The introduction of the video call format in the IELTS speaking test in some British Council centres is to ensure your health and safety during the pandemic.
Apart from the fact, that the examiner is present virtually and not physically in the speaking room and the part 2 topic cue card is shared by the examiner on the laptop screen, instead of handing over to you a physical copy of the cue card, there are no other changes in the test.
It is exactly the same in terms of scoring method, question types, level of difficulty, timing and examiner-candidate interaction patterns. The test has three parts and lasts for a duration of 11 to 14 minutes. Therefore, the way in which you prepare for the IELTS Video Call Speaking (VCS) test just the same as you would prepare for an in-person test.
However, there are a few tips to keep in mind to ensure your performance in the IELTS Video Call Speaking (VCS) test is optimal:
Practice taking the test on Zoom
The VCS test happens over Zoom so ensure you have practiced answering questions wearing headphones over Zoom so that you are not uncomfortable while taking the test. Remember before the test starts the usher will be there with you in the room to check the audibility and there is also a buzzer in the room in case of any issues.
Speak clearly and audibly
Once the test starts, ensure you are speaking clearly and your voice should be audible to the examiner. Don’t speak so softly that you end up mumbling or speak so fast that the examiner cannot understand what you are staying. This will impact your pronunciation band.
A flat, monotonous tone may signal to the examiner that you are not very interested in taking the test or that you have memorised your responses. So be animated, passionate and articulate. Do your best to come across as confident and well prepared. Try and speak without using too many fillers such as “you know”, “mmmm”, “like”, “I think”… or pause too often while you search for vocabulary. Speak as naturally as possible without being intimidated.
Don’t fidget with the pen and paper during the test
In the VCS test, the paper for part 2 will be placed on the table at the start of the test and you will need to carry your own stationery to the speaking room. Do ensure that you do not keep clicking your pen or fidgeting with it during the interview. Since you will be speaking into a powerful microphone, any noise that you make can prove to be distracting for the examiner. Hence, ensure that you touch the pen and paper only during the preparation time and then put it down after the long turn is over.
Stay relaxed and do your best
Most importantly stay relaxed. Listen to the questions carefully and answer them as naturally as you can. If for some reason you are unable to understand a question, you can ask the examiner to explain it to you.
Keep these 4 top tips in mind while preparing for the VCS test over and above the four tips mentioned in our earlier blog and you will be able to achieve your desired band in the speaking test.
During the test, just be relaxed, listen carefully, speak naturally using a wide range of vocabulary and accurate grammar and you will ace the speaking test regardless of whether you appear for an in-person or VCS test. Remember, preparation is the key to success. So get going now!
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