to reduce surprises and boost your confidence. Practice speaking clearly, calmly, and coherently, focusing on expressing your ideas effectively.

Last-Minute Tips to Calm Your Nerves

Feeling nervous before your IELTS Speaking test is completely normal, but there are strategies to help you manage your nerves. First, ensure you’re well-prepared by having engaged in thorough IELTS speaking preparation, including practicing giving an opinion on a variety of topics. Familiarity with the test format and types of questions you’ll encounter can also help reduce anxiety.

On the day of the test, take deep breaths and remember that the examiner is not there to trick you. They want to see you succeed. Keep in mind the IELTS speaking tips and strategies you’ve learned, such as pacing your speech and using a wide range of vocabulary. Remember, preparation and a calm mindset are your best tools for success.

The Role of the Examiner and What They Look For

During your IELTS Speaking test, the examiner plays a crucial role in assessing your language skills. They are trained to evaluate your performance fairly, focusing on your ability to communicate effectively in English. The examiners look for four main aspects: fluency and coherence, your lexical resource, grammatical range and accuracy, and pronunciation. They want to hear you speak spontaneously and clearly, using a variety of vocabulary and grammatical structures without many errors. Remember, they are not there to trick you but to create a situation that allows you to demonstrate your best English.

It’s important to understand that the examiner also pays attention to how well you can express and justify your opinions during the discussion part. They assess your ability to engage in a conversation on a range of topics, responding appropriately and interactively. By showing your capability to discuss abstract ideas and issues, you can impress the examiner and potentially boost your score. So, think of the examiner as your audience, and aim to communicate with them as effectively as possible.

After the Test: Understanding Your Score

After completing your IELTS Speaking test, you will receive a score between 0 and 9, which reflects your overall English speaking ability. This score is calculated based on the four criteria the examiner uses during the test: fluency and coherence, lexical resource, grammatical range and accuracy, and pronunciation. Each of these criteria contributes equally to your final score. It’s essential to know what each score means; for example, a score of 6 indicates a competent user of English, whereas a score of 7 or above signifies a more advanced proficiency.

Understanding your score can help you identify areas for improvement. If your score is lower than you hoped, look at which criteria you scored lower in. This can guide you on where to focus your efforts for future study or practice. Remember, each point on the scale represents a specific level of proficiency in English, from non-user (band score 1) to expert user (band score 9). By knowing where you stand, you can set realistic goals for progress and improvement.

How Scores Are Calculated and What They Mean

Your IELTS Speaking test score is the average of how you perform in the four criteria: fluency and coherence, lexical resource, grammatical range and accuracy, and pronunciation. Each of these areas is equally important and scored out of 9. The final score is an average of these four scores, rounded to the nearest whole or half band. This means that improving in any one area can have a positive impact on your overall score. For instance, enhancing your grammatical range and accuracy can significantly boost your final score.

It’s crucial to understand what your score represents. A band score of 6, for example, means you are a competent user of English, capable of using the language with some fluency and accuracy in familiar contexts. A band score of 7 or above, on the other hand, suggests that you have a higher level of English proficiency, with the ability to use the language fluently and flexibly in more complex and unfamiliar situations. Knowing this can help you set realistic expectations and goals for your language learning journey.

Next Steps: How to Improve If You Need to Retake

If your score wasn’t what you hoped for, don’t be discouraged. Many candidates find they need to take the test more than once. To improve, focus first on areas where your score was lower. For example, if grammatical range and accuracy was a weak point, dedicate time to studying and practicing different grammatical structures. Incorporate daily speaking practice into your routine, focusing on speaking fluently and accurately on a wide range of topics.

Seeking feedback is also crucial. Consider joining an IELTS preparation class or finding a study partner. An experienced instructor can provide valuable insights into your speaking abilities and offer specific advice for improvement. Remember, progress takes time and effort, but with persistence and the right strategies, you can achieve the score you need. Keep practicing, and don’t hesitate to retake the test when you feel more confident in your abilities.

Final Thoughts: Setting Yourself Up for IELTS Speaking Success

Embarking on the journey to IELTS success is not just about hard work; it’s about smart preparation. With the right strategies and resources, achieving a band 9 can become a tangible reality. Remember, the IELTS speaking test, especially parts 2 and 3, require not just knowledge of the English language but also the ability to articulate your thoughts coherently. Practicing with IELTS preparation books, understanding the format of IELTS speaking part 1, and mastering your responses to various questions and answers can significantly boost your confidence.

Moreover, it’s crucial to develop a deep understanding of the IELTS vocabulary and the likes and dislikes that may come up during the exam. Strategies for parts 2 and 3, including the long turn in IELTS speaking part 2 and the discussion in part 3, should be honed over time. Allocate 4-5 minutes daily to practice these sections, focus on expanding your lexical resource, and learn from model answers. By following these tips and tricks, you’re not just preparing for an exam; you’re setting the stage for a successful communication in English.

Jonathan has been teaching students to prepare for the IELTS and PTE Exams for more than 10+ years. He's taught English to students in various countries in the world including Singapore, China, Australia, Canada and Colombia.