The word Grammatical Range and Accuracy sit on a pink background. Some of the letters are falling off the page to illustrate that this blog post will discuss the 10 most common IELTS grammar mistakes

10 Most Common IELTS Grammar Mistakes Your IELTS grammar score is calculated using two broad criteria – range and accuracy. Very simply, this means that to achieve a high score, you will need to show the examiner that you can write a number of different types of complex sentences (so not just the same one again and again) and that you can produce them accurately (so you can write sentences that are error-free). Every year I mark literally thousands of IELTS writing scripts, and it is amazing how often I see the same mistakes again and again, no matter what the nationality of the writer. So, in today’s post, I want to show you the 10 most common IELTS grammar[…]

A white speech bubble and pink speech bubble sit in a yellow circle sit on a blue background to symbolise the top 5 IELTS speaking tips

Top 5 Tips for the IELTS Speaking Exam The IELTS speaking test can often seem like the most difficult 14 minutes of a students’ life. But, you can definitely maximise your chance of achieving a high score if you can master good test-technique. After examining hundreds of students, these are my top 5 IELTS speaking tips. 

The word parallelism sites on a yellow background and is reflected below to show

IELTS Grammar: Parallelism Hey! In today’s blog I want to look at a grammar point that is not discussed very often but can make a big difference to your Grammatical Range and Accuracy score: parallelism. This is particularly true for high-level students who often make mistakes in this area. So, let’s start with the obvious question: What is parallelism? 🤔

A computer sits on a purple background next to a piece of paper and a pencil. Between them are the letters vs, to signify versus and to show that the blog will compare the IELTS computer-based test and the paper-based test

IELTS Computer-Based Test vs Paper Test The introduction of the new IELTS computer-based test has given students a new option in terms of the way that they sit the test. However, it has also raised the question, which test is right for YOU? Many articles have appeared that outline simple differences between the tests (“it is quicker to type” and “good for people with bad handwriting” are the most common comments!) But today I want to take deeper look from a pedagogical perspective into which is the best format for test-takers. First though, let’s get some basic facts about the CB test out of the way:

A screenshot of a Microsoft word count counter showing 249 words signifies changes to IELTS Word Count Rules

New IELTS Word Count Rules In the past, you automatically lost points from your Task Achievement / Response score if you wrote an under-length essay, report or letter. However, from mid-2018 the automatic IELTS word count penalty was removed. There has been no official announcement of this change and the information was supposed to be sensitive. However, as many people are now discussing this on various social media platforms, I thought it was time I addresses this issue to ensure students understand what this change means. 

A rocket on a space background symbolises the importance of practicing with these authentic 100 IELTS essay topics

100 IELTS Essay Topics for IELTS Writing Let me start by saying that by far the best resource for authentic IELTS essay topics are the Cambridge 1 – 13 books. These are real past IELTS exam papers and, therefore, provide students with the highest quality questions for all parts of the test. However, what do you do if you have finished the Cambridge books? Or you struggle with one particular type of question and want a lot of that specific type of practise?

A yellow 7776 and an equals sign sit on a orange background next to a question mark to signify that nobody knows hoe your overall IELTS writing band score is calculated

How is your overall IELTS writing band score calculated? Hey! Today I want to give you a short guide to how your overall IELTS writing band score is calculated. You might think that this is obvious, but you will be surprised how many people misunderstand the scoring system and, therefore,  think that they are performing better than they are! 

A boxing glove punches a comma to signify the importance of commas in IELTS punctuation

Hey! I’m going to be honest with you – ask a native speaker where you have to use commas in a sentence, and most will look back at you with a blank face! Why? Well, most native speakers don’t care that much about them! Some sprinkle commas all over their writing, others use none at all – and most of the time, it doesn’t make a huge difference because English speakers are rarely judged by their comma use! But, in the IELTS exam, a mis-placed comma can make a BIG difference to your GRA score – particularly if you are aiming for a 7.0+. So, in today’s blog post, I want to go through the rules of where you definitely should,[…]

A cartoon image of a man stands under three arrows pointing at the letters A, B and C to represent how students choose answers for IELTS Multiple Choice Questions

IELTS Multiple Choice Questions: Listening Test-takers often find that IELTS Multiple Choice Questions (or MCQ’s for short) are the most difficult to answer in the Listening Exam. This is perhaps not surprising as there is a lot for your brain to process while answering them. Unlike the other types of question that require you listen for ONE answer, MCQ’s require you to assess the viability of THREE possible correct answers – all while trying to follow the audio-script and not get lost!

Two men look at a number one the floor. The man on the left says "6" as this is what it looks like to him. The man on the right says "9" as this is what the same number looks like to him. This picture signifies how different examiners can give different scores in the IELTS speaking and writing exam, and will help students understand if they should got for an IELTS remark or not

Should I request an IELTS remark? Every candidate has the chance to apply for an IELTS remark if they feel that their scores do not reflect their true exam performance. However, NOT every candidate who doesn’t get the band scores they need should do this! There are many factors that you should take into account before deciding on applying for an enquiry into your results – and a couple might surprise you! So, in today’s blog, we are going to look at the SEVEN QUESTIONS that any student considering a remark should ask themselves (and answer honestly!) before spending money on one. But, before we get into those, let’s start by looking at some…