Friday, 7 January 2011

Essential vocabulary for Academic Writing Task 1

A guide on useful vocabulary to describe different types of graphs in the Academic Task 1 question.  There are also example graphs with example sentences so that you can use this new vocabulary accurately.

Coming soon...Watch out for more in this series on how to answer the Task 1.


Thursday, 16 December 2010

Try not to panic!!!!

Many students have told me how missing an answer in the listening exam causes them to panic, and as a result, they can't concentrate on the following questions.  Because you only get one chance to listen there is a lot of pressure on you. 

The most important thing to realize is that missing one answer in the exam is not the end of the world (unless of course you are aiming to score 9!). 

  1. First of all check out how many approximate, correct answers you need  in order to get the IELTS score you require.  
  2. Next, you could work out which question types you are good at, and which you aren't.  This helps you to rationalize and focus on your strengths - try to get as many correct answers as possible with those questions you are good at. 
  3. Also, you need to realize that the listening exam starts easy and gets harder.  So my advice to students, depending on the IELTS score you are aiming for, is to work out the percentage of correct answers you can achieve in each section.  For example, you should try to get 100% correct answers from section 1 as it is the easiest section.  However, you could aim for approximately 40-50% correct answers in section 4 (if you have answered most of the other sections well and need 6.5).  In order to make these kinds of calculations you need to have practised a few tests and worked out what you can or need to achieve from each section.
  4. Finally, if you miss an answer don't panic.  Accept that this answer is lost.  Take a deep breath and try to focus on which question you should be listening for now.  Missing an answer is OK as long as you don't let this situation get out of control and lead to you missing another 3 or 4 answers.

Monday, 13 December 2010

How to answer the IELTS Speaking Part 3 questions

In this part of the exam you have to answer discussion questions that may be related in some way to the topic you have just talked about in part 2.  In order to answer these questions well you of course need to practice.  However, you also need to think about what kind of grammar, vocabulary and linking phrases to use to present your ideas clearly.  And you need to understand the questions!!!  Take a look at the guide below and listen to an IELTS teacher answering some questions.