The speaking section of the IELTS exam tests your ability to speak ‘fluently’. In order to speak ‘fluent’ English and give yourself the best possible chance of scoring highly on the exam, we have compiled a list of the three basic mistakes to avoid during your test.
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Common IELTS speaking mistakes
1. Memorised answers
IELTS examiners will quickly notice a memorised answer as it sounds unnatural. Not only will they be unimpressed, but you will also be penalised and, most probably, it will mean that you haven’t answered the question in a way that is specific enough.
While it is important to speak in a way that is grammatically correct, using a variety of tenses and vocabulary, it must sound natural and not rehearsed. Try to have a natural conversation, just like in the real world, and not rephrase something you have read in a book or article.
2. Repeating the question
As is similar to the writing section of the IELTS exam, it is completely unacceptable to repeat a question you have just been asked. This indicates that you do not know how to thoughtfully answer the question in a unique way.
3. Staying silent
It is fine to take a moment to think before you answer the question, but you should avoid being silent for a sustained period of time. Using “filler” phrases/words can be useful to ensure this doesn’t happen.
For example: “let me think a little about this” or “this is a difficult question”. These types of phrases can be used during your exam, but should never be used more than once.
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