IELTS Speaking Cheat Sheet: Grammar Rules, Vocabulary, Phrases

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IELTS Speaking Cheat Sheet: The IELTS speaking section challenges students to think on their feet and deliver well-structured, articulate answers. While the test doesn’t require formal essay writing with introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions, it does assess your ability to organize your thoughts and articulate them eloquently. Therefore, to help you with your preparation, we have devised a cheat sheet for you. Refer to this cheat sheet to get to know more about the hacks and cheats that will bolster your chances of success in the IELTS speaking section. Read the complete blog to learn more about the IELTS speaking cheat sheet. 


IELTS Speaking Cheat Sheet PDF: Download For Free 

IELTS Speaking Cheat Sheet: IELTS test-takers attempting the speaking section of the exam must be familiar with certain hacks. These hacks or cheats can help you score better on the exam. That said, click on the link below to download the cheat sheet for the IELTS Speaking section. 

Essential Grammar Rules to Keep in Mind for IELTS Speaking 

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) speaking section plays a crucial role in assessing a candidate’s English language proficiency. To achieve a high score, test-takers must demonstrate not only a broad vocabulary but also a strong command of fundamental grammar structures. This ensures clear, concise, and grammatically accurate communication.

Subject-Verb Agreement

Understanding subject-verb agreement is important for IELTS test-takers.  A singular subject requires a singular verb form, while a plural subject necessitates a plural verb form. For instance, “The student speaks English fluently,” whereas “The students speak English fluently.”

Tense Consistency

Maintaining consistent verb tense throughout your speech is essential. Indicate whether you are discussing the past, present, or future. For example, “I enjoy reading novels. In the past, I preferred science fiction, but now I’m more interested in historical fiction.”

Active Voice vs. Passive Voice

While both active and passive voice is grammatically correct, the IELTS speaking test generally favours the use of the active voice. Active voice sentences emphasise the subject’s action, leading to more engaging and dynamic communication. For instance, “I completed my research paper yesterday” (active) vs. “The research paper was completed by me yesterday” (passive).

Sentence Structure Variation

Demonstrating your ability to construct grammatically complex sentences will impress examiners. This includes incorporating a variety of sentence structures, such as compound, complex, and sentences with relative clauses. Varying sentence length also enhances the flow and rhythm of your speech.

Prepositional Phrases

Prepositional phrases play a vital role in conveying precise meaning and relationships within sentences. Utilize a diverse range of prepositions to accurately express location, time, cause, and effect. For example, “Due to the heavy traffic, I arrived late for the appointment.”

Important Vocabulary to Improve Your Scores in IELTS Speaking 

IELTS Speaking Vocabulary: The speaking section of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) assesses a candidate’s ability to communicate effectively in English. This evaluation focuses on two key aspects: fluency and pronunciation, particularly within the context of everyday topics.

Examiners pose a series of questions designed to elicit spoken responses that demonstrate a natural flow and minimal hesitation. Ideally, answers should be delivered without lengthy pauses or delays in word retrieval. Such interruptions can detract from the overall fluency of your speech. This is why test takers must be familiar with some commonly used vocabulary in IELTS speaking. 

While a broad vocabulary is certainly advantageous, the focus should be on actively utilizing words you are comfortable pronouncing clearly and confidently. Hesitation due to uncertainty regarding pronunciation can negatively impact your fluency score. That said, refer to the table given below to go through the list of some essential vocabulary to improve your band score in IELTS speaking 

AwesomeSomething inspiring or impressive
AwfulSomething very bad, unpleasant or negative
BarelyOnly just; almost not
BlondeFair (pale yellow) colour of hair
CertainlyUsed to emphasize that something is true
CombatTaking action to prevent something bad or danger
DebateArgue in a formal manner
DiscloseRevealing secret or classified information
EasingMaking something less severe or reducing impact. 
EffortlesslyNot using any mental or physical exertion
FakeSomething not real or genuine
FloutOpenly disregard
GenuinelyIn a truthful way
HackUnauthorised access to a computer or data; shortcut to something

9+ Phrases to Help You Score Better in IELTS Speaking 

Phrases and Idioms for IELTS Speaking: The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a mandatory standardised test for students seeking admission to universities abroad. The speaking section plays a significant role in evaluating a candidate’s English language proficiency.

In order to achieve a high score, test-takers must demonstrate accurate vocabulary usage and a strong command of the English language. Examiners assess these crucial aspects while evaluating a candidate’s spoken responses.

It is important to maintain a conversational tone while adhering to proper grammatical structures and linguistic principles. To assist students in achieving success in the IELTS speaking test, a curated list of phrases for practice is provided below. Have a look.

WordMeaning Example
In a nutshell
To summarize briefly
To summarise the key points of climate change, in a nutshell, it’s the long-term alteration of temperature and typical weather patterns in a place.
Stand out from the crowd
To be distinctive or memorableHer volunteer experience in Africa truly helped her stand out from the crowd in the college application process.
Shed light onTo explain or clarify somethingThis new research could shed light on the causes of this rare disease. 
On the wholeIn generalOn the whole, I enjoyed the movie, although the ending felt a bit rushed.
Hit the nail on the headTo perfectly describe or understand a situation
You’ve hit the nail on the head – the lack of public transportation is a major issue in this city.
A piece of cake
Something very easy
Learning basic Spanish for your trip will be a piece of cake.
See eye to eye
To agree with someone
We don’t always see eye to eye on political issues, but we respect each other’s opinions.
All things considered
Taking everything into accountAll things considered, studying abroad can be a very rewarding experience.
Break the ice
To overcome initial awkwardness in a social situation
A funny story can be a great way to break the ice at a networking event.
Go the extra mile
To put in more effort than expected
She always goes the extra mile to help her students succeed.
To be honest
To express your frank opinion
To be honest, I wasn’t impressed with the quality of the food at that restaurant.
It goes without sayingSomething is obvious and doesn’t need to be mentionedA strong work ethic is essential for success.
On the other hand
To introduce a contrasting viewpointWhile travelling can be a great learning experience, on the other hand, it can also be quite expensive.

Common Mistakes to Avoid During IELTS Speaking Test

The speaking section of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) can be a source of apprehension for many test-takers. This apprehension often stems not from inherent difficulty but from a lack of confidence and fluency in spoken English. In the speaking section of the IELTS Exam, candidates are required to engage in direct conversation with examiners and formulate well-developed responses to diverse topics.

Unfortunately, even those with a strong vocabulary and decent pronunciation can struggle to overcome this hurdle due to difficulties in sustaining a natural conversation. This underscores the critical importance of thorough preparation for the IELTS speaking test. By cultivating confidence and diligently practicing their conversational skills, students can effectively avoid common mistakes that could negatively impact their scores. To navigate this challenge with greater ease and achieve optimal results, here’s a compilation of common missteps to steer clear of:

  • The speaking component of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) necessitates clear, concise, and grammatically accurate communication. While informal language can foster a sense of ease, excessive use of slang or colloquialisms can appear unprofessional in a formal setting. Therefore, it is essential to adhere to a vocabulary that is both clear and articulate.
  • Furthermore, the appropriate utilization of synonyms is a valuable skill. However, employing synonyms incorrectly can lead to confusion. Ensure a thorough understanding of a word’s meaning and its appropriate contextual usage before incorporating it as a substitute.
  • A restricted vocabulary range can be readily identified through repetitive word choice. Actively seek to expand your lexical repertoire by mastering synonyms and incorporating descriptive phrases into your speech.
  • Subject-verb agreement is a fundamental aspect of grammar. Maintaining concordance between subjects and verbs (singular/plural) is paramount for clear and unambiguous communication.
  • Utilizing the correct verb tense is equally important. The test prompt will often provide guidance regarding tense usage. However, if you encounter uncertainty, do not hesitate to seek clarification from the examiner.
  • Prepositions play a significant role in establishing clear grammatical relationships within sentences. Solidify your understanding of commonly used prepositions, such as “at,” “in,” and “on,” to avoid ambiguity.
  • Excessive sentence length can impede comprehension. Strive for a balanced variety of sentence structures, incorporating shorter sentences for enhanced clarity alongside more complex structures when appropriate.

So that was all about the IELTS speaking cheat sheet. Hope the blog has answered your queries regarding the topic. 

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Q1. What are the best books for IELTS Preparation? 

Ans: “The Official Cambridge Guide To IELTS Student’s Book With Answers”, “Barron’s Ielts Practice Exams”, and “IELTS Graphs from the Past Exam” are some of the best books for IELTS preparation. 

Q2. What are the most common IELTS speaking mistakes? 

Ans: Lack of confidence, One-word answers, Deviation from the topic, Limited vocabulary, Monotone delivery, Memorised answers, and poor pronunciation must be avoided while attempting the IELTS writing section. 

Q3. What is the total duration of IELTS speaking? 

Ans: The IELTS writing section lasts for 11-14 minutes. 

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