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What is fluency and cohesion IELTS?

I get a lot of students asking me ‘what are fluency and cohesion?’ Cohesion describes how well you can link ideas and words together. Fluency is the ability to talk at a nice pace and with minimal effort. 

Is fluency important in IELTS speaking?

Yes, it is one of the four criteria that you will be assessed on in the IELTS speaking test. The examiner will have a marking scheme similar to that shown in the picture above during your IELTS speaking test. In order to get a band 5, you will need to ‘be able to produce simple speech fluently’. This is equivalent to a B1 speaker in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Fluency is important when speaking any foreign language and the ability to speak at a good pace will improve your score.

Is it okay to stutter in IELTS speaking?

 We all stutter from time to time when we are thinking or simply cannot remember the word that we want to say. Minimal stuttering is okay however continuous stuttering will lower your band score. If you find that you are stuttering due to nerves, try to remain calm and use other cohesive devices instead or ‘erm’.

What is a discourse marker?

 Discourse markers are words and phrases that organise our ideas and link our sentences together. In order to get a band 6, you will need to ‘use a range of discourse markers’. Let’s look at a few examples below. 


In the past, house prices crashed in the United Kingdom. Similarly, the housing market collapsed in Spain’.  ‘In the past’ indicates a time period and ‘similarly’ is a discourse marker used for comparing. 

For more discourse markers you can see our list of the most common discourse markers used in the IELTS speaking test. 

Can I correct myself in the IELTS speaking exam?

Yes absolutely. Self-correction is a skill that shows the examiner that you have a good enough English level in order to recognise your mistakes. IELTS band 6 and band 7 speakers correct themselves.

About me… Hello, my name is Victoria, an IELTS instructor for 8 years. Over the past 2 years, I have helped over 2000 online students  achieve the band score that they need and this site is where I share my exam strategies for free. I hope it helps you!

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