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
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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!). So, in today’s episode, Nick and I try to make Part 3 slightly easier by going through FOUR of the common “tricks” used by IELTS test writers so that you can avoid being fooled by them. How do we know the tricks? Well, remember,
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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. Interestingly, an overall score does not help me to do this – you can have a range of students with different needs who all have a 6.0 or 6.5 overall (or even a 7.0
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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
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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. 1. Check that you are ready to start preparing for IELTS IELTS is not just an English exam. It is designed to test both your language skills (i.e. your level of grammar and vocabulary) and your academic skills (i.e. your ability to write a well-developed essay or summarise complex reading texts). However, your
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The IELTS Listening test sets out to show which candidates can listen effectively, and which can’t. One of the ways of doing this is to set traps — and see whether you fall into them. You need to know about these traps and how to avoid them. In this post we will look at one of the most common traps: the distractor.
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An IELTS test taker asked me this question: ‘In the Speaking test, I know I will be marked on how correct my grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation are. But I don’t understand what this means. Do I have to speak in the same way I would write an essay?’
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One reason the IELTS Writing test is challenging is because of the time constraints. You only have one hour to do two tasks. This means that using your time efficiently is vital.
It is very important to plan what you will write before you start writing. This might seem an obvious idea but many candidates, perhaps consumed with test-day nerves, see the test question and immediately start on their answer.
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When I have a new IELTS class, the first thing I want to assess is their exam skills. So I ask them to read and complete some IELTS Reading tasks. Almost always the questions go to one side, and the candidates focus on the text and read it word by word from beginning to end. I can always see some students panicking about words they don’t know. Meanwhile the minutes are ticking away and no answers are being noted down…
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How is IELTS scored? What is a good IELTS score? How can you find your IELTS level right now? Read on to learn about all the basics — and find out how to access the British Council’s free IELTS Score Calculator.
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