IELTS Practice - Speaking Test Hints and Tips Part 1

Uploaded by Willsconsult on 08.03.2010

This programme is about the speaking section of the IELTS test. I am going to focus on
part A where you'll be required to talk, in an interview situation, about topics which
are really familiar to you, such as sports, work, hobbies, free time activities, shopping,
reading, writing, family and so on. In fact, Part A always focuses on general topics that
should be really familiar to you. Many students seem to have difficulty in part
A of the IELTS test when they come to answering questions; sometimes they use the wrong verb
tense in their reply. It's really important to take the time to prepare and do lots of
speaking practice before you attend the examination interview.
How do you know, which is the correct verb tense to use? Well, the choice of verb tense
you use in your reply usually relates to the tense of the verb used in the question.
If I ask a question like, 'What do you do in the evening?' The verb ‘do’ is in the
present tense. So your answer should use a present tense verb.
‘In the evening I play football and I go shopping.' ‘Play’ and ‘go’ are in
the present tense. If you are asked a question like ‘What did
you do at work today?’ the main verb word is ‘did’ which is in the past simple tense.
We are talking about completed actions in the past. Your choice of verb should also
be in the correct past tense form. You might say, ‘When I was at work I ordered some
paper and I delivered some products to a customer.' The verbs ’ordered’ and ‘delivered’
are both in the past simple tense. Now if you don't speak English very much with
your friends or your English teachers, then it’s a good idea to practise before you
go to the exam interview. Try to practise speaking with your friends, your teacher and
anyone else you can. You can practise by recording your voice and playing it back and listening
to it. You can also practise talking on the telephone….but the key is to take the time
to practise speaking so that when you go to the exam interview, you can answer questions
confidently. Remember, if you're talking about past events,
or actions completed in the past, use the past simple tense. And if you are talking
about timeless things, facts or what you are doing at the present, you'll probably use
a present simple tense. Here are a few examples of questions. See
if you can pick the correct tense in the question. What do you do in the morning? ‘Do’ is
in present tense. Where do you live? Again ‘do’ is in the
present tense. Where did you go on holiday? ‘Did’ means
that it is in the past simple tense. What film did you see? Again, ‘did’ is
in the past simple tense. What kind of car do you prefer? ‘Do’ is
a simple present tense. Have you been on holiday to America? ‘Have’
and ‘been’ is the present perfect tense. So, your answer to this question might be
something like; ‘I have been to America. I went to New York in 2007.' In this instance,
you might start your answer with the present perfect tense, ’I have been’ but when
you start talking about something that happened in the past, you’ll switch tense to the
past simple tense – ‘I went to New York in 2007.'
Now I'm not suggesting that you should go into the exam simply listening to the tenses
of all the verbs in the questions. Your choice of tense should be automatic by the time you
take the exam and your focus should be on the meaning and answers of the question. If
you have trouble with the tenses, you must do more practice. The key is to practise and
to do as much of it as you can before the IELTS exam.
Don’t forget that you can always practise your IELTS exam at You
can take all four of the sections of the IELTS test here and it will help you prepare before
you take the exam.