This IELTS blog includes up-to-date answers to all the frequently asked IELTS questions. These questions have been categorised in 10 sections. Around 190 questions have been answered and we will add more as the time goes by. The information in them has been updated until May 2022 but we will continue to update the answers as new changes take place in the IELTS exam. Feel free to post your questions in the comments section below. Happy reading!

IELTS Exam Info

What is the meaning of IELTS?
Full form of IELTS is International English Language Testing System.
How many parts are there in IELTS?
There are 4 modules in IELTS – listening, reading, writing and speaking.
Is IDP easier than British Council?
No, IDP is not easier or more difficult than British Council. IELTS is jointly owned by British Council and IDP.
What is the difference between IELTS and IELTS UKVI?
While format is the same, candidates planning to use IELTS for the UK are advised to take IELTS UKVI under certain circumstances. Visit this link for more information.
Is IELTS based on British or American English?
IELTS is an international English language test and accpets both British and American English language styles. However, it’s better to stick to one format when writing essays. With respect to the accent, focus on fluency and pronunciation and do not worry about your accent.
Is IELTS conducted in one day?
Listening, reading and writing are organised on the same day, whereas speaking may be conducted either on the same day or at a later date.
Speaking schedule is generally provided a few days before the IELTS examination date.
Is there any break during the IELTS test?
No break is given between listening, reading and writing modules. There may be some strict toilet break rules as well – so check with your test center. However, there is ample time (some times a few hours or a couple of days) before the speaking test.
Should I use pencil or pen in the IELTS exam?
When writing essays, it’s fine to use a pen or pencil; however, writing in 2B pencil is recommended for listening and reading modules. Overall, writing in pencil is better as it allows erasing the answer and writing again, which is very difficult in case of a pen.
Can I take IELTS more than once?
Yes, you can book IELTS exam as many times as you want. There is no restriction.
What items are not allowed in the IELTS examination room?
You are not allowed to take to the examination room: mobile phones, tablets, cameras, wrist watch or paper.
I have a disability and need additional support. What should I do?
Before booking the exam, contact your local IELTS test center and discuss your concerns. It’s a good idea to present any medical certificate so the authorities can look into your case appropriately.
Is writing in capital letters acceptable?
Yes, it is absolutely fine to write the entire IELTS exam in capital letters.
Is there any difference between Academic and General IELTS?
While IELTS listening and speaking are the same for GT and Academic candidates, Writing Task 1 and Section 1 and 2 in Reading are different.

Test Booking Information

How many days in advance can I book the IELTS test?
You can book IELTS test up to 72 hours before the test date, but it makes more sense to register at least 1 to one and half month in advance as IELTS test seats tend to fill up fairly quickly. Here are the IELTS Exam Dates 2022
Is it easier when both Academic and General exams are held on the same day?
No, there is no such criteria. Difficulty level remains the same even when Academic and GT exams are organised together.
Can I book an IELTS date on the phone?
Yes, you can. If uploading your documents or filling the IELTS exam application form are possible for you on a phone, then yes go ahead.
How much is the booking fee?
IELTS exam fee varies from one country to another but in Australia it is AUD $395.
I accidently booked Academic but wanted to book General? How can I change the IELTS?
This happens quite commonly among first-time IELTS test takers. Simply contact your test center and they should be able to help you change the change General to Academic or vice-versa. Also, check this Change IELTS Exam Guide.
I didn’t receive any email after booking the IELTS exam. What should I do?
First, check Spam/Junk folders of your email account. If you are using Gmail, check “Updates” tab as well. If you still don’t find any confirmation, simply contact your IDP IELTS test center, and attach the payment proof along with your concern about not receiving the IELTS test booking confirmation.
Can I change my test center from British Council to IDP?
If the reason is purely based on the assumption that IDP is easier than British Council, then avoid any such move as there is no truth to such assumption. However, if you still want to do it, then you will need to first cancel your IELTS exam at British Council and make a fresh test booking at IDP.
Can I reschedule my IELTS exam date and what is the rescheduling fee?
Yes, you can reschedule IELTS test, but ideally can be done only until 5 weeks before the test date. You will need to pay the 25% administration charges to reschedule your IELTS exam.

IELTS writing correction

Test Result Information

After how many days does IELTS result arrive?
IELTS exam results are declared 13 days after the exam date. So, if you exam was held on 8th January, the result would be declared on 21st January.
How to check IELTS result?
Generally, IELTS test center (British Council / IDP) sends a notification via SMS or email. However, you can simply visit your test center’s website on the result date at around 4pm. Simply fill in the details such as candidate number and passport number to view your IELTS result.
Will  IELTS result be delivered online or by mail?
Yes, you can check the IELTS online on your test center website.
What is IELTS TRF?
TRF stands for Test Report Form. This is basically an IELTS result card which contains all the details such as your name, date of birth, exam date, IELTS module, individual band scores and overall band you achieved. IELTS TRF is a document which is generally attached as a proof of your IELTS score when submitting your English language ability to universities, skills assessment authorities and immigration departments.
My IELTS result hasn’t been declared. What should I do?
At times IELTS holds some candidates’ results for quality and plagiarism purposes or checking any possible discrepancies. However, there is nothing to worry about as the results are usually declared after a couple of days. If you still don’t get your result, simply contact your local IELTS test center via email or phone.
How to download IELTS result?
IELTS result (TRF) is generally delivered via post. You can scan the IELTS TRF and save a copy on your computer.
How long is the IELTS result valid for?
IELTS TRF (result) validity generally lasts up to 3 years. However, some universities and immigration departments accept IELTS results which were achieved within 2 years of one’s application.
Can I use any IELTS result if I took IELTS twice or more?
Yes, you should be able to, but make sure you double check the requirements set by the organisation you present your IELTS results to as some accept the latest IELTS results only

IELTS Remarking

Can I get my IELTS result remarked if I am not satisfied with my scores?
Yes, you can apply IELTS remarking. Here is the IELTS Remarking Guide.
How much is IELTS remarking (Enquiry on Results) fee?
IELTS revaluation costs AUD $176. So, apply only if you are confident that you deserved a higher band score as the remarking fee is non-refundable if your score doesn’t change
Can I applying for remarking of one IELTS module only?
Yes, you can fill only one module in your IELTS EOR (Enquiry on Results) form.
How long does it take for IELTS remarking result to be declared?
IELTS EOR results are notified between 2 and 21 days of your remarking application.
Is there any deadline to apply for IELTS remarking?
Yes, you have up to 42 days (6 weeks) to apply for your IELTS remarking application. After this period, no more IELTS EOR applications are accepted
I am not satisfied with my IELTS remarking result. What should I do?
IELTS EOR results are considered final, so, there isn’t a second EOR application available. You may need to contact IELTS test center for further appeals
How to get a refund as I my IELTS band score improved after remarking?
Congratulations! The IELTS refund is generally issued automatically into the candidate’s account.
Can my IELTS score reduce after remarking?
Yes, the scores may reduce post-remarking as well. So, you should apply only if you are confident of scores improving.
Can I withdraw IELTS result remarking application?
You need to contact your IELTS test center regarding that. We don’t think the application can be withdrawn!
Should I apply IELTS remarking if I am 1 band score short?
There is a reasonable chance of 0.5 band score improvement (in writing and speaking); however, 1 band score change may be quite difficult. IELTS speaking and writing modules are assessed by highly experienced examiners who don’t often make a judgement error of 1 band score. If you are confident that you deserved a higher band score, then you can still go ahead with remarking process.

IELTS Listening

How many questions are there in IELTS listening module?
There are generally 40 questions in the listening module with 10 questions in each section. Some listening tests may even have only 38 listening questions as well.
How many sections are there?
IELTS Listening test comprises of 4 sections. You can expect social communication between individuals in Section 1 and 2, whereas Section 3 and 4 are academic in nature.
Is IELTS listening different for Academic and General Training IELTS?
IELTS listening module is the same for Academic and General IELTS candidates. Only reading and writing are different.
How long is the IELTS listening section?
Listening and writing time is 30 minutes, whereas additional 10 minutes are given to transfer the answers from the question paper to the answer sheet. So, a total of 40 minutes are there in the listening test.
Can I replay the listening recording?
No, IELTS listening audio is not played again. You have to listen it once and answer the questions accordingly.
Where should I write my listening answers?
Initially, write your answers on the question paper itself. For gap-fill questions, question sheet will have the gaps where you can write the answers and for MCQs simply circle the right option. At the end of the listening audio, you will be given 10 minutes to transfer your answers to the answer sheet.
How to calculate IELTS listening score?
Use this IELTS Listening Calculator to convert raw score to IELTS bands.
Who will check my IELTS listening answers – human or computer?
Both paper and computer delivered IELTS answers are checked by human examiners.
Is there negative marking in IELTS listening module for wrong answers?
No, IELTS listening test has no negative marking. If your listening answer is correct, you will get 1 mark and if it is incorrect, you will get 0 but there is no -1. That’s why, it’s better to give answers to all the questions.
Can I underline the listening questions?
Yes, you can. In fact, before each listening part starts, some time is given to go through the questions, you can underline important keywords during this preparation time.
Can I use a highlighter in the IELTS listening module?
No, you cannot use a highlighter or marker. You can only use a pencil to underline or circle important text on the listening question paper.
Can I write or make notes on IELTS listening question paper?
Yes, you can. However, make sure you write only the answers in the answer sheet and do not transfer any rough notes etc.
Will IELTS provide an extra paper for making notes in the listening section?
No extra sheet will be given. Listening section is relatively fast there won’t be time to make notes on a separate piece of paper anyway.
Can I write in pen or pencil?
IELTS listening answer sheet requires use of 2HB pencil. So, writing in pen is not advisable. Besides, erasing and rewriting an answer would be challenging as well.
Are spelling mistakes acceptable in IELTS listening?
No, spelling mistakes are not accepted in IELTS listening answers. Make sure your answer has correct spelling.
Can I write all my IELTS listening answers in capital letters?
Yes, you can write your IELTS listening answers in all caps.
How much time is given to transfer the listening answers?
10 minutes are given to transfer the listening answers from the question paper to the listening answer sheet.
I wrote my IELTS listening answers in wrong order. Will I get any marks?
No, wrong order of answers is not acceptable in IELTS listening test. No marks will be given.
How many question types are there in the IELTS listening module?
There are 6 broad IELTS listening question types. These are Multiple Choice, Matching, Plan (Map, Diagram, Labelling), Form (Note, Table, Flow-chart, Summary Completion), Sentence Completion, Short-answer questions
Do I need to write articles “a/an/the” with my answer?
Yes, if the answer requires an article, then you should the article. You need to ask yourself whether writing the article makes the answer grammatically complete, especially when it comes to summary or sentence completion question types.
What are the tips to answer multiple choice questions in IELTS listening?
It’s best to use the reading time before the audio starts to quickly go through the IELTS Listening MCQs and underline all the keywords. When the listening starts, actively listen for those keywords and any possible synonyms. Focus on what has been asked in the question and then choose the option satisfying the question statement. Audio may cover all the options given but choose only the option which addresses the question.
Is IELTS listening audio in British or American accent?
IELTS listening accent may vary as IELTS is an international English language testing system. In addition to American and British accents, there may be Australian accent as well. However,  in all cases the accent will be clear to understand provided you practice enough listening tests.
Why is IELTS listening section 4 so fast?
Section 4 in academic in nature where a speaker delivers a lecture on a particular topic. The speaker tends to discuss more than one point and would transition to the next point fairly quickly. This leads to a feeling of audio moving very fast since the sub-topics within the main topic tend to have some difference and it takes our mind a little more time to move to the next time. An optimal solution to addressing this issue is to skim and scan the text before the section 4 audio starts. Also, keep an eye on the keywords before and after the gap and wait for the keywords and synonyms while actively listening to the lecture. Practicing more listening tests and increasing audio player’s speed should also help you build resilience to deal with section 4 questions.
Is IELTS listening audio played using speakers or headphones?
This varies from one test center location to another. Some IELTS test centers play audio on speakers, whereas other organise headphones for the candidates. There is not much difference as the audio played on speakers is sufficiently loud and clear. You can contact your test center and ask them how they would be playing the listening test audio.
Are numbers counted as words in IELTS listening?
Generally, instructions say “no more than two words and/or a number”. If this is the case, then you can write only 1 number. If the instructions say “no more than three words”, then you can even write 3 numbers and they will be counted as words.
What is the format of writing dates in IELTS listening?
There are no set guidelines on dates. IELTS examiners accept all valid date formats. If you write 6th May or 6 May, both are acceptable.
What is the format of writing time in IELTS listening?
There are no set guidelines on time as well. IELTS examiners accept all valid time formats. If you write 4pm, 4.15pm, or 4:15pm, all are acceptable
Can I write numbers in words as well?
Yes, you can do that as well. It’s faster and error-free to write numbers than words. Read the instructions carefully though.
Are brackets allowed in IELTS listening answers?
No, brackets are not allowed in IELTS listening. Your answer needs to be whole without any ambiguity of brackets.
Is hyphen or dash acceptable between words?
Yes, you can write a dash between words, but only when required. If use of a dash makes your answer grammatically incorrect, then do not use it. For example, 6-years-old is grammatically wrong.
Can I write all my IELTS listening answers in capital letters?
Yes, you can. Writing answers in block letters may take slightly longer time but if this is what you prefer, there are no issues.
Can I keep IELTS question paper after the exam?
No, you can’t. IELTS invigilators will take both listening question and answer papers away once the listening section is over.
How to answer maps questions in IELTS listening?
Pay attention to places the are labelled, think of possible synonyms, become familiar with vocabulary used to describe directions. Read this IELTS Labelling a map guide.
How to answer table questions in IELTS listening?
Listen for specific details, mark keywords from sentences and predict content of the audio you are about to hear. If there is a word bank, the answers may be listed randomly. Read this IELTS Table Completion Guide.
How to complain if the listening audio quality was poor?
Listening audio will be tested in the beginning and that’s the time when you can request audio adjustment to ensure you are able to hear the audio properly.
Generally, it’s rare for an audio issue to arise, but if you believe you couldn’t answer the questions accurately due to audio issues, then you can register your complaint with the manager at the test location and even fill out a form and email it to the official IELTS email address.

IELTS Reading

How many sections are there in IELTS Reading?
Both General and Academic IELTS have 3 reading sections each. In case of Academic, each section has 1 passage, hence a total of 3 passages. On the other hand, General Reading has Section 1 and 2 are which further divided into 2 parts of short passages or advertisements and 1 long passage in Section.
What is the difference between Academic and General Reading test?
Academic Reading contains 3 long passages, whereas General Reading includes 4 short texts in Section 1 and 2 and a long passage in Section 3.
Is General reading test easier than Academic IELTS reading?
Yes, GT reading passages are relatively short and easy but candidates need more correct answers to achieve the same band score. For instance, to get 6 bands, Academic candidates need 23 correct answers, whereas General candidates need at least 30 answers to be right. Use this IELTS Reading Score Calculator
How long is the IELTS reading test?
IELTS reading test is of 60 minutes.
Who will check my IELTS reading test – human or computer?
IELTS reading answers are checked by human examiners.
Can I start my reading test from any section?
Yes, you can. Once the reading question paper is given and the timer starts, you are free to attempt any reading section you prefer first.
How much time is given to transfer the reading answers?
Unlike listening, no extra time is given in the reading test for transferring the answers. It’s better to transfer your reading answers to the answer paper as soon as you locate them one by one.
How many questions types are in IELTS reading module?
There are a total of 14 IELTS Reading Question Types. 
Are spelling mistakes acceptable in IELTS reading?
No, spellings mistakes are not allowed in IELTS reading.
Can I underline or write notes in the reading question paper?
Yes, you can.
Can I write my IELTS reading answers in pen or pencil?
You need to write your reading answers in 2B pencil
Can I use a highlighter in IELTS reading section?
No, use of a highlighter pen is not allowed in the reading test.
I wrote my IELTS reading answers in wrong order. Will I get any marks?
No, you will not get any marks if the order of your answers is wrong.
Do I need to write articles “a/an/the” with my reading answers?
Yes, your answer should be grammatically correct. This is especially true in case of gap fills, where writing an article the noun answer may be required to make the sentence grammatically accurate.
What are the tips to answer matching headings in IELTS reading?
What is the difference between False and Not Given?
How to convert reading scores to IELTS bands?
Is there negative marking for wrong answers in IELTS reading?
No, there is no negative marking. So, make sure you attempt all reading questions.
Are all IELTS reading questions in logical order?
Not all question types are in logical order. Here is the IELTS Reading Question Types for more information.
Can I write all my IELTS reading answers in capital letters?
Yes, you can.
How to manage time in the IELTS reading module?

Time management is an important aspect in the reading module. As you’ll have 60 minutes to answer 40 questions, you have on average 1 minute 30 seconds for each question. Here are some useful tips:

  1. Do not spend more than 2 minutes on a question. If it takes you longer, make an educated guess and move to the next question.
  2. Keep track of your time on each section. If possible, give no more than 18 minutes to each section, so you’ll have at least 6 minutes at the end to verify your answers.
  3. Transfer you answers to the answer paper as soon as you find those.
  4. Learn and implement skimming and scanning techniques.
  5. Identify the reading question types that you find most time consuming or least accurate and prepare your strategy accordingly.
  6. Headings and matching paragraph information generally take longer than other question types. So, you might try doing those at the end of each section when you have gained sufficient understanding of the reading passage.
  7. Practice more reading tests at home.
Should I do section 3 in General reading first?
Yes, it’s an effective strategy to answer Section 3 questions as it’s a longer passage and mind is relatively fresh to focus. However, make sure you finish this section in 20 minutes or less to have enough time for reading Section 1 and 2.
Where can I download IELTS reading tests?
Need content Here
How to find keywords in IELTS reading?
Keywords are important words or phrases in the questions which are either found as is or in the form of synonyms in the reading text. You first need to read a question carefully and identify the keywords in it and then use scanning technique to locate the same keywords or their synonyms in the reading passage.

IELTS Writing

How long is the IELTS writing test?
IELTS Writing module is 60 minutes long. This duration is the same for Academic and General Training IELTS.
How many parts are there in IELTS Writing?
There are 2 parts in IELTS Writing. These are called tasks.
Task 1 – Letter (General Training) – 150 words, 20 minutes
Task 1 – Graph (Academic IELTS) – 150 words, 20 minutes
Task 2 – Essay – 250 words, 40 minutes
What is the difference between Academic and General Writing module?
While Task 2 (Essay) is the same for Academic and GT IELTS, Task 1 is different. General Training requires you to write a letter and Academic IELTS requires writing a report.
What is the difference between writing Task 1 and Task 2?
Writing Task 2 is an essay, whereas writing task 1 is a graph (Academic) or report (GT). Essay requires writing minimum 250 words and graph/report requires 150 words. IELTS suggests spending 40 minutes on essay and 20 minutes on letter/report. More on difference between Writing Task 1 and Task 2.
Essay has twice as marks as letter/report.
What are IELTS band descriptors?

IELTS band descriptors are a set of 4 criteria which IELTS examiners follow to give band scores. These 4 criteria are:

  1. Task Response (checks whether all parts of the writing task have been covered)
  2. Coherence & Cohesion (checks whether information and ideas have a logical flow)
  3. Lexical Resources (checks whether range of vocabulary is broad)
  4. Grammatical Range & Coherence (checks whether accurate and wide range of grammatical structures are used)

IELTS examiners give band score (0 to 9) on each of these 4 criteria which are then converted to Overall writing band score.

Is IELTS writing graded by a human examiner or computer?
Unlike TOEFL and PTE, IELTS Writing is fully graded by human examiners. Writing examiners give band scores on 4 criteria which are then used to calculate the overall writing band score.
Can I write my IELTS essay in pen or pencil?
Yes, both pen and pencil are allowed. However, writing in pencil is recommended as it allows easy editing as compared to writing in pen. A good approach is to practice writing a few essays and task 1 (reports/letters) in pencil so writing in pencil becomes normal in the real IELTS exam.
Can I ask for an extra sheet for IELTS writing?
Yes, you can request an extra sheet to write your essay.
Can I write Task 2 essay first and then Task 1?
Of course, you can. There is no restriction of writing Task 1 first and then Task 2.
As essay carries more marks, it makes sense to finish the essay first and then start with task 1 (letter/report). However, a good strategy is to read Task 1 topic as well when you get the writing question paper. This allows to complete your task 1 faster once you finish your essay and start task 1.
How to count words in an IELTS essay?
IELTS examiners do not count the exact number of words. Nevertheless, they are experienced enough to assess whether an essay has fewer or more words. To get an estimated number of words, simply count your average number of words in a line (generally between 8 and 10) and multiply it with the number of lines. This should give you a good idea about the number of words in your essay.
How to proofread IELTS writing?
First of all, try to finish your writing test in 55 minutes so you can have at least 5 minutes to proofread both task 1 and 2 at the end. When proofreading, check for spelling mistakes, punctuation and word choice accuracy.Also, look for any errors in the usage of tenses and subject-verb agreement. These are the most common areas where mistakes occur.Do not try to change the structure of your essay and avoid rearranging sentences as there is insufficient time to do that.
Do I need to leave some space before writing a word in a new paragraph?
No, you do not require leaving some space in the beginning of a new paragraph.
Can I write my essay and task 1 in capital letters?
Yes, you can do that. However, do so only if you are used to writing in capital as it may take much longer to write the entire essay in block letters.
Can I strike off a sentence and write on top of it?
You can, and the examiners are experienced to not penalise it. However, if it occurs too many times throughout your writing, then it may affect  intelligibility. So, use it as a last resort.
Can I erase some text and write again in IELTS writing section?
Yes, you can. Make sure you do it properly so the new text you write can be easily read.
How much proofreading time do I need at the end?
5 minutes are enough to proofread your writings at the end.
Can I request extra time in IELTS writing?
No extra time is given after 60 minutes are over in IELTS Writing module.
Are spelling mistakes acceptable in IELTS writing?
No, spelling mistakes impact Grammatical Range and Accuracy. However, if there are one or two minor clerical spelling errors, examiners tend to ignore those.
Should I leave a line after every paragraph?
Yes, it’s a good practice to leave a line at the end of each paragraph. This way, it’s easier for examiner to find where a new paragraph starts.
Should I write UK or US spelling?
Both type of spelling are acceptable. However, when writing your essay or task 1, make sure you maintain consistency and write in the same spelling style.

IELTS writing correction

IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay

What do you mean by Writing Task 2?
IELTS Writing Task 2 is an essay. You will be given a topic statement on which you need to write an essay of at least 250 words.
How much time is given for IELTS Writing Task 2 essay?
IELTS suggests spending 40 minutes on writing the essay. However, you can use more or less than within the 60-minute duration of the writing section.
Am I allowed to use more than 40 minutes on IELTS writing task 2 essay?
Yes, you can. However, keep in mind that if you are writing essay first, you will be left with less time for Task 1 (letter/report).
Can I write task 2 first and then task 1?
Yes, you can.
What is a task statement in IELTS Writing Task 2?
Task statement is an essay topic on which  you are required to write at least 250 words. Italian Trulli
Is General IELTS essay the same as Academic IELTS essay?
There is no difference. Requirements and time given are the same. Similarly, writing task types are also similar.
What is the weightage of IELTS Writing Task 2 essay?
Task 2 essay carries twice more marks than Task 1. In layman terms, essay can contributed up to 6 band score and task 1 up to 3 band score towards overall writing module.
Use this IELTS Writing calculator for more information.
How many essay types are there in IELTS Writing?

There are broadly five essay types:

  1. Opinion IELTS Essay (Agree/Disagree or To what extent do you agree)
  2. Discussion IELTS Essay (Discuss both views and give your opinion)
  3. Advantages & Disadvantages IELTS Essay
  4. Problem & Solution (Why and What can be done)
  5. Straight Questions
What is the essay scoring criteria?

There are 4 criteria on the basis of which IELTS examiners score an IELTS essay. These are:

  1. Task Response (checks whether all parts of the writing task have been covered)
  2. Coherence & Cohesion (checks whether information and ideas have a logical flow)
  3. Lexical Resources (checks whether range of vocabulary is broad)
  4. Grammatical Range & Coherence (checks whether uses accurate and wide range of grammatical structures)

IELTS examiners give band score (0 to 9) which are then converted to Overall writing band score.

Can I write less than 250 words in my IELTS essay?
Even though IELTS examiners don’t tend to count words, it’s not recommended to have IELTS essay word length than 240 words. Shorter essays may get penalised on the IELTS marking criteria.
Can I write more than 250 words in my IELTS essay?
Yes, you can. However, writing an excessively long essay, for example 350 words, may lead to clerical mistakes. Also, coherence may be affected as it’s easy to lose focus and write supporting arguments which are not highly relevant.
Are there any minimum number of paragraphs to write in IELTS essay?
Though there is no official IELTS essay writing format, we recommend writing at least 4 paragraphs to write a good essay response. These are
Body Paragraph 1
Body Paragraph 2
Can I copy paste writing topic in my essay?
No, copying the entire task statement isn’t a good idea and may even be perceived as an effort to finish 250 words. Use paraphrasing instead.
How long should my IELTS essay introduction be?
Introduction length may depend on the essay type, but ideally write between 40 and 50 words in your introduction paragraph.
How long should my IELTS essay conclusion be?
Conclusion length may vary based on the essay type, but write at least 30 to 40 words to summarise your essay well.
Are spelling mistakes penalised?
Yes, spelling mistakes affect your writing score. However, examiners may overlook a couple of clerical mistakes.
How is an opinion essay different from a discussion essay?
Opinion essay topics are based on “Agree/Disagree” type wherein you have to either agree or disagree to a given single statement and present your arguments.
Discussion essay task includes two different statements (views) and you are required to discuss both of them and if required present your own view at the end.
What are compound and complex sentences in an IELTS essay?
A compound sentence has two independent clauses (or two simple sentences) combined together with a conjunction or a punctuation mark. For example: International students often experience financial hardship and they have to work part-time to sustain themselves. A complex sentence uses an independent clause and a dependent clause (or more than one dependent clause). For example: As a result of rising costs, people are not able to save much for their future.
Can I write whole IELTS essay in one paragraph?
You can, but it’s not recommended. We suggest writing at least 4 paragraphs for good marks in task response and coherence. These are
Body Paragraph 1
Body Paragraph 2
Where can I find previous IELTS exam essay topics?
You can find those in Cambridge IELTS books. Also, some websites claim to publish regular exam updates, we but the topics may not be accurate always.
How many essays should I write before my IELTS exam?
A lot depends on your existing English ability and the your target band score. Nevertheless, write at least 2 essays on each of 5 essay types to be fully confident. This should also help you with time management and performing under pressure. Use Benchmark IELTS Writing Correction service to get feedback on your essays.
Where can I find IELTS essay topics?
Are IELTS exam essay topics repeated?
Yes, there are instances where the same essay topic appeared at different exam locations at different times. So, it makes sense to practice writing these essay topics for familiarity.
Can I write passive voice sentences in my IELTS essay?
You can, but prefer writing your essays in active voice. Passive voice can be used in Academic Task 1 (report).

IELTS Writing Task 1

What is Writing Task 1 in IELTS?
Academic Writing Task 1 is a report writing activity. You will be given a graph on which you need to write at least 150 words. General Writing Task 1 is a letter writing activity. There will be a letter topic requiring you to write 150 words.
How many types of General Writing Task 1 are there in IELTS?

There are two mainly:

  1. Formal letter
  2. Informal letter
What is the weightage of Writing Task 1?
Task 1 comprises of one third of the overall 9 band score. So, it contributes up to 3 bands out of 9.
How are General Training Task 1 and Academic Task 1 different from each other?
General Task 1 is a letter, whereas Academic Task 1 a report. There is no  similarity. IELTS candidates find letter writing easier.
Do I need to write exactly 150 words in task 1?
No, you can write more than 150 words as well. Here is IELTS letter word-length guide.
Can I write more than 150 words is task 1?
Yes, you can. However, writing a long task 1 might take longer resulting in less time for writing task 2 (essay)
Can I write less than 150 words in task 1?
You may lose marks for not writing 150 words.
Can i write task 1 after finishing task 2?
Yes, you can. It’s a good approach as task 2 carries more marks. Also, task 1 requires around 20  minutes to complete. So, you can complete task 1 quickly later on.
Can I take more than 20 minutes to finish writing task 1?
A total of 60 minutes are given for both task 1 and 2 together. You can spend more than 20  minutes on task 1 but it may result in less time for task 2 (essay).
How many Academic Writing Task 1 types are there?

There are 6 Academic Writing Task 1 types. These are:

  1. Maps
  2. Process Diagrams (Flow chart)
  3. Bar Chart
  4. Line Graph
  5. Pie Chart
  6. Table
Are spelling mistakes penalised in writing task 1?
Yes, you may lose marks for wrong spelling. However, one or two minor clerical spelling mistake may be ignored by the examiner.
Which tense to use in my academic task 1?
If no timestamp given: Simple Present Tense
If timestamp belongs to a date in the past: Past Tense
If timestamp is that of future: Future Tense
Do I need to include all data in from the graph in my academic task 1 report?
No, you need to cover main features and data and talk about the significant trends. If there is too much detail given in the graph/chart, it’s not practical to cover every single detail.
Which is the most difficult academic task 1 type?
All task 1 types are of similar difficulty level. However, words used to cover features, main trends and make comparisons etc are different. So, a good idea is to practice each type of Task 1 topic to understand which one requires more attention.
What is the difference between formal and informal language in GT letter writing?
Formal language means use of academic and business words and avoiding the use of contractions. Informal letters, on the other hand, include use of day-to-day words and contractions (don’t in place of do not). It’s important to avoid using informal language when writing a formal letter
Should I write my name at the bottom of GT letter?
It makes no difference what name you use.
What is the difference between Yours sincerely and Yours faithfully?
Yours sincerely – when writing to some who is known to you
Yours faithfully – when you are writing to someone who is not known to you.
Should I write date in my GT letter?
No, date is not required in a General letter.

IELTS Speaking Information

What is the format of IELTS Speaking test?
IELTS Speaking module consists of 3 parts:
Introduction (3 to 5 questions)
Cue Card (1 set with 3 to 5 questions)
Follow up Questions (3 or 4 questions)
How many sections are there in IELTS speaking module?
IELTS Speaking can be divided into 3 parts. Introduction, Cue card and follow up.
How long does IELTS speaking test last?
IELTS Speaking can take anything between 10 and 15 minutes.
Who will take my speaking test?
An IELTS speaking examiner will organise your speaking test either online via Zoom or face-to-face in person at test venue.
Would my speaking be held online or face-to-face?
In majority of cases IELTS speaking test is held face-to-face. However, if you are taking a computer-based IELTS, your test may be organised via zoom as well.
What is a cue-card?
An IELTS speaking cue-card is set of questions on a particular topic. You are given 1 minute to prepare your response to all the questions given in the  card and then give your answers in 2 minutes. Italian Trulli
Does the examiner mark band score on the spot or after listening to the recording of the speaking test?
IELTS Speaking examiners give band score during the speaking test itself. It’s true they record the whole interview but the recording is kept for ensuring quality and maintaining a record.
What is speaking marking criteria?

IELTS Speaking marking criteria is based on band descriptors which is a set of 4 criteria. These are:

  1. Fluency and coherence
  2. Lexical Resource
  3. Grammatical Range and Accuracy
  4. Pronunciation

For more information, please visit IELTS Speaking Calculator

How many questions are asked in the IELTS Speaking test?
You can expect between 10 and 15 speaking questions in total.
How many sentences should I speak for my introduction questions?
Try to speaking full sentences and finish your answer in 1 to 2 sentences.
What would be my score if I couldn’t finish my cue-card in 2 minutes?
2 minutes is the maximum time within which you need to finish your cue-card answer. You can even finish your reply in 1 minutes 30 seconds and still get full marks. However, you may lose band score if you speak for less than 1 minute. It is difficult to guess the exact number of band score as scores are given based on the overall performance.
I only spoke for 1 minute in my cue-card. What would be my score?
You may lose marks if you speak for less than 1 minute and are unable given satisfactory reply to cue-card questions. However, it’s not possible so guess the exact number band scores that will be deducted.
Would I lose marks in IELTS speaking module if I stammer?
IELTS examiners are experienced enough to focus on communication and IELTS speaking band descriptors only. If you believe your stammering is a medical condition, you may contact your IELTS test center and present a medical certificate from a specialist.
Can I ask the examiner to replace the cue card topic if I don’t know about it?
No, you cannot. You will need to speak on the cue card (part 2 topic) given on it. Familiarizing yourself with plenty of Part 2 (cue card) topics in advance helps avoiding a situation where you would the speaking exam part 2 topic confusing.
Can i ask the examiner to clarify the speaking question to me?
You may ask the examiner to repeat the question if you couldn’t hear it properly. You can say “I’m sorry, could you please repeat?”
You can ask the examiner to provide a little more clarification in follow-up (part 3) questions.
How often can I self-correct during the IELTS speaking exam?
It’s natural and acceptable to self-correct once or twice and IELTS speaking examiners would not mark that. However, if you are self-correcting repeatedly, then you may lose marks.
Do I need to maintain an eye contact?
It’s a good practice to maintain an eye contact while speaking and you may even be able to focus well. However, maintaining an eye contact is not mandatory.
How are introduction (part 1) and follow up (part 3) questions different in speaking module?
Introduction questions are often based on individual preferences and experiences, such as what type of house do you live in? These questions generally require 1 or 2 sentences. On the other hand, follow-up (part 3) questions require longer replies and even giving one’s opinion on certain issues. A suitable reply would include 3 to 5 sentences.
How many sentences do I need to speak in speaking part 3 (follow up)?
3 to 5 sentences.
Speaking examiner didn’t let me finish my replies. Would I lose marks?
Examiners are required to finish each speaking test in a specified time. Hence, they allocate only a limited time to each question and if your reply takes longer than that, then they will stop you and ask you the next question. Alternatively, if they believe your reply was off-topic and didn’t address the question, then would move to the next question.
Why did the examiner not pay attention to my answers during the speaking test?
While some examiners don’t make eye contact or give impression as if they are not paying attention, in reality, they are listening carefully and assessing your responses against IELTS speaking band descriptors. So, you need to focus on giving the accurate and error free answers.
What do I need to carry for my IELTS speaking exam?
You only need to carry your valid passport to the speaking room. If your throat gets dry often while speaking, you may carry a transparent water bottle.
How should I dress for my speaking exam?
Wear clothes you are comfortable in. There is no formal dress code.
Can I look at my notes during cue-card (part 2) preparation time?
Yes, you can. Write only keywords and avoid writing long sentences – practice beforehand to know how to make notes in 1 minute which you can refer to during your speaking time.
What should I say when I have already answered a question previously during the speaking test?
Need Question here
Are speaking cue card topics repeated?
Yes, they do. Sometimes, the same cue card is repeated as is as well. So, it’s a good idea to practice the cue cards as many as possible.

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