Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

How are your IELTS speaking scores affected if the Examiner interrupts you?

Today we answer this question as well as several more a listener sent in.

Her questions are likely similar to yours!

If not, they are questions you might have on test day.

You need to have the answers in advance!

Listener feedback

We first want to share the amazing feedback this listener sent in.

Don’t forget to rate, review and subscribe. We love your feedback!

Hello from China and I hope you are all doing well!

I’m Kunyao Zhou from Beijing, China. I just took my academic IELTS exam today!!

Not sure if this is the proper way to get in touch, but I really want to say thank you for being so helpful!

I started to listen to the All Ears English through Apple podcast in 2019, and since I decided to take the IELTS this year, I began to listen to IELTS Energy podcast during my commute to work.

Even though I don’t have my score yet, I find the IELTS Energy podcast has been really useful for my IELTS preparation.

I’m currently working as a full-time employee, so I have limited time preparing for the exam.

By listening to the podcast, I learned about some natural ways of expression and vocabulary, especially the skills for each section.

Jessica is so enthusiastic and humorous!

I wish I could have a teacher like her when I was a student.

And I also love Aubrey for her intonation and expression.


This was so lovely to hear and we’re thankful for the thoughtful note!

#1: Examiner interruptions

Kunyao’s first question was regarding her speaking exam.

By the way, I have a question for my speaking test today.

I felt a little bit down after the speaking section because I’ve been interrupted several times during part 3.

I’m not sure if I said too much but those questions are quite general and I felt it was challenging to give a very short answer.

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Expect to be interrupted

The Examiner is being held to stricter timing guidelines.

Their role has changed a bit recently.

They’re required to ask a certain number of questions.

Due to this, they will need to interrupt in order to fit in all the questions.

#2: Challenge of Part 3 questions

Kunyao mentioned that she felt the Part 3 questions were general.

She may have meant that they were asking about society in general or broader issues.

However, Part 3 questions will ask you about something quite specific.

The challenge is that they often seem to require longer, in-depth answers.

If your time has elapsed, you must get to the answer right away.

This will make it possible for the Examiner to interrupt and ask all the required questions.

#3: Examiner poker face

Kunyao also was thrown off by the Examiner’s lack of expression.

And the examiner, with a poker face, kept asking me to give examples which made me feel tense.

I felt like I was having an interview!

I’m wondering if it’s common to feel that way or it depends on the expression of different people.

This lack of reaction from the Examiner is to be expected.

They are not allowed to react.

They must give you no indication of your performance.

Be prepared for them to give you this unexpressive poker face.

#4: Score anxiety

Kunyao was worried that her scores would be affected.

The good news is that your score is not affected if the Examiner interrupts you to ask additional questions.

If anything, this increases your fluency score.

It shows that you are fluent and could continue talking on that subject.

However, if you are interrupted because you are rambling without answering the question, this will affect your score adversely.

Be sure to answer the question right away.

You can then share related details and go on a tangent.

Recommend the podcast!

She finished her message with a promise to recommend the podcast.

Again, tons of thanks to you all!

I will recommend this podcast to my friends for sure.

We’re so appreciative when listeners share our podcast.

This is the best thanks you could give us!

It’s also the best way to let others know about it.

If you know someone who is studying for IELTS, tell them about IELTS Energy!


When it comes to IELTS, you must control what you can.

The more you know about what to expect on test day, the better prepared you will be.

This will also increase your confidence.

With the answers to today’s listener questions, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect.

Expect to be interrupted and don’t let it throw you off.

Answer directly with detail right away so the Examiner has time to ask all the required questions.

For all the strategies you need, sign up for 3 Keys IELTS!

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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