IELTS Test Tips & Advice On the day

Below are some tips for the day of your IELTS exam. This tips are to guide you before your IELTS test and also during your test. These tips are for both GT and Academic tests. All pages on my site are relevant this year, 2023.

On this page, you will find:

  1. Tips for “on the day” of your test
  2. Last Minute Listening Tips
  3. Last Minute Reading Tips
  4. Last Minute Writing Tips
  5. Last Minute Speaking Tips

It is important that everyone reads this page before the test day and also on the morning of the test day. Good luck 🙂

1) On the Day IELTS Exam Tips:

Be prepared for your IELTS exam by making sure you know exactly what will happen in the day of your test. Check all tips and rules below.

  1. Sleep & Eat Well
    1. The IELTS test is long. It takes 2 hours and 40 mins to do the listening, reading and writing test. There is no break between the tests. Make sure you are well rested and have eaten in order to keep your concentration during your test.
  2. Clothes
    1. Wear comfortable clothing. You are not marked on your appearance for any part of the test. So, wear something that you are comfortable in and that gives you confidence.
    2. The test room might be cold in the aircon is on, so take an extra layer of clothing with you. Or if you are worried it might get hot, wear layers you can take off.
  3. Drink
    1. You can take a drink into the exam room as long as it is in a transparent bottle.
  4. Arrive Early.
    1. Make sure you know how long it takes to get to your IELTS test center and exactly where your test will be held. Don’t be late or you won’t be allowed to enter the exam room. You will need to check in so make sure you arrive with plenty of time to spare.
  5. Toilet
    1. The listening, reading and writing tests take 2 hours and 40 mins. There is no break so make sure you go to the toilet before you enter the exam room. If you need the toilet during the test, put your hand up and the invigilator will let you go. But you will lose valuable time by doing this and it could affect your score.
  6. No Phones
    1. You will not be allowed to take your phone or any other electronic items into the test room.
  7. Pen, Pencil & Eraser
    1.  You should take at least two pencils and one pen – just in case one of them stops working. You should also take an eraser as well. You can’t take a dictionary or extra paper into the test room. For your speaking test, you can take nothing into the room except your ID.
  8. ID
    1. Check with your test center exactly what ID you need to take with you. Don’t forget it. The ID you take with you should match the details on your registration form.
  9. Listen to Instructions
    1. Listen carefully to all instructions given before your test starts.
  10. Clock
    1. There will be a clock on the exam room. You cannot take a watch into your test. Make sure you know where it is before your test starts so you can keep checking it in your reading and writing test. You can’t take your watch into the exam room.
  11. Disability
    1. If you have any form is disability that will affect your test, you must speak to the test center well before your test date.
  12. Focus & Be Calm
    1. Make sure you go into your test with a clear aim and an understanding of the techniques you need to use. Be calm and confident at all time.


  • Don’t cheat
    • This is an international test and cheating or copying is not allowed.
  • No dictionary
    • You are not allowed to use any form of learning aid in your test.
  • Don’t take the test paper home
    • You are not allowed to take any part of the question paper home with you.
  • Don’t continue writing after the invigilator tells you to stop. If you continue writing even one word or one sentence, you could have your whole test invalidated. In the computer based test, you won’t have the chance to continue writing as the screen with shut down at the precise time the test finishes.

IELTS Test Tips During your Test

The following IELTS test tips for each part of the IELTS exam will help you focus on the right things during your test. Don’t lose marks by not being prepared.

2) IELTS Listening Exam Tips

  1.  Make sure your headphones are working. Raise your hand if you have a problem.
  2. If loud speakers are used instead of headphones, make sure you can hear the recording. If you need the volume increasing, raise your hand immediately and someone will come to ask what the problem is. Explain that you need the volume increasing.
  3. Use the time given to prepare the questions. Always read through all questions before the recording starts and note keywords. Thet keywords will help you keep track of the information and listen for answers.
  4. Answers to questions come in order (question 1 and then question 2 etc)
  5. Underline keywords in the questions. You should practice speed reading questions and spotting keywords at home as part of your preparation. For the computer test, you can highlight words in the screen.
  6. Focus on listening for answers rather than trying to understand everything. You win a point for each question you answer correctly.
  7. Write your answers on your question paper while you listen. For the computer test, you put the answers directly into the computer.
  8. Pay attention to how many words and/or a number or numbers you can have for each answer. Many people forget to check this. For example, “15 workmen” is one word and one number, “driving test” is two words.
  9. You will be given 10 mins after the recording has ended to transfer your answers to the answer sheet for the paper based test. For the computer test, you’ll only get 2 minutes to check your answers. Always check your spelling – any spelling errors and the answer will be marked wrong.
  10. It is recommended to use ALL CAPITAL LETTERS FOR YOUR ANSWERS for the paper based test to avoid problems with handwriting. This is not an issue with the computer test.
  11. For 25 essential tips for listening, watch this video: IELTS Listening Essential Tips 

3) IELTS Reading Exam Tips

  1. Read the instructions carefully and make a note of how many words you can use for your answer. Each word is counted, for example “university reception hall” is three words and “workbook” is one word.
  2. Each answer is worth one point so don’t waste too much time finding one particular answer when you could spend the same amount of time finding two easier answers. You decide when to move on to the next question.
  3. Keep your eye on the clock. Make sure you have enough time for the final passage.
  4. You can tackle the passages in any order you want. This is the same for the questions – you can skip questions and come back to them later if you want.
  5. Write your answers directly on to your answer sheet for the paper based test. There is no extra time for transferring later. For the computer test, your answers will be put directly into the computer.
  6. Always spend time analysing the questions before looking for an answer. If you don’t analyse the question enough, you’ll end up jumping from question to passage so many times because you are confused which wastes valuable time.
  7. Look out for paraphrasing. Find the keywords in the question and pay attention to paraphrases in the passage.
  8. Your aim is to find answers – not to understand the whole passage. Focus on your goal – find as many answers as you can.
  9. It is recommended to use ALL CAPITAL LETTERS FOR YOUR ANSWERS for the paper test to avoid problems with handwriting. This isn’t an issue with the compute test.
  10. Spelling is essential to get right or the question will be marked wrong.

4) IELTS Writing Exam Tips

Click on red links to access more pages:

  1. Don’t spend more than 20 mins on task 1. Keep checking the time so you don’t make this mistake. You need 40 mins for task 2 as this task carries more marks and requires more words.
  2. Always write over 150 words for task 1 and over 250 words for task 2. See this lesson about the recommended word count.
  3. Don’t count the number of words you have written. You won’t need to total up the words and you won’t need to mention them at the end of your essay. If you are concerned about word count, just quickly count the lines and multiple by the usual words you see on a line with your writing. See this lesson to learn about using the official IELTS writing answer sheet properly. For the computer test, there is the advantage of seeing how many words you have written appear on the screen.
  4. You can plan your essay on the question paper. No extra paper is given for planning. The examiner will not look at your planning, only at your essay. Planning is essential because the examiner will be marking the chosen content, not just your language. For a quick overview of the writing task 2 marking criteria, click here: Band Scores & Tips for Writing Task 2
  5. Always write a clear overview for task 1 academic. See here about the conclusion/overview issue. For GT task 1, make sure you cover all points requested in your letter.
  6. Always write your conclusion for task 2. Never miss it out. If you only have 3 mins left, use it to write your conclusion. See this video: Using the last 5 minutes
  7. Always organise your writing for both tasks into body paragraphs. Paragraphing will be marked.
  8. Check your spelling. You can use either American or British spelling but don’t mix them.
  9. Keep all information focused and relevant. More does not mean better.
  10. If you run out of paper, put up your hand and you can get more.
  11. Do not remove any paper from the exam room.

5) IELTS Speaking Exam Tips

  1. Practice speaking English before your test. Practice expressing your opinions on different topics and talking about your past experiences.
  2. This is an informal interview/chat with an examiner. So be friendly and open. Explain what you mean.
  3. Be chatty. The more willing you are to use English, the better.
  4. Listen to the question and answer it directly. Be direct. This applies for part 1 and part 3. For part 2, you will have a chance to prepare your answer.
  5. Add more information (details, examples, description) to all answers. Keep talking until the examiner stops you.
  6. Don’t ever be silent. There is never a reason for your English to completely stop working.
  7. Don’t focus only on vocabulary. Vocabulary is only 25% of your marks. However, do make sure you use relevant topic based vocabulary. For example, if your top is Happiness” then you will use words such as “smile, laugh, giggle, contentment, joyful, fulfilment” as well as antonyms (opposites) such as “sad, depressed, feeling low or feeling down”.
  8. Idioms are not the key to a high score. Most candidates overuse idioms that are too common or outdated. The examiner will note if you use idiomatic language but that doesn’t necessarily mean idioms. Instead use phrasal verbs – calm down, bring up, work out, get over etc. Phrasal verbs are the best types of idiomatic language to use in IELTS.
  9. The questions are not aimed to test your knowledge. Each question is just a chance to show your English.
  10. You can wear anything you want. This is not a job interview. Clothing does not affect your score. Aim to be comfortable.
  11. Use a range of grammar tenses in your test.
  12. American or British English pronunciation can be used. A mixed accent is also fine. The key is to make sure your words are easy to understand.
  13. Ask the examiner to repeat the question if you need it. See this lesson about asking the examiner questions.
  14. If the examiner interrupts you, don’t worry about it. It’s a normal part of the speaking test. Just focus on the next question.
  15. The examiner will provide a pen and paper to prepare your talk for part 2. The examiner will not look at your plans and will only mark your talk. It is fine to look at your notes and at the cue card during your talk, but also try to make eye contact.
  16. May people are worried they won’t understand the cue card. Don’t be. The cue card is always written in simple English and topics are common topics. Review Misunderstanding the Cue Card page if you are concerned.

IELTS Exam Tips: One Week Before

  1. Full IELTS Practice Tests
    • Make sure you have completed at least one or two complete IELTS practice tests before your real test. See my useful websites page for links to free IELTS practice tests.
  2. Practice using the Official IELTS Writing paper : a free download link is given under the video.
  3. Review common topics for IELTS speaking and IELTS Writing.
  4. If you are worried about your test, consider booking two tests. You can choose to use the certificate with the highest overall score.

The exam tips above  are summarised from the official IELTS sites:

Always check with official sources in case of any changes in rules.

Good luck with your test!

All the best

Liz 🙂 


  1. Rumbi says

    Hi Liz

    I’m a medical doctor hoping to migrate soon, God-willing. A friend of mine referred me to your page a month ago. I subsequently wrote the IELTS academic test at the end of June and did really well;
    Overall – 8.5
    S – 9.0
    R – 8.5
    L – 8.5
    W – 7.5
    I just wanted to say how grateful I am for the material you’ve freely provide. I can honestly say I couldn’t have gotten through the test without your help. Many people downplay the test and say “oh it’s just English” but your techniques and approaches to each section and question type proved invaluable! I’ve just written a few tips below to help other potential candidates.
    Lastly and most importantly, I would like to wish you well on your journey to recovery. I pray that God would give you the strength and renewal that you need to keep going, not only for the work you do but in your personal life as well 🙏🏽

    *General tips*
    • Practise as much as possible! And don’t only practise, use the right material as well. I used Liz’s lessons and practise material, in conjunction with the “Road to IELTS” material given by the British Council upon registration. I also used the Cambridge books.
    • The decision to write the CBT vs the paper-based test is paramount. Personally, while I’m competent around computers, I opted for the written test because I felt that I would be more comfortable with that. So take time to compare the pros and cons for both then make a decision. The only downside for the paper-based for me was the waiting time for the results but other than that, I don’t regret my choice

    I was pleasantly surprised with my reading mark. This was probably the section that gave me the most anxiety 😄
    Time management is key! More than any other section, I found it most important to practise under exam conditions for the reading part. The hour goes by super quick so I can’t stress enough how important it is to do mock practises for the three sections. Spend the least amount of time on section 1 as far as possible. There are usually less questions there anyway. Practise the types of questions according to Liz’s advice. There are only a few types that need a deeper understanding of the text such as the “match the heading/paragraph” type of questions. I found these most challenging. The rest of them, which usually account for the bulk of the test can be tackled by skimming through the text.

    Relax and speak to the examiner as you would to a friend. Be polite, smile and interact as you normally would. As much as you can practise, and that’s definitely necessary, there’s no need to memorise your answers. Read up on common topics that you may not have enough knowledge about in order to familiarise yourself for example space travel, environmental issues etc

    For this section, I’ll highlight the importance of planning, especially with task 2. Having a general idea of what your points are and where to put them, i.e the paragraph structure, will really help you to write a cohesive piece. Liz’s material really helps with this. The time restrictions are also important. The 20-40 guideline, for task 1 and 2 respectively, really helps. For the exam I think my time split was 25-35 and I still had time at the end to read my essays. Don’t neglect the diagram/flow charts for academic test practise! I focused a lot more on graphs only to get a diagram in the test 😅 Lastly, I did the paper based test so I didn’t have the benefit of a word count as is the case with the CBT. I found that practising a few essays gave me an idea of how long it would take me to write the specified range of words as advised by Liz. Therefore when I got to the exam, I didn’t pay too much attention to the number of words.

    • Such a great score. Very well done to you!! And thank you for sharing your tips and experience of preparing for IELTS. I know many people will really appreciate your advice. Wishing you all the best for your future 🙂

  2. Nahian Islam says

    Hello Liz,
    My exam is scheduled for next month. Could you recommend a book that can help me improve my vocabulary? I’ve been following your vocabulary section, but I’m looking for advanced preparation for my exam.
    Thank you.

  3. Vineeth says

    Hi Liz,

    I got an overall band of 7.5 with following bands in each module –
    L – 8, R-8.5, S -6.5, W-6.5
    And I am satisfied with the results as I have achieved my target of above 7 overall. Thanks to your tips and practice lessons, especially the listening and reading parts. I believe that you continue to assist the students in getting a high band score as long as you can and also I hope you will have a good future ahead, the way you wished .

    Once again thanks a lot

  4. Sashini says

    Thank you so much, Liz. I had only one week to prepare and I got an overall band of 7.0 all thanks to you!!! (Listening – 8.5, Reading – 6.5, Writing – 6.0 and Speaking – 7.5)
    Just wanted to say, you are amazing, THANK YOU!!!

  5. Hey,
    First, thank you for this incredible blog!
    And, I just have a question about the results. When you say “ we can use the best score from any test “ does that mean that we can make a mix of two test results?

  6. I have my test on upcoming 4 days. I’ll be here after getting my result. Hoping for the best and thankyouuuuuuu liz.

    • Good luck!

      • Hello liz
        i like the way you explain the classes, Ive learnt and explored a lot after listening to your listening and reading classes.I have my test on upcoming 4 days.i will be here after getting my result. Hoping for the best
        you are the only who provide tiny and helpful details without charging fee
        Thank you for your kind efforts miss liz mam

  7. Muhammad Numan says

    Only few persons do provide tiny and helpful details without charging fee.
    Thank you for your kind efforts Miss Liz.
    I’ve test coming week. I hope I will get good band score.

  8. Sharon Avilés que says

    Hello Liz, hope this message has a response. I have done 3 tomes the Academic Exam, hoping for a band 7 score on writing. My last attempt was on May 28th. Did not obtain the score. I am really condering on asking for a second Exam review, have you heard of this review being usefull for the test taker? It is really hard to complete the IELTS payments. Already lost all my motivatión…

  9. Nmagay says

    Hi Liz,
    Thank you so much for this free ielts resources which is of great help everyone despite of taking test.

  10. Innah says

    Hi Liz,
    I just wanted to say Thank you! 5 years ago, I bumped in into your website and despite I have enrolled myself on a review center, your content helps me better! Because of you and your website, I was able to get a band score of 7 in writing which enable me to practice as nurse in the UK. Now, I am about to take my permanent residence here. Just wanted to say thank you and I guess it is very safe to say that you truly changed life of so many people! Once again, thank you.

  11. Najaht says

    Hello liz,
    Thanks for creating this wonderful site. I used your site to prepare for my test and I did it yesterday. However what happen during the listening test was so dishearting. The headphone fumbled and I missed 5 questions. I complained to them about it and I was told to fill a complaint form. Please what I want to know is that will something be done about it because I fill the place I missed with guess answer just to be on a safer side and also because of the instruction not to leave a blank space.
    I will await your response.

    Thank you

    • This is something you need to talk to your test centre about. You must ask them if your score will be amended appropriately due to the faulty headphones.

  12. Ajay Karan says

    Hi Liz, I hope you are well.
    I watched all your videos on Youtube and went through your website for my IELTS exam preparation. I have just received my scores and I got 8.5 overall bands.
    I am elated and eternally grateful to you for your guidance and helping me reach this score. I didn’t take any tuitions or follow any book. Your lessons were enough for me to pass it with flying colours. Thank you very much! I absolutely love you for this. Best wishes always.

  13. Subba says

    Hi Liz,

    Hope you are doing well,
    Thank you for putting up this wonderful page, I am certain it has helped more than what we can count. One of my acquaintance recommended me your page and it has been truly a remarkable resource. I was able to score 8.5, thanks to all the minute tips you have recommended.
    Wish you good health and speedy recovery!


  14. Hello Liz,

    First of all thank you the amazing content on your site!
    In the speaking test, the examiner was speaking very softly, I could barely hear her but I managed. But I think I misinterpreted what she asked for 1 question and I just answered whatever I could hear since I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to tell her to repeat as she was too soft.
    Also, this test was taken with our masks on – that could be one of the reasons her voie wasn’t clear.
    What’s the best way I can deal with it now that the test is over?
    Can I put in a comment somewhere on their website so it can be consiered for my score?

    • It is unlikely that such a situation will be taken into account if you tell them. You have the choice to ask the examiner to speak louder. It is an informal test – you can ask for questions to be repeated and for the examiner to speak louder. You didn’t choose to do this. Also, the level of English you gave in the test, won’t be affected by that. You aren’t marked on understanding the question – only on the English you produce. So, your score would remain the same. Hopefully, you will still score well. Even if you misunderstood a question, it won’t matter. If, on the other hand, your score isn’t as you wish, you can either ask for a remark or take the test again. The remark will also not take into account your struggle to hear the examiner. If you take the test again, now you know, you can ask again and again for the examiner to speak louder. But, as I said, hopefully your score will be fine. Good luck!

  15. Hello Liz,
    I really can’t thank you enough. With the help of your videos, I got an overall band score of 7.5.
    You are the best.
    Love from Turkey

  16. Hello Liz!

    I just wanted to share some great news. I just got my IELTS (academic) test results and I passed! I got an overall band score of 8.0! L:9, R:8.5, W:7, S:8

    Thank you for your free lessons and practice questions. They were really helpful.

    Keep up the great work! 🙂

  17. Hello Liz,
    You write: “… consider booking two tests. You can use the best score from any test.”
    Does that mean that it is possible to have the best grades from two tests certified on one document by the British Council?
    Who should I contact in this case?
    Best regards,

    • You seem to have miss understood. If you have two certificates, you can choose to use the certificate which has the best results. It does not mean you can pick a listening score from one certificate and a reading score from a different certificate, and then put them together. You choose the best set of results – which means one certificate.

  18. Gurvinder Singh says

    Dear Liz,
    Gurvinder Singh from India. I cannot really thank you or whatever I say will be really less to praise you as your lessons and videos and all the learnings helped and supported me a lot for the IELTS preparation. I studied much from your website where in I used to see the comments that people dropped when they felt to thank you when they received their desired bands and I used to think the same way that even I’m going to do this one day and the day has come. I got my desired band which is 7.
    In our tradition way, we thank our mentors by providing them ” Guru Dakshina ” . I cannot provide you any Guru Dakshina but please accept this comment to be from a discipline student of yours.

    Your loving student,
    Gurvinder Singh

    • Wonderful to hear that you’ve hit that elusive band 7. Very well done 🙂 I’m so pleased you found my site useful. Thanks for your kind and thoughtful message 🙂

      • Hi Liz….I just finished my speaking test and it went well too. Really thankful to the support and lessons that you deliver through the words are awesome. Nothing to say really. I will pray for your health. Get well soon.

  19. Madhura says

    Dearest Liz, Your website is extremely helpful. It has proved to be one of my best resources while preparing for IELTS. I sincerely appreciate all the videos, tips, questions that you have posted on your website. God bless you ALWAYS.


  20. Hi Liz 😃 I took my Ielts this month and scored an overall band score of 7. I thoroughly went through your site for all the modules. To my surprise, I scored an 8.5 in listening 😍(by understanding the traps, reading ahead and practicing) . I kinda freaked out during the reading, wish they had a timer instead of a clock in the hall as that helps in getting a better idea of how to divide time. In writing, only 5 minutes were left while I was still writing my third body para, so I jumped straight to the conclusion (keeping your tip in mind). Your tips were immensely helpful and so was the comment section, as that helped in clarifying a lot of doubts through your responses to others. Happy to have found a reliable source. Thank you so much 🙏🏻 I’ll surely recommend your channel and site to anyone who’s preparing for Ielts. Wishing you lots of health and happiness ma’am 😘❤️

    • Wonderful news!! I’m so glad you took on board all my tips. You’re score is great and something to be really proud of. Well done 🙂

  21. Hi Liz,
    Thank you for your wonderful website and books! I purchased all of them and found them to be very useful. The books really help to generate ideas, despite, in order to avoid plagiarism, they should be paraphrased.
    I haven’t got a desired band score of 7, but i was so close to that getting 6,5. So, I am getting prepared for my second attempt.

    Is an essay evaluation service available on your website?

    • I’m glad you are enjoying my e-books. Unfortunately, I don’t have an essay writing service yet. Hopefully one day. Meanwhile, take a good long look at each of the marking criterion. Take a look at how you are approaching TR. Then review your use of linking words and the range you use. Take it step by step. Also make sure you are trying to avoid errors in grammar and vocab. Errors will reduce your score and this is often the reason people struggle to get band 7.

  22. Dennis says

    Hi Liz,

    Just wanted to say thank you for this website and all your lessons. Its content was all I studied for 2 weeks prior to my test and was able to get an overall band score of 8.5.

    Would recommend this site to anyone taking the test. Keep up the good work!

  23. Hi Liz,
    Thank you for being such an amazing teacher. I had two weeks to study for my IELTS so I only referred to your blog and videos and here is my scorecard:
    Listening – 9
    Reading – 8.5
    Writing – 8
    Speaking – 8

    Thank you once again! You deserve nothing but the best 🙂

  24. Hi Liz,

    Just had my Speaking test at Pune India. It was a face-to-face interview with masks on. Till today I was a quiet visitor here and was passively learning from your videos. I would like to share my experience of today’s test for the benefit of others. Also, I would like to thank you Liz for all the efforts you have taken to share expert advice with all.

    My questions:
    Part 1
    1. Do you work or study?
    2. What do you actually do as part of your job?
    3. Do you find your job easy?
    4. Will you continue this job in the future?
    5. What type of clothes do you like to wear?
    6. Do you wear different clothes on weekdays and weekends?
    7. Is there any color you do not like?
    8. Why do you not like this color?
    9. Do you agree buying from brands?

    Part 2
    Describe an activity that you occasionally do and is expensive.

    Part 3
    Why do people buy expensive things?
    Are there any other reasons to buy expensive things?
    Do men and women buy different expensive things?
    You mentioned that the gap has reduced nowadays, why do you think so?
    Why do even richer people want to have more money?
    Does this give them happiness?

    I have my LRW test on Saturday. Will post that experience as well. Thanks again Liz, you are doing so much for society.

  25. Mariana says

    Dear Liz,

    I am going to take a computer-delivered test. The Speaking exam in this case must be taken on the same day. Do you have any suggestions as for the order in which it is preferable to take the tests: speaking prior to other sections or vice versa? What is the optimal length of a break (minutes, hours) between the parts of the exam to relax and put myself together before another go?
    And there’s one more question I’d like to ask. Does your tip to write everything in capital letters also concern computer-delivered tests? Shall I use Caps Lock in my short answers? Does it matter if I use words like per cent or dollars instead of symbols % and $ in my short answers.

    • You will be given a time for your speaking test. It is always hard to do it on the same day as the other sections because you will feel exhausted. Between the LRandW, there are no breaks. You take all three tests at one time. As for the speaking test, you must wait until you are given a time. Contact your test centre if you are concerned about this.
      About writing in capital letters, this is mainly so that people have clear handwriting. So, for the computer based test, do as you wish. Common symbols are best typed as symbols.

  26. thank you so much for your website it helps me a lot for my yesterday exam , part two was about conversation that you did not like , and questions around that for part 3, and part one about job and sport and picnic out side, writing was about today travel is cheap and easy and people travel more what is positive and negative point , part 1 was bar chart comparing working hours of men and women. reading one passage was about coffee and another was about individuality and third was about herbal tea as a medicine for listing there was map

  27. Dear Liz,

    I understand the advantages and reason for your recommendation to use Capital letters only but during my mocks, I realised I tend to do multiple spelling mistakes and take more time to answer the questions. Due to which my score drops to 6 to 6.5. However, if I write small letters, my spellings and time are managed pretty well and I score between 7.5 to 8.

    Do you think it’s alright to still go ahead with small letters or should I develop the habit of upper case letter?

    P.S: My test is scheduled in 2 weeks.

    Thank you.

    • In this case, go for small letters. Just make sure you write all letters very clearly so that the person marking doesn’t struggle to read them.

  28. Satya tejeswar adapa says

    Thank you Liz for you valuable information 😊😊

  29. Thanks a lot Liz for the free lectures. My exam is tomorrow morning and I can’t wait to share my goodnews with you when the result comes out. Hope you are getting better. Keep being you.

  30. Preksha Panchamia says

    Hi Liz, I have my test tomorrow I have a small doubt. So I was practicing an online reading test where the instructions stated clearly to fill in the black with not more than two words but now the answer was 100% so should I have written ‘ hundred percent’ or ‘100%’?


    Is the requirement to do all the WRITING for the Reading and Writing Test [General] in UPPER-CASE applicable to someone doing the Computer based test ?


      Oops I see that this was answered as YES by another subscriber. Sorry for repeat ~

      • No problem. I’m glad you are using the comments boxes to learn. The comments boxes on this site also provide loads of information 🙂

  32. Hi Liz
    Let me start by saying you are a true mentor, your videos and study material helped me immensely. I appeared for ielts general exam on 12 th September. My result came out as following
    Listening 7.5
    Reading 7
    Writing 6.5
    Speaking 7.5
    I was disappointed with writing because in my opinion I did well and was expecting to score 7 , so I applied for revaluation and today I received the result stating that my writing band increased from 6.5 to 7.5. I am extremely delighted and over the moon.
    Thank you so much Liz you are a wonderful tutor and without your help I wouldn’t have scored such good bands. Bless you!

  33. Ibraheem says

    Hello Liz, first I’d like to thank you for sharing your contents freely! It means a lot, especially for deprived people.

    I have been struggling with the writing, I sat the test three times this year, aiming for band 7, but I ended up with band 6 twice and 6.5.. It’s frustrating, but after watching your videos, I think I understand why I got low scores. In task 1, I always missed the overview paragraph, also writing the actual numbers/percentages, and in task 2, I used a mixture of simple and complex sentences, and I think I did not write more than 250 words. So, I’m going to sit the test once again, but I’ll be following your valuable advice this time.

    • I’m glad you’ve spotted some of your mistakes. It’s important not to take the test again until you have realised what to improve. The overview paragraph is the most important paragraph in task 1 academic paper and all statements in the body paragraphs must be supported by the data given. For task 2, you should aim for between 270 and 290 words. It is not necessary to go over 300 words for a high score. Always aim for accuracy in your writing rather than trying to impress. Good luck!!

  34. Dear Liz,

    I just received the results of my 2nd attempt and I’m delighted to state that I accomplished the objective!

    L: 8.5 R: 8.5 W: 7 S: 7 OBS: 8

    I cannot express how grateful I am for your help in such an uphill struggle. Thank you so much and all the best!

    I hope you get over the issues you are facing regarding your health as soon as possible. Praying for you!

    • Sorry for the very late reply. Great to see your scores!! Well done! Thanks for your wishes for my health.

  35. Thank you so much Liz!!

    Luckily I got to know about your website a month before my exam, and it helped me a lot to score 7.5 in my first attempt.

    Thanks again..Amazing work..!!
    Stay healthy, stay positive.

  36. Sandeep Shukla says

    This is best site to brush up , just one day before the exam.

  37. Abhilash says

    Hi Liz,

    I’m glad that I came across your videos and website. It’s really filled with abundant knowledge one must look for IELTS.
    I will be attending computer based exam next week. I wanted to know if it’s fine to use all capitals in listening and reading sections of CBT too?
    Thanks in advance 🙂

  38. Sathvik says

    I just finished my ielts speaking test..what has gone wrong is after the 1 min of given time to take notes i reamined silent for 5 or 6 seconds..i thought she would say something to start which she didnt and then she showed me some signs to start speaking. Will this long pause before i spoke affect my band score? Please respond asap

    • If your speaking is normally fluent without such long pauses, it won’t affect your score because the scoring is based on your overall English level throughout the whole test. This means small errors or slips don’t really affect your score.

  39. Ankita says

    Hi Liz,
    Thank you so much, for this wonderful website:)
    God bless you with good health!

    Today, I had my speaking test and your tips helped me a lot.

    I am sharing my speaking questions.
    Part 1: Social Media/Work
    Part 2:
    Describe a time you were sleepy but had to stay awake.
    You should say:
    When it happened
    Why you were sleepy
    Why you had to stay awake
    And explain how you stayed awake.

    Follow question from part 2.

    Thank you Liz:)

  40. I wanted to pay it forward. But briefly i will only give generic content on what i remember for IELTS Academic test i took in end Jun 20 at Singapore.

    Speaking test was on happiness in general. Basically comparison of what makes a person happy. For example, it can be how work makes someone happy, or if people in your country are happy.

    For writing task 1, it was a line graph with 3 trends of wood and pulp products over the years.

    As for Writing task 2, it has to do with the qualities of a person to succeed in life, and whether qualifications are needed.

  41. Katie says

    Hello Liz,
    I have ADHD and I have to take the IELTS exam.
    What can I do in this case?

    • This is something you will need to discuss with your test centre or IELTS Official. The test is long. The listening, reading and writing takes about 2hr 40mins without a break. That is a long time to sit and concentrate. Have a chat with them and see if they are facilitate your condition in some way.

  42. Davinder Kaur says

    hi liz,
    ur way of teaching is so much clear, its all the way organised, almost all the queries are got solved by visting ur site, i can listen ur lectures fr hours nd hours, practice samples are so good. learn nd practice. its so much hel[ful. thankyou for ur effort


  43. Lutfor Rahman says

    I would like to share an experience of mine which might be helpful for others who have same issue.
    Before entering the exam venue i smoked a lot to reduce my nervousness which results in a extreme urge of urination during my exam especially when i was concentrating on writing task 2 but i couldn’t. Finally i had to go to the toilet which killed my significant time. Also i was holding my urine a long time thought that i could pass the exam but eventually it disturbed my concentration a lot. Now, i regret for this.

    So, i have a tiny advice for you those smoke to reduce nervousness and that is DO NOT SMOKE much before going to the exam venue. Smoking acts as a kind of diuretics and stimulates your bladder. As a result you will be forced to go to the toilet by your own body system while you are concentrating on your exam.

    There are many students like me i think. Hope this will be helpful.

  44. Angela says

    Dear Liz,

    I would like to thank you so much for help a lot of resources. I recently bought grammar book and I have some questions. Could you please explain to me?
    Page 15
    1. 1.
    An increasing number of tourists visit sites where catastrophes occurred.
    A huge amount of information is available on the internet.

    Could you explain why No1. answer should be visit and No10 should be is?


    • You can find this information in the Chapter on Quantifiers. It shows how in one case the verb is singular and the other plural. It is linked also to countable and uncountable nouns which is also highlighted in the Quantifiers chapter addressing: a large number of / a large amount of.

  45. Darshika says

    Very useful things

  46. hey Liz, on the practice test available on the IELTS site I was able to listen the audio more than once on the computer. Is that possible on the test? thanks foy all your classes.

    • No. In the test you hear the recording only once. You have no control over the recording at all. Once it starts, it doesn’t stop and doesn’t repeat.

  47. Hello Liz,
    Just wanted to thank you for this blog, it helped me so much! I’m usually very anxious and insecure when I take the test but you and your material gave such confidence on the test day that I can’t even describe!

    Thank you again and may God bless you!


  48. Hi liz, i hope you’re doing fine 🙂 I had my speaking exam 2 days back, and the examiner was an adorable human. She asked me multiple questions in part 1. In part 2, she stopped me after 1 minute. The part 3 was very lengthy as she asked most of the questions in part 3. Is it okay if she stopped me after 1 minute of me speaking in part 2? Wont it affect my score? The examiner extended the part 3 by giving less time to part 1 & part 2. While answerin the questions, i just talked naturally, i didnt force myself to use unique vocab. Although, i did stop for 5 seconds while answerin 1 question that i had no knowledge of.

    I’ll appreciate it if you reply soon. 🙂

    • The examiner is not allowed to alter the lengths of any part of the Speaking test. You are allowed 2 mins to speak in part 2 and the examiner cannot alter that rule. You cannot have more than 5 mins in part 1 or part 3 – the examiner cannot alter that rule either. If you are 100% sure that the timing was wrong because you timed each part yourself accurately, you could complain. The test is recorded so that everything can be checked by remarking.

  49. GS_sharma says

    Dear Liz,
    I gave my speaking yesterday from idp.
    I would like to share my experience as I had bad day yesterday. The examiner was not friendly at all and was barely smiling which made me uncomfortable. However, I kept speaking without any pause during first half of test but I was repeating my thoughts because of unfriendly nature of examiner which gave me hard time during the exam.
    Initially the examiner introduced herself and verified my ID and asked my full name. Instead of asking friendly questions such as work, studies etc she started with a question ‘ Do you live in home or apartment ? ‘
    I am not sure what is the correct procedure to start speaking because I was nervous and expecting a friendly chat with examiner but she bombarded with exam questions suddenly which made me more nervous.
    I repeated my thoughts in part 3 and also stopped in between during part 3 while answering on of the question. Although my part 1 was good and for part 2 I spoke continously for 2 minutes. The examiner stopped me in part 2.
    Do you think it will impact my score due to part 3 ? Is it advisable to give feedback about examiner ?

    • I think there were a couple of problems here. One the examiner was not friendly. This is unfortunate. However, it is something that all candidates need to be prepared for. You cannot allow the attitude of the examiner to affect you. You must be prepared for encouraging, smiling examiners and for the opposite. Certainly this is something you can complain about, but it is unlikely to alter your score. The other problem was that you haven’t prepared properly. This means you were not familiar enough with the test before you enter the test room. As explained in my free video lessons, in part 1, the first topic might be work/study, home or hometown. The first question of Home is actually “Do you live in a house or apartment?”. So, you should have know this topic and you should have known this question. You can see that question on this page: For part 2, the examiner must stop you at exactly 2 mins – these are the rules. In part 3 or part 1, the examiner will interrupt your answer as explained on this page: You can almost all tips and lessons on this page:

      Nothing that happened during your test will change your score unless you allowed it to affect your confidence. Hopefully you will still get the score you need. However, if you don’t, please prepare more fully for your next test. Nothing should be a surprise in the test room. Occasionally there are topics which are new, but most topics and common topics which have been previously used.

  50. Hi Liz,
    I am taking the IELTS Academic Exam this Saturday and I was wondering if we keep all the papers (listening, reading and writing) since they are all done after each other and don’t have breaks, or are they collected?

    • They are always collected. You can’t have any access to them after the time is up for each one.

  51. Karandeep Singh says

    Hi Liz,
    Hope you are well and doing great job. I have a question in my mind. Actually, I’m very confused about it. I took my ielts exam on 22nd February and it was my first attempt. So, I felt uncomfortable during exam and I didn’t perform good, but my performance in class was good. If I take ielts exam after one and half month, will I get same result ? Though I performed well in exam. My friends who took ielts exam, they said to me that if you get 5 band in reading and writing in first attempt, you can’t increase your score after one month because ielts don’t think that anyone can improve English within one month from 5 to 7 band. Is it true or only myth? Plz clear my doubt

    • This is information that IELTS provide based on their beliefs. If you performed badly in one test and then well in another, of course your score will probably increase well beyond 0.5. If you didn’t understand the test and the techniques, but then learned them for the second test, it is possible for your score to increase beyond 0.5. The problem is that you yourself cannot judge if you preformed well or not for speaking and writing because you are not a train examiner. It is almost impossible to greatly improve your English language in a short time – but it depends if it is your English or your IELTS skills that were lacking the test. So, as you can see, there are a number of factors that influence your score and that could alter or not alter your score in a second attempt. I have seen people increase their score by 2 band scores in only one month – but that was because their level of English was fine but their IELTS skills were lacking.

  52. Hello
    Is there any opportunity to take an individual tutorial with Liz to get feedback on my writing?

  53. Mohamed Mattbouly says

    Dear Liz,

    I’ve been following your instructions and watched all your videos on youtube for the past 3 days. I’m sitting my IELTS test tomorrow in Egypt! I’m going to sit the computer based test but I can’t find a lot of mock computer based exams online, Is it okay that I use and answer paper based exams as they are more available?

    Thanks for your efforts.

    • Sure it’s fine to use paper tests to prepare for the computer test. The tests are the same. IELTS do not offer a full computer based test to practice with, but they do offer free computer based questions which you must review to get the feel for the test. See their website or go to the BC IELTS website. Don’t forget that in the listening test, you need to put your answer directly into the computer because you only have 2 mins checking time at the end of the test, not 10 mins transfer time as in the paper based test. Good luck!!

  54. Sricharan says

    Dear liz
    In speaking examiner asked me in part 3 i.e discussion question to answer for “whether you like to save your childhood memories in photos or videos format”? So my doubt is to answer one choice or both the choices equally.

    • In speaking, your ideas and the method of answering the question is not marked. All questions are a chance for you to showcase your English. Answer in any way you wish and let the examiner guide you after that.

  55. Akanksha Jaswal says

    Dear Liz,

    I can’t thank you enough for all the insight and tips you have shared on your blog and Youtube! I am a doctor from India, and had only 5 days to prepare for my IELTS exam (UKVI Academic) as I was busy preparing for my Post Graduate Entrance exam prior to this. I basically went through ALL your posts and videos and did the mock tests provided in the booklet mailed by the British Council. I was apprehensive about cracking the exam in such a short time period but I had no other choice and gave it my best shot. I just received my result today, which was as follows:

    Reading 8.5
    Listening 8.5
    Speaking 8
    Writing 7

    Overall band score 8.

    To all the IELTS aspirants reading this, you’ve come to the right place! Follow Liz’s guidelines and you can breeze through this exam too. Goodluck!

    Thankyou Liz, for all the effort you put in to making this process so much simpler for us. You’re a lifesaver!

    Lots of love,

    • It’s great to see your results – well done 🙂 I’m glad you found my website and lessons useful 🙂 Thanks for sharing your results.

  56. Thank you Liz for this site and everyone who has contributed here.
    Your material helped me pass IELTS on the first attempt with very good results on 14 December 2019.
    Listening 8.5
    Writing 8.0
    Reading 8.0
    Speaking 8.5

    I am now in the process of migrating to the destination country of my choice.
    I just wanted to say keep up the good work, you have done so much for many people.

    • I’m glad you’ve got the results you needed. Ban 8.5 overall is excellent 🙂 Glad my site was useful 🙂 Good luck wherever you are heading – hope it all works out fine for you 🙂

      • Srimathi says

        Thanks alot Liz!! Your videos are amazing. Your blog is a blessing to those preparing for this exam! I had a month’s time and your videos really helped me crack the exam with an overall band 8.5.
        Your tips on all four sections were very useful. Especially the writing section where you mentioned about sticking to the word limit. I’m really really grateful to you. All this for free?! You’re doing a great job. I can’t thank you enough.
        Love from India.

    • Abhishek says


  57. Hello Liz
    My exam is going to be tomorrow
    Just one question if in the writing task 2 questions they write about the benefits of e books can I write about paper books also?

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