This is a question I so often get asked not just by my readers and followers, but my students as well. Asking this question does not only show some curiosity in understanding trying to pinpoint which areas the candidate need to work on to perform better, it also shows a genuine interest and keen motivation […]Read more "The most important IELTS question you’ll ever ask “How can I do better?”"
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 […]Read more "3 questions I get more than anything else as an IELTS examiner"
If you are familiar with the IELTS, you will understand that the test is quite topic-based. If you are currently my student, you will understand by now, how to go about preparing for this test effectively and how not to. One no-no is blindly memorising words and phrases and using them in your own essay. The “copy and […]Read more "Why the “copy and paste” method won’t work in the IELTS test"
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 […]Read more "Using cohesive devices correctly 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 […]Read more "How to avoid repeating the same words in IELTS Writing"
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 […]Read more "4 Types of Sentences 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. […]Read more "Can I use formulaic expressions in IELTS Writing and Speaking?"
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 […]Read more "How to describe trends in IELTS Writing Task 1"
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 […]Read more "Using linkers appropriately in IELTS Writing"
It is quite tempting for a candidate, in their bid to meet the IELTS Writing word limit as well as in their attempt to create complexity in their sentences, to try to ‘fill up’ spaces on their blank pages with as many words as possible. This inevitably leads to one simple problem: confusion. Remember that your […]Read more "How to construct complex sentences in IELTS Writing"