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

You absolutely MUST use linking words on the Speaking test but using the appropriate ones at the right time, in the right part of the test is the key to a high score.

In Speaking Part 1 you have a 50% chance of being asked about your home. The question might be about the place where you live now or the place where you grew up.

If the question is: “Tell me about the house or apartment where you live now”

If you use linking words like “initially” or “subsequently” these are not linking words that are appropriate for Speaking Part 1.

They are too formal.

They would be much better for IELTS Speaking Part 3.

Also when you use an inappropriate word choice like this you distract the examiner and this will lower the other aspects of your speaking score.

Linking words to use:

Speaking Parts 1 and 2:

  • Use pronouns like “it” or “he” or “she”
  • Use easy linking words in Part 1 “and” or “but” or “also” or “such as” or “as well”
  • The key is to not repeat the same linking word again and again


Speaking Part 3:

  • Save the advanced ones for this part such as “initially” or “subsequently” or “this brings to mind the fact that”
  • You want to leave the examiner with a good impression. This is where you will “clench” the higher score and it will be fresh in the examiner’s mind and she or he will push you up to that 7.

Remember it’s not enough if you just know that you need to use these linking words.

You must practice them in mock Speaking tests.

If you are in 3 Keys IELTS Success System you will be invited to practice them in the Power Hour with Jessica and other students in the community.

Choose 2 or 3 linking words for each section and on your list mark the words based on which section you’ll use them in and why.

Have you used linking words on the IELTS Speaking test?

Let us know what linking words you have used in different parts of the Speaking test.

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