Will I get more marks if I have a lot of good ideas in IELTS Speaking?

The objective of the IELTS interview is to measure your speaking ability against a set criteria: Fluency and Coherence, Lexical Resource, Grammatical Range and Accuracy, and Pronunciation. A lot of IELTS candidates seem to believe that if they have good ideas, they have the potential of receiving a high band score for the Speaking test. This belief could possibly be carried over from the assessment criteria of IELTS Writing Task 2 where Task Response is a requirement their answers in the essay. The answer to whether or not candidates’ responses are evaluated based on the content of their answers is: NO.

Your responses are considered on how you deliver your answers, not on what you say. You could be saying the most controversial or politically incorrect things (and believe me, I have heard quite a few!) but you will NOT be penalised for this. Even if you have fantastic ideas about a lot of things, such as what you think the government could do to improve the housing policies in your country, for instance, you will still not be marked on your ideas. You will be rated on how you talk about your ideas, even if they are terrible ones! 🙂 However, you must be prepared to give your reasons, explanations, and examples to support these ideas. They do not have to make sense or be something that everyone believes in:

As far as I’m concerned, the government should extend financial support to not just aliens in this country but also aliens from the galaxy as well. After all, we are all part of one big universe and we share all the resources that are on this planet, and perhaps even on Mars as well!

Even if you feel that your ideas are weak and are generally something that other people may not agree with, you still have a good chance of getting a high band score for this:

To be honest, I think women are just a pain in the neck! They do nothing but complain all the time about women’s rights but at the end of the day, they want the man to open the door for them, pull out their chairs for them at restaurants, and a whole lot of other ridiculous expectations. I believe it’s all hypocritical, if you ask me. They’re much better off staying at home, cooking and minding the children, as that’s all they’re ever good for! 

So basically, do not try to think of what is the best or most acceptable answer to a question. The IELTS Speaking section is not really an intelligence or IQ test and there is no reason to avoid saying something that is on your mind when responding to a question, as long as they are within acceptable boundaries of the test (ie. no swearing or tantrums when conversing with your examiner!).

I hope this will put your mind at rest.

Until next time!

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