Giving well-developed responses on your IELTS Speaking test

So, you took the IELTS again, and disappointingly enough, your speaking score is still 6.5. Frustrating, isn’t it? Especially when you’ve followed tons of “tips and tricks” from YouTube? What should you be doing, then, to finally achieve that band 7? Read on!

Far too often, test-takers will deliver short, curt, direct responses to an examiner’s questions on their speaking test, which severely impacts their fluency and coherence score. It is no wonder then that the average speaking score for first-time test-takers often hovers around a band 6.0.

If you’re aiming to get a band 7 on your next IELTS speaking test, what must you do, then?
One thing that examiners look for is a test-taker’s ability to continue expanding upon a certain topic.

Let’s assume you’ve been asked this question: “Do you spend a lot of time with your family?” (Part 1)

Many people’s responses would look something like this:
Uh, yes I spend a lot of time with my family…we live together so we talk a lot…
or some other short variant of it. What’s happening here is that the response is rather direct, and the speaker refuses to divulge any more relevant information.

An ideal response would look something like this: 
“Well, given that we’re a small nuclear family and live under the same roof, yes, we’re often talking to each other or accompanying each other on errands or even just texting each other on WhatsApp. We love going somewhere new to eat each week, and we often travel within the state as well. We’re a very close-knit family and have a lot of fun together!”


The second response is well-developed, meaning that the topic (family) is expanded upon. You do not necessarily need to talk about talking, chatting, eating out, taking holidays, and so on, as long as you’re saying something about spending time with family.  Build your response with more details about the topic; that’s what examiners are looking for. This tip is useful not only for part 1, but parts 2 and 3 as well; in fact, this is CRUCIAL! Every student whom I’ve known to have received a 7, 8 or 8.5 on their speaking test has had well-developed, extended answers.


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What do you think?