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  1. Dear Liz,
    I have been living in an English speaking country for the past 4 years and my partner is English so I use the English language 24/7. I’m a preschool teacher (Holding a Bachelor Early Childhood Education) so I have written 33 developmental summaries in the last week, on a daily basis I write observations and daily snippets about the children’s development and how we corporate different theoretical perspectives. Meetings with parents and colleagues aren’t unfamiliar for me where I often have to show my teaching knowledge (in English).

    Yet, I don’t seem to pass the Academic IELTS with the scores that are required. (8) I have bought the advanced IELTS lesson and studied the techniques recommended on your website. My scores for the past Academic IELTS are – Listening 8, Speaking 7, reading 6 and writing 6.5.

    How will I be able to pass the Academic IELTS with scores 8 on each component? (I have read all your blogs on band scores and watched every single video) Do you have any advice for me to get the best possible score? I will do my next IELTS test in 2 weeks.

    Thanks in advance.

    • It sounds as though there is a serious problem with your IELTS writing. The only way for me to give you advice is to see one of your essays. I will do this for free. Email me one of your IELTS essays (try to re-produce your exam essay) with the full essay question. My email is: In the email, remind me of your scores so I can give you the right feedback.

  2. Is there any concerns if we have clip on teeth when we go for speaking.

    • It is unlikely to affect your score unless you mispronounce words as a result. Pronunciation does count for 25% of your marks but if you have an impediment, you can inform the examiner or the test center.

  3. Hi Liz

    I wanted to thank you for all your support and guidance. It really makes a difference.
    My result is out and scored L 9, S 7.5, R 7.5, W 6.5

    I need 7 and above in writing, shall i go for re-evaluation?
    do the scores ever increase after re-evaluation?

    I ask because i have never heard any increase/decrease in score increase after re-evaluation….

    • Of course scores can increase with remarking. See this page and you will find plenty of students whose scores increased: However, it is not certain that all students will see an increase in their scores. It depends if the senior examiner feels your writing is worth a higher score. I do not know about decreasing the score. That is something you can ask at your test center.

  4. In Part 2 of Speaking Test, Is it probably to follow what I note during the Interview ?? Can I look at them ??

  5. Hi Liz,
    Can I use contractions in IELTS academic test (writing and speaking) such as can’t instead of cannot?

  6. Can we write “&” instead of “and”

  7. Hi Liz

    In “Give your opinion Essays”, do I have to mention my opinion in the Introduction part or I may mention it through the conclusion part

    Thank you

  8. Can I write one advantage and disadvantage while question says “advantages and disadvantages”?

  9. Narges Kaghazgarian says:

    Are there any websites available to score my writing tasks…?
    Would you please introduce them if you know any?
    Many thanks…

  10. Narges Kaghazgarian says:

    Hi Liz,
    It’s great to find your website…
    I’d watched your video on T, F, NG… you were really helpful.
    Thank you so much!

  11. Amandeep Singh says:

    Hi Liz,

    What about personal coaching from you. Is there any chance or way I can avail that.


  12. Hi Liz ma’m,

    it would be very helpfull, if you have mobile app to go through your IELTS tips.

  13. Can I write AC926 if the answer is AC 926 and. 01670345887 if the answer is 01670 345 887 in listening test? Is space is necessery in numbers ?

  14. Hi Liz,

    In the listening test in the instructions it’s given ‘No more than one word and/or number’.
    If we are asked about the duration of stay, can we write :
    ‘five’ or should we write ‘5 months’, since if we do the former, we can’t write the months after that.
    Kindly reply.


  15. Hi Liz,

    Can we use personal pronouns in body paragraphs?

    Thank you

  16. Arif Rashid says:

    Hi Liz,
    Thanks for your wonderful web blog for IELTS. Would you please tell me which one is correct for listening. I’m confused.
    25 kilogram or twenty five kilogram.
    5 kilogram or Five kilogram.

    Hope my question is clear.

    Thank .
    -Arif Rashid

  17. hi Liz,

    I had my IELTS speaking test this morning.
    It seems to me that I talked more of the answers to part 1 than part 3.
    The examiner asked me questions such as “who usually decide the furniture in a family” that I really couldn’t come up many points for 2 or 3 questions for part 3 and I guess my answers were quite short…
    I would like to know how important is the length of answers for part 3.
    Thank you!

  18. Waseem jahangir says:

    Hello madam,
    I would like to ask that if i put wrong answer instead of right answer in (GT) reading test then point will be deducted or not? Like if i attempt all questions and 5 answers out of 40 question are wrong then how many points i will get.



    Dear Sonia,
    How are you? Thank you for the wonderful holiday spent at your place. our seven days was were very exciting and thrilling. I am writing to instruct you to parcel my wallet as I forgot in your house.

    After a long hectic journey back to home. I was doing unpacking and was starving with hunger. so, I ordered some lunch from the restaurant and suddenly noticed my wallet was missing. I thought, I left in the train or at the station. Then I had a flashback, it was left in your house. You remember, I was getting late to catch my train and perhaps in nervousness missed to pick up my wallet. It’s a red- orange colored wallet and kept in the second drawer of your dressing table.

    My wallet contains all the important bank cards and identification cards. I really want a favor from you to parcel me via DHL Courier. You can request for an urgent delivery and they might charge you extra for that. I will receive the parcel within five working days. My home address you already know, just my apartment number is changed from 305 to 314. In case, if I dont respond to my first number just inform the courier service to add my this number 0501237415 aslo.

    again thank you in advance, hope my instructions are cleared to you.

    Best wishes,

    Mam Liz, please advice me how was my letter writing and how much band score i can get on this. my target is to get above 7 band.

    highly appreciated your response.

  20. Jyoti Mehta says:

    Hi Liz,

    Your lessons are really helping alot…I’m going to take my IELTS on 11th Nov
    I have a query….
    In the reading test if a statement is: We run courses on software and techniques for which we see a significant need within the University among staff and research students. To see details of these courses, and the current schedule please enquire at the computing centre.

    Question is : If a student has any further questions, he or she should ask someone at ____________

    My query is can we write Computing centre/Computer centre
    my answer will be market right or wrong ?
    Is it wrong if we put a slash for number based replies like study skills/ study skill ?

  21. I would like to know that in writing task 1. Do I have to use or explain every information given to me? or I can select the important one. (especially when I got more than one model to explain)

  22. Prabhjot singh says:

    Hello liz,
    Today i got my ielts results (British Council)
    L: 9 , R: 9 , W: 6.5 , S: 6.5 but my requirement was 7 each.
    Is there is any chance of increase in bands in writing and speaking both if I file enquiry on results.
    (Previous result : L: 7.5 , R: 8.5 , W: 6 , S: 6.5)

    Thank you

  23. Someone shared with me… that in writing task2, make sure to underline the example you are sharing to enhance your score…

    is it true?

    • You should not underline anything. Putting an example in your essay does not increase your score. Underlining an example is a waste of time. The examiner is not blind or stupid so don’t do it.

  24. Hi, I would like to ask a question about part two writing. In an advantage/disadvantage essay will I be penalised if I include three advantages/disadvantages in each paragraph if I give an explanation sentence for each?
    Thank you

    • Your aim should never be to lengthen your essay. Your aim should be to present relevant ideas and have time to proof read your essay to reduce errors. All errors lower your score. When you plan your essay, brain storm ideas and then choose the best. You don’t get a higher score because you have more ideas.

  25. Dear Liz,

    I am an IELTS candidate living in Iran. I have been taking the IELTS exam several times during the past year, but I have serious difficulty with the writing skill. My current score in writing is 6, while I need 7. I have taken part in several IELTS classes but they haven’t worked so far. I am thinking about studying so hard using your helpful website and take the exam again but I have some questions.
    Firstly, due to the sanctions in Iran is it impossible for me to pay for the advanced writing lessons. I would highly appreciate if there would be any other way to access these precious materials. Secondly, the only IELTS centre in Iran is IDP. Is there any difference between IDP and British Council? Which one do you suggest?

    I truly need 7 in writing and I could not think of anyone else to refer to. I do appreciate your time and consideration.

    Best regards,


    • You can ask a friend to get my advanced lessons for you. There is no difference between IDP and BC. Neither center writes the test – all tests are written by Cambridge and used by both IDP and BC equally.

  26. Aditya Patkar says:

    Hi Liz,

    My writing task 2 went fine and I could get 8/9. But in task 1, I misinterpreted the data from one out of the two tables given to be summarized. I mistook ‘potato consumption in kg/person’ as ‘potato consumption in million tonnes’ since the same unit was used in the other table. It was a silly mistake but the grammar, vocabulary, coherence, etc. are all fine. How much could I expect in the overall writing? A range of score would be helpful too.

    Thanks for your time!

    • It would affect your score for Task Achievement, which is 25% of your marks and related to information and key features. However, it is just one mistake.

  27. Hi Liz,

    I wanted to know if there are any real time mock test series which would aid in my analysis of my performance in ILETS. I have been practising the listening and reading and then going trough the key answers provided but it would be best to have a complete end to end experience. I have been googling for days but could not find any test series ๐Ÿ™ ..

    I also wanted to ask if all the sections of listening will be played one after the other without pausing in between section? If so I will have to go through all the questions for all the sections at the very beginning.

    Thank u once again ๐Ÿ™‚

    • The IELTS Cambridge Books from 1 to 12 are books published by IELTS which contain real IELTS tests. You can do them at home under exam conditions. All students should do these tests before they enter the exam room.

  28. Hamza Parvaiz says:

    Hi Liz,
    My question is related to Listening section. If we have to choose 3 options out of 5, does it need to be in the same order or it could be any of it. For e.g which of the following are correct. A.B,C,D,E,F.

    The correct answer is C,D,F, so is it mandatory to have the same order or we can write as D,F,C.

    • If the question represents questions from 1 to 3 and you must choose three letters from five ( one letter for each question), then you can write them in any order.

  29. Hie Liz do l have to paraphrase the question when writing the introduction for task 1

  30. Hii liz

    Is there any difference between do you agree or disagree and to what extent do you agree or disagree?
    Is the format for writing both types same ?

    Second doubt
    Can we use he or she in task 2 or we have to use plural form only

    • They are both opinion essays and the format and technique are 100% the same. You should use plural form as your essay should refer to people in general.

  31. Alan David Nagavkar says:

    Hi Liz,
    I had my IELTS speaking test today and I was a bit nervous before the test. I fumbled in some parts, but I think my overall vocabulary was good. So what band score can I expect?( Just a bit curious to know.

    • As your score is based on your overall performance of fluency, grammar, vocab and pronunciation, no one can predict your score.

  32. please madam Liz

    could you make a lesson about how to write an apology letter because of a damaging property>
    please I need more model answers for all types of letters

    and writing task 2 about wider roads is not the key method to solve traffic jam(opinion essay)

    my last request which source would you recommend to read about all writing topics

    thanks a lot

  33. Hello Liz! I have a question. Does each country have different IELTS material? or i is it all same?

  34. Hi Liz,

    Is it necessary to include examples in IELTS writing part 2, when the question does not mention it?

    • The question says “give example when relevant”. This means you decide if you want to give examples or not. There are many ways to explain ideas and examples are just one way – you don’t need to use them.

  35. hello. Mam Lisa,
    I am very inspired by you videos and tips for IELTS exam. in December i am writing the exam, hoping to score higher.
    my question is as below:
    1. is the exam computerized or paper based? (i dont like to read long passages on screen because i get headaches, i like on paper so that i can underline make notes)
    2. is it allowed to look back at the Reading passage while answering the questions?
    3. writing exam is on MICROSOFT WORD or PAPER BASED?

    Reply soon

    • All normal IELTS tests are paper based – all sections. You can refer to the reading passage as often you want – you have 1 hour to answer 40 questions and you use that time as you want.

  36. Tamรกs Haris says:

    Hello Liz. I would like to ask a question about an essay.
    Last week, I had the IELTS general training test. My essay question was: nowadays traffic jams are becoming a big problem in most cities and bigger towns. Some people suggest that widening of roads is a solution to this problem. Do you agree or disagree?
    I worried that I wrote bad examples. I didn’t agree or disagree, it was a balanced argument. So I wrote in the first body part that it is a good idea to widen the roads as there would be fewer accidents, and public transport can be improved this way….. On the other side I wrote that we shouldn’t widen the roads as it would be exteremely expensive for goverments, and towns should be replanned in order to build bigger roads. Of course, I don’t remember all the ideas that I have written down.
    I rephrased the question: should we widen our roads or not? Was it a good idea, or I completely misunderstood the question? Thank you very much for your answer!

    • I think you didn’t provide a clear opinion. There are no two sides. There is only one side which is your full opinion. If you have a balanced view, it does not mean you write a discussion essay. It means you present a quantified, partial agreement. “In my opinion, although widening roads is effective, it is better to develop towns with proper planning to avoid this problem”. Then you have two paragraphs which are not opposites – they are just two aspects of your opinion.

  37. Hello Liz,
    Today, I took the IELTS but I made a mistake while I was marking my Y,N,NG questions. I used T and F instead of writing Y and N. I wonder whether examiners consider as valid my answers or not.
    Thanks in advance.

    • As far as I know, it is possible they will accept these answers but you will need to confirm it with IELTS. I always advise students to avoid this.

  38. Sarthak Setya says:

    Hi Liz
    I am not able to find videos of reading lessons on your Blog. If you could help me by providing me the link for videos.

  39. Hello liz,

    I got a the following question which asked me to write one word or a number. I was confused and want to clarify with you. As follows:

    Monthly rent shall not exceed ……..

    The speaker told 14 days but since it asked to write a single number or word i wrote only 14 instead of 14 days. Would my answer be incorrect? Please advise !

  40. Hello, Liz,
    I took the IELTS today and the task 2 question was about companies using major sporting events to promote their products, but some people believe this will have negative effects on sports. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
    I disagreed, and my two BPs were about: -companies’ sales will rise and many people watch major sports events so that will beneficial to them without affecting the events… and 2- some companies sponsor events and teams and this has huge benefits for sports.
    Am I somehow correct? Or did I go off topic.? The question was very tricky to be honest.

    • This is about the impact on sport – if you think it has a positive impact, then you explain this by saying that sports teams are given equipment and financial support by the advertising companies.

  41. Hi Liz,
    May I know whether you have any book for IELTS exam? I found videos on your website, but not any book.

    I used your material one year ago, and I passed IELTS with 7.5 score. I was highly satisfied. Now my sister wants to sit for exam. Her English is around score 5, and she needs 7 at academic exam.

    Please let me know if you have a full package to help her.

    Thank you!

  42. Arghya Majumdar says:

    Hi Liz,
    hope you are doing well. I gave my IELTS LRW today and I have a doubt regarding it. In passage 2 of the reading test there was a sentence given ,
    “Cleaner energy such as electricity was not possible to be supplied to remote developing locations as distribution costs are high.”

    The question was to be written in THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER and it was as follows:
    What was the reason stopping electricity from being supplied to remote locations?

    I wrote “high distribution costs”.
    Will I be marked incorrect?

    Please help am really worried!

  43. Will I be able to rewind the recording during the lisitening exam? For a better understanding of what the speaker said.

    • You can listening only once in IELTS and you can’t control the recording. If you go to the toilet during the listening test, you will miss many answers.

  44. while posting my answers to answer sheet in listening and reading, can i use cursive handwriting using sentence case?

  45. sahib singh says:

    Is it right to write roman numbers without dots on the top in ielts reading?

  46. Hello..
    i did my writing part as per your instruction. i was with a confident that i will get above 7 in writing. but i got only 5.5. What can i do for this?

    • You need to check the following:
      Your English – you need to reduce the number of errors. This also relates to making poor choices of words or making too many grammar mistakes.
      You need to check your technique: addressing the task fully, organising ideas, developing ideas, writing topic sentences, linking words etc

  47. Hi, Liz,
    Is writing about 200 words in writing task 1 too much? Will I lose marks? I tried to summarize it as much as I can.

  48. Hi Liz,

    Thank you so much for all the work you have put out for us. I am so grateful I’ve found your website and YouTube channel. It is not easy study for IELTS on your own but you made it all possible for us. So thank you again!!!

    I just have one quick question. In an informal letter (GT part 1 writing), is it acceptable if I end the letter with something other than “Best regards”/”Regards” such as “Until next time”/”With love” or is it always advisable to use the standard?

    Thank you so much for your time & best wishes,

  49. Hello Liz,
    First of all, i want to thank you for what you are doing. My Ielts exam will be on 28th of October and Its my first time.
    I am very afriad from the exam beacuse most of my friend told me the its very difficult, so i dont know from where can i start studing and improve my english in a very short time ..sorry for my english i know that its not good ๐Ÿ™‚ wish me luck

  50. Hi Liz,

    It is regarding the reading module of General training. There are questions that ask to choose two answers( A,B,C, D,E). How should I answer the question? Is it by separating the answers by a comma or and. For eg: is it ‘A,B’ or ‘A and B’.
    My second question is: for questions that require number as an answer, shall I write it as a numeral or in words? for eg: 3 or is it ‘three?

  51. Shakil hasan says:

    Hellow Liz

    I am Shakil, from Bangladesh. I will take a seat for ielts in 14 Oct 2017 but am still weak in writing ,my mock test result 4.5 so what should I do for improving my writing ? And also reading speaking and listening quait OK I will waiting suggestion .I don’t have enough time just 17 day remains

  52. Hi Liz,

    I am Ashna

    I’m eagerly waiting for your reply regarding the question I posted on the 21st September,2017.
    My exams are just a few days away!! Please help!

    • I have over 8 thousand comments waiting. Please post your question again. However, please make sure you have checked all my main pages for your answer first.

  53. If there is no past year mentioned in Task 1 we use present tense but if the verb is second form and no past year is mentioned can we use present tense???? Eg. The amount of water used in five countries for different sectors is shown in the graph….Ma’am in many recent task 1 question it is confusing because of the above mentioned reason…kindly reply

  54. Mam , i spoke only 1min 40 sec in cue card in exam. Should i worry about it

  55. Hi Liz,

    Hope you are doing well ๐Ÿ™‚

    I have my IELTS GT exam on 30th September. Until now, I have been practicing with the official Cambridge English books and have been getting a good score in all the mock tests.

    However, I gave one mock test from one of the book titled “IELTS Upgrade 8” by IDP recently and found it to be extremely challenging.

    Would you recommend to continue practicing from this book ?

    • You should practice from any authentic IELTS test. That will include tests by IDP or BC. You will use all those sources not only to test yourself but also to train yourself in different question types, techniques, language etc.

      • Thank you for your prompt reply.

        The practice material provided by IDP is not published by Cambridge.

        So, I am a little confused

        • IDP is an owner of IELTS and Cambridge is an owner of IELTS and also BC is an owner. They are three owners and the test is the same wherever you take it. So, you can use any materials from any of them.

  56. Joby mathew says:

    Some people think that schools should reward students who show the best academic results, while others believe that it is more important to reward students who show improvement in their performance.
    Discuss both the views and give your opinion?


    In this essay can I write the positive and negative sides of two views in two paragraphs or I should write only the positive side of both views

    Plz help me….

    Thanking you


    • You will explain why some people think A and why other people think B – each in a separate body paragraph. You will also give your opinion.

  57. Neena Kamran says:

    Hi Liz,
    Thanks for the great job.
    I want to know that currency symbol will be counted as separate word ? For example in task 1 writing , ยฃ 450, will be counted as two words or one word?

  58. Sep 16th 2017 India Academic ,Q
    Advertising discourage people from being different individuals by making us want to be and look the same. Do you agree or disagree?

  59. Hello, Liz!

    Your tips are really useful!
    May I ask about Task 1?
    So my teacher told us that we must not desribe lines on graphs like “… the red line rose steadily…”. So can I use colours to replace ?

    Thank you forward!

  60. Hi Liz,

    Thank you so much for giving so many tips and lessons for preparation. Your website is more helpful to prepare for my exam.

    I have a question. In listening section, I answered “FOURTEEN DAYS” for one question but in answer it’s mentioned as 14 DAYS and says my answer is wrong. I am really confused. In this section, they mentioned write “NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS or A NUMBER.

    Can you please clarify me when I need to write numbers and letters?

  61. Qais Jayyousi says:

    Hello Liz,

    I took IELTS exam two times, and my best band scores in both exam were like below:

    L 8.5, R 7, W 6, S 8.

    how can I know my starting point to improve my English and IELTS score??

    Before browsing your website I was aiming for 7 band score in each, but I told myself that if I followed an integrated plan I will reach 8 band score, my problem is how to know whether to improve my IELTS skills or English level. can you help me with it?


    • Well, your speaking score is band 8. This means you are capable of producing English with relative accuracy and good range. although you didn’t actually show your speaking score in the other test – so I presume it was lower. Even so, it still shows good language capacity. This means your problem with writing is probably related to using poor language (this is through choice, not ability) and also technique which is 50% of your marks. By poor choice in vocab, I refer to using sentences that you think the examiner wants to see and that are academic – but which are actually not suitable for a language test. Se this page: The only way to improve technique for task 2 is to get my advanced lessons: Each lesson focuses on 1 essay type and is 1 hour in length – so that means there is a lot of technique to learn for just one essay.

      • Qais Jayyousi says:

        Actually my L & S bands were almost the same, the writing and reading was lower in the other exam. however, I am insisting on getting 8 band in each and I have a plenty of time to execute this plan. my problem is the STARTING POINT.. how can I know my English level precisely?

        • As your writing is the problem, you need to get your English writing assessed. This means get it marked for both language and technique. You can find a teacher on this page who is excellent at marking and know the band scores perfectly: You will need to contact him and explain what you want.

  62. Hi liz
    Are idp speaking topics same as bc speaking topic? There any difference?
    I have so much confusion about this
    My exam in October 2017

    • The BC and IDP run the tests – they don;t write them. So, the tests are the same world wide. Each day, there is a list of potential topics. Your aim is to prepare both common and recent topics for speaking and writing – that’s the best preparation you can do. But no one can predict the exact topic you will get.

  63. Indra Kusyanti says:

    Hi Liz. Are Map and describing map are not tested again in writing task 1 for academic because I’ve heard an issue that I don’t have to waste my time studying about these type of questions.

  64. Aditi Khandelwal says:

    Hi Liz,

    I was practicing listening examples and I gave one of the answers as ” logo” but the original answer was ” a logo” in the answer sheet. Would that be counted as a negative or wrong answer? The answer still sounded correct to me without the article used though. Not sure if it’s correct. Please help.

    Thanks in advance.

    • It depends on the type of question. If the question was a sentence completion, then the article “a” would be required to make the finished sentence grammatically correct – so your answer would be wrong. But as I don’t know the question, I can’t say more than that.

  65. Hi Liz..where can I get your practice test material…

  66. Dear Liz,

    Good day!

    Can I use the word “histogram or histograph” in order to denote a chart, table, graph etcetera in task 1, writing question?

    • There are plenty of paraphrases to use in writing task 1, but that isn’t one of them. A diagram is a diagram. A graph is a graph. Don’t alter those words.

  67. Hello Liz
    First of all thanks a zillions for a wonderful task of guiding students for preparation of IELTS.
    I have appeared for my IELTS LRW yesterday, and I am highly disappointed to realize that I made 3-4 spelling mistakes altogether in letter writing and essay writing.
    How badly will my bands be effected?
    Will be thankful if you can spare out some valuable time to quench my query!

    • Spelling mistakes affect your score for vocabulary. Your score isn’t based on counting spelling mistakes, it’s also about range, collocations etc.

      • Thanks a lot for an insight into this marking pattern!
        Kudos to you for a tremendous work and pains you take to clarify the doubts of people across the globe !๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜Š

  68. Hello Ms.Liz , my name is Can. I hope you’re well.

    I took the IELTS in this morning and couldn’t reach the word limit in writing task1 and 2.
    (Task 1: 90 words Task 2: 200 words) But in both tasks, I paraphrased questions in introductions and used a range of vocabulary and grammar expressing my thoughts. and also, unfortunately, I couldn’t add conclusion in task 2. I am really not sure. I’d be interested to know if you could tell me what band score I might achieve maximum?

    Thank you

  69. Hi Ms. Liz,
    Thanks for your great teaching, today i had my exam and in reading for one answer, first i wrote DISUSSION instead of DISCUSSION but in last minute i noticed it. So, to correct it i just inserted C above the S with arrow mark. will it be counted as a right answer or wrong answer ?
    please clarify.

  70. Hi Liz,

    Could you please tell whether to use a pen or pencil in writing tasks?with which of these examiner give a good score.please let me know

  71. Dear Liz,
    Thanks for the good work you are doing here. I really appreciate this. However, I have a question for you as regards the listening test please.
    This has to do with listening to numbers especially phone numbers. How do I know when to put a space between phone numbers? For instance, how do I know the exact way to write a number while listening?Taking 8778 4556 8989 as an example, is there a penalty if I write it as 877845568989?

    • There is no penalty but it isn’t easy to read. You want all your answers to be easy to read so that there are no mistakes with marking.

  72. Syeda Rubeena says:

    Hi Ms.Liz,
    . is there any kind of age limit for IELTS?

  73. Hello Liz,
    Good day,

    Could you please clarify my doubt regarding ielts evaluation. I heard that reading and listening answer sheets are corrected by computer aided machine. Is that true.
    if yes, preferences would be to write the answer in capital. Your suggestion please.
    Many thanks

  74. Hey, Liz! My name is Ioana and I’m from Romania. First of all, I would like to show my gratitude for all you’ve taught me due to this amazing site. I have my IELTS exam in less than 7 days, actually on 9th September and I’m completely losing my mind as I’m feeling I’m not capable to handle with the emotions. Thus, I have a question and I’m truly hoping that your response will take at least a little bit of pressure off my shoulders. In the listening part, for example, if the right answer is composed of two words, let’s say “back pain” and one of them is written wrong, will the correct one be still taken into consideration? Thank you in advance!

  75. Hi Ms Liz,

    I just want to ask if how will I deal with writing task 2 if there are 2 illustrations given…For example 1 bar graph and the other one is pie graph..
    Will I write the overview of each illustration in one or separate paragraph? or do an overview as 1 for the two? and also for the body paragraph?
    thank you Ms Liz

  76. Baljeet singh says:

    Is ielts test elected from cambridge books only ?

  77. Hi Liz,
    Iam confused between British and American English grammar, which one to use in both speaking and writing modules?
    For instance, let me have a bath (uk) vs let me take a bath( us).
    For spellings we have to use one but do we have to use one grammar style in speaking test also?
    Secondly what about difference in some vocabularies/nouns/words ? For trousers vs pants, jumper, pullover vs sweater.
    Please guide. Hope you will answer my question this time๐Ÿ˜•

    • In speaking, you can have a mixed accent – it’s fine. In writing, you must choose either UK spelling or US spelling – not both.

  78. Mohsin Bilal says:

    Hi liz,
    I have been following your page for about a week and i am suppose to give my ilets General in 2nd week of September. I found your blogs quite helpful. am focusing on writing task and confuse about spelling of some words inwhich S is replaced with z and vice versa. Like finalize and finalise (which is i think difference in bristish and american vacab) are both types acceptable.


    hello Liz,

    I’m nervous about my speaking test, any suggestion ๐Ÿ™‚

  80. Satvir Sandhu says:

    Hi Mam,
    I want to know that in ielts exam, speaking examiner knows that student is taking academic or general exam.

    • There is only one speaking test for all students so it doesn’t matter if you are academic or GT – all students take the same speaking and listening tests.

  81. Rupi Sidhu says:

    Is this answer is right or I need to do some changes in it.
    Q.where are you from?
    And. Actually, I’m village dweller named ‘Dalla’ which is located in district Ludhiana. It’s approximately 40 km west from here.

    Because my exam center is also Ludhiana.

    • Don’t try to impress the examiner. We never use the word “village dweller” when we refer to ourselves. It is unnatural and inappropriate use of English and considered a mistake in IELTS speaking – you will get a lower mark for that. The speaking test is informal so answer in a normal, relaxed manner. “I’m from a village called Dalla which is …”

  82. Sunil paudel says:

    If i flip paper when speaker says you have time to check your answer of section 1 or see qsn 1-5 what ll happen

  83. Mayank Gupta says:

    Hey Liz,

    This is regarding writing task 2 .

    I want to paraphrase below question for Introduction but I am not able to do it.

    “Prevention is better than cure” .Researching and treating diseases is too costly
    so it would be better to invest in preventative measures.

    To what extent do you agree.

    Can you please help me on this ?

    • Treating and researching diseases can be so expense that some people think it would be better to use the money for the prevention of illness instead. In my opinion, ….

  84. Hi I passed my ielts idp last year and validated by uk council before begin my application.aftet a year the end stage of my application council said they cannot validate my ielts TRF.Does any one got any suggestion.whom should I contact .

  85. Hi Liz,

    I took the IELTS test. In Task 2 (Writing section) they ask me to explain a phenomenon. I stated two reasons and deep dive on them. However, I did not include “I think / I Believe / In my opinion”.

    Instead of these I used “This essay will outline”. And also I used some “should”, expressing an opinion.

    Is it going to affect my score?


    • If you were asked to give your opinion and you wrote “this essay will …”, then you have failed to fulfil the task. You have failed to clearly state what YOU think. You might still get a good score on the ideas, developing then, linking, grammar and vocab – but you will be marked down for failing to clearly present your own views.

  86. Hello mam..i like your all the tips and vocab and the way you teach…thanks for all this material..
    I need your help regarding writing task1,,,can you pls tell it neccessary to write conclusion in task1 or not?

  87. Hi Liz
    I got my results
    L 8.5
    R 7.5
    W 7.5
    S 6.5
    I need 7 in each ..I did well in speaking used all tips suggested by u
    Should I go for remark
    Pls help

    • It is possible to go for a remark but think about your performance:
      Did you expand all answers?
      Did you go beyond the prompts in part 2?
      Did you show a range of tenses – past, future, second conditional?

  88. Akshay Kochhar says:


    I got a overall score of 8.0 in IELTS with an individual score of L#9, R#9, W#6.5 and Sp#7.5. I only followed your blog and Cambridge IELTS books(suggested by you) for preparations. A great thanks for your efforts and God bless you. Please carry on the good work. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  89. Hi Liz,

    My husband and I are going for our IELTS during October.

    We are working through the material and preparing as much as possible. My husband has a stutter which becomes noticeable when he is nervous. Kindly advise if his stuttering will affect his score.

    Kind regards,

    • It will affect his score for pronunciation. Try contacting the test center and ask if you can submit a medical certificate which can be taking into consideration.

  90. Hi Liz, love your website! THANKS heaps ! Quick question, I need to score a band score of 8 in each section of the Academic test. Iโ€™m very worried regarding my writing skills! Iโ€™m on topic, writing within the timeframe, almost no spelling mistakes. My main problem is that I use very basic vocabulary! I need to do my test within 2 months. How can I expand my vocabulary within this timeframe? Everybody tells me to read, but that wonโ€™t really help me in this short space of time. Studying words is an option but as you know, you need to be comfortable by using these words in the right context! Also you can study words but you have to be lucky that the question on your exam will be on topic with the words you have studied.
    Can you give me any usefull advice?

    • From what you have written in your message, your language is fine. You are using collocations and unusual vocabulary. For example, “within the time frame” is actually considered high band score in IELTS (but it is two words). So, my recommendation to you is to relax and focus more on your technique. If you try to learn new words, you will use them incorrectly or in the wrong context. With only 2 months left, it is better to prepare ideas for topics (you can learn appropriate language that way) and review your existing language. See my list of topics: If you need training in technique purchase my advanced lessons: Remember, vocabulary is 25% of your marks only. If you make any mistakes or use words incorrectly, your score will go down. Your existing language is fine.

  91. Hello Liz,
    I have a question regarding speaking test. Can we correct the sentence in case we have spoken incorrect?
    Thanks for your help.

    • Fluency is 25% of your marks. Fluency is about speaking without hesitation and without pause. Every time you stop speaking, repeat and correct yourself, you will lose points for fluency. It’s better to keep talking.

  92. Evana Rahman says:

    Hi Liz. You stated that we are allowed to use all capital in both listening and reading section. My question to you is what if I use capital technique for listening section only. Or do i need to use capital for both sections if i use it in one section?

  93. Fahad Amjad says:

    I have written words instead of alphabet(fill in the blanks) on my answer sheet will I lose marks?

  94. Hi liz, i am new at this community, and trying to learn from your well resourced web page. while i am going through the literature about the ielts, a question aroused in my mind about the reading test. Are we allowed to go back to passages or can we see the questions before answering them.

    • You have 1 hour to use the question paper in any way you want. You can start with passage 3 if you want. You can read the questions first if you want. No one will tell you how to do the reading test. It is 1 hour for you to use the strategies you want.

  95. Hi Liz,
    I know that there are 4 criteria in Speaking.If I get 5 in fluency and 6 in other three parts,so what is the last score for speaking I can get?

  96. Rupi Sidhu says:

    Mam,we can use proverbs in writing task 2 or not.

  97. Hi Liz,

    What style of hand writing would you sugest for both the tasks in writing for GT(cursive writing or block writing). Since my childhood I have the habit of cursive hand writing. I dont want it to affect my score.

    • You use your normal writing. You are limited with time so write naturally. As long as the examiner can read it, it ‘s fine.

  98. Rupi Sidhu says:

    Mam,if they speak 25th July in listening and we write 25 July then it would be considered as a right or wrong answer.

  99. Hi Liz,
    Could you put some content regarding the tactics needed to perform well in reading.. Earlier I used to score good in reading like 8 & 8.5. I really forgot how was the technique in reading like skim n scan and to look for transition words. Could you give a note on that. Looking forward to hear back from you I am appearing for my General IELTS soon..

  100. (1) will we see the reading questions beforehand?
    (2) will we be allowed to bring highlighters and highlight the passages if we desire?

  101. Rupi Sidhu says:

    Mam,plz tell me that can we use first person such as I and we in writing task 2’s introduction and body paragraphs.

  102. Kapil Ahuja says:

    Hi Liz,

    In listening tip no. 8 about using Capital Letters, New caption added these are not counted, Means I should avoid writing capital letters in Answer sheet or anything else.

    Please reply soon as I planned to write answer in capital letters.

    • It means you can use capital letters or not use them – it’s your choice. I recommend using all capital letters for listening and reading.

  103. Hi liz!
    I took the IELTS exam under the British Council last month but my official result has not yet arrived. I urgently need the trf number for NMC registration. Do you have any idea where can i get my trf number? Many thanks.

  104. Labiba Islam says:

    Are band scores adjusted with difficulty level of the exam?

  105. Hi liz.
    I have been practicing with a listening test and looking at the answers at the end of the tape I was surprised by something I found out. I wonder if I made the following mistakes or not:
    1) I had to complete a sentence and the answer was “sunny and warm”, instead of which I had put “sunny, warm”, being sure the speaker said no “and”, as I thereafter checked
    2) I had to fill in a table and wrote “evaluation” whereas thw suggested answer was “the evaluation”; again, I checked out and I am sure the speaker put no article (maybe in this second case I have read you wrote it is not a mistake in your FAQs for listening)
    Were mine real mistakes?



  106. Hi Liz,

    Is there a possibility to get a lower score than what is already given after recorrection ? Im expecting a higher score for the speaking component than what I have already received. So it would be a great help if you could give me an answer to this.

    Thanks in advance ๐Ÿ™‚

  107. Mohammad Imran says:

    Hi Liz

    If I overwrite in exam paper, does it affect my score?

    • I don’t know what you mean by “overwrite”. Do you mean delete a word and write it again? Yes, you can do that. But keep it neat and tidy.

  108. Hi Liz,

    Will I get lower band score if I “accidentally” included both British and American English in my writing? I have trouble distinguishing them. In one part of my essay, there’s “favor”, but in another part, there’s “organise”.

    I just want to know if this is going to be a serious problem and should I correct this.

    Thank you.

  109. Hello liz โ˜บ i want to fill my test date but im confused because somebody told me that i should fill academic test date having general exam same day because there are some chances that reading can be easy than only on academic test date ? Is that true?? Or just a misconception???

  110. Hi Liz, Thank you so much for your helpful videos. For academic reading test I usually get tired by the time I reach to the third passage.
    I was wondering if I can start answering the third passage first, since it’s the most difficult one and then answer the other two? I

    • For the academic test, the reading passages are similar in level. Yes, you can start passage 3 first if you want. But the key is to training yourself to spend no more than 20 mins on each passage.

    • Hi mam I want to know , im livin g in saudia but im an in speaking if examiner asking aboutmy hometown whatshould I tell

      • Tell him “My hometown is … which is in India but I don’t live there now”. The speaking test is not difficult. It is informal and you give natural answers.

  111. Dear liz
    I have done my speaking yesterday. And question in the cue card says ‘ describe an occasion when you spent with a young child’ and there were 4 other questions.. After the time was up i realised that i have spoken about spending time with the child but i did not concentrate on the occasion. How can this effect my score..??

    • There are no questions on the cue card. There are prompts which are guidelines – you don’t need to use them if you don’t want to.

  112. Dear Elizabeth,
    My concern is about the IELTS bias and conspiracy. As you used to be an IELTS teacher and I am sure you are the best person to talk on this confusion.
    1. Why it is necessary to know how many years I am studying English, why I am taking the IELTS and what is my first language? If this is for a survey, it supposed to be an open option. Why are they purely mandatory questions to be answered?
    2. Why IELTS Does not show the answer sheets along with correct answers on challenges? For instance, last time I was sure I have had 39 correct answers and on challenge they were not ready to show me my answer sheet.
    3. Why all immigrant person must take twice or more general tests to qualify for correct score while it’s kinda weird score card! Take my friend for example, three times he told IELTS General, and his scores are always surprising. First time 8-8-8.5-5. I don’t think such a person can get 5 in writing who gets such higher scores in others second time, 8.5-8.5-6-7.5. You see, someone gets 6 in speaking? I can’t tell you how good he is in English. He lived in the UK since childhood and his all education was fully in English. However, his mother toungue is different. Third and last time he received 8.5-9-8-6.5. Now how do you explain such results consecutively.? He has stopped trying now. Because he was planning for immigration and to us it seems IELTS is making money out of this.

    I’m sure you will be able to put a little light on this and tell how to go with this? Should not it be an unbiased exam? I apologise if somehow I have hurt your feelings about IELTS and being a teacher for IELTS for a long time. I hope you realise, there will be thousands of people who might struggle as we are, just to get a good score and achieve something unrelated to IELTS success.

    Thank you in advance.

    • I doubt you will like my answers because you have such a strong opinion. But these are the facts:
      1. All companies do market research in this way now. It is perfectly normal in the UK.
      2. IELTS never show answer sheets. This is part of their security for their testing system. It is their choice. Personally, as a teacher, I know it would be helpful for students to know their mistakes. But this isn’t my test. IELTS are free to do this.
      3. I know plenty of people who hit band 8 or 8.5 in most parts of the test but failed on writing and only got around 5 or 6. In fact, right now I am helping a student with this problem. The problem is always poor training in IELTS. Students think they understand what to do, but they don’t. IELTS examiners are not trained to cheat or to know how many times someone has sat the test. The examiner doesn’t have the background information of any student. There is no conspiracy at all. But there are bad teachers and there are students who don’t know the right techniques.

      You don’t hurt my feelings at all. I’m an independent teacher and I’m in no way connect to IELTS, the company. There are issues about the IELTS test that I’m not keen on. But examiners do not conspire to fix test results – it’s actually not possible. I suggest all students to only student with teachers who have been examiners or have completed the IELTS examiner training.

      • Thanks Liz for an elaborate answer.

        However, I am sorry for bringing this back. I didn’t mean that my friend did get less in writing. Yes, he did once, but in three attempts he failed to achieve his target score in three different disciplines which makes it fishy. While at the same time, he was very much sure that his score could never be less in reading or speaking.

        Personally, I don’t know. Somehow it makes me scared too. It is a lot of money – more than half the charge of an exam, to be exact- required even to challenge a score and if you don’t see if they are telling you truth, I feel it’s a waste of money. I noted that you are not responsible to answer problems related to IELTS or their conspiracy. It was just a strong admiration and love we have for you and we feel homely to ask anything to you, made me bring this up. I am sorry if I have misunderstood or am misinterpreted.

        Have a lovely day!

        • Unless your friend has completed the IELTS examiner training for speaking, he can’t judge his score. Only examiners can do that. The examiners do not have access to information about other tests and other scores. For example, the speaking examiner doesn’t know the score for writing or for speaking in other tests. There is no conspiracy at all. Your friend had an option for remarking and that would be remarked by a senior examiner.

          I just want you to understand that your scores are in your hands. IELTS are not manipulating results. If you speak at band 7 level, you will get band 7 in speaking. It’s that simple. But most students can’t judge what band 7 means in each of the four criteria. So, my advice to you is to get professional training from an examiner and review the band score criteria very carefully. Also don’t listen to people know take away your personal power and make you feel there is no hope. You can get a good result if you train in the right way.

  113. Hi Liz,

    Thank you for the great website. It’s been of great help to me.

    I just want to clarify, on the FAQ page you wrote that if we have several IELTS results we can use the test results in which we scored highest (as long as it’s still valid). I couldn’t find this information on the official IELTS sources (would be great if you could share the link if you know one). If that is the case, how should we send the previous test results to the desired authority (CIC Canada for example)? Could you please describe that process a little bit?

    Thank you.

    • It is very simple, one test does not invalidate the other. If it is within 2 years, you can use it. You can contact them directly yourself and ask them.

  114. Srishti Sharma says:

    Hi Liz

    I have my exam on 3rd and just want to ask you a few questions-
    Is the reading section same for both GT and academics if the exam is on the scheduled for the same day.
    Is the writing section task 2 also the same ?
    Please let me know at the earliest

  115. Dear Liz,
    Have you started your own service for essay correction now?
    Thank you in advance.

    • Sorry. I’m still not well. But you should use Tony, he offers an essay marking service. I will probably not offer one until later next year:

      • Hi,
        Thank you for your reply.
        It is OK. I sent an email to Tony.
        Get well soon.

      • Hi, again.
        I have contacted with Tony and he kindly provided me with a detailed list of answers to my questions regarding his availability, the cost of the service and the waiting time before marking my reports/essays.

        I am generally happy to use his service, however, my only concern is that my structure of writing, which came from your advanced task 2 video lessons, would not be changed by another tutor.
        I understand that he referred to your lessons to be consulted for the essays. To make sure, is his recommended structure similar to yours?


        • Hi Liz, I puschase advanced writing Opinion essay and you sent the login link to me but I mistakenly deleted it. Could you please resend the link to me. Find my na,e and email in the box provided. Thanks

  116. Hello liz
    I have a query.. Today during my ielts exam i wrote task 1 on task 2 sheet and task 2 on task 1 sheet by mistake but i have mentioned on top that it is task 1. I am worried. I did not have much time left to write it again. I just want to know is it going to effect my score?

    • If you have labelled the sheets clearly so that the examiner can understand what happened – it’ll be fine.

      • Shamsher Singh says:

        Hi Liz,

        Thanks for clarification… I did same mistake as mentioned by Harpreet in above question!! It gave me immense satisfaction ๐Ÿ™‚


  117. Hey liz I have been waiting for answer for many days
    Thankyu for providing advantageous lessons
    My question is if in task 1 in introduction we want to use word Information how we will use
    Chart depicts information or
    Chart gives information
    Second question
    Can we use pie graph instead of pie chart ?

    • You can write:

      The chart illustrates the percentage of … (and you don’t use the word information)
      The chart gives information about the percentage of … (but you don’t use the word “the”)

  118. Sudhir Chhabra says:

    Hi, Liz! Regards.

    I’m from India, and I need to ask you something regarding listening. If we have been allowed to write upto three words, and the answer to the question is “hospital” as per the answer key, and I have written “the hospital;” will it be marked wrong or right?

    Do they stick strictly to the answer key?

    Also, is it “Dr.” strictly, or can be “Dr” too for the I.E.L.T.S. exam?
    Do you too evaluate I.E.L.T.S. answer sheets?

  119. Xusniddin says:

    Good afternoon Liz))
    Fisrt, thank you for sharing your tips.
    I wanted to ask you how to write agree or disagree essay?
    I am showing my agreement but i cannot show any example or extension of it?
    Please help me….

    • If you choose to agree, you will give two or three reasons why you agree. Each reason will be put in one body paragraph and explained.

  120. Christine says:

    Dear Liz

    I have posted 3 questions, one a couple of weeks ago and 2 in the last 2 days. They all havn’t been answered. Did they reach you?

  121. what are the rules for writing numbers in listening test?

  122. hi Liz,
    i’ve got a question. If i’m composing a letter, let’s say an invitation to a friend wherein the occasion is my daughter’s 18th birthday, should i write 18th or eighteenth?

  123. Krishan kumar says:

    Hi liz,
    Have you any application for iphone regarding ielts

  124. khushal says:

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

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

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

  127. Dixit Vaghela says:

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

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

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