Taking the IELTS Speaking Test can be grueling for anybody. Depending on a good IELTS score to gain access to University, an English-speaking country or even getting that much deserved promotion can make the test day a tough one. It is those on-the-day pressures that I want to look at in this article. I was lucky enough to be an IELTS Examiner in China, which is currently (at time of writing) the only country in the world which has full-time examiners. This is due to the sheer volume of candidates here and means that whereas other Examiners test speaking and mark written papers just at the weekend, Chinese IELTS Examiners work six days a week doing this. Sometimes seven if it’s a peak period in the calendar. Here in China , the competition for everything is fierce. Promotions at work depend on being able to speak English and the sheer amount of people going for those promotions and jobs is incredible. All this boils down to an unbelievable amount of pressure for Chinese students of all ages and a concentrated experience for examiners. In doing this job over a long period of time I have come to realise some of the common issues that Chinese students have when taking the IELTS test and thought it would be something useful to share with everyone here.