Transferring Answers in IELTS Listening and Reading

Do you get an extra 10 mins to transfer your answers in IELTS listening and reading? This is extremely important to know.

IELTS Listening: Extra 10 mins

You will listen for 30 mins to a recording and you will answer 40 questions. Your answers will be written on the question paper. You can also make notes and underline on your question paper. At the end of the recording, you will be given 10 mins to transfer your answers from the question paper to the answer sheet.

IELTS Reading: ?

You will be given your reading passages with questions. You will have 1 hour to read the passages and write your answers. Your answer will not be written on the question paper, you MUST write your answers directly onto the answer sheet. You will NOT be given an extra 10 mins to transfer answers. At the end of 1 hour, the invigilator will collect your answer sheet.

Writing Answers: Tips

  • Always pay attention to spelling. If you spell the word wrong, you will lose the point.
  • Pay attention to plurals. If you miss the plural “s”, the answer will be marked wrong.
  • Make sure you put the answer in the right box on the answer sheet. Putting answers in the wrong boxes will affect your score.

IELTS Listening & Reading Lessons

You can find more tips and practice lessons on the main pages. Click to open …

IELTS Listening: Tips & Practice Lessons

IELTS Reading: tips & Practice Lessons

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  1. Hey Liz,

    Could you please help me out with the following:
    How do you transfer answers on the answer sheet for multiple questions with multiple answers? For example.
    Q: “For questions 4-5 choose two letters from A-E”.
    Suppose the answers are A & B, do we write the answers as
    4: A, B
    5: A, B
    4: A, B
    5: B, A
    4: A
    5: B

    Does the sequence of the letters matter? Will it be incorrect if we write only one letter for each question? (Like in set 3)
    Please let me know all the correct/incorrect ways of writing answers for such questions. Thanks in advance.

    • If question 4 and 5 are two letters – why have you written 4? Just write two in any order,

      • Hello Liz,

        I could not understand you reply. Would it be possible for you to attach a screenshot of how to fill answers for multiple choice questions or write it in the reply section.

        Will the correct answer be (in any order)-
        4) A, B
        5) A, B

        Should I put comma between all the options?


        • You can put them in any order. You can have:
          4. A
          5. B
          or you can have
          4. B
          5. A
          If you are asked to choose two letters for questions 4 and 5 then each answer will be one letter.
          If you are asked to choose two letters for question 4, then that one answer will have two letters – you do not need punctuation in IELTS listening.

  2. Hi Liz, thank you for all the help.
    I want seek help with regard to my confusion in answering questions in the listening and reading sub tests. If a question requires two answers (filling in gaps) and the blank spaces are separated by “and”, how would I write my answer in the answer sheet? For example the answers are wealth and prestige, Can I write it in this form: WEALTH, PRESTIGE ?
    I hope you could clarify this. Thank you and more power!

    • It is very simple. You write two words: WEALTH PRESTIGE. Just leave a reasonable gap so that the words are clearly visible. IELTS is not a trick test – just be logical.

  3. Hi, thanks for the material,
    I am willing to write all my answers in capital letters to avoid capitalization mistakes, but what about matching to a roman letter as (iv) , should I write it as it is in the answer sheet or I can Write (IV) to be consistenet with the other answers?

  4. Hi Liz. I did a silly mistake. I was not aware that reading will not have the additional 10 mins. I have answered everything on the question booklet and unable to fill out the answer sheet. Is there any chance the examiner validated the question booklet. Thanks in advance.

  5. Dear Liz,
    In ‘fill in the gaps’ questions which give items labeled by letters to choose from, do I lose mark if I write the words in the answer sheet rather than the letters, provided that the question says ‘…write the letters….’

    For example:

    Over time ….. are accumulated.

    A. stones
    B. sediments
    C. sands

    If the correct answer is ‘A. Stones’ and we write the word ‘stone’ in the answer sheet rather than the letter ‘A’, do we lose mark? or It receives mark.
    Thank you so much.

  6. Deep Bharaj says

    Can we write answers or make notes on the question paper and then transfer them to the answer sheet in the listening part

    • All your answers and notes will be written on the question paper. You will have 10 mins at the end of the test to transfer all your answers to the answer sheet. This is not the case with computer based listening. The timing is different as answers are written directly and there’s only 2 mins to check them.

  7. Hi Elizabeth,
    Will you please clarify my doubt
    my answer- auditorium
    book’s answer which i got after booking the test with BC- An auditorium

    Will it be marked wrong or right?

  8. Hi madam,
    In listening, how to transfer the answers for the questions where we are asked to circle the correct one. Should we write the correct answer and circle it?
    Please help

    • I have never seen an IELTS question that required you to circle the answer. Make sure you are using materials published by IELTS for practice tests.

  9. Manjeet SINGH says

    Gd afternoon mam, I have a silly doubt about Roman words. In reading passage the heading was written in I II III capital but i write on answer sheet i ii iii in small .please tell me it will be wrong or correct.

  10. giorgia burzio says

    Hello Liz!
    I did my Ielts test today, and in the reading section I wrote T, F and NG instead of true, false and not given (in the answer sheed of course). They will mark them wrong? I did not do it on purpose, I didn’t think about it cause I always write T, F and NG during my training!
    I’m pretty worry because they were 7 points!

  11. Hi Liz, I just gave my IELTS and have a doubt. Will it be considered as a mistake if I split a word? For example, I wrote North gate as my answer but I heard it’s supposed to be Northgate. Can you help me out, please? The question was not more than two words and or a number.

    Thank you

  12. Hi Liz,
    In the listening test, is the answer considered wrong if i spelled it wrong?
    and if write (the) instead of (a) would be wrong?
    for example, I wrote (the female elephant) and the correct answer was (a female elephant)

    • You do not use brackets in listening answers – never. Brackets are used in books, not in the test answer sheet. Your answer is either 100% correct, or it is marked wrong.

  13. Rajinder kaur says

    hi liz what is the right way to written the answers
    for example 🙁 Computer) or (COMPUTER)

  14. Rekha Siva says

    Hello liz,
    In listening section,
    For example:
    where will melaine get information from?
    (no more than two words)
    can the answer be like:
    a) contacting council
    will the answer be marked wrong if i write the answer (a)?

    • As you see from the question, the word “where” means that you need to write a place. Is “contacting council” a place? Is that the name of the place? Or is “council” the place? Just answer the question.

  15. Hello Liz,
    I took the IELTS 2 days ago but I made the mistake of answering all the questions in the question paper during the reading test thinking that there will likewise be time to transfer the answers to the answer sheet.
    Will there be any chance that the markers will consider marking the question script hence it was collected (?)

  16. Hello ma’am,

    How much time should we spare to transfer the answers onto the answer sheet in the reading section?

    • You should NOT transfer answers into the answer sheet. You MUST write your answers directly on to the answer sheet. There is not time for transferring. You should try doing a full reading test at home in 1 hour – you will see the problem with time.

  17. Hello Liz,

    I have my exam on 29th July. I only use your website for preparation of IELTS and I really appreciate the way you teach it. Thanks for all the useful stuff.
    But I am really stuck with few doubts Liz, please clarify me on these –

    1) As you asked to write or I shall say it recommended to write ALL CAPS in listening and reading sections, I have decided to do the same but I request you to officially tell me if i use the ALL CAPS pattern, how to write the roman letters in reading section ???
    For this please select one set of answers below that i can use for my reading test:-

    SET A:-
    1) ii
    2) A
    3) TRUE
    4) BEETLES
    5) 5 AM


    SET B:-
    1) ii
    2) A
    3) True
    4) 5 am


    SET C:-

    1) ii
    2) A
    3) TRUE
    4) BEETLES
    5) 5 AM

    Why I have asked you this because, I have a doubt about the way of using the roman numerals for match the heading questions if I am going to use ALL CAPITAL LETTERS FOR ALL 40 QUESTIONS.

    2ND DOUBT:-
    If you have two answers for the same question and in the same blank to fill up, How to separate those :-
    two answers:-
    1) A,B
    2)A & B
    3) A B

    Its really important for me to know the above, as I have been banging my head but could not understand what to do.

    Liz, need your strong advice on this issue.

    Thank you in advance.

    • For your first question: all sets are fine. For your second question, just leave a space A B. If you want to use a comma, it is also fine. But don’t add words or symbols such as “&”. – the “and” is not necessary and is wrong.

      • Thanks for the reply LIZ.

        few more doubts are that:

        1) Can I use the capital roman numerals like these – I,III,VI if I want to write all capitals in reading section especially for the match the heading questions ?

        2) One more doubt is that in some sites if I type a roman numeral in capitals its showing as I, II, III, IV but in some it is displayed as I,II without horizontal lines above and below .

        So How should I write the capital letters of roman numerals , in which way madam?
        with lines above and below or without ? Especially the letter ” I ” as in writing it with or without horizontal lines above and below or just a single line ?

        I know its a silly doubt ma’m , but want to write the right thing in exam.

        Please advice me on this.

        Thanks a ton.

        • Roman numerals are not letters so the issue of capital letters is irrelevant. This means you can write them as you want. As long as they are clear – it’s fine. My advice is to use the same form as written on the question paper.

  18. anemen wassie(annuity) says

    hi Liz how are You? i am so interested to watch your ielts preparation material and thanks so much more for your help and i wish you long live with health. Liz i am watching your videos. but is it important to watch different BBC news for my listening skill? i will take the IELTS General training module after two months. listening is difficult for when i sit for exam. but others are good relative to listening.

    • You are referring to two things. 1) listening skills 2) IELTS listening exam skills. They are not completely the same. Listening to the BBC and other sources of English language online is great to improve your English listening ability in various accents. It helps with topics, vocabulary and many things. However, it won’t help you develop techniques for multiple choice, sentence completions or other questions that come in IELTS. Therefore most teachers will recommend that you do both. You practise developing your listening skills by watching the BBC and also work on your IELTS listening by practising different types of questions as well as doing authentic IELTS test practice at home.

  19. I am so grateful to you for reminding all these tips once again before my exam, which is scheduled for the next weekend. I had completely forgotten the fact, that the invigilator will collect my answer sheet at the end of 1 hour. Thanks so much Liz 🙂

    • I’m so very very glad you read this before your test to remind you. There are so many things to learn about the IELTS test, it’s really easy to forgot tips. I wish you lots of luck!!! 🙂

    • Hi SV,

      All the very best for your exam on 13th May. …..R u taking Academic Module? ??….. In which country u will be taking the test?

      I will be taking Academic test too on the same date ……

  20. Hello liz,
    I really enjoy watching your videos and your valuable tips.
    I am currently preparing for IELTS Academic and it is my first experience. There is just something I have noticed on a rare ocassion in a listening test calimed to be an actual one in 2017. In that test, the recording played literally 4 times only thus; it was played for each 10 questions (like a milestone) which was really hard. I have never noticed such incident in cambridge tests (except for section 4 of course)..
    So, is this normal and likely to happen in a real IELTS test?
    Thank you in advance liz for your help…

    • In the IELTS listening test, the recording is played once. This means you will have a chance to read the questions, then you must listen and write down the answers at the same time.

      In section 1, at the beginning there is a sample answer played to give you a chance to get used to it. After the short sample is played, the full listening test will begin and you can listening only once.

      See this full authentic listening test: Before you listen to the test, download the question paper and answer sheet – print them. Then do the full test like in the real test with 10 extra mins to transfer answers from the question paper to the answer sheet. This is one of the most important things to do to prepare for the IELTS test.

  21. Thank you for such important and useful information.

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