IELTS Listening Practice: Nadiya Hussain

This IELTS listening practice exercise is about a woman called Nadiya Hussain. It contains both short answer questions and sentence completion questions.  You can find more useful links for listening and vocabulary at the bottom of the page.

Tips: As you will hear this only once, make notes. In the IELTS test, you can make notes all over your question paper. It might help you find an answer that you have missed.

You can find more IELTS tips for each part of the test at the bottom of the page.


Read the questions from 1 to 5 before listening to the audio. Play the audio only once. In IELTS, you will hear the recording only once so get used to practising. When you finish listening, make a note of common paraphrases.

IELTS Listening Practice

Questions 1 – 2

Write no more than one word and/or number.

  1. How many children does Nadiya have?
  2. In what year did she enter The Great British Bake Off?

Questions 3 – 5

Write no more than two words and/or a number.

   3. She was launched into her career by winning a UK ………………………….

   4. The BCC documentary followed her around Bangladesh on a ……….. tour.

   5. She also writes as a ……………… for the Times magazine.

IELTS Listening Recording


Answers and Transcript

Click below to open the answers and see the transcript.

  1. 3 (three)
  2. 2015
  3. baking competition
  4. culinary
  5. columnist

Nadiya Hussain was born into a British Bangladeshi family in the south of England. Both a wife and mother of three, she entered The Great British Bake Off in 2015. Her ability to produce amazingly creative, tasty bakes earned her the title of Champion in the biggest baking competition in the UK. This launched her career. Later, she was asked to bake a cake for Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday. And then she went on to film the Chronicles of Nadiya, a BBC documentary of her culinary journey around Bangladesh. She is also a columnist for the Times magazine presenting mouth watering recipes for baking.


Practice more IELTS listening and get useful tips:

Learn vocabulary for newspapers:


Main IELTS Pages

Develop your IELTS skills with tips, lessons, free videos and more.


  1. Dauda Kanhu says

    Hi Liz,

    In question 4, I wrote Culinary Journey, while your revealed answer is only Culinary.

    How wrong am I? Remember the instructions is “no more than 2 words”

    • The word “tour” in this sentences is a paraphrase for “journey” – you don’t need both words. Having both words would be wrong.

  2. I got 4 out of 5. I thought answer to question 4 is Chronicle of Nadiya

  3. Great to see the listening topic about Nadiya Hussain. 🙂
    Her father is from my area Beanibazar. 😀

    Btw, thanks a lot Liz mam. I’m practicing all your listening practice lessons and it helping me a lot.

    Answered 4 questions correctly from here. 🙂

  4. hi Liz,

    I do not know why but every test I get on YouTube or books I can easily pick up at least half of the answers. Here I barely get one answer. I really hope in the IELTS test it is not as difficult as you make it here.

    Many thanks for your tips!

    • You need to get the IELTS Cambridge test books which contain real tests published by IELTS. MY lessons are to help you with technique and awareness, but you need to also practice with real tests. Unless you know the author of lessons and tests, do not use them.

  5. does this means that this audio will only play once? it little fast

  6. Thanks Liz,
    I did the sample test on British Council’s website. Where it says write no more than 2 words, I saw “darkness to lightness” as the correct answer. Can you explain this?

    • The instructions actually say “no more than three words” for section 3 of that test. You really need to pay more attention to the word count.

      • Thank you Liz. I’m very embarrassed!

        • Don’t worry. But hopefully, it’s a good lesson to learn. Paying attention to the word count is vital. If you are taking the paper based test, make sure you underline the word count in listening and reading.

  7. It’s really hard to catch up.
    baking competition
    Thank you Liz.

  8. Mohammed Ismael says

    Hello Liz, I really love your Ielts digital school let’s say. It’s extremely helpful. I do have questions please;
    1. In tip 8 in the video of 25 Top Tips video, you have mentioned that we can use capital letter or lower case, but in the listening practice : ” Future of the Libraries ” between the transcripts and answers there is a note says: Using All capital letters is recommended for listening and reading answers. I’m a bit confused if I need to use only capital or it’s optional according to tip 8?
    2. The practice transcripts you’ve been using here are real transcripts from original Ielts or just created by you, I mean they might appear in the real Ielts?

    Best Regards from Iraq


    • “you can use” = it is an option.
      All lessons have been created as free practice materials by myself. This is all explained on the HOME page of this site. If you want to use real tests, you must buy the IELTS Cambridge test books published by IELTS.

      • Mohammed Ismael says

        Thank you so much, dear Ms Liz.
        In the beginning of my listening practice I was a bit disappointed for I’m not using to the British accent. But I decided to keep going. and now I feel myself much better with your classes. we all do appreciate your hard work.

  9. Maulik Majmudar says

    Hey Liz, How much time do I get to read the question before pressing the play button ?

    • It is your choice – this is just an exercise. It is not a real test. If you want to try a real test, go to the BC ielts website and do their free practice test. My lessons are for the development skills and building awareness.

  10. 4th answer was tricky. Great exercise, I am lucky to find your website. Thanks

  11. Hi Liz,
    The instruction says “Write no more than one word and/or number” but the answer for question 2 is “baking competition”, which I find it very confusing.

    • Of course, you found it confusing. You didn’t read all the instructions. Each set of questions will have a new set of instructions. Look again at the relevant instructions for the question. The question you are asking about is not number 2, it is number 3. So, go back to the page and read the instructions for question 3!!! I hope this will help you learn the lesson of reading instructions more carefully.

  12. Liz you seems a bit fast there. Is this intended?

  13. Hi. the question syas no more than one word. So is Baking competition a one word or two? Shudnt it be just competition?

    • You didn’t read the questions carefully. There are TWO sets of questions and TWO sets of word count limits. Please go back to the page and read ALL the instructions for both sets of questions.


  15. siddharth naidu says

    Hi Liz,

    For the last question, I think the answer should be ‘column’, and not ‘columnist’.
    The audio says “She is also a columnist”. A columnist is a person who writes columns.
    And the question is, “She also writes a ……….. for the Times magazine”.
    To me, “She also writes a column for the Times magazine” sounds more correct than,
    “She also writes a columnist for the Times magazine”.
    Any inputs please?

    • The questions does NOT say “she also writes A ….. for the Time magazine” – you have misread the question. The question is “she also writes AS A …. for the Times magazine”. This means it is her profession. “He works as a doctor” / “she works as a teacher”.
      From this, you can see that you need to be very careful about reading questions. You need to highlight key words in the question and decide the type of answer requires – in this case, a profession or job is required. It’s a great test of your understanding of grammar and meaning – the difference between “she writes a X” and “she writes as a X”.

  16. Hello Liz,

    I wrote Baking Competition … instead of baking competition. Did I write it wrong? I’m not comfortable wring in full capital letters.


    • It is recommended to write your answers USING ALL CAPITAL LETTERS IN LISTENING AND READING.

      • Hi Liz,
        Understand its safer to write in All CAPS, but just in case I had written it as Baking Competition as the answer, or Culinary (e.g. first letter capital for each of the answers), would it be marked as incorrect ?
        Thanks in advance, hope you read my comment. You’re doing a great service, and are the most popular online IELTS tutor in India (based on FB group posts) 🙂


  17. Mohab askar says

    Nice work
    But sometimes I get lost

  18. Hey Liz,
    The answer to qn no 3 is baking competition, and these are two words. As per instruction, the answer must consist of one word and or a number.

    Please correct me if I am wrong.

    Thanks, Dipti

    • You didn’t read the instructions properly. Questions 1-2 have one set of instructions. Questions 3-5 have a different set of instructions.

  19. Hi Liz,

    Can we get to know the toughness in your recordings corresponding to the 4 parts of Listening, especially as a pace concern ?

    • You need to get the IELTS Cambridge test books which contain real IELTS tests. You will be able to learn difficulty level and pacing from the real test.

  20. Tarun Karani says

    Answer 3 should be competition. Answer in One Word

    • Did you read ALL the instructions carefully? No, you didn’t.

      Questions 3 – 5

      Write no more than two words and/or a number.

  21. Subhadra Sahu says

    Hi Liz ,

    Can we pause in between listening test to complete our writing ?Is Pause option enabled ?

    Thanks in Advance !


    • You can’t control the recording in your real test. My lessons are only for practice. In the test, you will hear the recording only once and you can’t pause it. Get the IELTS Cambridge Test books from 9 to 12 – they are the latest real tests published by IELTS.

  22. You can use my listening exercises in any way you wish. However, in the real IELTS listening test, you do not control the audio. The audio is played once, you can’t pause it at all.

  23. I can`t get the answers unless I listen for 10 times , It`s really hard to focus .

  24. hi Liz.
    The question says “no more than one word”, but one of the answer is “baking competition

    • You need to pay much more attention to instructions. Questions 1-2 have one set of instructions and questions 3-5 have different instructions. This is normal in IELTS.

  25. third question answer is baking competition.

    I wrote just competition which is wrong.can you please tell me why?(one word or number).please

  26. Hi Liz,

    Thank you for all you videos and tips.

    Actually, I was practising IELTS from Cambridge Books. The listening exams there are slower than the listening exercises here. I would like to ask, in IELTS, which speed is more suitable ?


  27. Should the no. 5 answer be ” column” and not ” columnist” ?

    • A column is ab object and a columnist is a person.

      • Yes, but your question says “she also writes a ….. for the times magazine”. Here we cannot use “columnist”, we have to use “column”. Or the question should have been “she is also a …… for the times magazine”. Please correct me if I am wrong.

        • Ignore my comment, I just noticed there was an “as” in between. Wow.. that was a tricky oversight..

          • I’m glad you noticed. Paying attention to the grammar is vital when choosing the right answer – well done 🙂

  28. Hi Liz,

    Your videos and tips really helped me. But I still get confused sometimes with British accent. (I have an IT job with mostly US clients so not very familiar with British accent.) What can I do to improve.

    Thanks! 🙂

  29. You’re speaking so fast!. Even faster than section4 in listening test!

  30. if que is fill the gapes and there are two gapes to file in single que for 1 mark
    Ex ________ and ________ is necessity to alive.

    which one is correct to write in the exam
    food and water
    food, water
    food water

  31. Hi Liz,

    I wanted to tell you about a very funny coincidence. I was watching this baking competition on Netflix just before attempting these practice tests. I am only on episode 5 of the series, but inadvertently came to know the winner through your website. You should have a “spoiler alert” warning at the top of the page!

    I am just kidding. Your website and YouTube videos have been extremely helpful to me, so thank you very much.


  32. Eduardo A. Santana Severino says

    Hi Liz.

    Thank you very much for all these information you post on this blog. Bless.

    I have heard some of last past record of listening test and all of this seems coming from same countries, like Australia, New Zealand and others from Britain.

    So the majority of these accents are Britain and Australian.

    No one is American.

    So for one like me, even though I understand fully American English is too hard to understand at first sign the record above.

    Some advice?

    And could you please specify the origin of the accent used in record above?

    London, perhaps?

    • All listening exercises on my website have been recorded by me – I’m an international Brit. Most accents in IELTS are British or Australian but it is possible to get a range of accents – so always be prepared. Listen to international news channels and watch documentaries from various English speaking countries as well as doing plenty of practice tests.

  33. why “bake competition” while the instruction is no more than one word? could you explain it to me please?

  34. Dear mam,
    I can’t understand “she went to the Great British Bake Off” and “she went on to film the Chronicles of Nadiya”. What do the words “went to” and “went on” mean?
    Thank you very much!

  35. hello mam,
    In listening practice, i have found the way of keeping brackets.
    For instance, 9.30 (am) , (right) balance , (the) 20th century
    Dark(ness) to light(ness)
    PLZ let me know the meaning of keeping so. Are brackets counted.

    • You do not use brackets in your listening test – NEVER. The brackets in the answer sheet show optional answers.

  36. Biborno Projapoti says

    I am not able to find the listening practice for alphabets which I found on your website a few days ago.. Please can you give me the link?

  37. Adrian Dsouza says

    I would like to thank you Ms. Liz for helping us out with such vast notes and videos, I have been going thru them regularily to help me prepare with IELTS. Cheers and God Bless !

  38. Hello Liz,

    I contacted you towards the end of January 2017 to tell you that i was going to be writing my test 2nd week in February. I have just seen my result and had he following scores …listening 7.0; Reading 6.0; writing 7.5; speaking 7.0. Overall band score of 7.0
    I am happy that i came across your website. There was nothing special i did but i just focused on the tips you were giving and looked for one or two full practice test to write to test the tips you gave. I also acknowledge that it is the grace of God. I took this test in 2014 and 2015 and did not make the required score i wanted. As at then i have not come across your website. I gave up after 2015 but decided to write it again in 2017. Part of my success story was this site. Thank you for your time and dedication to these teachings. God bless you. I encourage every other person to stick to the tips here and you will be fine and have faith too.
    For my listening exam….it was a lot of sentence completion and note completion , no maps but table was there. We also had two people discussing stuff on academic and they wanted us to complete what they have discussed. Also note your paraphrasing as it helped me.

    For writing: Task 1 …we were asked to write a letter to our child’s head teacher to request for permission for one day off from school for our child and tell the head teacher plans we have made for the classes the child would have missed as well as the reason for the one day off request.
    Task 2: we were asked to write an essay to argue why people in some countries buy more of old items compared to new items and discuss if the trend should continue or not.

    For Speaking: i was asked stuff on celebrity i like and why?, asked question on watches and if i like them, i was asked questions on gifts and if i have received any in the past, was asked to talk about my hometown as well. The last part of the speaking were questions developed from celebrity cue card i was given.

    For Reading: it was a lot of passages from beginning to end. I think speed is most required here. I did not complete three questions because of time and rushed a lot on the last part which was a very long passage….so i did not read well/fast to locate my ans.

    • Sorry your comment sat in moderation for so long. Well done 🙂 Band 7.5 in writing is great 🙂 Thanks for sharing your tips 🙂

  39. Hi Liz!I dont know what “Both a wife and mother of three” means.Could you explain to me,that would be helpful 😀

    • It means she is a wife and also has three children. It can be written as “wife and mother of three” – a mother of three children. We miss the word “children” because it is understood by native speakers without that word.

  40. Hi Liz
    I want to ask you about Q 4 and Q 5

    I wrote (culinary journey )
    and ( a columnist )
    that is correct? ??

    • Both your answers would be marked wrong. The word “tour” means “journey” and it is already given in the sentence so you can’t repeat it. The article “a” is also given in the sentence for the next question and so your answer would be wrong by repeating it. See the video on the main listening page to learn more.

  41. Kuljeet Kaur says

    Hi Liz
    Your way of teaching is really good.The tips given by you helped me to score 6 each.
    May God bless you.

  42. It is nice conversation, it added to me a lot of synonyms


  43. i Liz the instruction was to write once word, so i wrote competition. so why is the answer baking competition.

  44. The 3rd answer I wrote cake champion will it be correct?? And the remaining 4 and 5 I’m not familiar with those words so I didn’t wrote any answer for those.😑😐

  45. Hi
    I have trouble playing the record, is it only for me that is not playing?

  46. Hi Liz
    Thanks for your helping
    I would like to knou if you have a onlin course?

  47. Absolutely helpful. Thanks a lot

  48. Hi Liz,
    In question 3 I wrote “baking contest”. Do you think the answer would be correct?

  49. Hi Liz how r u , I get my result I got 6 each thank u so much . All your tips are very helpful for students . Thank u sooooo much

  50. I wrote UK champion. Is that ok?

    • That would be wrong. Your answer must fit the sentence and “champion” does not fit with the verb “winning”.

      • Hi Liz,

        Great stuff on your website. What I have observed and also felt a challenge is managing the attention span, which needs to be very quick and sharp. The accent, except for few instances in the middle of the talk, is all not that difficult. What i feel is even if it was spoken in Indian English. Do you have some sound tips for putting our attention on high alert and continuing it for 40minutes. I am good in english but I stand almost nowhere due the abovementioned problem…I have IELTS exam and I am worried as how to get there upto the mark…..Many thanks in advance.

        • The only way to develop concentration and focus is practice. You need to practice with full listening tests. Then practice doing listening, reading and writing tests at the same time without a break – just like in the real test.

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