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

Today you’ll get a detailed insider look into the IELTS Speaking scoring system.

We’ll share what you’d need to score in the other sections in order to get a 7 if your Vocabulary score is 6.

You’ll also learn what you’d need to do to get these scores.

Listen in today for these amazing tips so you’re ready on test day!

Today’s question

A YouTube subscriber left us a very interesting question in the comments.

Remember you can send us questions for there and we might plan an episode answering it!

The question was about the IELTS Speaking scoring system.

Thanks a bunch guys!! I’ve a question, is it possible to get overall 7.0 in speaking if candidate’s vocabulary is 6.0?


What scores would you need?

The good news is that yes, you can score overall 7 with a 6 in Vocabulary.

You would need an 8 in at least one section.

Pronunciation is the easiest to score 8 in if you know what the Examiner is looking for!

To score an overall 7 with a 6 in the Vocabulary section, your scores could look like this:

  • Vocabulary: 6
  • Pronunciation: 8
  • Fluency and coherence: 7
  • Grammar: 6

These scores are possibly for every student.

You just need strategies!

It’s vital that you know what the Examiner is listening for on each section.

We’ll break this down today.

#1: Vocabulary

To score a 6 in the Vocabulary section, you still need some interesting words.

  • Slang
  • Idioms
  • High-level, less common words

However, you only need a few of these to score a 6.

For a 7, you need a wide variety.

You can have some repeated vocabulary and still score 6.

The words you use can be easy, kinda boring and not show a big range.

You need to be able to communicate clearly but can use simple words.

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#2: Pronunciation

For a Pronunciation 8, you must use appropriate word and syllable stress.

Your L1 accent cannot impede comprehension.

You definitely can have a noticeable accent, but it can’t keep the Examiner from understanding you.

A variety of intonation is necessary.

You cannot use a monotone, but instead your tone must change to match your message.

If you are saying something exciting, you should sound excited!

Show emotion and slow down to emphasize adjectives and adverbs.

#3: Fluency and coherence

To score 7 in this section, all answers must be a good length.

This means 3-5 sentences for each Part 1 question, 2 minutes for Part 2, and about a minute for each Part 3 question.

All answers must have details.

You cannot repeat yourself or summarize what you’ve already said.

Each thing you say must be new information!

You cannot have unnatural hesitations where you’re thinking of what to say.

A few ‘ums’ and ‘uhs’ as part of natural speech are fine.

You also need to use some variety of linking words in each part of the test.


Nearly everyone scores a 6 on Grammar for IELTS Speaking.

Don’t stress about this score.

Instead, spend the time to increase the other scores.

Grammar can take over a year to raise from a 6 to a 7.

To score a 6, you need some variety of sentence structures.

Using simple, compound and complex sentences satisfies this requirement.

You need well-controlled simple sentences and many perfect simple sentences

You can have mistakes in complex structures.


Getting the scores you need on test day is all about the scoring system.

You must understand what the Examiner is looking for in each section.

To score an overall 7, you need to know which scores are easiest to raise.

Spend your time wisely.

To find out what you’d score today go to

You’ll get your estimated band score and resources at your level!

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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