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Saturday, January 20, 2018


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Thank you teacher Simon for the news. I actually did not understand its meaning untill I read some comments from friends.

First I did not realise what the meaning of it.Then I scrolled down and read some feedbacks posted by others..... now I'm clear.

Thanks a lot @Saimon

hi Simon, I hope that you could answer my question.

I took a speaking exam just a few days ago, but I didn't understand 1-2 questions in part 1 and 3. Examiner just repeated it and didn't explain in another way. Thus, I can't answer the question. He then decided to skip and ask next one because of the limit of time. whether it could affect my score?


i'm not Simon but... if the examiner thought that you didn't get the question and skipped it because of the limited amount of time, then, i think, it won't affect your score.
But if the examiner thought that you did understand the question and was simply having difficulty using the language ( expressing your thoughts) , then i think it will probably affect your score.

what do you think was going through the examiner's mind when he was waiting for you to give the answer ?


Examiners are not allowed to explain questions in Part 1, they can only repeat them. In part 3, examiners are encouraged to say questions in a different way if the candidate does not understand it.

The important thing is NOT if you understand the question, it is whether you have the English ability to ask the examiner to repeat the question, or to rephrase it. The examiner clearly notices this.

Higher level candidates (7 and above) usually don't have problems saying things like 'Sorry, I didn't catch that - could you repeat the question?' or in part 3, the question Simon says in his post. It is essential that you are able to ask for repetition or rephrasing in a natural and accurate way in the test.

In speaking test I cannot speak as whole sentences. Examiner asked me specific question to answer but I failed to ans in whole sentences. Just I say only one word. Consequently, I get lower mark.

How can I improve my speaking with whole sentences?

Pls Help me.

Raju, you will need to find someone with really good English to practise conversation with, preferably a teacher who can correct your pronunciation.

On my last test, i also didnt clearly understand the question and she explained one more time. I also think it didnt affect the score.


take a break and get your mind off the ielts exam for a while. Work on your general english. (read books, watch movies, speak with an imaginary person about things like what you are going to do after taking the ielts exam and why, and make sure you learn ( and know how to use ) at least five new words or phrases every day like: me and my friend started CURATING MIXTAPES for each other.)

Thank you so much @shokhrukh. You're very helpful. Obviously, I'll follow your given advices.

Also Thanks a lot @Oleg

Thanks very much for this info @Simon. It is great to know that you can ask for clarification in the speaking part. Maybe now we can also practice those phrases that a native speaker use when he/she doesn't understand anything and asks for clarification.

Some phrases to ask for repetition:
- Sorry, I didn't catch that. Could you please repeat the question?
- I'm sorry, but I think I've just missed some parts of the question. Would you mind repeating it?

Some phrases to ask for clarification:
- Sorry, I'm not sure what you mean by ...
- I don't think I've fully understood the phrase ...

I'm wondering whether we can clarify the way we understand the question to the examiner, and he or she can simply reply with yes or no. It's not that we don't understand the question, but it's always better to be clear than to make mistakes.
For example, do you mean that (paraphrase the question in the way we understand it)?

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