IELTS Speaking Checklist:A Quick Recap!

~For Band 8 and above remember to pay close attention to all the four band criterions~

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What is the full form of IELTS?

  1. Intermediate English Language Testing System
  2. International English Language Testing System
  3. International English Language Testing Style
  4. International English Language Test System


IELTS Speaking tests need a high level of preparation. The IELTS Speaking test requires a thorough preparation from the way you speak to your vocabulary. Pronunciation too plays an equally important role. Any word that is mispronounced leads to a misunderstanding of what you wish to convey. This shall have a negative impact on your band score.

To share a quick recap, the four important criteria or band descriptors are—(a.) fluency and coherence, (b.) lexical resource, (c.) grammatical range, and (d.)accuracy and pronunciation.

Below is a quick recap of all the important points you need to keep in mind while preparing for your IELTS Speaking test.

  1. You will have about 40 seconds to one minute to think about the topic being shared with you. Ensure that in that one minute, you structure your thoughts well.
  2. Do not focus all your thoughts in just one direction. Remembers the 5Ws and 1H rule. Any topic that is shared with you has to be dissected into – who, what, when, why, where and how. The moment you break down the topic to explore these 5Ws and 1H, you shall be able to ideate on it in-depth.
  3. As you speak on the topic or while answering the questions, be an effective storyteller. You need to convey your ideas using words and sentences that would help the examiner visualize what you are talking about. For e.g. if the topic given is ‘walk’, you can begin with – It has been a routine for me for years now. The very first thing I do post waking up is going for an early morning walk. I quite enjoy witnessing the change in the color of the sky from being dark to catching shade of orange and then turning blue. I am usually up before sunrise and this allows me to welcome each day being in the park brisk walking while listening to chants on my iPod. As you would notice, here we have elaborated on the topic to include a host of things that would allow the examiner to mark you on each of the band criteria.
  4. It is important to be able to speak at length i.e. speak fluently. A minimum of three sentences without unwanted fillers and pauses can help you attain a band score of 8 and above.
  5. Maintain the accent. You cannot switch between accents. The best is to be as natural as possible. Similarly, avoid repetition. For e.g. You know I like being out on weekends but now always. You know that gets quite stressful to be outdoors all the time. Here ‘you know has been unnecessarily been repeated. Native English speakers do use discourse markers but then they should not be used as fillers or be repeated out of context. The most common discourse markers are – well, you know, hmmm, okay, oh, etc.

With the help of your expert coach, you can prepare a list of most common IELTS Speaking test topics and list down high caliber words that can be used to elaborate the topic.


Use the formula of 5Ws and 1H to elaborate your ideas. They are: Who, When, What, Why, Where and How. The most important thing to remember is to ideate and elaborate

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Related links:

Pronunciation and Word Stress: Why its Important

How can I Improve my Fluency in IELTS Speaking Test?

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