Using cohesive devices correctly in IELTS Writing

Many IELTS candidates are already familiar with the importance of using cohesive devices in IELTS Writing, as this is an area that their description and essay will be assessed on, under the Coherence and Cohesion (Organisation) criterion. However, how many of them know how to use these properly? Remember, this constitutes 25% of your assessment in […]

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What to do with an “outweigh” question in IELTS Writing Task 2

One of my students has recently asked this important question: “Do you need to include an opinion in an advantage/disadvantage essay?” To answer this question, let’s take a look at a couple of example IELTS Writing Task 2 questions: Type 1: The development of tourism contributed to English becoming the most prominent language in the world. […]

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How to avoid repeating the same words in IELTS Writing

In one of our writing classes, a student has asked me this important question: “What can I do if I don’t want to repeat the same words in my writing?” This question arose as we were discussing the importance of referencing when it comes to the criterion of Coherence and Cohesion (or Organisation) in IELTS Writing […]

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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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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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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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Using linkers appropriately in IELTS Writing

Under test pressure, some IELTS candidates tend to feel compelled to use certain words and expressions for the sake of passing a test. Unfortunately, this may be harmful than good, as doing something for the sake of having to do it without giving it much thought may lead to errors that can cost the test taker the precious […]

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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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