For higher speaking scores

Overcoming defeat.

Notice: This post was developed to help students who are preparing for IELTS speaking test, part 2: the task card.

The Problem

Many students have described this story when they attended IELTS speaking. Imagine this:

The examiner gives you the task card. It looks like this.

Talk about a musical event you enjoyed attending.

You should say:
where and when you saw it
why you liked it
who you were with

and describe a moment during the performance that was special to you.

The following is a list of steps most students use.

01. You look at the task card and your heart begins to beat faster and faster. Since it is in English, you begin to translate it to Chinese.

02. Naturally, you change (paraphrase) the words while translating. This includes verb tenses, which adds to the problem.

This adds to the problem because there are no past tense verbs in Chinese, only the sounds “guo” and “le.”

03. Next, you plan a comprehensive response to what you hope will be a coherent (to stay on topic) response to the topic (and subtopics: a, b, c, d) on the card.

04. An unknown amount of time (seconds) passes as you do this. Since you only have 1 minute to prepare your response before the examiner asks you to begin speaking, you feel yourself becoming more nervous.

05. You may even feel angry.

If you do not want to read anymore because it brings up bad memories, click here. It will take you to the hypnosis page. Choose the track, The Ocean and Fear.

06. A thought comes to you. “Why did my teacher teach me this method and encourage me to practice it in the classroom?”

07. Next, you feel bad for blaming someone else for your failure.

If you want to continue torturing yourself, continue reading.

08. More time has passed. You are thinking very quickly. You are proud of your efforts, but you are getting tired. You even feel a slight headache coming on.

I have felt this feeling so often before — I am so tired of failure.

09. You begin translating back into English what you have been thinking in Chinese. However, there is a lot to remember — many sentences.

10. By the time you are finished with the above steps, much time has passed and you are not certain of what the original topic is.

I have felt this feeling so often before — I am so tired of failure.

11. So, you look at the task card again, but it offers little or no help.

12. You do not like this card and you can’t figure out why Cambridge designed this part of the test this way. You think to yourself:

It is such a stupid and impossible test.

13. Your anger and/or disappointment grows. You might even say “damit” or another words in your native language.

I have felt this feeling so often before — I am so tired of failure.

14. You feel more guilt now because you lost your temper.

15. The words you dreaded to hear now break the silence as the examiner speaks.

“You may begin speaking.”

I have felt this feeling so often before — I am so tired of failure.

16. As you look up, the examiner has a smile on his face. You even wonder if he spoke those words just to make you more nervous.

17. As you begin speaking, you are both nervous and confused because you don’t know if your response will be clear and on topic.

18. Your teacher also reminded you about a terrible word “fluency.” You really hate this word because every time you follow your teacher’s advice, you feel like a robot.

18. You look at the card again, pretending to use it or trying to use it.

I have felt this feeling so often before — I am so tired of failure.

19. You do not see any words that “look” familiar in the card since you spent most preparation time (1 minute) paraphrasing (changing) the words.

20. “Huh!?” You almost say this audibly.

19. Without being consciously aware, your lips begin to move and a memorized speech starts coming out of your mouth.

I have felt this feeling so often before — I am so tired of failure.

“Many people live in my hometown. My hometown is blablabla. They enjoy attending musical events.”

You speak for as long as you can, but you can “feel” another 5.5 band score coming.

I have felt this feeling so often before — I am so tired of failure.

After all the additional practice and your parents spending so much money, all you have is failure to show for it.

By now you must be feeling uncomfortable since you read this far, so click on this link. Listen to The Ocean and Fear. Students tell us they feel better quickly.

We will show you more secrets of how to avoid this experience in the future and raise your speaking score beyond a band 6.0.

The Solution

The truth is you are simply practicing skills that do not work for you.

Send us a message using the “chat with us” button.

One of the first steps we take in the process of helping students overcome this is helping them understanding how our brain processes information, which will raise your speaking score as well as your other scores.

We look forward to hearing from you. Send us a message using the “chat with us” blue button below.