IELTS Speaking

5 Major Dont's to Avoid in IELTS Speaking

November 20, 2018

Among all the four sections of the IELTS Exam, students are mainly nervous about their performance in the Speaking section and in this nervousness they tend to make the silliest mistakes one could imagine.

The primary key to scoring a good band score on your IELTS speaking test is to be yourself or be the best version of yourself. The point is "be you”, don’t try to present yourself as someone you’re not, like speaking in a fake accent or trying to use heavy words which you or anyone else for that matter, would never use in a daily conversation.

So, here are 5 Major Don’ts you should avoid while giving the IELTS Speaking test.

1. Don’t Stay Silent

don't stay silent

This must be a typical piece of advice to not remain silent during the IELTS exam, but some students would prefer to say nothing either out of nervousness or in a panic that they do not know how to answer that particular question. IELTS Speaking exam has a zero-tolerance on silence, it is better to say something that connects your answer. The Speaking test is not a test to check your intelligence but to check your speaking ability and if you stay silent then how would it be fair to judge if you are proficient in English or not. If you don’t know what to answer then say something like, "I’m sorry I don’t have much knowledge about this, but I think that….” Or something like, "I’m not really sure what to answer, but if I had to say…”

2. Don’t "Parrot” the question.

Parrots are considered to be smart on some level as they can mimic human speech but not smart enough to understand human speech. In the IELTS exam, don’t parrot the question, don’t repeat the question as the examiner asked, "what is your favourite cuisine?”  "Well, what is my favourite cuisine? Let me think, my favourite cuisine is Chinese.” Instead, paraphrase the words or structure of the original question, like, "Well, my most-loved cuisine would be Chinese.”

3. Don’t Overuse Transitional words.

Transitional words are connectors that conjoin more sentence structures and ideas together. It is advised that students should make use of transitional words to get a band score of 7 or more but then some misuse it and use it so often that it loses its meaning and just becomes a long, never-ending sentence.

4. Don’t Speak with a Flat Intonation.

Whenever you speak to your friend or someone else you don’t talk in a monotonous manner. Instead, there’s a rise and fall in your speech; there is an emphasis on certain words and structures. You do this in order to maintain the listener’s interest and attention to what you are saying. Similarly, in the IELTS exam, your speech needs to vary in its pitch, volume, speed, intonation so that the examiner doesn’t lose interest in what you say. You will quickly lose marks if you speak in a mechanical manner, in a monotone, with no expression or a flat intonation.


5. Don’t Use Advanced Vocabulary Unnecessarily.

A common misconception among students is that they have to make use of "big, heavy vocabulary” to achieve a better band score. If you just randomly use advanced vocabulary, then it would seem out of place or memorise. You should not use words if you don’t fully understand them. If you use ‘complicated’ words, then it is likely that you will make mistakes and lose marks.


If you do want to use appropriate, relatable high vocabulary, then you should continuously practise speaking to a native speaker or with someone proficient in the English Language. Only use ‘complicated words’ if it sits appropriately in the sentence. It shouldn’t be used if it seems unnecessary- where a simple sentence could have also done the same task.

So, these were the 5 major Don’ts you need to avoid in the IELTS Speaking Test to achieve a good band score. Even though you follow these steps and regularly practise every day for the IELTS Exam, it still won’t be enough without seeking professional help. An expert with their years of experience in preparing students for the IELTS Exam can guide you properly.

You can find such an expert at IELTS Tutorials they also provide Online Coaching, Writing Correction Service and Test Evaluation, so that you score your desired result easily.

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