Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Today you’ll learn how to customize your study plan if you’re shy!

We had this question from a listener:

I happen to be a shy person. I’m unable to make eye contact during speaking, despite many efforts and practice.

We can feel your pain of social anxiety!

You have to address this before your exam. You simply will not perform at your best and get a high score if you feel like this in front of the examiner.

How can you overcome this discomfort now, while you prepare to take your IELTS Exam?

Put these activities in your study plan.

First of all, know that you don’t have to maintain constant eye contact.

As candidates with more diverse cultural backgrounds are taking the exam, constant eye contact is not expected.

This is due to the fact that some students from more conservative backgrounds may not be comfortable making eye contact with the opposite gender.

#1: Find a speaking partner who is a student

This takes off some of the pressure, as you’re not talking to a natives speaker. Thus, you don’t have to worry about communicating ‘perfectly’.


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Plus, you can do this online, so you’d be in the comfort of your own home, and not facing another person in ‘real life’.

Don’t practice IELTS Speaking questions, though.

Improve your fluency by talking about news articles you read or movies you like, for instance.

Start doing this in the first week of your study plan, 3-4 times a week.

#2: Meet on Skype with a native speaker

You have to step it up and gain confidence, and talking to a native is what you have to do.

However, at this stage, still just focus on fluency and confidence.

Choose the content of your conversation beforehand.

#3: Ask someone to act like your examiner

This doesn’t have to be a native speaker.

This is vital- sitting in the same room as another person, answering IELTS Speaking questions.

This should be IELTS valid, meaning 11-14 minutes for the whole exam. Follow all Speaking Exam timing and expectations.

Click here to sign up for our webinar!

The Biggest Mistake You Will Make on Speaking Part 3 (And How to Avoid It)

October 23rd and 24th


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