Starting today, ieltshelpnow.com, the online IELTS practice tests provider, will provide a series of short article about the IELTS speaking test. We have asked a former IELTS examiner to talk you through the IELTS speaking test and give his opinions and offer hints for candidate improvement.
Today, I want to look at the first part of the first section of the IELTS speaking test. I want to talk you through what happens in this section, so that you are well prepared for what’s coming. If you want to hear or see more, our IELTS practice tests provide questions and recordings of students doing the IELTS practice tests.
When you first come in the examiner will introduce herself/himself and ask you for your full name. This is to confirm officially on the recording that it is you who is being tested. In addition, the examiner will also ask for your identification, so that she/he can ensure your identity. This is necessary as it has been known for people to do the test for other people.
The first section then start with a kind of series of ice breaker questions, which allow the candidate to talk about a subject that is very familiar. The questions might be about where the candidate lives or used to live (house/apartment, road, city/town/village), the candidates family and/or friends. These questions might be up to 3 in number. Examiners do not have a certain number of questions to ask you. They know how long they need to hear you talk for and they have the questions they are required to ask, but it is really up to you regarding how many questions they actually ask. If you give long answers then of course the examiner will not need as many questions. In my experience, I was always more impressed with candidates who did not make me ask all the questions. I liked a candidate who tried to talk and who gave long answers. It’s very frustrating for an examiner if the candidate just gives as short an answer as possible or even worse a yes/no answer. Remember, it’s primarily a test of communication and, if you don’t communicate, it’s hard to assess you. So, try and expand on you answers. If an examiner asks you to describe a friend, don’t just do so in one short sentence. Tell the examiner his name (to save space, I’ll just call the friend him), where you met him, what he looks like, what he does, why you like him. If you go into all these things, then the examiner will really se that you can communicate in long speeches. I know it’s only the start of the first section, but you will make a really good first impression and first impression are very important.
That’s all for this first article. I will go through the rest of section 1 in the next article. Work hard at your preparation and do some IELTS practice tests as this is where you will help yourself the most. Further information on the ieltshelpnow.com IELTS practice tests and our Free Help section can found on our Home Page.