What would Differentiate you from the Other Candidates while Attempting the Speaking Task?
A large number of candidates appear in IELTS speaking test but their band scores differ, for example, some get Band 7 or above while some receive Band 6 or below. So, what is the dissimilarity with a candidate who scored Band 7 and not Band 6 or Band 5? There must be some differences in the way these candidates prepare for the exam.
Unless you understand this difference, you won’t be able to improve your band score in IELTS. Let us understand these differentiating points in detail:
One of the major factors that affect your speaking, especially during exam, is whether you are speaking confidently or not. If you are nervous, you are going to hesitate a lot while answering the questions and this will adversely affect your performance. Keep in mind that you cannot deliver your best if you are too much nervous, you can try to be calm, patient and confident.
Now, you may be thinking that nervous for speaking test is inevitable. Yes! You are right but how much control you have on your nervousness would make the difference here. Rather you can use this nervousness to speak consciously and accurately.
Ask to Repeat Questions
Some candidates have the misconception that asking question from the examiner would lead to wrong impression and thus a lowered band score. But fortunately, this isn’t true and thus, you can ask the examiner to repeat the question for even 2-3 times if you don’t hear it clearly.
The reason you should do it is that it is better to ask repeating the question to understand it thoroughly and then answer it, rather than replying it wrongly. Accuracy of what we say matters a lot for a good band score and hence always ask to repeat question in case it is not heard properly.
Speaking for Long on a Topic
Cue card section is an extremely important part of speaking test. Here, the examiner will judge your ability of speaking fluently without any noticeable pause or hesitation or grammar errors etc. Hence, if you want to make a difference here, you should try to work on speaking at length.
Mugging up statements from sample answers or trying to recall a statement you had learnt earlier are not at all recommended ways to excel in speaking and in no way they can be helpful to get a good band score. You can actually make the difference by preparing on how you would speak on an unseen topic.
Extending your Answers
Questions other than cue card are also the ones where you need to speak more, though not for 2 mins but for specifying reasons along with examples, to satisfy the examiner. Avoid giving a one liner or one word (yes or no) answer. It would actually be the worst case if you only say “yes” or “no” but don’t paraphrase the question and extend it fully.
However, you can also keep this thing in mind that extending answer doesn’t mean that you can go off-topic and say just anything which has nothing to do with the question (what, where, when, how etc.). For example,
Examiner asks you below question:
How do you spend your weekends?
Following are examples of a bad answer:
I go for movies.
Another Not a Good Answer:
I go for movies. Last night, I saw an interesting film with my family and I think it has inspired me a lot. I think that movie has been directed well and one can find a lot of humorous stuff in it.
Let’s see what a good answer can be:
I usually spend my weekends going out for a movie with my family and sometimes with my friends. This is because I feel that watching a movie refreshes my mind from the busy week days I have and rejuvenates me to continue my work with good spirit in the next week.
Practice for Grammatically Correct Sentences
The biggest difference you can make in your speaking is with accuracy, without any grammar mistake. For this, if you practice at home by recording your voice and analysing your grammar errors, you can definitely help yourself in getting a good band score.
Those who don’t practice much, end up making such mistakes during exam while those who have been spending time, focusing on grammar, speak very well during the exam. Without practice, even the one with good grasp of English cannot do well during speaking test. Hence, keep on practising speaking tests.