IELTS Speaking: Greeting the examiner

Watch my video lesson to learn about the greeting and ID check at the beginning of your IELTS speaking test.

Transcript
Hello, in this lesson we going to look at
the beginning
of your IELTS speaking test
this is when you walk into
the IELTS speaking examination room
and you greet the examiner for the first time
this is before part 1 begins
you will need to greet the examiner and
do an identification check
we often call this part 0
there are 4 questions to part 0
and I’m going to give you the questions
and give you some useful tips
so that you can be confident in your answers
and give a good first impression
to the examiner
so lets start with the first question
in the first question
the examiner will introduce him or herself
and the examiner will give their name
so the examiner is going to say
good afternoon my name’s elizabeth
what’s your full name or maybe they might say
could you tell me your full name
please and you need to answer good afternoon
elizabeth you can give the examiner’s name or
not its your choice
and then you say my name’s bui minh trang
now it’s a simple question and simple answer
but I still have some tips for you
so the first tip
if you’re going to use the name of the
examiner and say
good afternoon elizabeth
please don’t give a title
this is incorrect in English
we don’t use titles
with first names so if you’re going
to use the name of the examiner
only say good afternoon elizabeth
but if you don’t feel comfortable
using the name of the examiner
it’s fine
its not a problem
you can just say good afternoon
now when you give your name
there are two tips
I want you to remember
the first tip is when you say my name’s biu minh trang
please don’t say my name is
bui minh trang
I want you to use
the contraction
my name’s
now the reason this is important
is because this is part of pronunciation
when you contract a word from is to my name’s
then is higher level pronunciation
so remember that for the rest of your exam
and try to use it
as much as you can
and the other tip is
when you give your name
please don’t speak quickly
don’t say ……………………..
I want you to say the name
clearly because sometimes it’s difficult
for the examiner to hear foreign names
so you need to say my name’s
bi min tang
and of course the point is to smile
don’t forget to smile
this is yur chance to greet the examiner
and be friendly and show confidence
so smile look at the examiner in the eyes
and relax
the second question is very easy the examiner will ask
you what can I call you
and there are 3 ways that you
could reply
you could say you can call me
minh
or you could say
just call me minh
or please call me minh
so those are 3 possible answers
that you can give
now for some tips
my first tip is please don’t
explain why people call you this
this is really part of the test
this is only the greeting
so you’re going to give
the examiner simple clear answers
you don’t need to add more information
and I know some of you have English
names
and of course you can give the examiner you
English name you can say
you can call me by
my English name Mary
now this is fine but please remember
do not make a mistake with that sentence
you still need to say yo can call me
you need this preposition by you can call me by
my English name Mary
and if you don’t have an English name
please don’t worry it doesn’t matter
so lets have a look at the third question
the third question the examiner
will ask you where are you from
or the examiner might say
could you tell me where you come from
now let me give you
some possible answers
you cuold say
I’m from Hanoi
I’m from you could say
I come from Hong Kong
I come from
you could also add more information
if you want not too much
just a little bit more if you want
you culd say I’m from Calcutta
which is in the east of India
now it is good to add a little bit more information
it’s friendly
but also it’s shows the examiner good grammar
which is in the east
this is a clause
which means it is high band score grammar
so you’re already showing the exminer
that you have good English
now lets have a look at some tips
don’t expand any further
you can give the location and stop
don’t say any more
again these are simple questions
simple answers also don’t ask the examiner
any questions so for example
don’t say I come from Hanoi have you been there
don’t give the examiner recommendations
don’t say I come from Hanoi
I think you really should go there
so please don’t do that
just keep it simple
short and accurate
and the last tip for you
this is with the pronunciation for
the names of the cities where you come from
please try to use the English pronunciation
so for example Hanoi please don’t say
Ha Noi please say Hanoi or for example
Calcutta please don’t say Kolkatta
please Calcutta
the reason that we do this is
because you’re showing the examiner that
the English pronunciation is natural
for you right so lets move on to the
last question
question number 4
and the final question
question 4 the examiner
will ask you could I see your
identification please
or the examiner might say
can you show me your identification please
now for your answer of course you need to give
the examiner your identification
and you can also say
here you are
or sure here you are
or of course
here it is
so you can choose any
of those answers
now for some tips
identifcation is often called ID
so if the examiner asks you
for your ID it’s the same it means identification
keep your answer short
you can see here it’s just a very short answer
just a few words
don’t make it any longer
and the last tip it is possible
for you to actually
say nothing and give the examiner
the identification but I think it’s nice
just to say something these are all
very polite and perfectly normal
to say in that situation
so those are the 4 questions for part 0
for greeting the IELTS examiner
adn doing the identification check
please watch the video again
practice answering the questions
correctly and remember smile
relax be confident and start your test in
the right way
well that’s all I’ll
see you in my next IELTS lesson

 

Comments

  1. Tomorrow is my speaking test. you are a great teacher. i m quite nervous about tomorrow. what if i do not use tough vocabulary or speak oess than 2 mins in part 2 . i need some motivation. Thanks

    • Vocabulary is only 25% of your marks – it is not the most important part at all. You should focus on being chatty, friendly and open. Even if the examiner isn’t very friendly, you should still be chatty. You don’t need to speak for 2 mins in part 2, but it is a good aim to try. In part 2, you can add any extra information you want – anything at all. If your topic is about a book, you can talk about a book – but if you run out of things to say, you can talk about magazines you like, books you recommend for children, books you think are not beneficial, websites you like to read articles on, the future of books – just keep talking and add what you want. Be natural, calm and enjoy the test. Good luck!

  2. Dear mam, thx a lot for your suggestions.
    My speaking test went really great today, but in

    excitement by mistake I offered hand shake to the examiner in end, though, examiner looked fine but as soon as I came out I realized the mistake. Will it effect my score negatively. Please suggest
    Rgds
    Priya

  3. Hi Liz. Thanks for your tips. They’ve been very helpful. I have one question. Is it ok to skip some of my names? I have more than one name and saying all might be long. Can I say only one name?

    • The ID check is about making sure that the information you give is the same as the information on your ID card. So, tell the examiner the same name that you have on your ID card.

  4. Raihan Sami says:

    Hi thanks so much for your video.
    I have some question about politeness which are most important to know. As a Asian we have to face with our native examiner and also neighbours(India) sometimes from other countries but Asian obviously. In this regard, we use titling (Sir/ Madam) to respect and also they expect such greetings from us. Thanking also important and returning to as well. Such as after offering seat or giving cue card we need to say thank you and in return “you’re most welcome” etc. On the contrary, to western examiner they are not so important sometimes also inappropriate in some cases. Another point is I know British accent but sometimes I messed up with American accents (like pronunciation, particularl British words). I have been learning for many days British accent because I loved it and also my passion so I can’t give up. So I need some suggestions from you that what should I do?
    Thanks a lot.

    • This is a language test. It is also an INFORMAL speaking test. You do not need to be formal at all. You don’t use “sir/madam” in speaking. You can say “thank you” if you want, but it won’t affect your score if you don’t. You should treat the examiner as a friend and be chatty. As for accents, you are marked on being understood. It is fine to have an accent. But if the examiner can’t understand you, it will lower your score. I personally have a mixed accent because I am English, but I have lived abroad and picked up different accents – it’s fine and it is accepted in IELTS speaking.

  5. Hi dear, I dont work and study now what should be my answer?

  6. once the examiner ask me ” what should i call you” can i answer it by using this statement ” my parents call me liz so you can call me that name as well. is it possible to say that

  7. Hi Liz,

    I’m new here. I have a question when it comes to answering the speaking and writing test. If the way I answer for the speaking and writing test is negative or should I say I disagree all the time, is that inappropriate? What’s your thought about it?

    Your response is highly appreciated. Thanks.

    • Do not mix the speaking and writing test together. The techniques are different for each test because the marking criteria are different. See the main pages for speaking and writing which are accessed through the RED BAR at the top of the website.

  8. If the examiner ask if do u work or study?wat should be my answer because I don’t work or study

  9. can we use MAM/SIR to examiner??????????

    • No.

      • As i am from india and in my country people generally say SIR/MAM to the interviewer ,even i have the habit of saying sir or mam…If i say so,,WILL IT AFFECT MY SCORE ?
        OR maybe by mistake if i just say sir or mam ..ll it be affective to my band score??

        • If you wish to use “Indian English” it is your choice. It is, however, incorrect English language to use “sir” to a man in an informal chat.

  10. Hello dear
    I have given my speaking test but I saw examiner wrote 8.5 at their work sheet . What does it mean ?

    • It usually relates to time. Examiners do not write band scores where you can see them and they do not decide band scores until the end of the test.

  11. Shahrin Islam says:

    Can I use “you” in my answers while giving speaking test? Like “if you do this”, “it depends on your choice” etc. Someone told me that it’s very informal to so. I know I can use “we”, “he” etc but I can’t avoid it, it comes out of me naturally.

  12. Hi Liz
    I have this problem regarding hometown questions. I was born in a town and lived there only for one year, than my family moved. If the examiner asks :”can you describe your hometown “, should I talk about the place of my birth or about the place where I was raised and still live in?

    • You can choose. The examiner has no interest in whether your answer is correct or not. The examiner wants to hear your English – so you decide.

  13. Hi Liz,

    For the question where are you from can I say : “I am originally from India but i have been living in US for past 5 years”

    • Yes, it’s fine. Nice and clear with good grammar. It’s important to respond naturally and openly to questions in IELTS speaking. It is an informal test so be chatty and let the examiner decide when to move on to the next question.

  14. Congratulations, tell me what did you do, how did you prepare and study my exam on 16 Dec I will appreciate your help

  15. In my speaking test the examiner always asked the question ‘why?’ even though I explained the answer. What does the examiner intends when he/she does that?

    • Because the examiner isn’t interested in your explanation. Your ideas are not marked in speaking. The examiner wants to hear more English. If you don’t offer more English with a better range, you can’t get a better score. Each question is a chance to showcase your English. So, expanding each answer as much as possible can show fluency but also it gives you a chance to add more grammar: comparisons, past memories, future hopes / or more vocabulary: descriptions etc

  16. Hi Liz,

    Is it okay if I wear casual clothes for all 4 parts of the exam?

    Thanks, Nhan

  17. Aishwarya says:

    Hi Liz,

    Your classes are very informative. Thank you very much.
    I had my speaking test yesterday. I have a couple of doubts regarding the speaking test. As soon as I got in, we greeted each other and the examiner announced the start of test in the mic. He couldn’t pronounce my name properly and paused and looked at me. So I told my full name. Is this considered inappropriate?
    Also, for most of the questions, I answered with yes/no followed by the explanation. But before I started explaining, he always asked “why”(even while I continued to speak). Does this affect my band score?
    I also feel that my test got over too quickly. The examiner also seemed to look at me and yawn sometimes, but most of the time he was pleasant. I an worried about my score. Does somebody else also judge the test or is it just the examiner?
    Please guide.

    • I see that everything was fine. The examiner will always encourage you to expand your ideas in order to hear more English. It is to greet the examiner, correct his/her pronunciation of your name etc etc. It is all fine. You will get a band score based on the level of English you use, the range of English you used and your mistakes with language.

  18. Ehab Iftikhar says:

    Can we use slangs like ‘yup’, ‘yeah’ for yes and ‘nope’ for no in the speaking test?

  19. Muzammil says:

    Hi Liz,
    If the test is taking place in the same city to which I belong, in that case is it appropriate to say, “I belong to this very city of Islamabad which is the capital of Pakistan” OR “…….. which is located in the north of Pakistan.” ??

    Kindly help. Best regards.

    • If the examiner asks you where you come from or what your hometown is, you never say “I belong”. It is incorrect English. Just say “I’m from …” or “my hometown is..”. The information you choose to add is your choice.

  20. Hi Liz,

    Is it alright to say “Good morning, I’m Sheila (last name)” instead of My name’s?

    • Please don’t say that. Actually I don’t understand what you’ve written. The English is unclear. Try writing this again so I can understand then I will help you correct it.

  21. I want if I need to say my name and surname with an English accent or no?

  22. Good day Liz!
    What if i greeted my examiner with “Sir” the whole test? Would that affect my band score? Thanks.

    • It is poor English to use “sir” to a man. We never use this unless you are working in a hotel and speaking to a customer and even then it is not common. It is an example of vocabulary which is inappropriately used. I recommend you don’t use it.

  23. Ahmed Nageeb says:

    Thank you very much. May I ask if I can say Sir/Madame during this introductory part or during other speaking sections?

    • Ahmed Nageeb says:

      Sorry, I have just read your kind comment about an earlier similar question. Thank you again. Best regards

  24. Varun Thoonoli says:

    Having my speaking test on 1st of November. Please could you let me know at the earliest? Your classes are really informative and I have been following them since the day I registered for the exam. Thank you so much. 🙂

  25. Pritesh Srivastava says:

    Is it OK if I go off topic mentioned in part-2 of speaking test?

  26. Can I call the examiner as SIR or MADAM..??

    • No. You don’t need titles in English. “Sir” or “Madam” is used mostly in India, not in the west. If you want the examiner to repeat the question, for example, you can say “Could you repeat that please?”. You don’t use titles.

  27. Hello Liz,

    Which one is the best ? British council or IDP Ielts Exam ??
    My friends suggested me to take the British council.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Hari Krishna

  28. Thank u…. Liz
    U HELPED ME A LOT……. FOR MY XAM 🙂

  29. Masha from Russia says:

    Dear Liz,
    Could you please to give advice on how to give an extended answer to the question about the city i am coming from if the test takes place in this city? (would be weird do give basic information about the size or location as examiner most probably knows where he is )) )

    • The question “Where do you come from” is part of the ID check, not part of the test. You do not expand your answer.Adding just a few words is fine. Considering this is language test, not an information test, you can add what you want. The key is to add interesting language such as superlatives, comparatives or descriptive language for a high score.
      Liz

  30. HI Liz
    When the examiner ask about the country that I come from, does that mean my home country or my current country (as I am a British citizen but originally from Iraq) ?

    Many thanks

    • In the ID check, you MUST give the country of origin which is on your documents. Also in part 1, you should talk about your real hometown in Iraq unless you find it too upsetting and then you say “I prefer not to talk about Iraq so I’ll refer to where I’m living in the UK”. But that is only if there are emotional problems attached to talking about your hometown.
      All the best
      Liz

  31. Hello Liz,

    In question 3 I had given an answer as “I am from very same city, Ahmedabad”. Is it ok to provide such answer if exam is taken place at Ahmedabad. If yes, is it high or low band score ?

    • You will not get a higher score because you answered one question well or not well. The score is based on all questions not one. So, just answer naturally – the examiner will be very aware if you try to memorise answers to boost your score – only low level students do that.
      Liz

  32. Tuyet Nguyen says:

    Thank you for your tips! I just have a small question :)))
    You said that we should use English pronunciation of names when answering about the location. Should this be applied for the question about the candidate’s full name?

    • It is explained in this video lesson that you need to give your proper name which is on your ID card but say it clearly so a foreigner can understand.
      All the best
      Liz

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