For this item type you need to reply to the question in one or a few words.

The audio begins to play automatically. You may also see an image.

When the audio finishes, the microphone opens and the recording status box shows “Recording”. Speak into the microphone immediately (there is no short tone) and answer the question with one or a few words.

You should speak clearly. There is no need to rush.

Finish speaking before the progress bar reaches the end. The word “Recording” changes to “Completed”.

You are not able to replay the audio. You are only able to record your response once.


Test tips

Do not pause for too long when you answer the question

You hear a short question and then the recording status box will change to recording.

Start your answer as soon as this happens. If you wait for more than 3 seconds, recording will stop and the item status will change to ‘completed’, which means that you have lost your chance to give your answer.

When you have started talking, don’t stop for more than a second or two until you have finished. ,strong>If you stop for 3 seconds whilst speaking, the recording status will change to ‘completed’ even if you haven’t finished, and you won’t be able to continue answering.

If the status changes to ‘completed’, you have to click ‘Next’ to move on to the next item. This also applies to speaking item types Read aloud, Repeat sentence, Describe image and Re-tell lecture.

Do not try to give a long answer

The instructions for this item type tell you how to answer the question:

There is no point in saying more than you need to say. Marks are awarded for a short, accurate answer. There are no extra marks for additional words.

For example, for this question: ‘What type of periodical is published on a daily basis?’, both these answers would score the same marks:

How this question is scored

Your response for Answer Short Question is judged on our ability to understand a question presented in a recording and provide a brief and accurate response. Your response is scored as either correct or incorrect based on the appropriacy of the words in your response. No credit is given for no response or an incorrect response.


  • This question type affects the scoring of the following: listening, speaking and vocabulary.
  • Your writing skills are not tested by this question type, and your reading skills are only used to read the instructions.
  • For more information download the Score Guide.