IELTS Speaking Band 9 Conversation and Tips

Mastering the IELTS Speaking Test: A Guide to Achieving Band 9

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a widely recognized and accepted examination for assessing English language proficiency. Among its four components, the IELTS Speaking test can be particularly challenging for many candidates. Achieving a Band 9 score, the highest possible level, in the IELTS Speaking test requires not only strong language skills but also effective test-taking strategies. In this blog post, we’ll explore some valuable tips and strategies to help you reach that elusive Band 9.

Understanding the IELTS Speaking Test Structure

Before diving into specific tips, it’s crucial to understand the structure of the IELTS Speaking test. The test consists of three parts:

Part 1: Introduction and Interview
In this section, the examiner asks you introductory questions about yourself, your hometown, your studies, and your interests. The key to excelling in this part is to respond naturally and fluently while providing detailed information where possible.

Part 2: Long Turn
You’ll receive a cue card with a topic and a minute to prepare. You must then speak for 1-2 minutes on the given topic. The challenge here is to structure your response coherently and cover all the points mentioned on the cue card.

Part 3: Discussion
This part involves a more in-depth discussion on the topic from Part 2. The examiner will ask you probing questions related to the theme. Your ability to engage in a meaningful conversation and express complex ideas is assessed here.

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If you have ever wondered what an IELTS Speaking Band 9 conversation looks like, well, you are about to find out in this topic.

What you will learn

  1. Introduction
  2. IELTS Speaking Part 1 Questions: Your Hometown
  3. IELTS Speaking Part 1 Questions: Weekends
  4. IELTS Speaking Part 3 Questions: Clothes
  5. How formal should you be in IELTS Speaking?
  6. Tips to Prepare for the IELTS Speaking Test

IELTS Speaking Part 1 Questions: Your Hometown

I asked Dat the following questions

  • Where do you live?
  • What do you like about your hometown?
  • What would you change?

Here is some of the feedback on his answers 

He uses a very wide range of vocabulary for this topic:

  • A foodie (n.) = someone who loves eating
  • mega-cities (n. Pl.)= big cities
  • infrastructure (n. Uncountable) = roads, bridges, buildings,
  • residential areas (n. Pl.= areas for living (not commercial)
  • skyscrapers (n. Pl.)= high-rise buildings
  • amenities (n. Pl.)= facilities, e.g. restaurants, metro, buses, shops

He uses building blocks to create more complex sentences

I’ve got access to pretty much any amenity you could think of

Notice how this sentence is made up of ‘building blocks’ of sorter phrases, so making this a more complex sentence.

  • I’ve got access to all amenities
  • I’ve got access to pretty much all amenities
  • I’ve got access to pretty much any amenity you could think of

He talks fluently and any pauses are just for getting ideas, not words.

IELTS Speaking Hometown Saigon
IELTS Speaking Part 1 Questions: Weekends

I asked Dat the following questions

  • What do you usually do on weekends?
  • Did you do anything special last weekend?
  • What will you do next weekend?

Here is some of the feedback on his answers 

Overall, he uses a range of native-speaker tactics to help him keep speaking fluently and accurately.


Schedule downtown erm… downtime’

He creates thinking time

Let me try to remember’

He asks himself questions

What else do they do?’

He uses informal language

  • Hang out with friends
  • Catch up with them

He uses Idiomatic expressions

  • If work calls for it =if its necessary
  • Up to my neck in deadlines = I have too many

He uses different tenses correctly. 

He responds correctly to quick changes in tense that IELTS Speaking Part 1 often has. The usual tenses tested in Part 1 are present, past and future. See some examples of how Dat expresses theses below.


  • They seek refuge in those malls
  • They do a bit of window shopping


  • Grabbed a coffee
  • Took it easy


  • Most likely, Im going to be doing the same stuff
IELTS Speaking Part 3 Questions: Clothes

I asked Dat the following questions

  • What kind of clothes do people wear in Vietnam?
  • When do people wear traditional kinds of clothes?
  • Is it a good idea to have obligatory school uniform for school children?
  • Should adults be forced to wear a uniform in the workplace?
  • Do you agree we can judge a person by the clothes they wear?

Here is some of the feedback on his answers 

He gave lots of examples

This helped him to develop his answers. It also helped him show off a wider range of vocabulary.

He uses Band 9 level Vocabulary

  • Very wide range
  • Great sense of collocation and style
  • Express precise meaning

For example,

  • Requiring students to wear a uniform would do the trick = work well
  • Make a good impression
  • prestigious school = with a good reputation
  • Project an air of professionalism = to look professional
  • Looking presentable = clean and tidy
  • Have a lucrative income = profitable
  • Not an accurate metric = unit of measurement

He can speak fluently

  • Keeps going over long sentences
  • Develops topics
  • Links sentences
  • Pauses are only for ideas, not language
IELTS Speaking Being Formal

How formal should you be in IELTS Speaking?

  • You should be informal and relaxed, but polite.
  • Don’t be too informal, you are in an interview not in the pub with your best mate.
  • Don’t use slang, For example, avoid saying ‘hello mate’ or ‘what’s up dude?’
  • Imagine you are speaking to a work colleague or a teacher at school over a coffee.
  • Aim to use natural conversational English.
  • You don’t need to wear formal clothes, just wear casual but smart.

Tips to Prepare for the IELTS Speaking Test

Immerse yourself in English.

Spend a lot of time just improving your overall level of English.

Don’t cram, so don’t try to learn 100 new words in 2 days.

Plan your study well, so you have time to improve your overall level of English

Familiarise yourself with the test

Know what examiners are looking for

Spend some time doing test practice

When speaking in the test be natural and a little strategic

If you liked this post, leave a comment below and tell us your tips for preparing for IELTS Speaking.

As a community, we can share and learn together.


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