- October 17, 2019
- Category: IELTS, PTE
Getting a 7 band in speaking is very easy. Start with these 3 easy tips and ace the test. These are tips that will work for everyone, and work quickly.
If you are looking for a great score in IELTS, you will need to first understand how IELTS is evaluated. IELTS makes this really easy. There is something called the speaking band descriptor that provides a detailed report of all the parameters that IELTS looks at while evaluating a candidate’s proficiency in English.
In this article we will look at the areas that keep your score low (Band 5 and Band 6) and things that you need to look at to be able to score higher (Band 7 and Band 8). For us to be able to do that, we first need to understand the areas that a candidate is assessed on.
The four areas of assessment are
- Fluency and Coherence
- Lexical Resource
- Grammatical Range and Accuracy
For the purposes of this post, let us focus on Fluency and Coherence. Fluency is all how about how smoothly language flows. There might be grammatical errors (grammar is important, but that is a part of coherence and we will come to that shortly), but if the flow is consistent and even, then you are fluent. While coherence is all about whether the listener can understand what you are saying without trouble. Does your speech make logical sense? If the answer is a yes, there your speech is coherent.
In other words, fluency measures how easily you speak whereas coherence measures how logical and how easy your speech is to understand. Remember, you are not being evaluated for your ideas, but for clarity of communication.
How to get a band 7 or band 8 in speaking?
Here are the basic requirements for you to get a band 7 of above in speaking.
- speaks at length without noticeable effort or loss of coherence
- uses a range of connectives and discourse markers with some flexibility
How can this be achieved? Here are a few pointers that might help
Tip #1 – for fluency
This might sound boring, but the one sure shot way to improving fluency is by practising regularly. It does not matter if you go wrong here and there. It does not also matter if you make quite a few grammatical mistakes. Making sure that the words roll easily off your tongue it a good first step towards being comfortable with the language.
Remember, you do not have to speak fast, you just need to be able to speak and a reasonable pace without having to stop often in search of words.
To improve your fluence, start answering a few basic questions aloud and preferably in front of a mirror. This will go a long way in improving your fluency. Make sure that the questions are basic and that you are familiar with the subject matter so that you will not have to search for words.
Here are a few sample questions you might want to practice:
- What is the best food from your country?
- Is a healthy diet important to you? Why or why not?
- Do you prefer to watch movies in the theatre or at home? Why?
- How often do you watch movies?
- Do you like shopping? Why or why not?
- Do you like to keep pets? Why or why not?
- How important is the internet for you? Why?
Spending anywhere between 20 minutes to half an hour this way, can dramatically improve your fluency in a very short time. Do not focus on improving your vocabulary. Use simple, everyday words that you already know to answer these questions.
Tip #2 – for fluency again.
No one gets fluent overnight. Even while learning mother tongue, we listen to the language before starting out using small words and phrases and then to simple sentences and then to longer and more complex ones. The same is true for English.
If you want to get more comfortable and more confident, you will need to record your speech. Team-up with a friend and record your speech. Analyse where you are going wrong. Look at ways you could improve your answer.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Am I trying too hard to make sentences?
- Is it because I am trying to make long sentences?
- Will making a shorter sentence help my fluency?
- Are there particular questions that I am unable to answer?
- Am I uncomfortable speaking about a time – like the past or the present or the future?
Tip #3 – for coherence
Coherence encompasses two aspects – is your diction (the way you utter words) clear? Are you speaking in sentences that make a story or are your sentences disconnected? Since the first part is not a problem for most, let us focus on the second part – how do you make sentences into a story?
The tip is to be able to use connecting words, referents and discourse markers.
These words sound big, in reality though, these are all words that you know – and these are all words that native speakers of English naturally use in the language.
For example: It is common for native speakers to say: ‘So, My dear, How are you doing today?’ rather than simply saying: ‘My dear, how are you doing today?’
The word so, is a discourse marker. Here are a few other discourse markers that are most commonly used by native, natural, and fluent speakers:
- you know
But remember, there is only a very thin line of difference between using discourse markers and overusing them. Overusing a particular discourse marker again indicates a lack of fluency.