IELTS guidelines for Speaking


Speaking is an easy task for most of us. We are not poor at speaking , actually we don’t converse with people in English , on daily basis. Following TIPS may prove useful.

IELTS speaking consists of 3 parts


It will be a brief introductory interview. Your name , occupation , place etc , and he will start conversing about any topic eg. Shopping , friends , workplace , etc.

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i) Examiner : What is your name ?

Candidate : My name is Khalid Mansoor

ii) Examiner : Where are you from ? Candidate : I am from Riyaadh ( Remember , never say I BELONG to Riyaadh ). You don’t belong to a place. You are FROM that place.

iii) Examiner : What do you do ? Candidate : Well , I am a doctor and right now I am working at Amiri Hospital.

iv) Examiner : OK Khalid , is there anything you don’t like about your job ? Candidate : hm… No , there is nothing . Remember , the examiner has nothing to do with your personal

choices. Try to speak in a way that you get a chance to speak more…!! Khalid should have said that “ Well, I have much longer working hours and usually I feel like a basket case upon coming back, I don’t get much time for myself or my family. …etc”

v) Examiner : Ok , Khalid , let’s talk about music. Do you like music ? Candidate : No … Does your siblings enjoy it ? Candidate : Yes !! Do you think you are answering YES or NO questions ??????? Never answer like that….!!!!!!! Expand your sentences. Why No ? or Why yes ? Get a chance to speak !!

vi) Examiner : Ok , Khalid , let us talk about music . Do you like listening to music ? Candidate : No ..!!! Not at all !!! It is Haraam !!! NEVER touch religious or political issues in your exam ..! Though you are right , but “exam is not the place to preach” …!!! Neither your examiner touches such topics , nor are you supposed to do so ..! vii) Examiner : Khalid , do you like shopping ? Candidate : Hmm… yes …. I do like shopping ……. Mmmm…. Many times when I am alone ……mmmm…….. I just call my friends ……mmmmm…… and then we hang over … DON’T use so many mmmmm and pauses. The examiner will get

to know easily that those are natural pauses , or you are taking time for thinking or you are out of your vocabulary ….it will deduct your score

viii)Keep and eye upon your grammar and tenses. Past should be in past tense , present should be in present and future should be in future tense.

ix) Don’t stress out yourself in developing fake accents. In IELTS exam , they don’t check your accent. what they see is : fluency , coherence and cohesion , lexical resource , and grammar. So keep yourself comfortable.

2) SECOND PART He will give you a Cue card and give you time to think for 1 minute on that topic. He will also provide you with a pen and paper to write brief notes on what you think.

What I developed as a mechanism was : I used to think in my own native language , and write just a few important words on paper. Keep an eye upon your watch too. Remember , If you stop before the 2 minutes for speaking task are over i.e before the examiner asks you to stop , it will cause you deduction of ONE BAND. So don’t stop speaking before examiner

asks you to stop…!!!!! i) Tell me about your visit to a place outside your home. Khalid starts writing and writing and writing as if he is attempting an MBBS annual exam , and when asked to speak , Khalid doesnot even take a single look at his paper ….!!! Oh my God , then why were you writing ????? Try writing key words like : 2011 , Shopping mall ( souq shaurq) , water clock , seaside , parapet wall , invigorating air etc etc .

ii) In IELTS Speaking , TASK ACHIEVEMENT doesn’t matter. So if you don’t know much about the topic : Tell me about your visit to museum. well, actually I have never been to one. So , I can just tell you what I heard from other people. well, actually I have never been to one and I would like to talk about some other topic eg. Visit to Northern areas. Or just simply create a fake story of a fake museum 😉 !!! what I mean to tell you is that TASK ACHIEVEMENT is not a part of your cue card.

iii) Try speaking fluently and use at least 2-3 idioms for achieving a band 7 or higher. Because native speakers do use idioms in their daily life.

PART THREE Examiner will ask you 3-4 questions related or unrelated to the topic. Answer them with full confidence.







i) Crazy about

ii) Yum-yum (tasty)

iii) Out of the world !!! (deilicous)

iv) Just what the doctor ordered (just what was required)

v) Pig out on (eat greedily)

vi) Got a sweet tooth ( like sweet dishes)


i) Talk over

ii) As sharp as a tack

iii) In a bad mood

iv) Cheer me up

v) Down in the dumps

vi) Got a heart of gold

vii) Count on someone


i) Save the day

ii) Had a good time

iii) Had a blast

iv) Good thinking



i) Insufferable lout

ii) Can’t put up with them

iii) Loose one’s temper

iv) Drove me crazy

v) Drove me nuts

vi) Work like a dog

vii) Didn’t sleep a wink

viii) Can’t stand

ix) Paid me a compliment

x) Head and shoulders above

xi) Mixed feelings about

xii) Feel like a basket case


i) Cost an arm and a leg

ii) Top dollar

iii) Have my heart set on going to ….

iv) Gung-ho about …

v) Can’t SHELL OUT that much amount of money

vi) Drove a hard bargain

vii) Sell like hot-cakes


i) On the cards

ii) Made up my mind

iii) keep your chin up

iv) look on the bright side


i) No point in

ii) Don’t have a clue about

iii) Never in a million years !!!

iv) When pigs fly !!!!

v) Bright and early

vi) Buckle down

vii) Hitting the books

viii) Roll up one’s sleeves

ix) Sitting pretty ( financially)

x) Get some experience under my belt

xi) Cold shoulder

xii) Talk one into ( convince)


i) Live from hand to mouth

ii) Hardly make both ends meet

iii) Make a living

iv) Giving through hard times

I extracted these from the book of SPEAK ENGLISH – IDIOMS..

I hope that my experience helps you a bit in getting through your exam ..


Dr.Rehab Haider


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