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?"
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"
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 […]Read more "Are you taking “smart” pills for the IELTS?"
“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 […]Read more "How to create ideas for the IELTS Test"
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 […]Read more "Why IELTS students should avoid electronic dictionaries or translators"