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Achieving a higher Speaking band score in your IELTS test is achievable, and comes down to what one does on a daily basis. Here are six daily habits to help you achieve your goal:

1. Speaking English daily

This is the most crucial and effective habit to adopt.

Many educational institutions and local libraries offer language chat groups, where groups of people can get together and enjoy some time together as they only converse in English.

There are many online groups available as well, and if the test taker lives in an English-speaking country, there will be even more opportunities to speak English everyday.

2. Listen

Listening is also an important speaking skill, as it relates to staying on-topic and saying things within context, which is crucial in achieving a higher IELTS Speaking band score.

Podcasts, radio talk shows and live TV shows whose participants are educated, native English-speakers are ideal practice. It exposes the mind to a wider vocabulary, colloquial language, rhythm, intonation and grammatical structures.

Even if you don’t always understand all parts, some may stand out to you, which would be the phrases or words worth looking up and memorising/practising.

3. Read

It is just as effective to indulge in lifestyle articles (not too overly formal or casual) – usually found in magazines and newspapers, written by educated, native speakers.

Some national newspapers have special weekly inserts – usually over weekends – that contain book reviews, music reviews and travel articles. It may also emphasise those phrases, expressions and grammatical structures you may have picked up during your listening sessions.

4. Record yourself

Nerves can get the better of many test takers once at an IELTS Speaking Test.

The best way to train yourself for this is to desensitise yourself to the act of speaking on the spot and record it.

Set your timer for one minute as you prepare to talk about the nearest random object. Then talk about it for one minute (while recording yourself). Once your minute is up, choose another object and repeat.

When listening back to your recordings, note that regardless of how uninteresting the subject may be, you’d make it sound like the most interesting object ever talked about, thus encouraging you to practise intonation, stress and rhythm.

5. Grammar

It is also important to take note of one’s grammar when listening back to your recordings.

Once you’ve noted down some issues, study them so you can try and make saying them correctly a habit. This all comes with practise.

6. Inform yourself

Finally, it always helps to be well-read and informed as knowing a little about general and some world issues could come in quite handy during a test (and in life in general).

Although it is not an IQ test regarding your in-depth knowledge about every global issue, it does help to embrace curiosity about current and general affairs.

Habits for success

Practising these six daily habits will not only help you improve your chances of a higher band score in the IELTS Speaking test, but also set you up for life when it comes to being great speakers in general.

You can also access Speaking preparation material in IELTS Prepare, or get premium preparation with official IELTS Speaking Coaching.