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Everything IELTS Academic - A Comprehensive Guide to IELTS Academic

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  1. Paraphrasing Technique

    Paraphrasing Technique - Two Methods to Paraphrase a Sentence
    1 Quiz
  2. Reading
    Part 1: Everything IELTS Academic Reading
    3 Topics
  3. Part 2: Text Types in IELTS Academic Reading
    3 Topics
  4. Part 2: Questions Forms and Reading Rules
    2 Topics
  5. Part 4: Types of questions and Strategies
    9 Topics
  6. Part 5: Common Mistakes
    2 Topics
  7. Part 6: IELTS Academic Reading Practice Tests
  8. Listening
    Part 1: Everything IELTS Listening
    4 Topics
    1 Quiz
  9. Part 2: Detailing Questions
    3 Topics
    5 Quizzes
  10. Part 3: Summary Questions
    4 Topics
    4 Quizzes
  11. Part 4: Common Mistakes
    4 Topics
  12. Part 5: IELTS Listening Practice Tests
    10 Quizzes
  13. Writing
    Part 1: IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 - Reports
    15 Topics
  14. Part 2: IELTS Writing Task 2 - Essay
    16 Topics
    18 Quizzes
  15. Part 3: Two-task Practice Tests
    6 Quizzes
  16. Speaking
    Part 1: Introduction to IELTS Speaking
    3 Topics
  17. Part 2: A good IELTS Speaking Performance
    2 Topics
  18. Part 3: Common Mistakes in IELTS Speaking
  19. Part 4: IELTS Speaking Practice Tests
    7 Quizzes
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IELTS Speaking is an exam, which means you will need to follow a structure to maximize the chance of getting the score you expect. These are the rules that I developed over 10 years of learning and teaching IELTS to help bring out the best in you.

Rule #1: Be straightforward.

After the examiner has given you the question, directly answer it. You don’t have to “beat around the bush”. By directly giving your answer, you show the examiner that:

  • you understood the question and what needs to be done;
  • you have the English capacity to answer the question without having to think about related vocabulary, grammar, or pronunciation.

After you have given a direct answer, you can explain it by adding more information.

You don’t have to answer the questions right at the second the examiner finishes asking. You can take a deep breath and then answer. But pausing too long may affect your score. See more in Common Mistakes.

Rule #2: Use the same grammar to answer the question.

When you give a direct answer, you should use the same grammar as the question in your answer. By doing this, you show the examiner that:

  • you recognize the grammar and what needs to be done to answer the question properly;
  • you can use this type of grammar correctly.


Question: Have you ever tried foreign food? (Present perfect tense, a yes/no question)

Answer: Yes, I have. (A direct answer with the same grammar) I am a curious person by nature, so I always want to try different things, including languages, cultures, traditions, and, of course, food. My favorite foreign cuisine is Chinese. (Explanation and example)

Rule #3: Always elaborate on the answers.

Elaboration comes in many ways. It can be an explanation of your answer or an example of your answer.

The idea is to never give a one-word answer, such as yes or no, or an answer that is too short, such as ‘I am a big fan of romantic movies.’

Bonus tip (not a rule but if you want, you can keep it as a rule): Have a list of grammar you want to use in your speaking exam, and try to use every point at least once.

Here is the list I keep for myself. Feel free to steal.

  1. Present tenses: simple, perfect, perfect continuous (continuous is optional)
  2. Past tenses: simple, continuous, perfect
  3. Future tenses: simple (continuous and perfect are optional)
  4. Passive voice
  5. Comparatives and superlatives
  6. Relative clauses
  7. Conditionals, hypotheses
  8. Phrasal verbs