It’s not just at the beginning of the Speaking section where thinking up details to embellish your responses works. Maintaining this approach throughout the interview will certainly pay dividends.
In this part, the test taker receives a topic on a task card and one minute preparation time. They are then expected to talk for up to two minutes without further prompts from the Examiner. Since the focus here is on the test taker’s ability to speak at length on a given topic, it might be a good idea for you to draw on your own experience to help you keep going. That being said, it may not always be possible for you to relate to topics. Here’s an example:
|Talk about a time when you were really close to a wild animal.|
If the topic you receive on the day were to leave you stumped, creativity can come to the rescue. For instance, you could quickly think of someone else’s experience (e.g. an anecdote shared by a friend, a movie scene, a documentary account), add finer details to personalise it, and present it as your own.
In the final part, the test taker and Examiner discuss at length the topic in Part 2 in a more general and abstract way. Here, you need to show an ability to express and justify opinions, to discuss and analyse topics, and to speculate about issues. Yet again, being imaginative can be the key to producing well-rounded answers. In order to buy yourself some time to work out what to say, you could begin responses with a functional phrase. Here are a couple of examples:
- ‘Just last week I happened to read an article online about ….’
- ‘I’ve often thought about this question, as it is hotly debated nowadays. Now, if you ask me,…’
An additional benefit of this approach is that such phrases can also boost your vocabulary and grammar scores. Just see to it that you use functional language prudently to avoid sounding too rehearsed.
Just like any other skill, creativity too demands regular practice, so be ready to put in the hard yards. Good luck!