In the IELTS speaking test, we often get asked challenging questions that we can’t come up with an answer straight away. In these cases, you do not want to simply stay silent. Here, Wall Street English will teach you not only how to answer the question with confidence, but to know how to give yourself a couple of seconds to think about the questions.


1. Ask for more time


To be honest, I’m a bundle of nerves today. My mind just went completely blank. Let me take a moment to think about that.


Oh, I’ve never thought about that before. Allow me to take a couple of seconds to collect my thoughts.


2. Ask the examiner to repeat the question


Sorry, I’m not sure what you mean by that. Could you please repeat the question?


3. Comment on the question


That’s an interesting question.


That’s a challenging question.


4. Tell the examiner that you know little about the topic


Frankly speaking, this is not a topic that I normally talk about. If I had to choose, I would have to say…


Unfortunately, I don’t know much about this topic. If you have to ask me, I would say…


5. Rephrase the question



Examiner: What are the main environmental problems in your country?

Student: Wow, that’s hard to say. I believe the major environmental issues in our nation are…



The above examples will improve the fluidity and the quality of your answers. Now, the most important thing is to stay calm in the exam and remain cool even if you come across questions that you are unfamiliar with.


If you still feel pressured or uncomfortable when it comes to exam settings or occasions where you have to speak in English, try to test how good your English is by clicking into the link below!