Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Michelle Kaplan
"The New York Radio Girl"

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 hesitation.

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 thoughts 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 Vocabulary.

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

Be expressive!

You must sound different 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 trace 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 mistakes, apart from occasional slips like a native would make.

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

Overall, the simple truth 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 questions?

Share them in the comments section below!

Test Your English Level Now

Free English Quiz

Take this simple quiz and find out your English level.

  • Badges (1)
  • Badges-1 (1)
  • Badges-2 (1)
  • App-Store-Button
  • Badges (1)
  • Badges-1 (1)
  • Badges-2 (1)