In today's post, I would like to share my success story. If you remember last time I shared my story of failure where I was short-listed as a semi-finalist for a fully funded scholarship interview at the US embassy in Tashkent.
Today, let's talk about success.
On 30 May 2015, I took IELTS examination at the British Council in Tashkent and I got 7 overall.
Here is my IELTS score breakdown:
And let me tell you how I got 8 from speaking section. In my next blog posts, I will tell you how I got other scores from other sections.
1. I had 90 % Attitude & 10 % English
On examination day I was not depressed or scared that something big and bad was coming up to me. But rather I was happy that finally, I reached that day when I was supposed to prove what I was capable of. So I was a happy and very positive guy. Believe it or not, everything went as smoothly as I expected. Why? …because I had a very positive attitude and mindset towards examination. And I was really looking forward to it.
2. I Predicted the Questions
During the whole IELTS speaking interview, I did all my best to predict the questions that the examiner was about to ask. You know it is just a speaking exam where the questions can be more or less predictable. It is not a rocket science as you may always think of it.
For example, in part one of the speaking, the examiner asked me what I did professionally. And with a little smile, I said that I was a teacher. So logically I predicted that she would ask me one or two related questions about my profession. And you know what? She did. She asked if I enjoyed my job and if it was hard and challenging for which I had already cooked ideas in my mind.
3. I Spoke Nonstop
Now once you start predicting questions you will start speaking nonstop because you will have cooked almost all your ideas in your mind before examiner asks you any questions. And you should speak nonstop. But at the same time, you should make sure you speak at a natural speed and you are natural.
Be sensitive towards the examiner. Don’t speak nonstop for the sake of speaking nonstop. If you sense that the examiner wants to ask you any additional questions, stop and allow him/her to do so. Observe her body language. In my case, she just raised her palms slightly to say that I should stop and that she had the next question.
4. I was Natural
Again be natural. Don’t speak too fast, otherwise, you may create an impression that you have learned everything by heart and that will work against you. As a result, you will get a low mark anyway. Don’t speak too slowly as well because you will have limited time and it is usually very short.
You will not be able to demonstrate your English speaking skills. Be yourself and be professional. Show some energy, passion, and emotions when you are speaking. Don’t speak monotonously like a robot. Stand out from the crowd and shine like a star. Look… these people taking IELTS speaking exams have to sit and listen to hundreds of individual students all day.
Most of them give answers that I like to call ‘Template Answers’ found from books and etc. Be different and unique.
5. I Followed IELTS Tips
Keeping most of the IELTS speaking tips in mind helped me a lot. As a result, I kept an eye contact with the examiner and didn’t look at the walls, curtains or other objects in the room. I listened to her questions very carefully and gave relevant answers. If she asked about my profession, I told her what my profession was.
When she asked me questions, I gave concrete answers to her quickly and then provided details of my answer. Next, I used the linking words such as ‘Firstly, Secondly, Finally’, conversation fillers like “Mmmm… Alright, let me think…’, Well, to be honest …” and so on. There was one moment I wondered away and missed the beginning of her question.
So I asked her to repeat the question by saying “Excuse, could you please repeat your question one more time? I missed the beginning”. And she did and I was safe.
6. I Used the Words I Knew
I did not use fancy words which some IELTS specialist or guru teachers like to teach their students. I used the words I knew exactly how to use and I used the words that I could pronounce very well without any problems. And all the words I used were used in the right place and right time. That’s it! There is no need to be fancy!
7. I Lied & I Lied a Lot
A lot of people get shocked when I tell them to lie as much as possible during the IELTS interview. Remember, I said during the IELTS interview not during the job, scholarship or other types of interviews. Now let me tell you why it is absolutely OK to lie during IELTS interview. This is because IELTS speaking exam is to check how well you speak in English language and that’s it.
They don’t need to hear any true answers from you. For example, let’s imagine there is a question like this “Describe the last family holiday you had”. If you have never had a holiday with your family members but you always had holidays with your friends, does it mean you must not or you cannot answer this question? Of course, you can. How? By lying.
For example, I was asked what sports games I played. I could not remember anything and said “Basketball”. Do I play basketball these days? No, I don’t.