IELTS Video: Listening practice with numbers

It is common in IELTS to be asked to listen for a number. The most common numbers that IELTS use are the numbers 15 / 50. Many students have a problem with hearing the difference between these numbers.

Watch this lesson to test yourself on listening for these difficult numbers and also review the pronunciation.


  1. Priti Sen says


  2. Good afternoon ma, believed you are doing fine now, I joined your website new. Please, where and how can i buy the Cambridge IELTS book for practice?

  3. Anthony HC says

    I want to thank you for such a great job with all your videos, tips, strategies, etc. Hope that you are getting well, I read that you had some health problems, for that, I want to wish you all the happines and a fast recovery for any illness you may have.

    Thank you miss Liz!

    • Thanks for your message. I’m glad you are enjoying my lessons. I appreciate you wishing me well. My health is still an issue but I hope next year will be better for me.

      • hello ma’am. i hope you’re doing well. i wish you a happy new year. your website and video lectures have helped me immensely and i hope you recover soon. please take care of yourself more power to you!!!

  4. Thank you for the number pronunciation. For my first attempt I got all ten answers correctly without understanding the clue. But your feedback has added my guidance to even maintain and improve on this

  5. Krishna Hasanthi Wellappili says

    In December 2019 I scored overall 7 (7 for every section except listening). Only for listening I scored 6.5. For that I practiced only 3 weeks. Now I am trying for a overall score of 7.5 or 8

  6. jalil says

    Hi Lizzy, thanks for this, can you do another similar one for dates ??

  7. Alabi Racheal Olamide says

    I got it all πŸ˜‚

  8. Rengky Yasepta says

    Thank you Liz.
    I am one of your students. Your lessons are great and easy to understand.
    My name’s Rengky. I’m from Indonesia.

  9. Zanera Nawaz says

    Thanks Liz
    I got all correct answers

  10. Toyirjon Iskandarov says

    Hi, Liz! I’ve recently found out about your online videos. Thanks a lot. I’ve done all correct which makes me feel more confident for achieving my goal in IELTS.

  11. Santosh says

    Hi Liz,
    This is regarding the usage of letter O or zero as we know zero can be pronounced as ‘oh’

    leys say the question is – reference code AS98OL

    the intended answer is O but what happens if we write 0 (zero) which is AS980L

    Please help, my exam is in 2 days.

    • If a code contains numbers and letters, no native speaker would use “oh” as a number, they would always use “zero”.

      • Jooyoung Oh says

        Hi Liz
        But in Cambridge IELTS 6 Listening Test 1, in Part 1, in number 10, the speaker reads the number 0 as ‘oh’. Would this be a problem? Thank you.

  12. Tom Temesgen says

    Thanks, I am in good progress for coming exam on May 30, 2020.
    I know it is because of you Liz.

  13. All were correct..Thanks, Maam for your tips and constant help.

  14. Eduardo says

    Hi Liz.
    Do you have any tips for letter “H” and number “8”.
    I had an exercise where they spelled a carΒ΄s plate and was very difficult to distinguish

    • The two are pronounced quite differently:
      H = A-ch
      8 = A-t
      As you see, it the final sound that is different. You need to differentiate between “ch” and “t”. I’ll try and make a listening lesson with this at some point.

  15. Got all…Thank you Ma

  16. RUTH IRENE says

    I got all right. Yay!!

  17. Sarezh Mohammed says

    I got all correct, well done

  18. Thank you Liz,
    For your teaching… I got all correct…

  19. Shayak Munshi says

    Dear Liz,

    Thanks for this essential lesson.I got all correct as focussed on the syllable stress and specially the suffix “teen” and “ty”.
    Could I request you to have a video about different accents used in the test and also common errors made by IELTS students.


    • Different accents are a good idea – the problem is I work alone πŸ˜‰ Not sure if I can mimic different accents hehe. Common mistakes – I’ll add that to my list.

  20. pushpa says

    Hello Liz
    Please advise how to write the various currencies in the listening module eg., 20 dollars/twenty dollars/ $ 20. Also, what if they are talking about other currencies like Dinar, Yen, etc.

    • IELTS are not testing your knowledge of currency symbols. They will either ask for the common international ones or they will give the currency symbol in the question which means you won’t need it for your answer.

  21. Julia says

    Hi Liz
    I have a question about what happends if in the listening says twenty-five and instead of writting it with words, I write it with a number like 25.

    • IT is normal to write numbers as digits. It is not normal to write numbers as words in IELTS listening.

      • Hempreet says

        Hey liz sometimes they speak like its thirtees of that person .. its difficult to distinguish between thirteen and thirtees.. could u help with this too

        • I’m not sure I understand fully. The examples you gave are very different – one has an “s” on the end and the other doesn’t. The pronunciation is therefore very different.

      • Opeoluwa dada says


  22. Owolabi Victor says

    Thanks Liz
    Got all correctly

  23. Tangina says

    Thanks mam for the video.i made all correct….

  24. Rimpy says

    I got all correct

  25. John Ogunsakin says

    I got all correct

  26. Sarah says


    This are all mu answers..
    Thank you so much Liz for this free learning tools. Your a rare gem.God will bless you abundantly.Since i came across your page been glued to it practicing for my exams coming up on the 23rd march.By his grace will testify soon with a band 8.5 upwards.Amen

    Thank you for all.
    stay awesome

  27. Nyienepok Francis says

    You are just amazing Liz. God will continue to bless you abundantly

  28. One suggestion to Trainees, It is good if you practice without observing the lip movement of Liz. The sessions are really good.

  29. Miss Liz,

    You are doing an amazing job ! way to go

  30. Sha Jahan says

    I got 10 out of 10

  31. Simran Mudhar says

    Hi Liz!
    You’re doing an awesome job, it’s a like a blessing to all the IELTS learners.
    This lesson is really helpful to me as it has brought more clarity to my listening skills, yet I find it a bit difficult at times as the speakers from the test audios do not really emphasis on the sounds as I learned from the above video. (i.e. longer sound of ‘teen’ and shorted sound of ‘ty’.
    For instance, one of my answers from the test was wrong as I heard 50 with no emphasis on ‘een’ sound but actually the answer was 15. (same was mentioned inn the transcripts too). The speaker in the audio often speaks it so swiftly that it becomes really hard to distinguish between the two based on the sounds (15/50). Are there any other possible ways to differentiate?

    kindly, help with the same.

    • The word stress is in a different place with each number. The number 15 has the stress at the end of the word. The number 50 is clipped and has the stress at the start of the word.

  32. Johanna Jacobsen says

    Hi Liz, My student Yigit want’s to know if it matters if large numbers include a comma. ….?

    • We use commas as a way to divide the large numbers into chunks that are easy to read. It helps the reader. It is easier to see: 1,000,000 is a million than writing 1000000 – the reader must now carefully count the zeros to check. So, for IELTS, it is useful for the person marking if you use commas and can help avoid errors in marking. But commas aren’t a requirement. You won’t lose marks if you don’t use them. If people prefer not using them, then my advice would be – make all your letters and numbers easy to read when you write them on the answer sheet.

  33. jacob ahmad says

    Hi Liz, I wanted to enquire about something. When the instructor says ”you now have half a minute to check your answers”, can I use this time in reading the following questions rather than checking, or would be illegal?

    • It is 100% fine. In fact, it is recommended to use that time to read forward and underline key words in the questions. You can review your answers at the end of the listening test when you have an extra 10 mins to transfer your answers to the answer sheet.

  34. Dilip Singh says

    Hello Liz,

    I would like to thank you for the your help in preparation for IELTS. I have doubt on a question asked in Section 1 One word and/or a number.

    Tuesday _______ June.

    I wrote the answer as ‘5’ instead of writing ‘5th’ which was spoken on the audio will it be incorrect?

    Please guide.

  35. Arshad says

    Dear Liz,

    I am a big Fan of yours.

    I have one doubt. How can i write below in Capital Letters.
    1. 1st NOVEMBER

    which one is correct.


  36. Dinar Fenuvy says

    Hi Liz, I’ve got some problems writing email address and web address on Listening answer sheet. I’m confused weather I could write email address or web address in all Capital letters. Normally, I write my ans using all capital letters. On the other hand, if i want to write my ans in lower case , Is it really important to capitalize nouns like New York, Bailey Road or Sebastian Larsen ? or I can simply write them in lower cases if I want.

  37. Kamal Basnet says

    I heard dates on tape as 25th December but answer provided in key is 25 December. Which is correct one?

  38. Dear Liz,
    I am confusing about the following answer from IELTS Cambridge 9 test 3 ques 20. Instruction shows that “one word and/or numbers” and the answer is “5 to 12”. My question is if I write “5-12” is correct?

    • It depends what the question is. Each type of question has different requirements.

      • If the question is “one word and/or numbers” and answer “5-12”, then it will be correct?

        • Let me repeat – it depends on the type of question (not only the instructions). Types of questions include sentence completion, note completion, diagram completion etc. The full question must be considered as well as the instructions. Spend more time doing full practice tests, analysing questions, analysing answers and reading transcripts.

    • Hi ,

      The correct answer is 5 to 12 as per the instructions it says one word = to and /or numbers(more than one numbers) so 5 and 12.

  39. we want practice lesson related tonnumbers and time …can u provide me plz

  40. Yang Danxia says

    Hi, Ms. Liz, I’m in China. I can’t open any of the videos. What shall I do?

    • My free video lessons are youtube videos. You might need to work around the Youtube block in China.

  41. Hy Liz I have a question when I have to wright an hour for example 8 : 30 somebody told me is wrong should be 8 . 30 is that wright ?

  42. James says

    Hello there Liz! Hope you’ll find some time for these querries ☝🏼. And hey, please know that your free website is making so much difference in this world! You’re such a magnificent person doing this for free. God speed to you.

  43. Hi Liz,
    Does tens of thousands means 10,000? Thanks

  44. Nelson Tivane says

    Hi Liz, my Name is Nelson Tivane, from Mozambique (SSAfrica). First at all, let say, you have an amazing voice and such lovely accent, I wish it could be the only voice to hear throughout ielts listening test… it would be more easy to understand.
    I am going to do, for the third time this year, IELTS test. Yes, for the third time. Yet, it kind motivate me. Mostly because now, i got to know your web and I think that i was able to overcome most of my ex-standing doubts. I am writing just to say, THANKS, it has been so helpful… Today I did the speaking component, although there were a couple of hesitation (when I was talking about the given topic), I believe that I did it well. Lets see what is coming tomorrow, i will let you know about the results and, i hope, to add a “thank U Liz once more because, this time, I did it”.
    Best regards

    • Good luck tomorrow!! Make sure you manage your time well in reading and writing πŸ™‚

  45. Millie says

    Hi Liz!
    I’m really loving your site! Another tip I’d use for fifteen and fifty would be the stress:

    15 = fif-TEEN has its stress on the 2nd syllable TEEN, while
    50 = FIF-ty’s is on the 1st.


  46. sushama says


  47. Hi, Liz! I have a one question. For example, in listening test from Cambridge I wrote “seven screen” instead of “7 screen” (in answer key), is it still mistake, even though instruction says that I can write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS/and/or a number?
    I would be thankful if You could comment on this!

  48. I need to watch the videos but these do not run; don’t know what’s the problem. Any help please?

    • It might be due to your internet connection. These videos are streamed online.


        • I’m not sure but it might be. I know many forms of video are blocked in China. My free videos are youtube videos which are difficult for Chinese students to watch. Also my advanced writing task 2 video lessons might also be hard to watch.

  49. Shazaratul Zannat says

    Hi Liz,
    I think,there is a rule to write single numbers as words.In the Cambridge listening scripts ,the rule is followed but in the answer keys, it is sometimes followed,sometimes not.
    For example…fifth taste is in the listening script but in the answer keys they’ve written 5th taste(instruction was to write no more than two words)
    If I write fifth taste ,will it be wrong?

    • The rule of writing numbers under 10 as digits rather than words applies mainly to writing, not listening. Most answers in listening will accept either word or number if the answer is a single number, such as “4”. Most instructions say “no more than two words and/or a number” which means you can add a number to your answer as a digit. Or the instructions say “no more than two words and/or numbers” (plural) which means you can add one or more digits to your answer.

  50. Amber says

    Hi Liz

    If the requirement is “not more than two words” . Do i write a) fifth taste or b) 5th taste as my answer? Because I thought 5th is actually a number. Thank you πŸ™‚

  51. Hossam says

    Hello Liz,
    I followed most of your lessons on the listening test, and targeted it very well. But I still have a very big problem, that when I practice a test at first I hear well but by the time I mostly hear bla bla bla and feeling lost specially with the mcq questions I can’t catch the speech or organize it.

    Can you advise me?


    • Liz says

      Learn to focus on key words in the questions. You are listening for answers only.

      • Hossam says

        Time is my enemy

        • Liz says

          Time is your enemy if you are trying to understand everything in the recording. But if you are just aiming for answers, your concentration is more focused. Also if you are aiming for band 7, it means some answers will be missed or wrong – that’s normal. So, just try to maximum your score on the answers that are achievable. It’s all about working with your strengths. Also you can make notes or cross out answers in multiple choice, then select the right answers when you transfer to the answers sheet.

  52. Hina Vadsarya says

    Hello Liz,
    I got all correct for numbers practice lesson but I have written spelling for that. For number it is okay to write numbers like eighty instead of 80, or have to write only numbers.
    Best Regards
    Hina Vadsray

  53. Hi Liz

    I would like to ask something regarding time. Is it appropriate to write the answer in a 24 hour clock format for instance 0915, 2210?

  54. Hi Liz,
    You are doing more than good infact.

    My question is about using Capital letters.Can we use capital letters only to answer listening module of IELTs Listening?

    I meant to say that I want to write CONFIDENCE instead of Confidence.Will that be acceptable for all answers?

    Please enlighten us with your knowledge

  55. Hi Liz

    Thank you for your great effort.

    I want to ask you a question about telephone numbers.
    I’ve just did first listening test on Cambridge IELTS 8.

    In the first part, there was a telephone number 01674553242 and i wrote it correctly on the answer sheet. However, in answer keys, correct answer seems to be 01674 553242.(no other alternative) this is quiet confusing because we are allowed to write “no more than two words/and a number”. in the recording, speaker stops for a second between 01674 and 553242, so does it mean we have to care about that when answering?

    i observed the same situation in the post code as well. again in the official cambridge book, my answer for post code was WS62YH, but the answer is WS6 2YH. (again, no alternatives for the answer)

    whats your tip on that ?

  56. Hi Liz,
    I hope you’re doing well.
    Thank you for you helpful videos, they are successful indeed.
    The most difficult part in the listening is the third one -for me-.What do you suggest?
    I appreciate your assistance.


  57. M.AWAIS says



  58. Mohit Aggarwal says

    Hi Liz,

    Hope you are doing well !

    I have gone through your listening test’s tips and techniques and believe me its really helpful. ‘
    I am practicing listening test with Cambridge IELTS 9 and 8, and I noticed that in section 4, I am scoring very less marks because speaker generally speaks quite fast in last section. What you think probably be solution to improve my score. Could you please suggest any special tips which I should concentrate on.
    Please help !


    • Make sure you develop strong techniques for each type of question. Also make a list of common errors you make in listening section 3 and 4. Practice preparing the questions in the time limit provided so you can identify answers more easily using paraphrasing and key words.
      All the best

  59. Hello liz,
    I was doing some practice test from IELTS 9 book,
    In test 2 (listening) Section 1 there is form completion ,
    One Question is : Date of Birth :
    My Answer :31/03/1972
    But In Answer Key its : 31 March
    will my answer be wrong ?
    MAN: Could i ask your date of birth
    WOMAN: 31st March 1972

    • Yes, your answer would be wrong. If you can have only one word and one number, then you can only write “31st March”.

      • Sanone (saigon) says

        honestly, i feel that ielts is messed up. What I believe is that…
        Date of birth – you must have day, month and year.
        Birthday – day and month

        above is what we have had studied when we were young, why would ielts confuse us?

        sorry about punctuation, typing using mobile. also please post this, i would like to know what other students think.

        • I know that this post is old but i can’t help it.
          Your answer depends on the instruction or required number of words or numbers allowed. Right? πŸ™‚

          • Yes. If you can have “one word and numbers” (plural), it means you can have a day and year. Otherwise, just one number.

  60. Hi Liz,
    I have a doubt in answering listening and reading sections. In both these sections can we write some answers in all capital letters and some answers in small letters or will it create a bad impression.

    Awaiting your reply.

    Thanking you in advance,

  61. Dear Liz,
    I would like to thank you for your awesome work.I have started to learn something from your site.As far as I saw, I think if I follow your site then that will help me for getting good band score.I have a request to you.If possible so add a vocabulary list with synonyms in your site.

  62. Nawar says


    Actually, I do not have a question, but I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your great efforts.
    I have passed the TOEFL IBT 100/120. However, it is no longer accepted in the UK!
    Thus, I am preparing for the IELTS test which I find more difficult! But, thanks to you, the material you offer will make a great start for me. I have like 40 days left! I hope this will be enough for 7+ band

    Yours Faithfully

    • Spend time learning about IELTS, about the types of questions, learn topics, develop ideas and practicing answering questions, writing essays and doing listening / reading practice. Check all pages, they are all useful.

    • Sanone (saigon) says

      Hey Nawar, that’s because bureaucratic monopoly.

  63. john says

    good morning ma’am ,i’m confusing at B -P -D-T

  64. radwa says

    I would like to ask about …that when i saw alot of videos about listening test i noticed that they maby saying the noumber in deffrient way like instead of zero thay say o … is that possible !!!! Thanks

    • Yes, that is correct. We usually use “zero” when we relate to individual numbers but “oh” when we talk about telephones. But that isn’t a fixed rule.
      All the best

  65. Lamiye says

    I would like to get high scores like you !

  66. Manju says

    Reading is a big problem for me I don’t why

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