5 Common IELTS Lexical Resource Mistakes Hey! Today I want to complete my series of “common IELTS mistakes” by looking at Lexical Resource. If you haven’t already read my previous posts on Task Response, Coherence and Cohesion, or Grammar, I recommend that you have a look at those lessons too. You will find that the four blog posts together, offer you a powerful insight into the main problem areas that most examiners see as they mark. However, there is a reason why I have left IELTS Lexical Resource until the end – for me, it is the hardest part of the IELTS test to teach. So, before we move on to the common errors, let’s spend a couple of moments looking at[…]
IELTS To What Extent Essay Introductions Hey! When students prepare for IELTS writing, they often learn “chunks” of language – these are groups of words or certain sentence structures that can be used in any essay. I encourage this. For example, I tell my students to always use an “although” sentence in the conclusion of an Advantages / Disadvantages essay as this is the best way to summarise both sides. In the same way, it can be great to use a cleft sentence when you are writing topic sentences for an IELTS To What Extent Essay, or to use a “while” sentence in the introduction of a Discuss Both Sides essay. Using these “chunks” will help you to write more[…]
IELTS Preparation: What type of IELTS learner are you? Hey! Did you know that there are two totally different groups of students studying for IELTS? Two groups who have totally different needs and, therefore, face completely different challenges. If you are just starting your IELTS journey, then your first job should be to understand which group you belong to and how it will affect your IELTS preparation. Trust me, not every IELTS student faces the same challenge!
3 Most Difficult Questions in the Cambridge IELTS Books Hey! Almost every student uses Cambridge IELTS books 1 – 14 to prepare for the exam as these books offer students the chance to prepare with genuine past exam papers. However, while all of the questions in these books are from past tests, I don’t think that all the questions are equally difficult. In fact, it has become clear to me over the years that some questions are definitely trickier than others! So, having marked more than 3,000 essays in the past 12 months, I am ready to reveal what I think are the three most difficult essay questions in the Cambridge IELTS books. I’ll tell you why they are difficult,[…]
IELTS Time Management in the Writing Test Hey! A lot of students tell me that they have problems with time management in the IELTS writing test. If you don’t finish both Task 1 and Task 2 in 60 minutes, you are going to find it very hard to achieve a high score (even if your writing is great!). So, in this week’s blog, I want to show you two steps that will help you to analyse your writing to find out where exactly your IELTS time management problems lie.
5 Simple Grammar Tricks to go from 6 to 7 in IELTS writing Hey! My philosophy as a teacher is that the only way to increase your IELTS score is to work hard on improving your language skills and academic techniques. But, I would be lying if I said that I haven’t learned a few shortcuts over the last 17 years that can help students to quickly move from 6 to 7 in IELTS writing! So, in today’s blog post, I want to share my 5 IELTS Grammar Tricks.
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[…]
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[…]
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.
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[…]