How to get Band 7+ in IELTS Speaking (video lesson #1)

This video lesson will make life so much easier for those of you aiming at Band 7+ in Speaking. Adam, our very knowledgeable ex-IELTS examiner, is telling you step by step everything you need to do to start scoring 7 (or 8, or 9!) in the Speaking test, concentrating on the harder Parts 2 and 3.

Watch Adam explain and demonstrate with examples how a Band 7 candidate should talk, including expressions and idioms that are great for Band 7+. We promise what you’ll learn is worth your time!

The Part 2 topic Adam is using as an example has been asked in recent IELTS Speaking tests:

Describe a time you had a challenge that you thought would be very difficult. Please say

– What the challenge was
– Where and when you did this difficult thing
– Why you thought it was difficult.

In the video Adam explains what grammar forms you should be using for this type of topic, what tenses, and if you need a refresher, he also explains the difference between Past Perfect, Past Perfect Continuous, Simple Past and Present Perfect.

Moving on to vocabulary, Adam explains the need for synonyms in your speech, and then he talks about how crucial idiomatic language is for getting Band 7 in Speaking. He gives many examples of idioms – such as ‘At my wits end’ or ‘to dodge a bullet’ (there are more in the video).

Finally, Adam spends quite some time on Part 3, giving you the questions you may be asked related to the Part 2 topic. He also offers some ideas of things to say to answer those questions and what vocabulary you can use.

And once Adam is done teaching, there is a mock test for you to do! Adam will ask you questions as if he were your Speaking examiner, and you can answer them and record yourself. This is great to see if you’re using the expressions he talks about in this video, to check if you’re using the grammar he talks about and if you’re doing it well, and how fluently you are talking. You can then listen to the recording to check for fillers – how many times you use words like ‘um’, ‘er’, ‘ah’, ‘like,’, ‘well…’, ‘you know…’. You can also check if you’re making little grammatical or vocabulary mistakes, or if you hesitate a lot, and that recording will make it easy to catch yourself doing that.

Watch the video on YouTube here

Go here to get Adam to assess your Speaking, estimate you the score you’re likely to get now and tell you how to score higher.

Done with Lesson #1? Watch Lesson #2 here.

IELTS Speaking Band 8.0, Full Test with Examiner’s Feedback

The video you are about to watch features Nabial, a student from Zimbabwe, answering questions from Speaking Test 17 in “High Scorer’s Choice” IELTS Practice Tests book series.

Nabial is doing a full simulated IELTS Speaking test with an examiner, who is asking him typical IELTS Speaking test questions. This video shows you what happens on the test day in the real examination room.

IELTS Speaking Test has 3 parts.

In Part 1 you should expect personal questions on familiar topics, for instance about your job or studies, your home, your family, etc.

Part 2 is different, because you receive a single topic to talk about for 1 to 2 minutes, with 4 bullet points you should cover in your speech. Another difference between Part 2 and the other parts is that in Part 2 you get 1 minute preparation time and you can write down some ideas to talk about. This doesn’t happen in Part 1 or Part 3.

Part 3 is a longer discussion where the examiner asks you questions related to Part 2 topic. You are expected to give longer, more elaborate answers and talk in-depth about the topics your examiner brings up.

Here is how you can learn from this Speaking test video

1. Get familiar with everything that happens in the Speaking test. It will help you feel prepared when it’s your turn.

2. Listen to the questions the examiner asks and note how Nabial answers them. Then think about what YOU would say in response to these questions.

3. Spot Nabial’s mistakes and avoid them when you speak.

4. Go over Examiner’s Feedback below to learn how he rated Nabial’s performance and why (he also points out some of his mistakes!)

5. You can even use this as a Listening exercise, and switch on subtitles on YouTube to understand every word on the recording.

Watch the video on YouTube here:

Examiner’s Feedback

This section shows you what goes on in the examiner’s mind when he rates a Speaking test. Make sure you read this before looking at the scores he gave Nabial in every criterion, because this explains the reasons he got those scores.

Speaking Test, Part 1 – 0:18

Nabial spoke hesitantly in this first part, maybe showing that he felt quite nervous. It seems he is a person who speaks slowly anyway, but the hesitancy affects his fluency band. Apart from this, Nabial produced a good Part 1. He answered most questions fully and took up the required amount of time. Nabial used a wide range of lexis in his Part 1 and showed he had access to some complex vocabulary, i.e. “population density” and “irks me”. There were some occasional awkward collocations, i.e. “so extremely popular”, but his vocabulary range allowed him to communicate fully everything he wanted to. In addition, Nabial’s grammar range was excellent and accurate and there were no issues at all here. He had a slight accent, but it did not affect his pronunciation or communicative ability in any way. Finally, Nabial used some mild humour in an appropriate way, which added to how he communicated his ideas and feelings on some of the topics.

Speaking Test, Part 2 – 5:01

Nabial spoke for an appropriate amount of time on the film that he chose, Now You See Me. Again, Nabial was a little hesitant, but this did not seem to be because he was searching for lexis or the right structures. Nabial’s vocabulary was again nearly always appropriate and accurate, though there were some awkward moments, his use of “heists” for example, seemed a little strange, even if it did describe the illegal activities to which Nabial was referring. Nabial’s grammar was again accurate and he used an appropriate range. He used one incorrect plural with “medias”, which stood out, as it was really the only error so far. Again, Nabial’s slight accent had no effect on his communication. As in Part 1, Nabial used some mild humour in an appropriate way, which helped communicate his feelings.

Speaking Test, Part 3 – 7:54
Nabial further showed his good oral ability in Part 3. There was the same hesitancy, this time more to access ideas and develop thoughts due to the more complex questions, but the time taken was appropriate. Nabial gave thoughtful and developed answers and did not need prompting to justify what he said. Nabial showed a good range of lexis, though it became apparent that he over-used the words / phrases “major” and “type of things” a little in this Part and in the two previous Parts. Occasional awkward collocations were apparent again, i.e. “throughout the years” instead of “over the years”. His grammatical range and accuracy was very good. His accent was again non-intrusive and did not impede communication in any way. Nabial did not fully understand the question on the role of advertising at the end, but he gave a coherent answer to what he thought I had asked about. Nabial’s humour was again apparent at appropriate times and he used mild irony, euphemism and litotes (“not the richest”) in order to convey nuance to his meaning.

Nabial’s IELTS Speaking score

The marking of the IELTS Speaking Test is done in 4 parts.

Fluency and Coherence 8
Lexical Resource 8
Grammatical Range and Accuracy 8
Pronunciation 9

Estimated IELTS Speaking Band 8

Need more Speaking tests with Examiner’s feedback? Find them in High Scorer’s Choice book series.

If you’d like to get your own Speaking evaluated, you can – go here to learn how.



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