Welcome to IELTS Success Formula Challenge Day 6. If you’ve just joined IELTS-Blog today, read about the Challenge here.
Today we’re going to deal with two related issues in IELTS Speaking.
The first one presents a problem for Dr. Sherif Magdi from Egypt. To be able to work in the UK he needs to get an overall IELTS Band score of 7.5 with at least 7 for each skill. Here is what Dr. Sherif finds especially difficult in his IELTS preparation:
“I have a real problem with the IELTS test especially the expressive modules (speaking and writing). Although I graduated from medical school where all the study materials were in English but it was particularly medical English with very simple English sentences. I was expressing myself using a simple vocabulary and had not performed well in the mock exams. What made it much harder that the GMC had raised the minimal accepted IELTS score for registration to 7.5 overall score with a minimum of 7 in each module. I don’t know what to do to improve my ability to hit this score.”
The second one makes Sajjad Anwar Khan’s life difficult. He wants to immigrate from Pakistan to Canada, and must have a good IELTS score to get a visa. His exam is just around the corner, in July, and here is his main problem:
“I have a problem in Speaking. When I have to speak on a given topic for a specific time, I always face difficulty with putting together ideas and vocabulary in a short time. I need an advice/tip how to quickly gather ideas in a shortest time and deliver a response in a better, more organised way”.
How IELTS Success Formula can solve these two Speaking problems
When your speaking is judged in IELTS, there are 4 criteria used to assess it:
1. Fluency and Coherence
2. Lexical Resource
3. Grammatical Range and Accuracy
But what exactly does that mean? It means your assessor is looking at
1. How much do you hesitate, how appropriate and full are your answers, how do you link your ideas?
2. What range of vocabulary are you using, and how flexible are you in your choice of words?
3. How accurate is your grammar, and are you able to use different sentence types?
4. How easy is your pronunciation to understand, and how well are you using intonation and pauses when you speak?
As you can see, vocabulary makes only 25%, a quarter of your Speaking score, so focusing ALL your attention on it is a mistake. You also need to speak fluently, link ideas well, keep grammatical errors to the minimum, and pronounce words correctly to raise your score. In IELTS Success Formula we give you advice and take you through Fitness Activities to cover all of these aspects of your speech. One important thing you will learn is the difference between a low-score response and a high-score response. We show you lots of examples and give particular reasons why response A (for example) is the best and what is wrong with responses B or C – see a sample here.
However, vocabulary is one of the common problems, which is why we created a “Top score vocabulary” list, especially for IELTS Speaking – here is a sample. It will help you to raise your score because using occasional phrasal expressions or idioms enriches your vocabulary.
Quickly putting together ideas for your speech can be a problem if you’re seeing the topic for the first time in your life, and also if you haven’t trained in doing that in a short time. How should you deal with that?
The list of Speaking topics used in IELTS is not endless, and it always pays off to go over the typical ones and think of things to say. In IELTS Success Formula we have a full recording and transcript of a real speaking test (see a sample here) where the test taker is answering examiner’s questions. You can go over it to see how to respond well to the frequently asked questions, and you can also follow our suggestions there how those responses can be improved to get a higher score.
A list of IELTS Speaking questions is available on our website, where we post daily questions shared by real test takers shortly after their exams, and of course in IELTS Success Formula we have included a collection of most popular topics with full interview question sets and cue cards for practice.
To learn more visit the IELTS Success Formula webpage and download a free trial copy (scroll down and look for the download link).