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kids or children / teens or teenagers

A lot of students have a problem knowing what type of vocabulary to use in their IELTS test. Below are two examples:

Which words to use?

kids or children?

teens or teenagers?


You can find the answer to this here: Answer to Kids or Children


Answers to word count questions

Yesterday I posted a list of words and numbers. I asked you to decide how they were counted by IELTS. Check the answers below.

You can also find useful links about word count information in IELTS using the links below.

How are words counted – Answers

The answers below show how these words and numbers are counted in IELTS writing and IELTS listening. The reading test uses the same system as the listening test.

  1. fair-haired
    1.  This is counted as one word. It is a compound noun but it is connected by a hyphen to make one word.
  2. 55%
    1. This is counted as one word in writing and as one number in listening. The
  3. 1960’s
    1. This is counted as one word in writing and one number in listening.
  4. 21st July
    1. This is counted as two words in writing and in listening is it one number and one word.
  5. can’t
    1. This is counted as one word in writing and listening. Although it has a meaning of two words, the words are contracted to make one word.
  6. blackboard
    1. This is counted as one word only.
  7. 9am
    1. This is counted as one word in writing. In listening, it is counted as one number only. The “am” does not count as a word on its own.
  8. up-to-date
    1. This is counted as one word because it is a compound noun joined with hyphens.
  9. at school
    1. This is counted as two words.
  10. $19.17
    1. This is counted as one word in writing and in listening it is counted as one number. Symbols do not count at all.

Useful Links to Learn more about IELTS

Learn how all words are counted in IELTS

Learn about how many words to write for your essay

IELTS Test Information & Tips: over 100 questions answered

Main IELTS Pages

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Do you understand how words are counted in IELTS?

Many students don’t understand how words and numbers are counted in IELTS.

Below is a list of answers. Are they counted as:

  • one word?
  • one word and one number?
  • two words?
  • two words and a number?
  • three words?

Answers are found in the link below.

How are words counted?

How are the following answers counted in IELTS?

  1. fair-haired
  2. 55%
  3. 1960’s
  4. 21st July
  5. can’t
  6. blackboard
  7. 9am
  8. up-to-date
  9. at school
  10. $19.17


To see the answers and explanation for the above, click on this link: Answers to how words are counted


Can you answer TFNG? Answers to Q1

What is your answer to the following? Think carefully before you check the answer with the explanation. Do you think the following is True, False or Not Given. Decide your answer, then check if you are right – good luck!

Passage: Workers are entitled to up to 10 days paid sick leave per year, however, more than 4 continuous days requires a medical certificate.

Question : A full worker needs a doctors note if he is sick for 4 days in a row.


Click below:

Answer and Explanation

Explanation & Paraphrasing:
Full worker – is this information given in the passage? Yes, it is because word “workers” refers to all types of workers.
Need = required
doctors note = medical certificate
in a row = continuous
for 4 days = this does not match. The passage says that someone needs to be sick for MORE THAN 4 days to need a doctors note.

The information in the statement is given in the passage but it does not match the passage because people do not need a sick note for being sick for 4 days – they need a sick note for more than 4 days.

Answer = FALSE

Well done to all students who got the answer right 🙂



Click below to get more TFNG and YNNG practice.

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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Develop your IELTS skills with tips, lessons, free videos and more.

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