A lot of people find it hard to speak in a large crowd. The fear of making a mistake and being laughed at is the common reason for this. However, in a speaking test such as the IELTS or the International English Language Testing System exam, speaking right in front of a native English speaker is much nerve racking than speaking with a large crowd.
Filipino examinees for the IELTS have to undergo a one-on-one interview with a native English speaker (sometimes a Filipino trained to evaluate the test) for the speaking test. Though the test only lasts for 15 minutes, many candidates for the tests are already anxious in taking this test. This sub-test is unavoidable; hence, all the candidates can do is prepare for this part. How can one prepare for the IELTS speaking test? Here are some proper ways on how you can come up with good responses for the speaking examination.
- Be familiar with the three tasks of the speaking test and how they are evaluated. Once you understand these tasks, it will be much easier to create responses. With your responses, always consider the following criteria: fluency and coherence, lexical resource, pronunciation, and grammar and accuracy.
- Have good vocabulary. Examiners are more impressed with candidates who can choose the right words to express what is on their mind. Try to use big words that you know. Avoid using vocabulary that you are unsure with its definition.
- Be fluent. The flow of your response should sound natural as possible. Take a pause when needed.
- Do not be monotone. Having the same boring tone in speaking can bore you examiner. Put stress on words that you want to emphasize. Monotone responses are not impressive and can hugely affect your score. Make your responses more interesting with the rising and falling of your tone.
- Do not ask examiners to define a word that you do not understand. Instead, ask them if they could rephrase the question. Asking them to define the word puts you on a negative light.
- Open your mouth when speaking. Some examinees feel nervous that they end up mumbling during the test. The clarity of your responses is affected.
- Correct yourself when you think you made a mistake. This gives the examiner an impression that you are quick to identify mistakes. However, do not make too many corrections.
- Relax while speaking. Some people are too nervous that their voices break in the middle of the speaking. Be conscious with the tone and loudness of your voice. It is okay to be nervous but do not let it overwhelm you.
- Be natural as possible. Do not use templates with your answers. Raters are trained to identify patterned answers.
- Find a speaking partner before the test. This will give you a good opportunity to use the English language and develop confidence as well.
The speaking test should not be dreaded. Instead, make it a challenge and proud to your examiner that you are a good English speaker. Practice and always be open to new learning in the English language.