Time to think in the speaking test

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NOTE: this page will be developed with further information over time, but if you have any additional suggestions please write them in the comments area below – thanks!

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.

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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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