Understanding “One word and/or a number” and similar instructions in IELTS


In the Listening as well as the Reading sections of the IELTS test, you will notice that several questions instruct you to write the answers in a specific format.

WRITE ONE WORD ONLY

ONE WORD ONLY means your answer should only consist of a single word.

Question: How many fingers are there in one human hand?

Answer 1: five (one word answer) Correct

Answer 2: 5 (5 is a number, not a word) Incorrect

Answer 3: five fingers (two words) Incorrect

Answer 4: 5 fingers (one number and one word) Incorrect

ONE WORD AND/OR A NUMBER meaning

ONE WORD AND/OR A NUMBER means that you can use a single word, a single number, or both as an answer.

Question: How many years make a decade?

Answer 1: ten (one word answer) Correct

Answer 2: 10 (one number) Correct

Answer 3: 10 years (one number and one word) Correct

NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS

NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS means you can write either one word or two words as an answer but not more than that.

Question: In which direction does the sun rise?

Answer 1: east (you cannot write more than two words, but less than two words is allowed) Correct

Answer 2: the east (two words) Correct

Answer 3: in the east (three words) Incorrect

NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER

NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER means your answer can have up to two words or just one number or both.

Question: When is Valentine’s Day celebrated?

Answer: 14th of February (“14” is one number, “of” and “February” are two words) Correct

Answer tips

You can write numbers in either Arabic numerals (1, 2, 10, 85) or in words (one, two, ten, eighty-five).

Contracted words like doesn’t, it’s, can’t, Dr (as in doctor), tel no (as in telephone number), X-mas, etc are not accepted as answers.

Hyphenated words like high-tech, brother-in-law, close-up, long-term, etc are considered to be a single word.


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Kat
Kat
9 months ago

In Cambridge 6 test 1 reading they said 3 words and/or a number….ans of 13th question is 2 per cent…why can’t be two per cent?

Pilar
Pilar
10 months ago

Hi! I have doubts related to Cambridge IELTS 9 Listening Test 4. In the part between question 27 to 30 the instruction is NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER. In the question 26, I answered “small groups” (it’s clear in the audio) but the correct answer it’s only “groups”. In question 27 the audio says “every second day” and I wrote that, but the correct answer it’s “every 2 days”. And finally in question 29 I wrote “much more confident” (also it’s in the recording) but the correct answer it’s only “confident”. My answers could be considered correct?

Kseniia
Kseniia
1 year ago

Hello! When it comes to NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER question, if i answer “ring” but the answer is “gold ring”, will my answer be counted as a correct answer?

Kseniia
Kseniia
1 year ago
Reply to  Gaurav Thapa

Appreciate your answer!

Narvan
Narvan
1 year ago

Hello, hope you’re doing well.
I have a question for you and that is in one of the Cambridge books in listening part the answer was : 5 to 12

But the instructions said ” one words and/or a number)

How is it possible?

Narvan
Narvan
1 year ago
Reply to  Gaurav Thapa

Omg ..
Thank you so much 💓
You’re a life saver ..

Aleza
Aleza
1 year ago

Thank you!!

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