Show what you know for IELTS success

When it comes to the speaking paper in IELTS it is important that you try to show as much of your language as possible. The same is true of the writing paper. In both the writing and speaking papers examiners will be looking for a range of language.


Consider these two answers in the speaking exam.


Examiner: What’s your favourite colour?

Candidate: My favourite colour is blue.


Examiner: What’s your favourite colour?

Candidate: When I am shopping I usually buy blue clothes so it might be blue.”


The first answer is clear, complete and answers the question directly. There also aren’t any mistakes. However, it doesn’t  really give the examiner a lot of language to work with. It doesn’t do a good job of demonstrating the language the candidate knows.


The second answer would be rated more highly. The language in the second answer isn’t much more complicated but it shows a wider range of language. For example, there’s effective use of adverbs of frequency (usually) and modals (might be).
You might be worried about making mistakes and think it is better to keep answers short. However, that’s a mistake. Longer answers show the examiner you are trying and it is better to take a risk and make a mistake than keep things safe and basic. Remember, as long as the examiner understands what you are trying to say you’ll do ok.

January 14, 2017

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