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IELTS advice from Band 9 achiever – Part 7, more speaking tips

Part 1 of these IELTS Speaking tips was published yesterday, here is the rest. Enjoy!

4. Energize you answers with thrilling content and passionate delivery. The tutor will have sat through numerous responses on the day, many of which may be very similar. Answers that are relevant yet stand out offer them welcome respite, and the scope for higher marks.

For example, the question “why did you like that shop” may be answered in both the following ways :

“The shop holds a wide array of books, which are reasonably priced. The owner is an old friend, and his shop has a certain old-world charm about its musty corridors and shelves. Sometimes, I can even find books that are over a hundred years old”.

I answered “The reason I am in love with the shop is because it is enchanted. There is a vast treasure trove of books, and the musty corridors of the shop drip with the honey of a good age, long gone and alive only in our precious memory. The owner and I are close allies and conspirators, jealously guarding our Alladin’s cave of knowledge from the unsympathetic glare of the modern sophisticated book-buyer. When I visit this shop, I do not go to buy old books at sensible prices, but to experience the transport to a world of magic”.


Further, in the final question (“what are the risks of online shopping”), I included the obvious and main points (online fraud, loss of personal touch leading to a solitary society etc), and I further commented on the three most important aspects affecting our society :

– Cross-border online purchases offer criminals and terrorists a golden key to launder ill-gotten gains, proliferate contraband items like narcotics, and acquire sophisticated arms,

– The effortless ease of unbridled online shopping may lead to a rampant consumerism to now spin out of control,

– Such profligacy in dealing with the earth’s resources will only add to environmental misery.

OVERALL: It is important to be aware of the time. I answered question 1 and 3 just within the prescribed time limit, but stepped in question 2, and the examiner cut me short. I was concerned that this would affect my marks, but the other aspects of my answers appear to have impressed her as she awarded me grade 9.

In a nutshell, the “science” of communication is the conveyance of information in a simple, user-friendly and memorable manner. The “art” of communication, however, is making the listener feel better about himself and the world.

Best of luck in your exams, and I hope you find the tips useful.

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