Time to think in the IELTS speaking test


As we’ve mentioned in previous posts (and is probably obvious!), when you are asked a question in the speaking test but cannot think of a response straight away, you should avoid just using words like ‘Umm….errr…..’.

Here are some expressions that you can use to delay your answer to give you time to think.

NOTE: These expressions are for Part Three of the speaking test – they are too formal for Part 1!

  • That’s a very provocative question
  • It’s a contentious issue, but I think
  • There are certainly different schools of thought regarding this
  • Well, I don’t personally have any strong views on this, but…
  • That’s not something I have ever really considered before, but..
  • This is actually an issue / question that has been discussed for some time now

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