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  1. 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?

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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,


  5. padam khatri says:

    Is title important for the writing task:2?

  6. 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.

  7. 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 ?

  8. 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.

  9. 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..

  10. Hi Liz,

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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?

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

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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?

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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


  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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

  25. 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.

  26. 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.


  27. 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.

  28. 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!

  29. 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.

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

  31. 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.

  32. 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

  33. 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)

  34. 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/%

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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.?

  38. 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.?

  39. 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.

  40. 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..

  41. 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…)

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

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

  44. 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”.


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

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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”.

  49. 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?

  50. 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.

  51. 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..

  52. 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.

  53. 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

  54. 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 !

  55. 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


  56. 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 !

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

    Thank you.

  58. 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.

  59. 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?

  60. 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

  61. 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

  62. 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.


  63. 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?

  64. 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?

  65. 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

  66. 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 ?

  67. Hello Liz

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

    Thank you..

  68. 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!

  69. 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.

  70. 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?

  71. 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.

  72. 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

  73. 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

  74. 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.

  75. 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”.

  76. 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.

  77. 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..

  78. 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.

  79. 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.

  80. 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.

  81. Hello Liz,

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

  82. 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?

  83. Sarwar Abbas says:

    Q: Write to the manager of Student Hostel Services

    Can I start the letter as :

    Dear manager of Students Hostel??

  84. 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

  85. 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~

  86. 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?

  87. 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.

  88. 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…

  89. 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.

  90. 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!

  91. 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

  92. 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 !!!

  93. 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.

  94. 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.

  95. 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?

  96. 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

  97. 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

  98. 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?

  99. 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.

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

  101. 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,

  102. 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.

  103. 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

  104. Simranjeet says:

    Madam ,
    Could you please provide a vocabulary link.

  105. 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.

  106. 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?


  107. 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!!

  108. 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

  109. 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 .

  110. Hello,

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

    Thank you!

  111. 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.

  112. 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”.

  113. 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.

  114. Mildred says:

    Hi Liz,

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

  115. 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!!

  116. 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.

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

  118. 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.

  119. 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

  120. parbat banjara says:

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

  121. 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.

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

  123. 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.

  124. 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

  125. 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.

  126. sridhar says:

    Hi Liz,

    My name is Sridhar. I have my IELT’s test on 14th July, and I have started my preparation with your videos and i find it very helpful. I hope i can complete my preparation in 2 weeks.
    I have one small doubt regarding writing answers in all capital letters that if my answer is an sentence, can i write the whole sentence in capital letters?
    One more doubt is that, if i don’t use article in writing the answer, will it be considered as right answer or not?

  127. Dear Liz,
    In Writing task 1 should I write 7 per cent or 7%?

  128. Chaitali patel says:

    Hello,I have a stammer problem so I can’t speak properly and my exam will in sep. So tell me how I improve my speed in specking.. And I have stammer in mostly in vowels like a some words are long and hard so I can’t speak it. So I m worry about exam what I m do?

    • You can tell the examiner at the start of your test if you want to. The examiner will not mark you down if it is part of your natural speech. You will still need to find a way to expand answers in the time given. Work hard at giving a lot in part 2 and 3.

  129. hello,

    I need some clarification about listerning section. While answering in sheet, I write articles(a,an,the) like THE GROUND . the answer in answer key is GROUND.
    will it count as a wrong answer?

    and what if original answer has article and i write article in the bracket?


    • Yes, you are marked on your use of articles and it will cause you to lose points if you use them incorrectly.

  130. Good day! I have a question Maam Liz and I hope you can reply back. My exam is on next week. I have 6 days to review.
    I am certainly confused in agree and disagree essay.
    Can you tell me if its correct or what is lacking?

    TASK 2:
    1. INTRODUCTION. thesis statement.
    2. Body 1 – agree – main pont – supporting details
    3. Body 2 – agree – main point – supporting details
    4. Conclusion

    1. Introduction. Thesis statement
    2. Body 1 – TO SOME PEOPLE THEY AGREE – main point – supporting details
    3. Body 2 – HOWEVER, I DISAGREE – main point – supporting details
    4. Conclusion

  131. Hi mam,today my results were announced . I didn’t get a good score.I’m very poor in listening and reading sections and i got 5.5 and 5 respectively.could you give me suggestions how to increase my score.Thank you in advance.

  132. Melrenz Javier says:

    Are all the examiners native speakers?

  133. Naser Ahmed says:

    thank you for your wonderful and helpful sit.
    once i did an ielts test and in copmletion questions one of the answers should be two words in one space and they are for one mark. In the text they where like this ……………. and ………….
    I didn’t know which one right
    fat and sugar
    fat- sugar
    fat sugar
    fat, sugar
    could you plz tell me which one is right

  134. Hi Liz. Your website is quite useful. I have a few questions from the Writing Section – Task 2. What will happen if you are not familiar with the topic or don’t understand it enough to elaborate on it? Is it possible to write about a similar topic? Will marks be deducted for not sticking to the topic given? Is the examiner only judging our English writing skill?

  135. Dear Liz,

    I want to ask question about words which should be written separately or together. For example, sometime in listening they spell the name of street and I don’t have an idea about how to write separately or together. Do you know something about it?

    Please, if you know something, inform me.

    Best wishes,

    Natig Huseynov

  136. Hello Ma’am,
    If the cue card asks us to talk about something we never experienced, what are we to do ?

  137. Im wondering how much time will be given for reading each section questions exactly?

    • You get one hour in total. All time management of that hour is up to you so keep your eye on the clock.

  138. hi mam, i have given the ielts test on june 4. in the listening section i have commited a mistake. instead of alphabet, i have written full answer will that consider as wrong one

  139. Nadeem M says:

    Dear Liz,

    I have taken my IELTS today. One fill in the blanks questions was bothering me after my listening exam.

    The fill in the blanks( one word only) on the question paper was something like this ” The photos will be displayed in the ………………………. foyer”

    While listening the recording was ” The photos will be put for display in foyer of the theater”

    I thought for a long time and wrote my answer as The photos will be displayed in the …….theater’s………………… foyer.

    Is this a correct usage ? or should the answer be just THEATER instead of THEATER’s .

    Please kindly assist.

  140. Hi mam, Today i completed my speaking task .During the task examiner wrote 5, 6, 13 in three columns respectively. what are they ?

  141. Hi Liz
    I scored L-8.5, R-8, S-7.5, W-6.5. I wish to improve 0.5 in writing. I have desired scored in other three modules. The only issue in my writing attempt was that I met the word count requirement using just 1-2 paragraphs in the writing section. However, my attempt was grammatically correct and coherent. Do you think I would have been penalized so much for not using more paragraphs in my essay. I just want to make sure whether it is worth going for a rechecking of the writing section only.


  142. Dear Liz,
    When I did the listening part of Test 3 Section 1 in Cambridge 6, the answer of the first question is ‘the Select account. Is it right if I wrote ‘select’? And the last answer is ‘Supply information about the bank’s internet service. Is it OK if I wrote ‘Internet’?
    Thanks a lot.

  143. Jay Rathi says:

    Hi Mam,
    I am having problems with reading. And my tutor told me the score depends on difficulty task meaning to say if the test is difficult and I score 20 than to I’ll get 6-6.5 band and if the test is simple and I score 30-32 I will get 5.5. So mam I’m bit confused because I saw on your web page that if i score between 19-22 I’ll get 5.5 band and if I score 23-26 I will get 6 bands.
    So can you please with which pattern is correct and which is in correct.

  144. suzanne says:

    hi Liz. will i have time to transfer my answers at the end of the writing test? thank you in advance

  145. Ferhan Jamal says:

    Hi Liz,

    I will be giving my IELTS General Training exam soon this month. Is there any link in your website where I can see the tips related IELTS General Training Writing Task 2 ? Looking forward to your reply. Thanks a lot for all your help.

  146. Hi Liz,

    Is it possible to get the separate scores of task 1 and 2 in the form of decimals or do they always round to the nearest whole number? For example, is it correct if I calculate thus: task 1 band score 5.5 + (task 2 band score 5.75 x2)/3 = 17/3 = 5.66 round to 5.5?

  147. Harmanpreet singh says:

    Which one is more easy idp or british council for ielts exam?

  148. ashim giri says:

    Can I request to conduct my IELTS speaking before or same date but not after IELTS date?

    • You must contact your IELTS test center to see if it is possible to request a date – usually you are given a date.

  149. I reached a word count of 400+ and 200+ in the WT2 and WT1 respectively, am I going to receive penalty for this?

  150. I had cough twice during my speaking exam. Does it effect on my score?

  151. Hi Liz,
    Thank you for the wonderful tips you provide. However, I have a question for the reading component of IELTS exam.
    If the question says, choose TWO letters below for questions may be 4 and 5 and write on your answer sheet. How do we answer it?
    (a) Fishing
    (b) Washing
    (c) Walking
    (d) Coaching

  152. Hi Liz,

    I’m not sure if someone else asked this question already since I don’t have the time (or patience lol) to go over all the previously asked questions here, but if I achieved high levels of coherence/cohesion(of about 7), good idea development (with sufficient and logical supporting sentences), and a variety of syntax is used BUT my answer is totally off the topic, then how would that affect my total score for task 2 writing?
    I read the band descriptions and I think that would give me 4? for task response, is this correct? And also, would I still be able to get a 5 or 6 given the circumstances.

    Thank you,

  153. Hey Liz,

    In listening part of IELTS, if an answer for “type of accommodation” is “family” only, but I write “stay with family”,

    will it be counted as a right answer?


  154. Hi Liz,

    I am appearing for IELTS exam on 4th June, 2016. I have gone through majority of tips and videos shared by you and are really helpful!..:)
    I have one query about using UK English or US English language while writing. There is little difference between the two (e.g. 1. center OR centre 2. Organise OR organize).
    1. Which words are advisable to use in writing task 2?
    2. If, for instance, I started writing using UK English and suddenly I wrote an US English word (unknowingly) will that be considered as wrong or spelling mistake?

  155. Hi Liz, thank you so much for your information and I appreciate your help. Your website is very useful =)

    I have just got my IELTS results and I’ve got Reading (8), Writing (7), Listening(8.5), Speaking (7). I have taken Ielts for five times already and I had never got 7 in Speaking. I always got 8 or 8.5. I have to get 8 in Speaking in order for me to apply to some courses. I am wondering if I should ask them to reassess my speaking performance. Is it possible to have a higher grade after the reassessment? Could you give me some advice. I really need you to share your wisdom with me. Thanks for your attention and I look forward to your reply.

    • It is very rare to get more than a 0.5 increase from a remark – in fact I have never heard of it happening. However, you must decide for yourself. If you take the test again, then really work at offering a range of grammar tenses in your answer – add past memories, future hopes, conditional sentences etc. And remember that part 2 can be developed and expanded in any way you want. You can add description, memories, examples, comparisons etc. For writing, see my advanced lessons if you need help hitting band 7 again or more than 7:

  156. Hi liz,
    When I practise the listening section of ‘Cambridge English IELTS’ examination papers, I have a question about the written pattern. The answers say ’14 Hill Road’, could I write ’14 Hillroad’ in the exam? and ‘Preferred location: in the North-West’, could I just write northwest?
    Thanks a lot.

  157. Hi,
    I got an ielts pracrice book. On the listening test my answers are correct but not completly matching to the answers in the book. For example. The question says complete the outline. Steps are like, choose a topic, write a thesis statement. I wrote rewise but the book says rewise the draft. So will i loose a mark if i write that way?

  158. Hi Liz,

    I have an essay question, I wanted to know how to organise the structure of the essay for the below question.
    Q: Some people believe that children should be allowed to stay at home and play until they are 6 or 7 years old. Others believe that it is important for young children to go to school as soon as possible.
    What do you think are the advantages of attending school from a young age?

    Ans : Intro- 1 para
    Body – 1 para (supporting view of people saying children should stay at home)
    -1 para (supporting view of people saying going to school at a young age)
    – 1 para ( advantages of attending school from a young age)
    Conclusion – 1 para

    So, totally 5 paragraphs. Please let me know if my layout for the above essay is correct?


  159. Shourin says:

    what is the format of answering writing task 1? Should it be written in one paragraph?

  160. Harry Chen says:

    Dear Liz,
    I wish to enquire about discussion essays.
    In most ‘discuss’ topics, the prompt given will normally be “Discuss both views and give your own opinion”. The format here is rather straightforward by stating both sides and giving my own opinion in the end.
    However, I have seen topics with prompt that goes: Discuss both views/ Write about both views. Ultimately, it did not ask explicitly for my opinion, so am I right to conclude that there is no need for my stance in these type of questions?

    Thank you!

  161. Hey Liz,
    Heard a lot about you, I have one question, on last saturday. I was writing my ielts exam. I did well in listening and writing section, but in reading module I did solve all the questions and was pretty sure about my anwers. But at the end I ran out of time and could transfer 10 answers to answer sheet.
    Is there any chance That I can get score for those question bcoz I attemped those on question paper.

    • That is a real shame. Unfortunately you will only be marked on the answers that were written on your answers.

  162. What is task 1 writing for the general paper?

  163. Liz if I answer something different from what the examine asked in ielts speaking, wil I lose marks

    • You need to answer the question. Don’t change the question and answer something else. In part 2, however, you can expand the talk in anyway you want. Just stick to the topic but add any details you want.

    • hi mam ….please give me a list of writing task 1 form Jan to April 2016

  164. Hi
    My exam will be in 15th may, and I do my best to increase my level but now I feeling confused, I chose academic test and I want to get 6.5 band score
    So please I need your assistance how can I get this? and this is my first time to do IELTS test .
    You are my lovely teacher, I like your videos so much

    Best regards.

  165. hi , i want ask you about . how i can find essay for reading

  166. Is it compulsory that there should be atleast one yes,one no and one not given .In Cambridge 3 Test 4 Reading all the answers are either Yes or No But not a single Notgiven.

    Then still is it fine

  167. Hii Liz, I just got my ielts result this morning and it goes thus; Listening 8, Reading 8, Writing 7.5 and speaking 6.5
    I was thinking of requesting for a remark as I needed at least 7 in all bands.
    Please what is my chances of getting a 7 in the speaking? Thank you

    • In this case, it is worth considering a remark. Of course it isn’t certain but it could be worth a try. As long as you are confident that you expanded on all answers and paid attention to using a range of grammar tenses (past, future, conditionals etc). Good luck!

  168. Hey! I have to give the IELTS tomorrow and I had a question about capital letters across sections. I heard that it should be consistent throughout thats either lower or upper case. So if I write in upper case in the listening section, is it mandatory that I use uppercase in the reading section too? Or can I switch to lower case in the reading section? Thank you

  169. Hi Liz .
    I m from Pakistan .I have taken my ielts exame for 3 times but there is no increase in my score .l scored 5.5 every time. In 2nd and 3rd time mY efferts were more then the 1st time .it is very disappointing moment for me .I m much afraid to attempt the test again .please guide me what to do ?

    • You will probably need to improve your English language to get more. This doesn’t mean learning new words, it means making your existing English more accurate and having a deeper understanding of English.
      All the best

  170. Barkat Khan says:

    Hi, Liz

    My question, can we use just one tense, that’s past simple tense, as I seen mostly it’s past simple tense in writing task 1 (Academic report) or it depends on situation?

    Barkat Khan

  171. in the listening section … are we given a rough sheet to note down the details ?

  172. How many words should I write in each part of IELTS task 2 ?

  173. Hi Liz,

    I have great difficulty in identifying compound words in the IELTS listening test. Most of the time, I hear them right, but I write it as 2 words instead of 1 and hence I lose out that mark 🙁 Please advise me on this.


  174. shoaib ali says:

    Hello I want to ask you about spelling mistake in listening
    Because sometime i miss the s and es. for example if the answer is papers and i write only paper. so tell me is my answer is right or wrong?

  175. Let me know about the band scoring of speaking and writing test

  176. Arvinder Kaur says:

    Hi Liz!
    thank you so much for your free lessons. i had Ielts exam yesterday. I want to ask you something about the listening module as i think i made some silly mistakes. there were some questions”no more than one word” but some of the answers i wrote
    like: (purple) flower.
    So the word in bracket is optional or it does count as a word ?

    kind regards,

  177. There is an important video and you advice the student to watch , that video is about how to write a complex sentences for task 1 . I can’t play it at all

  178. maninderpal says:

    Mam yesterday I gave interview and two times I said officer to render the question so, it will effect bands or not
    Actually I was feeling headache that day and after test I said truth to interviewer that.
    “Mam today I have headache so I am nervous that it will affect my performance, and I say thanks and came out from room.
    But I gave an good interview exept these two things

    What do u think mam

  179. Hi Liz!
    Thank you very much for all those videos!
    There is a problem with on video – writing task 1 how to write complex sentences
    when I try to watch it, it shows me the note that the video is private – can be something done about it? Because I do not have any problems with those other videos so I have no idea what the problem could be.
    Thanks for your help! 🙂

  180. Raveena Sawant says:

    Hi Liz,
    Thank you for your tutorials, it has been of great help. I wanted to ask you, I am from India and I have written my primary language as English in the IELTS form instead of Marathi which is my mother tong. Will it affect the difficulty level of my test? What should I do?
    Please help
    Thank you.

  181. Hi Liz,

    I am always confused between nonetheless and nevertheless use and in addition to this, another word such as however causes ever more dilemma. Please give your suggestions when to use these words in both task 1 and 2 of writing.

    Thank you.


  182. Hi Liz,

    Is it alright to cite some made up figures in writing part 2 to support my statement? Or all my supports has to be real figures?


  183. I took ielts bc today.especially in writing i did not gave a gap after completion of each paragraphs is there any problem.i want an answer regarding on it.

  184. maninderpal says:

    Hi I have exam on this 5march please give me ans liz mam

    Can we use brackets in ielts listing if we have doubt of singular or plural
    For example. cat(s) ???

  185. Hi Liz

    Thank you for the fantastic website and youtube channel, it has helped me tremendously in refining my writing skills for the Academic IELTS. My question is for the writing exam task 2, should I rather replace a sophisticated word with an easier, but not as impressive word, if I am unsure of the spelling? Does spelling count more than vocabulary? I consider myself fully bilingual, but my spelling remains horrendous in every language.

    Thanks and regards

  186. Dear Liz
    I would like to know your comment on the following introduction for this question:

    Some people think that employers should not care about the way their employees dress at work. It is important to pay attention to their quality of work instead.
    To what extent do you agree or disagree?

    Dress code has always been a matter of dispute. It is of increasing concern for some employers. Others, however, take their staff’s performance more seriously. Whether quality of work outweighs uniforms is open to debate.

  187. Hi Liz!

    Will I lose marks if I change an answer on my answer sheet?

    Thank you!


  188. Dear Liz

    I am really confused about the layout of graph in IELTS.

    In the first IELTS preparation books the layout was like this:
    Parag1: General statement + Overview
    Parag2: Support
    Parag3: Support
    Parag4: Conclusion

    Then in later books it changed to this:
    Parag1: General Statement
    Parag2: Overview + Support
    Parag3: Conclusion

    And now it is this way:
    Parag1: General statement
    Parag2: Overview
    Parag3: Support
    Parag4: Support

    So does it mean that the first two patterns are null and void today?

    I look forward to your reply.

    • Please read all lessons on this page:
      All the best

      • Dear Liz

        Thank you for the reference. But I was wondering why the first Cambridge IETLS books model answers insisted on the first pattern with the overview in the first paragraph and also the conclusion.

        • IELTS do not wish to make their test formulaic. They earn a lot of money from their tests, so they are unlikely to give you similar models to follow which will make the test easy.
          All the best

          • Hi Liz

            Thanks for your overt reply. Actually, I’ve always considered IELTS a more business-minded than a real proficiency test. I say this because Cambridge has much more higher quality tests like FCE, CAE, and CPE, which can definitely tests the real English knowledge of a candidate and taking such courses will certainly result in learning English very well.

  189. If i am scoring 5 bands in mock test papers, then how much bands i can get in real ielts exam ?

  190. Hey Liz,
    First of all thank you so much for these lessons.
    I would like to improve my score in writing, and I saw the video where you explained the introduction part of writing task 2 and that was really helpful. Can you help me with the remaining paragraphs of the writing task 2.

    Thanks & Regards

  191. bobee jain says:

    Hi Liz,

    In writing, full stop and comma, are they counted as numbers? Thank you in advance for answering the question.


  192. I attended IELTS exam and I got low marks in listening and reading. I wrote all answers with capital letter in the start of the word like Enemy.
    Are answers count wrong if they start with capital letter instead of small letter?

    • Yes, it would be wrong to put a capital letter to start a word if it isn’t required. You put capital letters at the start of a word if it is a name or the first word of a sentence – no other time.
      All the best

  193. Hello Liz.

    You are a very good teacher I like listen your voice and your tips are ery helpfull.
    How do I found out what number of points corresponding to a particular band score? Do the IELTS change this table every year or it schould be the same?

  194. Krishna Chaitanya says:

    Hi Liz,

    I gave my IELTS exam on 23rd Jan, 2016 and received results on February 5, 2016 with below scores.

    Listening – 8

    Reading – 6.5

    Speaking – 7.5

    Writing – 7

    I need 7 in each band to claim additional points in CRS (Canadian Express Entry Programme).

    Do you think revaluation in Reading Module and increase in 0.5 band will work in my favor ?

    Looking forward for your expert advise at the earliest possible.


    Krishna Chaitanya

    • It is highly unlikely that your score will change because reading and listening are marked based on correct or incorrect answers rather than an examiners interpretation.
      All the best

  195. Hi Liz,

    Just wanted to say a massive thanks, I used your blog in addition to the free training materials IELTS provided. It was a massive benefit having all the extra resources and it helped me achieve the grades I required for my visa application!

    Kind Regards


  196. Benazir Jahan says:

    Hi Liz
    Could you please elaborate me the meaning of post-school qualifications or different levels of educations? I searched it through different sites, however, the meaning is still unclear to me? It would be really helpful for my IELTS test.

  197. Shiva Holm says:

    Hi dear Liz,

    First of all,thanks for the useful and convenient site which you have.

    Actually my question is about paraphrasing a writing sample test.
    There is the question :
    As languages such as Spanish,Chinese and English become more widely used , there is a fear that many minority languages may die out.

    I paraphrased it like :
    Developing and popularity of some of the languages for instance Spanish , Chinese and English may cause the worry that many other languages which are less known and named are being forgotten and eventually pass away.

    I wonder is this paraphrase is good at all or no.
    Please let me know and guide me.


  198. Dear Liz, hope you are doing well

    I have two questions:
    1- Is it true that i shouldn’t use question marks sentences or use pronouns in writing task 2? for example” In my opinion humans should not consider this as a main issue?..” ”Many people think that when YOU”
    2- Are longer words are usually more formal than the short ones? for example instead of often, frequently?

    Thanks in advance

  199. Hi Liz,

    This is Riimii here. Today I have received my IELTS results. I have scored :
    Listening – 8.5
    Reading – 7
    Writing – 7, and
    Speaking – 6.5.
    I want to do MS in Australia. Could you please let me know if I am eligible with the score I have achieved in my IELTS exam. My overall band is 7.5


    • Well done! You will need to contact the University to see if your score is enough to enter the course.
      All the best

  200. Hi Liz,

    Hoping that you are doing well. Liz I want your help. I last year gave the exam and I scored
    1 Listening 6.5
    2. Reading 6
    3. Writing 5.5
    4. Speaking 6.5
    But I needed 7 bands over all.
    1 How could I improve my band score.
    2. I need Over all 7 each band score.
    3. I want to improve my listening Reading and writing .

    Please help me dear.

    Mandhir Singh

  201. Dear Liz,

    In order o apply to university I was required to have an English diploma which is way I had taken in 2014 the IELTS exam. I am aware that this exam it is valid only for two years yet, I am studying in English and speaking everyday life English language and my question is whether it is possible to extend my exam due to this reason or I need to re-take it ?

  202. Hello mam,

    Is there any difference between british council Ielts and IDP Ielts especially in case of calculating over all band score.?
    please let me know as soon as possible.

    Thank you in advance.

  203. Is there any difference between british council ielts and idp ielts espicially in case of calculating overall band score

  204. Vinay Kumar Dogra says:

    I have a small doubt regarding listening test. I would like to ask You for each section of listening test, recording is played once at a time or 4 recordings are played at the same time and then we are asked to write our answers? Also, i would like to ask You 30 minutes are given for answering and then 10 minutes for marking them on answer sheet but are e suppose to mark our answers on question paper within 30 minutes or during the ime when recording is played?

  205. Hello Liz, I m Bhavna.
    1. I have a habit of reading aloud and then i understand the text better. Would this a problem or a disturbance for others in the IELTS exam hall? I have no clue on this. Pls suggest.

    2. I have ielts this February .I have received a practice test book. Where in the Reading Tests – where the questions are either fill in the blanks or complete sentences – i tend to miss on the prepositions. like i answered ‘dual purpose’ instead of ‘a dual purpose’ …then ‘watery substance’ instead of ‘the watery substance’ , here i need to know do i get marks here or a complete 0. Please help me liz !!!!

    3. since i am referring to your videos , and totally relying on them , if you had like to suggest me important tips or even latest practice tests, that would be great. I know for you to help any individual like this , is impossible, but I have only YOU to get me out, I really need band score 8 or above to qualify.

  206. Hi Liz,
    My Listening is not good for multiple choice questions. What should I do??? Please help me miss….

  207. laxman pandey says:

    dear liz,
    MY name is laxman , live in spain, I am very happy to find your website to learn IELTS. Am intrestig to do general ielts , i have little bit more fear for writing, coz i can´t practice more and i do not have teacher to check my writining so honestly saying that my skills will better through your site, is there special technique to improve overall band as well as my writting please?

  208. Krishan Thapar says:

    Hello mam, really you work for students like as the best guider and I really appreciate you for your kind work ,now I want to know about that in Ielts exam can I write capital letters as I read your all instructions and I have red we can write capital letters but the Ielts is that my friend said to me now rules of Ielts were changed so please give me feed back about my question still I write capital letters or not thank you mam

  209. Hey,

    Are all the answers in all the “Three Tests” required to be written only in capital letters or
    lower cases?

    Thank you,


  210. Aashini Patel says:

    Can you please tell me which specific kind of questions can be ask in task 2?
    I mean to say that One of those is “To what extend do you agree?”. So which another type of questions can be asked? and what is the appropriate way to answer such type of quetion?
    Please reply as fast as you can


  211. Akoma Odinaka says:

    Hi liz, i was suppose to write the Ielts test on the 9th of jan 2016, but i never knew i will have to go for speaking test, i just opened my email and found that i have a test today been on 6th jan 2015. is’t possible for me to write it tomorrow or even on the day of writing, Listening test pls i have to make it possible. pls reply.

  212. bobee jain says:

    Hi Liz,

    I hope you had a good break. My name is Bobee and I am taking my exam on 23rd for academic module. I would much appreciate you could tell me that which form of the answer is correct when answering ‘the date(s) types of questions, for example, 22 or 22nd.
    Thank you very much indeed for your time.

  213. Jeny Pantoja says:

    Hello Liz,
    I would like to know if there is a difference between the IELTS test and the IELTS UK VI. Is it the same format?
    Thank you.


  214. Abdullah ALAJMI says:

    Hello Liz,

    This is Abdullah ALAJMI, i have taken the IELTS UKVI test on the 19th of DEC in a foreign country and unfortunately i do not remember my condinant number so is there any way that i could get my IELTS UKVI score!!

    One more last question if i new the results online how can i know that this is the right document to contact universities with!!

    Many thanks

  215. Muhammad Shaaban says:

    Hello Liz,

    Is it advisable to try and write down everything being said on the audio during listening? Like writing down a transcript for the audio?

    I’d like to thank you for all the effort you are putting here.

    Best regards

  216. Hi Liz
    Regarding the reading parts, you stress the fact that the questions will always come in order as we read the passage, many other teachers saying it is often in order, would you mind if you can clarify this.
    Many thanks and merry xmas

  217. Hi Liz,
    I want to use capital letter in my answer sheet.I want to know what is correct form for writing any date; 5th DECEMBER or 5TH DECEMBER 3rd or 3RD.Please help me.

  218. dongnguyen says:

    hi Ieltsliz, firstly thank you for offering me some interestingly useful lessons. ak i have a question want to ask you. when i read newspapers, and i saw some new form of words. for example, the cancerous mutations, the individualistic company. i knew that cancerous is an form of an adjective, as well as individualistic. however, the word individual has form adjective is individual. but the newspapers say so. my question is
    can i use those forms in the test. because, i cannot find them in my dictionary. (oxford and longman dictionary). but i know they are adjectives. i want to re-take and get band 9. and go to the USA with my friends. haha.
    thank you so much and i look forward to hearing from you.

  219. Hello Liz,

    For essays that ask to discuss both sides and give an opinion, is it necessary to put the opinion in the intro itself?

    Thank you

  220. In Listening test of 12 Dec 2015 the question was
    No more than 2 words/And a number
    I wrote: “5th of May”
    Is my answer right?
    I have added “th” with 5…

  221. Hadiuzzaman says:

    I have only one question to you, but at first, I want to give you a lot of THANKS for your free lessons and free videos. Your teaching style is amazing and your materials are organized so that one can take the greatest benefit from you. The truth is you are the best IELTS teacher I have ever seen.

    My question is….
    How can you smile all the time? 🙂

  222. Pls share listening answers for 12_12_2015 exam

    5 may

    Answers are not in order please share other answers as well.

  223. Hi Liz,
    Many thanks to you for a commendable job that you are doing for the student community all over the world. I have a specific question to you. I had my L/R/W test today (12/12/2015) and the topic for the Writing Task 1 was something on these lines:
    The organiser of the business meeting booked a hotel. You were unhappy with the hotel.
    -give details about the meeting
    -say why you were unhappy with the hotel
    -what you want the organiser to do

    Well, for this part I answered as if the hotel was booked separately for stay by me, while the venue for the meeting was a different one. Is that completely off-topic, since as other test takers suggested, that the organiser would have booked the hotel for the purpose of the business meeting(i.e, the hotel being talked about, is in fact the venue of the meeting)? Obviously, since TA is 0, there would be no meaning in marking the letter based on other criteria, isn’t it? I was confident of writing part, only until I had realised that I understood the meaning wrongly.Could you please tell me how I will be marked? Though I’m still confident about my essay, this letter is getting me really worried!

  224. Lislei Douroucas says:

    Hi, Liz.
    First of all, thank you very much for the wonderful support provided for IELTS candidates. My doubt concerns writing task 1. In your FAQ, I thought the answer to the question “do I need to compare and contrast data in each body paragraph?” was yes. That was exactly what I thought candidates should do, so I guess I don’t quite understand the meaning of ‘compare and contrast’. For example, when I use comparatives to state the highest and lowest figures about something, am I comparing and contrasting? What exactly do I say in terms of vocabulary and structures to compare and contrast information?

  225. Helo Liz ! I’m Athirah from Malaysia. I’ve a question regarding writing test part 1. I have watched one of your videos and it has mentioned that if someone memorized the essay sentences, it is possible to get 0 band. Would you please decribe what does it mean by memorise them? thank you in advance 🙂

  226. My exam gone on 5 Dec 2015 so how to get answer key of the question paper

  227. Jagdish Rathod says:

    Hello mam,

    I am Jagdish Rathod from Rajkot, Gujarat.
    I am trying to find out all the videos related to reading exam for general but I am not able to find it correctly from your website.Its my pleasure if you provide me only link from where I can find all the videos related to all kind of questions in general reading IELTS.
    For Instance I easily find T/F/NG videos from your site but not all like sentence completetion, short answer questions ans so on.

  228. Hi Liz,
    I have a problem here please help me. My test day is 5 December so please answer me as soon as possible.
    I am a bit confused about the way to write date and time correctly. Sometimes I check the answers they say 1 June, then June 1, 1st June and June 1st. Please help me out.
    Thank you so much.

      • Hi Liz,

        I got my result yesterday. I wrote 2 times Ielts General Training But I do not know why I am getting very less bands 4 sections. This time I got Listening 6.5, Reading 5, writing 5, Speaking 6. Please help me Liz, I want at least 6.5 in all 4 sections. I am feeling very stress because of this score. I lost my confidence. If I wrote exam again I do not know will I get good bands in all 4 modules. I came from middle class family even I took money from my friend for the exam. Please Please Liz help me how to get good band in all 4 sections in General Training. If you tell me how to prepare exactly and help me to get good score that would be good for me. I never ever forget in my life. Hoping positive answer from you

        • Your English contains a lot of errors which is probably why you are not getting a higher score. Your English must be at the right level for the band score you want. I suggest you focus on improving your English – this means making it more accurate and understand language in depth before you take another exam. Always do a practice test from the IELTS Cambridge books 1 to 10 before booking your test. If you hit band 6.5 or 7 in listening and reading more than once, it’s time to book your test.
          All the best

  229. Shakhawan says:

    Hi Liz,
    Today I was in ielts speaking test I just had a mistake in phase 2 the teacher told me to describe a series educational tv program then I explained A series movie (prison break) is it affects to my scores?

  230. hello liz,
    I know that you are taking a break until March 2016, but could you please solve my question? Because i am taking the test on 5 Dec 2015!
    If I am taking the test in places other than the UK, who will mark my paper? will my paper be sent to the UK for marking?
    Also, I am wondering if all the examiners are british even though I am not taking the test in the UK?

  231. hi ma”am , i got 5 bands in writing .i have problem writing task can i get 6bands in writing .12 december my exam date .short and easy way call me

  232. Hi,

    Just having a quick question, if I am writing my listening answers to answer sheet, I can use capital letters ? Right?. But, these letters are the first of every word or full word should be capital ?.


  233. Hi Liz,

    During my IELTS writing test, I mixed up my answer sheets. I wrote task 1 in task 2 answer paper and viceversa. What will happen to my test result?

  234. Hi Liz,
    Thank you for providing such valuable feedback on different IELTS topics.
    I have seen one writing task 2 sample question that use idiom as a background statement.I want to inquire while paraphrasing should we include exact idiom in our background statement or its meanings to be elaborated?For example the sample scenario on you blog is “It is often said ‘when is Rome do as Romans do”Do you think people should adapt and accept the culture of the country they are visiting .
    Please explain how to paraphrase such background statement which uses idiom?
    Thanks a lot.

  235. Hi All,

    I am aware that Liz is on vacation. So anyone who follow’s Liz’s blog can help me here. I have my GENERAL IELTS exam in 2 weeks. I wanted to know some good books for practice tests. Could anyone suggest on this please?

    Happy Vacation Liz 🙂

    Thanks and Regards,

  236. Hi, can i rewrite the IELTS with any one of the required 4 areas(reading,writing, speaking,listening) to get the target score for me?

  237. Hello Liz,
    I am trouble finding a list of common topics and questions for Speaking Part1, Part2 and Part3. Can u please provide me a link for the same so that i can practice well in speaking section, its your website that i only found best for preparation of IELTS

  238. my reading poor i am not geting more 22 answer what to do?and i have so much spelling mistake how to improve.pls help me

  239. hlo mam , hope u r well .. i have a question hope u would reply it as soon as possible ….
    i have problem relating to reading module …. m not getting good score during the practise than how can i expect good in exam…plz help me … how can improve my weak point ,i surf your web site many times and read the tips but still not improving … you are a so nice human being doing better for others , may god bless you ..

  240. Hello, Liz.
    Would it be considered as a mistake if I wrote ‘Year and 6 months’ instead of ‘1-1/2 years’? Such question was in the ‘Cambridge IELTS 4’ book, Listening test 3. It was required to write no more than 3 words and/or numbers for each answer. And the answer given at the end of the book was ‘1-1/2 years’.

  241. Dear liz
    My exam was on 31st October and I was supposed to get my results on 13th November .I searched it online but it shows no result found after which I went to British Council office .They told me that my paper has gone for re -evaluation and will take 2 months to come. Liz im so confused all my friends have got their results bt not me. Can you Please tell me why this happens . Does it mean ive performed poorly ?
    Please liz help me

    • IELTS do this from time to time to check their test. It is not related to you or your performance, it is just something that IELTS does occasionally. Your results will come when they have finished checking their testing system.

  242. Hi Liz,
    what tenses shall we use in writing overviews and introduction?

    Do we stick to simple present tense as it is always written starting with it , for ex. :

    1. Overall , the most marked change IS …… . The most money spent BELONG/BELONGED to food category which has the largest percentage of all in 1997 but HAS / HAD the least in current year.


    2. The most money spent BELONG/BELONGED to food category from 1990 until now.


    3. The most money spent WILL HAVE BELONGED/ BELONG / WILL BELONG TO food category by 2030.

    Is the answer of tenses of overview same as introduction?
    If the answer of no.1 is simple past tense, should I use ” the bar chart ILLUSTRATED ….. ” in introduction as well?

    Hope to hear from your reply
    Thank you .

  243. Hi Liz,

    I’m having a lot of problems with the reading task, I’m going to take my ielts exam next week, and until now I’ve achieved in all tests I’ve done (reading) a band score of 6 and I need 6.5.
    This morning I practised but I got a 5.5 score and that’s a catastrophe. Before having found this website I was always out of time and now with your tips I finally managed to finish earlier (about 13-10 minutes before the end). But now it is even worse, and it is clear I do too many mistakes, so what should I do to improve my score? Now I skim all tree texts and then I move to the questions, should I read a passage and move to its questions and so on, or do all of them at the end?
    I would really appreciate any type of suggestion as this result has made me really anxious.

    Thanks in advance

    • Spend more time look at, thinking about and analysing the questions. Spend time thinking about the meaning and vocabulary used. Plan paraphrasing. The more time you spend with the question, the easier it is to find the correct answer.
      All the best

  244. Hi Liz, I’m a blind student WHO has just started to study IELTS. I’m using a screen reader program. Is this site accessible for this program? I cannot read notes in this site but I could not be sure whether this is an accessibility problem or this is about me. Thanks and best regards.

  245. Hi Liz,

    Is it considered to be right if we write in answer sheet (listening test) :
    — birds photos —
    and in fact, the right answer is — photos (of birds) —

    I’m really confused about these things ????

    • This means you can have “birds” as a correct answer or you can have “photos of birds” as a correct answer. It is does not offer “birds photos” as a possible answer so it is wrong.

  246. Hello, Liz. Would I lose points for writing, for example, ‘five’ instead of ‘5’ in the answer sheet?

    • If you are not allowed to write more than one word and a number, and you wrote “five minutes”, you would get that answer marked wrong. Otherwise, it is fine to use the word.

  247. Hello Liz,
    My name is Valya, I’m from Crimea
    First, Thanks a lot for your free lessons, they are very useful for me)
    I would like to know if we will have drafts for our writing task or we will have to write in the form at once?
    all the best)

    • You only have 20 mins for task 1 and 40 mins for task 2. There is no time to write a draft. However, there is time to plan.

  248. Hi Liz,
    In writing task 1, is it ok to write about 200-210 words or is it too much?
    Thank you

    • If your report contains too much insignificant detail you will get a lower score. If you are providing detail rather than selecting main features, you will get a low score. There is no upper limit but you must avoid getting lost in detail.

  249. Hi, Liz! First of all, I want you to know that I’m gonna take advantage of the situation and purchase all of your writing 2 lessons tomorrow! Yaay!!!
    Now, I have a question: Since I lived in the United States for quite some time and speak American English, one of my favorite sentences would be “You know what I’m saying?, or You know what I mean?” So, I was wondering if it could somehow affect my score in the Speaking part considering the fact that we’re not supposed to question the examiner!
    Thank you!

    • Don’t worry about that. The examiner won’t see those expressions as direct questions. They are a natural part of speech and are in fact rhetorical. In fact, using these natural expressions is great because it will help both fluency and pronunciation (in terms the speed and intonation of speech). It sounds as though you have natural American English which is great. American English is perfectly acceptable for IELTS. Good luck with your test!

  250. Dear Liz
    I took the IELTS exam and I thought I did the writing good,I used as many vocabulary as I could with a good grammar. And the structure of my writing was the same as what you suggested in your lessons.what I could not understand was how I was given 5.5 when expecting 8? please help me out,I am going to take the test again because of this after a month.

    • Did you see my advanced writing lessons? Here’s a link: There’s a 40% discount at present. The lessons explain in a lot of detail how to write a high level writing task 2 essay. Getting a low score could relate to:

      1. Using language that is not natural because you are trying to use high band score words.
      2. Trying to write sentences that are too long and contain mistakes, instead of aiming for accuracy.
      3. Misunderstanding the issues in the essay question or not addressing them all.
      4. Misunderstanding the instructions and adding information that was not asked for.

      All the best

  251. Hello Liz! I remember that you have a link for an actual ielts writing paper?? But I forgot to save it. Could I ask for it? So that I could practice writing on actual test paper, thanks!! 🙂

  252. hi liz
    for writing task 2 i have a habit of brainstorming some ideas and for that i require some rough work space.Is there any space on writing answer sheet where i can write some ideas to help me develop the essay as a rough work ?
    if not where can i do so ?

  253. Hi ,
    Do we need to add ‘th’ ‘st’ or ‘nd’ ,when we write a date on listening answer sheet .
    22nd November or 22 November ?
    Thanks a lot

    • No, it isn’t necessary.

      • Hi Liz,

        Sorry but I’ve heard from someone that there is a different between (22nd Nov. & 22 Nov.) is that the first is considered as ( 2 words ) and the second as ( word + number ) in listening test.
        IS that correct?

        and another question I would ask to u :
        recently, I’ve read phrases alot in writing task 2 like that
        (People did manage …. ) instead of ( People managed…. )
        is that possible or is that helpful for us in writing ?

        Really, All thanks to you

        • They are both one word and one number. Just write naturally and don’t try to learn phrases or expressions. We rarely write “people did manage” in normal essays.
          All the best

  254. How is IDP IELTS different from BC ? many of my friends written Idp and scored less band(6) , and written again in bc and scored a band of 8. Do Idp ielts follow a very strict evaluation criteria ?

    • All IELTS tests are the same at both places. IDP and BC are both owners of IELTS and run the same tests. The examiners are trained the same. The differences in scores reflect the difference performance of students, not different tests or levels of the centers.
      All the best

  255. Hi Liz,

    Could you please share your opinioin to answer the following question.

    Very few people who commit crime want to. They do it because they feel they have no choice. This is the reality of the situation, and it means that police and prisons are not relevant to reducing crime.
    To what extent do you agree or disagree?

    Could I answer the question by writing why prison would not deter criminals, who are forced to commit crime.

    However, in the second paragraph, I want to write about the advantage of such punishment for those offenders who have no choice other than doing crimes.

    Is it possible to write in the second body paragraph, instead of the above opinion, that is many criminals inted their crimes and prison is necessary to deter them.

    Of course, it is an opinion essay, and I need to show a clear position, but for me it is difficult to give a strong opinion. Thus, it is better for me to answer this question by using the above mentioned technique.

    Best regards.


    • You can agree fully that criminals intend to do crime and prison will have no effect. Or you could agrue the opposite. For a balanced view, you say “although many criminals feel they have no other options when they commit a crime, prison can still deter them from future crimes.” A balanced view is difficult to write because you need to be careful with your language: use “many” rather than implying that all criminals have no choice, using “future” because it shows that prison changes them, using “although” etc etc. See my lessons for more in-depth training on this type of essay. You have the right technique but you do need to watch your language in order to present your position clearly.

  256. Hello Liz! Will I loose point in writing task 1 if I include to describe the x and y axes?? Because I watched other video tutorials on youtube and some of them do inlude the axes in their introduction. Thanks a lot! 🙂

    • It is irrelevant information because you have already introduced it in the introduction, for example: The graph illustrates the number of sales of two companies over a 10 year period.”
      All the best

      • So it is irrelevant to say, for example: ….between 1990 to 2000 as indicated on the x-axis, while y-axis provides the percentage of bla bla bla”
        Thanks a lot! 🙂

        • It wouldn’t make no difference to your band score. It is just another learned phrase to add which students memorise because they think they might get a higher score.

          • Thank you very much! 🙂

          • Hello Liz! I have another question, I would like to know if I have to put the respective numbers on the summary part or overall in task 1?
            For example: “Overall, it is clear that Luxembourg and Switzerland have the highest market share of labeled coffee among European countries for the year 2000 ” should I include the number or it all should be in the body paragraph? Thanks in advance! 🙂

            • The overview gives the key features described not detail. The only numbers that usually go in an overview are totals which you might get with a table.
              All the best

  257. Hello Liz
    Is it appropriate to write in capital letters in listening, reading AND even writing task 1 & 2?
    I read that caps in listening and reading are accepted but is it ok in the writing tasks as well?
    Many thanks in advance! 🙂

    • Yes, you can write in capitals even for writing. But you must consider how fast you can write that way. The writing test is limited by time.

      • Thank You very much Liz.
        Yes, I guess that writing in capital letters in Writing Task would probably leave me filling up the page without reaching the word count in time!! 🙂
        Thanks for the answer about my question regarding compound words.

  258. Hello Liz
    In the Listening test, how do we know if the word spoken (eg. phonebook) is an open compound word (phone book), closed compound word (phonebook) or hyphenated compound word (phone-book)?
    I tried searching on the net but couldn’t find a perfect list from a-z of the compound words in English. Could you please help me on this? Because I read in one of your previous answers to a question that if we write a hyphenated word in place of a closed compound word, then it would be marked as wrong.
    Hope you can guide me! 🙂

    • This is part of your knowledge of the English language. Spelling is essential. Try googling compound nouns and learning which ones are spelled with one word and which with two.

  259. Dear Liz and her followers/students/
    First of all, I want to express my profound grattitudes towards you. Thank you for everything Liz. Also, guys I wanted to ask you, are there anybody who is going to take on 7th of November?. By the way, I am taking on 7th of November :). Can we guys create a group in whatsupp or somewhere else in order to discuss and to help each other and of course we will post the most important thing here …
    Sincerely, Farrukh

  260. Krishna Manoj says:

    I have taken my IELTS exam yesterday.
    Unfortunately i did a big mistake. While answering the writing section ,
    I wrote the answer of task 1 on sheet of task 2 and answer of task 2 on answer sheet of task 1.
    What would happen now?
    Will it be taken into consideration or i will be given a bans of zero for the writing section?
    Please help me out.
    Thank You.

  261. Hello Liz,

    Is there any harm in exceeding the word limit significantly, especially in task-1?
    I tried few mock test-1 tasks and every time I reached around 250 words (instead of 150 words). How much ever I try to keep it terse and short, I am exceeding 200 words at the least.
    So, I will really appreciate if you please share if there will be any negative impact of too long response on the score.


    • Yes, there is a problem to write 250 words for task 1. Band score 5 for Task Achievement has a feature of the writer getting lost in too much detail. A report should contain main features, not every detail you can find. Don’t go over 200 and for a simple chart try to aim for around 170.
      All the best

  262. Radhakrishnan says:

    Hi Liz,
    Good day to you.
    First of all, thank you so much for providing us with such a wonderful knowledge bank for IELTS preparation. This website really helped me in preparing for my IELTS examination. I received my IELTS results yesterday.
    L 8 R 8.5 W 7.5 S 6.5.
    Though my scores are good with other sections, I am disappointed with my Speaking score as it is less than 7 and I am losing a lot of points in my Canadian Immigration ranking system. To provide a brief description of my exam, I answered all the questions during the exam without any hesitation. I spoke for more than 2 mins during my Part 2 and ensured I followed all the pointers in the cue card and spoke only around that topic. In my Part 3, I was able to speak with the examiner for not less than 1 minute except for 2 questions where I answered only for 30 seconds. Blunders I made during the exam are speaking fast and also not using some tough vocab
    I require your expert advise to understand, that if I apply for an revaluation (IDP, is there a possibility to get a band score of 7. As you are an experienced IELTS examiner, I would like to know your thoughts and then to take a decision to either apply for an reevaluation or retake the exam.
    Thanks in advance for your assistance.
    Warm regards
    R. Radhakrishnan

    • I think the problem might be that you are not clear on what the examiner is looking for in your answers. For example, in part 2 it makes no difference to your score if you went off topic and added more information to fill out your talk or if you didn’t follow the prompts and used your own. The real question is did you add more grammar tenses and expand your talk to introduce higher language through descriptions? Also in part 1, it is good that you answered without hesitation (essential for band 7), but did you add more information to each answer? In part 3, did you pay attention to the grammar in the question, for example a second conditional question requires a second conditional answer. You are scored only on the English language you produce, both the range and accuracy.
      In your situation, however, it is certainly possible to consider a remark. You have shown that your level of English is 7.5 or above. So, it is certainly possible that your speaking score might go up by 0.5 if the senior examiner feels that your English speaking was band score 7 level. You need to decide and reflect on your performance. If you feel that you produced a good range of language and expanded answers well, go for a remark.
      Good luck

      • Hi Liz i did a question to you yesterday but u did’t reply yet

        Question of Listening

        Adult must accompany a child under_________

        i listened the answer 8 but wrote on answer sheet 8 years
        when i checked it from answers key it was there as only 8
        wrong or right?

      • Radhakrishnan says:

        Thank you so much Liz.
        Just to clarify, I was very conscious during the exam to produce a good range of vocabulary and also to use several grammar tenses as required for each question. I ensured that I use high level english words during the speaking session. I would give the credit to you as I practised those with the help of your website.
        I would go for the revaluation and would update you with my results.
        Thanks again for taking time and responding to me.. You always prove you are the best…

  263. Hello Elizabeth

    Could you please help me understanding a question for a Reading Part. true/false/not given…

    Entitlement (Full Time Employees)
    Parental Leave-Up to 12 months unpaid leave for maternity ,Paternity and Adoption related leave.

    Question is

    A full -timer who takes a year off to have a baby can return to same employer ?

    key answer is true why its true…….? where as there is no information about can return to the same employer in text . according to me its false please correct me if where im wrong.

    This text is from book which i received from British Council , its not from Cambridge IELTS 1 TO 10 volume .


    • This is true because the person is only taking leave not quitting the job. The employer allows them to take a one year break – they still maintain rights to their job. That is the meaning of “taking leave”.
      All the best

  264. Hi liz…
    some people advocate the idea that it is quite good for the academic student if they give their exam with general student… is it really a fact or just a rumor..?

  265. hey liz!!
    Are u sure if I answer the Listening test in all capital letters it will be marked right? I am a bit confused.
    Is it necessary if I chose to write the listening test in capital then I need to anawer the Reading and Writing also in capital??

    • Each answer sheet is separate and you choose for each answer sheet in turn. You can write using all capital letters.

  266. Hi,I have a question regarding to Writing Task 1 .I understand the fact that OVERVIEW is very important .Do I need to write the overview after introduction or I can write it after body paragraphs ?(in the end )
    My 2nd question is about Listening task .lets say that the statement says ‘NO MORE THAN 3 WORDS ‘
    The price of books is from $ 40 to $ ____________.
    Should we write the answer in numbers or in words.We are asked to write in words (not in numbers)But according to the structure of the sentence “a number ” seems right .

    • Question 1: see my lesson on writing task 1 structure on the main writing task 1 page. Question 2: When the example is given as a number, you write your answer in the same way. The instructions nearly always say “No more than 3 words and/or a number”. Visit my listening page with the full lesson of 25 top tips for listening.
      All the best

  267. Karl Smith says:

    Hi Liz,
    Do any IELTS Writing prompts use longhand (script) rather than print?


  268. Dear mam,

    I want to know
    If we talk about cyber law instead of environmental law in 2nd part of speaking test.

    (But very fluently, without making a error)

    Then it effects our band score? If yes! then how much?
    If no! Then why not?

    Plz reply
    Thanks in advance

    • If you changed the topic because you prepared a talk on cyber crime it will greatly affect your score. Any planned or memorised answers will get a low mark. However, if this was accidental, it might be fine.
      All the best

      • Hi Liz I hope u will b fine dear

        my question is about again on Cambridge Listening Part

        the question was about to write down on someone nationality while listening when i listened it was talking a man i was born in LONDON so i wrote the UK as answer

        when i checked it from answer key it was there as British ………wrong or right my answer?

  269. salman qureshi says:

    Dear Mam, actually I got 6.5 bands in writing in each of my three attempts. i want at least 7 band in writing. could you help me please if I write an essay and you checked it??

  270. Hello Liz,
    My name is Sara

    Thank you for posting your videos in internet, they are very helpful.
    I’ve just finished a listening test and one of the answer was car-park and I wrote “car park” without hyphen. Is my answer incorrect?
    Thank you for your time

  271. Hi Liz,
    Can i write down capital letters for all listening answer? Because sometimes i forget to start with a capital letter to answer.If i can do this, will it be a problem.


  272. hi,
    could you do a sample for describing a process in academic writing task 1.
    Is this type of question not asked usually?
    Also,is it true we have to describe the process in passive voice?

  273. Hi Liz,
    Thank you for your tutorial. I am giving Ielts exam on coming month, before that i would like to ask you a question. Can we write all capital letters in listening and small letters in reading?

    thank you.

  274. Trang Nguyen says:

    Dear Liz
    I’m going to take the IELTS in the next few months. My listening n reading are pretty ok ( 8 or 8.5) but I have trouble w speaking and writing ( 6 ỏr 6.5) I need to achieve 7.5 overall. How much time do you think is enough for preparation? Should I cram structures, complex vocab,etc into my head? Some of my friends say that anyone wanting a satisfied writing band must attend a course and take the test right after it? Is that right? I’ve been in an intensive writing speaking course( target 7), but > 1 year before.
    Thank you

    • To get band score 7.5, you need a high level of English. Learn lots of new language quickly before your test doesn’t work because you will make too many mistakes. More mistakes = lower score. So, you need to spend a lot of time and work slowly to improve your level of English. Also you need to reading skills (skimming, scanning and paraphrasing). You also need techniques for each question type. For writing, you need to know what the examiner is looking for and how to write your essay correctly. Some students can understand this from model essays but other students need training. You must decide for yourself. You should always make sure your English language and IELTS skills are very good before you take your test.
      All the best

  275. Hi Liz,

    I have a question that do we have to use a title in Task 1 and Task 2 ?I take a course about IELTS in my city and they told me that it is a huge mistake and you have to use a title for tasks. Specially for task 2 if i forget to put a title at the top of writing paper i do not have a chance to get good point in my essay.

    But i confused because i did not use a title before they told me that.

    Do we have to use a title?

    Thank you.


    • The answer sheet is used to write your answer, not the question. Essays don’t have titles in IELTS. See my model answers – there are no titles.

  276. hi liz ..
    my band score is l 5.5,r 5.5,w 5.5 and s 6.0
    can rechecking increase my band score in writing so that i can get 6 band overall

    • Remarking allows for a 0.5 increase if the senior examiner thinks you have been marked too low. However, your listening and reading scores are also 5.5 so it is mostly likely that your writing won’t change. However, you must choose for yourself.
      All the best

  277. Hi Liz

    Kindly assist me with the latest band scores. I need to get 8 on all four areas to qualify.


  278. malti khanna says:

    how writing task-2 marked on ielts acadamic test

  279. Aamir Khan says:

    HI LIZ mam
    frst of all i would like to thank u for your wonderfull vedio lectures and for your cooperation and guidens the students..i found it really amazing and usefull. mam i have one about task 1… as we explain a graph we use past tens throughout our explaination.. but i m confuse whether we can use past tense or not in explaining a diagram or a map of something which tells us the process of production something????
    if you post a model answer or a vedio lecture about it… i will be very thankful to u and it will be a act of kindness from your side..

    • You use past tense only when you have been given dates in the past. If there are no dates, you use the present tense.
      All the best

  280. Hie liz mam

    I posted a comment this morning. But can not find my comment
    My exam was on 26 sept.
    Topic was – In many countries nowadays shops and products are the same. Some consider it as a postive development and others as negative.

    I was a bit confused and wrote something different from my peers. Now i am confused about whether to wait for the result or fill ielts exam again

    In first paragraph i wrote
    Human has made development in every nook and corner of the world. Even in under developed countries also shops and products are the same. Blah blah
    In next paragraph i wrote
    The shop keepers with single products occupy a ful showroom and the one with different products is not able to hire a suitable place and it is negative point.
    In next paragraph i wrote that it has become easier for people to predict where there desirable product will be avaiable due to the different shops for particular product. An example was given of samsung showroom which provide different models.
    In last paragraph i wrote that i disagree with the people with negative one because if someone has to buy something they can go to shopping malls.
    Kindly guide me.

    Should i fill another ielts or wait for the result?
    Plz reply as soon as possible

    • I do not work for free 24 hours a day which is why I haven’t answered your previous comment yet. I do need to sleep 😉 You must choose whether to wait for your results or take another test. I can’t predict your results. The instructions asked for your opinion and that means the entire essay must be about your opinion – all paragraphs, not just one. This will affect your score for Task Response which is 25% of your marks.
      All the best

  281. Hi my dear teacher Liz,

    I have a colossal problem about how should i write the words. Basically, i need to know that should i write a word seperately or do i need a blank or do i need this”-” between two words. I make this mistake almost everytime and i dont know which one is accurate. For instance, which one is true “car park, car-park or carpark” or “clubhouse, club-house or club house” or “bookshop, book-shop or book shop” or “dayoff, day-off or day off” ?

    I choose to write down club house but the answer is clubhouse or i choose day-off but the answer is day off. What is the differences between them? The point i am trying to make is i dont know what to do in this issue. Do you any advice to fix this problem or can you make a video course about that when you have free time because i saw in here some of other people have ditto problem.

    Thank you.

    • You use a hyphen if the word is usually written with a hyphen. You separate words if they are not usually written as one word. Just write words correctly. That’s all you need to do. You should research online about how to write compound nouns correctly.
      All the best

  282. Hi, dear teacher. My exam was yesterday, i want to ask you that there were two questins in Listening section The answers were ” Phone book and front desk” but i wrote in my answersheet like ” Phonebook and front-desk” will it be considered as wrong answer?

    thank you!

  283. Hi
    In speaking test part 2
    Can I highlight key words in cue card with pen ?
    Or I only allowed to write on extra paper only ?
    Thank you very much







  285. Hi ms Liz,
    For the reading task, I know that some questions come in order, but my question is: If fill the gap is the first part of questions, does it come from the beginning of the passage ? and then to be followed, for example, by T F NG which covers the next part of the passage….

    Thanks for help

    • No. Each type of question is separate. Each type of question you will need to start from the beginning of the passage to scan for key words and answers.

    • Hi Liz!

      I would like to ask a question about Listening Part that
      how could b i marked if ?

      while listening the Cambridge Test 7 i listen the answers of three questions as( brother in law ),(door to door) and (Car parking) i wrote in answer sheet as it is.

      but when i checked theses in answer keys …these were written there with the use of hyphen e.g and door-to door ………..

      instruction was no more three words so how could b i marked………. wrong or right answer? if i write the answers without hyphen

      • If the word needs a hyphen and you forget it, it will be marked wrong.

        • which words could b used with hyphen i don’t know plz help me

          and how would b i known that the word to b used with hyphen ?

          and what is the wrong with my answer without hyphen even it meeting the question requirement i.e no more than 3 words?

  286. Hi liz..I want to buy ur writing lessons.I wanna know whether only 2 videos on 2 topics are available..if not all the 5 topics are included there..and will that be updated with ur new lessons…plz guide me.thank.

    • There are two lessons because I am still making the others. My next lesson will be available this month. Two more will follow after that.

  287. Hi Liz
    I am Anne
    Are All tests on the same day are the same all around the world?
    When I saw the comments on your page- “recent ielts exam questions and topics”
    And The task 1 question for academic is different in different country, so I an a bit confused.
    I would like to hear from you

    • The speaking topics and questions will be repeated. The writing, reading and listening topics will be different for different exams. However, many topics are similar with different questions.

  288. Hello Liz.

    I suppose your Monday and Tuesday are the most busiest days because your students just finished their exam on Saturday might have lots of questions to ask and need your advice to get right answers.

    I’m one of among them

    Dear Liz

    There was a question in listening on 12-09-2015.and answer was Northeast.

    And we need to answer in one word….but I write it as NORTH EAST.
    Is this answer is right or wrong because I put space in it.

    Pls guide

    • You might be lucky and they may accept it as two words because there is a difference between US spelling and UK spelling.

  289. Hi LIZ
    I hope u will b fine!

    My questions are same regarding the writing Answers of listening on Sheet
    that how could b i marked if i write instead of and vice versa?

    1- Silver paper as i listen but in answer key is Silver papers
    2-Seat Reservation as i listen but in Answer key is Seat Reservations
    S is in in bracket mean it is not likely to b as optional i think…… so tell me whether my answer of silver paper instead of papers and seat reservation instead of reservations would b wrong or correct?

    • Sorry I don’t understand your question. You will need to write this again more clearly.

      • while attempting the listening Cambridge test

        i wrote the answer of one out of those question as Silver Paper but when i checked it from answer key it was silver papers instead of my answer which is silver paper

        same happened in other question i wrote seat reservation instead of seat reservations

        how could i b marked in both these questions ?

  290. Hi Liz,
    I did get help from your online resources, thanks!
    I have been enjoying learning English and taking IELTs is a good motivation. However, time is tight for me now as I have failed twice. I need no less than 7 and averagely 7.5. My weak point has always been writing. First time, I got 6, but it was increased to 6.5 after re-mark. This time is 6.5 again. I definitely will be preparing for the third try, but I still want to appeal. I heard that I could contact the centre asking if my writing has been double-checked (I forgot where I heard this, sorry), if so, the possibility will be much lower. Is this true? Besides continue to make use of your online courses, just wonder if you have other approaches to help us, such as special writing courses or practise correction.
    Kind regards,

    • Your writing is marked twice automatically when you get two band scores difference or more between speaking and writing. The idea is that these are both productive skills and the scores should be reasonably similar so any huge differences are double checked which makes remarking redundant. I do have more in-depth writing lessons for students aiming for high scores. I have two lessons available now for writing task 2 and I’ll put another lesson up this month:
      All the best

      • Hi Liz,
        Thank you very much for your prompt reply.
        Last time, my speaking was 7 and writing was 6, which was corrected to 6.5 through re-marking. This time, my speaking is 7.5 and writing is 6.5. Honestly, I am not that confident that my essays will fall in 7 band, so I just would like to try some luck. As I said, meanwhile I am preparing for the next try.
        Thank you for the link of in-depth course. I will definitely try it.
        All the best,

  291. Dear Liz
    There was a question in listening on 12_09_2015.

    And in the listening script it was 1.9 square kilometer.

    I mentioned it on answer sheet 1.9 Sq. One of my friend told me that your answer is wrong u only have to mentioned number I.e 1.9 .because km2 is the symbol for square kilometer which is already in question paper.

    Pls advice what would you say and guide to avoid such mistakes in future.

    Waiting for your earliest response.


  292. Hi Liz,
    When I’m taking listening test i answered as I hear as May 5th and when I’m checking my answer key it’s written 5th may..Does this make any difference ?Will I be penalized for this?

  293. Dear madam

    Short forms are allowed in Ielts I got question in my exam ………….kms
    Answers was 1.9 square where I write as 1.9 sq. Would it be wrong.

    Pls advice

  294. A Blessed Day Liz,
    I just recently took the IELTS exam. I applied your technique which is very helpful and made me easier to understand. I just want to clarify if it’s okay to capitalize the font in writing? I applied it on listening, reading and also in writing. After the exam I had doubt maybe it’s not allowed to use capitalized font in writing. Hope it’s allowed to use capitalized font in writing. I’m so worried as I did my effort in writing it both in task 1 and task 2. I need your feedback Liz.
    Hoping for your positive response! God Bless You Always.

  295. Dear Liz
    Good day, I would like to ask you about the listening and reading tests, if I wrote a word with spelling mistake such as (a) instead of (e) or vice versa and the word (solution) was correct, is it consider as a wrong answer by the examiner?
    thank you and best regards

  296. how many paragraphs have to write in writing task 1

  297. hi liz, please let me know can we write all the answers in L/R in capital words?

  298. gurwinder kaur says:

    hi mam,
    i want to know that if it would be appropriate to write a punching line before the introduction and tbesis statement in writing task 2 for a 7.5 band essay?

  299. Dear Liz
    I hope you are well. Firstly, I would like to thank you for all you lessons and tips. They are completely useful. Secondly, I have a question. I am going to have an IELTS exam soon, and I just want to ask what is meant by “six digital candidate number” and “three digital language code”. I had read it in the answer sheet and I have no idea what it means.

    • You will be given a candidate number when you go for your test. You write that on your answer sheet. You will also be told the code that relates to your own language. The test center will give you the necessary codes.
      All the best

  300. Hi Liz,

    Thanks for your time and effort. I have a question: if in the listening part I write a compound word like “bookshop”, “Newtown”, “seafood”, …. separately like “book shop”, does that count as a mistake?

    • Yes, it would be a mistake. Some compound words are written as two words, some as one word and some are hyphenated. You must know which are which.
      All the best

  301. Priji John says:

    Dear Mam,

    I read in one of your reply regarding General Writing 2 Vs Academic Writing 2 . General writing questions is of little bit of simpler than Academic. Is there any specific area(topics) which is more frequently asked in General .

    • The main topics are: family, education, travel, transport, social issues, health, art, music etc. It is not common to get space exploration or economics. However, I still recommend you prepare ideas for all topics.

  302. Hi Liz,
    I did my exam this August 29th. I am not sure about my listening and reading but in writing task 1 , The question was … How the people want their government to fund it’s citizens in health , education and other categories… I missed the question and responded to the question as how is government funding to its people according to age and sex …. My writing task 2 was pretty good … Can u pls help me as how much mark could I expect .,.desperately I need 7 in each category ….

    Many thanks in advance

    • Without seeing the full essay question and your full essay as well as your full writing task 1, I can’t offer any prediction of a score.

  303. Hi Liz,

    I took IELTS exam yesterday. Firstly and most significantly i genuinely want to say to you that thank you for your help. With your courses and tips my listening, reading and writing senctions was wonderful except speaking. Actually i do not have any idea about speaking because i am so excited in this part. While i am speaking i just check it out that examiner was writing on his paper 12,14,13 respectively. Do you have any idea about these numbers what they refer? All i need to apply my jop application is take over 6 band score in speaking part. I only saw these numbers and the examiner was writing several numbers after these numbers. Therefore, can you guess my score what can be about?

    Again and again i want to say to you thank you for everthing you did.


    • Each examiner will make notes their own way. It is a long test for the examiner to remember all aspects of language and then give you a score at the end. So, many examiners make notes to help them. They have their own system of numbers or words. Don’t worry about it.
      All the best

  304. Hi Liz,

    Could you please let me know how does the score gets impacted in Writing task 2 of Academic module if we miss out on providing examples?

    Thanks in advance

  305. Riazullah Shinwari says:

    Hi dear Liz;
    i saw you are all IELTS preparation video its very use full and full of knowledge, i am very thankful to you because you have done alot of job in this are i am also appreciate you for struggle.
    i don’t have any question but just telling thanks and happiness.

    • Thanks. I’m really pleased my blog is useful 🙂

      • hi liz,

        i would like to ask if the question cue card for speaking task 2 would be the same in different countries?

        • The examiner has a range of cards so students might get the same or might get a different card.

        • Hi Liz,

          I would you like to ask questions to you.

          Firstly,in the listening part we will have 10 munites to transfer our answers to answer sheet.If i finish to transfer in 5 minutes, can i immediately skip to reading part or do i have to wait 10 minutes.Because my reading part is not enough and i want to transfer this 5 minutes from listening part to reading part.

          Secondly, these things accurate for using in speaking and writing; i wanna or i gonna do this? Or i should say like “i want to go or i am going to do” etc? I mean can i use im gonna or im wanna?

          Thanks you.


          • The time for each section of IELTS (reading, listening, writing) is strictly controlled. Reading is one hour no more and no less. Contractions in language can only be used in speaking.

  306. hi,
    Your coaching is brilliant and it helped me a lot in my exams , thank you.
    I have a doubt regarding the ielts reading band score . does the score change according to the difficulty of the question paper

  307. Hi Liz,

    For my task 2 writing’s introduction part i want to start like this:

    ” The discussion that whether or not —–(the subject for example living the city have better opportunities compared to living in the rural) is a debatable one. There are logics provided by supporters of both the views. In my opinion, living in the city has more advantages due to the fact that the city present us better economic and social benefits.”

    Do you thing is that look like clearly or did i some mistakes on this sentences?
    I need to correct me.

    By the way i am still waiting my task 1’s feedbacks that i already sent to your e-mail.

    Thank you for your helping.


    • I’ve just emailed you back. Sorry but I don’t comment on writing on my blog. But I will say, if you want a high score, don’t try to learn sentences by heart to put in your writing. The examiner has read all these a thousand times and it does not show your English language ability – only your memory.
      All the best

  308. maria cavaco says:

    Dear Professor,
    I am here not to ask a question, but to thank you! Without your help, without your website and your video lesson (that I advice everybody to buy) I wouldn’t have been able of getting the overall score that I got. I am now admitted to enrol a Masters degree at Cardiff University and I only got it, because I went through all your lessons and comments. Thank you so much, it’s wonderful to see somebody helping others and putting so much effort on it. Thank you from my heart! I wish everybody to be as succeeded as I did. You are able to give us the knowledge and the confidence to face the IELTS.
    Most grateful,
    Maria Cavaco

    Most grat

    • That’s really good news! I so pleased that you got into your University. Cardiff is a very good Uni. Well done!
      Good luck with your Master’s!!

  309. hi liz

    My Exam is very near and I m unable to give Enough Time because of my family .I m appearing for GT module. I need a golden rule for especially Reading part .All part of Reading (1 to 5 Passages) work on Paraphrasing/Vocabulary/key words/scanning/locating information etc etc………Technique. and I m working on this too .
    Is any thing else help me in achieving my desired band score ? pls Advice me Golden Rule to break this part.

    Thanks and regards

  310. Hi Liz,

    Could you please give more, rather complete detailed information or provide a link where i could get help for improving my writing skills for task 1 & 2 for GT. Where i can understand how to structure my letter and essay, how place the information etc. It would be great help and would appreciate it.


  311. Hello Liz,
    I have a question about the way to right down the answer in the listening part.

    What if there are TWO answers in each question, should I right down comma (,) between each answer? For example,
    Rent : from $…………to $…………….. a month

    what should the answer be written?
    250, 500 or 250 500

    Thank you in advance 🙂

  312. gagandeep says:

    Hello Liz,
    While going through Cambridge IELTS test 9 (2013), in test 1 Listening session, I have answered only the main key words as its not written in the question about no. of words but when answers are referred the whole line has been considered as the answers.
    so is it required to write the whole sentence as it is quite difficult to remember the whole conversation and write it as an answer.

  313. Dear Liz
    I was reading a essay for GT module some ppl says xxxxxyyyyxxx,other think both views and give your opinion which do u prefer?
    In this essay I find writer use word ‘I’ for first view and in 2nd paragraph of essay he use they.
    Is it OK to use word I in whole paragraph if he support 1st approach.


  314. Hello Liz,

    As we talk before,I sent you an e-mail which is my task 1 writing example.

    I am waiting your feedbacks to help me. I am writing here because i want to make sure that my mail arrived you or not?

    Thank you so much and best regards.


    • I’ll email you back in the next two days.
      All the best

      • Thank you i am waiting your feedbacks and also i want to ask a question to you about acedamic writing time. There is one hour to finish my writing tasks and it seperate 20 minutes for task 1 and 40 minutes for task 2. I am little bit confused. Is that total time 60 minutes for each task or is that 20 and 40 minutes? Why i am asking to you because generally my writing task 1’s time is becaming 25 or 27 minutes. Is that a advice that we should spend about 20 minutes or we just have 20 minutes and after 20 minutes the examiner will come and stop me ?

        I hope i can explain my mind.

        • You have one hour for both tasks and you are recommended to spend 20 mins on task 1 and 40 mins on task 2 but you must manage your own time for each task. There are no time limits set for each task only for the whole writing test. When you finish task 1, move on to task 2.
          All the best

  315. Hello, Liz.
    I strongly appreciate your Tips. I’ve read that answer about checking English level, but I don’t have anyone to assess or check my answers. So, please if there any websites, information or tips to help me.
    thank you.

    • Unfortunately, there are only two ways to get an idea of your level. One is from yourself. I’m sure you must know if you have accurate or not in your use of complex language. Then judge your score based on the band scores given for writing task 1 and 2. Secondly, you need to find an English language teacher who can highlight the number of errors you are making. Sorry, I don’t have a list of teachers.
      All the best

  316. hi Liz

    I have a doubt related to Writing task 2 could you please clear it .I would be very Thankful to you.

    Recently in exam there was a Topic , Nowadays, people are more watching spots on Tv instead actually playing it .is this a positive or negative development.?

    pls guide I have to discuss both + or – point in this essay time how would I close this essay should I provide my Opinion ?

    best regards

    • both = and / choose one = or. The instructions clearly state “or”. The only time you could have a balanced view is if it is a positive develop for individuals but a negative develop for society. Or using developing and developed countries as a way to divide it. A balanced view has a clear divide.
      I’ll post a model for this either this week or next week.

    • Pls advice in this essay type I have to write both positive and negative in essay body paragraph or only positive or only negative in essay body ,followed by conclusion which I support.
      As I’m not getting with your earlier advise pls guide in detail.


      • Look carefully at the instructions, does it say “and” or does it say “or”. And means both, or means choosing.

      • Hi Liz,
        Today I got my results.
        I got good scores in all except writing.
        L – 8.5,
        R- 7,
        W – 6.5
        I’m thinking of applying for Reval to increase my writing score as I need band 7. According to me, I wrote well except for 2 spelling mistakes. Do u think I can get my desired score in the revaluation? Please give me your earnest opinion. I’m so upset about this. This was my second time and I lost it by 0.5 band score

        • See the comments I have written to other students regarding remarking when the speaking and writing scores are similar. Also learn more about how your writing is scored, this page is for task 2: It is good to avoid spelling mistakes but there are many other aspects of writing which are critical.
          All the best

          • Thanks Liz for your reply.
            my writing task 2 question was :
            Some people play dangerous sports, why do they take part in such games, how can these dangers be reduced?

            My answer was : I paraphrased the same question in my introduction. Wrote 3 paragraphs for body, each paragraph answering the diff questions of the essay. Lastly, I wrote a paragraph for conclusion where I summarized the main points of my body.
            After I finished the exam, I was wondering whether I had to give my opinion, but the question didn’t ask for an opinion. Liz please guide me on this. I got 6.5 for this essay and letter. I just want a 0.5 increase in my writing to achieve my dreams. I’m thinking of Reval. I wish it works ou in my favor!! Please suggest me or point out my mistakes in my essay.

            • There were only two questions in the essay question. 1) why people take part in dangerous sports. 2) how the dangers can be reduced. So, I’m not sure why you had three body paragraphs. Your score is also based on grammar accuracy and range as well as vocabulary. Many people make a mistake and try ti impress the examiner with high level words but end up making too many mistakes. All mistakes lower the band score.You could also have lost points if your letter wasn’t strong. There are many reasons why you might get just under band 7. Good luck with your remark.
              All the best

              • Thank you Liz for the reply.will the number of paragraphs make a difference and affect the band score? 🙁
                My letter was an informal letter.
                Write a letter to your friend about a good news, invite her to your celebrations.

                • Coherence and Cohesion counts for 25% of your marks and the way you organise ideas into paragraphs is a large part of that along with the range and accuracy of linking words. The letter task also needs to have the right structure of paragraphs with the right style of language and full task completion.

  317. Hey liz,
    I wanted a bit of personal advice.I’ll be writing my ielts academic in two months time.How much time should I spend on practicing given that I’m also doing my bachelor’s? I just started preparing for the exam so what I noticed is I get quite high scores in the sample listening and reading tests I take.However I am skeptical of my writing and speaking as I don’t have anyone to cross check my answers.Could you suggest what can I possibly do about feeling more confident.Should I take the classes held by British council in my city,would that help?

    • Your first step is to check with the University the exact band score requirement they have – not all are the same but they mostly ask for band 6 for degrees. If you are pleased that you are getting over 6 in listening and reading regularly, then look to your speaking and writing. My advice would be to do a practice test organised by a school with well trained and experienced teachers to mark your writing and speaking. Or you could do a course. The course at the BC will cover the basics and the teachers are usually able to give detailed feedback on your writing and speaking – although I’m not sure they will give a band score (possibly not). Another option is to go online or locally find an ex-examiner to mark your writing. Unfortunately, I can’t offer that service this year.
      Good luck

      • Thanks for the reply
        The courses I want to apply for usually require a band 7 with 6.5 or above in every component.And when I mark my reading and speaking I usually get band 7 or 8.So I’m targeting an 8 overall so will an intensive ielts course by British council help me to evaluate my writing or speaking.
        Also it’s difficult to find a teacher particularly trained for ielts here.And as the British council themselves conduct the exam won’t they be the best option?

        • When you visit the BC, ask them if the teacher running the course will grade essays and point out your errors and areas of improvement based on the marking criteria. Ask if they will also assess speaking or if they have a trial speaking test with feedback and grading. Ask all the right questions before you sign on any course.

  318. hello madam

    First I would like to thanks for you wonderful Support,Dear Liz This is regarding Common Uncountable Noun, I gone through your Page in detail, you written that some of the common mistakes that students make in English .Could be please Elaborate what kind of Mistakes Students Do in Exam related to Uncountable Noun with Example .

    This help me in understanding things more better.


    • Students fail to remember when nouns are uncountable. The write “informations” which is incorrect because uncountable nouns can’t have plurals. Or they write “there are many knowledge” and again it is wrong because uncountable nouns can’t use “many”. See my uncountable noun lesson in the vocabulary section of this blog.

  319. Hello Miss Liz

    I want to ask you about the Preperation Tips

    You said that we need to make sure that our English is at the right level for the band score that we want

    How can we know what English level is needed for a specific band score ?
    Thank you

    • Take a practice test or get your writing marked. If there are a lot of errors in your essay (grammar and vocabulary) then it means you are about band 5 level. More errors = lower band score. So, get someone to assess your language and then you match your language level with the band scores. If you don’t have someone to mark your work or assess your English, it will be difficult. But you should still have some awareness of how many errors you are making in your English and more or less the level you have. I have learned both Spanish and Swedish – I have never tested my language skills but I am quite aware of my own level and deficiencies of grammar or vocabulary.
      All the best

  320. can i check my writing task and discuss on it

  321. Prason shrestha says:

    I have problem in English skill ,speaking , and also in writing. What can i do ? can u tell me.

    • All my tips, model answers and lessons can be found on the main pages of this blog. I am not able to help you personally to find your weaknesses, you must find them by studying and learning.
      All the best

  322. Hello Liz! Your lessons are very useful! Thank you so much. Is it true that the reading passage 1 is easy, 2- a little bit difficult, and 3 is the most difficult? So we should spend more time to third passage?

    • The reading passages for academic reading and about the same level. The difference between reading passages is for the GT paper.

  323. Hi,
    I’m sorry for confusion, in my previous question, can I write the first letter only in capital like this ( True , Yes )?

    Thanks for you

    • You can write it as True or true. I doubt it makes any difference for this type of question.

      • Hi Liz,

        Please correct if I’m wrong,
        The presentation of conclusion in wt2 is just a rephrase of introduction specifically the last sentence in intro?
        Hoping for your immediate response.

        • Yes, it summarises the main points and your thesis statement introduces your main points. As long as you write the correct thesis statement, you can paraphrase it for the conclusion. But I’ve met too many students who can’t write a proper thesis statement.

  324. Hi,
    Thanks a lot for for this valuable website and I really appr