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

Today we’ll show you how to aim for an 8 so that you can get a 7 on the IELTS speaking test.

“Shoot for the moon! Even if you miss you will land among the stars”

Prepare for an 8.

Even if you don’t get it you will at least get a 7.

It’s important to set intentions.

You need to set high standards for yourself.

On IELTS speaking you are graded on 4 categories.

To get an 8 you need this:

  • Fluency and Coherence: Speaks with no hesitation except when it’s content related. A 7 is will have more pauses. An 8 only has a pause if you are trying to think of ideas. Coherence is about linking words. For an 8 linking is effortless. It sounds natural. A 7 student uses higher-level linking words and it sounds like a student, not a native speaker because the linking words are natural.  To shoot for an 8 in this category you should do more listening to native speakers using podcasts and other listening materials.


  • Vocabulary: An 8 candidate uses a lot of idioms and interesting words and phrases. A 7 uses some idioms and interesting words and phrases. A 7 also has more mistakes than an 8. To get an 8 here you should listen to all of our idiom and vocabulary episodes.


  • Grammar: An 8 will have almost all perfect sentences. A 7 has a lot of perfect sentences. Don’t spend too much time focusing on improving your grammar for IELTS. Read more about our grammar strategy for IELTS. Spend your time focusing on increasing your other scores and not this one.


  • Pronunciation: For an 8, use stress and intonation. Your words need to be connected like a native speaker. Also to get an 8 your accent should not be very obvious. In order to get a 7 you only need one of the following: connected speech, easy to understand speech, and minimal first language accent. Click here to learn more.


What questions do you have about this strategy?

Let us know in the comments below.

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