If you are you disappointed with your IELTS Speaking result and you feel that you deserved a better score, you might consider requesting a re-mark. However, it is also possible that you simply did not give a relevant answer to some of the examiner’s questions. In today’s tip we are going to look at the importance of listening to the questions.
IELTS candidates who normally speak with confidence can sometimes get a poor result in the speaking test because they did not listen carefully enough to the examiner. Here are two types of questions that can cause problems.
Questions about changes in the present perfect
If you get a question or cue card in the present perfect tense, your task may be to talk about a situation or change that started in the past and continued to the present. Here are some examples:
- How has your city changed in recent years?
- How have shopping habits changed over recent years?
- What kinds of improvement have there been in transport in your country in recent years?
If you get questions like these, you could either use the present perfect (Transport has improved considerably in recent years) or if you are feeling less confident you can simply compare the present with the past (Transport in my country is much more developed now than in the past).
If instead you say something like I think transport will improve in the future, your English might be correct, but you are not giving a relevant answer. Therefore, it is essential that you listen to the question carefully.
If you hear the word would in a question, the examiner is probably asking you to talk about a hypothetical situation. Here are some examples:
- What job would you like in the future?
- Is there a hobby or sport you would like to try? Why?
- If you could take a holiday anywhere in the world, where would you go?
If you get these kinds of questions, a relevant answer would be something like I think I would visit China or I’ve always wanted to visit China.
If you say something like I will go to China next year, which is about a possible situation in the future, not a hypothetical situation, then the examiner will think that you have not understood the question.