A podcast front cover that says The IELTS Speaking band descriptors

Understanding the IELTS Speaking Band Descriptors Hey! In your speaking test, the examiner will use the IELTS speaking band descriptors to give you a score in 4 areas: Fluency and Coherence, Lexical Resource, Grammatical Range and Accuracy, and Pronunciation. But, what exactly is the examiner looking for in your speaking performance to give you a 6, 7, or 8 in each of these areas? Today, Nick and I use our experience as ex-speaking examiners to explain each of the marking criteria in detail and point out where many students “go wrong”. If you are new to IELTS and want an introduction to the test, then maybe listen to our IELTS Speaking 101 lesson first!

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How do I start preparing for IELTS? Hey!  Many students feel confused when they start preparing for IELTS. With so much information online, it can be really hard to know how or where to begin to get the best results. In this post, I want to give you a simple step-by-step guide to starting your preparation for IELTS that is based on my experience as an ex-examiner.

A podcast front cover that says 30 day IELTS motivation challenge

30 Day IELTS Motivation Challenge Hey! Are you tired of preparing for IELTS? Do you have good intentions but never seem to get the work needed done? Well, you are not alone! Almost all of my students tell me that they would like to be more motivated to study. That’s why today, Nick and I will start the podcast by going through 5 great motivational tricks that will help you start studying again. Then, we will encourage you to take the first steps to positive change by asking you to join us in our 30 day IELTS motivation challenge. Are you ready? Let’s do this!!!

The front cover or 15 Cambridge IELTS books with a cross through them to signify the worst way to prepare for IELTS reading and listening

The worst way to prepare for IELTS reading and listening! Almost every week, I get an email or a message on Facebook from a student that looks like this: Hey Shelly, I have finished Cambridge books 5 – 14. Can you recommend another source for reading and listening practice? Many thanks, Student Messages like this make me really sad because there is no reason at all for any student to ever run out of Cambridge practice tests! In fact, if your way to prepare for IELTS reading and listening is simply doing practice test after practice test, you are preparing in the least effective way possible. Why? Let me explain!

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Five IELTS 2020 essay questions explained Hey! In today’s episode Nick and I look at five recently reported essay questions from the 2020 Academic and General Training IELTS tests. Obviously, we cannot be 100% sure that the wording of these questions is totally accurate, but they are based on the information provided to me by my students (who I trust with my life). Even though it is very unlikely that you will have exactly the same questions in your test, hopefully by the end of today’s lesson you will have a much better understanding of how to analyse questions and decide how to approach them. After all, IELTS 2020 essay questions can be on almost ANY topic! Below, you can[…]

The My IELTS podcast logo site next to the words 6 Common Errors in IELTS Speaking Part 1

IELTS Speaking Part 1 – Six Common Mistakes Although the first part of the IELTS speaking test should be the easiest as you are asked questions all about yourself, you still want to make sure that you get off to a strong start. So, today, Nick and I look at six common errors that students make in IELTS Speaking Part 1 and how you can avoid them. Below, you can find a summary of the episode. This includes all of the links to useful materials and the times of each part of the discussion (so you can go directly to the part you want to listen to). You can also find every episode of the podcast here 🚀 Subscribe to My IELTS Classroom podcast[…]

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What makes a good IELTS teacher? Hey! Over the last couple of years, I have noticed that many teachers have taken my ideas and introduced them into their own classes. Usually, I do not mind this. In fact, I encourage it. As far as I am concerned, the more people who are teaching high-quality IELTS classes the better – it will make my job easier when students come to me needing specialist help as I won’t have to “un-teach” them so much bad information. However, this week, I discovered that somebody had taken “borrowing” from me a step too far. This made me realise that I really need to teach my students how to know the difference between a good[…]

IELTS Listening Part 3 Many students find IELTS Listening Part 3 difficult. There are a number of reasons for this, which you hopefully remember from our IELTS Listening 101 episode: there are more than two voices, the questions usually focus on the outcome of a discussion in which many views are offered, and you may also be asked to locate a person’s feelings (and we all know that feelings are much harder to find than facts!).

An IELTS certificate sits on a green background with a question mark pointing to the scores to signify the title of the blog post - What your previous IELTS results tell me ......

What your previous IELTS results tell me Hey! Every week I get emails from students asking me to help them prepare for IELTS. The first question that I always ask them is “Have you taken the exam before?” Why? Do I care about their knowledge of the test or how many attempts they have already made? Not really. What I want to know is their previous IELTS results so that I can get an instant insight into their current level of English and understanding of academic skills.

IELTS Indicator – the new online IELTS test This week the new IELTS Indicator test went live. However, is this new online test from IELTS suitable for every test-taker? Definitely not! Today, Nick and I explain exactly what you should consider before you apply for the test (and there is a lot!). If you haven’t already read my introduction post to IELTS Indicator, I strongly recommend that you do so now. I wrote it before we knew many of the specific details that we discuss in today’s episode, but it will give you a great introduction to the test. Below, you can find a summary of the episode, which includes all of the links to useful materials and the times[…]