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Ten tips to help you improve your speaking exam result

Ten tips to help you improve your speaking exam result

1. It is natural to feel nervous in any exam. However, having a good understanding of the speaking test structure and what is expected from you in each part of the test will help you feel confident and less nervous during the test.

2. Approach the speaking exam as you are having a chat or discussion with one of your friends, peers or a friendly stranger you just met. Relax and try to be as natural as possible.

3. Make sure you speak clearly and pronounce words correctly. You will not achieve a high score if the examiner cannot understand what you are saying.

4. Practise your pronunciation by reading the newspaper or a book out loud speaking slowly and clearly.

5. In the exam, you are not being judged on your knowledge of a topic. There are no right or wrong answers. Just relax and answer the questions the examiner asks you.

6. You are also not being judged on your opinions. There are no right or wrong opinions. You are being assessed on the way you express your opinions.

7. Try to use topic-specific vocabulary in relation to the topic you are asked to speak about. For instance, if you are speaking about travelling, use specific “travel-related” words such as tourists, tourist attractions, tour guide, holiday destination, beach resort etc.

8. Avoid using complicated words or overly formal sentence structures. They might end up sounding awkward and out of context. Use words and expressions you are comfortable using. You will perform better using simpler words and phrases correctly than trying to use unfamiliar words incorrectly or inappropriately.

9. To avoid long pauses if the examiner asks you a question and you don’t have a ready answer, use fillers when you need time to think such as “That’s an interesting question, I’ve never thought about that before…” or “Hmmm, that’s not a simple question, let me think about that for a moment…” etc.

10. Most importantly, make the most of every opportunity you can to speak English with friends, family or native English speakers. Practice makes perfect!

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