Speaking FAQ



In this post I want to give you some important (and maybe some surprising) information about the IELTS Speaking Test in FAQ form.

After the FAQ, I’ll give you the four most important pieces of IELTS Speaking advice from real speaking examiners. You can use them to improve your band score today!


Let’s go.


IELTS Speaking Test – Important Information FAQ:


4 Tips to Improve your Speaking Band Score:


To reliably improve your score in the IELTS Speaking Test, you need a lot of practice.

But, if you’re just looking for some quick tips and strategies you can apply right now to improve your score, here are the most important ones:

  • TIP #1: It’s okay to be nervous. Nervousness is how your body prepares you to do something important. Accept it. Some ways to handle nervousness:
    • Arrive early for your test. This will help you feel prepared.
    • Start strong! Give the examiner good eye-contact (this will help to calm you) and give some strong answers right away.

For more information about dealing with nerves, check out Overcoming Nervousness on Test Day.

  • TIP #2: Don’t try to be perfect; don’t try to be complicated. Be simple, and just try to speak to the examiner like a friend.
    • Don’t try to memorize phrases or answers. This will interfere with your natural ability.
    • Don’t try to use complicated words or grammar that you don’t fully understand; this will lower your score!
    • It is okay to make mistakes… native speakers make them too.
    • It is okay to pause while you think.
    • It is okay to ask the examiner to clarify or repeat a question.
  • TIP #3: Develop your answers… especially in Part 3! In Part 3 of the IELTS Speaking Test it is really important to develop your answers, which means explaining your opinions well and giving reasons for them. 
    • Here is a great example answer to a Part 3 question:
      • Examiner: “Which skills do you think will be important in the future?”
      • You: “(pause to think)… I think that skills involved with new technology and computers will be very important, because as we move forward, more and more tasks can be handled by computer and different technology. (pause to think) … For example, many manufacturing jobs today are not done by people, but by machines, so it is important for people to understand how these machines work. Also, I think creative skills like art and music will continue to be very important, because I don’t believe technology can replace humans here.”
    • In this reply, you gave your opinion, and then clarified it by giving reasons why you feel this way, and even gave examples to help the examiner understand your point of view. Of course, you don’t have to explain every opinion on the test in this much detail, but this is a really fantastic answer.
  • TIP #4: It’s not a knowledge test. If you get a question or topic you don’t know anything about, you can still get a great score!
    • If you don't know anything about a question or topic, tell the examiner that honestly, and just try to think of something related to the topic that you can talk about instead. Again, as long as you can express yourself well and say something, you can get a great score. The important thing is just to find something to talk about.

Now you know what to expect on the IELTS Speaking Test, and you have 4 quick tips to increase your score.

However… if you really need to improve your speaking, you need to practice. Luckily, this website has plenty of resources to help you out. I recommend starting here:

Good luck!