Here’s why you got a score of Band 6 in the IELTS Speaking Test

What speaking ability does a score of IELTS Band 6 represent?

Watch this Speaking test sample, where Stephen from China talks about ‘Hobbies’. Here’s why this performance was given a Band 6:

This test taker is willing to speak at length but there are moments when coherence is lost as a result of repetition, self-correction and hesitation and he is unable to answer the question about why people need a hobby. He is able to use a variety of markers to link his ideas (first of all; I guess; like; it depends; at least; so), although these are not always used appropriately. Limitations in his performance are evident when he falls back on fillers such as how to say; how do you say.

He has a wide enough vocabulary to discuss topics at length (China opening up to the world; cut down the working shifts; more work opportunities), but while he uses some natural colloquial expressions (some other guys; that’s sweet), there are also some collocation errors (broaden your friendship; kill the spare time; in the past times; make more troubles). These rarely cause comprehension problems.

He produces a mix of short and complex sentence forms with a variety of grammatical structures. However, overall his grammatical control is variable and errors recur (you are make trouble to the society; people like spend; in the past …people work more … there is a period; may go travel round; we have also get), although these do not impede communication.

His pronunciation is generally clear and he divides the flow of his speech into meaningful word groups with good use of stress and intonation (normally we work eight hours a day, five days a week – that’s forty hours in total). Generally he can be understood, but occasionally some words are hard to catch because of mispronunciation of sounds (bose for ‘both’; yoursels for ‘yourself’; cupper years for ‘couple of years’; zen for ‘then’; word for ‘world’).

What speaking ability does a score of IELTS Band 6 represent?

Watch this Speaking test sample, where Xin from China talks about ‘Famous people’. Here’s why this performance was given a Band 6:

This candidate is able to give extended responses. He uses a range of markers (you mean; you know; it’s really a hard question; in this way) and other cohesive features, such as referencing, but he uses only a narrow range of linking words (so; because). He repeats himself quite a lot and self-corrects, but coherence is only occasionally threatened.

He has a wide enough vocabulary to discuss topics at length and his ideas and opinions are quite clearly conveyed (change the world; focus on the real things; use reputation to gain a lot of profit). Vocabulary is sometimes inappropriate but meaning can be worked out from the context (have a silence instead of ‘have privacy’; signature instead of ‘autograph’; act well instead of ‘behave well’).

He produces a mix of simple and complex structures though his attempts at longer, more complex sentence forms tend to contain errors. Mistakes in verb tenses, subject/verb agreement and prepositions are quite frequent, but these do not impede communication.

His pronunciation is generally clear and there is some effective use of stress and intonation. However, his speech is mainly syllable-timed, so his rhythm is rather mechanical. Some words are mispronounced (uerally for ‘usually’) or are wrongly stressed (profit). This reduces clarity at times, but understanding generally requires little effort.

What speaking ability does a score of IELTS Band 6 represent?

Watch this Speaking test sample, where Gabriel from Brazil talks about ‘Hobbies’. Here’s why this performance was given a Band 6:

This test taker is able to keep going and produce answers of sufficient length, but his performance is characterised by hesitation, repetition and self-correction. This limits his fluency and causes some loss of coherence but, overall, he is not hard to follow as he uses linking words and markers quite effectively (first; because; for example).

His vocabulary is wide enough to deal with the topics at some length (way to escape; driving over the limit; day-today activities; you need to pay your bills), but there is a lack of flexibility. In spite of some inaccurate word choices and expressions, he is generally able to express his ideas and opinions sufficiently, if not very effectively (they need to be pleasure; forget what’s bad; we need to have other thing to be relax).

He produces a mix of short and complex sentence forms and a variety of structures, but with limited flexibility. Errors occur with word order, articles, redundant subject pronouns or subject omission, but these do not impede communication (they need always have something to do; is something that you don’t do always; if you spend too much time doing hobby there’s something wrong; if you are doing a lot of hobby; if you do always everything).

The test taker uses a range of pronunciation features but with mixed control. Rhythm is sometimes affected by his hesitation and some lapses into syllable-timing. Not all sounds are well articulated and he occasionally omits syllables (activit(ie)s).

Although these negative features reduce clarity at times, he can generally be understood throughout.

What speaking ability does a score of IELTS Band 6 represent?

Watch this Speaking test sample, where Li from China talks about ‘Hobbies’. Here’s why this performance was given a Band 6:

This test taker is able to keep going and is willing to give long answers, but coherence is occasionally lost through hesitation while she searches for words and ideas.

She uses a good range of connecting words and markers (actually; in this way; I think the most important reason; as an example; as we know). Vocabulary is the strongest feature of her performance. She is able to discuss topics at length and demonstrates some awareness of style and collocation (contemporary society; casual activities; temporarily forget; a moment just for yourself; time and resources). While she does make errors, these do not interfere with communication (for your healthy).

Her grammatical control is less strong, although she does produce some complex structures, such as subordinate clauses, accurately. Her control of verb tenses is variable and she has recurring difficulty with subject/verb agreement (you shouldn’t to be too addict; they’re too focusing on; he need to). Despite these errors, her meaning is usually clear.

She uses a range of pronunciation features but with variable control. Her rhythm is at times affected by syllable-timing but stress and intonation are used to some good effect (our life is not just for working – we should enjoy our lives as well). Some individual words and sounds are mispronounced, particularly ‘th’, but this has no significant impact on intelligibility and she can generally be understood without 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 5.5 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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