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IELTS Speaking: How examiners evaluate your answer?

Talk about your biggest achievement. You should say:
What did you do?
What obstacles did you face?
How do you feel whenever you talk about it? Explain w


An achievement that I considered to be the really really biggest in my life till date has been launching & running the Waste Segregation Program in the community that I live in. The achievement was big not only because of the numbers we handled but also because of changing something. 

We started small with an all-women’s team going door-to-door asking the people…the residents to give just their dry waste i.e., paper, plastic, cans, etc. Our biggest obstacle was here – persuading and telling….convincing people to segregate. It was a life style change for many many people and it took nearly 3 months of constant pursuing, before it became a practice. Next, we expanded our Program and launched it officially through the Residents Welfare Association as the “Solid Waste Management” Program or SWM Program. The Program included educating & telling…training the residents as well as housekeeping staff and Management of Waste – we composted the Green Waste, we sold off the Dry Waste and we sensibly disposed off the Bio-hazard and the Reject Waste. 
In a year’s time, the community was able to achieve 100% waste segregation and started its own composting unit. The compost was used in the gardens in the community and the Dry Waste got the community some cash…some money to run its SWM Program

I feel extremely proud when I think of what we achieved through the SWM Program because it made us a “Green Community”. It brought about a change in the attitude of people. It seemed tough and almost impossible in the beginning, but I’m proud to say that it was the will power of women that made it possible.

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Now, let’s analyse the above answer and understand how it would score in the Test.
The speech would be analysed on the basis of the 4 criteria mentioned earlier, i.e.:

  1. Fluency & Coherence
  2. Lexical Resource (Vocabulary)
  3. Grammatical Range & Accuracy
  4. Pronunciation

Fluency & Coherence

  1. The candidate has spoken for a little more than 2 minutes at a medium speed on ideas relevant to the given topic. However, there are a few noticeable hesitations and self-corrections, which would result in a loss of score.
  2. The speech is coherent and the thoughts are organized as – an introduction, body and a conclusion, covering all the 3 points given in the cue card.

The speaker would lose bands because of the noticeable hesitations & self-corrections.

Lexical Resource (Vocabulary)

In the above speech varieties of words has been used to present ideas. However, in the below mentioned sentences:

  • really really biggest in my life
  • we composted the Green Waste, we sold off the Dry Waste and we sensibly disposed off the Bio-hazard and Reject Waste.
  • life style change for many many people

we can notice repetition of words that are incorrect and inappropriate and would affect the score negatively.

Grammatical Range & Accuracy

Throughout the speech, a wide range of correct simple & complex sentences have been used. However, some sentences are grammatically incorrect:

  • also because of changing something.
  • Our biggest obstacle was here

The usage of words / sentence construction is inappropriate here and would result in a loss of band.


It is spoken in clear English that can be understood throughout and the student has used accurate words & appropriate intonation, wherever needed.

Based on the above analysis, the speech would score an overall 6+ band in Task -2 (Cue Card question) of the Speaking Test.

This article is adapted from www.ielts-ninja.com. Please visit the website for detail.

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