Ask a question about the IELTS test

Do you have a question about your IELTS test?

Post your question in the comments box below.

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  1. Abu Ubaida says:

    Hello Ma’am,
    Take my hearty respect first of all. This blog is working as a strong guideline. 🙂 Thanks for your endless help. My question was…
    If I find any question in speaking part on which I’ve no knowledge or any topic that I don’t have anything to say about then what should I do at that time?

    • Firstly, you should be preparing ideas for all common and recent topics in the test. This website contains all such topics. Over 100 essay questions and loads of speaking topics. Secondly, you are allowed to say “to be honest, I don’t really know anything about that.” But you should only do this once. The examiner will not change the topic but in part 1 or 3, you can get a new question.

  2. Good day Liz, I would be happy, if you give an answer to my following question. Between 2000 and 2003, are there 4 years or 3? thank you in advance

  3. Hello ma’am,

    I have a query in the speaking test Part 2. What if I go on speaking for over 2 minutes? Will the examiner stop me? Will it affect my score?

  4. Hii liz mam,,ur all lessons r really vry gud ,,thnks fr ur guidanc😊,,bt i dnt hve mch knwldg abt vcblry,,so how cn i improve my this skill??

  5. Asad Malik says:

    Telling lie is possible during speaking test ? I mean if we say that i’m a masters degree holder but in actually i’m graduated so is there any kind of problem in the future ?

  6. i have problem of is there any benefit for me in case of speaking

    • You need to contact your test center and ask them about this. They may require a doctors note – check what they say.

  7. dear Liz
    I have just done an IELTS exam and I did an incredible mistake ,in writting task 2 ,I filled the answer sheet by wrongly,I mean that starting from the second side and finishing on the side of paper(first side).Is there any problem about that? If yes , how much impact would i expect?

  8. Hi Liz,

    Can the examiner interrupt the Candidate in Speaking Part 2 if the said candidate is giving the wrong answer to the question?

    For example, the candidate misunderstood the question because she missed a single word, words like before/after, start/ends. These missed word completely changed the question and the candidate gave a wrong answer to the question. Can the examiner clarify it while the student started giving the wrong answer?

    • The examiner can’t interrupt the candidate at any time in part 2. If the candidate stops speaking, the examiner can move to the next part of the test. But the examiner can’t talk to, help or interrupt the candidate in part 2.

      • The examiner interrupts me during the 2mins and clarify the question. Emphasizes that I missed a word that completely changed the meaning of the question. After that I need to think again of new answer while the time is running so I paused for quite a while and I lose my thoughts because of what happened. I didn’t come up with new answer because I have no 1min to prepare and take down notes.

        • This happened when I need to give my answer for 2mins. I am talking for about 30secs and then the examiner interrupts me while I am talking.

        • Of course I can’t give you a firm opinion without hearing the recording. However, any examiner who interrupts you in part 2 and makes you rethink your talk during the time allowed for speaking, rather than planning, is making a mistake. In IELTS speaking, you are not marked on your ability to be on topic or your ideas – you are marked on your English language only. So, even a part 2 topic which is slightly off topic is still valid. Luckily the speaking test is recorded. This means if you don’t get the results you were expecting, you can ask for a remark. The remark will be done by a senior examiner.

          • Thanks Liz. I’ll take your advice if I didn’t get my target grade. By the way, thank you so much for all your help. Continue to be a blessing for every candidate.

  9. Dear Liz

    I was asked about wild animals in speaking part 2, but i did talk about dog in the park left by its master, as in Africa some dogs are dangerous. Is that okay?

    Thank you

  10. Arifa Hasan says:

    Dear Liz, I have my speaking test this Friday and I have a question. what do i do if i am asked about a ‘book i read recently’ since i haven’t read a book in years . is it ok to lie and make up an answer . Please help me.


  11. Hello Liz,

    Today I have done my speaking test with British Council. I have the stammering problem during speaking and I shared this problem with British Council before the exam. Today administration staff also informed to my examiner for the same. I have done my speaking today with stammering and don’t know that examiner was understood my speaking or not. I gave all possible and full-length answers but I’m also worried about scoring. How examiner consider my stammering/how they calculate my score with stammering ?

    • You will need to wait and see. If you feel your level of English is higher than the mark you finally get, then you can apply for a remark with a note from your doctor about your stammer. Anyway, lets wait and see your results. Fingers crossed 🙂

  12. Hello, Liz!
    I have a question about the speaking test. What does it mean in the first or third part if I’ve told all I wanted to, but the examiner still keeps silence? Should I continue developing my answer, or it will be marked bas as too much prolonged question?

    Best regards,

    • This is unlikely to happen in part 1 as there are so many questions to answer. In part 3, it is a discussion so you can ask questions – Do you want me to expand further?”. However, in part 3, you should always develop your answers fully with examples. Usually the examiner keeps silent to encourage you to talk in part 2 – in this case, you should always use the time to showcase more of your English.

  13. Can I write answers using commas?
    The speaker on the tape was talking about vitamins, their
    functions, which products we can get them from. When talking about vitamin C
    she said:We need 30 mg a day, and can only really get this amount from eating
    plenty of citrus fruit and fresh vegetables.(Her exact words. If you are
    wondered how I managed to memorize them:I was doing a practice listening and I
    just pasted the sentence from a transcript) I could write no more than 3 words,
    and in a column where to get it, I wrote: citrus fruits, vegetables.In answer
    key, the correct answer was: fruits and vegetables.
    So my question is: can I write answers using commas or it
    will be considered as incorrect?

    • Can you explain to me how the question was written? If it was in a table, what where the other answers in that column or row and how where they written? Also let me know which book you did the test from.

  14. Kazi Sameeo Sheesh says:

    Dear Liz

    Is this ok if I write in the listening/ reading answer scripts mins. or sec. instead of minutes or second.


  15. Kazi Sameeo Sheesh says:

    Dear Liz

    Can I say yeah instead of yes in the speaking test?


  16. Ahmet Murat says:

    Hello Liz,
    First of all I am a big fun of you 🙂 I have question about scanning and skimming.I”ve just tried this tactics but those work only the question type heading match or something like that what if the question type is true,false we must exactly read all of the text otherwise we can miss something am I wrong ?

    • For TFNG, you identify key words in the questions. You look for the key words or paraphrases in the passage (this is called scanning) and then you decide your answer.

  17. Hi Liz,
    Today I did my 4th IELTS test, I’d like to ask you a question, when i go for speaking test, i’ve been asked what is my first language? If i say English, does it affect my score? or does it affect my questions? I’ve always wondered this, and if i say regional language is my first language , would i be considered in any factors?

    • You are marked on your use of language, not your ideas or information. If your first language is English, then it means you are 100% fluent in English. Is that the case? If you are wrong, the examiner will see your answer as an example of incorrect vocabulary which counts for 25% of your marks.

  18. Hi Liz,

    About different accents, we can pronounce words in american or british accents.
    What I wanna know is that would it be wrong to mix them up? I mean like in a sentence, can i pronounce a word in american and another one in british?

    • It’s not great to mix your accents but if that is the way you speak English, then the examiner will accept it. For example, I’m English but as I have lived years abroad I often use some American English when I speak – it’s natural for me and I’m band score 9 🙂

  19. Lucia Nwabueze says:

    is it okay to be friendly and relaxed with the examiner during the ielts speaking test?

    • Of course. You should be relaxed, open and friendly. The more you speak, the better. You are marked on your English language and each answer is a chance for you to show your level. Don’t worry if the examiner interrupts your answer, it’s normal.

  20. Hello, Liz.
    I am doing some trial tests and I am a bit confused with listening part. Almost all my answers are correct but the book (official Cambridge edition) gives different answers. For example, the speaker says “two weeks”. I write “two weeks” in my answer sheet, because it is said “write no more than three words and/or a number”. The correct answer is “2 weeks” and I can’t figure out why.
    What surprises me even more, correct answers are sometimes paraphrased. The speaker says “every second day”. The answer is “every 2 days”. Three words are allowed in the answer, so I am completely lost in this one. Could you provide explanation for it? Thank you in advance.

    • It says “three words and/or a number” which means you can have words with one number or one word and one number. It is common to write small numbers as digits rather than words. The answer “every 2 days” is strange if the answer is “every second day”.

  21. hello mam,

    I have given my speaking test today. I am not satisfied with my test. I have taken pause in the middle of speaking test part 2. will i score less? can we take pause? Please reply. thank you

  22. Suraj Gupta says:

    how I prepare my IELTS exam in 3months , is your website is sufficient for doing practice for IELTS or I buy a book for preparation of IELTS .
    plz help me i’m too confused .
    or if I buy a book then which book is better .

  23. Virang patel says:

    I have a serious stemmering problems by Born.i can prove it these any special provision for people like these affected on my ielts bands. My exam date is 5th november.

    • You need to contact your local test center and discuss it with them. They will probably ask you to present medical information which will be taken into consideration.

  24. Will I get penalized for speaking fast in IELTS

  25. Dear Liz
    I heard that we write listening and reading only using pencil so what about writing?

  26. Pawara C. says:

    Can I give negative answers to the examiner in the speaking test? For example, if they ask me about sport and I really hate sport should I just be honest and answer the truth or should I try to answer it? will negative answers affect my score?

  27. Hi,
    I am doing my IELTS exam on 30th July.
    For the speaking test do I have to answer the questions formally or can I talk infamally

  28. Chirag chavda says:

    Hi Mam,
    I have given my LRW yesterday and I was worried about a thing that is in writing the topic was ” watching sports is a waste of time in liesure time”
    Do you agree or disagree?
    I mentioned in intro. That It is agreed that watching sports is not a waste of time during free time.
    Is it fine or do I loose marks because I had reverced the statement?
    Plz reply

    • Thanks for sharing 🙂 It will affect your score for Task Response because it is confusing information. But you can still gain points for relevant ideas and the way you wrote your ideas. Wait for your results.

  29. jesmeen says:

    i didnot understand what is asked in the cue card i answered differently will i get lower score for that

  30. Francis Geronimo says:

    hi liz!
    I just took my ielts speaking test today. However, in the part 2, I only spoke for about one minute. The examiner asked me to speak a little more but i didn’t speak further because i thought i already answered what was asked on the topic based on the cue card. I’m worried i will get a markdown on the fluency because he might think i wasn’t fluent enough to talk about the clothe i recently received from someone, which by the way was the topic for the part 2.

    • You will have to wait and see if it affects your score or not. There are no points that must be covered in part 2. There are only guidelines about what you can include in your talk if you want. Your task is to expand and add information to your talk, not to just answer the prompts.

  31. hi mam, firstly i want to thank you for providing us knowledge about Ielts in detail. i want to study abroad therefore i’m preparing my ielts test.i have just given my first year examination and i started my second year study. from your website i come to know very useful information about ielts but my problem is that i have also complete my study and my ielts preparation , there are huge links ,tips,videos in your website but plz help me how i start my preparation and what i do ,as i tell you above there are many links . so, plz help me because i have limited time of 8 months. so plz help me i’m very worry.
    i shall be very thank full to you.

    • Read the information page so you can understand about each part of the test, then watch the preparation video on the home page. After that,read the main pages in the red nav bar.

  32. rashiel chitiyo says:

    On speaking test part 3, can l give a two sided answer especially if you are asked a question with the words like Do you think?

  33. Hi Liz,
    You are doing an exceptional work for IELTS students. i have question, does speaking speed affects the scoring? if I speak 30 words in 30 seconds, is it ok?

  34. DenielD says:

    Hi mam!
    I have one problem… whenever i see new examiner i alarm… Therefore, i can’t answer to the question even that one which i really prepared.. sometimes it ends with stopping at silence…
    What can i do to get rid of this!!?? Please help me

    • Just prepare the topics so you feel confident and ready to talk on the topic. Also practice speaking in front of other people. At the end of the day, the speaking test is only 14 minutes, so you need to find the confidence to deal with just 14 minutes of your life to get a good score. I’m sure you can do it!! 🙂

  35. dear liz
    when the examiner asks me about my hometown , i suppose to take about my town or my country in general?

  36. Nikhil M. says:

    Hi Liz, hope you are doing well. I have given IELTs test twice. But my speaking score is not improving beyond 6.5 band. I am targeting foe 7 and above in speaking for CLB9. I think i lose marks for fluency and maybe coherence. Many a times during my speaking exams i stop and search for words. Also i utter words like um, uh. Please suggest how can i improve on this. Do i need to join any speaking classes. I have been learning & using english for more than 20 years now.

    Thanks in advance.

    • The key is to prepare topics so that you have all the words and ideas ready to give. You should prepare all common topics. Also don’t try to aim for difficult words. The aim should always be to explain ideas and expand answer rather than looking for high level words. You will get a higher band score if you say “a bird with a long neck and white features” rather than saying the word “egret”. If you don’t know the word, explain it with examples.

  37. Ruchi Sharma says:

    What if I don’t get any ideas to speak about cue card topic?
    for example:/ art museum
    I have never been to one.
    How can I handle the questions that I can’t relate to?

    • Explain to the examiner at the start of your talk and then talk about a piece of art that you like but wasn’t in a museum. Try to stay close to the topic.

  38. Dear Liz, Can i write my all answers Starting 1st letter capital please, guide.

  39. Simranjeet Singh says:

    Is it better to speak ” thanks for giving me
    Such an interesting topic” before starting speaking part 2. Or we should directly come to the point.

  40. hi liz,
    I made a mistake while booking up a ielts date of my friend. he had taken ielts 4 years ago, but he didnt tell me while filling up the form. Thus, i filled the the part which states “have you taken ielts date before” as no. will this have any consequences?

  41. Hi Liz,

    Is there any chances of questions repeating on the same day to all the test takers who will be taking test in that test center????? 😉

  42. Hi Liz,
    I took Ielts on 12th of December in 2015.My result was L-8.5 ,R-8.5,W-7.5 ,S-6.5.I would like to re-mark my Speaking score.Is there a chance for my score to be increased,would a re-mark be helpful in my case?I need 7 at least. I would also like to ask how can we know that double-checked is automatically done(are my scores maybe double checked)? All the best!

  43. I don’t know if this is the right place to ask, but when does one get the admit card for the exam? My exam is next week and I still haven’t received mine. It will be really cool if you could shed some light on this issue.


  44. hello liz.
    is there any difference between (are you agree or disagree) & (to what extent do you agree).???………… my understanding the meaning of (to what extent) is that we just have to agree on 50%, 60%, or 70% to the statement.and we have no option to show our disagreement. so please tell me about this.thanks

  45. Saadia Qureshi says:

    Hello Liz,
    I just got recommended to come see you site and I have to say the tips you’ve mentioned are gold. I do have a query which I hope will not affect my score.
    I got fitted for my braces about two weeks ago and although the initial discomfort is over I am having trouble pronouncing “f” and “s”,they come out as whistling sounds sometimes but not always. I am consciously trying to control it. Should I mention this to the examiner before the recording turns on? Or will mentioning it set me off on the wrong foot?
    My exam is on the 3rd of December but still haven’t received any mail from the center about my speaking exam date…:(
    Please help…since I do understand that informing the center is a little too late now…what should I do..?
    Thank you.

    • You can still inform the test center by email to make it official and you can certainly tell the examiner during your test to make sure it doesn’t affect your score. However, don’t worry too much – just go in to your test confident and be chatty. I’m sure you’ll be fine 🙂
      Good luck!

      • Saadia Qureshi says:

        Thank you soo much…:) you are too kind..
        You have taken such a big load off my shoulders…:p really needed that confidence boost! Hope that all the test takers get the desired band scores and you be rewarded greatly for your sincere efforts..:)
        Thanking you,

  46. Mohamed Ghroury says:

    In my speaking exam part 2, the cue card asked me about a historic place in my country I visited. I didn’t notice that the historic place should be in my country and I replied with a historic place I visited in another country.

    How will this affect my score?


  47. Himanshu Sharma says:

    My test is on 3rd December and I haven’t got my test location.How many days before the test anyone come to know about his test location and will I get my test location by my provided e-mail or through anything else??

  48. Liz,
    I know you are on holiday and that you might be busy but I really need your help!
    Is it alright to use gestures in the speaking test? I have noticed that when I’m practicing speaking, I keep using my hands. For example, when I’m listing out something, I tend to use my fingers. Is this OK or should I just keep my hands to myself? 🙂
    Your help is REALLY appreciated if you could possibly reply in 2 or 3 hours because I have speaking test in 4 hours from now!! I tried asking other bloggers but my comment seemed to have just ‘disappeared’ from their pages!!

  49. Hi Liz, I have little stammering problem So,whether I have to say it to the speaker in speaking section about it or not, because if it happens during my speech it will affect my band score.

  50. Hi Liz,

    Is it advisable to keep talking until the examiner interrupts or should we keep a time-check for two minutes?


    • You should keep talking. The examiner will tell you when to stop. You should not keep checking the time. It is good if you are still talking when the examiner stops you.

  51. hi Liz…
    how speaking session band score description will be?

  52. Hi Liz, to date, the highest score i got for individual categories are: Listening – 8, Reading – 7.5, Speaking – 7, Writing – 7 (not within the same attempts). Therefore, I can it is possible to ontain band 7 for each individual category for me. My overall band score is always 7 (mostly) however I cannot attain 7 for each category within one single attempt.

    It is really tough to score 7 for all categories within a single attempt. Is there any thing can I do to overcome this?


    • You should not take the test again until you are sure of your weaknesses. You need to know exactly what you are doing wrong. However, it is possible that your level of English is around the band 7 mark which means your score will fluctuate around that – sometimes up, sometimes down. You might need to work on your English too. Have a think about whether the problems are due to your English or your IELTS techniques. Then decide how to deal with your problems. I’ll be offering a big discount on my advanced writing task 2 lessons today or tomorrow. It might be good to buy one and see if you have any mistakes with your technique.
      All the best

  53. hi liz..
    please tell me whether i can write some rough work for brain storming prior to writing an essay in task 2 of writing ? As its quite important to plan an essay before writing it down.
    can i use some section of writing answer sheet for doing this ? if so, where ?

    • You can do all your essay planning on the question paper. You should underline key words and issues in the essay question, write down main ideas, paragraphing and also supporting points before you start writing.

  54. Hi liz;
    I listened you. U r so great…
    Kindly guide me about a1 life skillspeaking test?as there is no information about a1 task..

  55. Hi Liz,

    Your videos and blog posts are indeed very helpful for IELTS preparation. I have a question specific to speaking section.

    Do you have idea about individual weightage of of topic-1, topic-2 and topic-3 in speaking test? I appeared for speaking test yesterday and unfortunately didn’t do well in topic-2. I stopped speaking when there were still few, 5 to 6, seconds were left in finishing one minute. I did fairly well in other two topic. How much can this affect my overall speaking band? Is there still a chance to 7.0 band, which is what I need for speaking test.

    Thanks in advance!!

    • Your score is calculated from your overall performance. You don’t get a score for each part, just one score in total.
      All the best

  56. Dear Liz,
    Can I use words like “Sir”, “Ma’am” in speaking test?


  57. Hello, Liz.
    Would you mind explaining me, do I have to write conclusion in Writing Task 1? If yes, then could I start from such words as ‘To conclude,…’ ?

  58. Md.mahbub alam says:

    Dear Madam, Can I use contraction in my speaking ?

  59. Hi,

    Could please give me, a Model Answer for “In which stage of life you like the most or enjoyed the most?”.

    • If this question is from speaking part 1, you can answer: “I think my teenager years were the best because I had a really good time at school and had plenty of friends”. If this is a speaking part 3 question, you could say: “I suppose the best period was at university because I had more independence from my parents and I was studying a great degree which I found really rewarding. At university we also had a chance to join societies so I joined the rock climbers society which is where I met nearly most of the friends I still have today”. Don’t forget that speaking part 3 questions are usually longer.

  60. I just did my speaking test this early afternoon. In part 1 and 3 I did well, I just had a bit grammar mistake. But in part 2 I messed it up. My story was terribly inaccurate, many grammar mistakes. I’m very worry about my band score in speaking part.

    Can you please advise, would I have a chance to score 6 in my speaking test ?

  61. Hi Liz

    During the writing of the IETLS,do examiners look out for how one is observing the contraction in essays. For example which is correct: I”ve been around for a while or I have been around for a while?


  62. Dear Liz,
    can u plz tell me that, how many paragraphs are important in all agree/disagree,question type and opinion based task 2.

  63. Hi Liz,
    First of all I would like say thanks to you for your precious help. Next, I need some advise on pauses while answering questions in speaking test. I make so many pauses after every 3 or 4 words, not to find the words to continue my answer, it’s just a habit. Will it have adverse effect on fluency?
    Best regards

    • Yes, this will affect your band score for fluency which is 25% of your marks. You will need to practice answering questions until your answers come more easily.
      All the best

  64. Hi Liz,

    First of all, let me say thank you very much indeed for your great and helpful IELTS lessons. I am an English teacher and I truly desire to help my students improve their speaking ability. During the time I ask my students to speak English, based on the questions of task 2 in IELTS, I find that my students often get stuck in the way to organize their speaking. To be more specific, they often speak freely, the idea which comes up with their mind first will be released first and there isn’t any specific order here. Hence, their performance is usually confused, illogical and unpersuasive. Could you please give me some advices or tips that help my students improve their speaking as well as the organization of their ideas?

    Thank you for your help. I’m looking forward to hearing from you soon!

    Wish you all the best!


    • IELTs give students a framework for their talk for part 2. Each card has a topic and also prompts. The students should learn to follow these prompts adding a bit more information to each one. You must train them to prepare their ideas for each prompts by writing short notes not long sentences. I’m sure if you practice enough and develop your own strategy, you can share this with your students.
      All the best

  65. Dear Liz,
    plz tell me about improving my reading module . I heard that reading is so difficult in ielts am worry about my test plz help me. my test is coming near.

  66. In the speaking test 3rd part, i have answered wrongly to one question. Will it be considered , although i have answered it fluently?

  67. Taha elhaddad says:

    thanks liz for all the helps u gave me in your website and channel . wish you the best

  68. Hi Liz,
    I have a question. I have written my IELTS test in August 2015.
    My score is L-7.5, R-5.5,W-6.5,S-7 and over all band score is 6.5.
    How do I know where I went wrong or what I missed to score less in Reading and Writing?
    Is there any website to check our own answers and the corrected ones where it shows the mistakes so that I can work on that.
    Please help.

    • I cannot explain where you went wrong unless I saw your test paper. You need a teacher to help you identify your problems. Unfortunately, I don’t offer that service.

  69. Hi Liz,
    When will the examiner score the speaking test?? Is it immediately after the test or will they hear the recording later and give a score?

    • Most examiner will give a score directly the test is finished but it is their choice if they want to listen to the recording again.

  70. Im not good in speaking english but i have the ideas so how can i perfect my speaking skills

  71. Hi Liz
    I’m self-studying for the IELTS at the moment . It’s okay with reading and listening because books all have keys. When it comes to Writing, however, I have no idea if my essays are good or not. It may look fine with lots of academic words and complex structures but something can go wrong with coherence, cohesion or so. Is there any way that I can check my essays?
    Many thanks

  72. Dear Liz,
    First of all,i would like to say you thanks for your great help. Liz, i am weak in reading module ,so could you please recommend me useful books for improve my reading skills,which are similar to ielts exam.

    • There is a very good book called “Improve your IELTS Reading Skills”. That is probably the best book to get.

  73. Mohan Angbo says:

    Hitting on the like or putting some questions fro Liz really feels like chatting teachers lively.
    Liz, Many thanks.

  74. Hello, dear Liz.
    Could you explain me how many types of the essay can be at the 2nd Writing task?
    I started to prepare for the English exam by myself one year ago. And till now I have been sure that whatever the question is, the structure of the essay must be the same. But recently I started doubting.
    So, NOW I assume that there are TWO types of the essay:
    1) For the questions such as ‘To what extend do you agree or disagree with the statement?’, ‘Do you agree or disagree with this statement?’,
    2) For the questions such as ‘Discuss both these views and give your own opinion’, Suggest possible solutions and give your own opinion’, ‘What solution to this would you suggest?’, ‘What is your opinion on this?’
    Please, tell me if I am correct. Is there just one type or two or more? Thanks in advance.

  75. Hi Liz
    I have a question abt gap filling in Listening. In the record, they said: ” …I felt much more confident….” They asked: ”how did she feel after the course” and the answer must have no more than 3 words and/or a number. I wrote: much more confident. The answer is just ”confident”. Is my answer still acceptable?

    • Your answer should still be acceptable. Please make sure you are practising from real IELTS exam papers published by IELTS not from other authors.

      • Mohan Angbo says:

        Hi Liz Madam,
        I owe you one as my best teacher for IELTs topics. Today, I am asking you about opinion or agree and disagree essay. I am still confused about this topic as to how to make own opinion stronger or agree just by explaining opinion or reasons for and against the topic but in an equal points. To make it clearer further, does it have to present an extra more opinion or reasons to prove one opinion or agreeing or doesn’t it have to be presented more points for the topic with which one agrees or supports by one’s opinion or is it okay just by concluding for one favor? If you are not getting me clearly yet, I give you an example that supposedly the topic is female education should be made a must or an optional. As if, you are not agree and you have to present your opinion reasons for it. In such a situation, do you have to present your opinion or reasons equally or an extra more points for which you are opining.

        With regards,

        • For an opinion essay, you state your opinion in the introduction (for example, you agree). Then you explain why you agree with the body paragraphs – each body paragraph presents one reason for your opinion. You can’t agree with both sides – it isn’t a discussion essay. However, you might have a unique opinion of your own which is called a balanced view. I have made a full tutorial about the opinion essay but it is a paid lesson: if you are interested.
          All the best

  76. George Berry says:

    Hello Liz.

    I have a question about the gap filling exercise from the reading part. Sometimes, we are required to take words FROM THE READING PASSAGE. I was wondering if we can change the form of the words. I was surprised to see that the answer key provided at a certain exercise the answer “to adapt”, while in the ENTIRE text, the only form found was “adapting”. I think this is ambiguous. I think me and IELTS have different views on the meaning of the instructions “from the reading passage”.

    Keep up the good work with this wonderful blog.


    • As far as I know, you should not change the form of the word. The words should be taken directly from the passage without altering them. Where did you find an altered answer? Which book did you use?
      All the best

      • Hi Liz,
        I quote this from IELTS instruction by British council” when gap filling, read the gapped text carefully and think about both meaning and grammar of suitable words to fill the gaps”.

        actually, I also got some confusion for the same point that G.B asked about it two days ago whether to modify the word or not.

        thank you for help

        • The word shouldn’t be altered in form. It should be taken from the passage directly. You need to look at the grammar of the sentence to see if you need a noun/ verb / adj / name etc. Grammar will help you locate the right answer.

  77. Hi, I am Divya. First of all ,I would like to thank you for your website. I am not good in English. I got 6 (5.5,6,5.5,6) bands in my IELTS .As this is not enough to get admit in my dream university ,I am writing IELTS again .Can you please tell me how can I improve command on English.I have to get 7 bands .

    • Please see the IELTS Extra section and see the useful website page. You will find links to grammar websites and other useful sites for developing English.
      All the best

  78. Dear Liz
    In ielts speaking part 1, do the examiners expect short answers from candidates? Is it possible that I give a long answer, maybe 3 or 4 sentences? For example, if they ask : ” is there any sports that you never play?” then aswer 1: ” I never swim because swimming reminds me of a horrible accident when i was young” or answer 2: ” It is swimming. When i was young, I and my brother used to stay with my grandma during the whole summer. My grandma’s house is near to a lake so my brother, as a genius swimmer tried to teach me to hơw to swim. One time he accidentally left me out of his sight. I was really close to be drowned. That horrible experience prevents me from any water-related sports forever. ” ?
    Thank you

    • Your second answer would be too long. There are 12 question in part 1 and just under 5 minutes for the examiner to ask them and you to answer them. Did you practice my speaking test and time yourself? Do this practice test, following the correct timing and you will soon get used to the length of answers needed: Your first answer is more appropriate. You answered that you never swim and you explained the reason in brief.
      All the best

  79. Simon King says:

    Hi Liz,

    I took the listening test last month and one of the answers on this test should have been BICYCLE. On my test paper I wrote down BIKE. Would this be classed as being correct or wrong?

    Thank you


    • IT will probably be marked wrong. You should not alter the word and your answer should be taken directly from the transcript.
      All the best

      • Simon King says:

        Hi Liz,

        Thanks for getting back to me quickly. So potentially it could be marked wrong but in theory it’s still correct, so possibly it could still be marked as correct? do you know if there could be an allowance when marking for words like this. It’s a shame if it is marked as wrong, I was abbreviating during the test! Wish I had wrote exactly what was said now!

        Thank you again for your response


  80. Santhosh says:

    Hi Liz..
    Please clarify my doubt.. i’ve listened two words.. ” RELATIVELY PLENTIFUL ” ..the condition is not to write more than Three words.. But the Correct answer is Just ” PLENTIFUL ” .. in this case.. My answer is awarded correct or wrong.. ? What’s the strategy when writing answers in Listening section..
    Please reply .

  81. Masom miah says:

    Dear Liz
    I am not well in speaking English. How can improve my speaking part.
    I am looking for your reply.

  82. Dear Liz….How can i improve my reading,listening,writing and speaking skills? I specially weak in reading and speaking module.plz tell me what can i do?

    • Work on your level of English at the same time as developing IELTS skills and understanding of each type of question. Your message above contained 3 errors in English. You need to limit your errors to get a good score. Also work through the main pages of my website to learn more about each section and develop your skills.

  83. Hi Liz, last Friday, in the ielts exam they asked me, ” What are the benefits of having events that many people around the World are celebrating on the same day?” but I could not respond so good, do you have any opinion about this question? Thank you

    • International events help people to understand one another. They promote peace and tolerance for other cultures because the events show we are more similar than we are different. They basically help to bring the world together. I hope those ideas help. But remember that the speaking test does not award points for ideas, only for your use of English.
      All the best

  84. I’m an international student, currently in sixth form in the UK. Do I need to take IELTS in order to get into uni?

    • You must check the university requires for international students who have English A levels. Go to the website of the university of your choice and check their requirements.
      All the best

  85. Miggy Gimenes says:

    Hi Liz,

    I need your advice and opinion regarding my query about re-marking. I recently received my TRF and the results were the ff: L-7.5 R-8.0 W-6.0 S-8.0. Do you recommend for a re-marking for writing? Or is it unlikely to have the score in the writing component changed?

    Thanks Liz! I am hoping for a positive response on this!

    • There are two bands between your speaking and writing. That means your test will already have been checked again by another examiner. It is standard procedure that skills with two band difference are remarked. So, another remark might not produce different results. However, you could contact your test center for advice. Usually, if there is less than 2 band difference, sometimes skills might go up by 0.5 band. But in this case, I’m not sure.

      Your results show that your English is pretty good. So you might be struggling in writing due to your technique and the way you present information.
      All the best

      • Miggy Gimenes says:

        Alright, thanks Liz. I am just so sceptical about how they have evaluated my writing. As for me, something is wrong since there is a 2-point difference between writing and speaking; its peculiar. I am now clueless what to do.

  86. Hello Liz,

    I’d like to ask you about compound nouns.

    As all IELTS takers/teachers know that we should follow IELTS question instructions and stick to allowed word limit of answers. So how can I consider compound nouns in terms of this concern?

    For example:
    – Check-in , 2 or 1 words?
    – Check in, 2 or 1 words?

    Thank you!

    • If it has a hyphen (it’s joined) it is one word. If it is separated into two words, it is two words.
      All the best

  87. Imran Sunny says:

    Hello. I’m from Bangladesh. I ‘m really thankful to you about your fascinating tips of ielts.
    Could you tell me that the dress code on Speaking Test.

    thanking yours

  88. KS deep says:

    I’m from India. I”m giving IELTS exam second time. I got 5 in writing and i need atleast 5.5. I really need your help in writing task 1&2. My exam is on 6th june.

    • All my lessons, tips and videos are in the writing sections of this blog. Please work through the lessons and also through the pages explaining about the band scores so you can see the difference between band score 5 and 6. Let me know if you can’t find the pages.
      All the best

  89. Vinod T Abraham says:

    How should I greet the examiner? in the Speaking section.

  90. saddam hossain says:

    i am very weak in reading section .And i already do my registration to give ielts what can i do to improve on it and get at least band score 6? Please give me some tips to improve my self.

  91. Ma’am, i have problem with speaking module as i always confronts with pauses and hesitation problem. I always try my best but it doesn’t work anymore. Even i have practised alot on it. what can i do to harness my speaking skills. i worked on ideas but i get confused whenever i have to elaborate my answer. please ma’am suggest me appropriate way to get rid of this problem.

    • The main problem is your level of English. To do better, you will need a better level of English. I suggest you spend time improving your English or join an English class to develop your language skills before you face IELTS.
      All the best

    • Thanks for advice Ma’am. i have appeared ielts exam last month. I got 6.5 in writing, 7 in listening , 7.5 in reading but in speaking i got 5.5 bands. But i need atleast 6 in speaking cux i am graduated student that is why i asked that question from you.

      • What is your question?

        • How can i ameliorate my speaking skills to achieve 6 bands or more

          • Please visit my speaking section and go through all the model answers, lessons and tips. You will soon learn how to expand answers and give the examiner a bigger range of language. All make sure you English is a good level in order to get band 6.
            All the best

  92. Dilpreet Singh says:

    Dear Liz,
    I am preparing for ielts test and when i speak english without thinking about grammar rules and mistakes like native speakers speak then i can speak english with less grammar mistakes but with more fluency but when i think about the grammer and mistakes then it makes me slow down and i forget to use appropriate words for suitable situation as well as i feel that listener will be judging me . But in normal speaking conversation i can speak english fluently with some grammar mistakes. Thinking about the grammar and mistakes is also very stressful please help me. What should i do?

    • Don’t confuse IELTS training with IELTS exam performance. Students are encouraged to practice adding good grammar into their answers and to practice speaking fluently in the past tense or other tenses. This is just practice and it happens before the test. In the actual exam, you should be focusing on speaking naturally and fluently. Don’t think about grammar. Hopefully, if you have practiced well before the test, your grammar will be naturally strong without effort. But you must never enter the exam and focus on grammar or vocabulary – you should enter the exam and be chatty, natural and explain your answers fully.
      I hope that helps 🙂

    • samik das says:

      dear liz
      my name is samik das ,i am from india,i want to say thanx to you for your help in clear my doubts regarding ielts..but still i have some doubts in writing though i got all the essay question from ielts writing task 2 but still i didnt have any clear idea about how to write . so will you kind enaough to help me out by giving answer to some of your essays so i can get some idea…

  93. Hi Liz!

    During my speaking test part 2 my answers are too short so i tried to extend it but I keep on repeating same answer again and again until i totally got lost and paused for a very long time on . I am really worried and disappointed . I was wondering how much do you think it will affect my band score?..

    Thank you!

    Sincerely Carmela

    • It will affect your band score but how much I can’t say. Obviously, it will affect your fluency band score because repetition is assessed with fluency and fluency is also about being able to talk at length. It might affect your grammar and vocabulary score because you might not have offered a range of language in part 2 which will lower the overall score. But it’s impossible to say. We must wait for your results.

      I will give you a tip – there are no questions in part 2. There are only some guidelines of what to include in the talk. It is your choice what information you put in and how much to add to your talk. If the prompts are -what -when -who -why, I would also add – how long – how often – where etc. You also need to add details and descriptions. You should never just stick to the prompts and answer them like questions. Anyway, let’s wait for your results. I’ll be hoping the results are not so bad and still ok for you purposes.
      All the best

  94. ahmed abolazm says:

    Thank you liz so much so your advice is focusing more on vocabularies and grammar ,that which i understood ,is it true?
    best regards

    • I have not given a lesson suggesting that students should focus on vocabulary and grammar. You should focus on all criteria which IELTS is marked with.
      All the best

  95. ahmed abolazm says:

    Dear Liz
    here is new task please check it and give me your feed back.
    popular hobbies and interests change over time and more a reflection of trends and fashion than an indication of what individuals really want to do in their spare time. to what extent do you agree with this statement?give response for your answer.
    Common pastimes and interests have been varying continuously and show people life style more than what they are actually desire to do in their leisure time.I completely agree that moving time is extremely influential factor on individuals common hobbies variation according to the followings.
    First of all ,perpetual progress in media has a great effect on people`s way of thinking .On other words before the revolution of means of communication and in the age of open sky environment was merely the inspiring source which provide them with all kinds of available interests that they might spend their spare time .For example in bumpy terrain countries individuals tend to spend their leisure time in strenuous activities .
    Secondly,now is not as before all people all over the world can communicate just bu touching buttons hence,new ideas,concepts,suggestions,…etc are more exchangeable .In turn ,individual`s hobbies are vastly changing.For instance in the age of internet and satellites most people spend their spare time on social media as face book and twitter which are available and affordable .

    Finally,by extrapolation foreseen future from the current trends it is obvious media and social media have sparked the global race to have a control on software market because of the high demand .Now a days knowledge revolution demolished the boundaries between countries which become like rooms in building.

    In conclusion,no one can stop the wheel of time .Furthermore,life and human being still and will continue in an endless development from dawn of history till doomsday and consequently,the pastimes and interests change alongside .

    • Unfortunately, you have constant vocabulary and grammar errors which sometimes make it difficult for the reader to understand. You would not get over 5.5 for grammar and vocabulary which accounts for 50% of your marks. I recommend that you spend more time improving your English in order to produce accurate language.
      All the best

  96. Dilpreet Singh says:

    Dear madam,
    I am not sure would you reply me to my question. But here are my few questions:-
    Is it possible to get full 9 bands in ielts test or not with the best performance in speaking?

    Should i change my accent to foreigner or not? Would it lower my band or not? I speak english like my mother tongue?

    • Yes, it is possible to get band score 9 but only if you are an excellent user of English. Please see the band score page to learn more about the band scores and the level of English required.
      It is fine to have an accent, the key is how easily understood you are. If your accent is so strong that the examiner has problems understanding what you say, then you will need to work on more accurate pronunciation. But if you can be easily understood, then a slight accent is fine.
      All the best

  97. Dear Madam,

    First of all I would like to thank you for creating this fruitful site for all those candidates who want to take IELTS exam. Secondly, kindly answer to my following queries:

    Q1. Difficulty level wise which reading module is difficult: Academic or General Training?

    Q2. Why scoring of General Training reading is different from Academic reading?

    Q3. What is the best method to attempt each General Training reading passage to correct all the questions?


    • 1. The GT reading is easier. The content and language is easier than the Academic test. However, the question types are the same.
      2. The scoring is different because it is a different test.
      3. The idea is to have a technique for types of questions. For this you can practice all the lessons on this blog and also benefit from all the tips.
      All the best

  98. good day!

    I’ve been having a low confidence with regards my capacity to passed the exam, as i think that i need so much to learn. However, because of my quick impulse i suddenly registered myself for an IELTS General Training Exam on May 9,2015. this making me more pressured to study well, but after I’ve seen your Facebook account, subscribed to youtube account and go to all your links and your site (I apologized for being an stalker eheeheh), i suddenly got my confidence boost a little.. Thank you for all your hard work in doing all your videos they really help me a lot. I’m having a hard time with spelling and grammar that brought about by a lot of texting, facebook and maybe computer auto correct features as well as teaching mandarin. In short may you give me some link where i can easilly learn about these.
    Hope this is not much to ask, can you read my writing task and give some comments about it, as well as what would be its band score. Thank you in advance.

    Writing Task II: Most people spend a great deal of time at work therefore, job satisfaction is an important part of being happy in life. What elements are required for job satisfaction? Is it possible for all workers to achieve job satisfaction?
    Obviously since the dawn of time, most people allotted greatly of their time working. Throughout history lot of researchers tried to come up for a definition and ways to achieve job satisfaction. Being satisfied to one’s job is an integral part for you to have a happy life and great physical and emotional well being. This will be proven on how job satisfaction differ from one individual and another. It is greatly affected by one’s definition on satisfaction and their expectation on the job.

    to begin with, nowadays people’s lives greatly depend on their income and benefits on their job. Salary seems to be the most essential element in considering their happiness and contentment to one’s job. The working environment is another contributing factor. a healthy working environment is consist of a good relationship between the employee and the employer, as well as their colleague these have been playing an important role to attain job satisfaction. In addition to this, without any doubt having a good time at work is one to take consideration. To be more specific no one can be satisfied with their job if they are having an unhealthy relationship with their colleague, this will definitely result to so much stress that will soon affect the person’s job performance. Last but not the least, career growth opportunity is also one of the element to be considered to attain a great job satisfaction that triggers the employee’s happiness and making them realized their potentials.

    Apparently there are so many contributing elements to attain job satisfaction. But the question is it is really possible for one to be satisfied from their job? In my own point of view, i would definitely agree that one can be satisfied on their job depending on their own definition of satisfaction as well as their reasonable and attainable expectation on their own work. In my case, if i will depend my satisfaction to my salary and benefit , I will be certain that I’am unsatisfied with my current job. As no one will be satisfied if that will be their basis, nevertheless a good financial compensation and excellent benefit is just a prize for all your hard work. Furthermore, working long hours and getting pay less will be out of the picture if you will just learn how to love your work and enjoy what you are doing.

    To sum it up, although its hard to be fully satisfied on one’s job, it would be great if you will focus on the positive aspect of your work and ignore the negative side of it, in order for you to achieve job satisfaction that further bring happiness in life.

    thank you Miss Liz (opps sorry according to your lesson don’t use miss with first name ) again Thank you Liz 🙂

    • Obviously the first comment will be that it’s over 400 words. You need to aim for between 260 and 280. It’s possible to have just over 300 but only if you are still providing a focused essay. Writing over 80 words for the introduction means you are already including unnecessary information in your introduction.

      For the introduction, just paraphrase the essay question directly and answer the questions. Here’s an example: “As so much of people’s time is spent at work, job satisfaction is considered critical to happiness. This can be achieved through a stimulating work environment and also having a good salary. However, it is unrealistic in today’s job market for all employees to expect satisfaction at work.“. This introduction contains one background statement and then an answer to each question. Be focused.

      Also, avoid using “you” and don’t ask questions in your essay.
      All the best

      • thank you Liz . Im going to reconstruct this essay based on your opinion. thank you
        hope i can passed the IELTS on May 9

  99. Hi Liz,

    I was doing Listening test 4 in Cambridge Book 6. I have confusion over few questions especially when the instructions say ‘or a number’:
    Q5, Q10, Q27

    The answer booklet gives answer as more than just a number, which has confused me.

    Please help how to decide that we can extend the answer when such instructions are provided.


    • I don’t have a copy of Cambridge 6 with me right now. When it says “one word and / or a number” it means you can have one word with no number or one word and a number or one number only. Three options. Does that help? Don’t forget to watch out for “one word and / or numbers”. This means you could have more than one number because it’s plural.
      All the best

  100. ahmed abolazm says:

    Dear Liz
    thank you so much for your valuable advice.can you please give me example of my English language errors
    Best regards

  101. Ahmed abolazm says:

    Dear Liz
    I sent an essay before and you scored me 5.5 but my target is 6.5 so check my essay and give me your feed back and score me again.
    By punishing murderers with the death penalty ,society is also guilty of committing murder.Therefore ,life in prison is better punishment for murderers .
    To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement
    No one can deny that,punishment by law iis a pivotal to have a control on a society crime`s rate.Death is kind of law penalties.I strictly agree that,death is a fair penalty for murderers after checking their mental`s power for the following reasons.

    Firstly,death is a deterrent factor that would make any one think thousand times before killing decision .Otherwise,justice would be pointless. For example,in developing countries murders rate is going up so steeply due to many law loopholes.
    Secondly,canceling death punishment has dire consequences on society because any person might commit a murder,specially homeless people because at least they would find free shelter and food.Furthermore,individuals can not live in normal way within unsafe community.Moreover,absence of death punishment would have a detrimental impact on both individuals safety and productivity.
    Finally,the role of society could not be ignored because a community shares more or less with murderers because the murderers taking this action under drastic conditions which may involve heavy debts,financial crisis,jobless,depression …..etc.So the community has to take his responsibility towards those people first.However,this is not a compelling reason to delete death punishment.
    In conclusion,living safely and peacefully can not be achieved without strict justice and death penalty embodies this justice.

    • You’ve given some reasonable ideas to support your opinion and your opinion is clear. You do have paragraphs which are logical. However, there are still errors with your English language and also with the coherence of your writing. For example, your second paragraph is about the problems of murderers being put in prison but you fail to actually explain your main point clearly. This would still probably fall short of 6.5. You will need to work on the accuracy of your language and plan how you will explain main points directly and clearly.
      All the best

  102. Hi Liz,

    Tried to answer one of your writing topics and I would like to seek for your opinion on the introduction I wrote:

    Writing Task 2 Question: Completing university education is thought by some to be the best way to get a job. On the other hand, other people think that getting experience and developing soft skills is more important. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

    Background Statement:
    Some people think that the most effective means to secure work is through achieving a college degree. However, some would say that possessing relevant experience and cultivating skills is more important.

    Thesis Statement:
    In my opinion, I think that completing university education is equally important as having the experience and skills.

    Furthermore, I would like to ask the following:

    1. What is the best way to effectively handle questions asking for you to discuss both sides.
    2. Should you take one side as your opinion or can you say that both are equally important and just provide further reasons why you say so?

    Many thanks,

    • Hi Ali,

      Your language is good and the technique clear. You have written a concise introduction. Your background statement could be improved by using “While…” or “Although…” at the start in order to link the two sentences together. Linking the two sentences would not make it too long. The only problem is with your opinion. Don’t you think education and skills are equally important in all cases? What you are attempting here is a balanced approach. A balanced approach doesn’t mean sitting on the fence, it actually means giving a specific opinion which is itself more balanced. For example, “In my opinion, I believe education is essential for traditional careers but skills and experience are more relevant for jobs in business and technology.” This presents a very clear position by giving a clear divide.

      For a discussion essay with an opinion, you can agree with one side if you want. Then you give your view in the introduction, repeat it again in the body paragraph with the side you agree with and then conclude it. If you are going for a balanced view, you will need to add one more body paragraph in order to explain your specific opinion in detail. That means you will need to shorten your body paragraphs for both sides in order to have three body paragraphs (which should be about 65 words each).

      You also asked me if the discussion is equally as important as the opinion. Absolutely yes! The instructions do not give weight of one over the other. The instructions state clearly to discuss both sides and give your opinion – each part of those instructions are vital.

      So, what you need to work on is:

      1. making sure that your balanced approach actually contains a specific opinion (a bit like a unique opinion of your own)
      2. making sure you have the right number of body paragraphs depending on whether you agree with one side or have your own independent view.

      All the best

  103. Hi Liz,

    I got a score of 7.5 each in reading, listening and writing. However, I am required to get an 8 in each band. What is the most effective way to make it to a score of 8? What separates a 7.5 score to an 8 (as it is so close!)? Any tips?

    Many thanks,

    • Hi Ali,

      You’ve done well to get 7.5. There are two possible reasons why you might not be getting 8. One reason could be your technique. It might be your technique with approaching questions in listening and reading or technique with your writing. I’ll soon be releasing my first complete training video on how to write an opinion essay, you could buy that to see if you are doing everything exactly right – if you are not, then you know that you need more training.

      The other reason could be your English. The main difference between 7 and 8 is precision. Band score 7 has a wide range of vocabulary and grammar but band score 8 has a flexible range which allows precision. If this is the problem, it will mean that you must develop your English. I don’t mean that you need to learn more but instead you will need to perfect the language you already have to ensure that you are precise with the words and grammar you use. Band score 8 also requires that the majority of sentences are error free so looking at the density of your errors is also important. Band score 7 = few errors, band score 8 = mostly error free.

      All the best

    • Hello Ali. I want to add you in my facebook friends. What’s your facebook Id

  104. Kiaan Shah says:

    Hi All,
    I hv just given the IELTS exam and my Topic for
    Essay :
    Some people says that cars are the best to use in city where as others says that the bicycle is best. Discuss both and give your opinion.

    U hv had leg injury and u r at home for rest. U hv received card n gifts from ur colleagues. Write a letter to them include:
    -Thank them
    -Discuss how u spend ur day at home
    -talk about ur recovery plan to rejoin

  105. Hi
    I have hug problems with the writing task 2. I attended already twice the IELTS test and both time I scored a 5.5. I wrote this essay and I would really appreciate, if have the time to read and score it.
    Thanks so much !

    Topic: There seems to be an increasing number of serious crimes committed each year. While some think the best way is to use the death penalty as a deterrent , many people believe that other measures will be needed.
    – Discuss both sides.

    Major crime is rising annually in many countries. It is considered by some that capital punishment is the most successful way to prevent serious crime, however, others argue that alternatives means, such as crime prevention programs are necessary.

    On the one hand, many people are convinced the death penalty acts as deterrent statement for other offenders. If murderers are sentenced to death and executed, potential murderers will rethink before killing for fear of losing their own life. Furthermore, malicious murderers are killed to prevent them from committing a major crime again, either in prison or in our society. Both as disincentive, and as a form of permanent incapacitation , capital punishment helps to prevent future crime.

    On the other hand, the view that the death penalty deters is still the product of believe instead of evidence, proven by the increase of crime rates. In addition, many criminals are convinced in their own invincibility in front of the law. The question of death penalty and deterrence is similar to the habits of smokers, both believe they have the capabilities to escape from death, therefore death itself is losing its deterrent.

    Finally, some believe that a long life imprisonment has a stronger deterrent effect on criminals as opposed to an execution. Numbers show that states in the USA, which replaced the capital punishment in favour of lifetime imprisonment have a decrease in major crime rate. For instance, crime prevention programs such as more policing and a rise in law enforcement has a decreasing effect on serious crimes.

    In conclusion, the increase in serious crimes shows that the death penalty has no deterrent effect, therefore, governments should reevaluate their strategies and consider alternatives to deter serious criminals. (278 words)

  106. dear Liz,
    I want to ask you about people who don’t speak english as 1st language.for instance,i am an arabic 1st language we have the same kind of questions in Ielts as the english speakers? or there are some differences?our bandscore is the same?
    i will be glad to have your answers.Iam a big fun of you.thank you

  107. Hello liz
    Thank you for this great website .
    I read this task 2 writing which is recent topic
    Some people believe that money is the most important factor for achieving happiness. However, others believe that happiness has nothing to do with money. Do you agree or disagree? Give your own opinion and examples.

    I am confused whether it is opinion or two side opinion
    First paragragh
    Money is important for …………….., however , it can not bring happiness because……………

    Second paragragh
    There are many alternative .firstly………., secondly, ……..finally.
    Is it enough approach

    • Hi,

      What you are looking at is an opinion essay and what you probably want to write is a balanced approach. Which means you agree partly. So, you agree that money is an important factor but not that it is “the most important” factor. You think there are other more important factors. That would present a very clear opinion relating to the essay question and the issues given. So, your essay ideas and structure are suitable – just make sure you express that you don’t think money is “the most important factor” in your thesis statement. Please see my free video lesson on how to write an introduction to learn more about it.
      All the best

      • The issue whether mony can bring happiness continues to be a controversial topic. Many people retain the believe that money is an important part to be happy . I think that although money is an essential element in people’s life , there are many other factors which could secure happiness.

  108. hello liz! Is advisable to always use contractions in all part of the speaking section , just as you explained in one of your videos? thanks for your concern towards people’s progress.

    • We use contractions a lot in speaking so it’s perfectly natural. The speaking test isn’t a formal interview with the examiner, it’s more like a chat so being natural and speaking naturally is important.
      All the best

  109. hi liz! In the listening section of the ielts where you are told not to write more than three words, and for instance i gave an answer as “annual fee” but in the marking scheme it is “an annual fee”. would i be marked wrong for not writing the article ‘an”? this is in related to an exercise i did in barrons ielts.

    • Hi,

      It depends if the questions is a sentence completion or that type of question. When you need to fill a gap, you need to make sure that the completed sentence is grammatically correct. This means you need to pay attention to articles (a / the). But if it is only a note completion, then you often don’t need to bother with articles. I hope that answers your question. Let me know if you still have any doubts or concerns.
      All the best

  110. Dear liz
    I read this recently
    an OPINION > PERSONAL VIEWPOINT type task. It asks you to say how much you agree with an idea. You should state your opinion at the start, and then explain why you have this opinion, giving several logical reasons. You should briefly mention the opposing view as well. The conclusion should be a summary of your viewpoint.
    I think it unwise to mention opposite view in the second paragragh as this may affect my task achievement .
    So can you tell me what is the right in regard to this type of questions

    • Hi,

      The opinion essay is where you give your opinion and then it explain it in the body paragraphs. You certainly don’t write about the other side unless it is to explain why you disagree. The whole essay relates to your own opinion.
      All the best

  111. srinath says:

    hi liz,This is the essay one of my friend got in writing tast 2.can you provide little bit of information and how to write introduction and main points



    • Hi,

      If you look at the other comments on this page, you will find I have given a sample introduction. The main points will just explain my opinion from the introduction.
      All the best

  112. Dear Miss Liz

    Rearranging that essay is little tiresome so give me a new topic and I try to write according to your instructions.


    • Sure. Go to the food and diet essay questions and try number 2. Take your time to research ideas, planning how to use the ideas and think about linking to make ideas easy to find for the reader.

  113. Michael says:

    Dear Liz,
    Thanks for answering us!

    I have another question about writing task 1: I’ve found a lot of colour-coded tasks throughout the Internet, for example pie charts where different ages are coded by different colours. My question is – Does IELTS exam use colour materials or all the tasks are printed in black-and-white?

    • Hi,

      I have never taken the IELTS test myself and have only seen the exam papers which are published by IELTS. Judging from that, they are all black and white. Why don’t you post a comment on the official IELTS facebook page and see what they say. Or just ask other students who have taken the test.
      All the best

  114. hi liz! thanks for your support for your support towards helping other people achieving their goals. what is the best way to write a digit below and above 10 in a task one essay regardless of if it is a feature in the graph or other task one questions? i am confused, do i write in words or not. i have seen different model essays where people write in any different digits, whether above 10 or not in any form.

    • Hi,

      If it is a digit from the graph, you write a number (a digit) – above or below 10 doesn’t matter. If it is descriptive and below 10 then write the word. There is not real fixed rule – it is just a general recommendation.
      All the best

  115. As you told 3rd topic of Business and money I wrote essay. I don’t think my essay will make you happy but at least I took first step. so what should I need to improve and what score should I get…..
    with the development of information technology growing number of people are buying products online. Both the buyers and sellers reap the advantages of online business. On one hand a customers can get the required goods with ease and comfort while sitting home and on the other hand companies do not get into hustle of incurring costs on renting and managing their outlets.
    Getting things easily does not necessarily mean that the consumer will always be happy. For instance, if the items received are broken or damaged then no one will accept responsibility. Usually the companies have policy that a dissatisfied customer needs to return the goods at his own expense and offices of companies are located at distant places where it is not possible for customer to visit in person and make a claim. Moreover sometimes the products displayed on website is given attractive look and in reality the stuff looks ordinary.
    Rise of Cyber crimes is also an issue that many people desist from shopping online. Incidents of hacking the credit card numbers and fake companies on the internet also raised concern and fears in minds of public. Some organization do offer cash on delivery option which puts a buyer on a safer side but if the buyer is fake and order placed on internet was fake then company will suffer the loss.
    Because most people use internet and advertisement on the internet is quite easy so it might be another reason for why companies prefer to sell online. while from customer’s point of view he can search and compare the product and its features in great detail on web rather than wasting time in markets, could be the other reason for online shopping. So there is always trade off between merits and demerits and risk that a person is willing to take that sets his mind to which option he chooses.

    • Hi,

      Here are some comments:

      1. Make your body paragraphs clear. What is your first body paragraph about? Is this about the advantages and disadvantages to the customer? Or the advantages of both customer and company? Write your first sentence to explain the content of the paragraph.
      2. Write a conclusion. It starts with “In conclusion” and it summarises the main point – briefly.
      3. Make sure you follow the instructions in the essay – both advantages and disadvantages to individuals and also to companies. But plan your body paragraphs – decide which body paragraph will contain which information. You can only have either two or three body paragraphs.
      4. Please leave an empty line between paragraphs so they are easy to see.

      The above points will change this essay a lot. So, try to write this again.
      All the best

      • Ok I will re-arrange it , but I want to know how much score it can get????
        I wrote as it came in mind however in exam I will not get a second chance.

        • It’s probably borderline 6. It’s really important not to write whatever comes into your head. You need to plan your essays very carefully. Not just planning main points but also supporting points as well.
          All the best

          • Dear Miss Liz
            1–Have you uploaded the past exam papers?
            2–Are they are the same books 1 to 9 Cambridge?
            3–And you have not written essays of those 100 essay questions?

            • Hi,

              You will need to buy the IELTS Cambridge books to get a copy of the exam papers. I occasionally use them in lessons but it is better for students to use them for their own revision. The essay questions given on this blog are what I have collected from various sources over a period of 7 years for IELTS practice.
              All the best

              • I mean , those Cambridge books 1-10 are the papers or papers are separate?

                • They are books which contain 4 IELTS exams. There are 9 books currently and book 10 is available soon. Please buy one or borrow one to see.

      • Madam,

        Is it necessary to include more complex vocabulary , idioms and phrases ?


        • Most idioms are for speaking rather than writing. You should use vocabulary appropriate to the topic and question. You should use vocabulary that is accurate and suitable for your level. Only use high level vocabulary if you are able to use to accurately, otherwise you are just producing more errors.

          • Dear Miss Liz

            Book 10 is available , I just downloaded from the internet. I purchased 2 books then I realized all are available on net so I downloaded them 1-10, exactly the same as in market.

  116. Madam

    I want you to check my essay how much I can score, would you like to give me a topic, I will try to write it in 40min time so that I can assess myself?


    • Hi,

      Take a look at my 100 essay questions. Go to the topic of business and money and choose the third essay question.
      All the best

  117. Dear Madam

    Which magazines should I read online all are paid, how to increase reading speed and general knowledge for speaking?


  118. Dear Miss Liz,

    Please let me know which time saving technique works well when in reading it is asked to which paragraph this information relates? I feel it more difficult than others question types, it takes lot of time to answer 5 questions I have to go through all paragraphs again and again.

    • Hi Jawad,

      There are two main skills for matching paragraph information. Firstly, you need to be very good at paraphrasing. This means knowing other ways to phrase the same information. Most of the statements will written using different words in the passage. The more vocabulary you know, the easier it will be. Secondly, you need to be good at scanning. This means moving your eyes quickly over the passage to locate particular words. If your scanning skills are strong, this will help. Practice is essential. Those are the two main skills involved in that type of question.
      All the best

  119. Tanzeel says:

    Hi Liz ,

    I have appeared in General Training IELTS exam three time. 18 October, 13th December & 10 January respectively. In all attempt i was unable to clear writing exam. My score was in all attempts are 5.5 :(.

    Please advise how i can improve my writing skills because in rest of the sections i scored above 7 except writing.

    Best Regards

    • Hi Tanzeel,

      It is great that you have scored 7 in the other skills. However, only 5.5 in writing is low. This might be due to inaccurate language or IELTS exam skills or both. The only way I can tell you where your problem lies is if you post me an essay. You can write it into a comments box with the essay question and I’ll give you a list of weak areas and what needs improving.
      All the best

  120. Michael says:

    Will “book shop” instead of “bookshop” be mistake in real IELTS exam?

    (the example is from listening Test of Cambridge-8 Test3).

  121. hi Liz
    please sharing the more tips of reading about Yes No Not given and also tips relating to heading match and writing task 2 tips

  122. hi Liz
    please share the more tips of reading about Yes. NO. Not given and matching heading and also more tips relating to writing task 2

  123. hai madam Liz,,i attempted twice for ielts. But i can not perform well in speaking section. Can u provide direct speaking section via skype or any other mode. If so i will be thankful. Pls do reply

    • Hi,

      Here’s a link to practice a full speaking test by listening and answering on video as well as a model band score 9 answers:

      However, you need to get the level of your English checked to make sure it is suitable for the band score you want. Then get your speaking techniques checked to make sure you are performing well for the test.
      All the best

  124. Hi
    Its MAHMUD. Im bit more confused to put my listening answer as all caps or mixed spelling. could you tell me which way is the best to transfer answer where there is no possibility to cut my answers from the test taker.

    • Hi,

      You must decide which is better for you. You can write your answers with all capital letters or you can choose lower case but then you must remember the capital letter at the start of names etc. Many students prefer to use all capital letters to avoid that problem.
      All the best

  125. Lamonica says:

    Hi Liz,

    I am aiming to acheive band 7 or above for my Ielts writing task. I had mentioned to you earlier about it and had written an essay, for which I had received your feedback. I have tried to work on your advice. Please follow up my second attempt and give suggestions to reach my goal of band 7. As I have scored 6.5 twice for my writing and overall score always above 7.

    Essay question:

    In some countries young people are encouraged to work or travel for a year between finishing high school ad starting university studies. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages for young people who decide to do this.

    In today’s modern society younger generation are motivated to take a year off from studies after completing high school and before starting university education. This approach may have several pros and cons in the personal and professional development of these individuals.

    On the one hand, spending this time to improve one’s personal skills for future is advantageous due to many reasons. Firstly, younger generation is exposed to the reality of life, if they choose to work during this break. It will build confidence in them to face difficult situations at work early on in their lives. Secondly, many prefer to travel while on a break after high school. Traveling to different countries will widen their approach towards understanding different cultures and communities. With the advancement in the technology and mass communication it is an asset to be linguistic and worldly wise to get a job in an international company after completing graduation. For example, most big firms prefer to have employees who possess some experience or skills to carry out a certain job.

    On the other hand, there may be disadvantages to this idea of taking a year off after high school and before beginning of university studies. First and foremost, some younger individuals don’t have the sensibilities to understand the differences between what is right and wrong for their life. They may not look at this as an opportunity to grow and realize their interests before pursuing a course at the university. This would adversly affect their chances of even studying further. Furthermore, getting paid for some low profile job may make them content with their acheivement and monetary independence at such an early stage. This may hamper with their growth professionally, without having a better understanding of what future could hold for them with higher education.

    In conclusion, in my opinion, taking a year off is essential for a person’s advancement in life but may not be applicable for all high school pass outs.

    Hope to get your feedback soon!


    • Hi Lamonica,

      You’ve used the right essay structure, you’ve organised your ideas well and you’ve fully addressed the task. Your linking is good in the first body paragraph but weaker in the second. It would probably be borderline 7. There are some issues which you need to think about:

      1. use the right linking in your second body paragraph. On the one hand, …. One potential drawback ….. Another issue / problem. This helps the reader identify the disadvantages.
      2. Spend a bit more time planning your ideas. I’m not really sure that knowing right and wrong is related to travelling abroad – the same problem could happen if they just go straight to university. The main problems should be 1. being satisfied with their first job and not going to university ( as you have said) 2. wasting the year and not having anything to put on their CV – it would go against them later on. 3. losing academic skills and getting behind
      3. be careful with grammar young people = the younger generation (don’t forget your articles)
      4. don’t use contractions don’t = do not
      5. check each verb – for example, “hamper” does not need the preposition “with”

      It’s a well organised essay and you’ve done well. If you work on your linking and grammar, you will be more sure of a 7 rather than just borderline.
      All the best

  126. Hi Liz;

    I have two question. I will be very grateful if you kindly answer.

    1) Concerning writing task 1: I am following your advice and dividing my text in: (I) Introduction, (O) Overview, (A) Main paragraph A and (B) Main paragraph B. Althoug I think my text is a little bit repetitive, mainly the overview and main paragraph A, where I analyse the overview but with the data.

    So, will be a problem if I make the overview togheter with data?

    2) Concerning writing task 2: when i have to discuss two sides or advantages and disavantages, what should be better: i) give three ideas in each main paragraph and don’t discuss them a lot; or ii) give one or two main ideas and discuss them deeply?

    Thanks for any help!!


    • Hi,

      The overview is generally descriptive, while the body paragraphs are full of detail and data. Take a look at the difference between my overview and body paragraph A in my models: . You can also try posting one of your writing task 1 reports for me to look at.
      All the best

  127. Ielts in China today.
    Wriring 1: bar chart, compare spending in different age groups on three categories.
    Writing 2: In some countries young people are encouraged to work or travel for a year between finishing high school and starting uni studies. Disscuss the advantages and disadvantages for young people who decide to do this .

    • Thanks for sharing – I’ll move this comment over to the recent exam questions.
      I hope you did well, Albert 🙂

      • Hi Liz,
        Thanks for your efforts to teaching us IELTS.
        Your blog has been very useful.
        I just want to share today’s academic writing topics. In London today
        Task 1: a diagram showing various pictures of steps for the production of electricity from coal mining.

        Task 2: some people receive extremely high salary, but some believe that government should control this,
        Discussing both side and your opinion?

        Hope this will help others
        Have a good day

  128. hi Liz! quick question : should we have space in the paper between the paragraphs?

    • Hi,

      It’s not essential but it does help the examiner to clearly see where your paragraphs are. If the examiner can’t see them clearly, it can affect your score. So, I usually train my students to leave one empty line between each paragraph.
      All the best

    • Hi Liz,
      It’s very good morning to you. I am really indebted to you for your prompt and kind response to make me feel like a live IELTS class.
      Okay, I today have some questions on the IELTS LISTENING FULL PRACTICE EXAM 6 WITH KEY
      what happens if I just write in the answer sheet Art Center instead of Arts Centre as spoken by reader. Then, what about the paraphrase on A COUPLE OF ? Is it that a couple of means accurately number 2 ? In write no more than three words in map labeling question, the speaker says Information Services Building but the answer is just INFORMATION (SERVICES), similarly, what about the grammar or sentence structure in question 35; Cyclone rotates in the same direction as the EARTH. Shouldn’t it be … AS THE EARTH DOES ?
      This much today.

      • Hi,

        For your first question about “art center” and “arts centre”, the spelling of centre is not problem in listening because you can use either US spelling or UK spelling. However, the difference between “art” and “arts” is huge. They have a different meaning. This means only one answer is correct and the other wrong.

        For “a couple of”, it can be exactly two but there is also an informal usage which refers to a small number of – so the number 2 is not an accurate paraphrase in all cases.

        For “information services building”, your answer will depend on what the actual question was – is it a sentence completion or just note completion. You need to write the full question for me to check and also the transcript (I don’t have access to my Cambridge books at present).

        For your last comment, both options are grammatically possible – “rotates in the same direction as the Earth” is fine.
        I hope that helps.
        All the best

  129. Hi Liz.
    Your lessons are very useful for me. Thank you.
    I’d like ti know is ir correct sentence or not. ‘ I’d like to swim a lot and have a sunbathe
    in summer or (to take the sun)’.

    • Hi,

      There are a couple of errors with that sentence. 1. sunbathe is mainly used as a verb – I like sunbathing or I like to sunbathe. 2. You should use “I like” rather than “I’d like to” – you are taking about something you generally like to do in summer so use the present simple.
      All the best

  130. hi liz,,

    is the letter for e.g a,an,and,the counted as words??

    • Hi Roy,

      Yes, all words (small or big) are counted as one word. If you use “eg” is would be counted as one word – but I would never recommend using that in any part of your IELTS test – this is a language test so write “for example”. Here’s a link to learn more about the way words are counted:
      All the best

  131. Hello Miss Liz!
    I would just like to thank you for all you help. I finally reached my required score. You’re such a big part of this success. Thank you so much. May you continue to be a blessing to everyone and may you be blessed more.

    • That’s really good to know. Well done! Best luck with your future plans 🙂

      • Thank you very much. I will definitely recommend your site. A free site with tons of essential informations, that’s really something. Hope you won’t stop helping others in reaching their goals too

  132. Dear Liz
    I participated already three time a Ielt’s test and always failed in the writing part.

    I’m struggling with the introduction. I hope you can help me?

    – We are becoming increasingly dependent on computers. They are used in businesses, hospitals, crime detection and even to fly airplanes. What things will they be used for in the future? Is this dependence on computers a good thing or should we be more suspicious of their benefits?
    (1.Body Examples for the future : e.g. self-driving cars, robots)
    (2. Body Advantages : simplifies our everyday work, more safety)
    (3. Body Disadvantages : total reliance on computers, losing independence)

    Intro: Computers penetrate virtually all aspects of our daily life, from employment, to healthcare, policing crime and transport. I believe we will soon have more robots and self-driving cars, this reliance could have positive and negative effects for us, such as a more comfortable and safer environment, however, I think we should be concerned about our dependence on computers related to the lost of thinking and acting independently.
    (63 words)
    Do I address all aspects of the questions?
    Are 63 words to many?
    Where is my problem?
    I’m very grateful for any help I can get.

    Best regards,

    • Hi Dominik,

      The problem is with the second question. Let me explain…

      Here’s the question: ” Is this dependence on computers a good thing or should we be more suspicious of their benefits?“. You can’t reply to this question saying that “this reliance could have positive and negative effects for us” – you need to just answer the question. It’s not about which ideas you use, it;s about how you use your ideas and how you write your answer. Do you think dependence is a good thing? Do you think we should be suspicious of their benefits? Look more closely at the question. What happens with many students is that they read the essay question and immediately think it’s an advantage disadvantage essay – but it’s actually phrased slightly differently.

      Here is how I would change your introduction: “Computers penetrate virtually all aspects of our daily life, from employment, to healthcare, policing crime and transport. I believe in the future there will be more development in robots and self drive cars. While these benefits are certainly useful, being completely dependent on them is not a sensible idea.“. In this introduction, I’ve answered each question in a different sentence. I have not given too many details but I still have an answer to the questions. This introduction actually gives the answer that I think that I agree we need to be suspicious of their benefits and careful of dependency.

      You also asked about the length of the introduction. There are no rules but I would say that 63 words is quite long and certainly I see detailed which aren’t necessary for an introduction to an essay question which has two questions.

      I hope that helps. Let me know if you still find it confusing – it’s sometimes hard for me to explain by just typing a reply.
      All the best

  133. Budesh Rai says:

    Hello Liz, i have a small query to make. Today i attended my Speaking test for IELTS (Academic Test) and during the test everything went almost just the way i expected to until we reached Part 3.
    My examiner asked me around 9 different questions in Part 3. I was quiet shocked and in Part 1 some of the questions seemed like those questions structure should be fit in Part 2. I wanted to ask my examiner but i just kept answering the question.

    Can you tell what just happened to me. Or am i just being too much curious about it. Or can you think of any specific reasons why i was asked so many questions in Part 3 ?

    • Hi,

      Firstly, the questions in part 1 are frequently similar to the prompts in part 2. Secondly, in part 3, the examiner might ask more questions to extract more language from you. The examiner might be giving you a chance to demonstrate particular language or grammar. Alternatively, the examiner might ask you more in order to check that you can explain your views in depth – that is useful to get higher level language for the higher band scores. Another reason might be that your answers weren’t long enough. There are a number of reasons why you might get many questions in part 3. Part 3 is more flexible than part 1. While it is most common to get 5 or 6 questions, it can also happen that you get more. I wouldn’t worry about it or over think on it, just wait until you get your results. If your results are not what you wanted, just contact me and we can try to find out the reason.
      All the best – let me know when you get your results

      • Budesh Rai says:

        Thank you Liz, for the response, i’ve also posted the questions, i guess it’s still under moderation, but i hope you’ve checked it out already. You can see the questions and become more clear about what i was trying to say.
        Anyways really appreciate your help Liz, you’re the best. 🙂

        • Hi,

          Yes I see what you mean. The questions don’t even seem related to your part 2 topic. Most strange. I can’t think of a reason why that would happen except to say that part 1 and 2 is pretty scripted while part 3 is flexible – this means each individual examiner can conduct part 3 differently.
          I will be wishing you good results !!

          • hello liz! sorry for disturbing you once again. i have a task one report i would want you to assess. how do i send it across to this forum for people to see? it is quite difficult pasting the diagrams . i have already sent an email, i hope you get it.

  134. hi liz! is it acceptable to detach the questions sheet in the question paper so as to be able find the answers in the reading section easily?

    • Hi,

      I have tried to ask IELTS this question but they never gave me an answer. My recommendation is for you to contact them yourself on facebook – just look for IELTS official facebook.

  135. hi liz! are all opinion essays answered the same way? regardless of whether it is asking ” do you agree or disagree” or ” to what extent do you agree” secondly, can one give opinions in these opinion essays? lastly, in the speaking part of ielts, what is the best way to approach it? thanks so much for your help. i appreciate.

    • Hi,

      1. Regardless of what the wording for the opinion essay is you can either agree, disagree or have a specific view on the issue presented. If someone asked me if I agree or disagree with mobile phones being banned in public area, I can very easily answer that banning mobiles phones should depend on the type of public place. That is a balanced approach.
      2. The opinion essay instructions are asking what YOU think, if you agree or what your opinion is. If you fail to give your opinion in that situation, then you have failed to respond properly. This will give you a low mark for task response.
      3. To explain the best approach for IELTS depends on which part you are talking about. However, on the whole, the questions ask are opportunities to demonstrate your English to the examiner. You should add more information to each answer and be willing to speak at length. You should show awareness of grammar, a range of suitable vocabulary for the topic and clear pronunciation. If you have a specific question about a particular part of the test, it would be easier to give you advice.
      All the best

  136. Shall I lose marks if I make mistake on putting articles ?

    • Hi,

      Which skill do you mean? For reading, listening, writing or speaking? For reading and listening, it depends on the type of question you have. For writing and speaking, you will lose marks for the criterion of grammar.
      All the best

      • Hi,
        Oh! sorry for not to be specified. I mean in Listening. For example, what will happen if I just write CAR, Rugby instead of writing A CAR or The Rugby in the answer box ?

        • Hi,

          It depends on the type of question. Note or form completion don’t require articles. But if you are completing sentences, it must be grammatically correct so you will need articles.
          All the best

  137. Hi,
    I have been following your site from the last couple of months and found its useful. I am writing IELTS exam on 28.12.2015. I have practiced and gained confidence on listening, reading and speaking but. I am bit worried in writing sections, particularly finding difficulties in writing task 2 part. My problem is mainly understanding the patterns of the topic of the eaasy. For example, whether the given essay is discussion, Statement or argument, and how should I approach to start my essay for each one of this. For instance, when I try to answer an essay for practice, first I brain storm the topic gather all the necessary points at the end after finishing, I realize it was all went to wrong direction. Any tips can you give regarding that problem.

    Sonjoy Chowdhury

    • Hi Sonjoy,

      To start each essay, it’s best to look at my collection of model essays and see how I start. You can see how the background statement and thesis statements are written for different types of essays :

      Keeping your essay focused is a problem that many students have. This is usually because they look at the essay question, brainstorm ideas and then start writing. Once they start writing, they never stop until the end. It’s not a good way to write. Firstly, plan main points and also supporting points always re-reading the essay question as you plan. Then when you start writing, stop after each paragraph and read the essay question again, read your ideas again and then start each paragraph as a direct answer to the essay question. This is the only way to write a good essay. Whenever I write a model, I continuously keep checking the essay question to ensure I am phrasing my sentences correctly to make them more focused.
      All the best

  138. hi
    i am really glad to see the work you are doing. i got few questions regarding IELTS writing task 2. i am unable to organize my thesis in the right way

  139. Hi Liz,

    Do you have any advice or method to listen, read and write at the same time in the listening part?

    Thanks !

    • Hi,

      Making notes while listening is important as long as you are able to do it successfully. The key is to make very short notes and avoid writing long words. If you try to write a long word, you will pay too much attention to writing and not enough attention to listening. So, you need to focus on listening at all times but also jot down codes and notes to refer to when you transfer your answers at the end of the recording. This requires lots of practice for you to do this naturally. For example, if I heard the word “university bookshop”, I would probably note down “uni bksp” – this would be enough to remind me of the word. However, it must be natural for you and you need to practice to develop the skill. You must find your own successful way to make notes in short form.
      All the best

  140. Hi Liz,

    I have gone through your video on writing task -2, after that i have come up with my introduction part. Please help me in correcting it.

    Topic: It is quite common for both parents in a family to work. Sometimes this is because they need two salaries to survive where as at other time it is their choice.

    What problem do you see in this situation? How does this affect the children and family life.

    My Take:
    It is fairly usual practice for father and mother in a family unit to be employed. In my opinion, I agree that money is required for our day-to-day requirements. However, I also believe that relationship is important.

    • Hi,

      Your background statement is fine. However, your thesis statement doesn’t provide an answer to either question. All you need to do is write “In my opinion…” and then answer both questions. Try again.
      All the best

      • Thanks for suggestion Liz, I think this is a solution essay.

        Can you please post some model essays on Solution, Advantage & Disadvantage as well.


        • Hi Sri,

          Here’s a link to my model essays for IELTS: You will find sample essays for what you are looking for.
          All the best

          • Hi Liz,

            Thanks for the links, i have made an attempt on one of the advantages and dis-advantages essay. Please post your comments.

            With the rise of e-books comes the decline in paper books. Some people see this is a good step forward while others do not.

            Write advantages and disadvantages of this trend.

            My Take:

            It is considered by some people that e-books, which are now preferred mode of publishing in the world, may one day wipe out all other modes of printing books and result in their eventual disappearance. Having change in this printing trend would certainly aid improving environmental conditions and save money to people but there will also be some drawbacks.

            One evident benefit to having soft copy of books is that it would enable well balanced geographical climatic conditions on earth. In other words, if every one tries to read e-books, there would be no need to cut down trees for preparing paper which would promote curbing on green gas emission and air pollution. Another reason that e-books would be advantageous is that it would help to save money for individuals. With the advancement in technology, there will be more on-line stores selling books at low price and therefore resulting in a healthy financial situations in the society.

            On the other hand there are obvious disadvantages to having non printed books. Firstly, it would mean that printing press would eventually disappear and, along with them, depending jobs. Printing press has played a very major role in our society before e-revolution hit the market. Secondly, it would result in spoiling health conditions of individuals because reading e-books through laptops and all other possible electronic gadgets for long time have adverse effect on eyes. This would devastate many individuals health conditions and their financial status as they have to spend more money on medical treatment.

            In conclusion, while there are plus points to having e-books, too much would be lost as a result. Maintaining balance between traditional and contemporary modes of book publishing should be prioritised to ensure we are not sacrificing our personal lives for technology shift.

            • Hi,

              Could you write this again? There are too many errors in vocabulary. You are trying to write in a complicated manner but the result is constant errors. You need to keep the meaning clear and your vocabulary accurate. Don’t try to paraphrase words all the time. Here’s an example of how to write more clearly: “One evident benefit to having soft copy of books is that it would enable well balanced geographical climatic conditions on earth.” = One evident benefit of e-books is that it saves trees and the environment.”

  141. Dear Liz
    I am going to prepare myself for IELTS, because I found your videos and website so useful, I would like you be my tutor and correct the writing which will be sent to you later. I was wondering if you could tell me about the circumstances you have of checking each writing.
    Thank you very much

    • Hi Nina,

      Unfortunately, I don’t offer essay marking services. It is possible to post an essay on my site for feedback. However, although I try and give comments back to all students, it is not always possible. But I try my best. Otherwise, you can encourage comments from other students.

  142. Tnx man Liz for your time and effort to share your knowledge for a free. Mam do u have a time to check my writing task 1 or task 2 answers for correction? If yes, where can I send this to you? Tnx man liz

    • Hi,

      Unfortunately, I don’t do essay corrections. However, if you wish to post one essay on this site, I will try and find time to give you comments. It usually takes me between 1 to 4 days to comment.
      All the best

  143. Dear Liz,

    I have a question regarding listening test. The question’s requirement is, NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS and the answer is e.g.- ‘adult females’. But, I wrote just ‘females’, will it be counted as wrong?

    Again, if the answer (in the above mentioned situation) is ‘adult females’ and I write ‘all adult females’, is this wrong?
    Thank you in advance.Look forward to hearing from you.

    Best regards,

    • Hi,

      This query isn’t actually related to the number of words. It’s more related to the exact question. If it is a sentence completion question, you need to check that all adult females would actually work in the sentence or if only adult females fits in. If the question is a note completion, you could have either option. Luckily, IELTS often has a range of possible answers for any question. For example, if the answer is “3 minutes”, IELTS accepts “3 mins” or “three minutes” (of course only if the instructions are no more than two words and/or number).
      All the best

  144. Hi Liz ,

    Liz here is an essay topic which really I am not getting which side to support could you please write down this essay for me.

    During the 20th century contact between different parts of the world develop raidly thanks to air travel and communication .To what extent do you think societies benefit from the increased contact and closer relationship with foreigners brought by international tourism and business…………….


    • Hi Sam,

      The confusing part of this essay question is that there are different topics in the essay question. One sentence is about air travel and communication and the other is about societies benefiting from foreign influence bringing people closer together. The first part is actually a cause, a situation which currently exists – you don’t need to address that in your main points. The next part is a direct question which you must answer and which your essay must be about. “Do you think it is a good thing for societies that there is increased contact with foreigners?” This is the question to answer.

      I don’t have time to write a full essay for you but here are two possible introductions:

      Many countries, these days, have increasing contact with people from other countries due to the develop in tourism as well as business which undoubtedly influences local societies. In my opinion, this has a positive effect because with closer contact with foreigners comes more understanding, tolerance and hopefully more international harmony.

      Many countries, these days, have increasing contact with people from other countries due to the develop in tourism as well as business which undoubtedly influences local societies. In my opinion, while I think that this brings some benefits to societies in terms of cultural understanding, the devastating effect it has on loss of local culture and traditions is too considerable to be ignored.

      The first introduction is for a one sided essay and the second one is for a balanced approach but I clearly have more strength of opinion against that for. I hope that helps.
      All the best

  145. Asad Ghani says:

    Salam on you…
    hope you are fine…
    Mam i want to improve my vocabulary but i don’t know how can i improve and there is few Er er in my speaking so kindly suggest me something….

    • Hi,

      They key to IELTS is preparing topics, ideas and vocabulary so that when the examiner asks you a question you have plenty of ideas to give and enough language to explain. This can only be done systematically by going through each topic and spend time collecting your ideas and searching for vocabulary. Here’s a useful site to improve your vocabulary:

      To avoid “umss” and “errs”, you need to understand why you are making them. Are you making them because you don’t know what words to use or are you making them because you are not used to speaking English? The first reason can be dealt with by learning vocabulary. The second reason can be tackled by practicing speaking on your own at home or with a partner on skype and giving your answers out loud. You need to do this a lot – so often that you become comfortable with answering questions in English. Here’s a video about improving your speaking at home:

  146. Hi Liz,

    Since, two month i have been trying to improve my essay writing task 2.
    At first, i got 5.5 band in writing.
    After then, i started reading vocabulary ,grammar ,question pattern to improve the band but now i am wondering that giving much effort my band is decreased to 5.
    I am completely harsh by the situation.Can you please suggest how can I improve band? Even though, there are lots of tips I had read but i am unable to increase the band.

    • Hi,

      I understand your concern and disappointment with your score. However, you must understand that this is an English language test. If your level of English is not at the right level for the band score you want, you will not get that score. You can learn all the tips you need but without the right level of English you will not succeed in achieving your band score. For example, in your message above I see both grammar and vocabulary errors – if you are making the same mistakes in your essay writing, then that is the reason for your 5.5 or band 6 score.

      I highly recommend you get your writing checked by an English language teacher. You don’t need to ask them for an IELTS band score, just ask them if you are making a few errors, some errors or frequently errors in vocabulary and grammar. If you are making frequent errors, then you will need to develop your English language in order to improve your score.

      I know it can be disappointing but it’s better that you get everything checked before you take your test again.
      All the best

  147. Whereas international music, on the other hand, is one of the ways of globalization.

    hello LIZ,
    punctuation is marked properly in a sentence or not???
    should we use comma after whereas?

    • Hi,

      Unfortunately, “whereas” should not be used in this sentence. It should be “International music, on the other hand, has contributed to globalisation.” You might be thinking of sentences which use “while” or “although”.

  148. hi liz,

    i had 2 questions- a) on the overall skills if i do score a total of 29,will i b getting,

    b)do numbers e.g45,56 and letters like a,to,and ….. count as a/1 word?

  149. Hello Liz,
    I’m so sorry I couldn’t see the video 2 about the speaking test. There’s a problem on the page. I hope it could be solved.


    • Hi,

      Sorry about that. I accidentally released it a day early before the video was ready. It’ll be posted properly at around 1pm today.

  150. what is 2:1 rule???

    • Hi,

      I explained about how to approach the agree disagree essay but I’ve never heard of the 2:1 rule. You will need to send me a link to where you got it. It is not actually an IELTS rule. There are no rules with numbers in IELTS.
      All the best

  151. hello LIZ, thanks for giving me the link of page….
    anyways….i want to know about 2:1 rule which means that in an argument essay, that is, TO WHAT EXTENT DO U AGREE OR DISAGREE…..we should discuss both sides of the argument….with a structure, intro…1st small body para for the side we are against it…2nd and 3rd body paragraphs for the side we are in favour of…finally conclusion…. i want to know about the details of this rule in an ielts writing

    • Hi,

      “To what extent do you agree or disagree?” is asking for your opinion only not for anything else. If you agree with the statement then that is the only information you will put in your essay. If you disagree then your essay explains why you disagree. If you have a specific opinion then you must explain what it is exactly. It’s very important that you give a clear opinion and that your essay explains it. Take a look at my opinion essay model:
      All the best

  152. Hi Liz,
    At the IELTS reading test is it ok to seperate and take off the questions from the book. It’s easier to find the answers that way.

    • Hi,

      I asked IELTS about this but got no answer. Here’s a link to their facebook page for you to try: Let me know if you get an answer because it’s a question for many students.
      All the best

    • hi liz,

      Following kumudini`s query,I have to say that I did not understand the nature of her question to you.Would it be possible to clear my doudt here,please?Thank you

      • Hi Roy,

        She was asking about the IELTS reading test. The pages are attached together and it’s easier for students to separate the pages so that you can read the questions and the passage side by side instead of continually turning the pages over. I have approached IELTS for confirmation that students can separate the pages but I haven’t got a response from them. So, I advised her to contact them directly and let me know if she got an answer.
        All the best

  153. Dear Liz,

    Thanks for your great resources, hopefully they will help me out to get higher IELTS score…

    My question:

    In the official IELTS explanation material it is written than the candidates DON’T NEED to change the words they hear at the time of listening test – is that correct? I’ve found a lot of materials where we DO need change the grammar of the words like instead of ” was COORDINATE …” the answer was COORDINATOR.
    I think it is crucial to know the right answer to this question.

    Thanks you.

  154. Hello,
    I practiced your the speaking test video and I found it very useful. Do you have more speaking practice tests videos? Could it be possible to see them?

    Thank you very much

    • Hi,

      Thanks for letting me know it was useful. I will try and put another up soon. Hopefully in the next two weeks or so.
      All the best

  155. hi liz,

    I would like to ask you,whether this book- target band 7 could be of some help to me plus the additional use of your site..Please do let me know

    • Hi,

      Target 7 is good and used by many teachers and schools. Also think of getting Vocabulary for IELTS to both build your vocab and also refresh vocabulary that you already know but have forgotten. If your grammar is weak, then get Grammar for IELTS as well. I’m sure after a while learning IELTS, you will want more specific books so get the basics and go from there.
      All the best

    • I forgot to tell you to get the IELTS Cambridge books. These are real practice tests for IELTS. Get books 7, 8 and 9 if you can.
      All the best

  156. Dear Liz,

    I am about to take the IELTS examinations soon.I would like and really appreciate if you could hint me out some tips to go about this concerned exam of mine.I have as mother tongue,french as being my spoken langguage.In exacctly two months from now,I will be sitting for this exam.Assuming that I will have to start from scratch and possess a meager background in the english language.How much time should I spend per day per respective categories so as to be eligible to achieve a total band score of 7.5 and a minimum of 7 per category.
    I would be much obliged if you could posssibly grade my level of proficiency in english in this post.

    Thank you

    • Hi Roy,

      Here are some steps in getting ready for IELTS.

      1. Learn everything you can about each part of the test. Learn the content, timing and tips for each skill. Here’s a link to the official IELTS website to learn more:
      2. Get your English assessed to ensure that your level is sufficient for band score 7. If you post an essay from one of my essay questions, I’ll let you know if your level of English is appropriate or not. Don’t forget to post the essay question and also mention your aims.
      3. Go through the question types for each skill and develop techniques.
      4. Learn tips to maximise your results.
      5. Learn topics, ideas and vocabulary – particularly important for speaking and writing.
      6. Do practice tests to develop speed and concentration.
      7. Don’t only do practice tests. You also need to develop and improve techniques by doing practice exercises – that’s the aim of this blog.

      Hopefully, that will get you started. How long you spend each day is up to you. Some students can pick up IELTS skills quickly and understand the requirements of their band score. Others struggle and take longer. You will know after the first week hopefully.
      All the best

  157. Hi, Liz, can u spend your treasure time and give a mark for my essay. I will attend the academic test.

    Topic: Some people think that zoos are cruel and all the zoos should be closed. However, other people think that zoos are useful to protect the rare animals.
    Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

    Nowadays, people could easily realize the wide-scale debate over the issue of whether animals should be kept in zoos or not. Some argue that taking care of the animals in zoo is a better choice; whereas others believe it will destroy animals’ natural abilities. Personally, my clear position in relation to this is that we should allow the animals to live with freedom rather than locking them in the zoo.

    To begin with, a firm belief held by me is that animals need to stay in wild and do everything according to their own natural skills, as freedom is the first priority of every specie. In the second place, it is an undeniable fact that we are losing many kinds of species due to locking them in the zoo and accelerating the loss of their natural skills for living. An instance is the situation of wild northeast tiger in China, although people offered a comfortable place for them, it made them had less strength to defend some diseases, which is ample to testify what I have laid out before.

    As for another aspect of the related issue, the merits of zoos could also be detected as long as enough contemplation is given. It is indisputable that zoos can supply food and medical care for the animals. And if we comprehend it as the best land in the earth for animals, I deem there is no exaggeration. Yet, if we behold it as a short-term solution that would also lead to the extinction of species, it will be a partial and deflected standpoint.

    In conclusion, based on what has been discussed above, I could restate my view that letting animals live in the natural area will be a great chance for sustaining their species, but our humans should keep looking after and offer immediate help for the animals at the same time.

    • Hi Alex,

      There are two main issues which you need to fix with this essay. You have changed the essay question and you have written a completely different essay. That would seriously affect your score in task response to below band score 4 in this criterion which is a shame because your level of English is good.

      This essay is about zoos. One side is the zoos are bad and cruel and the other side that zoos protect endangered species. You have written a completely different essay. You have written that one side is animals should live free and the other that animals get better care in zoos. You have not explained anything about protecting rare animals. You should first explain why some people think zoos are cruel (not why they should live in the wild) and then you should explain why other people think zoos help protect rare animals – each in a different body paragraph.

      Secondly, you have put your opinion in each paragraph which is not what you are asked to do. When you discuss a side, you don’t give your opinion. Please see this model essay to learn how to write a discussion essay for IELTS:
      All the best

  158. Madam
    My inbox gets full of those mails and I am not able to unsubscribe ? I can easily view stuff by visiting site instead of getting mails in inbox.
    I clicked on unsubscribe link in the email but it did not work.

    • Hi,

      I have just unsubscribed two of my emails without problem. Can you try again. When you see an email from this site, click the unsubscribe option. This will take you to another page called Subscription Management. On that page you must confirm that you are deleting your subscription – make sure you confirm it.
      All the best

  159. Hi Liz,
    I had left a message which included my essay a few minutes back. It had then said awaiting moderation. Was there any problem in my message? Please let me know, as it has been removed!

    • Hi,

      Don’t worry, it hasn’t been removed. If students want feedback to essays, I keep them in moderation until I have time to answer them. Otherwise, they go to a different list and I lose track of them. So, your essay is only in moderation until I get a chance to look at it – this could be between 1 or 3 days normally.
      All the best

  160. Hi Liz,

    I am very glad that I came across your website. I have taken IELTS test twice, and both the times I scored 6.5 for my writing task. However, I scored 7.5 or 8 for listening, reading and speaking tasks. I need a score above 6.5 to be able to qualify for a certain exam. I sincerely, hope that you could guide me through this.

    I have choosen an essay from the list mentioned on your website. Please find my answer!

    Some people think that the government is wasting money on the arts and that this money could be better spent elsewhere. To what extent do you agree with this view?

    It may be thought by few people that government spends unwanted money on preserving arts. While others may argue that the same amount of money could be used for the benefit of the society. In my opinon, I agree to a larger extent that the money should be spent for other purposes than just arts.
    Most importantly, governments work on a allocated budget which needs to be spent well. This inturn benefits the society or people who have paid taxes. For instance, roads built by governments, helps in smoother running traffic. As a result, people reach their work places or hospitals at the time of emergency in time. Additionally, governemnts can use their funds to provide better public schools and hospitals. Moreover, developed nations can use their resources to provide healthcare, food, water and basic needs to under developed or developing nations. In this way, countries would create more funtioning and happier societies.
    On the other hand, some authorities may choose to maintain art work. The money invested to refurbish an old monument or art work requires surplus funds. In addition, governments may see this as an investment. As by preserving art, they attract tourism in their countries. For example, people travel to a museum in Paris to see the famous Mona Lisa painting. Some may also believe that preserving such art forms keeps the cultural hertiage of their city alive.
    In conclusion, Although there may be many aesthetic and historical gains by investing in art. But for a society to grow and maintain its identity requires the use of money for the growth and betterment of the people.

    Please assess my writing Liz. I look forward to your reply.

    Thank you

    • Hi,

      There are a number of issues with this essay which show why you may not be getting the score you want. I’ll list a few below for you to work on.

      1. Vocabulary. I know you want to paraphrase but you must keep the meaning clear and exact. This means don’t change things too much. In your introduction you write about “unwanted money”, this money is wanted but it is wasted on the arts. You must make sure you don’t change the meaning of the essay.
      2. You wrote in your thesis statement that you agree the money should not be spent on art but should be spent on other areas. This means your WHOLE essay must explain that opinion. However, in your body paragraph 2, you have changed your opinion and decided to support funding the arts. This means you will get a low score for task response which is all about presenting a clear position and keeping it through the whole essay. If you agree, then your whole essay is about you agreeing.
      3. Don’t start a sentence with “but”.

      Your English is generally good and you could aim for band score 7 but only if you work on your task response and keep your vocabulary accurate.
      All the best

      • Hi Liz,

        Thank you for your reply, you are genuinely here to help. You make me believe that people like you exist and want to share their knowledge for no benefit. Please excuse my impatience shown in my second post.

        Thanks for the feedback, I’ll work on those. I’ll be re-taking the exam in about two weeks. Do you think this is a good time frame for me to practice and reach my goal for the writing task? I do understand that the answer to this question is very subjective, but I’d certainly like your view on this.

        Thanks again..

        • Hi,

          On the whole, your problem areas were with your technique and method of answering rather than your English. Your English language is certainly above 6.5. It can take as little as one day to change your technique or months – it all depends on how quickly you grasp what IELTS are looking for in the essays. So, to answer your question, yes you certainly have the potential to get above 6.5 as long as you get a hold on the changes you need to make to your techniques.
          Try and write another essay for me to see – don’t rush – take your time and apply the right techniques. Don’t forget to post your aims and any other comments when you post your essay so I remember what we are both aiming for.
          All the best

  161. Miss Liz,
    Do you recommend watching Eng movies and reading novels help improving English?
    I think in movies they use slang words not standardized. And fictitious information given in novels while in iElts they give real world practical information. To what extent do you agree?

    • Hi,

      It’s a great way to learn English. However, as you say, a lot of vocabulary is not academic in films and novels. This is completely find for IELTS speaking but not for writing.

  162. Madam,

    Do you advise and reply to people because it is your religious or social responsibility?
    Or what is your source of motivation behind that ?

  163. Dear Madam,

    Do you think that speaking & writing score usually is near to or around the score of reading & listening (As I can only check these two)?
    Have you ever (or often) come across people with entirely different band score in all 4 skills? like 8,3,4,9


    • It’s unlikely to get such a range of scores. But it is possible to get band score 6, 7, 5 and 7.5 in the 4 skills.

  164. Madam,
    Why don’t you put that basic stuff on website like synonyms antonyms phrases idioms proverbs grammar and paraphrasing exercises pair of words etc?
    vocabulary of 2000 is sufficient I think.

    • Hi,

      I put up vocabulary once a week, occasionally twice a week. Last week I put up an idiom for speaking. Usually all my vocabulary lessons and reading lessons have lists for vocabulary with synonyms given. However, it would take me a very long time to write up 2,000 words with synonyms, antonyms etc. As it’s only me working on this blog and making the video lessons, I cannot work quicker. Over time, this website will contain much more information and language that is missing at present.

  165. Dear Miss
    In your opinion how much hard work and time is required to get one extra band score?
    If someone who scored 6 wants to achieve 7.

    • Hi,

      It is really impossible to answer because it depends on the reason for getting a lower score. If the reason for getting band score 6 is due to the level of English language, then you will need to improve your English from one level to the next. That can take quite a long time. Many English language courses can take from 1 month full time to 6 months part time. It depends how much development needs to be done.

      On the other hand, if the problem is just IELTS skills and the level of English is fine for band score 7, then it can be quite quick with the right tuition. I have meet students to increase a band score in just two weeks. But, as I said, it depends on the reason for the problem.

      You need to get your English assessed both speaking and writing (they are the main skills). You need to find out if your level of English is sufficient for band score 7.
      All the best

      • Dear Madam,

        Actually I have not yet taken IELTS test, but during practice I can only assess my reading and listening where I can score 7 (average of both), so do you think usually the speaking and writing also revolve around that score? or have you seen people with drastically different score in all four skills? ? ?


        • Hi,

          A good question. Usually people will have scores which are similar for all skills because this is their level of English. However, it can happen that someone will get 7.5 in listening, reading and speaking but only 6 in writing. The reason for that could be that the person is not good with academic language or because they failed to develop the right exam techniques for writing.

          It can be really frustrating when this happens because that person has the English level of 7.5 but is getting a lower score in one skill due to a particular fault.
          All the best

  166. Hi Liz,
    Thanks for this great effort,
    I Want to pass IELTS with high mark, But till now i did’nt start prepare for this exam.
    So please i want your help to tell from where to start.And please if you have a small plan for starting preparing for IELTS exam.

    Appreciate your kind support.

    • Hi,

      Here are some steps to prepare for IELTS:

      1. Learn about the format and content of each test. This means learn about the timing, the type of questions asked and the usual topics. Also learn tips about what causes students to lose marks.
      2. Get your English language checked to make sure it is the right level for the band score you want to get. For example, if your level of English is only band score 6 and you want 7.5, then it would be better to develop your English before learning IELTS skills.
      3. Learn about the band score you are aiming for. Learn the requirements for each score in each skill. Here’s a link to the scoring which I have simplified:
      4. Do some practice tests for reading and listening to check if your score is near the level you need. If it isn’t, then work your way through the question types to learn techniques, skills and tips on how to improve. Here’s a link to some tips for each type of question in reading: Make sure you get the Cambridge IELTS books for the practice tests because they are real IELTS exam papers published by IELTS. There are 10 in total, number 10 is the most recent.
      5. Start learning topics and vocabulary – this is important for all skills but particular for speaking and writing. In writing task 2, you are assessed on your ideas as well as your language so having plenty of essay ideas is essential. You’ll find speaking questions and essay questions on this blog under the skills categories on the navigation bar.
      6. After you have gone through the above steps on your own, you will start to have specific questions about particular parts of the test. That is the time to come back and ask me certain questions and concerns.
      Good luck in your preparation.
      All the best

  167. Hi Liz,

    How to improve my IELTS reading part.

  168. thank you for your answer, I sorry for mix paragraph. The first paragraph start with ( in my opinion) and the second paragraph start by ( the procedure of prevention) and the conclusion start by ( to sum up)
    many thanks

  169. Hi, this is sample of task 2 in writing ielts exam. can see it and say your expression on my writing please. here is the topic:
    Prevention is better than cure
    out of country health budget, a large proportion should be diverted from treatment to spending on health education and preventative measures.
    to what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement ?

    “Prevention is better than cure” this sentence is very widely used in many cultures. All times people say that prevention is better than cure. So a large percentage of health budget should be used on health education and the ways to make people healthy. In my opinion, I strongly agree with this idea. Because prevention is better than health cure.

    For instance, if people take prevention from flu, cold diseases and other diseases. It is better than take drugs and stay at houses to take rest. In addition, it wastes the time in bed. Furthermore the money has been spent on health cure could be more than the money has been spent on prevention. Plus for special diseases must children took prevention drugs at early ages to prevent the children from these diseases. Also the prevention from TV Programs, newspapers, and internet may gave benefit to a large number of people; in result a smaller number of people could be need to visit hospitals, and this case may reduce the money has been spent on people in hospitals and lower the stress on these medical institutions.

    The procedure of prevention holds the key to success which includes many things. This includes good life style procedure the keeps us healthy. For instance, if we educate our people that cleaning the hands can prevent diarrhoea and cholera then people will follow it. In the same way there are many steps that can help us to get rid of the 80% common diseases. We can include many hygienic procedures from the primary level education to upper level to spread this message.

    To sum up, It seems to be that prevention is a good procedure for avoiding diseases. life will be better. It is also beneficial to government likewise.

    • Hi,

      It’s a reasonable essay but I had a problem locating your paragraphs. I have tried to put empty lines between each paragraph to see more clearly but I still can’t understand where the introduction ends and where the first body paragraph starts. It’s not possible to start a body paragraph with an example without giving a main point first.

      You’ll need to work on your paragraphing and making sure that your main point is clear in the first sentence of each body paragraph.
      All the best

  170. Hi, I have take ielts exam twice and in both two exam I take overall band score 5 , L, S, W 5 and R 5.5 I want to go up my ielts score to 6.5 how can improve my score.

    • Hi,

      I will tell you two reasons why people don’t get the band score they want. You must decide which one applies to you.

      Firstly, some people do not have the level of English which is required for their band score. If you want to get band score 6.5 then you should not have many errors in vocabulary or grammar. If you have frequent errors, it will give you band score 5 in grammar and vocabulary which will prevent you getting a high score. This is an English language test and your English must be the right level to match the band score.

      Secondly, another reason is that you have right level of English to get your band score but you are not fulfilling the requires of IELTS in terms of skills and techniques for the exam. This means the only way forward is to work on exam skills.

      You will need to get your English level assessed to find out if English is your problem or if it is IELTS skills. IELTS skills can be improved quite quickly but English language takes much longer to improve.
      All the best

    • hi first

      many thanks to your answer, first of all I take academic type of IELTS exam, I need 6.5 in IELTS to start my academic study in Lancaster university in UK, I think my problem is could be have many errors in vocabulary and grammar. and few errors in IELTS skills. So how to improve my English level to improve to IELTS score.

      • Hi,

        The best way forward is to find an English language teacher who will assess your English and plan a training program aimed at improving your existing language. I can see that your English is quite good but it just needs to be more accurate. So, find a teacher who can help you with your exact problems. Also you can improve your grammar online. Check my useful websites page and you’ll see a link to a grammar website there:
        All the best

  171. Hi, Liz,
    If the question states as “The chart shows” and if it’s a bar graph, Is it correct to write as , The bar graph .?

    • Hi,

      I often tell students not to change the name of the chart and use the name that IELTS gives. This is usually because so many students give the wrong name. For example, they use picture instead of diagram which is less academic. A chart could either be a bar chart or a line graph but not a bar graph usually. So, it’s not worth changing it unless you are completely accurate.
      All the best

  172. Sudipta Mukhopadhyay says:

    Hi Liz,

    I received my IELTS results yesterday. The score is L-9,R-8,W-7,S-7.5.
    Your lessons in this site helped me immensely during my preparation.
    A lot of thanks and sincere gratitude to you for my success.
    I would recommend all the students to refer to the resources of your site.



  173. can you please provide sample answer for GT writing task 1 .
    thank you

  174. Hey Liz , I am so, happy for sharing such useful tips and knowledge for all student like me . I have a question . Regarding , Reading I found it very top . As, we know well that there are so, long passages and its very difficult to go through every line .So, Will it be okay before reading through passage If i read the question and search the keywords question what it is asked in passage ? I think it will be easy for us to save time ?? Please reply me if I am wrong 🙂

    • Hi,

      I’m glad you asked about this because it is important. In IELTS reading, you should NOT try to understand each line of the passage. The test is designed to test your skills in locating information and choosing the right answers. So, the key will be to spend more time looking at the questions and then just try to locate the answers in the passage.

      Some people like to skim read the passage before you read the questions. Skim reading means to move your eyes over the passage very quickly to get a general idea of the passage. It usually takes about 2 mins. It is not about trying to read and understand the passage. However, it is your choice if you do that or not.
      All the best

  175. Budesh Rai says:

    Hey Liz, i really love your tutorials and i enjoy them a lot, but i have few simple questions though.

    My Writing Task 1 exceeds 150 words, actually it usually gets around 210 or thereabouts. Should i be worried about it ? Is it too much words ?

    And also i have read most of the “sample answers” at the back of our IELTS book and it don’t necessarily have mentioned every details with respect to its corresponding figure given in the questions itself.
    So can we omit to mention some of the least figurative information while writing our report for Task 1 ?

    • Hi,

      Two very good questions. About the upper word count: there is no upper limit for the number of word in either task 1 or task 2. Most teachers advise students to aim for between 160 and 180 words in task 1 because it takes them over the lower limit and makes sure that their writing is focused and doesn’t contain any irrelevant information. If you write a report of 210 words and you have selected information appropriately, highlighted key features and you have not put in any extra irrelevant information, then you could still get a high score.

      The other reasons teachers advise students to aim for between 160 and 180 words is because of the time limit. You must spend at least 3 minutes analysing the chart, identifying key features and planning your writing. So, that leaves only 17 minutes to write it. Aiming for 180 words is usually more realistic for most students.

      Regarding your other question, the amount of detail you write about the chart will actually depend on how dense your chart is with information. If you have a simple bar chart, then you will want to write about all details in order to make sure your writing is over 150 words. However, if you have a table with a lot of data, you must select and choose which data to write about and which to ignore. So, it depends on each individual chart and it depends on the choices you make. Don’t forget that you are being marked on the choices you are making with regards to the key features etc.

      Should you put numbers with the sentences? Yes, it’s a must but mainly in the body. Most overviews don’t contain numbers (although if there is a total then they do). But the body paragraphs must have data to support the sentences. If there is no data to support sentences, you will get band score 5 for task achievement. Please check the description of each band score for task achievement to understand this:
      All the best

      • Budesh Rai says:

        Thank you Liz. You have made it all clear now. I was really struggling with these questions in my head really bad.

        Thank you again Liz. You are the best.

  176. Hello Miss Liz!
    I made an essay about disadvantages outweigh the advantages. I’m not sure if I did it right. Please do read it. Thank you very much
    Some people think that good health is a basic human need, so the medical service should not be run by profit-making companies. Do you think the advantages of private health care outweigh the disadvantages?

    It is considered by some that being heatlhy is a basic human need ,therefore, providing medical services should not allowed to be operated by a private compananies. In my perspective, it has more disadvantages compared to advantages.

    Firstly, private health sectors are equipped with high-ends technology which are necessary in detecting one’s diseasses. For instance, in the Philippines, CT Scan, MRI, 2D echoes and some more important procedures are not available in a goverment hospital due to budget constraints. Hence, if the clients are not treated well, it may result to a poor prognosis. In addition, private health institutions are updated with the current trends with regards to providing excellent services to every one. Many research studies are formulated for the improvement of one’s health. Consequently, in public health sectors, although they are aware of these changes, thus, implementing these are the hardest part, mainly bacause of insufficent funds. Therefore, if these improvements will not be done, many health will be at risk and many people will suffer.

    However, private sectors are not affordable for some people. Not everyone can pay such a huge amount of money especially those in below average earning families. For example , in some countries, clients cannot be admitted in a private hospital if they are not capable of paying bills. Moreover, amount of medicines are far expensive in a profitable company, wherein in fact, it can be given free in a nonprofitable institution.

    To conclude, private sectors have more advantages than disdavantages. Profit-making companies should be allowed to manage in providing medical services for the betterment of each individual’s health.

    • Hi,

      You have a good writing style and you have dealt with this topic very well. Your vocabulary is quite flexible and your grammar is complex, although some / a few errors. The problem is in your answer. By this I mean your thesis statement. You have written “In my perspective, it has more disadvantages compared to advantages.”. In this sentence which either relates to the previous sentence or the question, “it” refers to the private health care service. So, you are saying that there are more disadvantages to private health care. However, in your body and the conclusion, you state the opposite. Very confusing.

      The way to avoid this misunderstanding is to avoid using “it” in a thesis statement. AT no time do you want any misunderstanding in that sentence. So,
      write it all fully and clearly. “In my opinion, I think there are more advantages to private health care than disadvantages.”. Make it very clear.

      Here’s an example of a grammar error: “Moreover, amount of medicines are far expensive in a profitable company” = “Moreover, the majority of medicines are too expensive in a private clinic or hospital ….”.

      If you improve that part of your essay, you could be heading for a band 7.
      All the best

      • Thank you Miss Liz! You don’t know how much this means to me. Yes you are right, its sounds confusing. Will never again use ‘it’ in mu thesis statement and will clearly state my views. Thank you once again. I’ll be taking up my exam this feb 14 and I hope I will do well.

  177. HI
    In speaking , Do they check how social a person is? or they just check English and vocabulary? Do they ask to speak on unknown topics?

  178. Miss Liz,

    It is quite confusing how much preparation is enough?

    I downloaded Cambridge books from internet. I can score around 7 (30/40) in listening and reading but writing seems more difficult, I run out of ideas after one paragraph because essay writing is not my profession. I am more involved in mathematics and numbers. What should I do?

  179. Dear Miss Liz,

    1–In your opinion how important it is to join an academy for IETS preparation or online one month course of British council “Road to IETLS”? Do you think it is beneficial?
    Or only your lectures are sufficient ?
    2–How you compare TOEFL and IELTS?
    3–Why are you interested in IELTS only?


    • Hi,

      Your first question, it’s important to get training. Getting trained by professionals is a good step. I provide many tips and lessons but this website is only a few months old and I still don’t have complete training sessions to offer – so it is good to use more than my website. The British Council offer a safe training in IELTS but it doesn’t go into detail much – but it’s a great way to start and for some students they don’t want more than that.

      IELTS and TOEFL are different tests. Of course I prefer IELTS as a testing system because I find it is more comprehensive and tests both academic skills as well as language. However, you must decide which test is needed for your purpose – only you will know that.

      I’m interested in both IELTS and TOEFL but as it takes a long time to create a useful comprehensive site for IELTS, it will take quite a long time before I turn to TOEFL.
      All the best

  180. Actually I did practice few tests but time to read questions was very short, and It was same whether speaker says prepare for questions 1-4 or for 30-40, so reading 10 questions in 20 sec time and to remember them was difficult specially if multiple choice questions are given, so that is why I wanted to enquire is that really the case as I found?

    • Hi,

      Yes, that is how the test is. It might be 4 questions at one time or 10 questions at one time. That is why when you listen, you are also actively reading and writing (answers). It’s a multi-skilled test. You don’t need to memorise or remember the questions, you just read though them, underline key words and then follow them as you listen.

  181. Hi
    In listening part of the test, how much time is there to read the questions in between each of the 4 sections?

    • Hi,

      Actually you get a break to read the questions twice or even three times sometimes in each section. As you know there are usually 10 questions in section 1 but the speaker might say “Now you have time to read questions 1-4”. This means you will only hear the recording for answers 1 to 4. Then you get another chance to read questions 5-10. So, listen to what the speaker says and how many questions you should prepare for. I’ve never measured the time given to prepare answers, possibly around 10 seconds or so. You should do a full practice listening test from Cambridge IELTS books 1-10 to get used to the preparation time.

      • I did not find any break in between sections, May be my recorded CD has been cut down.

        • hi,

          There are breaks between select questions which included moving from one section to another. Make sure you don’t use pirate copy CDS and get the real IELTS Cambridge audios.

  182. Dear Liz,
    I have also written wrong answer. I misinterpret and I had written what causes responsible for migrating professionals instead of what problems might occur if professional leaves their own counteries. Sometimes its hard to understand the topic.


    • Yes, sometimes the essay questions are tricky and you need to spend time reading them very carefully. Underline key words and reformulate the question can help.

  183. Dear Liz,

    I have done IELTS five times and every time I was so quick I mean I did not practice and I scored overall 6.5 not more than that. This time I am really serious I’ve been practicing since last week of January. Luckily I found your website because I always confused about introduction in writing task and you make my job easier. The way you explained it was fantastic. I hope this time I can achieve my aim.

    • Good luck. It’s not enough to have good English in IELTS, you also need the exam skills and techniques. Hopefully you will do better with more practice and understanding.

  184. Dear Miss Liz,

    Besides doing IELTS I am interested in knowing a thing. May I know what so you get(any money) by giving this free stuff (although valuable) and answers to the questions of people?
    May be you just put videos and someone else maintains this site. Are you real? or what is the matter.

    • Hi,

      No, I don’t earn any money from this site. I answer all questions myself, I write all lessons myself and I make all the videos myself. No one helps me with any part of it. I will be producing a series of complete IELTS videos for writing which people can buy if they want. But I will continue to provide free lessons and advice for IELTS students. It’s something I enjoy doing and it’s also something that needs to be done as so many students have no access to help or guidance for IELTS.
      All the best

  185. Madam
    Why in books the word “Lesser” is used for comparison while Little less least are 3 degrees so only “less” should be used for comparison? Which one is correct?

    • Hi,

      Less is used for comparisons. Little is used to describe quantity. Least is superlative, for example “The least quantity was …. while the most was …”.

      • Hi
        That means the word Lesser is wrong. Few days ago you gave links to practice reading with answers and writing ideas I lost them, send them again .
        You are a philanthropist.

        • I do not find my previous questions and your answers , I don’t know why , while other comments are there date viz.

          • Hi,

            It is possible you asked these questions by posting a comment on a lesson instead of on this page. Take a look at the clothes lesson in the vocabulary section – I think your answer is there.
            All the best

  186. Hi Liz,

    Another question of mine can we support both sayings of people for example :
    Some ppl says that children should learn how to compete but other thinks they should learn how to co-operate to become more useful adults . express some views and give your opinion.?

    Liz what should I do in this situation as both things are important and supportable for children to learn I can’t deny from any of them .kindly let me know how to start in this case and how to conclude in the end ……
    waiting for reply ……………………………………….

    • Hi,

      This essay question actually says “discuss both sides and give your opinion”. This means you have one body paragraph about why people support competition and one body paragraph to support why people think cooperation is important. Then you express your opinion – do you agree with one side or do you have a more specific opinion, for example “I think young children should focus on cooperation while older children should learn to compete.”

      At no time do you need to deny a side. You only need to discuss both sides and give your own opinion.
      All the best,

      • Hi Liz

        this means I can conclude this in the end ,

        In my opinion,we cannot generalize as to what factor has more significant role.Child’s Behavior is effected by the complex interaction of different factor such as parents , peers and environment.All these are totally linked with the development of the child.Therefore it is difficult to generalize which factor plays important role….

        what you say Liz is this correct version…

        • Hi,

          You need to post the essay question with your comments because I don’t know which essay you are referring to. Also for conclusions, the only way I can see if it is a good conclusion is to see the full essay. Conclusions summarise main points so I need to see the main points to tell you if it’s ok.
          All the best




              • Hi,

                Yes you must write your opinion in the introduction. However, your opinion is highly confusing because your write “PARENTS HAVE THE GREATEST IMPACT ” which means all other factors are less important. But then you write ” WE CANNOT GENERALIZE THEM AS TO WHAT FACTOR IS MORE IMPORTANT” – you can’t write this – you have already stated that parents influence children more than any other factor.

                You need to be very very careful about the language you use. If you say one is the “greatest”, you can’t then write that one is not more important that the other. Also the examiner wants to see a clear opinion.

                You might want to try this again.
                All the best

  187. Hi Liz ,,


    Is that is what this essay mean how can I agree with that as you know both side is of important need .what will be my opinion if agree and if disagree??

    If I disagree should I support equal investment on both ends.
    can u please write me the introductory para and my query..

    For sample I am writing that introductory para here:

    Its highly debatable issue some feels that government should not give importance to theaters and sport stadium but not investing money instead they should invest more amount to medical hospitals and educational institutes. In my opinion I believe that government should allocate equal amount to both .

    • Hi,

      There are two parts to this statement and therefore there are two questions to answer. Do you think money should be taken away from theatres and sports stadiums? Do you think more money should be spent on education and health care? You must decide your answer to each question and you must write than answer in your thesis statement. For example “In my opinion, I disagree that the government should stop funding theaters and stadiums but I do agree than more money should be give to health care and education.”. Your thesis statement is also fine when you say that both should be supported equally. But are you really sure you think they should be equal though? Do you really think theaters should be given the same amount of money as the health care?

      All the best

      • Hi Liz,

        Yes you are right money should be spent more on health care and education as compared to theaters …

        Thanks for helping me out as you are very supportive to everyone…


      • Hi Liz,

        You mentioned in a reply that we can agree partly with the question statement.But still I have been facing great difficulies with organizing the ideas.I have two questions regarding this.
        If the question is : ‘Some people think that private health care is better for the people. Others think that health care should be free of charge and run by the government. How far do you agree or disagree with the statement?’

        If my introduction is: Health care is a basic need of every human being.According to some individual private health services are more beneficial for people whereas the others argue that the health care system should be conducted by the government.However, as far as I am concerned, I believe that,both the public and private health care services should be available in a country as the civilians can get benefits from both of them according to their socio-economic conditions.

        Q 1) Is the introduction good enough to get a band 7 or higher ?
        Q 2) What should the body paragraphs discuss further, I mean , Paragraph 1 : Benefits and drawbacks of Public health care and paragraph 2 : Same of the private health service

        • Hi,

          A balanced approach basically means that you give a specific opinion. So, you might agree that private health care is better for serious illness but public health care is best for common illnesses. It’s not about discussion both sides. It’s about saying exactly what you agree with and what you don’t agree with – it’s not about saying I agree with both sides. So, think about your opinion further. In what situations would you agree to private health and in what situations do you think public health is better – be clear about what you think exactly.

          All the best

  188. hi liz,

    This is the speaking cue card asked in the examination today

    describe a person who impressed you with his beauty
    who is the person
    how do you know him
    why do you think him so beautiful

    can you suggestion on this topic

  189. sathish reddy says:

    where can i get answer sheet??

  190. Hi,

    You can choose to use either all capitals or small letters (but with capital letters at the beginning if the word requires it).
    All the best

  191. Hi,

    Unfortunately, I do not offer free or paid marking for IELTS. If you wish to post some writing on this blog, other students might be able to comment or if I have time I might post a comment but it will not be full marking or corrections.

    • Hi,

      I am currently up-dating that video so sorry for the inconvenience. I hope to have the new video about bar charts available tomorrow. As soon as it is ready, I’ll post it on my blog.
      All the best

  192. Hi,

    Because the instructions ask for no more than three words and/or a number, you would be allowed to have “in small groups”, “small groups” or “groups”. The answer key is pretty bad for that exercise. But don’t worry, I’m sure they would accept the alternatives.

  193. Hi,

    The most important thing in IELTS speaking is to prepare ideas and vocabulary for all the main topics and use that in your answers. For example, if the question is “Do you like parks?”, you can answer “Yes, I do. I go to my local parks every weekend, although it does depend on the weather. If it’s pouring, I usually stay at home because there’s no shelter in the park”.

    You can see with the above example, that the topic was parks. I answered the question and gave details about how the weather affects your visits to the park. So, I introduced weather vocabulary into my answer.

    Prepare your topics and practice adding more to your answers.
    All the best

  194. That is good , in the speaking test ,if the Examiner ask you a question and i answer completely which my full answer included the next question too before the Examiner ask it . Now if the examiner ask this question which i answered before ,should be answer this question in other way or can i mention what i said ?
    THANKS ^^

    • Hi,

      The examiner has quite a long list of possible questions and they choose which questions to ask and which not to ask. So if you answer includes the answer to the next question on the examiner’s list, he or she will skip that question and move on to the question after that. So, don’t worry about adding extra information to your answer – it will not affect the next question.

      I’ve add this question and answer to the speaking FAQ page for all students to benefit from:

  195. ooooooh Liz, I should have found your Website longtime ago. I would like to tell you that I did IELTS exams many time, but unfortunately I couldn’t be able to pass the writing section.
    God led me to watch your videos about the writing just before one day of the exam. I felt more power and confident. Thanks again and again. God bless you.
    By the way you have a beautiful smile. Good luck.

    • Hi
      Yes, I met 6 in writing. I’m vey happy.
      I still need your direction and your advices.
      I still need to practice more and more.
      I will prepare myself to fly to London on 25 January 15.
      My course will start on 29 January at Anglia Ruskin University.

  196. Hi Liz,
    Thank you for your generous help. the blew sentenses are correct:
    1) My apartment is well-designed.
    2) whatever she said it was only for my best.
    3) the class was so boring that is why I fell asleep.
    4) In the last year of my school, I met my favorit teacher.
    5) The number of the UK people.

    Best regards

    • Hi,

      I don’t correct student’s English. I just give advice about IELTS. I’ll post this and may be another student might comment.
      All the best

  197. hi liz, are you still offering essay marking service for free?

  198. what is the best way to write an introduction? in task one is it compulsory to always compare and contrast data in each paragraph?

  199. Ahmed abolazm says:

    Dear Liz
    how are you i hope you are doing well ,really your videos are useful so much but how can i score my writing task because i am not native ,thank you so much

    • Hi,

      It’s not easy to grade your own writing. However, following the requirements for each band score will help you understand your score. Here’a a link to understand the difference between band score 5 and 8 for each assessment criteria in writing task 1: Here are also some more tips:
      1. If you can’t find an IELTS teacher to mark your writing, get an English native speaker to check your vocabulary and grammar mistakes. If you have frequent errors, then you know you will get band score 5 or few errors you will get band 7 in each criteria for vocab and grammar. Of course there are other criteria involved for a total band score, but at least you will know your level for two out of four criteria.
      2. Practice writing charts that have models attached then compare your writing to the model.
      3. Learn and understand all the marking criteria on the link I provided. Ask my any questions if you don’t understand them.
      4. I’ll will post the band score descriptions for task 2 soon.
      I hope that helps.

  200. which is better in IDP and british council with regard to taking IELTS?

    • The IELTS tests at IDP and the British Council are the same. The examiners in IDP and BC are trained in the same way and follow the same marking criteria. You should make your choice based on personal preferences such as test dates and locations.

  201. Can I take notes in an extra paper ?

  202. how can I group the data when I’m doing writing task 1, I even get more confused if the time is limited

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