Raising IELTS Speaking Scores: Talking About Work and School

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On the IELTS exam, having to talk about work and school is very, very common. In fact, I’d say you have a 90% chance of being asked about at least one of the topics on the IELTS Speaking raise speaking score work studiesexam.

Are you preparing for the topics that you definitely will have to talk about on IELTS test day?

In Speaking Part 1, the first group of questions, you are always asked about home, work or education. These topics also pop up through other topics on Speaking Part 1, such as elementary school/high school memories, in Speaking Part 2, such as describing a favorite teacher or a future job, and in Speaking Part 3, such as education in your country and the workload/salaries of employees.

Not to mention, these general topics are also very common on the IELTS Writing exam, as well as on the Listening and Reading test.

If you are smart about your IELTS preparation, you will be improving the way you speak and write about these two topics!

Raise your Fluency/Coherence Score

To get a high score for Fluency/Coherence, you must sound relaxed, confident and natural. This means that you don’t pause too often, or say, “um..uh..” a lot.

Of course, the best way to improve fluency is to practice speaking English! And, more specifically, practice talking about your past/current/future employment, and your past/current/future studies. Also, remember that there are many questions related to your culture/home country, so practice talking about the employment and educational situations that exist in your own country.

Also, especially for Speaking Part 3, you need to be aware of current issues connected to jobs and studies. This is a great opportunity to develop the culture of thinking that Lindsay and I discuss on the show. Start looking for articles about education and the job market in English-language newspapers, such as the New York Times.

As far as the Coherence score goes, you must use a variety of linking words and transition phrases throughout the exam. It is especially important in Speaking Part 3 to use high-level linking, such as the linking you use in your Writing Task 2 essays.

Raise your Vocabulary Score

You need to exhibit a range of vocabulary. Not just high-level words, but also slang and idioms.

You can get high-level voabulary from the newspaper, and the native-speaker slang comes from us!

Watch the following video for work-related vocab.

 

 

Then, read this blog post for school-related vocabulary.

Raise Your Pronunciation Score

If you are a listener of the podcast, or a subscriber of the YouTube channel, you know my advice about Pronunciation.

Namely, that this category is the easiest one to raise your score in, immediately.

You must practice connecting your words, and using a great deal of emotion in your voice. Not only should you sound interested in what you are saying, but you should also sound genuinely excited sometimes.

If you have to, pretend you are an actor, and put some passion in your answers!

Raise Your Grammar Score

In contrast to Pronunciation, the Grammar score is very difficult to increase in a short amount of time.

It has been estimated that it takes between 8 months to a year of study to increase your Grammar score by one band point.

So, my advice is focus on the other three categories, as it is a more efficient use of your time. Think of it this way, if you get a 7 or 8 for the first three categories, and a 6 for Grammar, you still end up with a 7 or 8 for your Speaking score!

What do you think of today’s ideas?

Please tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!

 

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  • 1) Fluency & Coherence : use a variety of linking words / transition phrases , sound relaxed / confident / natural , develop the culture of thinking
    2) Voc : exhibit a range of voc ( slang & idioms & phrasal verbs )
    3) Grammar : error-free / no mistakes
    4) Pronunciation : put a great deal of emotion / passion in your voice to sound interested / excited

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