IELTS Speaking Test Tips for Band 8

The IELTS Speaking test is a face-to-face interview with one examiner. It takes between 11 and 14 minutes. It begins with an introduction of the test and the examiner, a name check and an identity check. After this, the speaking test has 3 different parts.

IELTS Speaking Test Tips for Band 8

The IELTS Speaking test is a face-to-face interview with one examiner. It takes between 11 and 14 minutes. It begins with an introduction of the test and the examiner, a name check and an identity check. After this, the speaking test has 3 different parts.

Part 1 (4-5 mins) 

In part 1, the examiner asks several general questions on familiar topics like home, family, studies, work and interests.

Part 2 (3-4 mins) 

In part 2, there is a topic task card with several points on it. You have 1 minute to prepare a 2 minute talk. You can use the examiner’s pencil and paper.

Part 3 (3-4 mins) 

In part 3, there are more questions about the topic in Part 2. These are harder and are made to challenge you. The examiner adapts questions for your level so each student will have slightly different questions.

Every examiner has been trained to give you a standard test. They may be English, American, Australian or from your own country. The examiners use a recording device so make sure you speak loud enough.

The speaking test can be in the afternoon after your exam or it could be on another day. You need to take your identity card and your IELTS card with you. You do not need a pen, paper, bag or mobile phone.


The examiner uses 4 categories to assess your band. They are Fluency and Coherence, Lexical Resource, Grammatical Range and Accuracy and Pronunciation.

You receive a band score from 0 to 9. A band 0 student cannot speak at all, whereas a band 9 student is fluent and native level. A lot of students need between bands 5.5 to 7 to study at university. The IELTS speaking test is a big challenge for many candidates because they need to speak in English for more than 10 minutes and answer questions.

IELTS Speaking test Part 1 Tips 

1. Give reasons 

Expand your answers with a reason using ‘because’. Explain why you say, think, feel or do something. This helps you
give more information and grammatically longer sentences.

Question – How much free time do you have in a normal day?

Answer – I don’t have much free time because I have to attend many classes and I also have to spend almost 2 hours a
day travelling to and from my school.

Useful language: 

Due to...
On account of...
Owing to the fact that...

2. Give more information 

Help the examiner understand your answer by adding more information. The examiner won’t always know the place,
person or activity you talk about so give them more description, extra details and facts. Show them that you can explain
more and speak for longer periods.

Question – Did you grow up in a small or large place?

Answer – I grew up in a large city. In fact, I lived in the centre of Madrid, which is the capital city of Spain. I think it has
a population of over 3 million people and attracts thousands of tourists and expats every year.

Useful language: 

In fact,
As a matter of fact,
To be more precise,

3. Use idiomatic language

Try to use one or two idioms to express yourself better. Idioms can help you say a lot more than a normal statement
and they will impress the examiner. However, only use ones you know and are comfortable with.

Question – Who do you most resemble in your family?

Answer – Everyone says I look like my father because we have the same shaped face and very similar features. In fact,
most people say we’re the spitting image of each other (we look very similar).

Useful language: 

We could be twins=You look almost identical
It’s like we were separated at birth=You look like twins
Birds of a feather=People who have similar characters
We're on the same wavelength=You think the same and so understand each other well
He’s a chip off the old block=The son is just like his father
I take after my dad=You look like or act like your father

4. Add some phrasal verbs

Phrasal verbs are a very common part of spoken English for native speakers so try to use them instead of more formal
verbs. The IELTS speaking test is not a formal test so you will gain points for using phrasal verbs but don’t speak with

Question – What new sport what would you like to try?

Answer – I would like to take up (start) a dance class, but I’m not sure which kind of dancing I would enjoy most. I used to do ballet when I was a little girl but I gave it up (stopped) to play tennis instead.

Useful language: 

Sign up for a class=Register to begin one
Drop out=Quit and leave
Warm up=Short quick exercises to prepare your body for more exercise
Cool down=Slower exercises to relax your body after lots of exercise
Work out=To do exercise in a gym or at home, often with weights.

5. Extend answers with pronouns and relative clauses 

You can give more detailed answers by using ‘which’ and ‘who’ to link sentences and to talk about things or people. This makes your sentences more advanced and longer than just giving 2 separate sentences.

Question – Do you prefer a paper dictionary or an electronic dictionary?

Answer – I like my electronic dictionary which I use every day to look up English words and find correct definitions. My friend Paul, who is at my university, bought it for me.

IELTS Speaking test Part 2 Tips 

1. Don’t waste your 1-minute preparation time 

Use the 1 minute carefully to brainstorm ideas about your topic and to structure your points in a logical order on your paper.

Read the question quickly, brainstorm ideas for each point and note them down using words, pictures, diagrams or all of them. Use whatever helps you write quickly and will be good as speaking prompts. Don’t write full sentences.

2. Don’t limit yourself to the points 

You must fully talk about the points written on the task card but you can include a few other relevant details. Some students talk about completely different points which is not correct. Add a few interesting points and examples to show that you know the subject and can support your ideas. This is what advanced students do.

3. Use a range of adjectives and adverbs 

Adjectives and adverbs are useful to describe people, places, feelings and actions associated with your topic. Vary using adjectives and nouns but also adverbs and verbs as well as adverbs with adjectives.

4. Be consistent with your verb tenses 

Think very carefully about when things happened and select the right simple, continuous and perfect tenses. For instance, if you are describing the past, use the past simple, past continuous, past perfect and past perfect continuous. You could also try the passive versions. It is very easy to revert back to the present simple tense but don’t.

5. Speak for the full 2 minutes 

Don’t stop talking until the examiner tells you to but make sure you plan your talk well so cover all the points in time. Try to conclude if you can using the final information on the card. Quite a few people stop before 2 minutes and say “that’s all”. They lose valuable time.

IELTS Speaking test Part 3 Tips 

1. Use a range of different expressions to introduce your opinion 
This gives you time to think and shows the examiner what kind of opinion you will give. 
Useful language: 
As far as I’m concerned, 
For me, 
I believe, 
I feel, 
In my opinion, 
In my view, 
It seems to me that, 
To be honest, 
2. Give valid reasons to support your opinion 
You cannot just say something is true. A good student supports their views with information. This could be from books, TV or the internet. For example: 

Question – What do you think is the ideal age for learning new things? 
Answer – Well, I guess it depends on what you’re learning but generally speaking, I think the ideal age would be somewhere between 6 and 11 because that’s when your brain is so receptive to new information and has the greatest capacity to store it and memorise it for future use. 
3. Use personal examples to illustrate your point of view 
Your own experience is useful and can be used easily in the speaking test. For example: 
Question – What do you think are the most useful subjects at school? 
Answer – For me, personally, the most useful subject was English because I knew I wanted to travel and I thought if I could achieve a good level of English, I would have a better chance of finding work abroad. 
4. Use appropriate linking words to connect your ideas together 
Do not just say sentence after sentence. Show how your ideas develop. For example, if you’re adding more information on the same topic you can use the following expressions: 
Apart from that, 
Besides that, 
As well as that, 
In addition (to that) 
What’s more, 
5. Do not repeat yourself 
Develop your answers so you address the question first and then give explanations and examples. Think of your answer like an IELTS essay. You could also present different sides of an argument to show how you can compare and contrast. When you finish, give a brief concluding sentence. Also, use synonyms and rephrasing to avoid repeating any of the question words. 


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IELTS Preparation Online: IELTS Speaking Test Tips for Band 8
IELTS Speaking Test Tips for Band 8
The IELTS Speaking test is a face-to-face interview with one examiner. It takes between 11 and 14 minutes. It begins with an introduction of the test and the examiner, a name check and an identity check. After this, the speaking test has 3 different parts.
IELTS Preparation Online
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