Taking the IELTS Speaking Test can be grueling (part3) – by John Riley

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Taking the IELTS Speaking Test can be grueling (part3) – by John Riley

Taking the IELTS Speaking Test can be grueling (part3) – by John Riley

  • NO MEMORISED ANSWERS: There is nothing more obvious than a memorised answer to an IELTS Examiner and nothing quicker in reducing their opinion of your level. I cannot tell you the amount of times a candidate told me about the “French windows” in their “spacious” apartment. This was impressive as in all of the ten years I have spent in China, I have never once seen any buildings with French windows. Speak honestly about yourself. Part 1 of the test is meant to ease the candidate into the test by asking them questions about familiar things. It ALWAYS starts with home or work so why speak about somebody else’s life just because you read an article which used perfect English.
  • The same can be said for Part 2 and 3. Ironically, basketball is King in China and when the mighty Coby Bryant retired we were plagued with the repetition of two or three articles written about the man that were passed off as the candidates own opinion. The problem here is two fold: you look like somebody desperately trying to remember something rather than expressing a view point, and secondly, the examiner switches off for two minutes because they know the article being recited to them for the umpteenth time. Get good and show off If you are truly ready for the exam and know how to express yourself in the language, then you really shouldn’t have any problems with the test.
  • Remember that the Examiner is not there to be a substitute teacher but to evaluate your level, and that conversations with them outside of the test are pointless.


This has been a general but frank discussion on the IELTS Speaking Test and I hope that some of the fears you may have about the taking of the test have been put to rest here. I will hopefully be looking into the more detailed and specific areas of the test in further pieces where I will look at grammar, lexical resource, pronunciation and fluency and what you should be looking to use to get the score you desire. For now, if you are taking the test just talk as much as possible and show the examiner the true command of the language that you have, and you won’t go far wrong. Good luck.

Did you enjoy John’s tips for taking the IELTS? Keep watching because John be back with more great ideas. In the meantime if you haven’t had enough on taking the IELTS take a look at 8 ways to pass the IELTS by DC IELTS. I think you’re going to see some similarities.

How is your English skill? Are you ready for the exam? Would you like to complete a free level test? Just ask us. Would you like to practice IELTS questions with a teacher to guide you? Consider taking your skills to a higher level with the completion of a  IELTS preparation course. Lessons are available for all four parts of the exam – reading, writing, listening, speaking. More information here.

John Riley
John Riley
John Riley is an Australian native English speaker who has worked in education for the past 8 years. He has recent experience with screenplay writing and script analysis, and has a BA Hons degree, TEFL and CELTA qualifications. John is an expert in linguistics for the British Council in Beijing, where he has tested and marked English written and spoken work for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

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