Share this post

The IELTS Speaking Test is one of the three components of the IELTS test, which is an English language proficiency test for non-native speakers. The Speaking Test is designed to assess your ability to communicate effectively in English in a variety of situations. In this blog, we’ll tell you about the top 5 things you should avoid on your IELTS Speaking Test.

In this blog:

  1. About IELTS Speaking Test
  2. Expert Tips for Acing the IELTS Speaking Test
  3. Sample Questions Asked in the IELTS Speaking Test
  4. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

About IELTS Speaking Test

The IELTS Speaking test is 11 to 14 minutes long and consists of three parts:

  • Part 1: The examiner will ask you a series of questions about yourself, your work, your studies, and your interests. 
  • Part 2: You will be given a task card with a topic, paper, pen and some questions. You will have one minute to prepare and then two minutes to speak about the topic.
  • Part 3: The examiner will discuss a topic with you. You will be asked to give your opinion, to explain things, and to compare and contrast different ideas.

Each part lasts for about 4 to 5 minutes.

Suggested Read: All about IELTS speaking topic 1, 2 and 3

In order to do well in the IELTS Speaking Test, it is important to be prepared and to avoid making any mistakes. Here are five things you should never do in the IELTS Speaking Test:

1. Don’t Memorize Prepared Answers

One of the biggest mistakes candidates make in the IELTS Speaking Test is memorizing prepared answers. While it’s important to practice and be familiar with common topics, relying on memorized responses can hinder your performance. The examiners are trained to detect rehearsed answers, and it can negatively impact your score. Instead, focus on developing your ability to speak spontaneously and express your thoughts naturally.

2. Don’t Speak Too Fast or Too Slow

Maintaining a suitable pace while speaking is crucial in the IELTS Speaking Test. Speaking too fast can make it difficult for the examiner to understand you, while speaking too slow may indicate a lack of confidence or proficiency. Practice speaking at a moderate pace, enunciating your words clearly, and using appropriate intonation and stress. This will enhance your clarity and make your speech more engaging.

3. Don’t Give Short or Incomplete Answers

In the IELTS Speaking Test, it’s essential to provide detailed and well-developed answers to the examiner’s questions. Avoid giving short or one-word responses, as it can give the impression that you lack fluency or depth of understanding. Instead, expand your answers by providing examples, explanations, and relevant details. This showcases your ability to communicate effectively and demonstrates your language skills.

Suggested Reads:
A band 9 essay writing tips for IELTS
IELTS Listening questions types and basics

4. Don’t Overuse Fillers and Repetitive Phrases

Fillers, such as “um,” “uh,” and repetitive phrases like “you know” or “like,” can negatively impact your fluency and coherence. While it’s natural to have brief pauses during speech, excessive use of fillers can make your speech disjointed and less effective. When appearing for the IELTS Speaking test, aim to minimize the use of fillers and repetitive phrases by practicing speaking with clarity and precision. Focus on conveying your message without unnecessary interruptions.

5. Don’t Ignore the Importance of Pronunciation and Grammar

While content and vocabulary are important, pronunciation and grammar play a significant role in the IELTS Speaking Test. Poor pronunciation can hinder comprehension, while frequent grammatical errors can affect the overall coherence of your speech. Pay attention to your pronunciation, intonation, and stress patterns. Additionally, strive to use correct grammar structures and avoid common mistakes. Practice speaking with native English speakers or utilize online resources for feedback and improvement.

Expert Tips for Acing the IELTS Speaking Test

Now that we have covered the things you should never do, let’s delve into some expert tips to help you excel in the IELTS Speaking Test:

  1. Practice regularly: Dedicate time to practice speaking English daily. Engage in conversations, participate in English-speaking activities, and simulate the test environment to build confidence and fluency.
  2. Expand your vocabulary: Enhance your vocabulary by learning new words and idiomatic expressions. Use them appropriately during the test to showcase your range of vocabulary.
  3. Develop critical thinking skills: Improve your ability to analyze and express your opinions on various topics. Practice discussing current affairs, social issues, and personal experiences to develop critical thinking skills.
  4. Pay attention to pronunciation: Focus on improving your pronunciation by listening to native speakers, imitating their speech patterns, and recording yourself to identify areas for improvement.
  5. Use transitional phrases: Incorporate transitional phrases such as “however,” “in addition,” and “on the other hand” to enhance the coherence and cohesion of your speech.
  6. Be an active listener: During the test, actively listen to the examiner’s questions, instructions, and prompts. This will help you provide relevant and appropriate responses.

Also read: Tips to improve IELTS score

Sample Questions Asked in the IELTS Speaking Test

To give you an idea of the types of questions asked in the IELTS Speaking Test, here are a few samples:

  • IELTS Speaking Part 1:
    • Can you tell me your name?
    • Where are you from?
    • What do you do for a living?
    • What do you study?
    • What are your hobbies?
  • IELTS Speaking Part 2:
    • Describe a place that you would like to visit.
    • Talk about a time when you had to solve a problem.
    • Talk about a time when you had to change your plans.
  • IELTS Speaking Part 3:
    • What are the advantages and disadvantages of living in a big city?
    • What are the challenges of studying abroad?
    • What are the benefits of learning a new language?

Checkout: IELTS Prep Resources

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1: How long does the IELTS Speaking Test last?

The IELTS Speaking Test typically lasts around 11 to 14 minutes.

2: Can I ask the examiner to repeat a question in the IELTS Speaking Test?

Yes, you can politely ask the examiner to repeat a question if you didn’t understand it the first time.

3: Are gestures and body language important in the IELTS Speaking Test?

While gestures and body language can enhance your communication, they should not substitute for verbal responses. Focus on expressing your ideas through spoken words.

4: Can I use slang or informal language in the IELTS Speaking Test?

It’s advisable to use standard English and avoid excessive slang or informal language. However, using appropriate idiomatic expressions can showcase your language proficiency.

5: Is it necessary to answer all questions in the IELTS Speaking Test?

Yes, it is essential to answer all questions during the test. Avoid leaving any question unanswered as it may affect your score.

6: Can I take notes during the IELTS Speaking Test?

You are allowed to take notes on the provided paper and refer to them while speaking. However, avoid reading directly from your notes.


To maximize your performance in the IELTS Speaking Test, it is crucial to avoid the common pitfalls discussed in this article. By following these tips, practicing regularly, and focusing on improving your language skills, you can confidently approach the test and achieve your desired score. Remember to speak naturally, express your ideas clearly, and showcase your language proficiency throughout the test. 

Share this post