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3 simple steps to making fewer mistakes in your IELTS Speaking test

How to make fewer IELTS Speaking mistakes and improve your band score

Reducing the number of mistakes you make in the IELTS Speaking test is one way to improve your IELTS Speaking band score.

So, if you’re worried about the number of vocabulary, grammar or pronunciation mistakes you make, follow the 3 simple steps in the infographic below.

How to make fewer IELTS Speaking mistakes in 3 simple steps. Step 1: Discover what IELTS Speaking mistakes you make. Step 2: Notice and correct your IELTS Speaking mistakes. Step 3: Recognise when you make fewer IELTS Speaking mistakes and return to Step 1.
Step 1

The first step is to find out what IELTS Speaking mistakes you make, and this isn’t as difficult as you might think. As well as following the two tips in the infographic above, you could find out what mistakes other candidates make as there’s a good chance you make them too.

Check out the following two blog posts to get started:

You could also watch the video below to see some common mistakes a Saudi Arabian candidate (Ahmad) makes when answering some IELTS Speaking Part 3 questions.

Step 2

The second step is to correct yourself when you notice you’ve made a mistake. If you know you’ve made a mistake but don’t know how to correct it, it would of course be better just to keep speaking but, if you followed Step 1 above, there’ll be some errors you know how to correct.

If you correct a mistake when you make it, you’ll be less likely to make the same mistake again.

Step 3

The third step is to recognise when you’re making fewer mistakes, congratulate yourself and then return to Step 1. If you follow the advice in the infographic about recording yourself speaking, you’ll have a record of your speaking over time to compare.

If you need to get a band score 5 or higher in your IELTS Speaking test, you can’t make frequent vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation mistakes.

What are some mistakes you often make when speaking? Let me know in the comments section below.


6 comments on “3 simple steps to making fewer mistakes in your IELTS Speaking test

  1. Hi Pete,
    I have recorded myself speaking and what I have noticed is that I used to much “aaaa”, “mmmm”, “aaaahhhh”. Is this a bad thing for the speaking section?

    1. It’s great that you’ve recorded yourself speaking, Otilia, and noticed how often you hesitate.

      Hesitations are a part of natural speech, even for very fluent speakers, and making sounds like you do can actually make your hesitations less obvious.

      Having said that, if your hesitations make it difficult for the examiner to follow what you are saying, this will affect your IELTS score. I suggest asking someone else to listen to your recording and asking them if your hesitations make it difficult for them to follow your ideas.

      For some suggestions about how to speak more fluently, have a look at my blog post called ‘10 ways to speak more fluently in your IELTS test‘.

    1. Thanks Josh,

      If you haven’t done so already, you can register for my free online IELTS course here. It contains some sample IELTS Writing answers that were written by experienced IELTS teachers who know what you need to do to get a band score 9.

      You might also find my posts on managing your time in the IELTS test useful: How to save time in the IELTS Reading test, How to manage time in the IELTS Reading test, How to listen and read at the same time and Get more time to read IELTS Listening questions.

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