How can I succeed in the IELTS speaking test?

This is the second of five chapters about Advanced IELTS. To complete this reader, read each chapter carefully and then unlock and complete our materials to check your understanding.   

– Improve IELTS speaking through practice, familiarity, vocabulary, grammar, organization, pronunciation, and confidence.

– Know the IELTS speaking rubric’s four criteria affecting the overall band score.

– Avoid pitfalls like memorized answers, one-word responses, wrong pace, grammar/vocabulary neglect, and excessive nervousness.

Chapter 2

To succeed at IELTS speaking, here are some tips that you can follow:


  1. Practice regularly: The key to success in IELTS speaking is practice. Practice speaking in English regularly, preferably with a native speaker, to improve your fluency, pronunciation, and confidence.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the test format: Get to know the format of the IELTS speaking test, including the different sections and types of questions that will be asked.
  3. Build your vocabulary: Try to expand your vocabulary by reading newspapers, articles, and books, and listening to English podcasts, movies, and TV shows. This will help you to express your ideas clearly and concisely.
  4. Focus on grammar: Pay attention to your grammar, including verb tenses, subject-verb agreement, and sentence structure.
  5. Learn how to organize your thoughts: Practice organizing your thoughts and ideas before speaking, so that you can answer the questions in a clear and structured manner.
  6. Develop good pronunciation: Work on your pronunciation by practicing common sounds, intonation, and stress patterns. This will help you to be easily understood by the examiner.
  7. Be confident: Try to be confident and relaxed during the test. Speak clearly and at a natural pace, and don’t be afraid to ask the examiner to repeat a question if you didn’t understand it.

Overall, with regular practice and preparation, you can improve your IELTS speaking skills and achieve your desired score.


What are the features of the IELTS speaking rubric?

The IELTS speaking rubric is used to assess the speaking skills of candidates taking the IELTS test. The rubric has four criteria, each of which is scored on a band scale of 0 to 9. The four criteria and their features are:

1. Fluency and Coherence:

  • Speaks at a natural pace without hesitation or long pauses
  • Organizes ideas logically and connects them appropriately
  • Uses a range of linking words and discourse markers to show relationships between ideas


2. Lexical Resource:

  • Uses a wide range of vocabulary, including less common and idiomatic words
  • Uses vocabulary accurately, with appropriate collocations and word forms
  • Demonstrates flexibility in using vocabulary to paraphrase and explain ideas


3. Grammatical Range and Accuracy:

  • Uses a wide range of grammatical structures, including complex sentences
  • Uses grammar accurately, with few errors that do not impede communication
  • Demonstrates control of grammar to convey intended meaning


4. Pronunciation:

  • Pronounces words and phrases clearly and intelligibly
  • Uses a range of intonation and stress patterns to convey meaning
  • Uses appropriate rhythm and pace for the context


The overall speaking band score is based on the average of the four criteria scores, rounded to the nearest 0.5 or whole band. Candidates are assessed on their ability to communicate effectively in English, rather than on their accent or pronunciation.

What are some common pitfalls to avoid?

If you want to succeed at the IELTS speaking test, here are some things to avoid:


  1. Memorizing answers: It’s important to prepare for the test, but memorizing responses can make you sound robotic and unnatural. The examiner is looking for authentic communication, so it’s best to speak spontaneously and respond to the questions naturally.
  2. Giving one-word answers: In the test, you will be asked a range of questions about different topics. It’s important to give detailed and well-developed answers rather than just a yes or no response. Elaborate on your answers with examples, explanations and opinions to showcase your English proficiency.
  3. Speaking too fast or too slow: Speaking too fast can make you difficult to understand, while speaking too slow can make you sound hesitant or unsure. It’s important to find a natural pace and rhythm that allows you to express yourself clearly and coherently.
  4. Neglecting grammar and vocabulary: The IELTS speaking test assesses your grammar and vocabulary use. It’s important to use a wide range of vocabulary, including less common words and phrases, and to use grammatical structures accurately to convey meaning.
  5. Ignoring pronunciation and intonation: Pronunciation and intonation play an important role in effective communication. Pay attention to your pronunciation, stress and intonation to convey your intended meaning accurately.
  6. Being too nervous: It’s natural to feel nervous before the test, but being too nervous can affect your performance. Try to relax, speak confidently, and focus on the questions being asked. Remember that the examiner is not there to judge you, but to assess your English proficiency.

To reference this reader:

Academic Marker (2023) Advanced IELTS . Available at: (Accessed: Date Month Year).

Please note that this chapter has been generated with the assistance of educational AI.

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