Why the “copy and paste” method won’t work in the IELTS test

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 […]

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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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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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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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How to construct complex sentences 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 […]

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Are you taking “smart” pills for the IELTS?

Many candidates probably wish that there is a ‘magic’ pill somewhere that would enable them to solve all their exam problems. Apparently, here is one such pill. Easily obtainable online. Anything is possible on the internet these days. Try the activity below to check your understanding of the discussion: How many students were asked about […]

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Overviews and Conclusions in IELTS Writing Task 1

One of my students asked this question: What is the difference between writing an overview and writing a conclusion in IELTS Academic Writing Task 1? The answer is: not much. Both of them are about summarising the features of the graph or visual information. What is important, is that you need to show an overview […]

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