IELTS Speaking Part 1 is a face-to-face conversation with the examiner which lasts for about 4 to 5 minutes. It is part of a three part speaking test which is conducted to test your spoken language skills. The IELTS Speaking test is graded by your performance in all parts of the test. The language is assessed using the 4 marking criteria for each part of the test: Fluency and cohesion; vocabulary; grammar and pronunciation. The IELTS speaking test is the same for Academic and General Training.
You must be aware of the strategies so you can improve your overall score in the IELTS Speaking exam.
To score high in this section, you must do well in all three parts. If you are strong in part 1 but not in other parts, then you will not get a good score.
The questions in part 1 are about yourself, your country, your work, etc. Your answers should be descriptive and convincing, you will not get a good score if you give very short answers like: “Yes, I do” or “No, I don’t”.
Here are some tips to improve your score in the IELTS speaking part 1:
- The first and the most important Tip, Don’t Worry, Relax.
A little bit of nervousness is fine and normal but don’t let it overpower you so much that you are not able to gather your thoughts and go completely blank in front of the examiner. This can lead to a lower band score. You don’t want that.
If it’s not your turn yet, listen to your favourite English music or watch your favourite English show or read something to ease your nervousness and to keep your mind English-active. Don’t you think this is better than worrying?
- Avoid giving Yes, No or one-line answers
The examiner asks you, “Do you live in a small town or a big city?”
Confidently you say, “Big city”.
But, do you think this is enough?
Such short or one-word answers do not give any idea of your language ability. The examiner is sitting there to see if you are comfortable in having conversations in English. The examiner expects you to speak for a longer length of time. So, try to extend your answers by adding details. Try to speak 3-4 sentences.
For instance, say, “I live in a big city. New Delhi. It is the capital of the country and located in the north region.”
- Know the English equivalents of your local words
Let’s say the examiner asks you about your favourite dish.
You say, “My favourite dish is Dosa”.
The chances are he might not know what a Dosa is. So, he might ask, “Can you describe what a Dosa is?”
If you don’t know the equivalent English words to describe a dosa and experience of eating it, you will not be able to elaborate your answer and end up losing score.
Your response in this case should be: “My favourite dish is masala dosa, which is a popular south Indian dish. It is a rice pancake which has potatoes mixed in it. It is served along with sambhar which is a lentil-based vegetable stew.”
- Answer all the questions positively
Always try to answer questions in a positive manner. It is possible that you are asked a question for which you have a negative response. Let’s suppose the examiner asks you, “Do you know your neighbour?”
Now if you are not on good terms with your neighbour, what are your options. If you say something like this: “Yes I do know my neighbour but I hate him. He is very annoying and we don’t really talk.” Such a response will not build a good impression on the examiner.
You should use your creativity and turn your negative response to a positive one. Here’s an example: “Yes I do know my neighbour. We have been living on the same street for almost 10 years. However, presently because of some personal issues we are not on talking terms but still he is a wonderful person and I know I can rely on him if need be.”
- Don’t speak in a monotone.
You should not speak in one voice or one tone. In other words your voice should not be flat. It’s a common problem with non-English speakers. For instance: If the examiner asks you, “Do you have a pet?” And you say: “Yes I do have a pet. He is a German Shepherd. His name is Sam. He is a lovely dog”.
An easier way to solve this problem is by watching English language programs and practicing speaking. And when you are with the examiner be genuinely interested in what the examiner is saying. Feel the question and then answer.
The role of accent is also very important in scoring a high band.
I hope these tips will do you good.
Let’s discuss a few common questions and how they can be answered.
- What is your favourite hobby?
My favourite pastime these days is making Tik-Tok videos. When I have nothing to do, I just grab my phone and make a fun video. I am actually new at it but it’s really fun.
- Who cooks in your house?
My mother does that. She cooks for the entire family. Three times a day. It’s a hard job but she does it happily every single day. I personally don’t like cooking but I try to help her in whatever way I can.
- Do you like your hometown?
Yes, I do because that’s where my family, my relatives and friends are. Although I don’t live there because it’s a small place and work opportunities are less. But it definitely is my escape from the hustle bustle of city life. I visit whenever I find time.
Here are some points to consider:
- All questions were answered using 3 or 4 sentences
- The tone was natural and there was no flat voice.
- Negative responses were changed to positive.
Make English a part of your daily life and it will come naturally to you just like your mother tongue.
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