IELTS Speaking Tips - How to Improve Your Band Score

This lesson will provide you some tips for the speaking category, grammatical range, and accuracy, which could help improve your speaking score in this particular area. 


What kinds of grammatical issues will be representative of a lower-scoring student?

Somebody in the, sort of, five to six range. And then comparing that to what you would need to do to score in the higher levels such as sevens, eights. You should understand this scoring category and what is represented there on the complete scoring chart. Trying to translate it and make it understandable. You can think of things you can do specifically to boost your score in grammar in the speaking section. 


The first question to think about, as you are trying to think about your grammar abilities and how they are going to be evaluated in the speaking section. Do you use a range of complex grammatical structures? A very important question to your score. Because your interviewer will be listening to what kind of sentences you're using and whether you have the ability to use a wide variety of grammatical structures.


A low-scoring student will use mainly simple structures, very simple sentences. A lower-scoring student, somebody in the five or six range, will be able to use simple structures well and should not have a lot of errors with those, not talking about errors at all.


Just talking about the simplicity or the complexity of your grammar. A higher-scoring student will use a wide, much wider variety of grammatical structures. Here are some ideas for you to think about and to use to analyze your speaking and your grammatical abilities when you speak.


Let's start with the simple structures that might be pulling your score down if these are the only kinds of structures that you are using when you speak. The first thing to note, do you use the BE verb? Such as forms of am, is, are, was, were as your main verb in most of your sentences. That is one common feature of lower to intermediate level, is that people overuse these verbs. Am, is, are, was were. Now, to be clear it is not a problem to use these verbs. It is the over using them that is the problem. In other words, many times you need to use the BE verb.


It is grammatically necessary, and that is perfectly fine. What the problem is the things that can pull your score down is if almost all of your sentences have am, is, are, was, were as your main verb. For example, if so many of your sentences look like this. I am a doctor. She was late for the party. He is not happy with his grade. These sentences are grammatically correct, but if all of your sentences look like this or if this is what you sound like, almost every sentence with these main verbs, then your sentence structures are gonna be too simple. What you want to do is to think through as you are analyzing your speaking. Hopefully, you are recording yourself, listening to what you say.


You want to try sometimes to think of new ways to express some of these BE verbs. For example, up above, we have I am a doctor. We could change that to I practice medicine. That is a much more advanced-sounding sentence. Even though it is just as short, it uses a better vocabulary word there. She was late for the party. She arrived late to the party. He is not happy with his grade. He disliked his grade. This seems like vocabulary and you are right, now all we do to this senses is to change the vocabulary.


More tips could be found in the video below (will be provided later):