Standardised Tests

Increasing IELTS Speaking band score made easy!!! Tips and Vocabulary Cheat sheet

Increasing IELTS Speaking band score made easy!!! Tips and Vocabulary Cheat sheet

IELTS Examiner marks your speaking based on the following 4 parameters. Fluency and coherence, lexical resource, grammatical range and accuracy, and pronunciation. Each of the parameters has equal weightage 

To score higher, we will have a look at each of the parameters and how you can improve upon it. 

Fluency and Coherence:

Fluency implies that the candidate has minimal interruptions while speaking. At the same time, it should be noted that pauses due to brainstorming of thoughts are not penalized. Nevertheless, if the examiner feels that breaks while speaking is due to language handicap, then it impacts the marking adversely. Suppose a candidate is able to express a train of hough without stopping for recollecting words. In that case, it implies that can one can speak eloquently. 

Coherence implies that while speaking, a person can logically arrange one talk and that each part of the answer is connected to another upcoming sentence. In short, it should make sense, i.e., a smooth flow of ideas. If in one sentence you speak about stars. Next, you certainly cannot talk about Maggi. (Yes, it was an exaggeration, but I hope that makes it more clear.)

In the context of IELTS, you can display coherence by speaking on a given topic and even developing it further. It should be done by linking ideas together in a logical structure and too with minimal repetition. As a tip for improving your coherence and cohesion, use linking words while speaking. 

Lexical resource: 

As a marker, lexical resource examines whether a candidate has the ability to use sentences in which words are placed in the right context and whether it has correct meaning as to what one wanted to convey. To score high on this parameter, make sure you are not making a visible effort while responding; it should look like an effortless reply with ease. Also, always have a habit of paraphrasing the question while answering. And finally, use idioms and collocations. 

Grammatical range and accuracy:

Range tests whether a candidate uses varied grammatical forms, whereas accuracy implies speaking with negligible grammatical errors.


It is obvious that the diction of words cannot be taught in an article. However, do note that an examiner will never penalize you for using an accent. Although the pronunciations should be proper, and they should be audible. Any babbling will result in the deduction of marks in pronunciation criteria. It also implies that you can gain a few points if you just manage to use an appropriate intonation while speaking.

Now that you have understood the markers, have a look at the table so as to be able to avoid repetitive words and speak in a more articulate manner. 

These are just a few examples of the most common words that have varied synonyms. Make a list of your own words; it will also help you to memorize with context.

Tips for IELTS speaking

  1. Be natural, practice with a friend:

It is evident that any tests make one churn in their stomach. However, visualize the IELTS speaking test and practice with a friend. While practicing, be natural, relaxed, and confident. Once enough mock tests are done, simulate the mindset while appearing for the examination, and voila, you will be speaking in a relaxed manner as you practiced with a friend.  

  1. Use the proper context:

Mocking up big vocab words and sprinkling them while speaking is a big no-no. It even results in a deduction of marks as most times, the speaker does not use the correct context. So, if you are not so good with the English language, go ahead with the vocab that you are familiar with; even simple words will do. Just ensure that words sit well within a sentence and are not ambiguous. 

  1. Avoid monotonous tone:

Don't give a lecture in the same paced tone. Use emphasis on a few words while speaking, have some intonations. There should be a rhythm to a language that you are saying; recall the tone variations and rhythm when you express your mother tongue. Likewise, every language has its own Rythym and pronunciation. Learn that. Practice speaking with varied and appropriate intonations. 

  1. Practice using cue-cards:

Samples for speaking are widely available on the internet. Use it and the cues given. Try elaborating every point provided on the cue card. Use for preparation time and make notes as you would while appearing in the actual test. 

  1. Time yourself:

It is a timebound test. Stretching one point and not expressing a precise answer to the question will not work in the candidate's favor. Always use a timer while practicing. 

  1. Make a schedule:

Considering four marking parameters. Make a weekly schedule for each parameter; try improving one aspect at a time. Most people, while practicing, try to focus on speaking wide vocabulary, pronunciation, fluency, intonations, etc., and end up disappointed. 

  1. Focus on fluency rather than accent:

The candidate gets intimidated by worrying about the accent of another tongue that comes along with speaking other languages. If you have an accent too, fear not, as having a hint of your own accent would not hurt your marks. Do not compromise on fluency while trying to get rid of the accent. 

Remember that although you are planning to learn a language to crack an exam, it still remains a life skill. Hastening the process and covering it all in a week's crash course won't help. So follow the tips given and learn the synonyms for replacing the familiar words. Also, enhance your vocabulary by adding new words to it, but always remember the context in which they can be appropriately used.

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