Many students taking IELTS want to see big improvements in their scores quickly. IELTS students are usually taking the exam to go to university in the UK, or to get a visa, and often don't have time to spend years. To do this, you must understand what the examiners are looking for at the higher levels.
For IELTS Speaking, here are 3 ideas for things you could practice to improve your mark:
1. USE MORE TYPES OF GRAMMAR AND SENTENCE STRUCTURE.
Your examiner needs to see you can use many types of grammar. If you only speak in present simple, you will never get the higher marks because you cannot prove to them that you can use past simple, present perfect, conditionals and others. Listen to recordings of yourself as you practice your IELTS Speaking: what grammar do you hear?
2. USE LESS COMMON VOCABULARY.
Words like 'nice', 'good', 'think' and 'want' are OK, but you must use a wide variety of vocabulary to get higher levels. You should practice synonyms, phrases and idioms so you sound more interesting. Swap one 'nice' for 'pleasant' or 'satisfactory', use phrases like 'pulling my leg' for 'joking with me' and practice using them in conversation. You can get lots of vocabulary from watching TV and films, and writing phrases you find interesting.
3. GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO THINK.
Students often worry about the time in an IELTS Speaking exam, and while it is important to think about timing, you also need to think about your answers. Phrases like 'Wow, that's an interesting question, I've never really thought about it before...' give you a few seconds to think of an idea whilst not being silent (silence = 0 marks!). Don't be afraid to say you don't know an answer, as long as you say what you think about the topic and answer it as well as you can.
Do you have any other ideas about improving an IELTS Speaking score? Comment below!