Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Did the IELTS examiner ask you a difficult question?

Did your mind just go blank?

Today, Lindsay and Jessica share 6 phrases to help you fill that time void!

If you get asked a question that you can’t immediately answer during your IELTS exam, you don’t want to go silent.  It’s important to keep speaking even if you need a moment to decide how to answer the actual question.

Native English speakers use many different phrases to help them do this. It’s important to understand that using a time-filling phrase won’t hurt your score.  In fact, it’s likely to improve it!

Here are a few phrases to use if you need a moment to think about how to answer a question during your IELTS exam:

  • “Honestly, I am a little bit nervous right now and my mind just went blank.”  This says that you’re being honest, and trying. “My mind went blank” is also an idiom.
  • “Frankly, this isn’t something I’m used to talking about.”  Again, this is honest, and sounds like something a native speaker would say.
  • “That’s a good question.”  This welcomes good intonation, and that will help your pronunciation score.

Other simple and common English time-fillers:

  • “Wow, let me think about that.” 
  • “I’ve never thought about that before.” 
  • “Let’s see.”

Which phrases do you plan to use, and why?

Tell us what you think in the comments section below!

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