The words IELTS Listening Part 4 stand next to the My IELTS Classroom cover art

IELTS Listening Part 4 When I was a young teacher (sadly a long time ago), I used to think that IELTS Listening Part 4 was the most difficult part of the test. I mean, it seemed obvious – this was the only part of the test that asked the students to listen to a lecture and we all know that those are “difficult”. However, with time, I have realised that this actually Listening Part 3 that causes the most trouble as this requires the test-takers to listen for agreement and emotion as well as information.

The words IELTS listening skills sit next to the My IELTS Classroom podcast logo

IELTS Listening Skills: Recognising Agreement and Attitude Hey! Did you know that in Part 3 of the IELTS Listening test, you are often asked to listen for the speakers’ attitudes to the topic that they are discussing? In fact, I think that this is what makes this part of the exam so tricky. You are no longer being asked to just match facts. Instead, you will have to identify if the speakers agree or disagree, or if they are surprised by, concerned about, or simply are interested in the information that they are discussing. Today, Nick and I will look at two types of Part 3 questions to show you how to recognise this “language of attitude” and to prove[…]

IELTS podcast

Podcast IELTS: 5 ways to use podcasts to study for IELTS If you are a regular listener to the My IELTS Classroom Podcast, then I am sure that you are already convinced about the benefits of using podcasts in your IELTS preparation. However, although listening to a dedicated IELTS podcast like ours is a great way to train, there are thousands of other podcasts on topic like economics, science and social trends that you can use to improve your exam-day performance. In today’s episode, I want to show you FIVE different ways that you can use podcasts to prepare for IELTS, and give you recommendations for specific episodes that I think are particularly useful to get you started. This is[…]

IELTS Listening Matching Questions

IELTS Listening Matching Questions The matching questions in the IELTS exam should be easy. I mean, you can see the answers – they are just sitting there in the box. So why is it so difficult to match them? Well, that all depends on what the type of matching task you have been given. That’s right – there are TWO types of IELTS listening matching questions – one that focuses on testing your vocabulary, and one that focuses on testing your ability to follow a conversation. Today Nick and I will break down both types to show you how they work and why they can be so tricky (Spoiler – it is all about SYNONYMS!) Plus, if you like this[…]

The word IELTS in red sits on a silver background but the final "S" is replaced by a crossed out pound sign to represent that this is about free ways to prepare for IELTS

7 free ways to prepare for IELTS How are you doing? I am personally finding life very strange and stressful at the moment thanks to the impact of COVID19. However, I also know that I cannot control what is happening outside my apartment walls, so all I can do is stay inside and try to make the best of this difficult situation (which means finally starting to make some new teaching videos!!!!!!). So, if like me you would like to make the most of this extra time at home, here are seven great free ways to prepare for IELTS!

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IELTS Listening Part 1 Most students think that IELTS Listening Part 1 is the easiest part of the test, but I disagree! I have seen many high-level student lose marks here, which can be a complete disaster if you are aiming for the highest band scores, like an 8.0  for CLB9. So today, I want to show you the 4 most common reasons why students make errors in this part of the test, and explain what you can do to avoid falling for these IELTS “traps”.

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!

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!).

The podcast thumbnail for My IELTS Classroom Podcast sits on the left of the picture, next to the words IELTS 101: An Introduction to IELTS Listening

Introduction to IELTS Listening Test Welcome to the third lesson in our IELTS 101 series – an introduction to IELTS listening. I think that listening is usually the easiest of the four tests, but it can still definitely be very tricky if you don’t prepare well. As usual, Nick and I start the episode by giving you some basic facts about the IELTS listening test, such as the types of conversation that you will hear in each part and the types of question you will have to tackle.