Wednesday, February 11, 2015

How to Improve Your IELTS Speaking Skills?

Communicating in English is an advantage to any individual. Most companies and institutions in English speaking countries hire people who can use and understand the English language. Hence, Filipinos who are applying for work, student or even immigrant visas to the said country are required to take an English proficiency exam such as the IELTS or the International English Language Testing System examination. 

Many Filipinos are preparing these days for the IELTS test. One of the most crucial parts of the test is the speaking exam. This is when candidates will have to sit in front of a native English speaker for a speaking test. The test will last for about fifteen minutes that involves three different tasks. Each task is unique and quite challenging, so here are a few tips on the three tasks of the IELTS speaking test.

Task 1 Interview

In this part, the examiner will be asking general and familiar questions. These can be about your family, school, work, hobbies, and even your interests. The purpose of this task is to know the examinee and to make him or her comfortable in the whole duration of the test.


  • Give some details in your responses. For example, when you are asked about your family, do not just say how many you are but also a little background about each member.
  • Yes or No type of questions should not be answered with a simple YES or NO. Provide more reasons.
  • Always answer questions in complete sentences.
  • Giving out examples makes a better response. For example, when asked about a hobby, describe the hobby and cite a time when you last did this activity or hobby.
  • Do not spend so much time thinking of an answer. The questions are simple and starters for more serious talk.

Task 2 Long Turn (Cue Card)

A cue card will be given to a candidate on the second task of the IELTS speaking test. He or she will be given a minute to prepare and about a couple of minutes for the response.

Here is a sample question:
  1. Talk about a subject you are studying
  2. What subject are you studying?
  3. What is the subject about?
  4. How do you feel about it?
  5. And explain why you are interested in it.

  • Use the preparation time to write words and phrases that you will use in the response.
  • To have an organized response, follow the flow of the guide questions. This will give a smooth flow of ideas for your response.
  • Choose a particular response, in this case a subject in school, which can be easily supported in the response. This should be something you are very fond of or familiar with.
  • Be conscious with the response time. Make sure that you have enough time to talk. Practice often.
  • Do not go off the topic. Be careful with the verb tenses that are used in the questions and so is with your response.

Task 3 Two-way Discussion

The third task’s question is still related with the second task. This task is about three to five minutes. Questions will be an in-depth discussion on the second task’s topic.

  • When you need to think about the question, do not hesitate to use fillers such as, “It is a good question, well…”
  • Always provide details and examples to support your answer.
  • Do not hesitate to ask the examiner to repeat the question. There could words or expressions that may seem unfamiliar. Asking them to repeat is not a deduction to your score; however, do not do this for all the questions.
  • Do not give responses that have incomplete thought. Always finish your sentences and the ideas in it.
  • Use transition words to guide the examinee in your response. Responses could be fairly lengthy, so the use of such will make it sound better.
Follow these tips for good and satisfying results for the IELTS speaking test.


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