Recently, a lot of students ask me how to prepare the IELTS speaking part at home as they don’t have an “English environment”. And they also ask me is that a good way to write every answers down and try to reading again, again and again.
Well, my answer is no. because I have noted that once the students try to write down their answers, the tone of the contents is “written”, not “oral”. Remember that you are talking to the examiner in the real test, not reading or reciting in front of him/her. You are talking with a human, not a robot! So chilled out.
My advice of practicing speaking at home:
- Choose a real speaking test from one of the Cambridge books.
- Use your smart phone to record yourself answering one or all of the parts of the test. (pay attention to the timing)
- Listen to the recording and transcribe it (write down everything you said, including all those mistakes, repetition, and words like ‘er…a…well…. You know….’).
- Analyse the transcript. Maybe just simply correct all the grammar mistakes first.
- Take some time to prepare better answers for the same questions.
- Try the same questions again! Record yourself, transcribe and analyse.
- Comparing the second time with the first one. Do you see any improvement? Do you feel better the second time?
- Repeat the process until you are happy.
I sometimes hear from students who are worried that their examiner seemed rude or angry in the speaking exam. Maybe the examiner didn't smile or make much eye contact, interrupted a lot, or kept looking at his/her watch. Does this mean that you will get a low score, or that you should complain?
The answer is no! Don't worry, and don't think that you need to complain. The examiner's attitude is not important at all, and you should ignore all of the things I mentioned above. Focus only on answering the examiner's questions as well as you can.
Remember: it's possible to have a very nice, smiling examiner who gives you a low score. On the other hand, an examiner who seems impolite or disinterested might give you a higher score than you expected!