3 Common Problems in Speaking in IELTS Exam – and Ways to Solve Them


Speaking module is considered as the most terrifying of the sub tests in IELTS exam. This fear is the result of the element of surprise in the test. Each part of the IELTS speaking test requires you to frame answers in a slightly different way from the other, which basically demands you to prepare strategies and techniques for each part in your own way. Listed below are some usual problems that candidates face in the IELTS Speaking test, and a few approaches to overcome them.

1Problem 1 in IELTS Speaking Test – Extending your Answers Efficiently

Candidates usually get startled in the very first part wherein the examiner asks 12 introductory questions which are to be answered in about 4 minutes. Many people go about memorizing and give scripted answers to create a good impression. This in turn produces completely opposite result, since the answers are obvious and examiners are skilled in spotting them.

Candidates usually face issues in direct and simple questions. Answers to these questions must be precise and at the same time, time bound. For this, the most preferred way is to make the first line, an acute answer to the question and the latter part an explanation in few short sentences. Use connecting words to make your answers more informative;

  • Because – explain with a reason
  • For example- include a relevant example
  • but –  add a different idea
  • so – talk about the consequences
  • and – add another similar idea

Talk about other alternatives, include consequences, comparisons as well as conclusions to form a completely informative answer.

2Problem 2 in IELTS Speaking Test–Speaking Effectively for 2 Minutes

Speaking for entire two minutes poses a great problem to the candidates. When you are given a cue card, instead of preparing words to say, think of ideas about what to say. Remember the key words, frame your sentences around them and while speaking take help of your cue card. Other than preparing what to say, the important aspects to remember in this part are;

  • Fluency
  • Vocabulary
  • Accurate and appropriate grammar
  • Pronunciation

Remember, the basis of judgement is not what you speak instead how you speak. Speaking fluently is mistaken with speaking perfectly, instead fluency refers to coherency, smoothness and consistency in your speech. Students often focus on using big words which further flummoxes them and they lend overwrought due to confusion between words and hence are left befuddled. Control your pitch and pace, your answers should neither sound like recorded answer, nor like a thinking or self introspecting session. It’s natural to pause, since you are thinking and answering, fill the gaps with phrases like:

  • “well….”
  • “I guess….”
  • “I’ve never actually thought about it but i feel….”

Paraphrase the examiner’s question and by the time think of what to say. Use these filler phrases sparingly, not too often, otherwise it’ll be noticeable and will sound unnatural. Meanwhile, don’t let grammar get out of focus. Appropriate grammar forms a big part of a great answer. But don’t focus on grammar so much that you get momentarily stupefied.Correct pronunciation should be on your mind too.Hence, in this part, speak smoothly without being concerned about accuracy.

3Problem 3 in IELTS Speaking Test – Speaking after Thinking

In the last part of the test, you’re given questions that demand you to think harder. These questions are fashioned in the specific way that judges your long-term speaking. The problem here is that you need to think and at the same time start speaking too. The best way to score a high band score in this sector is to start discussing the question with the examiner so that you get ample time to formulate and construct your answer. Another strategy worth considering is, start off by saying you don’t know about it and discuss various possible answers, focus on why is the question hard for you to answer and analyse varied possibilities. Again, the criteria of judging here is not the accuracy of your answer but accuracy of your language.

Focusing on these minute details, can help you formulate good answers and score good grades.


Originally posted 2018-03-12 12:43:46.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here