4 Types of Sentences in IELTS Writing and Speaking

Grammatical Range and Accuracy accounts for 25% of your total writing and speaking scores, and because of this, IELTS candidates need to be familiar with the types of sentences assessors are looking for when marking exam scripts or interviewing test takers. Basically, there are 4 types of English sentences: 1) Simple A simple sentence contains only […]

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Can I use formulaic expressions in IELTS Writing and Speaking?

When marking IELTS papers, I have often come across certain expressions that you can commonly find in model answers. For example, introductions that typically begin like these ones here: People have always argued on whether …. (Really? Who are these people?) Although there are some advantages to this, I believe that the disadvantages far outweigh the advantages. […]

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Happy Year of the Rooster 2017!

To all my Chinese students who are celebrating New Year tomorrow, 恭喜发财!  😀  Yes, I scripted the Chinese characters myself in the picture above: thanks to my Chinese primary school background! It’s amazing how a language stays with you after 35 years of having left primary school. And this is why I always emphasise the […]

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How to describe trends in IELTS Writing Task 1

If you’ve been keeping up with the news, you will probably have heard about the problems smartphone giants have been experiencing recently. Here is an example article that you could read about Samsung, which contains language that should help you with describing market trends in IELTS Writing Task 1. Can you locate these expressions in context […]

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5 Signs an IELTS Teacher or Trainer is a Waste of Money

In test preparation, there are barriers that only an outside perspective can help you overcome. Spending a little bit of money on IELTS training could be what you need to take your IELTS studies to the next level. The money spent could increase your chances of getting your target band score tenfold if what you learn is […]

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Discussing ‘nature’ vs ‘nurture’ in IELTS Writing and Speaking

If you are very familiar with the IELTS test, you will probably already know that it is more or less theme-based. You would do well to gather enough information to not only be more acquainted with the vocabulary or have adequate background knowledge when following the information given in IELTS Listening or Reading texts, but also argue your […]

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Understanding meaning in context in IELTS Listening

IELTS candidates who are struggling with their listening skills may find micro-listening exercises quite useful in understanding how words are uttered. The website below shows clips of films, containing words, which the listener will then have to guess the meaning of, in context. You can either watch the clip with or without subtitles, but I strongly recommend […]

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