Spelling Practice

This is a chance for you to practice your spelling. In IELTS writing, spelling mistakes will lower your score so make sure you improve your spelling as much as you can before your test.

Look at the words below and decide:

  1. if the words are spelled correctly
  2. if there is a mistake – if so, how should the word be spelled?

Spelling Practice

Are the following words spelled correctly or not?

  1. polution
  2. detrimental
  3. juviniles
  4. differentiate
  5. confidance
  6. enviromental
  7. infastructure
  8. wheras
  9. categories
  10. circumstence
  11. sufficently
  12. proffesional
  13. intigrate

Answers – click below

  1. wrong = pollution
  2. correct
  3. wrong = juvenile
  4. correct
  5. wrong = confidence
  6. wrong = environmental
  7. wrong = infrastructure
  8. wrong = whereas
  9. correct
  10. wrong = circumstance
  11. wrong = sufficiently
  12. wrong = professional
  13. wrong = integrate


To learn vocabulary for IELTS, follow this link: IELTS Vocabulary

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Why are My IELTS Results Withheld or Delayed?

Learn why your IELTS results are withheld and what you can do about it. 

Why your IELTS results are withheld

When you apply for your IELTS test and fill in the application form, you will find the terms and conditions attached to the form. You should read these terms and conditions very carefully because you will find three points which explain that your results may be withheld or cancelled.

IELTS Terms and Conditions: Withholding Results

The following points can be found on your IELTS application form under the terms and conditions:

  • Your result may not be issued 13 days after the test if the IELTS Test Partners decide that it is necessary to review any matter associated with your test or the administration of your test. To assist any investigation, you may be required to provide writing and speaking samples. In exceptional circumstances you may be required to re-take one or more IELTS components.

The above point explains that you may not get your results after 13 days because IELTS want to check them more carefully. There are two main reasons given: 1) they want to check your test again 2) they are doing quality control checks on how the test is managed.

  • Your result may be cancelled after it has been issued if any irregularity is identified. You may be required to re-take one or more IELTS components.

This means that if there are any problems with your test, your results might be cancelled  and you might need to take your test again or part of your test again. An “irregularity” means that something occurred relating to your test or how it was managed which was not usual or acceptable.

  • If any of the data on the Test Report Form provided by you or your agent to Recognising Organisations has been altered in any way, your original test result may be cancelled.

This point shows that if any information you give has been altered, your result might be cancelled. So, be careful about providing the right information and only use reputable agents.

You now see that IELTS have the right to withhold or cancel your results for certain reasons, usually for analysing and quality checking.
When you sign your application form, you also agree that you accept a possible delay in results. Your signature is agreeing to the terms and conditions above.

IELTS will email you if your results are withheld or cancelled. If you don’t get this email, check your spam folder or contact your test center.

What can you do about it?

If your results have been delayed, you just need to wait and be patient.

Your results will arrive but there is no fixed time limit. Some students receive their results within just one week or a couple of weeks. However, for others, it might be longer – a month or even 3 months.

Can you take your test again? Sure you can. See below for advice:

Taking your Test Again

If you don’t want to wait, you can take your test again.

When you take more than one test, you can choose which results to use. You can choose to use the highest results. So, it won’t matter that you end up with two sets of results – just choose the best one to use for your future.

Booking your Test in Advance

When you decide the date for your IELTS test make sure you have a few months before your actual deadline because your results might not arrive after 13 days.

Give yourself lots of time to prepare for IELTS and to get your results!!

IELTS Test Information

Learn more about your IELTS test. Learn conditions, rules and tips: IELTS Test Information Page

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Fake Facebook Page for IELTS Liz: WARNING!

Hi guys,

Another facebook page has appeared selling a school using my name. Here is the link of the fake school: https://www.facebook.com/ieltseliz. It looks like me but it isn’t.  They are using my pictures, my name, my videos and also listing my professional details. Please report them and help me stop online fraud.

My Real Facebook

I have only one Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/ieltsliz. Look carefully at the url address: it clearly says facebook.com/ieltsliz. Any other page is fake. I have over 50,000 followers at present and you can see a link to my real and only facebook page in the right hand column on this site.

All the best and thank you


IDP or British Council: Which is best for IELTS?

Which is best for IELTS, British Council or IDP? Where should you take your IELTS test?

  • There is no difference between the IELTS test at the BC and in IDP.
  • There is also no difference between examiners and marking in the BC and IDP.

Who owns IELTS?

Both IDP and the British Council are part owners of IELTS along with Cambridge English Language Assessment. This means they are all one company. Learn more information about the IELTS Test.

IELTS Test Difficulty Level

IDP and British Council conduct IELTS tests but they do not write them. All tests used at the BC and IDP are compiled by Cambridge English Language Assessment who is one of the joint owners of IELTS.

This means you will get the same tests if you are at BC or IDP.

IELTS Examiners & Marking at IDP & BC

All examiners for IELTS, both IDP and BC examiners, are trained in the same way, following the same guidelines.

Listening and Reading answers are marked clerically. They are based on right or wrong answers. Each right answer gives one point and your score is calculated based on the number of right answers. So, this never differs between test centers.

Writing and Speaking are marked by an examiner. All IELTS examiners, for both IDP and BC, complete the same training course, follow the same marking criteria and also the same band score descriptors. Examiners are also checked regularly to ensure they are not marking too high or too low.


IDP is Australian and BC is British but they both use a range of accents. In the listening test, you will get a range of accents (even American sometimes). In the speaking test, the examiner could come from any country and have any accent. You can use any accent you want in your speaking test: Australian, British or American.

IELTS Band Scores:

How to Choose: British Council or IDP?

  1. Choose a test center close to your home.
    1. The listening, reading and writing test is 2 hours and 40 mins. You will need to arrive at your test center feeling fresh and ready to concentrate. Choosing a test center near your home will help you do this.
  2. Check if the listening test uses speakers or head phones.
    1. Most students prefer to use head phones because they can concentrate better. You might want to check with your test center which they use.
  3. Test Dates in IDP or BD
    1. Decide which center offers you the test date you want. You should always take the test when your IELTS skills and English language is strongest. Also make sure you frequently hit the score you want in practice tests before booking your real test.

Share your Experience

Post a comment with your experience of BC or IDP for an IELTS test. Give some tips to other students.


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IELTS: Using a Pen or Pencil?

Should you use a pen or a pencil in your IELTS test? Learn the IELTS rules for using pens and pencils and get tips.

Pen or Pencil in IELTS?

In IELTS listening and reading, you MUST use a pencil for filling in the answer sheet. This means you should also take an eraser into the test with you so you can erase mistakes.

In the IELTS writing test, you can choose if you want to use either a pencil or a pen.

Tips on Using Pens and Pencils


  • Your answers can look messy if you need to delete mistakes.
  • Don’t just put a thin line through mistakes, put many lines through mistakes to delete the word completely. This will make it easier for the examiner to see which words are mistakes and which are not.
  • Make sure your pen doesn’t run out. Don’t use a very old pen.A


  • Make sure your pencil is sharp and not too light in colour. It must be easy to read.
  • Don’t use a pencil that is easy to break as you can miss answers in your listening test, while you sort it out.
  • When you erase a word, make sure it is completely erased so that the new word is clear.

Good Handwriting Tips

You can use any style of hand writing you want  in IELTS and you can delete mistakes without losing marks. However, if your handwriting or words are difficult to read, it will reduce your score. If the examiner can’t read it, it’s wrong.

If you wish to put another word into a sentence in your IELTS writing test, you can use the ^ sign. However, make sure the word is easy to read.

You should practice writing your answers on the official answer sheets for listening and reading before your test. You should also practice writing your essays on the official writing paper. See this page for tips on using the official writing paper and to download it for free: Using the Official Writing Paper. Follow these links to get the listening and reading answer sheets: Listening Answer Sheet and IELTS Reading Answer Sheet

Know more about IELTS

  • Capital letters?
  • Wearing a watch?
  • Writing on the question paper?
  • Writing T instead of True?
  • Indenting your paragraphs ?

Check the pen and pencil rules on the BC website: IELTS Listening Test Rules. You will find links on that page to the reading, writing and speaking test rules.

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IELTS Test Tips & Advice On the day

Below are some tips for the day of your IELTS exam. This tips are to guide you before your IELTS test and also during your test. These tips are for both GT and Academic tests.

On the Day IELTS Exam Tips:

Be prepared for your IELTS exam by making sure you know exactly what will happen in the day of your test. Check all tips and rules below.

  1. Sleep & Eat Well
    1. The IELTS test is long. It takes 2 hours and 40 mins to do the listening, reading and writing test. There is no break between the tests. Make sure you are well rested and have eaten in order to keep your concentration during your test.
  2. Clothes
    1. Wear comfortable clothing. You are not marked on your appearance for any part of the test. So, wear something that you are comfortable in and that gives you confidence.
    2. The test room might be cold in the aircon is on, so take an extra layer of clothing with you.
  3. Drink
    1. You can take a drink into the exam room as long as it is in a transparent bottle.
  4. Arrive Early.
    1. Make sure you know how long it takes to get to your IELTS test center and exactly where your test will be held. Don’t be late or you won’t be allowed to enter the exam room. You will need to check in so make sure you arrive with plenty of time to spare.
  5. Toilet
    1. The listening, reading and writing tests take 2 hours and 40 mins. There is no break so make sure you go to the toilet before you enter the exam room. If you need the toilet during the test, put your hand up and the invigilator will let you go. But you will lose valuable time by doing this and it could affect your score.
  6. No Phones
    1. You will not be allowed to take your phone or any other electronic items into the test room.
  7. Pen, Pencil & Eraser
    1.  You can take pens, pencils and erasers into your test. You can’t take a dictionary or extra paper into the test room. For your speaking test, you can take nothing into the room except your ID.
  8. ID
    1. Check with your test center exactly what ID you need to take with you. Don’t forget it.
  9. Listen to Instructions
    1. Listen carefully to all instructions given before your test starts.
  10. Clock
    1. There will be a clock on the exam room. Make sure you know where it is before your test starts so you can keep checking it in your reading and writing test. You can’t take your watch into the exam room.
  11. Disability
    1. If you have any form is disability that will affect your test, you must speak to the test center well before your test date.
  12. Focus & Be Calm
    1. Make sure you go into your test with a clear aim and an understanding of the techniques you need to use. Be calm and confident at all time.


  • Don’t cheat
    • This is an international test and cheating or copying is not allowed.
  • No dictionary
    • You are not allowed to use any form of learning aid in your test.
  • Don’t take the test paper home
    • You are not allowed to take any part of the question paper home with you.

IELTS Test Tips During your Test

The following IELTS test tips for each part of the IELTS exam will help you focus on the right things during your test. Don’t lose marks by not being prepared.

IELTS Listening Exam Tips

  1.  Make sure your headphones are working. Raise your hand if you have a problem.
  2. If no headphones are used, make sure you can hear the recording. If you need the volume increasing, raise your hand immediately and someone will come to ask what the problem is. Explain that you need the volume increasing.
  3. Use the time given to prepare the questions. Always read through all questions before the recording starts. You should practice doing this at home.
  4. Focus on listening for answers rather than trying to understand everything.
  5. Write your answers on your question paper while you listen.
  6. Make sure you notice how many words you can have for each answer.
  7. You will be given 10 mins after the recording has ended to transfer your answers to the answer sheet. Always check your spelling and grammar.
  8. It is recommended to use ALL CAPITAL LETTERS FOR YOUR ANSWERS.

IELTS Reading Exam Tips

  1. Read the instructions carefully and make a note of how many words you can use for your answer.
  2. Don’t waste time trying to find one answer. Just move on to the next question.
  3. Keep your eye on the clock.
  4. Write your answers directly on to your answer sheet. There is no extra time for transferring later.
  5. Always spend time analysing the questions before looking for an answer.
  6. Look out for paraphrasing.
  7. Your aim is to find answers – not to understand the whole passage.
  8. It is recommended to use ALL CAPITAL LETTERS FOR YOUR ANSWERS.

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IELTS Writing Exam Tips

  1. Don’t spend more than 20 mins on task 1. Keep checking the time so you don’t make this mistake. You need 40 mins for task 2.
  2. Always write over 150 words for task 1 and over 250 words for task 2. See this lesson about the recommended word count.
  3. Don’t count the number of words, count the lines and estimate your word count. See this lesson to learn about using the official IELTS writing answer sheet properly.
  4. You can plan your essay on the question paper. No extra paper is given for planning. The examiner will not look at your planning, only at your essay.
  5. Always write a clear overview for task 1 academic. See here about the conclusion/overview issue. For GT task 1, make sure you cover all points requested in your letter.
  6. Always write your conclusion for task 2. Never miss it out.
  7. Always organise your writing for both tasks into body paragraphs.
  8. Check your spelling. You can use either American or British spelling.
  9. Keep all information focused and relevant. More does not mean better.
  10. If you run out of paper, put up your hand and you can get more.
  11. Do not remove any paper from the exam room.

IELTS Speaking Exam Tips

  1. Practice speaking English before your test.
  2. Be confident and ready to chat. This is not a formal interview.
  3. Listen to the question and answer it directly.
  4. Add more information to all answers.
  5. Don’t focus only on vocabulary. Vocabulary is only 25% of your marks.
  6. You can wear anything you want. This is not a job interview. Clothing does not affect your score.
  7. Use a range of grammar tenses in your test.
  8. American or British English pronunciation can be used.
  9. Ask the examiner to repeat the question if you need it. See this lesson about asking the examiner questions.
  10. The examiner will provide a pen and paper to prepare your talk for part 2. The examiner will not look at your plans and will only mark your talk.

IELTS Exam Tips: One Week Before

  1. Full IELTS Practice Tests
    • Make sure you have completed at least one or two complete IELTS practice tests before your real test. See my useful websites page for links to free IELTS practice tests.
  2. Practice using the Official IELTS Writing paper : a free download link is given under the video.
  3. Review common topics for IELTS speaking and IELTS Writing.
  4. If you are worried about your test, consider booking two tests. You can use the best score from any test.

The exam tips above  are summarised from the official IELTS sites:

Always check with official sources in case of any changes in rules.

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IELTS Adv & Disadv Essays: Advanced Lesson Now Available

Dear all,

I am pleased to inform you that my advanced lesson for the advantages / disadvantages essay for IELTS writing task 2  is now available to purchase. See my online store: IELTS Liz’s Advanced Lessons

This lesson includes:

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages?
  • Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?
  • Detailed explanations of high band score techniques
  • Highlights of linking methods
  • Band 9 Models
  • Tips

All the best



Insect Blog: Develop your vocabulary and reading

Hi guys,

I’d like to introduce you to a new blog about insects. It’s written by a guy called Chris who is an entomologist, which is a person who studies insects.

As you know insects is a topic that has appeared in IELTS reading quite a few times and is very difficult because of the academic vocabulary involved. So, this blog can help you become more familiar with this topic. Some of the posts  on Chris’s blog are very high level with a lot of technical language for other entomologists. However, other posts are written for people without knowledge of insects and are very interesting to read, particularly for band score 7, 8 and 9 level students.

The aim of his blog is to share information and teach people about insects that pollinate and insects that are pests. Here’s a link: pests and pollinators by Chris