IELTS Speaking Examiner Stops your Answer

IELTS Speaking

Sometimes the IELTS speaking examiner will stop you in the middle of your answer. This is very common in part 1 and can sometimes happen in part 3.

Share your thoughts about this:

  1. Why do you think the examiner interrupts your answer?
  2. Do you think it affects your score?


The answers are available now. Click here: Answers: Learn why the examiner stops your answer


  1. Hi Liz,
    Me and my wife had IELTS speaking test today. I messed up twice and had a strange point to discuss.

    1) while asked for ID I just handed over the passport and uttered nothing. Was blank and not thinking anything at that point out of boredom probably.
    2) While answering something i got into an unusually long complex sentence and i sense a possibility of grammatical error i could have made.
    3) main reason why i am writing this is this point. For the cue card question, i was talking and i think quite likely i finished 1min+ of time, the examiner made gestures thrice making me feel as if she wants me to wrap up. When i did, there was blank silence for couple of secs and she glanced at the timer. I felt odd and I started talking again.

    Couple of points, she was interrupting quite a bit during part1. She didn’t let me speak at few occasions where i had some good words/lines. I was quoting real life examples from my work (topic was about clothing and culture) and she mentioned that i need not quote my office examples and answer generically. Co-incidently my wife had same examiner and very similar experience of being constantly being interrupted.

    What do you think about this? Could this affect the scores? I was pretty fluent, logical and confident otherwise.

    • Your message tells me that you were not prepared for your speaking test. You went into the test room without understand what your role is and what the examiner’s role is. You don’t seem to understand what is normal and what is not normal.
      1) You don’t have to say anything particular in the ID check unless asked – it isn’t marked.
      2) Your grammar is scored over your whole performance, not on one answer.
      3) The examiner was trying to use body language to tell you to keep talking. Your task in part 2 is NOT to cover all points in the cue card. Covering all points is not an aim and does not improve your score. Your task is to expand your talk and show the ability to speak at length (for two minutes). You seriously need to review your understanding of part 2. When you stop speaking, the examiner will wait and give you a chance to keep talking.
      4) It is 100% that the examiner will interrupt your answers in part 1 and part 3 – you should expect that to happen.
      5) Your ideas are not marked in IELTS speaking. You do not need to explain where your examples or ideas come from. You speak about yourself when the question is about yourself. You speak about the world in general when the question is general (such as all questions in part 3).

      The only thing that will affect your score is that you don’t understand the purpose of the questions and how the test is marked. This means that you might have missed great opportunities to show more flexible language. But nothing else will affect your score.

      It is still possible that you did well. If you don’t get the score you want, you now at least know why. You need to learn more about IELTS. I hope this helps.

  2. Hi Liz I had a speaking test today I spoke fluently for two minutes but all in a sudden was stopped by the examiner, I didn’t stop anywhere I could talk even more on that topic I believe I missed few important stuff regarding the topic and I could easily cover them If I was not put on halt by the examiner, so since she stopped me from speaking more would it hurt my chances of getting above 7 bands ? Please answer me

    • The examiner is not interested in your ideas and is not interested in you finishing the answer. The examiner is marking your spoken English and will decide when to test a new aspect of language.

  3. Sujan Vaidya says:

    Hi Liz,
    Today I had my speaking test. In part 2 the examiner asked if I wanted to do it again. What that actually means? Will I get worst band score?
    Really worried about it.

  4. I have took the speaking test today . Unfortuntlely, i forget the name of river in my country . Therefore i stopped to remember it . Then the examiner moved to the second question.
    I am afraid to get low mark like band 5 in speaking.
    Is that could happen ??

  5. Today I have taken ielts exam( speaking section), where the interuptions by examiner made me quite confused… It seemed I was digressing from the topic , while I was trying to give proper and large answers.As she stopped , I failed to answer to the major points. Unfortunately , I don’t anticipate a high score, however I was focused for 7,5 as minimum.

  6. 1. May be ur answer sufficient so no need to linger on discussion . Or other way u are going out of the track.
    2. If it is positive intrupption it will not affect ur score. But of it is negative then it can affect ur score.

  7. The interviewer can interrupt the candidate, and this is normal in speaking test. There is a time limit for every question and as such the candidate should give sufficient answers.
    This should not affect the candidate’s score.

  8. Kawther Tolba says:

    May be the examiner think that the student is memorizing the answer or does not understand the question so he or she want to redirect the student to the appropriate way.

  9. To my mind, there is a high probability that examiner thinks that you learned by heart the answer, and this obviously has detrimental effect on your grade and also your fluency because it can spoil your flow and might be hard to get back on track.

  10. Muna Haider says:

    There is 3 reasons
    1- there is a time limit .
    2- the examiner is satisfied with your language.
    3- your answer has gone out off topic.

  11. i dont think its deduct mark

  12. I think the reason for question 1 is if the student is giving their answers too long or he is going off topic, the examiner might interrupt him/her and then rephrase the question again
    And for second, It depends on examiner, if he thinks that you are giving long answers for Part 1 specially, it might lower your score, but if its for part 3 then most likely examiner will not reduce the score.

  13. Mainly in part 2 sometime we can’t speak 2 minutes contineously so Examiner stop us because if we pause few seconds we become more nervous and can’t speak confidently in remaining questions or part.

  14. Vikas sharma says:

    Respected Madam,
    My answer to this is that it never affect someone’s score. Perhaps, examiner stops to ask another question or for the follow up question. In IELTS, if someone makes mistakes, examiner never bother, So there is no reason to decrease score of IELTS

  15. Yeah…i have speaking test today i.e 23 november and while answering particular question answer she immedaitely ask another question without being finished my answers. I don’t understand why this occur. Pleasr provide me info. about this? Is this affect the score?

    • Same happened with me also today.. Even I am wondering.

    • Yea exactly, this is the case I have experienced today. As I couldn’t finish my answers they seemed to be unrelevant, I am very annoyed with such impatient examiners, due to her I have disrupted all my speaking 😁

  16. Hlo liz
    I think examiner does not want to listen more and more on one question
    So that’s why he/she interrupts u
    It is less likely that it effects score

  17. Puneet Goyal says:

    1. The examiner interrupts in the middle for time management. As examiner is provided only 15-20 minutes to complete the whole test, hence he or she is well concerned with time by allocating sufficient time for each section.

    2. I don’t think so, it will affect one’s IELTS score as it is done by examiner’s own discretion.

  18. Because examiner has to manage time.

  19. He or she satisfy with your answer. 😊

  20. Naheed memon says:

    In part 1 examiner often stops a candidate if he is answering too examiner stop him to ask an other question
    In part 3 examiner usually stop when :
    i)a candidate does not understand the question and speaks irrelevant.
    ii)a candidate’s answer is off the topic

  21. 1. Examiner wanted to judge candidate confidence while speaking.

    2. Yes, this interruption will effect in score.

  22. Aarzoo Sadiora says:

    I think the examiner interrupts us because he/she wants to check our confidence level or may be he find something….
    2. May be it effects our score …

  23. Bhavik Prajapati says:

    Hii according to me following are may be the reasons that examiner stops you..

    If you are on off topic or may be you could not cover all sub questions especially in part 2 and you still speaking.

    One more possibility is that examiner judged you on some skills but he/she wants to examine you on some other skills then he/she stops individual and ask something else…

  24. she/ he thinks your answers are likely to be scripted?

  25. Rupesh Sagar Betha says:

    Due to time contraints

  26. Rashidul Hasan says:

    It will confused me.
    My question is why examiner could do that?

  27. 1.0 The examiners test English skill not knowledge of candidate therefore it quite often to stop you in between if you have shown your English skills during the initial part of answer and you are trying to extend it beyond. Additionally s/he has to ask around 10-11 question within limited time of 4-5 minutes, therefore its become imperative them to stop you in between to move on next question. Finally it might be there strategy to do rapid fire round type of exam to evaluate whether any one giving memorizing answer or not, or check the fluency of candidate.
    2.0 I don’t think this type of awkwardness in the speaking test affect scoring, but yes it completely depends on your task response, and English language, and other IELTS assessment criteria

  28. 1. Most of the questions in first part is related to normal things, so may be their main motive is whether we as students can understand the questions well or not.
    2. What’s our level in English
    3. They have time constraint.
    4. We might be speaking unnecessary or learned answers.

  29. May be because the answer is irrelevant

  30. I think the examiner does that in order to control exam time . And for the score , I guess when examiner stops someone , the score does not get affected by that.

  31. I am of the view that,
    When it happens, it shows that you are not speaking to the point or you have given the answer and unnecessarily explaining further.
    It would make you a less efficient communicator and reflect on your score as well.

  32. I personally think that the answer is too long and the examiner can comprehend fully ideas. The bottom line is that it doesn’t influence candidate’s score. However, it can impact her/his metal.

    Do you agree or disagree with me?

  33. 1. Their might be two scenarios here, if examiner feels that the candidate is repeating same and even got paused using filler “Um” for thinking. Rather if it is quite an elaborate answer exceeding time limit.
    2. I am quite sure that scores will be effected for my initial reasoning but not with second one.
    Please note my answer is based on only of my findings as I myself have never appeared for IELTS exam but is scheduled for attending one in coming week.

    Will be looking forward to your answer Liz. Thank You in advance.

  34. Rajni Gupta says:

    Examiner wants to check our confidence level or may be he is against of our views.

  35. Chintan Patel says:

    I think that they are satisfied with our answer or some time they take more time on part one introductory questions so might be they stop us.
    If all points are covered within a time they might be able to stop us.
    There is no much more important to affect our score.

  36. I believe the most common reason behind the examiner blocking us from completing the answer is due to time crunch since they’ve to examine and rate the speaking skills of all of the candidates appearing to them. Other reasons might be as follows:

    1) To see observe the candidates reaction
    2) To observe whether the candidate maintains attitude and maintains eye contact

    Please correct me if i am wring

  37. I think he might be satisfied with our reply and wanted to move on to next question.

  38. Hemant Yadav says:


    I think it do not affects band score.

  39. Bindiaagrawal says:

    He is having time bound with the parts and
    No this interrupt would never effect anyone’s score

  40. Passage: mobile telephone interferes with patients monitoring equipment.
    Question: radio can interfere with hospital equipment.
    Answer: not given
    My question is the answer could b false as this is opposite .
    Plz explain

  41. Why it happens?

  42. Sometimes examiner wants to ask another question . In addition , to utilise time in an appropriate manner , examiner interrupts . I don’t think , this behaviour of examiner affect the scores .

  43. I think the examiner stops those who speak more than what is required in a response. Responses in Parts 1 and 3 should neither be too short nor too long. The aim is to hit the questions with substantially precise answers.

  44. 1.- The examiners are bound by a certain time constraint.
    – The person being interviewed is going off topic.
    2. No, it doesn’t.

  45. I have no idea why the examiner will do this.

    One question please: if the examiner is the person that tests you, in one word, what do we call the writer of the exam?

  46. no it will not affect your score

  47. No,they just try to put in time frame

  48. Off topic
    Or wrong grammar

  49. I think so. Yes

  50. Is it because we have exceeded the time fixed?? In my case actually, the examiner asked me to say a little bit more as there was time remaining and I had finished earlier.

  51. If you tend to answer too long or give memorized answers or the examiner is satisfied with your answers, he or she will interrupt you because he or she has to save time and move on to the next questions.

    And I don’t think this affects your score.

  52. Gurpreet Singh says:

    1. Taking more time than assigned to part one or three.
    2. Score depends on the content which is I am speaking. If it’s relevant then it may help me to score high.

    Hope my assumptions are correct.

    Just started practicing for the IELTS exam.
    Thank you for all the content you provide on this website.

  53. So that youll be out of focus with your answer. It tests you if you memorize your answer

  54. I think they interrupt you when they see you are in the right direction in answering the question and they have already assessed you, so there is no point listening you on that particular question.

  55. I was too nervous in the speaking pArt, i spoke non stop but my voice showed nervousness, and the examiner was trying to help ….do u think it will affect my score.? I am seeking for band 7 in speaking

  56. Toluwalase Olaboopo says:

    This is a strategy to check the spontaneousness of the speaker. I don’t think it affects your score negatively.

  57. Jeanne-Marie says:

    I think that the Examiner is happy with your answer and that you have elaborated enough on the question asked.

  58. It happened to me last exam ,I think it does affect my score

  59. Pardeep Dhillon says:

    No , i don’t think that. This thing affects the band if examiner stops in the middle of questions. because this same thing happened with me and even i got good score according to my talent.

  60. Hello ma’am Liz, I have watched most of your videos on YouTube .They’re all very use ful. . . .i think the examiner stops the student because of time and maybe because the examiner have already answered the question well.They need to move to the next question

  61. Pavan Akkirala says:

    To disturb the Student.

  62. Jennifer Mancio says:

    It happened to me twice: during part 1 and part 3. And I think the reasons are different in each part. During part 1, it was because he was satisfied with the answer and wanted to go further, and in part 3 was because he understood that my level was not enough to reach a superior level so he was sure about the classification I will receive…. no matter how I would continue speaking he will not change his mind.

  63. Tural Mammadov says:

    I think there may be two possibilities. Either the examiner find your answer sufficient, or you are on the wrong way.

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