Here’s why you got a score of Band 5.5 in the IELTS Speaking Test

What speaking ability does a score of IELTS Band 5.5 represent?

Watch this Speaking test sample, where Balwinder from India talks about ‘Famous people’. Here’s why this performance was given a Band 5.5:

This test taker is willing to speak at length but he loses coherence at times owing to repetition and self-correction, e.g. when comparing famous people in the present and in the past. He uses a range of markers, linking words and phrases (hopefully; like; actually; if we can talk about; as well; that’s why), but not always appropriately. Coherence is also affected by problems with word order.

Although he has a wide enough vocabulary to discuss topics at length, he often confuses word classes (give you famous instead of ‘give you fame’; doing social workers instead of ‘doing social work’). Despite this, his meaning usually comes through.

The grammatical aspect of his performance is affected by poor control of word order, which sometimes causes comprehension problems. He uses both simple and complex sentence forms but structures frequently contain error (it’s depend; there will always be welcome of you; this is one reason can be).

He can produce some acceptable features of pronunciation but overall rhythm is affected by his rapid speech rate. Intonation is generally too flat, apart from rising pitch at the end of sentences, which is not always helpful. This, combined with phonemic problems (vork for ‘work’; vell for ‘well’; evryting for ‘everything’), makes some patches of speech hard to follow.

What speaking ability does a score of IELTS Band 5.5 represent?

Watch this Speaking test sample, where Ali from Saudi Arabia talks about ‘Famous people’. Here’s why this performance was given a Band 5.5:

This test taker is willing to speak at length but his speech is not always coherent. He uses a variety of linking words and markers (it’s possible that; while; especially;) but maybe is overused.

He uses a range of vocabulary, including a few less common items, with some awareness of collocation (internet website; a specific group; local society; easy come, easy go).

His meaning is usually clear despite some inappropriate vocabulary use (they are interesting about; the another people) and he is able to paraphrase (touch the feeling of the people).

Grammar is his weakest feature. Basic sentence forms are fairly well controlled for accuracy and he produces some complex structures, but errors in areas such as articles, pronouns and verb tenses are frequent and sometimes impede communication (people whose they can; know them since when we were a child; everybody will forgot them; read it only which is enjoyable to them).

He uses a range of pronunciation features. He uses pausing quite effectively to break up the flow of speech into word groups and there are some good examples of the use of intonation and both emphatic and contrastive stress (sports stars or maybe movie stars; the young ones; create or produce). However, there are a few problems with syllable stress (colleagues; interesting), and some sounds are poorly formed, with a redundant ‘s’ added to the end of some words (buts; in the futures). Generally, he can be understood without much effort.

[Source: http://www.youtube.com/IELTSofficial ]

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See also:

Here’s why you got a score of Band 5 in the IELTS Speaking Test
Here’s why you got a score of Band 6 in the IELTS Speaking Test
Here’s why you got a score of Band 7 in the IELTS Speaking Test
Here’s why you got a score of Band 7.5 in the IELTS Speaking Test
Here’s why you got a score of Band 8 in the IELTS Speaking Test
Here’s why you got a score of Band 8.5 in the IELTS Speaking Test
Here’s why you got a score of Band 9 in the IELTS Speaking Test

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