Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Today you’ll learn why IELTS candidates get low fluency scores, so you can improve your own performance.

Your scores for Fluency and Coherence in IELTS Speaking basically depend on your ability to speak without difficulty.

That means you can keep talking, without pausing a lot or repeating filler words too often.

Your score in this category also relies on your usage of linking words.



3 Reasons for Low Fluency Scores

1. Thinking too long before answering

In the real world, you can think for a bit before giving an answer, but not on IELTS!

You must answer immediately, as soon as the examiner finishes their question.

You can use introduction phrases to give yourself some thinking time, though.

Also, some students pause for too long between ideas. This silence hurts your score.


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Remember, just answer with the first idea that comes to mind. It doesn’t even have to be true!

In Speaking Part 3, often the first examples we think of are personal, and that’s fine! Talk about them.

2. Pausing between words

Don’t try to think of ‘perfect’ vocabulary. That pause hurts your score.

If you can’t think of a word, just say, “Gosh, I can’t remember the exact word, but, it’s like…

Then paraphrase, or give an example of what you want to say.

3. Frequent repetitions

Saying “um” and “uh” a lot, of course, lowers your score.

However, repeating the same filler phrase is bad as well, like the word “like”.

Use other informal fillers, such as you know, well and so.

Likewise, don’t repeat words from the question too often in your answer. This also hurts your vocabulary score.

Move on from the general ideas and give specific examples.

What do you think of today’s advice?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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