Tuesday, November 07, 2006

202 Useful Exercises for IELTS

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“202 Useful Exercises for IELTS - International Edition” is the same book as the Australasian version, but includes references mainly to Britain and the region, and the voices on the tape are recognisably British. The 5 sections are: ‘Communication and the Arts’, ‘The Environment’, ‘Technology’, ‘Politics in Britain’ and ‘Youth and Education’.

Within each section of both books, students have the opportunity to extend their ability in a variety of challenging and academically appropriate activities. This way students can acquire the skills necessary to perform well and understand what is required of them in the examination.

“202 Useful Exercises for IELTS” provides students with specialised reading, writing, grammar & vocabulary exercises. The book was designed to help you learn English even if you’re not preparing for an IELTS exam. Improve your English today!

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Cracking the toefl listening Cracking the TOEFL Audio CD

The Official Guide to the New TOEFL IBT

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Oxford Dictionary of English 2006

IELTS Mental Preparation

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It seems like everyone is talking about the best way to prepare for IELTS. Do we need a study plan or not, how do we master the art of interview, what is a good IELTS essay, and so on. Well, aren’t we forgetting something? What about the mental aspect? IELTS, like many other similar tests, requires psychological preparation not less (and may be even more) than good solid studying. As you read this, at least two questions must run through your mind - what kind of psychological preparation and what do we need it for.
In my opinion, anyone who is planning to take IELTS must know that there is a lot of pressure involved. For example, the fact that during the Listening Section the tape is played only once can be very intimidating, so if you’ve missed an answer - you’ve lost it forever, no second chances. Or trying to speak during the Interview for at least two minutes without looking at your watch can scare person as hell. It is also very easy to get depressed in the process of studying just from looking at list of tasks you need to know how to do quickly and accurately.

Being mentally prepared for IELTS does two things for you - it helps you study more effectively and lets you concentrate on the exam instead of your own fears. You can start this preparation by setting a realistic goal - an IELTS band score you need to get. Knowing your target score makes it easier for you to measure yourself - where you are now and what you must improve to get to the target. This way you know exactly how many answers out of 40 you may get wrong and still reach your goal.
When preparing for IELTS, the most important thing to realize is that time is the luxury that you don’t have. This is why strategies were developed to cope with this limitation, and one of them is - skip time-consuming questions. If it takes too long - give up, move on. Some people find it very hard to give up, due to pride, up-bringing or perfectionism and in the end they get hurt because of it. To make sure it doesn’t happen to you, train your mind to obey you in advance.

Another important aspect is to know your weaknesses. Very early in the process of studying you realize what you weakest points are when it comes to IELTS. The most natural thing to do is to devote more attention to those weak areas and not to get discouraged if you find some subject to be more difficult for you than another. Knowing what to expect from yourself makes it easier to control your actions and behavior. For example if you have a tendency to write long complicated sentences and you know about it - you will pay extra attention to this aspect.

And finally, a very common problem: procrastination. You already know that you absolutely have to pass IELTS, that this is the door to your dream but anyway - you can’t get yourself to start studying. The solution: commit to it! Set a deadline, start telling people you’re studying for IELTS, let everyone know. The shame of not living up to people’s expectations will push you towards you goal, which is to ace the IELTS and forget about it.

About the AuthorSimone Braverman is a Software Designer. She had to take the IELTS test to open a door to a dream. Her curiosity pushed her quite a bit further into extensive research on differnt aspects of IELTS test. More information at www.ielts-blog.com

IELTS: 10 Mistakes You Must Avoid

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The process of studying for IELTS can be overwhelming. It always is of great importance to one’s future and the stakes are usually high. Among countless rules of IELTS it is easy to loose focus and begin drifting in the wrong direction, especially when you have nobody to guide you. This is the reason why people don’t receive the score they really deserve. Here are the top 10 mistakes IELTS candidates make.
Give more answers than necessary As I have already mentioned in one of the previous articles, instructions are there for a reason. If they say “give one answer” or “answer in 3 words”, this is exactly what the examiners will be looking for, and if they find two answers or four words - points are lost forever.Write answers in the booklet, not on the Answer Sheet Of course, writing answers on the booklet margins looks more natural then having to copy them to some special Answer Sheet. Well, surprise - the only answers IELTS examiners count are those copied to the Answer Sheet. Every answer written on booklet margins only scores zero.

Lose track of time During Reading and Writing sections it is candidates’ responsibility to manage their own time. No one will tell you to stop working on the current task and to move forward to the next one. So, in worst case scenario, you could spend all the time working on just one passage, when there are 3 more to go.
Waste a lot of time on one hard question All IELTS questions are of different difficulty. It is wrong to assume that every next question will be harder than the previous one. This is why getting stuck on one hard question is a bad idea. By moving forward to some easier questions you could win points, which otherwise would be lost.

Read the whole passage first in Reading section Those passages are not meant to be read. It is enough to scan through the text, noticing what the text is about and what the purpose of each paragraph is. After getting familiar with the passage, it is the time to read questions and look for answers.
Assume they know the answer There is an old saying “Assumptions are the mother of all mess-ups”. Many people walk right into this trap, by reading the question and assuming that they already know the answer from their experience or general knowledge. What a mistake! The answer is what is written in the passage and not what comes first to your mind. If, for example, the question is “Does smoking cause cancer” and your mind says “Yes” but the passage says “No”, then “No” is the correct answer.
Copy the task in Writing section Let me list reasons why this would be a mistake. First, instructions forbid this. Second, you don’t get any points for it. Third, it wastes precious time you could use writing something meaningful.

Not checking the answers It is only human to make mistakes and there is nothing wrong in admitting it. This is a good enough reason to check and double-check your answers if there is time left.
Trying to impress the examiner What usually happens when a person starts trying to impress the examiner is usually the opposite. Be the best you can at your level, don’t try to claim a higher level you are not at. Don’t start trying to use super complex sentences or big smart words (without being sure what they mean).
Answering with “Yes” or “No” When examiner is asking you a question, it is not the answer he is after. His goal is to make you speak. As for you, every chance to speak is an opportunity to show how fluent your English is. Answering with “Yes” or “No” ruins every chance of good grade.
About the AuthorSimone Braverman is the author of “ACE The IELTS” e-Book. She once had to take the IELTS test to open a door to a dream. Her curiosity pushed her quite a bit further into extensive research on differnt aspects of IELTS test. More information at www.IELTS-blog.com

Effective IELTS Preparation Online? What Should You Expect?

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The IELTS exam is a difficult test but not an impossible one.
It tests the English-language skills that students actually need to succeed in
graduate programmes, and its assessments are rigorous and thorough.

That said, IELTS also expects each of the four tasks ?
listening, reading, writing and speaking ? to be done in a particular way. It
doesn?t necessarily specify what that way is. Consequently, many ILTS candidates
with high English language skills score more poorly than they might if they knew
the ?rules.?

The prime criterion of a good IELTS preparation course is
that it trains candidates in the ways IELTS wants to see things done. Also,
because IELTS often asks tricky questions, it is imperative that anyone who
wishes to achieve a high score learn the tricks, how to spot them, and how to
overcome them.

To decide whether a particular IELTS preparation course is fully adequate,
look for specific guidance in the following aspects of each of the four tasks:


  • Check to see that the different demands of each of the four sections of
    the Listening Test is explained.

  • Then make sure that there is a good explanation of the
    question types that are most often encountered in Listening. Although any of
    the question types used in the Reading Test can also be used in Listening, the
    Listening Test is more likely to focus on form-filling, summary gap-filling,
    short-answer, true-and-false and fact-and-opinion questions. You should find
    instruction not only on those question types and how they work, but also on
    the indirect ways IELTS often asks questions, the way it relies on rewordings
    of things that are spoken ? so that you have to understand the same idea
    expressed in two different ways ? and words before and after key ideas that
    change the meaning of words supplied in questions.

  • There also should be tips on how to anticipate answers before you hear


  • Make sure that there is thorough explanations of all the
    IELTS question types, how they work, how IELTS sometimes asks them, and how
    you should answer them.

  • Check that there are at least three readings of appropriate
    IELTS length and difficulty, so you can learn to time yourself to read a
    passage and answer 13 questions in 20 minutes.

  • Look to see if there are useful tips on how to read quickly
    and with the single purpose of answering questions correctly. Normal advice
    about ?speed reading? is not enough, because the issue is not how fast you
    read or even how much of the passage you understand ? just how many questions
    you answer correctly.

Writing Task 1

  • Look to see that there are complete explanations about how
    to comprehend information presented in graphic formats such as graphs, bar
    charts, pie charts and diagrams. You must know how to ?read? all six types of
    graphic data correctly, or you will make inaccurate observations that are the
    fatal flaw of Writing Task 1.

  • Make sure there is a complete, sentence-by-sentence
    explanation of the report form. No matter what data you are asked to describe,
    the report format is the same and must be understood completely and

  • Check to see that all the vocabulary you need to describe
    information precisely is provided. There should be appropriate vocabulary
    lists, indications of how to combine words, and clear explanations of the
    different kinds of vocabulary different features of graphic information

Writing Task 2

  • Make sure that the IELTS preparation materials teach you
    what kind of essay? opinion, explanation, or discussion? is required to answer
    the IELTS question properly. Writing the wrong kind of essay, no matter how
    well, could cost you as much as a whole band point.Check that the formats for
    all three essay types are presented in full, with the names and functions of
    each of the sentence types precisely described. Following the expected format
    is key to writing a good essay.

  • Look to see that the preparation materials include ample
    exercises. Most students need practice to learn how to write the different
    kinds of sentences? from hooks to thesis statements to supporting sentences ?
    that work together to make a successful essay. Make sure that the course you
    take includes plenty of exercises so you can get the practice you need.


  • The Speaking task has three distinct parts. Make sure the
    nature and function of all three is clearly explained.

  • Check to see that there is clear explanation of the ?Long
    Turn,? the central section in which you must speak by yourself without any
    help from the examiner. There should be clear directions about how to give
    your answer to that critically important question shape and form.

  • Look to see that the preparation material gives you
    concrete tips on how to turn question-answering into real communication and
    natural conversation.

  • Make sure that there are explanations of more than just
    proper verbal language. Good, appropriate body language can be almost as
    important in this task, which is the only one that puts candidates
    face-to-face with the examiner.

Svend Nelson is a university lecturer and internet entrepreneur. He is
director of UniRoute Limited, a Hong Kong based company with offices in Bangkok
and London providing IELTS online
preparation and other web-based courses for
online university preparation
. Svend lived and worked in various countries
across Latin America, Europe and Asia before settling with his wife in Thailand

online preparation and other web-based courses for . Svend lived and worked
in various countries across Latin America, Europe and Asia before settling with
his wife in Thailandonline preparation and other web-based courses for . Svend
lived and worked in various countries across Latin America, Europe and Asia
before settling with his wife in Thailand

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