You walk into the room on your speaking test day, greet your examiner, and they let you know that the test is going to be recorded. What?! But why?
You may find it surprising, but the examiners record all speaking tests for IELTS. Don’t let this worry you, however. The recording is used to evaluate the examiner, not you. The organizers will use it to ensure your test was fair, and to reevaluate your speaking test if your score needs remarking.
Foremost, the recording ensures that every test taker receives a fair test. IELTS is a standardized test. This means that the organizers of the test try to ensure that every test taker receives the same experience.
Of course, when you speak to a live human being it is always going to be a unique experience, so to provide test-takers with a fair shake the examiner records the test. This recording allows the examiner to review your performance at a later date. At times, a different examiner will listen to the recording to evaluate the performance of your examiner.
They will listen to make sure that the examiner did not give you any unfair hints or tips. IELTS examiners must follow very strict guidelines for administering the test. Examiners are not allowed to give you their opinion during the test or pass on any hints. The recording ensures a fair testing environment for everyone.
If you want your speaking test to be remarked, your testing center will use the recording taken during your test day to conduct the remark.
A different examiner than the one on your test day will listen to the recording. This new examiner doesn’t know the band score you were given on your test day. This ensures an unbiased remark.
The examiner will listen to the recording and report their determination to your IELTS testing center. Who will compare this new band score to your original you received on your testing day.
If your mark has changed, your testing center will update the band score and reissue your Test Report Form showing your new score.
Evaluation & Training
When an examiner is new to grading the speaking module, these new examiners are evaluated by more senior examiners. This is where the recording of your test comes into play.
Depending on the seniority of your examiner, your performance may be marked again. If there is a wide gap between the two scores given by each examiner, then a third, more experienced examiner will look at your test once more.
The organizers of IELTS expect a great deal of professionalism from the examiners. They strive to provide a standardized and fair test to everyone who takes the IELTS exam, so the organizers may listen to your recording to check that your examiner followed proper protocols.
New examiners may use the recording of your speaking test during their training. This allows new examiners to understand the proper way to perform the IELTS speaking test.
Requesting a Remark
If you feel that you received a lower score than you deserve for your speaking test, you can request a remark.
You must submit a request for a remark within six weeks of the date shown on your Test Report Form. You can request for your testing center to remark your entire IELTS test, or you can request that your testing center only remark a specific portion of the test. (Listening, reading, writing, or speaking.)
Keep in mind that you will have to pay a fee to request a remark of your test. The fee depends on your request and your testing center will tell you the amount you must pay if you want a remark. However, if your band score changes as a result of the remark, you will be given a full refund of this fee.
Depending on the amount of the test you want the testing center to remark, your testing center will send you the results within 2 to 21 days of your request.
Making a Complaint
You might feel the examiner treated you unfairly during your speaking test, or there may have been some other issue that occurred during the test.
The organizers of IELTS have a system in place for you to make a complaint. If you wish to make a complaint, you must file it within 12 months of the date your issue occurred.
That wraps up everything you need to know about why your examiner records your IELTS speaking test.
Don’t worry about it! The recording is mostly used to evaluate your examiner, not you. Your testing center will also use it if you need your results to be looked at a second time, or if you have any complaints about your test.
Did this fact surprise you? Make sure there are no surprises on your test day by booking an IELTS consultation with Kyle. He’ll make sure that on your test day, you will be ready to take on the world.