Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

If you know how the examiner will behave, or react to your answers, you will be less likely to be thrown on the exam.

The more you know about exactly what happens on the exam, the more control you have over yourself and, ultimately, your IELTS Speaking score.

One of our students, Giulianna, recently got an 8.5 on her Listening exam. According to her, she did so well because she knew exactly what to expect on the test.

In fact, that’s why so many of our students get such high marks on every part of the exam.

The students in our course are very active in our closed Facebook group. A recent exchange between another student and Jessica inspired the episode today.

3 Keys student question:

“I’ve never taken IELTS. Speaking of speaking, I’m wondering if the examiner responds, like just saying “oh I see” or “um, OK” while the examinee speaks.”

My answer:

“The examiner should not say anything while you speak necessarily, but will sometimes say “um” or “huh” at the end of your answers.”

This worried the student a bit.

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He replied:

“So, examinees are speaking to, like, a live recorder. As you might know about TOEIC, recording is how it works for the speaking test, which I really hate and cannot deal with. However, I think eye contact is still there, helping examinees…”

I immediately reassured him by saying:

“It’s not like you’re speaking to a living recorder, I promise! It’s not like TOEFL or TOEIC. It’s a real person in front of you talking. They’re responding to you with their face and their hands and gestures.”

Especially in IELTS Speaking Part 3, it is more like a conversation. (You still can’t ask the examiner questions, however!)

In the last part of the Speaking exam, the examiner will formulate questions based on the answers you give, so it becomes more connected.

The point is, if you’re expecting the examiner to respond and react like someone might in real life, that’s not going to happen. She/he has a job to do, and specific questions to ask, and cannot offer spontaneous responses or feedback.

If you want to know more about what to expect on test day,  search for “examiner” on our site.

Know what to expect on test day, and walk in feeling calm and confident!

What do you think of today’s episode?

Leave us a message in the comments section below!

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