So, you’ve finished writing your essay but there’s 2 minutes left in the exam – what do you check for first? ⏱ Well, there are lots of mistakes that students make in their essays – articles, unnecessary passives, fragments, bad use of contrast clauses, etc – but perhaps none are as costly as 💀 NOT having subject / verb agreement 💀 So, in today’s post I want start by looking at what subject / verb agreement is, and how you can avoid the most common errors made by many IELTS test-takers.
Why did the IELTS examiner keep on interrupting me in the Speaking Test? This is a question that I see time and time again in Facebook groups. Well, actually, it’s not usually a question, but a complaint. An angry complaint that accuses the examiner of ruining the student’s speaking performance.
So, if I was allowed to give one ONE tip to an IELTS test-taker before they sat their writing exam, it wouldn’t be to learn how to organise all of the different types of essay, it wouldn’t be make sure they included lots of complex sentences in their work, it wouldn’t even be to make sure they directly answer the question! No, it would be BE CAREFUL OF PARAPHRASING!
Imagine this – there’s five minutes left in the exam and you are only halfway through your second body paragraph! What do you do?! WRITE A CONCLUSION!
IELTS Speaking Part 1 lasts between 4 and 5 minutes, during which the examiner should ask you between 7 and 11 questions. Think about that – 5 minutes for 11 questions. That works out at about 27 seconds per question (including the time it takes the examiner to ask them!). It’s not a great deal of time, but it’s such a short amount either. (I mean – it’s a quarter of your cue card time!) Now, I have seen a lot of sites that tells students to answer each Part 1 question in 2 or 3 sentences. In general, I think that this is great advice. 💥 IN GENERAL! 💥
I think that nothing that fills an IELTS test-taker with fear as much as the idea of being handed a Speaking Part 2 cue card and having NO IDEAS. In fact, just the idea of sitting there for 60 seconds with nothing but the the sound of your own beating heart in your head and the taste of panic in your mouth is the stuff of nightmares 💀. But, fear not, in today’s blog, I want to show you six techniques that you can use to make sure that you ALWAYS have something to say in your two-minute talk.
I want to start this post by telling you something that you might find a bit shocking. Are you ready? In IELTS Speaking Part 1, you don’t need to address all of the bullet points on the cue card. That’s right, there is no penalty for missing one, or two or even three! 😲
We learned A LOT in my first post about True / False / Not Give questions. We learned how to identify keywords (even in difficult passages); what the difference between true, false, and not given REALLY is; and how important it is to go back to the beginning of a sentence (or even a paragraph) when you are reading in detail for the answer. But, here’s the thing, even after learning these skills and practicing them for hours, many students still find that they have problems answering T/F/NG questions, and they don’t know WHY. And so, they reach a road block and get stuck 🚧🚧🚧. I mean, if you don’t know the REASON for your problem, how are you ever going to fix it? 🛠 So, in today’s blog,[…]
Podcasts are my favourite way for students to practise their listening skills outside of the classroom. In fact, if you join me in My IELTS Classroom, you will soon get bored of me recommending episodes to listen to! But, why do I love podcasts so much? ❤Well, there isn’t one answer to that question, there are 6 REASONS WHY I LOVE PODCASTS
We all know the IELTS exam is a high-stakes exam: it’s often the only barrier that stands between a student and their new life. Test-takers spend a lot of time and effort preparing for the exam and, as a result, exam day can feel very high-pressure. Plus, IELTS is expensive! Nobody wants to pay those fees more than once! But, one of the most important things you can do on exam day is to TRY TO STAY CALM🧘♀️.