The words difficult IELTS essay questions sit next to the My IELTS Podcast logo

Analysing Difficult IELTS Essay Questions! Every 3 or 4 months Nick and I sit down to review 6 recently reported IELTS essay questions that we think are interesting. Usually, this means choosing questions that focus on topics that we have never seen before, or questions that are in a new format (for example, new types of 2-part questions). However, this week we are doing something different. We are looking at 6 difficult IELTS essay questions. And by difficult, I mean so difficult that even after 30+ years experience teaching IELTS between us, Nick and I struggled to come up with ideas. So, we challenge you to join us in planning these IELTS questions from hell! In fact, why not scroll[…]

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[…]

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IELTS Speaking Vocabulary for Part One Hey! Nick and I talk a lot on the podcast about the importance of “topic-specific vocabulary” in speaking and writing. However, it can be difficult to give clear examples of what this “magical” lexis is, as it changes for each topic. So, today, we thought that would try something different. We have invited 3 native speakers to attempt 6 of the current reported IELTS Speaking Part One topics. We gave them zero preparation or advice – all we asked is that they answer the questions naturally. The result? Lots of natural IELTS speaking vocabulary, plus a chance to hear fantastic intonation and use of filler words. I tried to cover topics that are difficult or[…]

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[…]

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IELTS Reading Multiple Choice Questions Hey! It’s time for another interactive lesson! Yes, after the popularity of our Headings Match, and True / False / Not Given episodes, we are back with another immersive podcast. Today, Nick and I look at IELTS reading multiple choice questions to show you the two best ways to approach this type of question, and four “examiner’s tricks” that you may not be aware of! Plus, we will explain why this type of question is absolutely unlike any other in the test as it is important that you read the passage before you check the four possible answers. What? You are advising us to read without a purpose? Of course not! We just think that[…]

IELTS Dentist

IELTS Dentist Success Story, Zina! Hey! If you are a dentist who would like to register with NHS England, you will need to provide proof of your level of English. One way that you can do this is to provide an IELTS certificate showing an overall score of 7.0, with a minimum of 6.5 in each category. Although this score is slightly lower than the one needed by doctors who want to resister for PLAB, it is still a very high score for test-takers, even those who have a very high level of English. Today, I talk to Zina, a dentist from Iraq, who has recently managed to achieve these scores and is now in the processing of registering with[…]

How to write GOOD examples for your IELTS essay Hey! Following on from last week’s episode, in which Nick and I explained how damaging fake examples are, today we look at how you can come up with good examples for your IELTS essay quickly and easily. The key is taking your own life experience or an observation that you have made in the real world, and turning it into universally accepted statement. Imagine that there are 100 people in front of you – a good example will be clear and accepted by 99 of them without question! Still confused? Then listen to find out more! Below, you can find a summary of the episode, which includes all of the links[…]

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3 reasons why you should NEVER use fake examples in IELTS essays Did you know that recent research at Cambridge University has shown that 100% of My IELTS Classroom students are satisfied with their course? I know – it surprised me too! What surprises me more, however, is that students continue to use fake examples in IELTS essays to “support” their ideas. I cannot express strongly enough how depressed this makes me feel. So, in today’s episode, I want to present my case as to why inventing fake statistics is pointless at best, and damaging to your writing score at worst. Below, you can find a summary of the episode, which includes all of the links to useful materials and[…]

Need IELTS Help?  Listen to our Q&A! Hey! Last week we asked you to email us any questions that you have about the IELTS exam, and boy did you deliver! Today, Nick and I try to answer as many as we can, which was a lot! If you are looking for general IELTS help, then this is the episode for you! One thing that we noticed when we were reading your emails was that many of you don’t realise that this podcast is not the main way that Nick and I help students on their IELTS journey! If you didn’t know that we offer video courses, daily live lessons, marking, and one-to-one lessons (!), then maybe you should go to[…]

The words IELTS letters 2021 sit next to the podcast cover art

IELTS Letters 2021 Hey – welcome to our IELTS letters 2021 episode! Every time one of my students emails me their IELTS results, the fist thing I ask them is “What questions did you have in the writing exam?” There are two reasons for this: First, it helps me understand if our students are performing better in some type of questions than others (so I can support future students better). Second, it allows me to build a bank of recent exam questions that I can give to my students to use for high-quality practice. This week, I updated my recent IELTS letters blog post to show 20 prompts that have been given in exams this year. Today, Nick and I[…]