Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Should your IELTS Speaking exam feel like a conversation?

Of course it’s not a ‘real’ conversation in many ways.

However, there are ways related to scoring that MUST be like a real conversation in order to to increase your score.

Today you’ll learn what these are and hear band 9 sample answers.

IELTS Speaking exam vs. real conversation

Because the Examiner doesn’t respond and there is not back and forth, IELTS Speaking isn’t like a regular conversation.

However, a conversation is real communication and connection with another person.

Your IELTS Speaking answers should be this as well!

Speaking as though you’re having a real conversation will boost your Fluency and Coherence scores.

It will help you add varied intonation, boosting Pronunciation scores.

It will also help you provide more detail, boosting Vocabulary scores.

Today we’ll dive into these individual scores and how improving conversation skills boosts it.

#1: Fluency and Coherence

You need to develop a story with details and examples. 

This also applies to any idea or answer you share.

In real life, if you want to be a good conversationalist, you need to be good at telling stories.

You do this by adding interesting details!

This will make you someone that other people want to talk to.

Painting pictures of events and experiences for others makes conversation interesting.

We’ll show you how this works in a band 9 Part 1 sample answer to the question, “What do you do in your free time?”

Oh gosh what don’t I do? Just kidding I guess I don’t really have that much free time. Actually, I’ve been really into exploring my neighborhood lately because I just moved, so I take my dogs on long meandering walks to see what’s around. Just yesterday I found the coolest little used book store that I can’t wait to hunt through.

#2: Vocabulary

You must use a range of vocabulary on IELTS.

This means phrasal verbs, slang and idioms.

We’ll show you how this looks in a band 9 sample answer.

Your Speaking Part 2 question might be, “Describe a party you attended.”

Without a shadow of a doubt, the most amazing party I was ever invited to was my friend’s boodle fight. There were gobs of super scrumptious food and it was so fun and messy!

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#3: Pronunciation

You must avoid monotone!

To score 7+ on this score, you must use interesting intonation.

Emphasize adjectives and adverbs and slow down to give them space so you can.

This is one of the main ways we connect with others.

We must show emotions and feelings through our voice.

This is a big part of your pronunciation score!

#4: Grammar

You have no choice on verb tense.

It’s either correct or incorrect.

If you want people to clearly understand you in real life, verb tense matters. 

Rather than trying to show the impressive tenses you’ve learned, be sure to use the correct tense!


Skills that improve conversation also improve IELTS scores.

It’s vital to add details as well as use interesting intonation and expressiveness.

Not only will this improve IELTS scores, it will help you connect in English.

Life is not over after IELTS!

You want to build connections in English for life after IELTS!

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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