Does body language matter for IELTS Speaking?

Silhouette of a girl sitting at a table with the text "Body language: does it matter in IELTS Speaking?"
Some people said that body language was very important in IELTS, some said otherwise. So, what is the truth? Let's find out!

Short answer: no.

Long answer: it depends, but no.

Silhouette of a girl sitting with her arms on a table.

IELTS is a test of proficiency in the English language.

So logically, your body language does not contribute to your score in IELTS Speaking. In fact, body language is not listed on the official IELTS website as a factor that contributes to your score.

Some people may argue otherwise.

Some people may be saying that it depends on the examiner (some do care about body language). But the examiner’s POV and preference do not matter. All examiners have to adhere to the assessing criteria, none of which includes body language as part of your score assessment.

However, if you have strong evidence that your examiner was biased against you based solely on your body language, you should speak up and complain to IELTS.


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♬ original sound – Huyen Nguyen | IELTS Trainer

The thing about body language is…

You will need to speak English confidently to demonstrate fluency, which is a factor that contributes to your score. And if you are a person who naturally uses body language when you speak, you should not change that.

Hence, when I say that body language does not matter for IELTS Speaking, I mean that:

  • If you naturally use body language while speaking, you don’t have to change that.
  • If you naturally don’t use body language while speaking, you don’t have to start using it just for IELTS.

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Huyen Nguyen

Founder of Practice9, creator of IELTS with Huyen. Huyen has 10 years of experience with IELTS, overall 8.5.

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