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One of the biggest problems students have in the speaking test is they get really nervous.
This is natural.
You’re speaking in your second language to a native language speaker who is silently judging you and determining your future. You should be nervous!
But you shouldn’t.
When you are nervous you probably will: hesitate more often, make more simple mistakes, forget simple vocabulary and speak more softly with worse intonation.
All those things will hurt your speaking score.
You can improve your score on the IELTS speaking by relaxing.
I’ve got some ideas for how to get over that nervousness, but I’m not an expert because I’ve never had to take an IELTS test in another language!
So I asked some of my best students for ideas. Which ones do you think will work for you?
Nguyen: ‘I don’t usually drink coffee much, I prefer tea or something sweet. But when I’m studying I drink coffee to stay alert. Lots of studies have shown that coffee makes your working memory faster and your long-term memory better. If you drink coffee right before the test you will be more confident and remember more words. This really helped me to get an 8 on the speaking exam.’
Minh: ‘Before you take the IELTS test (in Vietnam, but it’s probably similar in most countries) you may have to sit outside the room waiting while the test before you finishes. This is a good opportunity to prepare and the way I prepared was by starting to hate the examiner! I know, haha! But it worked for me. I imagined that he was the most annoying person and I couldn’t stand him. When I went in for my test I wasn’t intimidated at all – I was so confident (and I got an 8, as well).
Here I am talking about some other ways to relax from our YouTube channel:
It might also help you to understand exactly what the examiner is thinking so you can calm down: howtodoielts.com/why-is-the-examiner-like-a-robot-in-ielts-speaking/
So those are some interesting tips from 2 successful students of mine.
Do you have any other normal/crazy ideas for how to relax before or during the IELTS speaking test?