Top Tips for IELTS

Improve your IELTS speaking – advice from a successful candidate

Here is some advice on how to improve your IELTS speaking skills. It comes from Vera who got 7.5 in speaking and comes from Russia. It is particularly relevant advice as she lives in a non-English speaking environment – a problem many IELTS candidates face. Her advice is excellent for all of you out there who are looking for ways to study by yourself.

One comment I’d add is that it is normally a good idea to be consistent in what you do  – most of these ideas work best when practised over a period of time. I’d also say that it helps to have some variety to your practice routines and that you note all her different suggestions. This way you are more likely to stay interested in what you are doing and you’re more likely to learn if you are interested in what you are doing.


How to expand your IELTS speaking skill

You will not consider the IELTS speaking module as a problem if you’ve succeeded in reading, listening and writing. The crucial moment here is vocabulary. If your lexicon is complex, you will have high marks. Just one thing you must do is to learn to use your vocabulary fluently. For this I would recommend some easy-to-do activities.


  1. Speak English everywhere you can, at home, in your car, in public transport, even outside, don’t be shy. Pretend you speak by your mobile with hand-free. The more you speak, the more you become fluent. Record your speech, listen to and correct pronunciation. Try to speak at least 20 minutes every day. All you need is to get used to English sounds flying out from your mouth.
  2. It would be helpful to learn by heart several texts on different subjects, such as Global warming, Starvation, Healthy diet, Education of children, Historical monuments et cetera. You will find many of the texts in IELTS textbooks. Apart from that, you can use transcripts for audio on BBC Learning English or British Council Downloads. After learning, read them aloud by heart, record your speech and correct pronunciation, if needed.
  3. Create several small texts on following subjects: my family, the city I live in, my country, my hobbies, my favourite music, books, activities, sports, my education, my plans for the future… learn them by heart, read aloud, record, correct.
  4. Furthermore, you will be a lucky person if you find native speakers to speak with. I used to speak with my friends from America, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia. It helped me immensely! If not, well, try to speak with yourself or with your favourite pet. Don’t be surprised if the pet leaves you unexpectedly 😉
  5. Next, download please ready-to-use subjects and cards for IELTS. Make at least one card every day. Remember, on a real test you will have to speak for two minutes. It is not so long, I assure you. Keep in mind, you need to answer all the questions in your card. If you fail to do that, they will lower your marks even if you speak perfectly. That is why it will be useful to make cards with a stop-watch in your hand.

Speaking is the most tricking task for those who are not in the English speaking surrounding. However, I strongly believe it is possible to perfect speaking skill even in your native country, being zealous and using modern means of communication and information. I am from Russia, my band in Speaking is 7,5.

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13 Responses to Improve your IELTS speaking – advice from a successful candidate

  1. Arun Varghese February 14, 2013 at 5:13 am #

    My name is Arun and am a nurse by profession. I took IELTS Academic test at kottayam on 8th December 2012. My scores are L-8, R-8.5, W-7, S-8 OB-8.

    Further, I am grateful to this site and lord almighty for the valuable tips which enabled me to pursue such heights in Academic test.

    I believe its an easy task if you put effort for 3 to 4 weeks.

    Thanks again.

  2. rao February 14, 2013 at 11:04 pm #

    Hi,First,congrats for your achievement.I had taken the test two times and got just 6.0.The score is not changing and really messing.Can you please give me any suggestion in speaking and writing.Actually, I wish 6.5 or more.

    • Dominic Cole February 15, 2013 at 12:15 am #

      I’m writing something today about how to improve your writing by reading better. You might find something in there to help – particularly if your reading score is okay.

      It can sometimes help to look at more than one skill at a time. Normally, I am a fan of focussing your study as much as possible, but you can certainly learn how to improve one skill by looking at another.

      i’d also suggest you think about contacting a teacher if your score isn’t moving. Teachers really can help!

  3. Bahram February 15, 2013 at 12:03 am #

    Hi, my name is Bahram from Iran, I’ve been studying English for a couple of years now.
    I want to suggest that everyone who really wants to expand his/her vocabulary should try to learn a variety of different words only in varied sentences and contexts that is memorizing single words doesn’t work efficiently and to top it off it’s of paramount importance to engage your knowledge of vocabulary in different aspect of your life creatively and imaginatively. Let your imagination run wild in a world of fantasy regarding your favorite dreams as well as facts and realities.

    • Dominic Cole February 15, 2013 at 12:08 am #

      Excellent points Bahram, especially about memorizing single words. In fact, I’m in the middle of writing something now about just that – should be out later today. In fact, it’s surprising how few “words”you need if you can use the words you do have flexibly (know all their forms and which other words they go with) – that’s really the point of my exercises on the academic word list.

  4. rovini February 15, 2013 at 2:10 am #


  5. Zeinab February 15, 2013 at 6:17 am #

    hey, I get score 6 last month , I wish to get 7 or more the next time, I get 5.5 S, 5 W , before the exam my fluency progressed very well because I used to speak with my self in English and with my friends but I think that my grammar and pronunciation aren’t very well , so can any one recommend an online site which can help me with a tutor to improve my grammar for both speaking and writing with a low price?

  6. Maninder February 15, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

    I am thankful to your daily blogs which made me successfully by teaching writing skills. My other three modules were always fine but was lagging behind in writing . I followed your ideology and it helped a lot to score L 8.5 R 8.0 S 8.5 and writing 7.0 . Thanks for letting me achieve my minimum requirements of 7 each.

  7. deepak verma March 10, 2013 at 9:27 pm #

    pl help me i need 6.5 score..m week in reading nd listning..

  8. rao May 15, 2013 at 9:56 am #

    I am very glad to say that It’s a wonderful website. My great problem is get 6.5 or more bands in IELTS. I am okay with speaking and listening and I got 6.5 each for two attempts. But my luck is not working on writing and reading. It’s time to stop the messing things, can you please help me to get out of the things.

  9. abm July 3, 2013 at 12:51 am #

    Since i have started Reading my language improved a lot. I reckon reading is the key for a language skills.

  10. Anonymous October 5, 2013 at 1:22 am #

    really 5his is help to me….thank you professor….

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