IELTS Listening: Predicting answers

One key to success in the IELTS listening test is to be able to predict what kind of answer you must listen for. When you know what to listen for, you have a good chance of getting the answer right.

Learn how to predict the answers using prepositions.


  1. Onele Godwin N. says

    Thank you very much madam,
    Indeed, you are a teacher and a God sent at this lockdown. This is because, most ielt test centres are locked down because of this pandemic. This your online platform has really helped a lot.
    Thank you and God bless you.

  2. Hi, Liz
    Thank you so much for your lessons.
    I´d like to know if is possible use a street name after preposition “on”? Example: He would like to meet on Fifth Avenue.

  3. Your lessons are very useful and effective , you are a great teacher. Keep the good works. I appreciate .thanks

    • You’re welcome 🙂

      • Hello ma’am,
        I’m giving first IELTS . In lockdown online is the only source for us, now I’m learning from your videos and tips, Really you are very sweet, I like the way you teach, I think your way of teaching is making things easy for us. I’m Neha from Jaipur, India…. Thanks we need your support always.

  4. Thank you Liz
    Very much useful to me…
    Advance Merry Christmas wishes to you and your family…😀

    • And a very Merry Xmas to you too 🙂

      • Sehrish Zeeshan says

        Thank you So much Mam ,you are such a great teacher and I found your tutorials really best among others ,May Almighty bless you for this.I wish you a very happy Christmas to you and your family with lots of prayers.
        Jazak ALLAH means May ALLAH bless you for this Ameen

    • I have taken ilest coching two different center,still band score was similar 6, After watching your videos tips and example, in practice test I got score 7, Thank you Liz,I wish you happy New Year in Advance.

  5. Sagar Shetty says

    Thank you Liz for such an exhaustive material on IELTS. Really Appreciate your efforts.

  6. Joseph Edobor says

    Thank you so much Liz. I scored a band 8 in my Listening test. You gave me the best tutorial in preparation for the test. Thanks

  7. Hi Dear Liz,
    I realy appreciate your teaching is perfect thanks a lot

  8. Thank you so much liz , you are the best teacher i have ever had.

  9. Hari Maherchandani says

    Hi Liz,

    It’s very resourceful to review your tips and videos. Well, I would like to clarify regarding usage of propositions. For an instance, as described in this video ‘at’ could be used with weekend i.e. at the weekend. Whereas, very often I see a sentence with ‘on the weekend’. Is this difference due to British and American English and Are both correct?
    If so then in One IELTS Test (throughout the test) we shall follow as per British or American English, need your help to clarify this.

    Thank you.

  10. Gagan Pal Singh says

    Hi Liz. You point in this video about use of capital letter(February/Monday). However, another video you mentioned all letters in Capital. Will there be marks deducted for all Capital letters. Could you please clarify.

    • It is best to use all capital letters for listening and reading.

    • Danish Aftab says

      Thanks Liz your lectures are very helpful for me
      I have a question
      How can I understand the difference of British and American for example date 15th April or April 15th

      • There is no need to differentiate. IELTS is an International English Language Testing System. Can you see each letter? This means it accepts either US or UK English for all parts of the test.

        • Thanks Liz. but is it ok to use both the US and UK english variants of spellings / formats in the same paper? e.g. using Colors (UK version) for 1 answer and then using April 15th (US version) for the other answer?

          Also, if a date is to be written, are all these formats accepted as correct – 10.08.2019, 10/08/2019, 10.8.2019 and 10/8/2019 ?

          • You should choose one spelling only – don’t mix them. There is no rule about the format of dates – as long as it is clear, it’s fine.

  11. Perfect.

  12. kingsley konyeha says

    Hi Liz,
    your videos are very easy to understand. Thank you so much and keep it up.

  13. Mai Ferrer says

    Hi Liz!!! Thank you so much for your effort of sharing your knowledge, about this tormenting English Test… I’am always keeping you in all my prayers, God bless your good heart!!! I love you.. 🙂

  14. jalak nasit says

    Hi Liz,
    Many Thanks for your videos.

    I have few questions.

    1) in Listening or Reading, if i use capitalize format and if an answer is The India how to write in sentence completion task?
    for ex: THE INDIA or The India?

    2) In general task1, if it’s a formal letter to bank manager, can i start like
    “Dear Bank Magaer,” rather than using “Dear Sir,” ?

    And in reading for True False Not Given Can you please give a tip to Advance Level.
    I tried to solve from Cambridge 1-12 books, it’s quiet confusing.

    Thanks Again

  15. how much time is given to read the question before the recording begins?
    your website is great and the all the lessons and tips are really helpful Liz

    • Get the IELTS Cambridge test books – they are real tests and you will know and practise the amount of time given.

  16. Hi ma’am Liz,

    Thank you so much for your lessons. It was really helpful. 🙂

  17. Hi Liz,
    I am not able to concentrate during the listening task section -3 & 4.
    Give me some tips relate to that.

    • when you have time to read through the questions, before the recording plays, you should be underlining key words – in both questions and possible answers. The answers always come in the order of the question numbers. So, use the key words to help you keep your place and follow the content. Your aim is to locate answers – nothing more.

      • Liz, your lessons are quite useful – thanks. As we’re talking about attentiveness during listening session; would like to mention my problem. I scored overall Band 8 in IELTS by having Band 8 in Speaking & Reading. Got Band 7.5 in listening & writing. I appeared for IELTS in India where they give you headset during Listening test. I find that quite helpful. I appeared for IELTS again but this time in the USA where they don’t give you headsets but they plan recording by loudspeaker or a stereo. I find it tough to concentrate when recording is played on a stereo. I feel this is why I could not score Band 8+ in my listening module as you have 20 people sitting in room and you don’t have own headset to focus on recording. Can you suggest any tips on how to counter this problem? Thanks

        • I understand your problem and I have heard about this before. The only thing you can do is find a test center where they use headphones and register for your test there. Also you can practice doing listening tests in a room with other people in it at home – but I recommend my first suggestion more.

  18. Hi Liz,
    Good day!
    I can’t complete reading all the questions (hardly 50% of them) within given time before starting of each recording.
    It would be really great, if you suggest on that point.
    Lastly, thanks a lot …. for your tutorials, they are just great.

  19. Shakil Ahmed says

    Hi Liz,
    Good day!
    I can’t complete reading all the questions (hardly 50% of them) within given time before starting of each recording.
    It would be really great, if you suggest on that point.
    Lastly, thanks a lot …. for your tutorials, they are just great.

  20. AK Ràttàñ says

    Hey Liz I want to confirm that whether we need to change our answers as per given in examples or rather we should write as we listen because you only said that answers are sometimes paraphrased in recording. By the way thanks for such a lovely video it really helped a lot.😇

  21. Mona Darwish says

    Thank you for this useful tips

  22. Omer Murat Geyhan says

    Hello Liz,
    I don’t have any questions. I just want to say thank you for your support )

  23. Hi Liz. Thank you for these videos.
    I would like to ask if there are possibilities of paraphrasing the answers in the listening test or we need to write the answers exactly as what we heard.

    • You need to write the answers as you hear them.

      • Hi Liz,
        Are we supposed to write the word/s as we hear them or adjust the answers according to the question? For example, the recording said I am from Japan and stayed in China, question was Nationality: would writing Japan be considered or it should be Japanese? Another example, the recording mentioned about, dogs skills such as barking and biting. On a sample answer, they have provided an answer like “sit”. Are we suppose to to follow that “form”? Shall we just write bark instead of barking, or bite instead of biting. These technicalities bothers me. -james

  24. Another question Liz, in case you got two conflicting answers which may seem similar such as (warm-up/stretching), would it help to put the two answers or just choose one? Also, is it alright to put parenthesis () on your answers — for certain adjectives such as (a short) essay, or (early) 20th. Hope you can clarify these to me. Thanks a lot Liz!

    • If you wrote two answers, they would be marked wrong. You must write one answer only. You can’t use brackets for your answers. Your final answer is either 100% correct or it is 100% wrong.

  25. Rand Al-amayreh says

    Thank you

  26. Pierre Teo says

    Hi Liz. If I hear the speaker say “20%” on the Listening test,
    will either “20 %” or “20 percent” be correct? Thanks!

  27. Hi Liz,
    When it is said that ONE WORD AND/OR A NUMBER, the question is “Date of birth” and I listened “31st March, 1972”, what should or what can I write on the answer sheet:
    31st March or 31/03/1972 or 31st March/1972?
    Thank you!

    • These problems won’t happen in the real IELTS test. The instructions are always written to allow the correct answer.

      • Yes, I got it.
        And I’m really amazed at how fast you replied!
        Thank you 😄.

      • Dear Liz,

        I feel that I’m blessed to come across your blog site. You are no more than a blessing to me. I am not so good in English and going to appear in exam on 13th May. I am trying my level best to understand and follow your instructions fully.
        Although, within one month, I’ve improved a lot and my score is getting better day by day but still sometimes I loose confidence and feel crying. I need your prayers as you are a blessed person for this noble work.

        I’ve a question which is, when it is said that ONE WORD AND/OR A NUMBERS, the question is “Target Age group” and I listened ” 5 to 12 ” , what should I write in this case?

        Stay blessed.

        • The answers in IELTS will always be logical and will always be within the word count given or the number count given. They never have impossible questions. So, don’t worry about that. But always pay attention to whether the instructions are “and/or a number” OR “and/or numbers”. You can see the first one is just one number and the second allows for more than one number. Check the instructions for each set of questions. Keep a smile on your face and your chin high – it’s just a test 🙂

      • Liz,
        Good day, Unfortunately, this was the case in the Cambridge practice book 9, Test 2. Instruction was one word and / a number.The question was date of birth which was 31st March 1972, but they wrote answer as 31 March only, no year

        • If the year was presumed (which means the year is irrelevant based on other information given), it will be the right answer.

  28. hello liz,
    are we a loud to take a stopwatch to the exam room with us?

  29. asmaa eid says

    please liz
    how to spell the year 2015 you mentioned before
    it is 2 thousands fifteen
    or twenty fifteen
    which of them is true

  30. Hi Liz,

    You told that, It is fine to use capital letter in whole word, but with the days can I write MONDAY instead of Monday?

    All The Best


  31. Hi,
    have a good day!!

    I would like to request could you give me some website or form you for listening test address.


    The best regards,

  32. Hi Liz ,
    God bless you dear for this very help you are giving .
    Keep doing it God will give you a great reward

  33. ROBINS K.GEORGE says

    it is very useful mam,thank you very much

  34. It’s a wonderful session. I do lot of mistakes in sentence completion.
    Very helpful to remember in my exam.

    Thanks a lot.

  35. clarence says

    Hi Liz,

    Your tutorials is currently the IELTS review essentials that I am using and I am glad to see my scores improving each day. Thanks to you.

    I hope you give clarity with my concerns regarding capitalization rules particularly in listening test when labeling maps or diagram, for instance the anwer is cafe . Rule of noun capitalization tells me it is a common noun so I will use lower cases but I have doubt if I will exclude that rule since it is use to label places in the map.

  36. What about occasions?
    Thank you very much for your kind support.

    • Good comment. Usually we use “at” = at Christmas, at Easter, at New Year. However, for birthday’s, we use “on” = one my birthday.

  37. Martin Kwaku Akpatsa says

    Liz, you are great. I love your site and teaching style, clarity of voice and explanation to salient points.

    God richly blesses you.

  38. hii Liz,
    my ielts exam is next week ..i did not prepared for reading part ..How to start and how to end with in 6days please help me…

  39. Hi Liz,

    I have questions for you both in reading and listening section.

    For example, If I am asked to write 3 words for answer but in the practice answer sheet the answer is just water (one word) and I wrote hot water and thats what i heard. Would that be still correct or they will cut my mark?
    Another questions, if in the listening section, the speaker says 2500, should i write that in words or the number is acceptable? or both are acceptable?

    I have a test on Saturday, I would really appreciate your quickest feedback.

    Thank you,

    • Numbers are written as digits not words. For your water question, I can’t answer without seeing the full transcript and also questions etc. IELTS have a list of possible answers and your answers are judge according to them.
      All the best

  40. I’m preparing myself for December session
    I’ve so many confusion about test- writing task ,can i use pen or pencil would be good
    2.In reading task I’ve got difficult in true,false/yes no
    can you please gimme some tips about reading .

  41. Hello Liz,
    My name is Harish and recently i have done my first practice test in IELTS Listening Module Academic. I found a problem that instead of number 15% i wrote (Fifteen Percent). The answer is wrong and what type of approach i have to follow in regarding giving answers in numbers is fine or can i also give in writing in terms of words.

    • Numbers should be written as digits. Also the instructions might say no more than one word so writing two words would be wrong.

  42. Hazem Samoaa says

    can we know the band score and questions to be answered well to get 7 band score?

  43. Hi Liz, I would like to ask if its correct to write November 15 instead of November 15th? Likewise 15th of November and 15 of November? thanks

  44. Dear Liz,
    Is it also possible to expect a place after ‘in’, like ‘meet in the theatre’? If so, there’s sometimes a problem to distinguish at/in with places. Thank you.

    • Yes, some places do use “in”. For example, “in hospital” means that the person is staying there overnight as a patient. And “at hospital” which means a person is temporarily visiting the hospital.

  45. Jamal. Hemmati says

    I would like to express my best regards for your exellant videos and descriptions which really are very instructive and hope you continue your lessons to help people.God bless you.thanks a lot.

  46. Hi Liz,
    I have taken my IELTS Speaking part today. I had questions about my favorite place at home, spending leisure time for the part 1. For the part 2 I had to describe an ELECTRONIC DEVICE I would like to purchase in a future. For the last section of my speaking I have gotten questions related to technology and education. No surprises at all with questions.

    However, my examiner kept making notes very often and wrote “5/” Does it mean I am going to get only 5 for my speaking? I guess the examiner’s notes suppose to mean something different??? I am quit nervous about that.
    Liz, could you please comment briefly about that or direct me to a link where I could find an answer for my concern. Thanks.

    • Don’t worry at all about what notes the examiner writes. 14 minutes is a long time for the examiner to remember all the language you used. So, examiners often write down notes to remind them of what grammar, pronunciation features or some aspect of language you have used. It isn’t relating to your score. Each examiner will have their own way to make notes.
      All the best


    Hi liz
    I am to take my exam in Dec.could u please post full test ie 30 min test so that I can judge myself better.secondly i face load of problem in reading task.should i read newspapers nd magazines to enhance my reading? Plz guide me. I do speakking parts that is posted.Its great.Really u are fanstic.

  48. Samjhana Pradhan says

    Dear Liz,
    I gave my IELTS exam on 1st August. In the first section of the Listening part, we had to write one word answer, so could you please tell whether PAPER-MACHE is one word or two word?
    Moreover, in the second section, the question consisted of two blanks, we had to write the time and the answer was 10 am to 4 pm (to was already written in the question), we were supposed to answer in one word/and/ or number format so in the answer sheet, I wrote 10 AM – 4 PM, could you please tell whether this answer will be correct or not?

    Thank You
    Kind regards
    Samjhana Pradhan

    • Here is a link to your first question: For the second question, IELTS NEVER writes “one word and/or number”, the instructions are either “one word and/pr numbers” (with an s) or “one word and/or a number” (a number = one). You probably had the first option which means you can write two number ” 10am 4pm”
      All the best

  49. Saurav Devkota says

    Thanx Liz for ur videos… they were really helpful for me.. One thing I would like to ask you I m finding multiple choice and direction related questions in listening part.. How to improve it..

  50. Thanks I really love and appreciate it makes me put effort to practice.

  51. Hi Liz,

    I would like to ask, what if in the actual exam we forget to put on (the ) in front of the answer, but (the) did exist in the answer given?

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