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

Did you know that your cultural IQ can affect your Speaking score on the IELTS exam?

It’s true!

Today you’ll find out how.

There are questions that can be traps on the IELTS exam.

Examiners are human and when they hear your response to a question like “what’s the difference between activities that men and women do?” they will have a negative gut reaction to your answer if you respond in a way that shows a lack of cultural sensitivity.

If you come from a culture where there are certain activities that women can’t do or that men can’t do and if you don’t articulate that you understand that this is different in different cultures, your score may be marked down.

The test is not completely objective.

You need to show that you understand cultural differences.

You can use these phrases:

  • “In my culture, this is what happens..”
  • “I know it’s not the same everywhere but this is how it is where I am from.”
  • “My culture is different from the West but…”
  • “In my experience.”
  • “This is what I’ve seen:…”
  • “I know it’s different here.”

Another important part of cultural differences is understanding points of view when you talk about ages across cultures. Listen to this episode for more information: How to Get a 7 When You Speak or Write About Age

What do you think about this topic?

Have you made any cultural IQ mistakes in the IELTS exam?

Let us know in the comments!

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