Are you planning to take the IELTS test? Knowing how the exam is scored and strategies to get higher marks are critical, because you need more than just good English. Yes, even a native English speaker who doesn't know what they are doing could get a low score. How could that be? Because you have to PROVE you have strong English skills!
One of the most important things you need to know about the IELTS test is how you will be scored. It just takes a quick Google search to find the assessment criteria for the IELTS speaking test, but you would be surprised by how many people don't do this.
Here are a few key ideas you need to know about the IELTS speaking test...
* You must use idiomatic phrases to get between a 7 and a 9 in vocabulary.
* Trying to come up with many answers for one question is a waste of time and effort. Just give one or two answers, and then develop one of your ideas.
* Use a variety of grammatical structures whenever it feels natural. Make comparisons, talk about how the past was different or the same, and talk about what things WOULD be like IF the situation was different.
* Avoid hesitating! Don't show that you are struggling to think of a word. And NEVER ask "What was that word?" <-- Clear giveaway that you lack vocabulary!
* Talking too fast is not good! If you try to speak faster than you really can (usually because you're nervous), you will make so many more grammar mistakes. It also doesn't give you enough time to think of the next idea.
* Don't sound like a monotone robot! Use intonation to create meaning in what you are saying. It is actually hard to understand and pay attention to someone who sounds flat.
I hope you do well on the test! Let me know if I can help you prepare for it.