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How to do well on the IELTS speaking tasks.

The Introduction

There are some very important things you should do and not do in part one of the IELST speaking task. The examiner will start off with an introduction where the examiner will introduce himself or herself which should be followed by you l introducing yourself.
  • Hi my name is David and I will be your examiner today.
  • Hi David, my name is Jane, it’s nice to meet you.
After the brief introduction the examiner will ask you some questions about yourself.
These questions aren’t difficult as they are the basics like:
  • Where are you from?
  • Which city were you born in? 
  • Where did you grow up? 
  • Can you tell me about your family?
The examiner may ask you about your work or studies and then continue on to other subjects with questions about your friends, hobbies, food or sports.
This is designed to test your English and put you at easy with talking to the examiner. The best advice we can give you at this stage is be yourself and don’t worry about trying to impress and worry about perfect English or perfect grammar.
It’s about can you communicate in English and if you use the various tenses such as simple present, simple past, present perfect, future perfect etc.  
However it’s really important to have good pronunciation, so that’s ending sounds and stress syllables.  The better you enunciate the higher your score will be.


Speak normally and remember the ending sounds and have confidence in what you are saying, you will not do well if you spend time looking at the floor and hesitating during your conversations.
Smiling when you talk and making eye contact with the examiner is really important as it will boost your overall score and make the examiner have confidence in your abilities. 
Believe in yourself, do not speak too quietly, remember you have been studying for years to get to this point, believe that you can do this because you can, be excited when you talk about yourself, do not be dull and boring.
Be fluent with your conversations do not pause with um and er, as that will lose you marks, they are marking you on your natural rhythm during your speaking.
Most students when they get nervous they start to speak really fast thinking that will score higher, it will not and you will probably lose marks for speaking a mile a minute.
Say you were asked “Do you like sports”. Do not reply in a monotone voice “I like football because it is a good sport.” As that will not cut it with the examiner and you will lose points, you need to be excited about it.
  • I really love football! Every chance I get I am out playing football with my friends and I can’t wait for the world cup in 2018!


Another area they are scoring you on is your vocabulary, do not use low level words like good, bad, nice, friends etc. They are just too easy and you will definitely lose marks for this look up synonyms for the words and incorporate them into your language.
  • Decent.
  • Respectable.
  • Moral.
  • Virtuous.
  • Noble.
  • Worthy.
  • Blameless.
  • Wicked.
  • Corrupt.
  • Immoral.
  • Depraved.
  • Debauched.
  • Unscrupulous.
  • Enjoyable.
  • Agreeable. 
  • Pleasant. 
  • Lovely.
  • Amusing.
  • Wonderful.
  • Networks.
  • Associates. 
  • Helpers.
  • Acquaintances.
Now we are not saying just throw in some higher level words when they do not fit the conversation, but we are saying that you should use some higher level words that fit the situation and conversation.
You will be asked about things you like and do not like on topics such as sports or food and relationships.
Many students over use the word like “I like football”, “I like eating out” etc.
This is a mistake as by saying “I like” is not expressing how you feel about something, try using other word that express more feeling “I really love eating out”, “I enjoy playing football”.
Another thing the examiner is looking for is do you use organizers like “first this and that” “and secondly that and this” or “another reason this that and the other”. These show that you have organized your reply as they separate the conversation into separate and distinct sections.
  • Do you like sports?
  • First football is my favorite sport.
  • Secondly I really love playing football with my friends after work as it is a good way to relax at the end of a busy day.
  • Thirdly, our team play in a local football league and we hope to win the cup this year and we are currently at the top of the league.


Do not use short answers, “Do you like sports?” Do not just reply “No”, try expanding your answer.
  • No I really hate taking part in sport as it always leaves me all hot and sweaty, I prefer to watch sport on the internet and having broadband I can get to watch a wide selection of sport channels.
  • For example last night I watched the Olympic track and field events and yesterday I watched the British cycling team win gold medals.
Do not show off even if you are great at English as you will lose marks. Do not talk too long about a topic as the examiner wants a real conversation, he is not interested in you listing all the players in the 2013 world cup squads for each team.
Do not repeat the question, or answer I don’t know make something up if you do not have an answer, lying is perfectly acceptable in the IELTS. The questions are about you and you should know about yourself, what you like and dislike, your hobbies and the people in your family.
Don’t go off topic, if you are talking about sports stick with sports don’t talk about unrelated subjects like how broadband works or your computer set up to watch the sports.
As with everything Practice makes perfect, practicing with a friend is probably one the best way to improve your English if you do not have the opportunity to chat with a native speaker.
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