Grammar Accuracy for IELTS Writing Task 1

When you describe a chart, for example a pie chart, in 25% of your marks is based on grammar. In the criteria of grammar, the examiner will check the range of sentence structures and also the accuracy of your grammar. The more mistakes you have, the lower your score will be.

There are a number of common errors which students make with their grammar. Here is a list:

  1. Articles (using a / an / the )
  2. Plurals
  3. Uncountable nouns
  4. Punctuation (commas and full stops)
  5. Noun verb agreement (remember that third person singular in the present tense has an ‘s’)
  6. Verb tense
  7. Prepositions (in / on / at etc)

How does grammar accuracy affect the band scores?

Band Score 5 = frequent errors and there may be mistakes in punctuation. Errors may cause difficulty for the reader.

Band Score 6 = some errors in grammar and punctuation but errors rarely cause communication problems.

Band Score 7 = has good control of grammar and punctuation. Few mistakes made.

Band Score 8 = the majority of sentences are free of errors.There are only occasional errors made.

ielts grammar exerciseGrammar Accuracy Practice

Look at the following sentences and find the grammar mistakes. Each sentence may have one or more mistakes.

1. While the spending on housing was 72.2%  in 2010 the spending was 22%.

2. The spending on food were 11.2% in 1950 and 34% in 2010.

3. The biggest spending in 1950 is 72.2% in 1950 while in 2010 the majority of money spent is on food.

4. Spending on other item was 4.4% in the first year and 19.2% in the second year.

5. The pie charts shows the typical expenditure of a household in 6 main categories.

6. There was an increase in spending in all area except with housing and education, which showed a downward trend over the period given.

7. The least amount spent in both years was in health care.

8. There was significant decrease in spending on housing from 72% to 22%.

  1. There should be a comma after 72.2%. (punctuation)
  2. were = was (noun verb agreement)
  3. is = was (verb tense – this mistake is made twice)
  4. item = items (plurals)
  5. shows = show (noun verb agreement)
    1. area = areas (plurals)
    2. with = for (prepositions)
  6. in = on (prepositions)
  7. There was  significant decrease… = There was a significant decrease…(articles)


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True False Not Given: IELTS Reading Practice Lesson

Free practice reading for IELTS True False Not Given questions. IELTS reading TFNG questions come in both the Academic reading test and the General Training reading test. Below are 4 practice lessons for IELTS TFNG questions. They are not IELTS tests. They are practice lessons for IELTS students.


Question: Do you have a lesson to understand TFNG questions?

Answer: Yes, click here: TFNG Tips Video

Question: I don’t understand one of the questions below.

Answer: Read the comments boxes below. I do not provide a question/answer service.

Understanding Questions: If there is a question you don’t understand, please review the comments boxes lower down the page. I have explained many answers to students and you can find the explanations below.

TFNG Reading: Exercise 1

Passage: The Thames Tunnel

When it opened in 1843 the Thames Tunnel was described as the Eighth Wonder of the World. People came from far and wide to see the first tunnel under a river. On the first day, fifty thousand people descended the staircase and paid a penny to walk through the tunnel. By the end of the first three months there were a million people, or half the population of London. This was the most successful visitor attraction in the world. In the age of sail and horse-drawn coaches, people came long distances and bought souvenirs and listened to the entertainment in the cross-tunnel arches. The idea, of course, was not entertainment but to move cargo and turn a profit.

Notice: This passage is from You can read the full article here: The Thames Tunnel

Questions 1-5

Are the following statements true, false or not given according to the information in the passage?

  • True = the statement matches the information in the passage
  • False = the statement contradicts the information in the passage
  • Not Given = the information is not found in the passage
  1. People were drawn from all over to see the Thames Tunnel.
  2. There were 1.5 million people living in London at the time.
  3. People were able to travel by sea or land in those days.
  4. Statues of the tunnel could be purchased as souvenirs.
  5. The aim of building the tunnel was make money as a tourist attraction.


Click below to reveal the answers.


I do not provide a question/answer service. Please read the comments boxes below for further tips. From IELTS Liz

  1. T
  2. F (the passage says that 1 million is the equivalent to half the population of London, which makes the population of London 2 million)
  3. T
  4. NG (no information is given about the types of souvenirs sold)
  5. F (the aim was to make money through moving cargo)


TFNG Reading: Exercise 2

Passage: Pyramid Building

The pyramid blocks were hewn from quarries using stone and copper tools. The blocks were transported to the pyramid site from remote quarries using barges, and from local quarries using wooden sleds. The Egyptians did not use the wheel during the Pyramid Age, an invention that would have been of limited use on softer ground under heavy loads. The sleds were dragged manually, sometimes with the help of beasts of burden, over smoothed roads. Some of the existing pathways were equipped with transverse wooden beams to lend support to the sled. A lubricant may have been poured upon the road to reduce friction.

Egyptians successfully completed the most massive building projects in all of history. There is nothing magical or supernatural in the means by which they achieved their goals, as is commonly thought. By all indications, they retained their knowledge of construction throughout their history, but they were limited after the Fourth Dynasty not by the lack of technology but rather by the lack of the abundant resources that were previously available. More than two thousand years later, the Romans would move huge stones, some weighing nearly 1,000 tons, using similar techniques at Baalbek.

Notice: The above passage is from: You can view the full article here: How the pyramids were built

Questions 1-7

Decide if the statements below are True, False or Not Given according to the information in the passage.

  1. The wheel was invented during the Pyramid Age, even thought it was not used.
  2. Sleds were dragged by animals not humans.
  3. It is possible that Ancient Egyptians could have lubricated their roads to aid transportation.
  4. The building work of the Ancient Egyptians is unrivalled.
  5. Some people believed that magic may have been used by the Ancient Egyptians.
  6. Limited technology limited the construction of the Ancient Egyptians in the Fourth Dynasty.
  7. The Romans learned the techniques of moving huge stones from the Ancient Egyptians.


Click below to reveal the answers:


I do not provide a question/answer service. Please read the comments boxes below for further tips. From IELTS Liz

  1. NG
  2. F
  3. T
  4. T
  5. T
  6. F
  7. NG

Here is a list of useful vocabulary and below that is an audio so you can listen to the pronunciation of the words.

  • hewn = cut / chopped
  • granite = a type of stone
  • to be of limited use = not very useful
  • dragged = pulled
  • manually = by hand
  • friction = resistance
  • ramp = slope / inclines
  • configuration = formation
  • conjecture = guesswork / estimation / surmise
  • retained = kept
  • abundant = plentiful / rich / ample


TFNG Reading: Exercise 3

Composer Ludwig van Beethoven was born on or near December 16, 1770, in Bonn, Germany. He is widely considered the greatest composer of all time. Sometime between the births of his two younger brothers, Beethoven’s father began teaching him music with an extraordinary rigour and brutality that affected him for the rest of his life. On a near daily basis, Beethoven was flogged, locked in the cellar and deprived of sleep for extra hours of practice. He studied the violin and clavier with his father as well as taking additional lessons from organists around town. Beethoven was a prodigiously talented musician from his earliest days and displayed flashes of the creative imagination that would eventually reach farther than any composer’s before or since.

In 1804, only weeks after Napoleon proclaimed himself Emperor, Beethoven debuted his Symphony No. 3 in Napoleon’s honor. It was his grandest and most original work to date — so unlike anything heard before that through weeks of rehearsal, the musicians could not figure out how to play it. At the same time as he was composing these great and immortal works, Beethoven was struggling to come to terms with a shocking and terrible fact, one that he tried desperately to conceal. He was going deaf. By the turn of the century, Beethoven struggled to make out the words spoken to him in conversation.

Despite his extraordinary output of beautiful music, Beethoven was frequently miserable throughout his adult life. Beethoven died on March 26, 1827, at the age of 56.

Notice: The passage above is from You can read the full article on this page: Ludwig Van Beethoven. There is also a great video to watch about this composer.

Questions 1 – 8

Are the following statements True, False or Not Given according to the information in the passage.

  1. It is not known exactly when Beethoven was born.
  2. Beethoven suffered cruelty at the hands of his father.
  3. Beethoven’s father was also a talented musician.
  4. It is possible that Beethoven’s early sufferings lead to his creative genius.
  5. Beethoven’s  Symphony No. 3 was inspired by a famous man.
  6. Contemporary musicians struggled to perform the Symphony No.3 on the opening night.
  7. In the early 1800’s Beethoven struggled to follow a conversation.


Click below to reveal the answers.


I do not provide a question/answer service. Please read the comments boxes below for further tips. From IELTS Liz

  1. True
  2. True
  3. Not Given
  4. Not Given
  5. Not Given
  6. False
  7. True


TFNG Reading Exercise 4

Passage: Spam Messaging 

SPAM, as every user of mobile phones in China is aware to their intense annoyance, is a roaring trade in China. Its delivery-men drive through residential neighbourhoods in “text-messaging cars”, with illegal but easy-to-buy gadgetry they use to hijack links between mobile-phone users and nearby communications masts. They then target the numbers they harvest, blasting them with spam text messages before driving away. Mobile-phone users usually see only the wearisome results: another sprinkling of spam messages offering deals on flats, investment advice and dodgy receipts for tax purposes.

Chinese mobile-users get more spam text messages than their counterparts anywhere else in the world. They received more than 300 billion of them in 2013, or close to one a day for each person using a mobile phone. Users in bigger markets like Beijing and Shanghai receive two a day, or more than 700 annually, accounting for perhaps one-fifth to one-third of all texts. Americans, by comparison, received an estimated 4.5 billion junk messages in 2011, or fewer than 20 per mobile-user for the year—out of a total of more than two trillion text messages sent.

(Notice: Passage from The economist, November 2014)

Questions 1-7

Decide if the following questions are true, false or not given.

  1. In China, SPAM text messaging is a successful business.
  2. People’s phone numbers are collected through the use of technology which cannot be readily bought.
  3. In no other country do people receive more Spam texts than in China.
  4. In 2013, the number of SPAM texts increased considerably to reach 300 billion.
  5. The majority of all texts received in Shanghai and Beijing are SPAM.
  6. In 2011, Americans sent more texts than anywhere else in the world.


Click below to reveal the answers.


I do not provide a question/answer service. Please read the comments boxes below for further tips. From IELTS Liz

  1. True (roaring trade)
  2. False (the gadgetry = technology / easy to buy = readily bought ). This is false because the passage shows it is easy to buy which contradicts the statement.
  3. True
  4. Not Given (there is no information if the number given had increased or decreased before hitting over 300 billion)
  5. False (only one third are SPAM at the most)
  6. Not Given
  • intense = strong / extreme
  • roaring business = successful business / booming business
  • residential = suburban
  • gadget = device
  • harvest information = collect / gather
  • sprinkling = smattering
  • counterparts = equals / colleagues
  • spam messages = junk messages
  • digits = numbers / numerals


IELTS Reading Practice & Tips

A free video lesson and list of tips for IELTS Reading TFNG: IELTS Reading TFNG Tips

All Reading Lessons and Tips: IELTS Reading main page on

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Form Completion for IELTS Listening Practice

It is a common to be asked to fill in a form for Section 1 in IELTS listening. It is also the easiest type of question in the listening test.In section 1, there are two speakers exchanging information on a social topic. It is often a phone conversation.

Check what type of information you need to listen for and be careful of traps. Common traps are when the answer is given and then changed by one of the speakers.

This is a practice listening for filling in forms and is useful for IELTS practice.

Form Completion

Write no more than three words and/or numbers.

Oxford Orientation Summer Course

Name: (1) Maria ………………………………………
Date of Birth: (2) ………………………………………………….
Country of Origin: (3) …………………………………………….
Subject: (4) …………………………………………………….
Number of places: 1
Course Dates: (5) ………………………………………….
Accommodation: (6) shared ………………………………..
Flight Number: (7) …………………………………………………
Email Address: (8) ……………………………………………………


Hello, this is the Oxford Orientation Summer Course booking office. How can I help you?
I’d like to book a place on a summer course this summer.
Certainly, let me take some details and then I’ll reserve a place for you. What is your full name?
It’s Maria Bueno.
So that’s Maria Beno – BENO?
No, actually it’s BUENO.
When were you born?
I was born on September 12th, 1985.
And which country do you come from?
I’m from Spain.
Well, we’ve got two different courses this summer. We’ve got the orientation for art history and museums and also one for photography. Which one would you like to book for?
The latter, please.
And is that just the one place for the photography course?
Yes, that’s right.
The course you’re interested in runs twice this summer, from June to July and again from August to September. Which one suits you best?
I think the August to September.
That’s fine. Just a few more details and then we’re done. The accommodation we offer on the course is all shared so you can choose from a shared room, a shared flat or a shared house.
Oh definitely not the shared room. I’d prefer the shared flat if you have one.
OK. What I need now are your flight details and also your email address.
Well, I’m coming on Iberia Lines flight IB316 arriving on July 29th. And my email address is
Well, that’s you booked then for a summer course starting in August. Is there anything else I can do for you?
No, that’s all. If you could just email me confirmation of my booking, that’s would be great.
I will do. Thank you. Goodbye.

1. Bueno (capital letter not needed)
2. September 12th, 1985 / Sept 12 1985 / 09/12/85
3. Spain
4. photography
5. August – September / August to September (capital letter not needed)
6. flat
7. IB316



IELTS Listening: Table Completion Practice, click here

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Common Questions for IELTS Speaking Part 1

There are over 15 types of questions which frequently come in IELTS speaking part 1. Even though the topics change, the common questions are often repeat so you should develop techniques for each type of question. Watch this video tutorial to learn what types of questions the examiner usually asks in IELTS speaking part 1 and also learn useful tips to help you identify the aim of each question.  Transcript

Hello my name is Liz. In this lesson I want to look at a different types of questions that the examiner might ask you and IELTS speaking part 1. Now as you know you need to prepare lots of different topics so for example family hobbies going out birthdays but you also need to prepare the different types of questions. So even though the examiner will ask you about different topics the questions are often the same. Let’s have a look at some common questions for IELTS speaking part 1.

So let take a look at a common topic and that’s the topic of cooking. It’s a common topic to get in speaking part 1. Now you can see a list of  questions here so let’s take a look at these questions more closely. What you can see is that each question begins with a different question word and this is very important to understand about speaking part 1 because every topic that you get in speaking part 1 can have questions that start with these question words. So for example, Read more….  

IELTS Speaking Part 1: Common Questions


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IELTS Essay Introduction for an Opinion Essay

This lesson looks at how to write an IELTS essay introduction for an opinion essay. The introduction is the easiest part of any IELTS essay as it follows a similar content for all IELTS task 2 types.

This lesson is a follow-on lesson from last week. Learn how to find main points before continuing with this introduction lesson: Finding Main Points for an Opinion Essay:

Every one of us should become a vegetarian because eating meat can cause serious health problems.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

How to write an IELTS essay introduction
  1. Write one statement paraphrasing the information given. This will be your background statement. Make sure you paraphrase the information exactly and don’t include any irrelevant or extra information in it.
  2. When you paraphrase, make sure you are using words that you are confident with. It is good to paraphrase but you will reduce your band score if you have too many errors.
  3. Introduce your answer in the thesis statement. The thesis statement follows the background statement. It should contain your answer, your main points.
  4. Don’t write more than 50 words for your introduction.
Model Introduction

Eating meat is considered by some to damage our health and for that reason they believe all people should adopt a vegetarian diet. In my opinion, although a vegetarian diet is certainly a healthy option, having a balanced diet, which contains vegetables and some healthy meat, is the key.

Vocab Builder
  • cause serious health problems = damage our health
  • become a vegetarian = adopt a vegetarian diet


Next lesson, we will look at how to write the body paragraphs for this essay.

Recommended Lessons

Finding Main Points for an Opinion Essay (Previous Lesson for this topic)
IELTS Video Lesson for Writing Task 2: How to write an introduction
IELTS Video Lesson for Writing Task 2: Connecting Sentences
IELTS Liz YouTube Channel

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Vocabulary for IELTS Writing Task 1 Line Graph

This lesson looks at some essential words to describe a line graph in IELTS writing task 1. To get a good band score you must show the examiner a range of different words to show upward and downward trends. IELTS line graphs show change over a period of time and you must vary your language when you write your report.

Line Graph Vocabulary

ielts line graph vocabulary

Mistakes when using words will affect your band score. To get band score 6, you must have only some errors with a range of vocabulary. To get band score 7, you must have few errors with a good range of vocabulary.


Fill in the gaps with the vocabulary from the table above. Make sure you adapt the words to make the sentences grammatically correct. The completed paragraph below is an example of a body paragraph for a line graph.

line graph vocab practice

Fill in the gaps with the correct vocabulary. You should use no more than two words for each gap.

The number of cases began at 100 in 1983 and then the figure 1. …………………… steadily to reach 200 in 1987. In the following year, there was 2. …………………… back to 100 before rising to 3. …………………….. 400 in 1989. The number4.  ………… slightly to 350 in 1991 and then 5. ……………….. dramatically to a low of 0 in 1992.

  1. rose / increased / climbed / grew / went up
  2. a fall / a decline / a slump / a decrease
  3. peak at
  4. dropped / fell / declined / decreased
  5. dropped / fell / declined / decreased (it is also possible to use “plummeted” or plunged)


Recommended Lessons

 IELTS Line Graph Model: click here
IELTS Video: how to write a line graph complex sentence, click here
IELTS Video: the 4 main complex sentences, click here
Video Lesson: IELTS writing answer sheet, click here

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IELTS Multiple Choice Reading Practice

This multiple choice reading practice has lots of academic language similar to the academic paper in IELTS reading.

First Test to Predict Alzheimer’s

The world’s first blood test to predict Alzheimer’s disease before symptoms occur has been developed. The test identifies 10 chemicals in the blood associated with the disease two to three years before symptoms start, but it might be able to predict Alzheimer’s decades earlier.

Globally, 35 million people are living with Alzheimer’s. It is characterised by a toxic build up of amyloid and tau proteins in the brain, which destroys the neurons. Several blood tests can diagnose the disease, but until now, none has had the sensitivity to predict its onset.

But with no treatments available, would anyone want to take these tests? Mapstone says “In my experience, the majority of people are very interested to know whether they will get Alzheimer’s. They believe that knowledge is power – particularly when it comes to your own health. We may not have any therapy yet but there are things we can do – we can get our financial and legal affairs in order, plan for future care, and inform family members.”

Questions 1 – 3

Choose the correct letter A-C

  1. The test can predict Alzheimer’s…….

a) two or three years before the illness begin

b) two or three years from the start of the symptoms

c) a decade before

 2. This test is the first blood test which can …….

a) cure Alzheimer’s

b) estimate the start of the disease

c) diagnose the disease

3. Mapstone believes that ….

a) this test will help people understand Alzheimer’s

b) people want to know about their health

c) people want power


Click below to reveal the answers.


1 = a   Before symptoms start = before the illness begins (2nd sentence)

2 = b   Estimate the start = predict its onset (2nd paragraph, last sentence)

3 = b

Vocab Builder
  • 2 or 3 years from the start of = 2 or 3 years after symptoms start
  • predict = foresee / forecast / foretell
  • occur = happen / came about
  • associated with = connected to
  • characterise = typify / exemplify
  • symptoms = signs (of an illness)
  • onset = start / inception

All reading exercises on have been written by myself to help you prepare for your IELTS test.   



Passage from New Scientist, 09/03/14

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Summary Completion: IELTS Listening Practice

IELTS Listening Summary Completion Exercise

This exercise is typical of IELTS section 3 and 4. First read through the summary and predict the types of answers you need for each gap.

The Terracotta Army

Complete the summary using no more than three words and /or a number.

Questions 1-5

The terracotta army was made in order to 1.  …………………… the emperor after this death in his afterlife. This funerary art has been estimated to be from the 2. ………………. and was discovered in 1974 by the 3. …………………… The majority of the sculptures were 4.  …………. and 5. ………….. sculptures of cavalry horses were also found.

The Terracotta Army is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BC and whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife.
The figures, dating from approximately the late third century BC, were discovered in 1974 by local farmers in, Xi’an. The figures vary in height according to their roles, with the tallest being the generals. The figures include warriors, chariots and horses. Estimates from 2007 were that the three pits containing the Terracotta Army held more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which remained buried in the pits nearby. Other terracotta non-military figures were found in other pits, including officials, acrobats, strongmen and musicians. (from wiki)
  1. protect
  2. third century BC / 3rd century BC
  3. local farmers
  4. soldiers
  5. 150
Vocab Builder
  • to depict =show
  • purpose = aim / function
  • vary = differ
  • warrior = soldier
  • majority = greater part
  • figures = people


Recommended Lessons

IELTS Listening Practice: Sentence Completion
IELTS Listening Practice: Short Answer Questions

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