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IELTS English speaking course - Simply IELTS

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  1. Introduction

    General Overview of IELTS Speaking Test
  2. Evaluation criteria to assess IELTS Speaking test
  3. Do’s and don’ts in IELTS Speaking
  4. Frequently asked questions on IELTS Speaking section
  5. Speaking Test – Part 1
    IELTS Speaking Part 1 format and general approach
  6. Tips for IELTS Speaking Part 1
  7. Speaking Test - Part 2
    A step by step guide to IELTS Speaking Part 2 or cue card
  8. IELTS Speaking Part 2 topics
    Describe your first day at school IELTS Cue Card
  9. Describe an aquatic animal IELTS Cue Card
  10. Describe a bag you want to own IELTS Cue Card
  11. Describe a time you got up early IELTS Cue Card
  12. Describe an art or craft activity IELTS Cue Card
  13. Describe a person who solved a problem in a smart way IELTS Cue Card
  14. Describe an exciting book that you enjoy reading IELTS Cue Card
  15. Describe a cafe you like to visit IELTS Cue Card
  16. Describe a plan in your life that is not related to work or study IELTS cue card
  17. Talk about an article which you have read about health IELTS Cue Card
  18. Describe a time you were friendly to someone you didn’t like
  19. Describe a time you bought something from a street or outdoor market
  20. Describe a time when you are waiting for something special that would happen
  21. Describe a place you visited on vacation IELTS Cue Card
  22. Describe a creative person whose work you admire
  23. Describe a difficult decision that you once made
  24. Describe a good service you received IELTS Cue Card
  25. Describe a famous athlete you know IELTS Cue Card
  26. Describe a habit your friend has and you want to develop
  27. Describe a bicycle/motorcycle/car trip you would like to go on
  28. Describe a decision made by others/someone that you disagreed with
  29. Describe a businessman you admire
  30. Describe a town or city you would like to live in the future
  31. Describe an activity that you do after school/work
  32. Describe a foreign person who you have heard or known that you think is interesting
  33. Describe a time when you tried to do something but weren’t very successful
  34. Describe a piece of equipment that is important in your home
  35. Describe someone older than you whom you admire
  36. Describe an argument two of your friends had
  37. Describe a natural talent you want to improve
  38. Describe a law on environmental protection
  39. Describe a puzzle you have played IELTS Cue Card
  40. Describe a live sports match that you have watched
  41. Describe an occasion when you were not allowed to use your mobile phone
  42. Describe a piece of local news that people are interested in
  43. Describe a time you saw something interesting on social media
  44. Describe an art or craft activity that you had at school
  45. Describe a company where you live that employs a lot of people
  46. Describe a quiet place you like to spend your time in
  47. Describe a time when you helped a friend
  48. Describe a leisure activity near the sea that you want to try
  49. Describe a time when you shared something with others
  50. Describe your favorite movie IELTS Cue Card
  51. Describe your favorite singer
  52. Describe a time you made a promise to someone
  53. Describe an art exhibition that you visited
  54. Describe a time when you told your friend an important truth
  55. Describe a skill that you can teach other people
  56. Describe a time when you needed to use your imagination
  57. Describe a special hotel you stayed in
  58. Describe a film you watched IELTS Cue Card
  59. Describe a meeting in which you were speaker
  60. Describe a time when you had to walk barefoot
  61. Describe a house or an apartment you would like to live in
  62. Describe a website you visit often IELTS Speaking Cue Card
  63. Talk about an own thing which would like to remove
  64. Describe an island you would like to visit
  65. Speaking Test - Part 3
    Tips to crack IELTS Speaking Part 3
  66. Actual Speaking Exams
    IELTS Speaking test sample answer: Accommodation and House
  67. IELTS Speaking test: Behaviour, Patience and Politeness
  68. IELTS Speaking test: Computers, Internet and Technology
  69. IELTS Speaking test: Friends
  70. IELTS Speaking Test Answers Family
  71. IELTS Speaking sample answers: Hometown
  • Writing Correction

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Do’s and don’ts in IELTS Speaking

Do’s and don’ts in IELTS Speaking
Do’s and don’ts in IELTS Speaking

In this lesson, you will know the most important things to Do’s and don’ts in IELTS Speaking


  1. Use a range of uncommon vocabulary correctly
  2. Use a range of complex sentences
  3. Use a range of linking words
  4. Use the correct verb tense, particularly, past simple for past actions.
  5. If you don’t understand a question or word, immediately ask the examiner to
    clarify, and do so very simply and quickly:
    • Sorry, what was that?
    • What does “X” mean?
    • Could you paraphrase the question?


1. Don’t repeat the question or key words in it

You get no points for repeating the question. Give a short direct answer, using pronouns, and then explain it as clearly as you can.

Example: “Do you come from a small or large family?”

Poor answer:I come from a small family.”
(Why poor? It repeats all the key words in the question.)

Good answer: “I’d say, it’s probably an average-sized one, comprised of my parents, two siblings, and our dog, Fifi, which is a fox terrier with the most adorable eyes.”
(Why good? Short answer, using pronouns, and an explanation using a complex sentence and uncommon vocabulary.)

2. Don’t overuse linking words

Don’t use lots of linking words or phrases to introduce your answer. You only have on average around 20 seconds to answer each question, so the majority of time should be spent giving a short clear answer and explaining it.

Example: Why do young ones like to play games on smartphones?

Poor answer: “That’s an interesting question. I guess there are a number of possible reasons, and if I had to give one off the top of my head, I would probably say…”
(Why poor? After nearly 10 seconds, there is still no answer, and, unless you are a politician, it’s not a natural way of speaking.)

3. Don’t give a list of answers

A list usually has no complex structures and shows no ability to explain something clearly in detail.

Example: “What do you like about the area you live in?”

Poor answer: “It has some nice parks and swimming pools, a great shopping mall and markets, and a nice neighborhood.
(Why poor? No complex sentences or detailed explanation.)

Good answer: “What I really enjoy is Central Park given it’s terrific for doing exercise, like jogging or walking the dog, as it has an enormous walking track, and huge trees and beautiful flower beds, which make it a pleasant place to relax and enjoy nature.”
(Why good? Short answer, well explained, using complex sentences and uncommon vocabulary.)

4. Don’t repeat keywords or phrases

Repetition shows a lack of vocabulary. Use pronouns or synonyms where possible.

Example: “What are some problems in your city?”

Poor answer: “The biggest problem is air pollution, as the increasing number of cars on the road are worsening the air pollution in my city, and more and more factories are adding to the air pollution.
(Why poor? Should use pronouns to avoid repetition of “problem” and “air pollution.”)

Good answer: The main one is air pollution due to the increasing number of factories and cars on the road and the lack of an effective public transport system, which are causing dangerously high levels of toxins in the air.”
(Why good? Used the pronoun “one” for “problem” and the synonym “high levels of toxins in the air” for “air pollution.”)

5. Try to avoid memorized answers

Answers that are obviously memorized get a band score of 1. Answer each question as clearly and accurately as you can without giving memorized ones.

6. Don’t overuse idioms

Using idioms inappropriately or unnaturally will negatively affect your lexical resource score. There is no need to artificially insert idiomatic expressions like “knee high to a grasshopper,” or “escape the hustle and bustle of city life,” unless they are clearly suitable as there are over 10,000 phrasal verbs in English, most of which are idiomatic expressions, such as “grow up,” “take off,” and “look after.”’

Example: “What was the best holiday you ever had in your country?”

Poor answer: “I remember when I was knee high to a grasshopper, to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and let our hair down, we went to Ocean Beach, which had a picture perfect white sandy beach with crystal clear waters.”
(Why poor? Unnatural and inappropriate use of idioms.)

7. Don’t give short answers

To get a band score 7 in fluency, you need to be able to give well explained answers easily.

Example: “What is the area like that you live in?”

Poor answer: “It’s quite nice and peaceful, with nice neighbors.
(Why poor? Too short, no complex sentences and explanation.)

Good answer: “Probably the best way to describe it is suburban middle-class since it essentially a working-class residential area, with two main shopping malls and a few sports facilities.”
(Why good? Short answer, well explained, with a complex sentence and uncommon vocabulary.)


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