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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Why you should always focus on quality in the IELTS test

When approaching a detailed graph in IELTS Writing Task 1 or planning your essay in Task 2, it would be a good idea to select your information carefully. Content plays a very important role in how your answers are assessed. Let’s take an example with IELTS Academic Writing Task 1: DoD Inspector General via Compfight […]

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How to create ideas for the IELTS Test

“I have no idea of what to write about or what to say on certain topics.” This is something I occasionally hear from students who experience a “mental block” when it comes to writing an answer to an IELTS essay topic or respond to an IELTS interview. One mistake students quite often make is relying on the teacher to […]

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Why IELTS students should avoid electronic dictionaries or translators

While training one of my students to use complex vocabulary in IELTS Speaking, I have noticed that she was relying quite heavily on using an electronic dictionary/translator to come up with various sentences. Unfortunately, much of what she was saying was rather confusing, as she had translated without considering whether or not the expressions used were appropriate to the […]

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Understanding structure in IELTS Writing Task 1

It is important that candidates understand how descriptions in IELTS Writing Task 1 are structured. Have a look at this example: The chart shows that Britain, among the four European countries listed, has spent most heavily on the range of consumer goods included. In every case, British spending is considerably higher than that of other counties; […]

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Making comparisons in IELTS Writing Task 1

One assessment requirement of IELTS Writing Task 1 is the inclusion of comparative structures to compare features in a graph, or if you’re lucky, two graphs! As your instructions always say: Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant. Many IELTS candidates tend to ignore this sentence and rush toward producing answers that […]

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Overviews in IELTS Writing Task 1

An important requirement in IELTS Writing Task 1 is the presence of an overview. When describing visual information, candidates need to be able to mention what the chart, table, graph, or diagram is about, through a summarising statement. This statement should not contain any details or figures, although there may be some exceptions. What your examiner needs […]

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