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  1. 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..

  2. Hey Liz,

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

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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)?

  9. 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.

  10. 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,


  11. 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.

  12. 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?

  13. 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?

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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!

  17. 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?

  18. 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.

  19. 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?

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

  21. 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.

  22. 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?

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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

  26. 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.

  27. 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

  28. 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?


  29. 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?

  30. 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)?

  31. 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 !!! 🙂

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

  33. 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?

  34. 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.

  35. 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

  36. Ibrahim M Rady says:

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

  37. 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.

  38. 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

  39. 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.

  40. 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

  41. 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?

  42. 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.

  43. 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

  44. 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 🙂

  45. 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!


  46. Hello Liz,

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

    Thank you!

  47. 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.

  48. 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.

  49. 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.

  50. 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!

  51. 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?

  52. 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.

  53. Hey Liz,

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


  54. 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.

  55. 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?

  56. Pranay Kumar says:

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

  57. Hi,

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

  58. 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

  60. Youmna Gamal says:

    Hi Liz,

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

    Thanks in advance

  61. 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.

  62. 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?

  63. 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.

  64. 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

  65. 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,


  66. padam khatri says:

    Is title important for the writing task:2?

  67. 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.

  68. 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 ?

  69. 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.

  70. 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..

  71. Hi Liz,

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

  72. 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.

  73. 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?

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

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

  77. 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.

  78. 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?

  79. 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.

  80. 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.

  81. 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.

  82. 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.

  83. 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


  84. 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.

  85. 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.

  86. 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

  87. 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.

  88. 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.


  89. 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.

  90. 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!

  91. 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.

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

  93. 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.

  94. 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

  95. 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)

  96. 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/%

  97. 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.

  98. 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.

  99. 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.?

  100. 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.?

  101. test 1

  102. Hello,

    Please, I need your answer and thanks a lot

  103. 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.

  104. 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..

  105. 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…)

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

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

  108. 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”.


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

  110. 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.

  111. 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.

  112. 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”.

  113. 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?

  114. 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.

  115. 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..

  116. 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.

  117. 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

  118. 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 !

  119. 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


  120. 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 !

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

    Thank you.

  122. 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.

  123. 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?

  124. 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

  125. 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

  126. 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.


  127. 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?

  128. 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?

  129. 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

  130. 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 ?

  131. Hello Liz

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

    Thank you..

  132. 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!

  133. 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.

  134. 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?

  135. 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.

  136. 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

  137. 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

  138. 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.

  139. 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”.

  140. 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.

  141. 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..

  142. 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.

  143. 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.

  144. 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.

  145. Hello Liz,

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

  146. 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?

  147. Sarwar Abbas says:

    Q: Write to the manager of Student Hostel Services

    Can I start the letter as :

    Dear manager of Students Hostel??

  148. 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

  149. 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~

  150. 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?

  151. 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.

  152. 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…

  153. 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.

  154. 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!

  155. 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

  156. 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 !!!

  157. 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.

  158. 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.

  159. 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?

  160. 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

  161. 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

  162. 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?

  163. 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.

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

  165. 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,

  166. 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.

  167. 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

  168. Simranjeet says:

    Madam ,
    Could you please provide a vocabulary link.

  169. 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.

  170. 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?


  171. 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!!

  172. 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

  173. 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 .

  174. Hello,

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

    Thank you!

  175. 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.

  176. 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”.

  177. 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.

  178. Mildred says:

    Hi Liz,

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

  179. 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!!

  180. 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.

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

  182. 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.

  183. 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

  184. parbat banjara says:

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

  185. 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.

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

  187. 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.

  188. 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

  189. 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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