Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Today you’ll learn what band 9 means for IELTS Speaking.

What is a band
9 for IELTS Speaking

It means you are using English at an expert level.

However, even being a native
speaker doesn’t guarantee a band 9.

You also need to know what
the IELTS Examiner is looking for

Band 9 for Fluency
and Coherence

For the highest score,
you must be able to talk
about any topic
thrown at you, without

Having said that, it
is natural to hesitate sometimes
, when searching for an idea.

The IELTS Examiner can tell, though, when you are hesitating
because you don’t know the word in
English, or you’re simply organizing your
like a native speaker.

Also, you must connect
your ideas in a completely natural way
in Parts 1 and 2, while using
higher level transitions in Part 3.

Remember, though, that natural’ isn’t synonymous with ‘perfect’.

Speaking is a spontaneous
act, and, therefore, wandering
off-topic a bit is fine
, as long as you connect it back.

Band 9 for Vocabulary

The most important
thing here is range.

The examiner must hear
both informal
and academic language,
with no mistakes.

If you have a wide
range of vocabulary
, but a few collocation
errors, you will get a band 8 for

To prepare this wide range, you must expose
yourself to as much English as possible
, through both listening and reading.

That’s not enough though! After learning
a new word, you have to use it
, in either speaking or writing.

Band 9 for Pronunciation


You must sound
for different answers. For instance, you won’t use the same intonation or tone of voice talking
about your job
as you
would your best friend

Besides communicating emotions
through your tone, you must also have no
of your first language accent.

Try to mimic
native speakers
as much as possible.

Band 9 for Grammar

For this score, you must have a wide
range of sentence structures
, with no
, apart from occasional slips
like a native would make.

For native English
, getting a band 9 on
grammar and pronunciation
are pretty easy, while the other categories are not guaranteed.

Overall, the simple
is, for a non-native speaker,
you just have
to talk out loud in English every day
, as much as possible!

Do you have any IELTS

Share them in the
comments section below!

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