FAQ: Clear Your Doubts About Speaking

There are so many facets in speaking that one often does not realise what is the reason for getting a low band in IELTS. Sometimes it is because of your vocabulary, the other times because you lack confidence and then so many more. But, then you are not alone. There are so many individuals giving IELTS and all of them have so many doubts. Today, lets have a look at some of the most often raised doubts and their answers.
Q1: I have been scoring band 6 in the speaking section for the past four tests that I have given. Having worked at almost everything, from vocabulary to pronunciation to accent, I don’t still realise why I am not getting good band.

Now, in this situation, any of the sane person would lose hope. After all the person asking the question has done everything, right? So, we took a mock speaking test of the person. The candidate truly did had everything. She spoke with fluency, her pronunciation was good and vocabulary was at part. But then there is this one thing that she was lagging at. Often when giving speaking test we forget that it is not only speaking, but speaking plus listening. It is important to give an answer, but what is more important is that you understand the question completely. In this case, the candidate was not able to comprehend the question being asked entirely.

Make sure you understand the question completely, before you answer it.

Q2: It is easy when we are talking with friends. The answers and the posture and the vocabulary, everything comes out very easily. But when it comes to exam, I tend to fail. There are so many thing that I want to say but only thing that I can do is stammer. 

This is something that we all face, don’t we. No matter how great speaker you have become, but there must have been a time when you were learning. We always can speak so more confidently with people who we are comfortable with but with strangers, the fears start creeping in. So, what should be done?? Breathe more, take pauses while you are speaking. Make sure the pauses are of less time. Take rehearsals of your exam. Record yourself and listen. You will understand where you are lagging behind.

It takes time to improve. Give it your all.

Q3: Is there any easy way to improve pronunciation?

Practice is the only easy way. Talk louder and slower when talking with people. It will be easy for them to understand. Practice reading loud. You can read some novels or newspapers, anything that interest you. Go on talk with customer care people or some English company to know about the product. They certainly do have an accent and being able to strike a conversation with them will help you lot.

Download podcasts. Listen to them and try to mimic them. Repeat entire sentence along with them, copy the speed, style and pronunciation. Then try to incorporate it in your way of speaking so that you sound more like a native speaker.

Practice copying the native speaker.

Q4: Do we need to use transition words when speaking? I mean is it necessary?

No, of course they are not necessary. The reason why students are asked to use transition words is to ensure that the answer is structured, because a structured answer is very important in IELTS speaking. But, then if you are able to structure your answer in any other way, it is completely fine.

Structuring the answer is important, it does not matter how you do it. Transition words being the easiest way out.

Q5: Do I have to answer all the questions in the IELTS Cue Card?

Yes, you have to. Work through all of them, each of the bullet point, say something or the other. Some sentences, details, something related to your personal history, to display your vocabulary and grammar sense. In this way, you can show case your English talents in the most natural way, which examiner tend to love the most.

Q6: Should I avoid repetition of words?

When we say we don’t want to do it, we do it more often. So, don’t think too much about repeating words or for that case not repeating words. Try to avoid them but don’t be overwhelmed or start panicking just because of it.

Avoid repetition, but don’t panic.

The more naturally you speak the better it is. But then make sure it is in your nature to speak good English, to get high score in IELTS.



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  • Hi Sir,
    I would like to know a few things about writing task two; my IELTS teacher is insisting me to write two proverbs in my essay and also to pose a question while writing the essay.For instance, “Is smoking a good habit? definitely not.”Is this allowed in the academic writing or will i be penalized for writing in such a way? All my friends are telling me that its not a good idea to include proverbs in an academic essay and they are telling me not to include such questions in your essay. I am confused. Please let me know your thoughts on it. My exam is on July 8th, can u please give a quick reply. Thank you!

    • IELTS Research

      thanks for your query. we will post answer soon.

    • Dear Nimmy,

      First of all “Is smoking a good habit?” is not a proverb. It is a simple question.
      A proverb would be “Every coin has two sides.”

      There is absolutely no problem in including a question in the introduction of your essay. Proverbs, on the other hand, are not highly recommended but they can be used.

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