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Stuttering in the IELTS Speaking Test

by ope

Stuttering and Stammering in IELTS Speaking

Stuttering and Stammering in IELTS Speaking

Good morning all,

Please I need some clarification about some mistakes i made during my speaking test on 4th of December.

There was this section I was asked to talk about:

What can be done to make people develop interest in art.

And I found myself stuck with pronunciation of a particular word 'subsidising'. I kept say 'subsi...subsi...susiding' eventually the examiner coughed, stopped the tape and repeated the question but the same mistake occurred.

Now I am afraid this might affect my score badly. Other sections of the test went well but I was depressed all through the test.

Comments for Stuttering in the IELTS Speaking Test

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Dec 12, 2017
by: IELTS buddy

You are talking about problems with your fluency when you say that you were stuttering over a word.

Your fluency is graded over the whole speaking test, and yes, if you had noticeable problems with this during the test, then it would reduce your score for the 'fluency' grade.

The extent to which it would affect your score would depend on how often it was occurring. If it happened with just one word as you say that's really not going to affect your score (though of course it would prevent a band 9 as that would need to be pretty much perfect).

So if it really was just one word in one part of the test it's not likely to have had a big impact.

With speaking though it's really impossible to say how you did without hearing your test and we can't do that. So you just have to wait for the result.

I don't know what you mean about the examiner stopping the tape. The examiner can't stop the tape during the test.

Dec 21, 2017
Hi Ope
by: Anu25389

Ope I just read your question.

First of all, Speaking is a conversation test. Minor stuttering is fine, but continuous stuttering is noticeable and may lead to deduction in your band score. You also mentioned that the examiner stopped the tape. You might very well know that the Speaking test is recorded for future references (if ever you want reconsideration of your bands and stuff).

What I feel that the examiner wanted to motivate you as he or she (whoever the examiner was) did not want his repetition of question to be recorded during the test (i guess that is a good thing).

I think he (or she) wanted you to answer the question by giving you time to reattempt it. So I don't think you need to worry about it. Also, if it is just one word where you got stuck, and you are confident for the rest of the test, then truly, do not waste time worrying. It won't harm your score.

Hope it helped. All the best.

Dec 22, 2017
Thanks for the advice
by: Anonymous

Sure I had 7.5 in speaking very surprised saw my score today

Nov 24, 2022
Severe stammering in ielts
by: Anonymous

Having a great language power I have a strong hand in English but inspite of that due to my severe stammering I got 3.5 bands in ielts. I have given my exam for first time but due to this failure I am getting into depression please help me out

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Stammering in IELTS Speaking

by NHG


I suffer stammering.

I have long hard time getting sounds out. Should I apply normally and the speaking examiner will consider. Or should I apply for extra time, but it’s a bit far specific dates. Thanks

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Jan 15, 2021
by: IELTS buddy

If you suffer from an actual medical condition (rather than your stammering / stuttering being just from normal nerves), then yes you can ask for extra time.

This is what is says on the IELTS website:

3. Special arrangements for the Speaking test

If it takes you longer than usual to say things or to understand what people say to you, you can ask for extra time to complete the test. You are not allowed to use signing in a Speaking test.

Hearing or Speaking Problems in IELTS

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Stammering Issue in IELTS Speaking

by Hani


My kid suffers stammering, so we got a medical proof report and made sure the examiner was aware of it. However he scored 3.5 in speaking although he is brilliant in English.

I assume she did give him extra time, but while still deducting grades over his stammering symptoms. He is so sad, he knows he’s been treated unfairly. His stammering is just beyond him.

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May 03, 2021
Stammering Issue in IELTS
by: IELTS buddy

Have you checked whether the examiner was definitely aware of it?

3.5 seems a very low score if you say he is brilliant in English, unless it is a very very bad stammer.

Though examiners can be notified, there isn't really fixed rules on how it can be incorporated into the scoring so it's difficult to know how/if the examiner took it into account.

Perhaps you should have a further chat with the staff who run the test where your child took it to find out more.

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