Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

The requirement of wearing masks has added a complication to the IELTS Speaking exam!

It can be hard to understand someone behind a face mask.

If you can’t understand the Examiner, you definitely need to let them know!

It is their responsibility to make sure you can understand the questions.

Today we’ll share what you should say to ask the Examiner to speak more loudly.

Today’s question

One of our listeners sent us a question about this.

How do I ask the Examiner to speak more loudly?

You want to do this in a native, natural way.

Today’s video gives you details on how to do this!

Watch the video now!

#1: Don’t hesitate to ask

The Examiner is aware of mask complications.

It’s difficult right now, for you and the IELTS Examiner.

Depending on the test center, several precautions may be taken.

  • Masks for Examiners and candidates
  • Face shields
  • 6 feet of distance
  • Plexiglass barrier between you and the Examiner

Thus, Examiners know that it is difficult to hear sometimes!

Don’t be afraid to ask the Examiner to speak louder, due to mask interference.

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#2: Be polite

Always be respectful and polite.

A clipped, “Please speak up,” would come across as impolite.

Instead, you want to show understanding.

The Examiner is doing their best under difficult circumstances.

Start by apologizing for interrupting them.

“Sorry, would you mind speaking up a bit?”

#3: Use high level vocabulary

Use high scoring vocabulary, like ‘muffled’, for instance.

  • muffled: quiet and difficult to hear.

“Sorry, would you mind speaking up a bit? Your voice is muffled.”

  • 100%: perfect

“Sorry, could you please speak more loudly? My hearing is not 100% right now.”

“This circumstance is difficult.”


Don’t be afraid to ask the Examiner to speak more loudly.

You need to make sure that you understand every question!.

The Examiner understands that masks can cause complications with the Speaking exam.

However, it’s vital that you do so in a native, natural way.

Use high level vocabulary and be polite!

For more strategies for the Speaking exam, sign up for 3 Keys IELTS!

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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