The truth is that we all make mistakes – because we are human. Mistakes in IELTS may cost us a lot – in terms of money, time and the stress that we suffer. Fortunately, most mistakes are harmless. And with the correct methods, they can be fixed easily and we can forget about them and move on!
We will talk about how to deal with mistakes in the IELTS speaking test. Here are a few tips that hopefully can help you prepare better for the test.
There are two kinds of mistakes you may worry about making. One is about using the wrong grammatical structures or vocabulary items in your answers. Another one is about answering a question that you don’t quite understand.
TIP NUMBER 1 – Don’t Be Afraid To Correct Your Own Mistakes
Think about when you speak in your own language, do you always speak with 100% accuracy? Not really, right? It is very common for native speakers of any language to correct their mistakes. So believe me, even native English speakers do not speak perfect English all the time.
Therefore, mistakes can happen. If you can quickly correct yourself in the test, just go ahead and change it. Don’t worry that the examiner will lower your score because this is not the only language area that they are grading you on.
Having said that, don’t correct every single mistake. If you keep stopping in the middle of your speech to correct your mistakes, it will increase hesitation and affect your fluency.
TIP NUMBER 2 – Don’t Be Afraid To Ask The Examiner
Now, let’s look at the second type of potential mistakes, which is having to answer a question that you don’t quite understand.
Remember, this is not a listening test.
In the speaking test, you can, occasionally, ask the examiner to explain a word of the question, or repeat the question again.
Native English speakers actually do this quite often to make sure they understand the question. Of course it is not ideal to have to ask the examiner to repeat or explain the question, but it can help prevent you from answering incorrectly, which will lead to a lower score.
TIP NUMBER 3 – Don’t Be Afraid To Take Some Time To Think
When you think the question you are asked is a bit difficult, or you are not sure about it, DO take time to think.
However, we don’t recommend that you stay silent for a long time before answering the question (maximum a few seconds), which certainly won’t help you with your speaking score.
Instead, what might work is to start your answer with phrases like ‘Oh, this is a very interesting question. Let me think for a second…’, or ‘It’s difficult to say, but perhaps…..’, or ‘I don’t really know for sure, but I would say that….’. It will buy you a valuable few seconds of time in order to organise your thoughts before you actually answer the question. DON’T start every answer with these phrases though.
Don’t forget to COMMENT and SHARE with friends and classmates who are doing the IELTS exam also.
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