Why the IELTS Speaking Examiner Stops your Answer

Learn why the IELTS speaking examiner sometimes stops your answer before you have finished.

Why the IELTS speaking examiner stops your answer.

There are two main reasons why the IELTS speaking examiner might stop your answer.

  1. The main reason is that time is limited, and the examiner needs to move on to a new question.
  2. Another possible reason is that the English provided in your answer was sufficient and the examiner wants to use the time to test a new piece of language.
  3. The examiner wants to change topic.

It is important that you understand this fully:

  • The examiner is not testing your response or your reaction to changing questions.
  • The examiner does not test confidence.
  • Being off topic does not affect your score in IELTS speaking.
  • Task Response is a criterion for writing. It is not a criterion for speaking.
  • The examiner does not rapidly ask questions to test your ability to handle stress – this is not how IELTS speaking works.
  • The examiner is not testing your eye contact.

Always remember that the examiner is only testing 4 things: fluency, vocab, grammar and pronunciation. Nothing else is marked.

A student called Janet mentioned that may be the examiner feels that your answer is memorised and scripted. It is true that the examiner will look out for this. The examiner will know which answers were memorised and what your real level of English is by the end of the test by asking a range of questions and topics.

Will it lower your score?

No. 100% not. This is a choice made by the examiner to cover all language functions and direct the test in the way the examiner wants.

For this reason, when it happens, you should:

  1. be prepared for this and not be surprised.
  2. not be upset or worried about it.
  3. understand that the reason for the examiner moving on is NOT because you have made a mistake
  4. understand that this is a natural part of the IELTS speaking test
  5. focus on the next question.
  6. continue to be confident because you have done nothing wrong and your test is going as normal.

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Speaking Answers for Topic of Change

Speaking Part 3 Questions for the Topic of Change:

This topic is currently being used: Oct – Dec 2017.

  1. Why do old people not accept change?
  2. Why do some people keep changing their jobs?
  3. What changes have occurred in your country in the last few decades?

Sample Answers

Why do old people not accept change?

  1. Answer 1: I guess one of the main reasons they don’t accept change is because they have spent the last few decades living a life of routine. For that reason, they find it difficult to alter that routine in order to accept changes. For example, old people who have been used to going to into the bank to do transactions find it difficult to change this habit and bank online. I think new technology must be really challenging for them.
  2. Answer 2: I think some old people are afraid of change. I mean, they find it difficult to understand and learn new ways of doing things and this makes them feel afraid. They don’t want to expose their age or their weaknesses so they try to resist change.

Why do some people keep changing their jobs?

  1. Answer 1: Well, I think some people change their jobs frequently for no other reason than they can’t find a permanent position. But other people choose to change jobs. I mean, they want to try difficult jobs in order to learn new skills, have new experiences and enjoy the opportunities that life has to offer.
  2. Answers 2: It’s not easy to say why people change their jobs but I suppose that career growth is one of the reasons. There are so many people trying for the same jobs or trying to get promotion that people need to show a range of skills and the ability to adapt. So, by changing jobs frequently, they can develop their CV and hopefully have a better chance of a better job.
  3. Answer 3: I don’t think people have much choice these days. It’s really hard to find a long term job that offers good job security. So, people have no choice but to move from one job to another. But it’s also a good way to develop new skills in different fields and hopefully land a better position.

What changes have occurred in your country in the last few decades?

  1. Answer 1: There have been so many changes it’s hard to choose which one to talk about. I think there have been big changes in education, mainly university education. When I was younger, all students had access to free university education but now they have to pay which means they leave university with greater debt but with less job opportunities at the end of it.
  2. Answer 2 posted from a student: In Nigeria here, some changes has taken place over the past few decades. We the Nigerians have witnessed how a small religious sect metamorphosed into a full blown globally recognized terrorist group. Indeed, our once peaceful country changed into a war zone where the lives and properties of her citizens aren’t secured. We also witnessed a great change in the political arena where for the first time ever, an incumbent president contested and lost the presidential elections to the opposition party.

More IELTS Speaking Model Answers

You can find more model answers and speaking tips on my main speaking page: IELTS Speaking Main Page

 

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IELTS Speaking Part 3: Change Topic

A recent topic in IELTS speaking is the topic of change. This topic can come in speaking part 2, speaking part 3 and also writing task 2.

Speaking Part 3: Topic of Change

Below are some sample questions for this topic in speaking part 3.

Speaking Part 3 Questions:

  1. Why do old people not accept change?
  2. Why do some people keep changing their jobs?
  3. What changes have occurred in your country in the last few decades?

Share your Answers

Post your answer below for the questions above.

  • Remember to think about the language you are using.
  • Remember that speaking is an informal test.

I will post my model answers tomorrow.

Liz

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IELTS Speaking Part 2 Topics Sept to Dec 2017

Below are  new topics that were given for IELTS speaking part 2 this month, September 2017. I will post more topics when students have informed me.

To prepare fully, you need to prepare the topics below, topics used in Aug and also common topics. You can find Aug topics on this page: Aug topics and common topics on this page: Main Speaking Page

The topics below are not easy so it is vital that you choose something simple to talk about. That way, you can expand your ideas more easily to showcase your English.

IELTS Cue Card Topics Sept – Dec 2017

Topics have been reported by students and are not predictions.

  1. A School Rule
  2. A Plant
  3. A person who helped you in your studies or work
  4. Disagreement with a decision that someone made
  5. Your favourite item of clothing
  6. Good news about a person you know well
  7. When someone said positive comments to you
  8. A book
  9. A healthy life style
  10. An occasion you helped someone
  11. Something you planned to do but haven’t done yet
  12. An important letter you received
  13. An important invention
  14. A gift that made you happy
  15. An achievement
  16. A time you were happy to have a mobile phone
  17. Your ideal home
  18. A garden you visited as a child
  19. A happily married couple
  20. An English lesson
  21. Something you got for free
  22. A piece of art
  23. Your favourite sport
  24. An invention
  25. A special cake
  26. A conversation with someone you don’t know
  27. A website
  28. A product of your country
  29. A time you teamed up with an old person
  30. A big company/organisation near you
  31. A car journey
  32. A city or town you visited
  33. A group of people who made you smile
  34. A place to listen to music
  35. A happy memory from childhood
  36. A business person you admire
  37. A holiday
  38. A time you moved home or school
  39. A person you admire who is not from your country
  40. Your favourite TV program
  41. An interesting place in your country that tourists don’t know about
  42. A person who knows everything

 

Tips for Speaking Part 2 Topics 2017

Below are some ideas for you to use for the current topics. Feel free to share your ideas in the comments box below.

Examples of School Rules:

  • no eating in class
  • do not disturb the teacher when he or she is talking
  • hand your homework in on time
  • turning off your mobile phone in class

Tips for Plant topic

  • choose a plant that is common or symbolic
  • you don’t need to know the name of the plant in English
  • you can choose to talk about any plant, tree, flower, fruit, vegetable – your choice doesn’t affect your score
  • you can describe it: leaves, colour, height, flower, stem, trunk, branches

A person who helped you in your work or studies

  • maybe a teacher or a colleague (you can you choose anyone you like)
  • remember to describe the person (appearance and character)
  • always say when you first met the person
  • mention if you will see this person again in the future

An item of clothing

  • choose something easy to talk about
  • mention – colour, material, length, style
  • talking about when you got it, when you usually wear it, when you plan to wear it next

A book

  • describe the story simply – don’t make it complicated or confusing
  • mention only main characters and describe them
  • mention plot, setting (where it was and which time period)
  • mention if it has been converted into a film
  • talk about when you bought it, how often you have read it, what type of people would like it

An achievement

  • try to branch away from your work or studies
    • it’s time to show the examiner you can talk about something else
  • examples: cooking, making something, a speech, a hobby, a time you helped someone, something you learned, travel, language etc

A product of your country

  • you can choose anything made or grown in your country
    • clothes, equipment, food, transportation, tea, coffee, wine, musical instruments, etc
    • your choice of product is not marked – only your language is marked
  • describe the product – appearance, how it’s made, where it’s made, who makes it, price etc
  • talk about the first time you use it, if you will use it again and what type of people would use it

Useful IELTS Speaking Link

See my Tips, Model Answers for IELTS Speaking

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Not all IELTS Examiners Smile in the Speaking Test

I think it is a good time to talk about your IELTS Speaking Examiners. In the IELTS speaking test, you will be face to face with an IELTS speaking examiner who will ask you questions. There are three parts:

  1. short answer questions – about 12 questions in under 5 mins
  2. a talk – 1 mins to prepare and 1-2 mins to talk
  3. a discussion – about 4 to 8 questions in under 5 mins

The IELTS speaking test is informal. This means you need to be open, chatty and friendly throughout your test. This way you can showcase your English to the examiner. For speaking tips and model answers, see my Main IELTS Speaking Page

IELTS Examiners

IELTS examiners are supposed to be friendly, smiley and encouraging. They can’t be chatty with you but they should be encouraging in their body language, facial expressions and general manner. This is what they are taught to do.

BUT not all examiners are friendly. This means it can feel difficult to be chatty and friendly with an examiner if they don’t smile, yawn, avoid looking at you and show disinterest in what you say. Unfortunately, not all examiners are good with body language.

Your Preparation

You need to be prepared to face any type of examiner – encouraging or not encouraging You need to be mentally ready to be chatty and open even if the person you are talking to appears bored.

Your speaking test is 11 to 14 minutes in length. This is not a lot of time. But in that time, you can change your future. So, don’t let a bored examiner control your fate. Take your future into your own hands and be ready for anything.

Students’ Experience

Most IELTS students have a good experience in their IELTS speaking test and some even enjoy it. Most students found the examiner encouraging and friendly. This is the ideal situation. But examiners are humans and a few of them are not prefect – you must be prepared for that.

Your Experience

Please share your experience of the speaking test by posting below. Remember this is not a time to complain. It is a time to share experiences – good and bad. Please remember that the aim of this website is to prepare students for IELTS and also BUILD CONFIDENCE !!!

My Message to IELTS

It is time to get a camera in the IELTS speaking test room. Having an audio recording is not enough and certainly behind the times. Having a camera in the room means IELTS can monitor their examiners more closely to ensure that IELTS candidates who have paid money for this test are in fact being tested at the standard that IELTS have set. It should not be acceptable that IELTS have some examiners who put students off talking by appearing bored and annoyed. This entirely defeats the purpose of having a face to face speaking test rather than one done with a computer. IELTS want their speaking test to be as life like as possible – but at what time would you have a personal chat with someone for 14 minutes who wishes you weren’t in the room and shows it!

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How to Use Ideas for IELTS Speaking Part 2: Tips

It is important that you understand what ideas you can use for your IELTS speaking Part 2. You need to know what topics are appropriate and how a topic can be expanded.

On this page you will see:

  • a list of ideas
  • a model answer
  • examiner comments
  • a list of vocabulary
  • useful link
  • a picture

Possible Ideas

Lets look at this topics: An Activity near the Sea. Below is a list of possible topics:

Let me give you a current speaking part 2 topic: An Activity Near the Sea You have Done

Which of the following ideas can you use for this topic?

  1. Fishing
  2. Water-skiing
  3. Swimming
  4. Sunbathing
  5. Shopping
  6. Photography
  7. A lazy day near the sea
  8. A future holiday near the sea

Decide which of the above ideas is possible for the this topic.

Answer

You can use all of the above ideas for your Speaking Part 2 talk about an activity near the sea.

The examiner is not marking your ideas. It does not affect your score to go off topic. You are not marked on using relevant ideas.

Your speaking score is based 100% on your English language – nothing more. You are not even marked on understanding. You are only marked on fluency, grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation.

How to Use Ideas for Speaking Part 2

See this model answer below to learn how to use all the above ideas:

Model Answer

I will tell you about a place I have been to near the sea and all the activities there were on offer there. Personally, I go to the sea to enjoy the sea air and see family. But there are also plenty of other things to do.

The town I go to is called Hoi An, which is both by the sea and also situated on a river. Most people take part in fishing and swimming, although the current in the sea can sometimes be a bit strong. It’s not the best place for water-skiing due to the waves, so most people just take a dip in the sea and sunbathe. Along the coast line are loads of shops selling a variety of souvenirs. I often enjoy browsing when I have the time.

The town itself is incredibly pretty. It is a UNESCO heritage site and boasts amazingly photographic scenes, particularly as daylight fades in the evening and the town has a golden glow under the street lamps. It attracts a lot of photographers from around the world and, the last time I was there, I couldn’t stop taking snap shots as I pottered around the town.

I think Hoi An is the perfect place for a lazy day near the sea. It’s not just because there are activities to do but because there is just a pleasant feel of arriving in another world that takes your breath away. I plan to have a lot more holidays there in the future. In fact, I’ve already booked my next trip.

Comments

You can see that this model answer does not focus on one activity near the sea. Instead, this model answer offers lots of activities as it describes a holiday.

This model answer would get band score 9. It is fine to adapt the topic and bring in lots of ideas to develop your story. The talk is informal (all IELTS speaking is informal) and you can see this in the style. It is chatty, friendly and full of interesting ideas – with great vocabulary.

Speaking part 2 has no questions, just prompts. It is your task to go beyond the prompts and add lots more information that isn’t asked for in order to develop your talk and showcase your English. Going off topic by adding more detail does not affect your score. Your ideas are not marked in IELTS speaking.

Vocabulary

  • the sea air
  • the current can be strong
  • take a dip in the sea
  • variety of souvenirs
  • enjoy browsing
  • photographic scenes
  • as daylight fades
  • golden glow
  • taking snap shots
  • potter around
  • take your breath away

You can see that the vocabulary is mostly informal or descriptive. This is prefect for IELTS speaking part 2 when you are describing a place or a memory.

See my IELTS Speaking Tips

Click here to see all my IELTS Speaking Topics, Tips and Model Answers

Hoi An, Central Vietnam

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Question about speaking part 2 topic: Water

Hi guys,

Many students ask me if their idea for topics in speaking part 2 is ok. I want to see how much you understand about choosing an idea for part 2 speaking.

Let me give you a current speaking part 2 topic: An Activity Near the Sea You have Done

Which of the following ideas can you use for this topic?

  1. Fishing
  2. Water-skiing
  3. Swimming
  4. Sunbathing
  5. Shopping
  6. Photography
  7. A lazy day near the sea
  8. A future holiday near the sea

Decide which of the above ideas is possible for the this topic.

Answers

 

Find out how to use these ideas: How to use Ideas for Speaking Part 2: Activity near the Sea

This page: Ideas, will show you how to use ideas, a model band score 9 answer and vocbaulary.

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Repeating the question: Find the answer to yesterday’s question

Hi guys,

I’ve posted answers and advice about asking the IELTS examiner to repeat the question in speaking. You can find details of the answers and tips on yesterday’s page. Click here: Asking to Repeat the Question

 

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