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Free Sample of IELTS Speaking Test

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Free Sample of IELTS Speaking Test

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As in all parts of the IELTS, this is the one thing that will really improve your band. There are various things that you can do to improve your performance.

Prepare the types of questions for each of the different sections.

Section 1
In section 1 you start with personal questions such abouts yourself, your family, your home or your work/study. So, sit down with your dictionary and try and think of all the vocabulary you would need to completely describe all parts of your life, home, family and work/study. Then sit down with a piece of paper and write down every question you can think of about these ideas. Try and come up with about 20. You can then practice them in 2 ways:
  1. Get a friend to ask you the questions and practice giving long, full answers. Do this again and again. It doesn't matter if you do the same question frequently, as you will give better and better answers with more and more information. The more often you practice this, the better you'll get.

  2. if you don't have a friend who can do this, then you can do it by yourself. You just look at your list and imagine that someone has asked you the question. Then, off you go. You can do this sat at home, you can talk to the cat, the mirror or do it driving on the way to work. It may feel a bit strange at first, talking by yourself, but it works and you will improve. You don't have to do either method i or ii, you can mix both. It all helps.
In the second part of Section 1 you have to answer questions on themes of general interest. These are not complicated but are more demanding than the ones that you did in the part before. Let's say for example that the theme the examiner chooses is travelling. The examiner will have a set of questions to ask you. How many he asks depends on how long you talk for in your answers.

The first question could be:

Do you enjoy traveling and why/why not?

Then this could be followed by:

Where would you like to travel to and why?

You can find other sample themes and questions in IELTS Practice Now Question Papers and from other sources. Once you have an idea of the types of theme and question, you can start to make your own examples and practice answering them in the ways (i and ii) above. I have done this with classes and it works very well. Students doing this, more often than not, come up with actual themes and questions from the test itself!!

Section 2
Preparation and practice for Section 2 is similar to the practice in Section 1.You have to talk for 1 to 2 minutes in English. Speaking for this time in your own language is quite hard, so in a foreign language it is harder. The reason it is hard is that you don't often talk uninterrupted for 1 to 2 minutes about anything, whether it is in your language or English. So, how do you get better at it? By practising it again and again. Let's say that your task is as follows:

Describe a favourite holiday destination that you like. You should say:
  • When you first went there.
  • How you get there.
  • What you do when you're there.
  • And explain why this place is so special for you.
So, you can see the format of this section. The practice procedure is as before. Check out other question types and soon you're be able to develop your own. Then practice them with someone or by yourself. Soon, talking for 2 minutes without stopping won't be a problem. Remember you don't have to talk fast or without breaks. They want you to talk normally. Talk at a normal speed, pause to take breaths and take time to consult your notes to give yourself ideas about what to talk about next.

The follow up question to end Section 2 is not so important that it needs to be practiced as it only requires a few words as an answer. An example question from the examiner for the subject above could be

"Do you think I would enjoy a holiday in this place too?"

The candidate would just be expected to say something like:

"Oh yes, I think so."

Or:

"Maybe not. It might be too hot for you."

You can see that nothing very long is required.

At this point I'd like to explain about the 1 minute preparation time and the notes that you can write during it. First of all, use your preparation time and make notes. Before you begin your monologue, you will have 1 minute to prepare for it. Some people think that they don't need the time at all and will start straight away. Very often these people will dry up early and be at a loss about how to continue. Use your time. Someone starting straight away does not get any advantage at all over someone who takes the full minute to prepare.

So, what should you write in your notes? First of all, don't try and write out your whole talk word for word. You don't have enough time. Looking at the question above (which is a typical layout for this section) you can see that there is a main question (Describe a favourite holiday destination that you like.) and then 3 mini-questions following (Say when you first went there, how you get there what you do when you're there and explain why this place is so special for you).

These questions are here to help you as they give you ideas to talk about and give your talk a bit of structure. However, it asks you to talk about these things so you should talk about them. In your notes quickly jot down one or two ideas for each of the questions, so that they will remind you about things to talk about when you look at your notes during your talk. Finally, if you have time, maybe make a note of something from your own experience connected to the talking theme. When you are talking about something from your own experience, it is easier to talk at length. For example, for the question above, you could be just finishing and still have 45 seconds left to talk.

You could be saying why the place is so special to you. As you run out of ideas you could give an example out of your own experience. You could say:

"Actually why I like the place so much is shown from something that happened to me the last time I was there. I was in a restaurant having some food and..."

The subject of your story doesn't matter as you are still on the subject of your talk. The main thing is that it's keeping you talking.

Section 3
Section 3 of IELTS Speaking Test really carries on from where Section 2 left off. The examiner will ask you questions that are thematically linked to the subject that you talked about in Section 2.

For example, for the question we looked at above about a holiday destination, the examiner might choose to ask you questions about tourism and the airline industry. The examiner will have a set of questions to ask you. How many he asks depends on how long you talk for in your answers. None of the questions will be of a technical nature or require any specialist knowledge as that would be unfair, but you will be expected to give your opinion on what is asked you.

So, let's look at some examples.

Tourism
  1. Can you predict any major changes that could happen in the Tourist Industry over the next 50 years?

  2. Can you compare the tourist industry in your country today with the tourist industry when your grandparents were young
Airline
  1. Can you identify some of the factors that have led to the Industry success of the airline industry?

  2. Can you suggest any ways in which air travel could be made safer?
You can see that the questions here are more analytical and require more thought than the questions in the previous sections.

As regards practice, the procedure is as in the previous sections. You need to get someone to do the questions with you, or do them alone and then develop your own questions and practice with them. ieltshelpnow.com Practice Tests also provide practice and often we provide much fuller examples. Our tests are also at least half the price! The choice is yours.

Anyway, work hard and good luck with the IELTS General Training Speaking Test. I hope that this free tutorial has helped you.
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