3 questions I get more than anything else as an IELTS examiner

Throughout my IELTS teaching as well as examining career with the British Council, I get asked these same questions each time wherever I go. I normally try to answer them to the best of my ability especially for those who are doing the test at first attempt. I hope you will find the responses below […]

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5 Easy Steps to Train Yourself for IELTS Speaking

Many self-prepared candidates do not really know where to start when it comes to training themselves to speak well in the IELTS Speaking test. The most common mistake is that many just end up watching video after video of example IELTS interviews and have some sort of idea of how they should be answering questions in […]

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How important is eye contact in IELTS Speaking?

Recently, one of my students asked this: “Will my IELTS band score be affected if I don’t make eye contact with the examiner? The book says that if you show a lack of confidence, you will not get a high score.” Quite often, candidates rely on information that may get lost in interpretation if this […]

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How to do your IELTS Speaking test the correct way

If you are doing the IELTS test for the first time, apart from understanding the format of the Speaking section, you may also want to know that there are certain procedures to follow when conducting yourself in the interview. Before going into the test room. Before you are ushered into the waiting room for the test, you […]

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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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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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Covering bullet points in IELTS Speaking Part 2

One of my students has asked me this question: What will happen if I don’t cover all the questions in the bullet points? A common misconception among IELTS candidates is that the bullet points serve as questions to answer. That is NOT the purpose of the these points. They are there to prompt you to […]

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Discussing compassion in IELTS Writing and Speaking

Sunday Morning Live is a TV programme that discusses a lot of interesting issues of the week. If you’re in the UK, you can watch it every Sunday at 10am on BBC One. IELTS candidates would benefit a lot from the ideas and language thrown out during discussions. The video below is an example. The topic is based […]

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