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IELTS Tips from a high achiever (Band 9 in Speaking)

I always believe in people’s kindness and compassion, and this has almost never let me down. Remember Paramita, who got Band 8.5 in her IELTS exam and won in our results competition last month? She wrote to me this letter where she shares her best tips for scoring high in IELTS, especially in the Speaking section. Since I have her permission to publish it, here it is:

“Hi Simone,

Thank you for the opportunity to give some suggestion to future IELTS aspirants. I would be interested to say a few things on how to get a better score for the speaking test. I got band 9 in Speaking. I agree that living in an English-speaking country is useful, but it is definitely not THE deciding factor for higher band scores.

It would be a great idea to improve speaking by attentively listening to how native speakers articulate different sounds, and string those sounds into perfect-sounding words. Stress on syllables within words and intonation in sentences being language-specific characteristics, it is vital that one understands how these function for the English language.

Secondly, television channels (national channels, wherever possible) are best in terms of feeding us with appropriate and acceptable English, smart vocabulary, phrasal verbs of everyday use and ‘not-too-indecent’ slang. These channels cover plenty of personal interviews, counseling sessions, discussions on topics of interest or abstract ideas or on issues of national/international importance which are typically not very different from what we get for IELTS speaking test, both in terms of question-patterns and subject-matter.

It might be of interest to you to reflect upon what involves in delivering a response in a natural way, just as you would have answered in your mother-tongue, with ease and least digression from the topic. The key is consistency in our efforts, repeating utterances that sound intelligent and sounds that we love to produce flawlessly.

One last word – be confident, we hardly ever see interviewees on the tely nervous or losing their calm! So, go for it, good luck!

Paramita Goswami
New Zealand”

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