What to do if you forget what to say during Speaking Test?

if you forget what to say during Speaking Test?

What to do if you forget what to say during Speaking Test?
What to do if you forget what to say during Speaking Test?

What to do if you forget what to say during Speaking Test?

Speaking exams can be very daunting if you forget what to say during Speaking Test? but it’s important to remember that these exams haven’t been designed to trip you up in any way. Have you ever come across a scenario during the speaking test, where you didn’t quite get what the IELTS examiner was asking, and have no idea how to begin your next sentence? What do you do then?

What can we do in order to avoid getting ourselves into this awkward situation? The examiner will want you to do well too! It’s also important not to be disheartened if you forget a word or phrase – it doesn’t reflect badly on your Spanish abilities! We forget, mishear, and misinterpret things all the time in our first language without it impacting our confidence in our fluency, and it works the same way with other languages.  Take a second to see if the word/phrase comes to you. If it doesn’t, then talking around it is fine too, and can actually help demonstrate your fluency!

Instead of saying ‘Pardon?’, ‘Hmmmm’, or keep on repeating yourself, let’s take a look at the following tips that can help you in the speaking test:

What should I do if I don’t quite understand the question?

In this case, try to use these sentences and phrases:

– If I understand right, …     

– I’m sorry, I’m not sure I understand. Do you mean (that)…?    

– Sorry I don’t quite catch you. When you say …, do you mean …?     

– I’m not exactly sure how to answer that question, but (perhaps)…     

– That’s a rather difficult question, but (maybe)…     

– Could you please rephrase that question / topic?

What should I say if I get stuck during conversation?

Getting stuck during the conversion happens quite frequently, and we can try to use the following words and phrases to show that you are actively thinking (instead of having nothing to say):

– Well, …

– Actually, …

– In fact, …

– You see, …

– How shall I put it, …

– Let me think for a second, …

– Give me a few seconds, …

And instead of saying ‘I think’, use the following phrases instead:

– As far as I’m concerned, …

– It seems to me that…

– From where I stand, it is …

– What I reckon is …

– I’d like to point out that…

– If I may say so, this is…

– I’m convinced that…

– Personally, I consider….

What should I do if I forget how to pronounce certain words?

i. Use Vaguer Words

We all want to use complex vocabulary to impress the examiner, but sometimes we just can’t remember how to say that word! In this case, try to use a vaguer word to replace it.

ii. Use Synonyms

Another way to do it is to use synonyms. Use your imagination and use the words that can convey a similar meaning. 

For example, if you can’t say:

‘This woman is talkative.’

Then use a synonym:

‘This woman is never quiet.’

iii. Expand the Words

Many of the complex words can be ‘expanded’ or ‘explained’ using simpler phrases. If you are not comfortable in using some of the words, try to keep it simple, and you might score a higher mark due to being fluent and using correct grammar.

For example, if the following is a bit difficult:

‘I’ve never seen such a stubborn person.’

Then we can say like this:

‘I’ve never seen such a person who never listens to other’s advice.’

How should I start my speech, and how should I end it?

Besides being comfortable during our speech, we should also focus on having a good start and a good ending. Nothing is worse than having nothing to say and mumble ‘Yea, that’s that…’.

Here are some good sentences that can get you started and can buy you some time to think of your answers:

– It seems that you really know how to ask difficult questions

– That’s an interesting question.

– Well, it’s really hard to say.

– Actually, I don’t quite remember.

To finish your speaking test, we can try something like these:

– In other words, I am …

– And that means …

– Let me put it another way, …

– What I’m suggesting is …

– All I’m trying to say is …

– What I’m getting at is …

– If I can rephrase that, …

– Perhaps I should make that clearer by saying

– Perhaps it would be more accurate to say …

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