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  1. Krishan kumar says:

    Hi liz,
    Have you any application for iphone regarding ielts

  2. khushal says:

    In writing task 1,
    Is it fine to give overview after last paragraph instead of summarising just after introductory paragraph!!

  3. Is it correct to write a rhetorical question in ielts writing task2 ?

  4. What band score will i grt if i got :
    15 question correct on lisitening
    20 question correct on reading
    Writing task 1 155 words
    Writing task 2 only 20 words obly the tilte paraphrase
    Speaking part 1 answerd all question correctly, part 2 less than 1 minute talk , part 3 answerd correctly and a very small mistakes
    ! Please answer my question do u think i will get less than 5 overall score or what do you think ! And thank you so much

  5. Dixit Vaghela says:

    Good Evening,mam,
    I am writing first timeto you mam(means asking question)…I am doing preparation of ielts(academic),during my speaking classes mam had give a cue card about: Talk about a hobby you had when you are younger.
    Somehow i tried to give answer but during speaking i can’t give proper answer….(I got 5.0 band) so i want to known about cue card more in detail or inshort i need full answer(if they asked me abiut chilhood memories then i can give a answer….

    • You can add any details you want to your speaking part 2 talk – it won’t affect your score. You probably got band 5 due to the level of your English. You are making frequent errors which lower your score. I suggest you spend more time learning English in order to increase your score.

  6. Ahmed Alahmad says:

    I don’t understand what do you mean when you say “you don’t lose points on wrong answers”. Can you please explain it more clearly? Thanks in advance.

    • It means that. You gain one point for each correct answer. If you get an answer wrong, you don’t gain that point but you also don’t get a minus point. So, guessing an answer is fine – there’s nothing to lose.

  7. Hi Liz,

    I’m trying to find the solutions for the reading mentioned below but I can’t find them even in the archive section… I downloaded them in March I guess..
    1. The way the brain buys (TFNG) – 9 questions
    2. The life of Beethoven (YNNG) – 10 questions (Note. I can only find a version with 8 questions)
    3. How the pyramids were built (YNNG) – 11 questions (Note. I can only find a version with 7 questions)
    Please help me. My exam is on 15th!!

    Thank you in advance!!

  8. Hi liz thank you so much for this helpful page ive got a question :

    What band score will i get if i wrote less than 150 words in task 1 and 250 words in task 2 academic ! Will i get less than 5 or what ? Please need an answer and thank you again

    • If you write under the word count, you will get a reduced score. However, it is not possible to predict your final writing score.

  9. Hello,

    I’ve gone through most of your website and have found many valuable information and tips on how to prepare for the IELTS.
    Do you have any specific advice for people whose mother tongue is English ?

    I have gone through most of your website, and have done several practice exams, am well aware of the format of the tests and the types of questions. Though my own autocorrection, I seem to frequently get bands 7,5 to 8.5 but getting a 9 seems to be very tough. Any advice on managing to not make a single mistake for reading and listening sections ?

    What advice would you give to combat nerves ? I notice that sometimes when I tried to talk for the long short in speaking part 2, that I was a lot less fluent and repeated myself several times, which is absolutely not how I would normally speak.

    • For reading, the key will be time management, paraphrasing and understanding the pit falls of each question type. For listening, it will be identifying the key words, spotting their paraphrases, not be distracted by extra information, following the order of information and concentration. For both, you need to write a list of each question you got wrong and why. There will always be a reason. Review all transcripts and spend more time analysing your mistakes.

      If you are repeating yourself in part 2 speaking, then there are probably two reasons: one is planning and using that 1 mins to plan all the extra things you want to say. Reason two is understanding that you don’t need to stick to the prompts at all. You can continue talking about anything in relation to your topic: past memories, stories, future hopes, your opinions – anything you want at all. So, you should never run out of things to say or repeat yourself. So, practise using that 1 min more effectively and thinking of developing your talk in the direction you want.

      Also make sure you review writing band score requirements. Writing is usually the area where most strong language learners struggle.

  10. Hi Liz,
    Thanks for all the fantastic material available on your website.
    In my speaking test, in part 2, while speaking I was looking at my notes for about 6-7 seconds.
    Couple of questions:
    1. Is it allowed to refer to notes while speaking ?
    2. Regarding what I did, will it affect my score in any negative manner ?
    Thanks, Ajay

  11. Jesse singh says:

    Hi liz,
    First of all, i want to thank you for the wonderful service you are providing for people globally and want to make a point that you do it SELFLESSLY, where as people try to be opportunistic when they see someone in need, and you do it across borders. People like you are good for humanity. God may bless you with courage and patience for your work in the future.

    I am jesse, and i had scored 7 overall bands(speaking 8, listening 9, reading and writing 6.5 each) in ielts academic, But that was 7 years back.

    My question to you is, i am going to attempt another ielts test(general) on 3rd of august 2017, what should i expect in terms of the structure of the test.. any changes to the test since i last attemtped?

    I aim to score 7 or more bands in each of the sections this time, kindly recommend.


    • You won’t find any difference. The test hasn’t changed. I recommend you to get Cambridge test books 10 or 11 for GT so that you can review authentic recent test materials published by IELTS. I think that is essential and then you can judge for yourself.

      • Jesse singh says:

        Thank you for taking out time to reply.. ill certainly go for the books along with this webpage..

  12. David Abe says:

    Must all the examples I give in my writing task 2 essay be true? Can I create my own examples?

    • It is not necessary to give examples. Yes, you can lie – but why? It won’t help your score. It is better to explain your ideas in full.

  13. HENRY KADZUWA says:

    Hi Liz, am craving for tips on Reading test.

  14. Hassan Qayyum says:

    Hi Liz,

    What is the best book that you can recommend for improving grammar for ielts test

  15. Francesca says:

    Hello Liz,
    First of all, thank you for all of your tips. They are so helpful!!
    I was wondering if you do Skype lessons for speaking as well as writing correction

    Thank you in advance

  16. Ran Jaya says:

    Hi. Liz.

    Earlier, IELTS-General module writing paper had 40 rules (rows or lines). But, I found in a recent test that it had been reduced to 35 lines on that particular test. Did you notice this? Or anyone who reads this has noticed it?
    I had difficulties of completing the task as usually, I write 6-9 words in a line and I need at least 35 lines to complete the essay (general) with 250 words. Also, I need a few lines to break the paragraphs as well.

    So, how can we tackle this in the test?

    Thank you

    • I have heard that the writing paper is not always the same in all test centers. If you finish your sheet, ask for another one. Put your hand up and show them your full sheet and ask for one more. You should only leave one empty line between paragraphs – not more. This is only a recommendation – it is also possible to indent clearly if you want.

  17. Hi Liz,
    i have noticed that you addressed the writing task 1 (AC) which is a report in terms of organizing the information in the report as following:
    1. Introduction
    2. Overview
    3. Body paragraph A
    4. Body paragraph B

    my question is: to what extent the same apply on writing task 2 (GT) which is a letter

    Thanks in advance

  18. aarathi says:

    hello. This site is very much helpful for IELTS. Im having my exam on 8th july and i have few questions to be clarified and i hope you could help me. I have been practising from official cambridge guide and i see few answers written as for example, (the) government. What if i write the answer as ‘government’. Will that be a right answer or wrong.?

    • When you see that in the answer key, it shows the possible variations of the answer: the government / government = both are correct. However, you can’t do this in the test – you must choose one answer only.

  19. prabhleen says:

    Hi Liz,
    In the listening section,if the currency sign is already given in the sentence ,do we have to mention the currency sign before the answer?will the answer be wrong if we write the amount without the sign.

  20. Hey,i m in trouble
    I had writing task 2 question:

    It asked that it is believed that classroom situation of teachers n students will not exist by 2050
    Wht extent do u agree?

    I forgot to focus on teachers n just remembered at full time
    Speedily jotted single line before conclusion

    Is there any chance i will get a band 6.5+?
    Plz fo reply

    • This topic is about no longer having the traditional classroom which consists of teachers teaching students. It’s about students choosing to learn online without direct contact with teachers or about computers replacing teachers in the classroom – you need to state if you agree these things will happen and will replace the traditional teacher/student classroom.

  21. Zareena says:

    Hi Liz
    I want to achieve 8 band score in general IELTS, iam getting 32 -35 in listening and reading practice​ test. Could you please tell me how much score should I get out of 40 to achieve my target band. And I do want to ask you if handwriting is not good are the marks deducted for that.
    Thanks in advance.

  22. Hi Liz!
    Thanks for information that you share with us. I want to ask, if it’s fine to write 3 paragrahs for Task 1, as it doesn’t need a conclusion.


    • You should have an introduction and an overview. Your body should be divided into minimum of two paragraphs.

  23. Hi Liz!
    Silly me, I just bought a general training Cambridge Ielts 11 book instead of academic. I’m planning to go to the bookshop tomorrow. Unfortunately I can’t return but for now can this book somehow be any use to me?

    • I’ll be buying the academic book anyways but just to let you know, I’ve finished all the listening parts in this general training book as I thought it might be useful. Is that alright?

    • The writing task 2 you can use. But the writing task 1 are useless to you. The reading tests are different layout but they can still provide you with good practice.

  24. Hello Liz, I would like to thank you for these precious tutorials that are great in value because they have really helped me a lot.
    Moreover, I am still facing only a difficulty when they ask me in the listening section to write not more than three words and or a number. I do understand the strategy, but sometimes I don’t find my exact answer in the answer key. For example, I had this in the listening: “Apart from lectures, we had practical sessions in a lot of subjects. We did these in small groups.” The question was:” How did the students do their practical sessions?” My answer to that was in small groups; however, I found only “groups” in the answer key. So would my answer be considered wrong knowing that I didn’t use more than 3 words as instructed?
    Thanks a lot for your time and effort 🙂

    • I’m very confused by your message. The instructions say “No more than three words…” this means you can have one word, two words, three words but not four words – you can’t have more than three words.

      • Well yeah; that is what have made me confused as well because I didn’t find my exact answer in the answer key. So shall I relax and assume my answer will be correct on my exam day if I follow the same instructions “write no more than three words” so I shouldn’t write four words.
        Thank you.

  25. Swati Shinde says:

    Hello mam,
    I have a further questions on writing in capital letters
    1- If I write listening section in capital then I need to write reading section also in capital letters? Or Can I write only listening section in capital letters?
    2- If I choose to write reading section in capital letters, then what to do in following question
    If the question says, yes/no/not given Or true/false/not given. In this case should I write my answer in capital letters

  26. Neha Purohit says:

    Hello Liz,
    Thanks for the wonderful website and techniques. I have my exam on 24 June and I want to ask a question related to listening test. Some times I have observed we are asked to read just 5 questions at a time for sections 1 to 3 . But somewhere I saw in practice paper, we were asked to read all the 20 questions in one go for the 4 sections. Please explain if there is any fixed pattern or it comes randomly.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Neha Purohit says:

      Sorry for the typing error… Plz read 20 as 10.

    • The instructions will tell you how many questions are coming. They will say, for example “You now have time to read questions 3 to 10.” Then you know how many questions to prepare for.

      • Neha Purohit says:

        Thanks for your reply. I understand that instructions will be coming before we start listening further, but what my doubt is that we are being given same amount of time for reading the questions, so if it is 10 questions at a time , it is difficult to read all those. Is it a possibility that we may be asked to read all 10 questions in all four sections instead of being asked to read in a bunch of 4 or 5?.

        • You should get the real tests which are published by IELTS so you get used to the time allowed for questions. There are 12 books of tests now available. It is essential you use them and get used to the test format before your real test.

  27. candice says:

    Hello Liz,

    I’d like to thank you for creating this website to help many people. I am just wondering if there is a specific time of the day that they administer the test. Does it start at 8:00am?
    Kind regards,

  28. Sreekanth Noori says:

    Thank you so much for your self-less guidance for all the test takers. I see in your FAQ you have mentioned that the answers may or may not come in the order in the listening section, but the official exam format as mentioned in IELTS website says they do come in order. “”. The first line in that link says “The questions are designed so that the answers appear in the order they are heard in the audio.” I am confused and wanted your help in this regard. Can you please clarify?

    • The answers will follow the order of question numbers. However, there are some questions which are list selection and cover three questions together from one list. This means you get questions 4 to 6 and you must choose three answers from one list for all three questions. The answers to these do not need to be in order as you write them on your answer sheet. That is the meaning. I’ll take a look again at what I wrote and try to write it more clearly.

      • Sreekanth Noori says:

        Thank you so much for your quick answer Liz! Really appreciate your help to all the test takers!

  29. Hello Liz, Thank you for all of your suggestions and support. I found your tips very helpful. I am going to write my IELTS on June 24. Before that, I need to clarify something. In reading and listening tests, sometimes I get confused with writing words, i.e. whether some words would start with a capital letter or not. So I was wondering if I write all my reading and listening answers in capital letter, that would be correct, right? But at the same time, if I write my writing part in regular small letter beside all capital letter answers in reading and writing parts, would that be a problem? I would highly appreciate if you reply to my question. Thank you

    • Capital letters are not marked in listening or reading. You can mix them up, omit them, do what you want – they don’t matter. But for writing task 1 and 2, you must pay attention to them,

  30. Murtaza says:

    Can I use pencil to answer all parts of Ielts General training?

  31. Hi Liz, I’ve checked your FAQ (and google) but can’t find any answer to this question, please help! (I’ve just started teaching IELTS this week and a student asked me this today)

    If the listening paper for Q7 looks like this:

    Subjects taken in the first semester are maths, psychology,
    (7) ___________ and ____________.

    How should you complete Q7 on the answer sheet?
    With “and” or with a comma between the two words?

    Thanks in advance, and thanks creating such a great resource.

    • The word “and” is already given which means it is not part of your answer. Your answer will be the words that fill the gaps. If you want to use a comma, you can but it’s not necessary. Just make sure the two words are easy to read with a gap between.

  32. what if we wrote the wrong data in writing task 2 ?? example, “researchers found out that 30% of……” whereas it’s not 30 it’s 50 %

  33. Ololowka says:

    Hi liz. Thank u so much for ur advice and tips. I’ve got a question: will the essay topics repeat or can i get the similar one with my friend who passed ielts 2-4 days before me in another country. By the way i am from Uzbekistan. Thx in advance looking forward for the answer

  34. How we are supposed to give an overview for the 2-3 pictures where sometime they are not comparable?

    Sunil Shrestha

    • An overview doesn’t need to compare data. Comparisons are made only when relevant. Most diagrams do not require comparisons so you won’t make them. Your task is only to select the key features and put them in one paragraph which is the overview.

  35. Yiwei Zhang says:

    Hi Liz,
    I have been practicing my IELTS listening skills these days, and I encounter three problems concern me.
    1. I have no idea when to split the word like “cablecar” or “cable car”, “seashore” or “sea shore”, any kind suggestions?
    2. About BrE and AmE, the transcript says “…… public transport……”, can I write “public transportation” on my answer sheet?
    3. I also have trouble on when to add a hyphen between two words, how can I solve this?

    Thank you.

  36. Bárbara Lima says:

    Hi, Liz! Thank you so much for posting all these tips and videos online. I have a question regarding the writing task, I’m aware we have a total of 1 hour for the task 1 and 2, does that includes the time we pass our essays to an official answer sheet? Or we don’t have space for a draft and have to write directly on the answer sheet?

  37. Hi Liz,

    I have few questions related to letter writing.

    1. I have read somewhere that we shouldn’t use comma after the greeting in formal and semi-formal letters and should just leave it as below. Is it the correct way of writing ?

    Dear Sir/Madam

    I am writing with regards to….

    2. If I am writing a letter to my boss, should I use title with my name when closing the letter ?

    3. Should the salutation be only Hi or Hello, in the informal writing or it’s okay to use Dear as well? Also, should their be a comma after Hi or Hello, like ‘Hi, Liz, ‘. (Again, read this on a website).

    Many thanks for your valuable time and guidance.

    • The comma after the name is optional. You can use it or not use it – it doesn’t affect your score. You don’t need to use a title if the person knows you – for example your boss. You can use “Dear” for an informal letter because it has a different meaning to “Dear” which is used in formal letters. Yes, you can also use “hi” for an informal letter.

  38. Hi Liz
    I’d like to ask, when I write my answers in capital letters for the reading when it comes to “lists of headings”. Do I write my answers like this i, ii, iii etc or I, II, III.
    I just want to be sure. Thanks in advance

    • Just write it the same as shown. IELTS don’t pay attention to capital letters in listening or reading.

      • Well, I’m confused. I read in the FAQ’s that its okay to write in capitals. And most people suggest to do so…So I worry in that particular part.

        • Yes, you can write in capitals. You can mix capitals. You can have no capitals – it doesn’t matter. IELTS don’t pay attention to capitals in listening or reading so use them, don’t use them, mix them up – it’s all fine.

  39. Karandeep singh says:

    HI LIZ…..Your videos are really helpful…!!Actually I am a bit confuse and I really want your help.I want to ask you that if by mistake I wrote two answers of one particular question in answer sheet of IELTS reading module by making a slash between them.And now,will it be considered as a wrong one or my first answer or second one will be checked..Waiting for your reply…!!!

    • It will be considered wrong. You must write one answer only.

      • Hi Liz, I have a question on how the replies work on your website. I’ve posted a question twice and cannot find both shown here. How strange! I wonder why because I really need your opinion on the question.
        I’ll tap it here again, just in case it appears this time.
        In listening test, do we have to stick to the exact words we hear or it’s ok to use a similar phrase? For example,
        The members are given___ to all the clubs.
        The members are entitled free entry to all the clubs.
        Is it fine to write ‘free access’?
        Thank you.

  40. HENRY KADZUWA says:

    Hi Liz,
    In during a Listening test, suppose the answer on time is ‘half-past three’ pm afternoon, can I simply write ‘3:30’ pm

  41. Plamena Stefanova says:

    Hi Liz, I find your website extremely helpful. Thank you for creating it! I just wanted to ask you something. Should I leave a blank row between paragraphs on both writing tasks in Academic module ? ( para 1 blank row para 2…)

  42. Hi Liz! Thank you so much for your tips, you are a great teacher!

    I was wondering on the second example is it possible to say “Due to traffic congestion, WE should make an effort to use more public transport in urban areas.” Basically, can we paraphrase “people” by “we” or is it too familiar?
    I also use “you” sometimes, for example, “it provides you with the opportunity to”, I’m afraid it is not appropriate.

    Thanks again,

  43. In the listening set there is the following question:
    Poison from 33……….. or ………………… are
    The answer is “plants” and “animals”.

    My question is how should we transfer our answer?
    i) plants , animals
    ii) plants animals

    • It doesn’t matter if you use commas or not. The most important thing is that both words are clearly written and it is easy to see they are two words, not one. Also because both words are for one question, they are both written in the same box on the answer sheet.

  44. Hello Liz,

    My wife and I took the IELTS test over the weekend and she thinks she mistakenly wrote the writing Task 2 answers on Task 1 answer sheet and vice versa. we tried to reach out to the Center and they told us nothing can be done. In your experience, Do you think she will scored 0? If she does score 0, is it something that can be appealed? Appreciate your sincere thoughts.


    • Luckily it is the same examiner marking both task 1 and task 2. Hopefully the examiner will realise what has happened and mark it anyway – fingers crossed. Please let me know what happens with your wife’s results – good luck 🙂

  45. Hi Liz! I’ve been learning a lot from your tutorial videos. Thank you so much for them.

    I would just like to ask something about an Opinion essay. “To what extent do you agree or disagree” Is it okay if I didn’t mentioned the exact phrase, “I agree/disagree” in my introduction? Rather, I’ve used “I think, I attest, I believe” phrases in my essay. Will it affect my grades much?

    Thank you.

    • Of course. The instructions are asking for your opinion. There are many ways you can express your opinion – I agree that …or I think that … or In my opinion…. All of these options are fine.

      • Thanks for the immediate reply. I am just confused with one thing.

        If the statement says, “Maintaining one’s own health is more of an obligation to the society, rather than for personal benefits.” To what extent do you agree or disagree?

        And I answered, “Some people believe that one’s well-being is primarily a social responsibility in the community, while this may hold valid reasons, I attest that communal and personal gains should be equally considered in pursuing health wellness.”

        Is that okay? Can I get a band score 7 in such introduction for task response?

        • Getting band 7 in task response isn’t just about your ideas. It’s about how well they are developed etc. Your opinion sounds fine though. I wish you luck with your results 🙂

          • Thank you so much, Liz! Your input means a lot to me. I hope you get to help more students in achieving their dream bandscores in IELTS.

    • Anima dootu says:

      Hi Liz! In my reading test I didn’t write the answers in boxes in one particular question. Will they cut my marks even if the answers are correct?

  46. is it better to write with pen or pencil in writing task?

    • This is entirely your choice. Practice with both and decide. If you make frequent errors, it might be better with pencil – but make sure all words can be easily read.

  47. Need your advice on Listening Test. I can fill Three words AND/OR a number. Here is the question & Transcript. I need to ask you which one is correct?

    Pick up 1_____________________ 25 April at 2 ______________

    1. Saturday or Saturday Morning
    2. 8 am or 8 am or 8:00 am

    Transcript :
    Assistant: Can you confirm the exact dates you wish you to hire the car. From Friday you said?
    Customer : No, Saturday morning if possible. That’s the 25th. What’s the earliest we can pick it up?
    Assistant: Our office opens at 8 am.

    • The first would be Saturday (although Saturday morning might also be an acceptable answer). For the second, you can write your times in any way you want as long as it is clear.

  48. Hi Ms. Liz,

    Your website and videos have been of great help to me.

    I have my IELTS exam booked for 25th of May 2017.
    And I have a query regarding the passport number that I originally filled in while registering with the British Council.

    Iam waiting to receive my passport with the new passport number as I have updated my spouse details in the old one. So I might be able to inform to whomever concerned in about 10 days time..that will be a week or so before my IELTS exam.

    But Im unaware of the procedure and also as I do not find any specific matter related to my problem in the website Kindly help me with this..


    • You should contact your test center immediately and tell them your passport number will be changed and give them the date you hope to receive your new pasport. They will explain to you what to do. I’m sure it will be fine.

  49. zahra shafqat says:

    Hello Liz.. You’re the best IELTS instructor. I really love your teaching methods and tips. I want to ask that in writing task 2 if we are given a problem in a statement and asked only for solution, do we still need to address the problem in explanation in our first body paragraph or only state solutions to the given problem divided into 2 body paragraphs??? Thank you

    • If you are only asked for the solutions, your whole essay will focus on presenting them – nothing else. Always follow the instructions.

  50. Hi Liz, I find really helpful your videos and site, I really thank you, I like the way you speak, you patient and clarity. I have a dumb question. Can I use in the reading section a highlighter pen? Because I’m practising in a portal that allows me to do it and I find it very practical, but don’t know If that is possible, can you kindly answer me please?
    I’m taking the GT in Buenos Aires the following 13rd of May, need a bandscore of 6. Altought I had studied english for many year I’m a little bit nervous because the last exam that I did was the FCE in 2005 and I got a C.
    Thank you a lot.

    • I’ve noticed that I’ve repeated the word really, I am really sorry LOL 🙂

    • No, you can’t use a highlighter pen. This means you need to practice at home using your pencil for highlighting. Get used to using different ways of highlighting – circles, stars, underlining etc. Develop your own technique that works best for you. Good luck!

  51. Huzaif says:

    If I make a mistake while writing in task 1 as well as task 2, How do I correct it ?
    Is striking off fine ?

    • You can delete it using your pen. Make sure it is fully delete and the new word is written clearly. As long as the examiner can easily read your writing – it’s fine.

  52. Thanks for your great effort in helping IELTS examination candidates.

    I would like to know whether it is allowed to write all words in CAPITAL LETTERS in writing test’s Task 1 and Task 2.


  53. Vipul Honrao says:

    Hi Liz,

    It seems official writing link mentioned in FAQ 22nd question has been removed. Could you please share?

    Best Regards,
    Vipul Honrao

  54. 1st january or january 1st? Which one is correct. Please guide

  55. Hello Liz,I have to appear in ielts exam on 25th May.but I am facing problems in writing task 1..I have practiced by watching your videos but I don’t know if there are more than one tables, charts and graphs in writing task 1 then how these would be tackled.. please guide me

  56. Islam Almallah says:

    During listening section, do we listen through headphones or stereo speakers?

  57. Bijoy Paul says:

    Hi Liz,
    Good morning. What it is called when two words joined together and form a new word? For example, workbook, viewpoint?
    Where I can find this type of word list which are common in IELTS listening?
    I really appreciate your help.

  58. Hey liz

    I appeared for IELTS exam last week and I accidentally wrote Writing task 1 and 2 on wrong sheets. Though my both tasks were done very well by me.

    Pleas tell me that would i get 0 bands in Writing module or is there still any hope.

    • You need to talk to your test center about that. Hopefully it will be ok – good luck!

      • Hey Liz

        I called idp regarding this issue.
        They told me they can’t do anything and they told me that the checker will do the checking according to the standard procedures and I will get to know about it on the day of result.

        I just want to ask are there any chances that my writing sheets would be checked??

        • I don’t have experience of this, unfortunately. You will need to wait and see your results. I’ll be thinking of you 🙂

  59. xusniddin says:

    Dear Liz,
    If question would have given like this”in this year offices circumstance is NOT BAD”
    And in the reading passage it would have given like this”in this year offices circumstance is GOOD” will this statement be TRUE OR FALSE?

  60. have written ‘i partially agree’ in the first paragraph of writing task 2…and in following paragraphs BP1 and BP2…I mentioned just agree points….will the numbers be deducted as i have not mentioned disagree points….as well as points were not so effective…can i score more than 5 bands…?? considering grammar,vocab were me

  61. GAURAV GUPTA says:

    Hello Liz
    During my ielts writing task 2 I took an extra sheet but forgot to write any of my details on the extra sheet although I had stapled it with the main sheet. The main sheet had all my particulars . Will the extra sheet be considered for evaluation getting anxious that the mistake would lead to a lower band score

    • If you are given an extra sheet and you use it, it will be marked. If you are uncertain, contact your test center directly and talk to them.

  62. In writing task 2 they asked me to writ about crimes technology but didn’t understand the question ,so I wrote about technology in general . I WANT TO KNOW IF THEY ARE GOING TO CUT ALL THE MARK FROM THIS TASK OR JUST LOSE SOME POINTS.

  63. Harkirat Singh says:

    Firstly, You are soo Beautiful
    My Question is I dont expand the cue card and follow ups question
    now what i do

    • You need to learn to expand the cue card and speak for 2 mins. Try to practise adding more information to your talk. For example, if your cue card is:
      A place you like to listen to music
      Where it is
      Who goes there
      what kind of muusic it has
      and what you like about it
      You can also add a description of the place, what you know about it, a story about the first time you went there, how often you go there, who you go with, what your favourite music is, when you plan to go again.
      You can see that there are many things you can add which are not on your cue card. It is good to do this in speaking.

  64. Dear Liz,
    I would like your advise on my situation. I wrote IELTS
    3 TIMES. first score was 6 7 7 7 (LRSW)Second score was
    8776 and third score is 7775.5 . My crs point is 395 and I need to score 8777 in ielts. I really don’t know how my writing score dropped to 5.5. I wrote both the tasks really well. It looked similar to a band 8 sample. Answered all parts and word count was 165 and 270 for task1 n task 2 respectively. I am losing faith in the exam. I have lost my mind to try again. Could you advise please..

  65. Hey Liz,

    I wanted to know whether IELTS be taken online and not paper based

  66. Hi Liz, can I use idiomatic expressions like “kill two birds with a stone” in writing part 2?

  67. Dear Liz,

    i am preparing for my first ever academic IELTS exam and planning to take it on the 3rd of June. I have been browsing through the shared questions and noticed that some of the takers had the same question. My question is: Do the IELTS questions change regularly or do they stay the same for a period of time? specifically the writing part 2. If they change it monthly, will you suggest that we take the exam on later dates of the month? It will be a great advantage if we at least have an idea of the questions that will most likely appear.
    Thank you for your help for all the test takers =)

    • You can’t predict questions or topics. But preparing recent topics and common topics for both speaking and writing will give you the best chance. It doesn’t matter when you take the test.

  68. Yiwei Zhang says:

    Hi Liz,
    I have been training on my writing task 1, and I found a problem which does not appear in the FAQ section.

    What should I do if there is too much information to cover in writing task 1?
    I always try to cover all the information in chart/graph, but it turns out there is usually too much information and I do not have enough room or time to cover all of it.

    Thank you

  69. Hi,
    I would like to know whether we will be given 15 mins reading time for academic reading?

    • You are given 1 hour to read three passages and answer all questions on the answer sheet. No extra time is given. You manage that 1 hour on your own.

  70. Megha Dey says:

    Hi Liz,

    Can we use American spellings instead of British?
    eg. color v/s colour. Center v/s Centre.

    Appreciate your help.

  71. Hello Liz
    I am preparing for listening test and I have 3 queries, could you please address my queries.
    Q1. If in listening test, the person in audio tape speaks the phone number, which is an answer to the question, so should I write 111-222-3456 or 1112223456?
    Q2. If in listening test, the person in audio tape speaks the date, which is an answer to the question, so should I write 26th December or 26 December?
    Q3. If in listening test, the person in audio tape speaks the word catalog, so should I write Catalogue (British) or Catalog (American)?

  72. Hi, Litz your website and tutorial are awesome.
    I need to confirm two things from you regarding listening section
    for instance, if I answer animal instead of animals or use different tense like fed instead of feeding; these will be considered wrong please give your expert advice.

  73. Erik Hermanson says:

    Hi Liz,

    I am a bit puzzled by the reading answer sheet. Well, not the sheet itself, but at the top it asks me to write the three digit language code. What is the three digit language code? Is it some ISO code for my native language, or English, or something completely different given to me when I arrive to the test location.

    Thanks in advance,


  74. Hi Liz,

    Can you give some examples or situation which both singular and plural answer are acceptable? Thanks

    • It depends on the recording. There are no rules. You will see examples in the answer key of Cambridge IELTS test books.

  75. Hello mam,
    Can we use currency symbol and M instead of millions etc. in the graphs?
    For exp, $20m.
    Would it be considered a single word?

  76. Hi Liz, while trying to assess my level in listening I came across a question: “1st …………”. I answered “Of August”, but but the book gives only “August” as a correct one. Should I avoid ‘OF’ in these sentences in the future?

  77. Hello Liz , I am afraid of the speaking section .I have a slight stuttering . Can it affect my speaking score ?

    • Stuttering can affect your score for fluency. If this is a permanent problem, you should contact your local test center and see if you can submit a doctors certificate.

  78. I accidentelly wrote on the speaking booklet for part 2 instead of the paper given (used pencil). Will I lose mark for it. Moreover, I got nervous after this and didn’t talk for 2 minutes. However, I answered part 1 and part 3 quite well. Will I be losing points consodering the factors mentioned above? Please let me know.

    • Don’t worry, the examiner has extra copies and plenty of different topics to choose from. You won’t lose marks.

  79. Shristi Gurung says:

    Hey Liz

    Today I gave my speaking test in Calgary Canada
    Due to nervousness I think I ruined my exam
    And tomorrow is my written exam
    Can I still get good band score from written exam. In overall
    I need to score 7

    • Sure you can still do well in writing. You must forget your speaking test and think about the next parts of the test. It is still possible to hit band 7 if you do well in LR & W. Good luck!

  80. Newton Kim says:

    I started reading the New York Times. Would it help my reading and writing?

    • It will certainly help your level of English but it won’t help you develop IELTS exam skills.

      • Newton Kim says:

        Thank you for the comment.
        May I ask the reason why? You mentioned BBC and The Economist in the useful web sites. What do you think makes them different?

  81. Hi Liz,

    When I went through one of your video about Writing Task 2 and you instructed to paraphrase the question given as your introduction in WT2.

    What is the guarantee that examiner will not consider this as a prepared answers, since there are many people providing IELTS tips through online.

    Thanks in advance.

    • No one can predict an essay question. Also essay questions are reworded which will change your background statement. It isn’t possible to prepare your background statement ahead of the test.

  82. Kashyap says:

    Hello Liz,
    I am sorry if the question is repeated. What are the maximum number of words for each of the task in academic module? I guess 150 words and 250 words are minimum number of words for each of the task, task 1 and task 2, respectively. Also, is there certain rule about the number of paragraphs for both the tasks?

  83. Hello Liz,
    Can we write overview at the end in Academi W.T. 1?
    Shall I be penalized if I do so?

  84. are the 10 minutes to transfer the answer onto the answer given after the recordings are over

    • Yes. At the end of the listening test, when the recordings are finished, you will be given 10 mins to transfer your answers. This does not happen in the reading test.

  85. Chetan Patle says:

    Hi Liz, if, I am taking exam on Saturday (Listening, Reading and Writing) so, is it certain that the Speaking test will also be conducted on the next/before Saturdays?

  86. Hai Anh says:

    Hi Liz,
    Can I use my highlighter in the listening and reading question sheets? Can I even bring one to the test room?

    • No, you can’t take a highlighter pen into the test room. You need to start practising at home highlighting with a pencil. Some things you underline, others you circle – develop your own techniques.

  87. Hello,Liz
    Can I use the phrase “Units are measured ” with percentage ,million of cubic metres or thousand of pair etc, or only with currency? Thanks

    • If you have already written “The charts show the percentage of…”, it is not logical to repeat it by writing “Units are measured in percentage”. You only give the units or measurement if you have not already done so.

  88. Hello Liz,
    I hope you’re doing great.
    Do articles count as a word? For example, in listening section, if I were asked to write no more than one word and the answer was “Winter,” would I write ” The winter” or only “Winter?”

    Thank you

  89. Hi Lizz,

    If I speak or write mixed British and USA words I’ll be penalised? Sometimes in a sentence I do write so. I find it hard to stick to UK or USA spelling mostly when I have to use synonims

    Thanks, Florin

    • You will be penalised if you mix US and Uk spelling in writing. In speaking, there is more flexibility with accents.

  90. Hi Liz,
    Your lessons were the most helpful resources for my preparation.A big thanks for that. I have a query below
    When i was practicing Listening sections using BC test material i found that section 4 instructed not to write more than 1 word, but the recording had words like ” sort of actions”, “team work”, ” tiny earnings” which does not satisfy the instructions. Instead when i checked the answer sheet they had given “Interventions”, Co-operate”, and “micro-credit” as answers respectively which was never uttered in the recordings. Do i need to use my vocabulary to get these words or i need to write down only the words i hear similar to using only words given in the passage for reading sections

  91. Hi Liz,
    I am tired of searching for good guidance on Writing Task 1 (General). I found very little about letter writing in your blog. May I request you to help me a little in this regards?


  92. Hi Liz

    I want to clarify a doubt regarding IELTS READING.
    My answer for a question is “black bodice” and actual answer is “a black bodice” in british council ielts book .
    So will my answer be marked zero ?

    • If this is a for a sentence completion and the sentence would be grammatically incorrect without “a”, then it would be wrong. It just depends on the question type. See the video on this page:

      • Hi Liz

        No the question was not a sentence completion question.
        Actually the question was :
        Choose No more than three words from the passage:
        Q. What is the bar maid wearing?
        and i answered ” black bodice” but actual answer was ” a black bodice” .. So will my answer be marked zero?

  93. Ayesha Zahid says:

    Hello mam,
    I wanted to ask about ukvi ielts. What is the difference between ukvi ielts and academic? What is the difficulty level for ukvi ielts in comparison to academic ielts? How to prepare for ukvi ielts(preparation sources)?

  94. Thoshanka says:

    Hi Liz

    I am preparing for my IELTS exam next week, hence your continued support and feedback is always much appreciated 🙂 🙂 Need your help on below….

    on this essay topic ” Some employers call you whenever they wish, even when you are on holiday.” In this development does the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

    Do we need to write only on the part of the employer or can we choose to write on the part of the employee? Because I can only see the advantages over disadvantages on the part of the employee.

    For example if I am writing on this essay topic would the following be acceptable?

    1. Flexible working conditions
    no time constraints
    no restrictions upon data access

    2. Possible facilitation with necessary equipment & tools to perform work
    able to perform work despite time and location

    1. Extremely stressful
    the necessity of having information at your fingertips at all times
    the need to provide accurate data
    always under pressure and having to think of work

    2. Can cause problems in one’s personal life
    Lack of leisure time leading to family problems
    not having space for yourself and relax may lead to poor health

    Many thanks and kind regards

    • Your ideas seem fine. Don’t forget that this requires your opinion in the introduction. Also be careful of your language “ossible facilitation with necessary equipment & tools to perform work”. Trying to sound impressive and sometimes cause the meaning to get confused when vocabulary isn’t clear. Always go for clear meaning rather than sounding good. Good luck next week !!! 🙂

  95. Maam do we get an extra writing sheet? Or we have to do both tasks on only 1 writing sheet?

  96. Maam do we get an extra writing sheet? Or we have to do both tasks on only 1 writing sheet? Can we use pencil to attemp writing paper?

  97. Hi Liz,

    when practising for the reading part of IELTS I realised that I didn’t need the whole 60 minutes. Is it possible to start the writing part before the 60 minutes for reading are over?

    Cheers, Simone

    • Unfortunately, no. You can control how you use your one hour in reading or your one hour in writing. But you can’t decide when you start reach part of the test. This is controlled by IELTS. So, use your time in reading to check spelling, answers etc. Remember that you don’t get an extra 10 mins to transfer your answers in the reading test. Or you could spend time mentally preparing yourself for writing – thinking of your key weaknesses and what you want to focus on.

  98. hey liz
    how to separate 2 answers in 1 question?

    For example, “John has ….. and ….”
    The answers is ” John has cars and motorcycles”

    What should I write?
    1. cars ; motorcycles
    2. cars motorcycles

  99. Ibrahim M Rady says:

    Hi Liz. Honestly your site is bloody enjoyable and useful, but I need printable writing practices.

  100. How can I know my English level? U said in your video u have to know your English level before preparation for ielts

    • Write something and then do spelling check and grammar check – how many mistakes do you have? Band 5 = frequent, Band 6 = some, Band 7 = few.

  101. Hi Liz,
    I know that you’ve explained your band scores on another page, however I was told that in order for me to achieve a band score 7 in both reading and writing modules, I need to achieve a raw score of 37/40 as there has been a change in the scoring system for 2017.
    Are there different raw score calculators for different countries?
    Please do advise as this news has made me very nervous and I have my exam scheduled for the 18th of March.
    Hoping to hear from you soon! xx

  102. Chaitali says:

    Hello Liz,
    I have question about regarding speaking section.
    Hello Liz
    I have stammering problem.will it affect my speaking score?

    How should I go with in my test?
    Should I directly tell the examiner about it before commenting test?
    Will it affect my fluency and pronouncing scoring?

    My exam in on 15 march after 5 days

    • You need to contact your test center immediately. They will tell you what you can do.

      • Hey Liz,
        I received following replies from IELTS service officer:

        Dear candidate,
        We do understand your anxiety.however please be assured that the IELTS test has been designed to be a fair reflection of your English skill.with be informed that there is no provision of giving extra time to the candidate for their stammering issue.however, your medical certificate from Registered Practitioners can be forworded to the concerned team prior to your exam so that it can be shared with the examiner in Oder to consider your stammering issue while taking your speaking test.

        I do not have one, as it is inborn and does not count in physical and any other type of disability as per my understanding.
        Please suggest

        • IELTS can’t give extra time to any student. But they will accept medical certificates which show you have a stammer. Go to your doctor and explain the problem – ask him to write a letter for you.

          • Chaitali says:

            Hey Liz,
            Firstly I thank to you becz of you gave me advice of medical certificate letter I made from the doctor n also examiners accepted it but they don’t gave me extra time
            Today it’s speaking section
            N I completed all bt like 60 to 65 % I clearly speak all
            After it’s depend on the examiner

            Part 1
            Asked me about friends and robots
            Part 2
            Describe the famous person in your country
            Part 3
            Follow up question about part 2

            N I had to take many mistakes in part 2 n part 1 becz of stammer becz some words I can’t speak properly
            I hope examiner understand it.

            • Thanks for sharing 🙂 The examiner isn’t allowed to give anyone extra time but it’s great they accepted your medical certificate. Make sure the test center is aware of this, not just the examiner.

  103. Aliya Siddique says:

    Dearest Liz,

    Thank you so much great help.
    Could you please guide me in order to take IELTS Examiner Training ? I am interested in it.
    Thank you in advance

  104. Hi liz,

    This is Charlie from Australia.

    First oa all, BIG THANK YOU for your hard work for those who is taking ielts test including me^^
    my question is if we could mention both sides in positive or negative development question like discussion essay before my opinion(either positive or negative)?

    I am looking forward hearing from you soon.

    • In the positive OR negative essay, you need to choose which. You can choose one side and just explain it. Or you can choose one side and explain it is (for example) positive and not negative. It’s your choice on the approach.

      • Comfort says:

        Hi Liz, do you mean that in discussion essays I can choose to dwell only on one side, eg on the positive side and say totally nothing on the negative side? Will my essay still be complete in that way?
        Another thing is, I wrote my IELTS last month and did not make it. I was expecting a pass on the writing part, but I had only 6,5, and I was not satisfied. Is there anyway one can write a query in situations like that?

  105. Hi,
    Would you please send me your email address for personal question?
    I couldn’t find any box for sending private questions.
    Thank you

    • I only work with IELTS. If you want to send me a message, do it on this website. I won’t publish your message for the public to read as long as you say that in the message.

  106. Hi Liz,
    I have a dilemma,to what extent the phrase “to take the bull by the horns” is appropriate for an essay?
    Thanks in advance

  107. Hello, I was asked to bring some kind of application form to the IELTS exam. Can you tell me what kind of form is required? I have checked my e-mail and I didn’t find anything there, so I am a bit nervous. They really insisted on bringing its printed form, but I didn’t get any application form. So, maybe someone has it? I still have time till the 25th of February )) Thank you in advance and good luck 🙂

  108. Good day, Liz,

    Firstly, I appreciate your efforts in putting this blog together. May God bless you. I was wondering if you have an extensive video training for the reading and the strategies for them?
    Thank you, and God bless you again!


  109. Hello Liz,

    I appreciate your efforts. I have question. Could I write synonym words of what I have heard in listening section?

    Thank you!

  110. Hi Liz,

    I have a question: Do I need to write the first letter True, False and Not Given with a capital letter or can I write everything small, like true, false and not given on my anwer sheet?

    Do I need to write all letters in capital letters, like (A, B, C… or a, b, c) ?

    Thanks a lot for your help!

    • You can choose to use capital letters or not. They are not checked in listening or reading. You can mix them up, miss them or put them in the wrong place – it doesn’t matter. The correct use of capital letters is only checked in the writing test.

  111. Dear Liz

    I would like to thank you for your massive efforts in helping everyone in the IELTS.

    I need your advice, i am in Amman, Jordan (middle east). I have took the Academic IELTS last year and got 4.5 in totall

    (Speaking 6, Reading 5, listening 4.5, writing 3.0). Without preparation. I was in shock with the exam, so i have took a level test last month here at the British council Amman, and they told me you are 12 from 16 (intermediate 3). So whats your advice! I keep taking the levels! Or just take a preparation course at the British council, and do a self-study on your website! 

    And i must provide the ielts results ( 6.5 total score with no less of 6 in each band )  to the university for the master degree program before july, because they only have one intake which is every September.

    Looking forward to hear from you soon.



    Fadee Ajjam 

    • The IELTS test is a language test. It tests what level of English you have. You can do the test 10 times and still not change your score if your level of English doesn’t change. If you are using the right techniques and still get the same score, then you need to study more English.

  112. Nguyễn Đức Tùng says:

    Hi Liz,
    I took the IELTS 3 weeks ago and got 7.0. I got 7.0 for writing, 7.5 for reading and 8.0 for speaking. However, my listening score was very disappointing as I got only 5.5. May you give me some tips on how to improve my listening skills ? I can understand TV shows broadcast in English but whenever it comes to the IELTS test, I tend to underperform. Some people recommend taking notes while listening but I’m doubting its practicability as examinees are only allowed to hear the recording once. Should I take note while listening ?
    Thank you in advance for replying to my comment.

  113. Hi Liz,

    I have written my exam in last week. I have taken 30 minutes and wrote task 1 appropriately. in task 2 i have written exact ideal way like rephrasing, thesis statement in introduction and topic statement, ideas, examples and supporting ideas in both body paragraphs but wrote only 1 incomplete line for conclusion and my essay was less then 250 words (around 220 words). So, is there any chance for me to get 6 bands… I have prepared well but was not able to manage time… Do i get 6 bands for that?????

    • Other modules i have done very well but worried about writing task 2.

    • Sorry but band scores can’t be predicted just based on that information. You will get a lower mark for being under words. Even if you write only one line as a conclusion, it is enough. Good luck with your results!

  114. Daniel Jensen says:

    Dear Liz,

    Is my opinion important for Task 2 or only my english? And does it matter what my advantages or disadvantages are and if they’re good reasons?

  115. Francheska says:

    Dear Liz,
    My writing task 2 was “Nowadays, people tend to throw things away instead of repairing them as it used to be in the past. Why is this the case? What can it lead too”

    However, I think I didn’t quite answered the question.

    In the introduction I paraphrased the topic. In the main part I mentioned that people consider buying new items much more easier, and that study conducted by professors of a university revealed that people have become more apathetic and seem not to care about environmental balance. As an example I wrote about the problem of deforestation in Turkey, and that government imposed a strategy of limiting number of papers used in educational institutions. So since then students have been writing in pencil and instead of taking a new piece of paper, they simply remove writing and use the old one. It helped to ace the problem of deforestation.

    In conclusion, I wrote that this problem is not marginal and should not be overlooked by authorities.

    Do you think it didn not cover the topic?
    Looking forward to your feedback
    Thanks in advance!!

    • Your example seems off topic as this is about repairing items, not erasing writing or deforestation. This relating particularly to equipment, such as a bicycle – people will buy a new one rather than take the time to fix an old one. This is because we live in a material world that revolves around consumerism. This impacts on the accumulation or waste and the economy.
      Also when you give examples in task 2, don’t quote research – this is irrelevant and doesn’t help your score. On the whole, I can’t say if your essay was on topic without seeing your full essay but it does seem you’ve chosen rather confusing points.

  116. Hey Liz,

    Just wanted to ask, how I ll buy practice tests from your website?


  117. Hi Liz, Can I use ‘ /’ in writing task 1 overview? For instance, food/drinks/tobacco

    • There are no examples in task 1. You either give the categories in the table or chart, or you don’t – there are no examples. Also you can’t use “/” – you need to show grammar which means you use “and” = tobacco and drinks.

  118. I am preparing for my tomorrow’s IELTS test and have a question.
    I sometimes struggle to paraphrase the topic of writing task 2. Often, the statement starts with “Some people believe/argue/think…” and I just can’t think about any nice paraphrases for “some people”. Do you have any tips for me?

  119. Pranay Kumar says:

    hie liz…
    can i write all capital letters for answers in reading section ?

  120. Hi,

    I would like to know what is the font size of the IELTS test question paper

  121. Hi Liz,

    Thanks for your wonderful blog, it helps tremendously.
    Please help me in getting rid of one confusion which is there with respect to British and American English.
    Please guide me as to which is the correct form of words as per IELTS standards.
    1) Organisation or Organization (Organise / Organise)
    2) Realise or Realize
    3) Finalise or Finalize
    4) Analyse or Analyze

    Please let me know as this is very confusing for me.

    Thanks in Advance,


    Dear Liz,
    Please solve my Doubt on CAPITAL LETTERS,

    For writing answers of listening test on answer sheet , Can i use all CAPITAL LETTERS or it have to be mixed of lower case letter and CAPITAL LETTER or it consists of only lower case letter.

    For example – MINERALS or Minerals or minerals

    which one is correct

    If i always use CAPITAL LETTER for writing listening test answers, is it fine and correct to write, like- SUB SOIL, PEST CONTROL, THIRTY DOLLARS, MICRO-CREDIT, BIOLOGICAL-CONTROL

    can it be like Subsoil, Pest Control, Pest control,
    Thirty Dollars, Thirty dollars,
    Micro-Credit, Micro-credit,
    Biological-Control, Biological-control.
    is here all are correct. I prefer to write like this

    Please help me to solve

    kind regards,
    Sudhansu Sekhar Jena

  123. Youmna Gamal says:

    Hi Liz,

    Are we requested to write the sender signature in writing task 1 : General training ?

    Thanks in advance

  124. Thoshanka says:

    Hi Liz

    Can the same examiner be allocated to a student for the speaking test twice? Is there a possibility to request for a different examiner if a student is re-sitting….

    The examiner I got previously for my speaking test she never maintained eye contact not at anytime she would pose a question and keep looking or rather gaze at some other place where I felt uncomfortable and made me feel like I was talking to a wall…. I don’t know why…. but the IELTS speaking videos I’d seen so far with British examiners weren’t the same… I felt they are very active conversations compared to what I had…

    Awaiting your response

    Many thanks


    • Examiners are not supposed to do that. They are supposed to appear engaged, interested and be encouraging in their body language. You have the right to complain. I’m not sure if you can request not to have that examiner in your next test – it is something you need to discuss with your local test center. If you get the same examiner again and she behaves in the same manner, you should speak out during your test while it is being recorded. Your objection needs to be recorded.

  125. Hi Liz,

    I made a very stupid mistake in my writing Task 2. The question was about secondary schools and I paraphrased secondary schools as universities and my entire essay revolved around universities. Could you please tell me how many marks will I loose?

  126. dear Liz, your lessons have been very useful to me, thanks a ton. I wanted to know if it is absolutely necessary to write the main features or highlight the main points immediately after introductory para in task 1, before starting the description para? for me, it really helps if I could write the key features in the end, before conclusion. That way I could pin down precisely the points I need to write as I already had gone through the details.

    • oh! I just saw one of your video lesson and found my answer. What I wanted to know is if I could write the overview after the body paras. now I have a clear idea and also I figured out that writing conclusion is not necessary.

  127. Youmna Gamal says:

    Dear Liz,

    Am I allowed to take notes in the exam? And if it so, where can I take them?

    thanks in advance

  128. Dear Liz,

    May I ask you a question regarding the IELTS and more precisely how to write the answers adequately?
    Well, I was wondering if we have to start the word with a capital letter when it is an isolated word but this is not the name of person or a town ( I know that for this type a words, we must write them with a capital letter)
    Example: in the completion form of the listening part, there is this question in the form

    Membership: _________________________________________

    The answer is “full-time” but do I have to write it with a capital letter given that it’s an isolated word and it is out of a sentence?

    Thanks in advance,


  129. padam khatri says:

    Is title important for the writing task:2?

  130. Is it true that the IELTS test, specially academic reading task, became harder than before from last winter?

    • No. The level of IELTS has remained the same. However, some tests might seem more challenging than others depending on topics and each candidates level.

  131. Hi Mam. Thanks for everything.
    my question is if chart is given with time period(e.g. 2006, moths etc) then in which tense we should use for explaining chart ?
    And one more question is which tense is best for past estimated charts ?

  132. Sammy Kaur says:

    Hi Liz

    A teacher of mine once told me that for writing task 2, we should write the body paragraph as following:

    A topic sentence
    Explanation of the topic sentence
    Example related to that sentence

    It was also advised that we could make up an example if we didn’t know any. I just wanted to ask you if that is a correct way to write a body paragraph and if coming up with an example of our own would make us loose marks.

    Sammy K

    • All paragraphs should start with a topic sentence which should contain the main point for the paragraph. After that, the following sentences support and explain the main point. It is up to you what information you put in your paragraph and how you support your main point. There are no rules which state that you must have an example. Your teacher is giving you safe advice which I certainly would not contradict but it is not fixed and it is not a rule.

      • Sammy Kaur says:

        Thank you so much for your response. Just another question, does making up an example, such as a reasearch results, wouldn’t result in marks deduction if the examiner knows it’s wrong.?

        • You are not marked on accuracy of statistics. But making up statistics will not increase your score – describe your example using words for a higher score.

  133. Hi Liz..

    Can we contract the month in listening test??
    like Jan, Feb, Mar??
    Is it important to write
    st, nd, rd and th in dates??
    Thank you..

  134. Hi Liz,

    Do you know if the Academic and General Writing Task 2 question are similar during the exam?

  135. Hi Liz,
    Through the IELTS exam is there a clock on the wall to see the time?
    Many Thanks,
    Albena Karagyozova

    • There should be a clock. Any IELTS center which does not provide a visible clock for all students should be reported. However, I have heard that some students complained that they couldn’t see the clock so make sure you check with your local test center and make sure they confirm with you that there will be a clock.

  136. Hi Liz..
    I have important question please comment..

    Are all topics of last year speaking changed in this new year???
    because i prepared all of 2016 topics..


    Dear Liz,

    Thank you for using your precious time to explain IELTS to us.
    Please I would like to know the number of body paragraphs which are appropriate for writing task two after the introduction?

  138. Hey I wanted to ask how do the examiner record the speaking test? Is it an audio recording or video?

  139. Hello,
    please clarify whether I will be given an extra answer sheet for the writing task, in case the sheet given is full.

  140. Abhinandan says:

    hello liz,
    this is for second time I’m asking u a question, but first for reading module.
    my question is, should we compulsorily paraphrase the answer in reading module as well as speaking ?
    and can we paraphrase answers for listening module, or else we should exactly answer according to the tape?pls, answer to my question and thanks for ur previous answers liz.

    abhinandan rau

    • You must write the exact answer in both reading and listening. In speaking, you are marked on the variety of your vocabulary so paraphrasing is advisable.

  141. Châu Chí Trung says:

    Hi Liz,

    I have a small question. So I’m doing a listening test, and there’s a question like this ” …. January”. Are 25, 25th and 25^th acceptable?

  142. hello liz,
    In writing task 1, for bar graph and line graph can we mathematically interpret the data. For example, suppose there are 50 people in 1990 watching television and 100 people in 1991. Then, will it be good to write the sentence given below by doing mathematical calculation.
    The percentage increase of people watching television from 1990 to 1991 is 100%.
    I used the formula percentage increase=(difference amount)/original amount
    will it be wise to use it or it will be useless?

    • In that case, you would say that the percentage doubled. This is language test. You get points for using vocabulary, not doing maths. So, notice when numbers double or halve. But don’t complicate things.

  143. Dear Liz:

    -. First of all I want to thank you the great support and help your web means for many students like me. It is amazing all the different contents and sections provided for free so thank you very much.
    -. Second of all I would like to comment you my situation very briefly. I have applied two times for IELTS with an overall score of 7,5 both times. I got a score of 6 in the writing section the first time. I asked for a re-mark but nothing changed as usual. So I took again the exam and I got a very good level in all sections except in the speaking part (score of 6,5 this time). My question is if my score could decrease if I ask for a remark of this part and the new teacher consider my speaking part deserve a score even below the initial 6,5. I am a doctor so I would be able to apply for the Irish Medical Council with this actual score but not for the General Medical Council (I need a 7 in the speaking part). On the other hand I am afraid my score can decrease after the remark and not being able to apply for IMC either. I don´t have a bad feeling about my speaking part at all but the examiner was really unpleasant and even rude sometimes during the exam. At the same time I have been looking for information regarding this issue in many places but neither the official pages nor the blogs provide information about it.

    -. Finally I would like to say IELTS has become more a bussiness than a real exam. I know lot of people in the same situation as me, with scores that are better than mine but surprisingly they obtain low scores in the speaking or writing sections. At the same time I have to say to IELTS examiner I am taking the exam because I want to register as doctor and my opinion is this fact changes the attitude of the examiners. IELTS has tightened their rules and at the same time they spend almost 3 months to answer a remark in order to push you for taking the exam again and again and again… and, consequently, to be able to earn more money. Therefore, I am sorry but I feel really cheated on this aspect, as many people do I guess. It is only my opinion and sorry for this last point.

    Anyway, thanks again for everything. I really appreciate your work, it really helped me during my preparation. Thank you very much.

    • Dear Fernando,
      Have you got solution about your issue? I am also facing same problem. I need minimum 7 bands in each module but unfortunately getting only 0.5 bands less every time either in Speaking or Writing. Do you suggest to remark the test? Is it possible to increase 0.5 bands from 6.5 in rechecking the test?

  144. Hello Liz,
    Thank you so much for teaching for free. I gave my L/R/W today. I did very well in it.
    My question is I have written T F NG in Reading answer sheet instead of True False question….It contained of 6 marks…As I have read in your blog that it is accepted…. Is it really fine to write? Because some of my friends who goes for private coaching , their teacher told them that is not going to be marked correct.

  145. Daniyel Ahmed Khan says:

    Hi Liz,
    Thanks for your such meaningful efforts.
    My question is that , Can i write with pencil in writing tasks? Or its necessary to write with pen ?
    I am making lots of mistake while writing that’s why I rub again and again. if i used pen ,it would give bad impression because of lots of streaks that i would make because of re-correction.

  146. Hi Liz

    I have been following all your lessons. First and foremost a BIG THANK YOU to the tremendous service provided offering free lessons to the students like us….

    My IELTS exam for GT is scheduled for 7th Jan 2017 and need to achieve a band score of 8 for each.

    Does IELTS assess you based on the information you provide? Without a thorough knowledge of the topic you get to speak or write, isn’t it tough using good vocabulary?

    I am nervous and worried about aforementioned. Please advise as it would help me prepare with confidence and calm 🙂

    Many thanks


  147. Gamal Thomas says:

    Thank you for all this stuff.
    I have a question for you if you please. You have mentioned a tip about the listening test that says: “You will need to multitask. This means you must be able to read the questions, listen for the answer and write down words all at the same time. You should practice doing this.”

    My question is how I could achieve that ? Is there any tips ? I know practice would improve me but I am looking for any tips or strategy to overcome this challange.
    Thank you again for your valuable help.

    • You have time to read the questions before you listen to the recording but you will still need to multitask. This is perfectly normal if you are in meetings or at a university lecture, that you listen, make notes and read whatever presentation is given. Practice makes perfect.

  148. hello liz,
    first of all thanku very much for your lessons. I’ve been learning your lessons for a month and got 6.5 band score today, though it was my second chance. I wish to know if you have any idea about reimbursement of IELTS fees. I have read somewhere if applicant score higher in another attempt then IELTS may refund the fees on demand.

    • I haven’t heard that. You may be refunded the cost of remarking if your score is increased but I haven’t heard you will be refunded the cost of a testif you get a better score. I suggest you contact your local test center to check with them.

  149. Abhinandan says:

    hello liz,
    firstly,thanks a tonne for uploading such a great &usefull info on the website.
    most of my friends scored good marks in ielts,only by learning from this site.
    my question is, vocabulary in the website is insufficient as per my knowledge.pls kindly suggest any of the website ,for especially only for IELTS exam moreover please madam don’t suggest a book for vocabulary .and i have an exam on jan 12th 2017.secondly,if possible try to give a different assents for listening.(link address)
    by the way I’m from india

  150. Hi Liz! Thanks so much for all the help with the IELTS test. You are great!
    Could you pleasepleaseplease help me figure out a few moments about the listening test.

    So I’ve done a listening sample test & I’ve answered one of the questions as “7” & the official key says “7.00” -> have i made a mistake? and also, i’ve answered “circle” whereas the official answer is “circleS” but both words match the context (there is “the…”) –> have i made a mistake? and also, i’ve answered “ambulance” whereas the official key is “AN ambulance” -> is that a mistake?
    thank you!!!!!!

    • On the whole, the answers keys should be followed exactly but I have known a cases where other options are possible. I can’t comment from the examples you have given without seeing the full transcript and questions. If the answer key is “an ambulance” it is usually because it completes a sentence and you need the article for the correct answer – but again without seeing it, I can’t say.

  151. Sammy Kaur says:

    Hi Liz

    I just wanted to ask you if it is okay to write on the first and last line of the paper provided for writing task.


  152. Dear Liz,
    Sorry for a little awkward question.
    But I’m curious, how many pages I have
    for writing task 2? I saw the link that you gives
    in one of yours video but it is not long enough
    for 250 words.


    • There is one page with two sides and should be enough for 250 words. However, you can ask for more paper if you have finished the paper given to you.

  153. Hello Liz,

    Thank you for your amazing site!

    For the listening part, if the answer is half past 7, and I write 7:30, is it okay?

    Thanks a lot!

  154. Hello,
    Need some urgent advice from you. I will be taking my IELTS exam in three days time. One thing which is confusing me is your description regarding upper and lower case writing style. Could you please guide me that can I write answers of listening module in uppercase and at the same time answers of reading modules in lowercase (due to limited time in reading module).
    Looking forward to hearing from you.

  155. Hello liz
    Mam writing exam ,using ? Pen OR Pencil

  156. Hello Liz..
    I need some idioms for speaking..
    Can you give me a website for that?
    Is it okay to say 3 idioms or more in speaking test??
    Thanks alot..

    • It is fine to use idiomatic language but idioms are not really recommended. Most idioms are over used or used in appropriately. Also the examiner is looking for idiomatic language, not just idioms.

  157. Hi Liz,
    I have a confusion on date format in the listening test.
    Do I have write 11th December or just 11 December ?

    Thank You

  158. Mayank Garg says:

    Hi Liz,
    Please let me know do we need to give some comfirmation for speaking test date prior to 48 hours?
    There is one note written on the ielts bc candidate area page that to revisit for the confirmation of speaking test date.
    My exam is scheduled on 25th nov(speaking) & 26th nov(other sections)
    -New Delhi (India)

  159. Hi Liz,

    One doubt in the reading test:
    I was practicing cambridge 9 test 2 in which the instructions said “no more than three words” and the answer was in percentage. I was confused as to what should I write for answer:

    25% ( will this be wrong as 25 is a number and not a word)
    twenty five percent ( will this be right? I thought so and gave this answer)
    twenty five % (?)

    Please suggest in these questions type where word is expected and answer is actually a number, should it be written in word form?

    P.S: The answer key had the answer as 25 per cent/%

  160. Hello mam,
    If there 2 fill in the gap in one question then if I answer one correctly. Then Does ielts give me half marks for one correct answer?

    • If there are two words needed for one question, then you need all words correct for one point. There are no half points.

  161. Syed Talha Hussain says:

    Hello Liz,

    In writing task 2, when the question asks for relevant examples from experience, and if I did not use the keywords “example” or “illustrate”, yet managed to provide my views , will I stand to lose marks towards task completeness?


    • It is completely fine. You don’t have to give examples unless you want to. There are many ways to provide an illustration of ideas and you can use any of them.

  162. hloo mam ., is the writing pattern same for both academic and general ilts like introduction ., bodyparagraphs and conclusion.??? I also want to know that is hook line necessary in general ilts.?

  163. hloo mam ., is the writing pattern same for both academic and general ilts like introduction ., bodyparagraphs and conclusion.??? I also want to know that is hook line necessary in general ilts.?

  164. test 1

  165. Hello,

    Please, I need your answer and thanks a lot

  166. Ani Mheryan says:

    Hello Liz,
    I am Ani from Armenia and I have a question about writing task 1 from academic module.
    Should I include data while presenting key features in the overview of task 1?
    For example;
    Overall, although the highest percentage of residents living in informal settlements was in Addis Ababa (85%) , the greatest number of people was detected in Mexico (7,000).

    • It is your choice. Sometimes, when there is a lot of data, it might be done or if you have totals to give from a table. However, often the key features are described and the data presented in the body paragraphs.

  167. Hi Liz,

    Good day.
    I just want to ask if i could bring more than two pencil in the examination room?.

    Thank you in advance..

  168. samikshya says:

    In IELTS reading, if I am using all answers in CAPITAL LETTERS, should i write roman numbers also in capital (i.e I, II, III, IV instead of i, ii, iii…)

  169. In which tense,we have to write task 1:past,present or future.

  170. If my words are about 243 how much my score will be deducted

  171. Hi Liz,

    In the listening or reading test, if the answer is two words, but if i am writing only the half answer, will i get marks for that?
    Ex. the answer is “well-paid jobs” but i write only half answer thats is “jobs”.


  172. hi. i’d like to know if numbers are included in the word count for task 1 in writing.thanks. 🙂

  173. Faldi Destaman says:

    Hi liz, I would like to ask something about writing task 1. in a few sites and books i had read that IELTS writing test is not being obliged to use Phrasal words, whether that statement is true or not ? please answer my question as soon as possible.also, i had sent an e-mail to you about my duty of Writing task 1 and please check it. thank you

    • IELTS writing task 2 is a formal essay, for both GT and academic tests. This means that many phrasal verbs are not appropriate because they are informal. It doesn’t mean that you can’t use phrasal verbs at all, but it means that you need to be selective in the ones you use. Sorry I don’t comment on writing.

  174. Adika Bintang Sulaeman says:

    Hi Liz,
    I would like to ask you about the thesis statement on Writing Task 2 for IELTS Academic. If I am asked to explain the causes of getting into debt and actions preventing it for this task 2, can I write a this kind of thesis statement?

    “This essay will discuss the causes of getting into debt and how to prevent people from getting into troubles by having a large amount of debt”

    I have never seen the form “this essay will discuss …” in IELTS writing samples, although I have seen it frequently on some pieces of academic literature.

    • No, it isn’t suitable for IELTS. Paraphrase for the background statement and present the main points in the thesis statement. “This essay will discuss…” is used when the reader doesn’t know the content of the essay – in this case, the examiner has the instructions, the same as you.

  175. Hello, Liz. My name’s Bo. I’m writing to you for the 4-th time. I have asked some questions before but still have them unanswered or I haven’t received any notifications by gmail yet. Hope, you are busy and will answer them in future.

    My question is: If you open you practice charts for writing task 1, tables, the one about poor households in Australia in 1999. I couldn’t insert the link here, sorry. The total number of poor families equaled to 1 837 000, out of which couples with children comprised of 933.000 (12%) (???????????) Isn’t it a misinformation or something? It should be nearly 50%. So, I was confused when writing my report. Could you please help with this problem. Thx a million in advance

    • Sorry I haven’t answered before. I’ve got over 2000 comments waiting for answers. That table is very misleading and confusing. You should never try to understand the data in the charts, just report what you see. In that table, the percentage relates to family units, while the numbers relate to individual people – so they do not reflect the same amounts. Organise your writing based on percentages and add the numbers in brackets or just add “… 12%, which is equivalent to 933, 000”.

  176. M. Shahbaz Ali says:

    Hello. As you know that if I get Overall 5.25 then it will be rounded to 5.5. But my question is that If I get 5.25 in speaking test then it will be rounded to 5.5 because examiner gives band in speaking test according to average of 4 criteria. In simple words, if I get 5.5 in pronunciation, 5.5 in grammatical range and accuracy, 5.0 in lexical resource and 5.0 in Fluency and coherence then after averaging it becomes 5.25. So, it will be rounded to 5.5 in Speaking?

  177. I just want to clarify about order of selection 2 more answers from the list in listening section. If the order of writing the answers should be according to the order in answer sheet or as i listen them.

    • When you choose two or three answers from one list for two or three questions, you can write the answers in any order.

  178. Hi Liz…
    Are there other real exams for listening and reading rather than cambridge books??

    Because i will finish these 11 books and l still need practice..

  179. Hi Liz,
    Thanks for loads of information on ielts.
    Can you please mention approximately how many vocabulary words will be sufficient to score band 7 or 8. And also please tell me how many errors loose one point in writing.

  180. Hi Liz, I would like to confirm if I will loose a point if I answer a word instead of a numeral? For example the direction says NO MORE THAN ONE WORD AND/ OR A NUMBER. I answered ” five” instead of “5”. And also, if I begin writing my answer in capital letter even if it is not a proper noun will I still be marked wrong? Your response will be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  181. Hey Liz,

    I’d like to thank you for providing such a good source for IELTS. I’ve been studying for 10 – 15 days from your blog and I’ve got 0.5 band higher than I need.

    Well, thank you Liz. You are great !

  182. Hi Liz,

    I have problem with defining the tenses for my writing. For example for a graph for task 1 what tenses should we use? For example, if sales increased in the past time:
    – Sales increased
    – Sales were increased
    – Sales have been increased


  183. Omar HADJ SAID says:

    Hello Liz,I just read a FAQ on this link:
    for IELTS Listening test information question, number 13 says:
    Are capital letters important? the answer was yes especially on the first of names, places or month.
    So I wonder if this answer is wrong as I know that in the IELTS listening test the upper or lower letter case does not matter what is matter is spelling is it right !

  184. Hello,
    I would like to ask that can I use numbers in the Overview paragraph of writing task 1?

    Thank you.

  185. chiara bosio says:

    Hi Liz!
    I saw your videos about the diffent types of essay.
    My question is: in the discussion essay and in the opinion one, I can choose to use a “one-side approach” or a “balance approach”. In these two types of essay it is up to to me decide which approach I want to use? ..or there are some cases in which I must use a balance approach?

    Thank you!

    • There is no case when a balanced approach will give you a high score than a one sided approach. It just depends which is easier to write depending on your ideas.

  186. Hie liz, I have confusion on writing the answer in listening test.
    The question is
    Write not more than two and/ or a number.
    Date of birth:……..
    I wrote 13th January 1983, but when I checked the answer it was only 13th January. Which one is correct?

  187. Dear Liz,
    I have got a better score in the first attempt which I took 3 months ago.Will that be valid for processing as I have taken 2 more tests after that.

    • Your results are valid for 2 years. When you take many tests, you can choose which certificate to use and which you don’t want to use.

      • Hi Liz, my wife wrote the IELTS general exam instead of the LIFE SKILLS test. She intends to migrate to the UK on a Spouse Visa and live with me. Will she have to do the LIFESKILLS test or the general test results are good enough

  188. Hello Liz..

    If the examiner ask me about flowers
    What can i say about flowers?
    What predicated questions that would ask me?

    Thank you

    • Flowers:
      Do you like flowers?
      What are your favourite flowers?
      On what occasions do people in your country give flowers to each other?
      When was the last time you bought flowers?
      Are there any flowers which have a special meaning in your country?

      The above questions are typical of that topic. You can talk about roses, lilies, lotus flowers, petals, colours, valentines day etc

  189. Choton Kanti Das says:

    Hi Liz,
    Hope you are fine. In recent times, your website is followed by me as I will sit for IELTS exam on 29th October, 2016. I have a question to you that if I use “By way of conclusion” instead of “In conclusion”, is it ok for writing Task 2. Your answer is greatly appreciated.


  190. hi Liz,
    I have my Ielts exam on 22nd October so, what I want to ask you is that in listening can I write all capital letter in my answer sheet if I dont want to use lower case words?

  191. Muhammad Khalid says:

    Dear Liz,
    I have found your website very helpful. I have a small query regarding the questions in listening that say “Write no more than one word/number for each answer”.
    Here is an example:
    Sara ate_______
    Now the speaker says “Sara ate an apple”.
    Since the instruction says no more than one word, should I write “an apple” or just write “apple”.
    The answer “an apple” appears to be grammatically correct. However it consists of two words. I want to ask whether I am wrong in thinking that “an” is counted as a separate word. Please clarify.
    Much obliged.

    • This example is not possible. All sentence completion questions MUST make grammatical sense. The only way to complete that sentence is to write “an apple” which is counted as two words. So, for this question, IELTS will NEVER ask you for one word when the answer requires two. I think you really want to know about using articles in answers, such as “a” or “the”. To learn about that, see the video on this page:

      • Navjot singh says:

        Hi Liz.
        I had scored following bands :
        R 9.0
        L 9.0
        S 7.5
        W 6.5
        I applied for writing revaluation. The result is awaiting but I have got my refund, that means my writing bands are increased.
        So, my question is if i get a increase of 1 band, that is 7.5
        What would be my overall score?
        (9 + 9+7.5+7.5)= 8.25
        Will it be rounded to 8.5 or 8.0?

  192. Hello .. You are doing great Job Thanks.
    I have one query, it was written that we can write all words with Capital Letter. what does it mean?
    Is it mean: ?
    Today Is Friday. I Am Going To Berlin.
    Please clarify. Thanks

    Regard’s Waqar Ali

  193. M.mohamed says:

    excuse me , every academic passage I process to solve , I have 3 to 5 mistake in every passage , so what grade expected to score in reading ?
    & how expert calculate this type of question ?

  194. Hello Liz

    In conclusion, offring jobs is a must for any rich country……
    What shuold i use is or are here?

    Thank you..

  195. Hi Liz,

    Firstly I would like to thank you for sharing such an useful information for all IELTS modules especially for writing part.

    I am going to write GT IELTS test on 8th Oct, 2016.
    I have a query regarding book “IELTS Upgrade 8 Practice Test for the IELTS General” that I received from IDP after booking my exam.

    When I am doing practice for Listening and Reading from this book, T found its more difficult as well as patterns are differ too compare to other practice book such Cambridge practice test, Barron’s IELTS practice tests etc.

    Also, I do get good scores while practicing from these books and less scores while doing practice from mentioned book. And its discouraging me & my confidence.

    Could you please assist me if its a good idea to practice from this book?

    Many Thanks!

    • The IELTS Cambridge Test books from 1 to 11 are real tests which IELTS have published. Barrons are practice tests, not real tests, and have been written by other authors. I’m not familiar with IELTS Upgrade so I can’t comment. Your score will naturally vary between tests due to language, topics and questions. This is why many students take more than one test. However, don’t be discouraged. Go ahead with your test and see what score you get. Good luck!

  196. Hi Liz,
    In my Ielts listening test I wrote half of the answers by capital letters and half of those by lower case. Does it mean that I lost lot of score? I got 6 in listening I expected to get higher scores.

    • It is not usually recommended to do that as it can cause a reduction in marks. However, you might be lucky – lets wait and see your results.

  197. Dear Liz
    please help me out!
    my writing in task 2 always exceeds 400 words! I am having test in 5 days. Is it going to reduce my score?? Should I try to omit a paragraph for instance?

  198. Hello Liz, thank you for your wonderful website. I have a few questions on IELTS Listening. How is the exam room atmosphere like? What type of recording media is used? Are headphones used or it is the recording media’s speaker that plays sound? Thank you.

    • Most centers use headphones but you should ask your test center directly to check. If they use speakers, you can ask for the volume to be increased.

  199. Verna Sharkawy says:

    Hello liz,

    I have 2 questions: 1. Expenses are paid back to employees every quarter
    the question: (T/F/NG) “All Company expenses can only be paid at the end of every three months.” why is this False not True?? Is it just bec. it is at the end?

    2. I am aiming for 8 in four components and i got an overall 8 2 times now but always missing half a point on writing or reading (GT) any suggestions? Thank you

  200. i did many practice tests reading and listening but i only scored 23 to 26 in readind and 27 to 30 in listening…?Plzzz suggest a better way to get out of it…and to score well

  201. Hi Liz,
    This is Vinay. I will be taking IELTS- General on 29th Oct.
    I understand that IELTS exam is break-free. I need to sit for 2 hours and 40 minutes a a stretch. My question is “how the question papers for different sections i.e. Listening, reading and writing will be sequenced and distributed?”; “will question papers of next section will be given after completion of previous section?”
    Is there any chance that I can use remaining time of reading section (if there is any time left) for writing section?

    I am targeting band 7 score. I am not clear how the scoring for speaking section will be done. Since it is face to face interaction, therefore, in my opinion, there will be chances of personal biasedness i.e. if a examiner is strict, he/she may tend to give less score? How prejudice is normalized in IELTS speaking test?

    I thank you in advance for your time and answer.

    Thank you and regards

    • The time is controlled very strictly. You will get 1 hour to finish your reading paper. The your paper will be removed and you will get the writing paper. All speaking and writing examiners are professionally trained to assess language and follow band score criteria.

    • Mehmood khan says:

      In ielts writing test we can use both pen and pencile but i your mind which pencile is best to use in writing .
      thank you liz for your kindness reply.

      • It is your choice. Whatever you feel comfortable with. A pencil is useful because you can erase your words and write them again. However, make sure the pencil writing is easy to read and not too light in colour.

  202. What if we put , instead of and in reading.
    For ex: answer given is concrete and glass. I wrote concrete, glass. Is that correct?

    • You only write “and” if it is required to complete a sentence which would be grammatically incorrect without it. Otherwise, you never use “and”.

  203. Nino Vincent Narvaiz says:

    hello Liz,

    Im Nino, I recently took the ielts academic exam sept 24. I would like to know what type of essay is this “fossil fuels (coal and natural gas ) are the main source of energy. However, in most countries, alternative sources of energy (wind and solar power) are encouraged. To what extent is it a positive or negative development?

    Thank you

    • Hi Nino, it’s a direct question which requires your opinion. You need to state if you think it is positive or negative and explain your opinion.

  204. Hello Liz..

    You have posted a line graph video tutorail but
    when i try to watch, it cannot open because it is privet…I think it is very useful and l want to watch it..
    Could you please let us watch??

    Thank you..

  205. Hello,
    I gave IELTS exam 5 times. Each time i got overall 6 band. I could not understand why i am getting the same band again. In some of the section i got 5.5 also even though i got 6.5 in the previous exam. I completed 9 volumes also. I am not getting why the same thing is happening. Can you help me out. Please.

    • You will get the band score which represents your level of English. If your English is band score 6.5, then it is unlikely you will get band 7. Even your message above contains too many errors to get band 7. Think about improving your English and reducing your errors.

  206. Hello,
    Thank you so much for all the help you’re providing.
    I have a quick question regarding writing, can we use ‘they’ or ‘them’ instead of ‘he/she’ or ‘him/her’ when writing?
    For example, the social status of someone affects how others treat THEM… instead of.. the social status of someone affects how others treat HIM/HER.

  207. Hello Liz..
    I read the table report sample in your blog and
    I learned how to write the introduction and overview very well..But i faced a problem when i came to practice another different table which has more than 3 categories i do not know how to group and select information and data into body paragraphs because not all tables have the same form..Should i mention all categories and data in the body paragraghs ??
    My problem is in the body paragraghs only..

    Thank you..

    • There is no fixed rule. Each table is different and you are being tested on your ability to select information. If the table has little information, you might report most of the details. If the table contains a lot of information, you will need to select which information to present in your report.

  208. Hello Liz,

    what tense should I use to write the Writing Task 1 section?

  209. Veronika Olejárová says:

    Hello Liz,
    First of all, thank u very much for all of your tips!
    I would like to ask u one question, I will have my Ielts exam in few days – GENERAL training and now im not sure if i have to wite in Writing task 1 only letter, or is it possible to have there also bar charts, diagram, maps and so on. Are those options only in ACADEMIC training?

  210. Sarwar Abbas says:

    Q: Write to the manager of Student Hostel Services

    Can I start the letter as :

    Dear manager of Students Hostel??

  211. Hello liz , ‘m having bit hard time on reading section and i would like to exercise it more , can you please recommend me books on practicing reading only , i recently bought cambrige 11 but m looking for only that ll provide reading questions to practice ,, some good books name please , booked another exam on comming 24 coz i guess i ll just be on 6.5 on reading as i need 7 in each band

  212. Hello Elizabeth~
    Thanks for such a great service for students !!!
    I would like to ask another question about writing essay 1

    May i use only past tense when the line graph asks to describe some trend in the past and in the future?
    for example, Proportion of elderly population, over the 100 years from 1940 to 2040.

    Thank you~

  213. Hello!

    I have my IELTS (academic) coming up soon and I’ll be taking it with the British Council.
    My question is, at the time of applying we are given the option of selecting 5 Universities to whom we can send the scores for free. Now suppose I want to change my nominated Uni to another one because I may not want to apply there after all, after submitting the form that is, is this change possible or do I essentially forfeit my free score?

  214. Hello Liz,
    In order to aim for band 7, once have to answer 30(approx) questions correctly.So particularly in the reading session can’t one spend more time on the first two comprehensions as you had mentioned the last one is bit tougher.I mean there is no mandate rule to attempt the third comprehension particularly right? we just have to eye for the correct answers.

    • The last passage is tougher in the GT reading test. In the academic test, all three are the same level.

      • I am really sorry, missed this information. It is for an academic test,so in this case one can follow this strategy for eyeing score 7 right?
        Thanks alot for such a quick response.

  215. Sadia Mahmood says:

    Hi Liz
    In Task 2, can I use an assumed name (ABCD) to show how I quote in my academic writing? For example, ABCD (2016) argued that…

  216. rosalind boo says:

    Hi Liz,
    i have a question on Listening test. Is there a range of answers that is acceptable?
    for example: answer given for a question is —people dont want to read LENTHY NEWSPAPER ARTICLES (answer in Captial letters). I might have missed out these words but i clearly heard them said “page after page” too. Will i be marked correct for this?

    • IELTS do sometimes have two or three possible options. They list them in the back of the IELTS Cambridge Test Books 1 to 11. However, I can’t say for your example. Only IELTS have the list of possible answers.

  217. Hello Liz!
    I am struggling over the answer sheet completion. If the question sounds like that: “Write the correct letters in boxes 35 and 36 on your answer sheet”, and I have to choose two out of 5, I should then complete the answer sheet as follows:
    35. A (or) 35. B
    36. B 36. A

    35. A B
    36. A B
    Thank you in advance!

  218. Hellen Hilson says:

    Really useful information. Cool to read such a well-considered article! BTW, if anyone needs to fill out a IELTS Application Form Online, I found a blank fillable form here

  219. Hello Liz :)))
    The instruction says “Write ONE WORD AND/OR A NUMBER for each answer.”
    I understand what does it mean, but still curious would it be considered as a wrong answer if i put it like this:
    “31 march 1992” instead of “31 march”
    Thanks a lot !!!

  220. Hi Liz,
    your site is an excellent source of all required information on how to prepare for IELTS… thanks a ton for the same.
    I wish to share the speaking topics asked during the test today.
    Mode: Academic test
    Center: Mumbai, India

    First topic:
    1. Where is my home
    2. Modes of transportation near my home
    3. Do you like sunny weather?
    4. where would you go if you have to tour? Sunny weather or otherwise?
    5. What activities were held in your school during sunny weather?
    6. Advertisements – where all do you see them?
    7. did any of advertisements made you buy something?
    8. do you think advertisements are necessary on internet?

    Second topic: Cue card: Mistake in life which i remember..
    1. where? what mistake? what you learnt out of it?

    continuation discussion: Are mistakes good? How the company should react if the employees commit mistakes? What should be parents response to mistakes that kids make?

    I hope someone will benefit out of this…
    I shall post my writing tasks once done with…
    thanks again and regards.

  221. gursimran singh says:

    hello liz, i have a question…… in writing 2 task introduction ….

    can we write that … my opinion, i agree with this statement………..and i will discuss it in my piece of writing..???

    as our teacher told us to write this line ” i will discuss it in my piece of writing”

    • The examiner knows what you will do because you have been given instructions – so you don’t need “I will discuss…”. What the examiner wants to know is what your opinion is. Present your opinion clearly in your introduction.

  222. hi Liz!
    i was wondering if and with what criteria we can self-correct mistakes in the writing test.. can we just bar the wrong word or for example add a few words after the main text has already been written?

  223. gursimran singh says:

    hi liz,
    plz tell me that in my listening module,can we write ‘S ‘ in a brackets for plural.

    for instance…like the answer is cats and i’m not sure that it is cat or cats……..can i write cat(s)???
    plzzz tell me

  224. Paola Andrea Gonzalez Acosta says:

    Hi, I wrote in small letters and next to this I wrote in capital letters in all my answers on listening part, because the staff told me. like this Park-PARK There will give me a penalty?

    • I have never heard of this happening before. Usually if you wrote two words instead of one, it would be marked wrong. However, it is possible that the person marking your answers understands what has happened and will not penalise you. I’m afraid you will need to wait for your results to see the impact it will have. I wish I could make you feel better but you’ll just have to wait. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you !!! Let me know your results when they arrive.

      • Hello teacher Liz…
        My name’s nadz

        I will take exam after two week on 3/9
        I’m very worried, I have problem with writing task2 I thank it’s difficult to find ideas so can you give me any solutions
        and anther Q in academic Ielts the diagram it will come?!
        and thank you sooooo much for your helping us

  225. Hi,

    In the reading module, is it necessary to include articles such as a, an, the while writing down the answers?

    For example, if the question is –

    Which room is seen at the back of the painting?
    Ans: An auditorium

    If I just write auditorium instead of an auditorium would the answer be considered incorrect?

  226. Konica Ball says:

    Its Konica here .Liz can you please give me an example of a reading test and the assessing of that reading test using the principles that are practicality , reliability , washback , validity and authenticity . Actually i need it for making up an assignment and m quite confused about how to as m an international student studying here my first session.So please reply me as soon as possible.I’ll be heartily thankful to you.

  227. Hello liz
    I want to kown that is handwriting important in writing tasks?

  228. Hi Liz,
    I have my ielts this month on 27th
    My concern is that in listening or in reading passage we have questions like choose 2 letters which are correct.sometimes I get both letters correct and sometimes I get one answer as correct and one as wrong.for example
    If the answer is
    And if my answer is
    will the whole answer is considered wrong..
    Or will I get one score for the correct answer..
    Thanks in advance,

  229. Hi, it is advised to escape: memorized model answers
    I do not understand this. Could you please give a brief example?
    As you know many participants just memorize: I am looking forward to hearing from you soon.
    Is this memorized answer or not?
    Thank you.

  230. Tony Joseph says:

    Hi Liz,

    In my Writing, I made line spaces to indicate paragraphs as it should be. I also made indentations. Will I loose marks because of the indentations?

    Tony Joe

    • You can use indentations if you like. It doesn’t affect your score. But it isn’t necessary if you have left one line empty between paragraphs.

      • Tony Joseph says:

        Hi Liz,
        You are just awesome. Your type is rare.
        May God bless you.

        God has placed a special anointing on you and your are just there; where God intends. And he won’t leave you forsaken.
        I can feel this in my spirit.

        Kindest regards,
        Tony Joe

  231. Simranjeet says:

    Madam ,
    Could you please provide a vocabulary link.

  232. Describe an interesting tradition of your country?

    Can i say about punjabi traditional cloths and dance as i am from punjab in my speaking…

    If not please tell me the main points to speak on this topic.

  233. Hey Liz, Your website is super useful. Thanks a ton for giving your valuable time in creating tools that helps everyone.

    I have question about reading section. If my answer is similar word or synonym, will I get full marks?


  234. Hi Liz,

    I just had my test yesterday in the states. I have a small question after my listening test. The listening part 4 was an article about the history of umbrella. One of the question asked what umbrellas were made of in Europe. I heard “bone”and “wood”, but I was overthinking, so I wrote”bones”and “wood” instead. I’m now really regret doing that. So I am wondering for words that could be use both singular and plural, will my answer still be considered correct? Thank you for you time! You website helped me a lot for the test!

    • IELTS will have a list of answers that are acceptable. Sometimes an answer can be both plural and singular but not often. Mostly, there is only one correct answers and any deviation is considered wrong, particularly for plurals. I’ll be wishing you luck in your results!!

  235. hlo mam
    my exm on 16 july
    I want to knw
    in the speaking
    is examiner give diffrt band for diffrt section ? like
    prt 1
    cue card?
    and follow up questions?
    they judge the overal performance of speaking? plz give me answr I m very confuse for this

  236. Hello Liz
    I took ielts today, and in writing task 1 , i describe the region Australasia as Australia,
    In almost all sentence .
    Would examiner consider it blunder or mistake? How much it effect my band if i fulfilled others criteria upto average .

  237. Hello,

    I was wondering if it was okay to ask a question in the IELTS Essay

    Thank you!

  238. Hello mam, my speaking topic was describe a dinner that you had with your friends.
    And interviewer asked my 8 question in part 1 and approximately 15 in part 3.
    Overall speaking test was good but problem in grammar. So if student did some grammar mistake. So can I capable for 6.5 band.
    My writing, reading and listening exam will be on saturday .so give me so tips for writing task please.I need 6.5 band in each.

  239. Liz, is it acceptable in writing to use For instead of Because? I see this in books quite often but not sure if this construction is academic or not. Thank you!

    • Usually we use “as” instead of “because”. For example, “more people are buying fast food as it is both convenient and tasty”.

  240. Hello mam
    I dont know anything about this ielts but i want to learn
    I want ti get ielts
    Plz provide me the whole information
    Nd details of prepration
    Material and all

    • This website contains over 300 pages of information, videos, tips and model answers for IELTS. Start reading and learning! It’s all free.

  241. Mildred says:

    Hi Liz,

    In writing test, can I write all words in capital letter?

  242. Madam, I continue to have problems with paragraphing in task 1 and also struggle with when information should be compared/contrasted. For example, in cases where there is more than 1 diagram/table/graph or a combination of them, when should they be discussed together and when should they be discussed in different paragraphs.

    Second, I find the Cambridge books do not give very good model answers. Going through, e.g Task 1, Test 2 of Book 9, I found that in their model answer, they have given exact readings i.e 72 billion etc instead of writing about 72% when the exact reading cannot be seen. What I understand from your lecture is that we should not do this. In similar vein, I sometimes find that their model answers for task 2 to be sometimes off topic, or not properly structured.

    One final thing I needed asking is whether its alright if you write your answers in one way and in comparison, I find mine to be paragraphed differently and comparing and contrasting information differently. If I understand it right, there is no one way of tackling the task 1.

    These, and some questions that I have recently asked on another of your post, are what I really need to know about. I have gotten band 8 twice but got 6.5 in writing each time (my requirement being a minimum 7.0), despite practicing both the tasks and having a good grasp on grammar as well as being capable of using a wide range of vocabulary. I have my exam on the 16th. I’m finding your blogs and videos to be very useful. Can’t thank you enough!!

  243. is that any problem if we write more number of words than required in writing tasks? i mean like crossing 170 or 180 words for the task, like that?
    thank u.

  244. Hi Miss Liz
    I will take an Academic IELTS test but Im having difficulty in beginning how to write

  245. Harmandeep singh says:

    Would you please tell me, whether I should first do a thorough reading of full passage first and then attempt answers or vice versa(in reading section)

    • Tackle the passage first except for matching headings. However, it is up to you to decide what you prefer and how to tackle the reading passages.

  246. Hi Liz!

    What if i get a band score of 6 in task 1 and 7 or more in task 2?
    I mean how do they balance both scores if they are significant different?

    Thank You

  247. parbat banjara says:

    Hi liz,
    How can I improve my all grammer here?
    Do yo have link for this page ?

  248. Gaurav Gupta says:

    Hi Liz,

    I am a trainer and looking forward to request you to post some training material related to writing and speaking on my mail ID. i have gone through almost all of your video and tips. Is it possible for you to send some training material to me through mail.

    • Sorry I don’t have any materials available at present. All my materials are currently on this blog.

  249. Can we write the answers in brackets like boy(s) instead of boys if we r not sure??

  250. Dilshad says:

    Is General Training IELTS easier than Academic test?

    • The reading passages are easier and the writing task 1 letter is easier. Writing task 2 essay questions are just a bit easier sometimes but the writing techniques are the same as the academic test. The speaking and listening is the same test as the academic test.

  251. hey liz, i had a question regarding the listening and reading part
    as my handwriting in not so good
    can i write my answers in CAPITAL LETTERS ??
    will it make my answer correct or incorrect

  252. Cassandra says:

    Hello. I see in FAQ’s you can answer in capitals for the reading and listening, can I also write in capitals in both the writing tasks (my normal isn’t so clear)? Thank you.

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