Our teachers will describe below on the factors they look for when they mark a student with a band 7 for speaking. We offer speaking classes on our course and we also give estimated band scores to help you assess your speaking, as well as many useful tips on how to improve your speaking level.
1) Grammar – One of the top points we look for is good grammar. A person can also speak clearly and fluently without hesitation, but if you have very weak grammar then we wouldn’t generally award the student with a band 7. You would also need to use things like prepositions, articles and phrasal verbs correctly.
2) Hesitation – One of the other aspects we look at is the level of hesitation. If you have very long pauses and very short answers this would signify that perhaps you are incapable of speaking fluently. Therefore, you would be awarded a lower band score as a result.
3) Vocabulary – Another aspect we look for is vocabulary and how you use this. If you have correct appropriacy and usage of vocabulary. Someone with a higher level of vocabulary and expressions will be marked a lot higher. Furthermore, it is imperative the student uses the vocabulary correctly in the correct context.
4) Speed – Speed is also another good point to note. Someone who speaks too fast, but cannot be understood with lots of grammar mistakes will not be marked very highly. You should speak clearly and fluently trying to limit your grammar mistakes – self-correcting is also essential. We would not award a negative mark if someone self-corrects themselves quickly. We would overlook this mistake, as it’s evident you know your errors. However, you would need to minimise your mistakes as much as possible to avoid getting scored down.
5) Depth – We would look at depth and how you give depth to your answers using clear examples about yourself or people that you know.
6) Structure – Structure and organising your answer is another aspect we would look for. How you introduce a topic. How you summarise what you have discussed and how you tell a story. Structure is a very important part of speaking.
7) Last, but not least – Question – We would look at if you answered the question or not. If you were asked about your work, but started speaking about another topic like family – this would mean that perhaps you did not understand the question, so you could be marked down for this. You need to make sure you answer the question clearly and carefully. If you are asked to describe something you own – then describe something you own, but not something else. It should be an item – for example – your car, your laptop, your scarf, a painting and so on.