The word depends sits next to a blank space to indicate what dependent prepositions are

IELTS Grammar: Dependent Prepositions Learning to use prepositions correctly is one of the most difficult tasks facing English language learners. In fact, along with articles it is usually the final thing that a student masters before becoming 100% proficient. The problem is that we use prepositions in so many different ways. We use them to show place (The cat is under the table), time (I will meet you on Sunday), and to help create phrasal verbs (I ran out of time in the exam). In fact, there are so many different preposition rules that it would be impossible for me to teach them all in one blog post. So, today, I want to focus on just one type: dependent prepositions. We’ll start with[…]

A signpost sits pointing to the words 'remark" or "quit" to signify the decision students have to make when the failed the ielts test

I failed the IELTS test, so what do I do now? Every student who sits the IELTS test hopes to pass. Unfortunately, the sad truth is that not everybody does (at least not first time). So, what do you do when you don’t get the band scores you need? Well, there is no magic answer, but hopefully this short survival guide can offer some help and support to anybody in this position. Here are my 5 Steps To Recovery if you have failed the IELTS test.

A bar chart sits on a pink background to signify how to find IELTS Change Chart Overview

How to find the main key feature for an IELTS Change Chart Overview Hey! If you are an Academic IELTS student, you should know that you cannot get more than a 6.0 for Task Achievement if you don’t have an overview that summarises the general trends of the chart. Now, there is usually more than one key feature in a chart, but there is almost always one that summarises all of the items on the chart. I call this the “main key feature” as it is the most important and the most valuable in terms of points. I teach my students how to find this main key feature on the first day of class. Obviously, it will depend on the type of chart[…]

The words coherence and cohesion sit on a blue background. Some of the letters are falling down the page to signal that this lesson is about the 5 most common IELTS Coherence & Cohesion errors

5 Common IELTS Coherence & Cohesion Mistakes Even though coherence and cohesion makes up 25% of a student’s score for Writing Task 1 and Task 2, it is probably the area that most IELTS test-takers overlook in their preparation. Quite honestly, I am sure that 50% of students aren’t even sure what the two words mean, let alone how they affect their band score! So, in today’s post, I want to look at the 5 most common IELTS Coherence & Cohesion mistakes and show you how to avoid them.

A rocket ship that has taken off is falling back to the ground. The symbolises how it felt to have lost motivation for IELTS

Lost motivation for IELTS? OK. Let me start by saying, IELTS is hard. For some students, it is not a journey that takes weeks, but months or even years. So, it is totally normal to feel sometimes that you want to quit, or at least return to a life that doesn’t involve spending all your free time studying. But, like anything hard in life, it’s in these dark moments that you need to dig deep and find some extra motivation 💥That’s what today’s blog post is all about. Think of me as the hand on your back pushing you forward ✋. Or the supporter standing by your side cheering you on 🗣️. Yes, IELTS is hard, but you are strong and[…]

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.