IELTS Speaking: Tips and Tricks for Success
Internationally trained nurses and medical technologists must have a Speaking section score of 7 on the IELTS Academic exam to meet U.S Visa Screen standards. Obtaining a Visa Screen is mandatory to ultimately get a U.S. EB-3 visa, which is why IELTS is so vital.
Speaking Section Overview
The speaking portion of IELTS has three parts. This entire test can take anywhere from 11 to 14 minutes. The IELTS Speaking test consists of 3 parts:
- In Part 1, or the interview, the examiner will ask questions on familiar topics (e.g. hobbies, likes, dislikes. etc.) for approximately 4-5 minutes.
- Part 2 is known as the independent speaking task because you'll be expected to speak for about one-two minutes on a specific topic. In this part of the test, the examiner really does not speak very much. You will be given a cue-card with a topic. You will need to talk about the topic for 1-2 minutes. You will have 60 seconds to prepare some notes to guide you before you begin.
- Part 3 of the test will relate, somewhat, to the topic you spoke about in part 2. The examiner will ask you some abstract questions about your part 2 topic. Part 3 takes about 5 minutes.
- Please note: On the IELTS Speaking test, you will have a discussion with a human examiner. It is not a recording session on a computer.
What Types of Questions Will I be Asked?
The examiner typically, will ask you about familiar topics such as your home, your work or your studies. The familiarity of his/her questions should make it less stressful, but try and relax so that you can speak comfortably. The more relaxed you are, the more natural you will sound. You'll be graded on fluency and coherence, lexical resource (vocabulary use), grammatical range and accuracy, and pronunciation. Each area counts for 25 percent of your marks. Like with any test, preparation is key. Take time before the test to practice speaking with a friend, a partner, or even a coworker. The more you practice speaking in English leading up to IELTS, the better you will perform on the IELTS speaking portion.
Tips and Tricks for IELTS Speaking Success
- Speak as much as you can when answering questions - give full, complete answers
- Speak fluently and be spontaneous - spontaneity will make you sound more natural
- Speak more than the examiner - if you can dominate the conversation, you will thrive. But, be sure to watch the examiner and give him or her an opportunity to ask you questions - all part of good communication
- If you did not hear the question, or you think you might have misunderstood something, simply ask for clarification i.e., "Excuse me, could you repeat that, please? I didn't quite hear you."
- Examiners are trained to spot rehearsed/memorized answers, so do not become a robot.
- Remember to be SPONTANEOUS!
- Express your opinions; it's part of being spontaneous
- Remember, the examiner's questions are pretty predictable. The best thing you can do is ask someone you trust to ask you the questions you can expect on the day of your test. With enough time and rehearsal, you will absolutely ace your IELTS speaking test, master the IELTS, and achieve your #AmericanDream!
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