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. Hello ma’am.
    I have my test tomorrow and my question is about your video for 25 listening tips. Sorry for asking here as there is no comment box in its page.
    In tips number 8, you said if we use lower case for answers, we should use capital letters for names and places? What about the words in the beginning of sentences?

  2. Hello Liz.
    I have taken my speaking test in couple of hours ago. My goal is band 6 in speaking. I was good at part 1 and 2 which i think my answers were appropriate for band 6 but in part 3 questions were alittle bit conceptual and i was not familiar with the topic as well as the examiner was reading the question in part 3 very fast. So i lost my confidence and i could not answer well especially the last question that i asked the examiner to repeat the question but examiner said “this is the end of the speaking test ” and nothing happened. Will part 3 affect my score to become less than 6? I am very nervous at the moment.

    • Your score is based on the level of English you uses over the whole test. You can’t estimate your score based on one part only. You’ll have to wait for your results – good luck 🙂

      • Thanks for your answer. Yes, i have to wait for results.
        You know why I think it will affect my score? Because one time examiner interrupted me due to the fact that I was talking about myself in part 3 and he asked me to speak generally. Therefore i think, whole of these bad atmosphere will decrease my score.

        • The examiner did that to encourage you to show a range of English. Part 1 and part 2 are about yourself. Part 3 is the time to show the examiner you can speak about abstract issues and people in general – the examiner was trying to help you. The examiner wanted you to use different English so he could give you a better score.


    it seems to me that the test was done very fastly, does it have any effect on the score ?

    • The speaking test lasts between 11 and 14 mins. It cannot be less and it cannot be more. If your test is 11 or 14 mins makes no difference to your score – it is a choice of the examiner.

  4. Hi Liz,
    I just finished my speaking test couple of hours ago, and the weirdest thing happened. O don’t know if it was my nerves but after one of my answers I laughed.. Not loudly, but yea. It was a laugh.
    Her question ‘would you buy an expensive perfume for yourself ‘
    My answer ‘ Well I wouldn’t buy one for myself but I certainly don’t mind recieving them as gifts’ and then I laugh. I have a feeling it’s going to affect my scores and I am unable to prepare for the rest of my exam with the above scenario playing in a loop in my mind.

    • IT is 100% fine. I like your answer and it is normal to laugh a bit after saying it. The speaking test is informal – you should be relaxed, chatty, friendly and act normally. Definitely, nothing to worry about 🙂

  5. I had a speaking test today. My cue card was “talk about a friend you know who learned a foreign language”.

    I talked about my wife learned foreign language. Do I lose marks??

  6. Today I have taken my speaking it was going all right, but in part 2 examiner asked questions immediately without stopping me. Also she stopped me when I have given half answer. Was it inappropriate

    • It is normal for the examiner to interrupt your answers in part 1 and part 3 as explained above. However, they cannot stop you during your 2 mins talk. They can only stop you after the 2 mins has finished or if you stop speaking they can move on to part 3.

      • Liz, same happened to me. I also got two questions in part 2 of speaking test which I wasn’t expecting. I talked about the topic for 2 min then she stopped me, asked me two questions and then she said this is the end of part 2. Is there any change in speaking pattern?
        My test center was in the USA.

        • I don’t understand. What do you feel is different? What was unexpected for you?

          • She gave me a cue card, I prepared it for 1 min then I started talking about the topic and then she interrupted me (may be after one and a half or two min) and asked two questions regarding the cue card, I answered those questions and then she ended part 2. I wasn’t expecting questions in cue card (part-2)

            I am not talking about the what you should speak. They were real questions like follow up questions but in part 2. I answered those questions and then part 3 started.

            • The examiner interrupted you at the end of 2 mins because those are the rules of IELTS. Your talk cannot last more than 2 mins. Following the cue card are one or two rounding off questions before starting part 3. This format of the test has not changed at all. The examiner does not ask questions during your talk, the rounding off questions are after your talk has finished and before part 3 starts.

  7. Hlo mam my speaking interview was on 25 april I am truly nervous because my examiner donot stop mean when I am giving answer to the questions either I gave long answers or short or even in cue card I speak about 2 min but after even examiner gave me posture to speak more and in intro she put 13 question on 3 different topic I am scare that is it is good or bad for me

    • I am confused by your message. Why do you think 13 questions on 3 topics in part 1 is not normal. It is in fact 100% normal – that is actually what part 1 is – 3 topics and about 12 questions. I think the problem you had it that you didn’t understand what is going to happen in each part and you also didn’t understand the examiner’s role (for example, the examiner will normally interrupt your answers). Hopefully you will still get the score you want. But if you don’t, please don’t book another test until you learn more about the speaking test – you must be fully prepared.

  8. Suraj Janawade says

    Hello Liz. I’m really grateful to you because of this helpful site. I have given my speaking exam on 2nd of April. I have some doubt. Part 1 and Part 3 was fine for me and gave some good answers. However, in part 2 i had 2 3 seconds pause. Will it really affect my score? Minimum i need 6 band in speaking.

    Thank you 😊

    • Your score will be based on your overall performance. Fluency is based on more than just continuous speaking. Wait for your results to come. Good luck!

  9. I wasn’t able to answer all the last question in part 2 since the time got over. So will this affect my score. I did answer all the other ones properly. I was asked to about my dream home. where it must be located, how it must look like and how many rooms it should and why you want to live there ?. I’m expecting a minimum of 6.5 in speaking.

  10. Mam , today is my speaking module..and topic was..” talk about an old man you met..but in hurry I read wrong and started speaking about any famous personality..the mam who were presented their also did gesture that you are speaking wrong but I wouldn’t get..and stuck to the same topic..but mam was sporting and I finished my 1st and 3rd part in good note.. Could you tell me mam what is the penalty of talking on the wrong cue card..??

    • If the examiner thinks you did this as a mistake, it will not impact your score at all. If the examiner thinks you memorised the answer and changed the topic intentionally that would be a different matter. But it most likely the examiner understood and it will be fine.

  11. Good Afternoon Liz,
    I took my speaking exam 2 days ago, I think i did a good job in part 1 and part 3 using good English, vocabulary and was relevant in most of the conversations. However in part 2 i got an unusual topic and i think i answered it in a decent way and i stayed relevant to the topic but i blanked out after a minute and a half of speaking and couldn’t think of anything else to say but the examiner didn’t stop the recording and i had to repeat myself in the last 20 seconds. Do you think this will affect my score? (I need a total score of 7)

    • Sorry I don’t understand. What do you mean the examiner didn’t stop the recording device? The examiner always stops the recording device at the end of the test. I’m not sure exactly what you are asking me. Can you rephrase it?

      • Thanks for the feedback Liz, i meant to say that in part 2 i gave a good relevant answer to the topic but i only spoke for 90 seconds and not the full 2 minutes. I thought the examiner would move on to part 3 straight away but she didn’t and I went silent for a few seconds and had to repeat myself for 20 seconds until she moved on to part 3. Other than that i think i did a good job with part 1 and 3, will that affect my score?

        • It is 100% normal that the examiner will remain silent if you finish early. The examiner cannot take time away from you unless you have finished your talk. Did you tell her you had finished? Did you say “That’s all.”. If you didn’t tell her, she must wait to see if you will add more. Don’t worry about it. It is just a formality and doesn’t mean anything with regards your score.

          • Thank you! I just thought it would be worse if i told her that i’m done so i preferred to repeat what i said instead.

            • Don’t worry. It isn’t a big problem at all. But if you take the test again, you can remember to tell her you have finished. However, it would be better to extend your talk anyway. You can add any kind of information at all – being off topic isn’t marked in IELTS speaking. If your topic was about your favourite season – you could extend your talk with information about what other people think, or weather in the past, or living in a hot country vs a cold country, or problem with weather in your country, or climate change – anything related to the main topic.

  12. What happens if the question in part was about a place (ex. a place where you go for entertainment), but I misunderstood and talked about the concert I saw. Will I lose points? Thank you.

    • It would make no difference as long as you stuck to the main topic. A concert is a place with music – it’s fine.

      • Harman Sidhu says

        Hi Liz,

        In section 3,I didn’t give elaborated answers .My answers were just upto the point and she asked me around 7-8 questions. Is the short response is going to impact my score ?


        • The aim is to show you can speak at length. It is part of the marking criterion for fluency. You should never give short answers. You always speak until the examiner stops you to ask a new question. You are not marked on your ideas, so being “to the point” carries no weight in IELTS speaking. However, your score will be based on your overall performance throughout the whole test.

  13. Mam Speaking off topic in fire round may affect the marks?? Actually I said little bit about the question but covered most of parts Off topics.

    • I have no idea what “fire round” means. There is no fire round in IELTS speaking. There is part 1, part 2 and part 3.

      • Part-3 I’m talking about it

        • You are referring to the Discussion which is part 3. Why would you speak off topic? You are given specific questions to answer. You answer them directly and then explain what you mean or give your opinion in more detail. I do not understand “covered most of parts off topic” that has no meaning in English. Why would you speak off topic in most parts of the test? I think the problem here is your English – it is very difficult for me to understand what you are asking.

          • Hey Liz I guess I have the same problem. The examiner asked me “why do you think people post videos of the msekves on the Internet” and I said that I’m right person to answer this since I am a blogger and then he stopped me. I would really like to know how it will affect my score.

            • It wouldn’t affect your score. But why did you tell the examiner that? That was an opportunity for you to use all the relevant vocabulary about videos and blogging without telling the examiner you have expert knowledge in the field. This is a language test. If you have a chance to shine in a topic, you should use it and blow the examiner away with your fantastic English – without mentioning that you are involved in that field. IELTS is based on how broad your range of topics is which means showing that you can talk beyond your own field. You missed a great chance to push your level up.

  14. Hi Liz, I had a speaking yes today. The examiner asked to me ‘my country politic problem and what am I think for president ‘ before test. I think this is not acceptable. You think is it normal? Also I prepared in one minute my answer but when I start speaking that the examiner stopped me after one mins later. He moved last part of the test.I couldn’t finish my answer. You think they usually finish before than 2 mins. Thank you 🙏

    • It is highly inappropriate for any IELTS examiner to refer to anything political. Even if it is a comment before the test starts – it is 100% wrong. Also NO examiner can stop you before 2 mins is up in part 2. Your talk cannot be interrupted until 2 mins has finished. These are the rules of IELTS which cannot be changed by any examiner. You have the option to complain, but I do not know how that will affect your score. You have the option of a remark, but there is no guarantee it will change your score. Your message above contains many English language errors, so this will limit your score. I wish you all the best with your results. If you need to take the test again, you will need to work on your English is you need a high score.

  15. Sneha Sundar says

    Hi Liz,

    I had taken my speaking test today morning, was just done with sometime back. This is the second time I am appearing as I lost my desired score for writing section in my previous attempt. I got a band 7.0 last time for speaking section however I feel the examiner was acting quite rude and it made slightly lose out my confidence. In Cue card topic it was about whom you consider intelligent, why etc and I spoke about 3 folks to showcase past present and future and concluded with one person whom I consider most intelligent, she was like when I started said slowly its 1 person not 3, will I lose marks on it? I had spoken at length, with appropriate verbs and I almost ended in close to 2 mins. Follow up questions were about intelligence and I managed to answer although may not be the accurate answers , she tried deep diving to answers so I’m really unsure of my performance.
    I feel quite dissatisfied as in comparison with my previous test had kind off under performed although spoke decently.
    I am really apprehensive on my scores.

    • You were using a formula which appears like a memorised answer for IELTS. You need to avoid doing that. Use the prompts that were given to you and stick to one person. But add extra information such as comparisons with others, hopes, experiences, opinions etc – you can easily get plenty of grammar tenses into your answer still describing one person. It is important that the examiner does not think you rehearsed the answer at home. Will you lose marks? It depends if the examiner thought it was a memorised answer or not. Most likely, you will be ok.
      As you didn’t explain why you thought the examiner was rude, I can’t comment on that.

  16. man liz recently i appear my ielts i was not nervous but because of her low voice ane quick asking i had to asked her for twice in test like sorry!!! pardon!?! and because of not understanding of her voice in follow ups questions there is little bit time to get understand i had to take just two sec and more but sometime i also gave her answer but there are little bit variation in task response what it affects my score?? six

    • Task Response does not exist in the IELTS speaking test – that is a marking criterion for writing, not speaking. You are not marked on your understanding in IELTS speaking. You are marked on: fluency, grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation – nothing else matters.

  17. Hi Liz,
    I had my speaking test today and the topic was “Describe a person whom you never met but would like to meet in the future”. I was fluent but gave irrelevant answers thrice and the examiner repeated the questions. Is that ok?

    • You are marked on the level of English language you produce for the IELTS speaking test, not your understanding and not your relevancy.

      • liz i am a very naughty person. In each ielts speaking test , i answered questions very well but they were funny. Like the question in one of the reply “Describe a person whom you never met but you would like to meet in future?
        I have a funny answer for this “I would like to travel in time,to the future, meet with my reincarnated self, whom i never met. I would warn him about not to make mistakes that i made.”

        • That’s a great answer 🙂 But remember, you are not marked on your ideas in IELTS speaking. Even so, I enjoyed reading your answer and I’m sure the examiner would have enjoyed it 🙂 It also contained great English – reincarnated self.

  18. Hi Liz,
    You have been doing wonderful job. Took my speaking test today. Cue card a decision you took and changed later. I did well I feel but then he interrupt me before I could continue and stopped me. I continued though as I needed only 10 more seconds to conclude. What is your suggestion in this????

    • If you have reached the time limit, the examiner will stop you. These are the rules of IELTS speaking and has no impact on your score.

  19. Jatin Trikha says

    I don’t remember when did the examiner asked me to write in 3rd part of the speaking test. I spoke without writing anything. I know i was very much relevant to the topic and the examiner also helped me. But i want to know if that will affect my score

    • Part 3 is a discussion and you have no pen and no paper. In part 2, it is a talk and you are given pen and paper to plan your talk. Are you referring to part 2? Not using the time to plan is a mistake because you obviously didn’t think about which language features to showcase. Otherwise, you are not marked on your writing in your speaking test.

  20. Today was my speaking test and i assume it was a disaster .
    i believe the examiner was not profsstional at all in the way he conducted the test.
    He seems to be in a huury and wanted to finish it as soon as possible.
    he kept interupting me while i was trying to answer the questions and he didin’t give me a fair chance to demonstrate my English.
    He either didn’t pay attention or he didn’t understand my answers since he re-asked me several question twice dispite answering them .
    i was anxious and my mind went blank during my attempt to answer the question which resulted in a poor performance as i was not fluent nor able to answer most of the questions completly . in addtion to that i stuttered and hesitated a lot.
    in part 2 i could not finish on time as i barely was able to exceed 1 minutes. this is because of my anxiety and inability to gather thoughts to extend my speech.
    the examiner attitude i assume increased this feeling by being hurry and barely smiling nor encouraging. He didn’t try to relieve my anxiety .
    My only hope is my use of advance vocabulary would indicate, to the examiner, that lack of the communication is attributed to mainly to lack of thouts instead of my competency.
    After the test, my examnier went to the supervisor and he handed him the recording device despite the present of other candidates wainting their turn. I assume he was running of space or time on the recording so he wanted to finish as soon as possible.
    This my third attempts and this experince was the worts as a performance and as a negative attitude by the examiner .

    • It is important that you are prepared for examiners having different attitudes and manners – unfortunately. Being interrupted is a natural part of the speaking test and you should be prepared for that. You should also have prepared ideas for so many topics that you always have something to say – especially in part 2 when I have posted a list of topics: Take a look at the page and see if your topic was listed.

      • Same thing happened with me. I was interrupted multiple times in part 2. The examiner was stopping me and prompting me to say something that she wanted to hear. But I had other things in my mind and the examiner did not let me to say that. As a result, I went blank and part 2 was a disaster for me.

  21. Hi Liz,
    ‘You have wonderful blogs. And thanks for the guidance you provide to each of the aspirants. I had my IELTS exam yesterday. I was not happy with the speaking part. I felt that it got over very quickly and examiner was rushing through all the questions I would speak hardly 10-15 seconds and examiner would give me a look and start with the next question. Even the cue card section I was kind of got to speak hardly one minute and the followup questions started. At no point I felt that examiner was moving on to next question because I was lacking content not was I prompted to continue in case I finished early and time was left per 2 minute rule.

    I am really worried on the outcome and not sure if I errored or was so bad in speaking that examiner just wanted to get over with the already long day that they were having.

    Any thoughts you think what would be the reason. Do you think IETLS evaluates the recording and would note that the test lasted under 10 minutes.

    Any guidance or pointers can help me if in case I need to gie exam once again in future.


    • The only time anyone will listen to the recording is if you pay for a remark. At that time, your recording will be examined and remarked by a senior examiner. It is 100% normal to have your answers interrupted and be asked a new question. However, it is not allowed to interrupt your talk until 2 mins have passes – that is a rule and any examiner who does it is breaking the rules. Wait for your results and I wish you good luck!

  22. Hello.
    I believe that my Part 2 in IELTS Speaking lasted less than 1 minute, but i have heard that the examiner will prompt you to continue if that is the case. Please confirm this?

  23. Hi ..
    My IELTS exam was today
    The examiner asked me about “ plant” in my home
    Unfortunately I missed understand the question as she speaks in british accent so i think she was asking about “ plan“ then she tried to help with her hand explaning for me it was wrong answer so I shifted my answer to another wrong answer.. but at the end I recognized what she ment .. i feel disappointed .. plz tell me how much this well effect on my score.?

    • It will not affect your score at all. You are not marked on understanding the question. You will still be marked on the fluency, grammar, vocab and pron of each answer you gave. The problem is that it affected your confidence and that might impact your English language and the quality of the language you used in your answers. If you take the test a second time, never lose your confidence for any reason.

  24. Aishwarya Shrestha says

    I took my speaking test today. So, i’m skeptical about the fact that I finished it around 1.30 min in pt2, where the examiner told to me continue so, I continued even when I had concluded and the next thing is the examiner just asked 3 or 4 question in pt3. I’m really worried about the score. I scored 6 last time and want to score more this time. However, I think I made a mistake.

  25. Hi liz. How it effects the marks if the candidate gets aggressive while answering the question?

    • If you actually act aggressively with an examiner, the examiner will probably have the right to terminate the test. No company allows their employees to suffer aggressive or abusive behaviour from others. This is a very unusual question. No person should act aggressively towards another.

  26. Gohil Ashok Sharma says

    Hello liz,
    I had my speaking section today. It went pretty well, i believe. I spoke on cue card topic until the examiner stopped me. But i belive my exam was ended within 10min…she stopped me within 1min in cue card section i believe…i couldn’t cover all the questions of the cue card…will it affect my grades. I am worried about it.

    • The examiner MUST give you 2 mins for your talk – that is the rule and the examiner can’t break the rules. The test cannot last less than 11 mins. There are no questions on the cue card, there are only prompts which you do not need to cover or use.

      • Violet Pascal Mascarenhas says

        Hi Liz,
        I gave my speaking test today. I dint read the cue card questions. I just started speaking about the main topic. I spoke less I suppose n examiner asked me to continue I then added some examples. But checking the cue card just slipped off my mind. This happened twice. Will it impact my score?

        • There are NO questions on the cue card. There are prompts which you can use or not use as you wish.

          • Hello Liz,
            I would like to recheck with you on the use of the prompts in the cue card. Are they really optional for consideration ?

            Thanks a lot in anticipation.

            • They are guidelines which you can use or not use, as you wish. I personally recommend people to use them. They provide ideas and a great structure. However, you should also add more to your talk – go beyond the prompts.

  27. Hey liz,
    I’m done with my speaking test today and I’m not at all satisfied with the test as well as with the examiner. Although, i did pretty well, she did stop me from answering for almost all questions and proceeded to the next question. My exam was done in a jiffy (8-9 min). Will that effect my bands? Should I book another test??

    • It is not possible for a speaking test to take under 11 mins.

      • Hey.. I had my speaking test today.
        Even my test got completed under 10 minutes. Is it a bad sign?

        • It is not possible for an IELTS speaking test to be under 11 mins unless the candidate cannot produce enough English.

      • I’m done with my speaking test today , i did average in pt1 and pt2 nd i was trying to speak as long as i can in discussion and introduction. He asked me 10 12 questions in introduction i was quite comfortable with 8 9 question but i was strugglng in 2 3 questions but in discussion part i did well
        But i wasnot able to complete 2 min. In pt2 only 1.30 min. I covered so, please predict my ielts score.

        • Firstly, I am not a fortune teller and cannot predict results which are based on fluency, grammar, vocab and pronunciation without actually hearing your fluency, grammar, vocab and pronunciation. Secondly, there is no introduction – there is part 1, part 2 and part 3. Part 1 is simple questions mostly about yourself on common topics such as work/home/hometown/weather/family etc which lasts for 4 to 5 mins. Your score is based on your overall performance on all parts. Each part is not marked separately. Good luck with your results.

  28. Cue card was on studies i was intrested in my school

    The examiner also asked after cue card that is this subject availble today also in studies?

    I answered i m not sure as the syllabus is changing mostly 1 or 2 years… Then the examiner stopped me and moved to part 3 so it can have any impact on it… Plz liz i knw i m disturbing u but i m in a great tension so plz reply me as soon as possible

  29. So if my cue is discounted than approx what bands i can get if overall it was good

    • Band scores are not calculated in that way. You will need to wait for your results to see if it has had any impact.

  30. But my answer was made by me only also at that time when I have done the same cue card so I was having the much of the content for it and i not at all stopped while speaking cue card it was in a continuous flow.. Thats it.. So plz tell if answer is not of any book or source but made by me only

    • If the examiner is sure that you memorised each line, it will be discounted. This means if you wrote down each line by yourself before the test and memorised each line to give in your answer, it will be discounted. But if you spoke naturally and spontaneously, it’s fine.

  31. I have given up the test today and the topic of the cue card was done by me before so I spoke the same Continuously for 2 Mins so is it possible that they can cut the bands for memorized answer.. And also i gave answers which were contrasting my own opinion in 2 different questions

    • If they think your answer is memorised, they can discount the entire answer. At no time can you use memorised language. You can prepare ideas and vocabulary, but what you say or write must be produced naturally in the test.

  32. Hi Liz,
    I’m having my speaking exam on 11th august.
    actually i m not having my last name in my passport so i’m confused, when the examiner would ask me about my full name. what should i say, only the first name that is in passport or i can say my full name.

  33. natasha sharma says

    hey liz! i have my ielts speaking exam tomorrow! I am scared and i just wanted to ask that whether we’ll be able to look at the timer during the part 2- individual long turn or not?

    • The examiner controls the time in all parts of the IELTS speaking test. You should keep talking until the examiner decides to move on.

  34. RURI YAMAMOTO says

    Hello. I have been worried about my exam that I took last week, about the speaking session. I was stopped to speak by the examiner because of that my answer did not answer the question correctly. I could not understand his answer properly and I got his question in a wrong way. After he asked the question in a different way, I think I could answer his question.. Does it affect the result? I think It does because it meant that I could not understand his questions in English, so it would have shown my English was not enough to listen to an English speaker?
    I cannot do anything now and just have to wait for the result though…I would like to keep on it and try it again! Because I like to learn English and would like to have deeper conversations with more people:)
    I would be happy if you could reply to me. Thank you so much. Ruri

    • The speaking test scored are not based on understanding. If you don’t understand a question, it doesn’t affect your results. Only the language that you speak is marked so you need to aim for accuracy and range when you showcase your English.

    • What’s your score in Speaking. I have faced the same situation in my today’s speaking test.

  35. Dapinder Kaur says

    Hey Liz!
    Tomorrow is my speaking test.. I am suffering from cough which starts when I start speaking..I am very nervous what will happen tomorrow, as it is difficult to speak continuously. Will I get some water or help from there or will they wait and give me chance to speak? Please reply

    • Ask if you can take a glass of water into the room with you. I don’t know if it is allowed, but you should ask and explain you have a dry throat due to sickness. The examiners decides when to move to the next question – let the examiner make those decisions. It is only 14 mins of your life – it is a short time and I’m sure you can push yourself to do well. It is an informal speaking test – be friendly and chatty 🙂

  36. 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.

      • Hi Liz,

        Wanted tomupdate my scores as well as need another advice. I scored L-8.5, S-8, R-8, W-6.5.

        As you know I wasn’t expecting good score on Speaking but i can’t believe the score in Wroting module. I definitely did well based on how i think i covered all aspects as well as structured my ans. I scored W-7.5 around 2013. If i remember something different i did this time it was that i crossed the word limit by quite a bit. It would be vlose to 450words for essay. What could be reasons for low W scores – I couldn’t think of many reasons that i could have done wrongly.

        I am thinking of revaluation of Writing scores. What are success rates? How long should it take? Thanks again in advance..

        • Why would you write over 400 words? What was your aim? It certainly isn’t an IELTS aim to write a long essay. Your essay should be under 300 words, highly focused with each sentence 100% essential to your essay. The more you write, the more mistakes you make. More mistakes = lower score. you should be aiming for quality and NOT quantity. Very well done with your speaking score !! 🙂

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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 ??

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

  46. i dont think its deduct mark

  47. 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.

  48. 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.

  49. 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

  50. 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 😁

  51. 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

  52. 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.

  53. Because examiner has to manage time.

  54. He or she satisfy with your answer. 😊

  55. 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

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

    2. Yes, this interruption will effect in score.

  57. 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 …

  58. 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…

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

  60. Rupesh Sagar Betha says

    Due to time contraints

  61. Rashidul Hasan says

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

  62. 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

  63. 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.

  64. May be because the answer is irrelevant

  65. 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.

  66. 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.

  67. 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?

  68. 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.

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

  70. 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.

  71. 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

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

  73. Hemant Yadav says


    I think it do not affects band score.

  74. Bindiaagrawal says

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

  75. 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

  76. Why it happens?

  77. 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 .

  78. 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.

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

  80. 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?

  81. no it will not affect your score

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

  83. Off topic
    Or wrong grammar

  84. I think so. Yes

  85. 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.

  86. 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.

  87. 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.

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

  89. 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.

  90. 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

  91. Toluwalase Olaboopo says

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

  92. Jeanne-Marie says

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

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

  94. 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.

  95. 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

  96. Pavan Akkirala says

    To disturb the Student.

  97. 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.

  98. 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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