Monthly Archives: November 2013

IELTS Speaking Part 2 – Q.1

Here’s the first of IELTS Speaking Part 2 questions. I’ll try and post at least one a week, so that you can familiarize yourself with the format of Part 2. Write your answer in the comments box below. Next week, I’ll post a model answer.

Q1

Before you begin, see how to answer questions in Speaking Part 2 and how to manage your time effectively.

IELTS Writing Task 1: Understanding charts and graphs (Part 5)

Here are the answers to yesterday’s question about language to use in Writing Task 1. If you haven’t seen them yet, see my previous posts in this series:

IELTS Writing Task 1: Understanding charts and graphs – Analyze the chart
IELTS Writing Task 1: Understanding charts and graphs – Understand the summary
IELTS Writing Task 1: Understanding charts and graphs – Check your understanding
IELTS Writing Task 1: Understanding charts and graphs – Analyze the language

OK. See the table below to see what the key phrases (in bold) mean: Continue reading

IELTS Writing Task 1: Understanding charts and graphs (Part 4)

It’s time to analyze the language in the chart summary and learn some useful phrases. If you haven’t seen them yet, see my previous posts in this series:

IELTS Writing Task 1: Understanding charts and graphs – Analyze the chart
IELTS Writing Task 1: Understanding charts and graphs – Understand the summary
IELTS Writing Task 1: Understanding charts and graphs – Check your understanding

OK. Now look at the phrases in bold in the summary below.

Categorize them under the following section headings:

  1. went up and down over a time period
  2. did not change
  3. went up a little
  4. went up very quickly
  5. arrived at its highest point
  6. went up noticeably over a period of time
  7. went down
  8. went down gradually over a period of time

Write your answers in the comments below. I’ll reveal the answers tomorrow.

Continue reading

IELTS Writing Task 1: Understanding charts and graphs (Part 3)

It’s the day of reckoning. Did you understand the description I posted yesterday and draw the chart correctly?

If you haven’t done yesterday’s activity, please see blank graph here and try and try and draw the missing parts.

If you did try drawing an image, here is your reward. Click on more to see the graph and compare it to yours.

Continue reading

IELTS Writing Task 1: Understanding charts and graphs (Part 2)

Let’s do some more work on understanding charts and graphs in IELTS Writing Task 1.

Below is a brief description of the graph I posted yesterday. I want you to draw the missing parts of the graph from the description. You might want to print a copy of the graph or draw a rough version in your notebook.

Tomorrow, I’ll reveal the actual line graph so you can check if you interpreted the language properly.

Continue reading

IELTS Writing Task 2: Types of Essays

Different books, teachers and websites classify IELTS Writing Task 2 essays in different categories and types. Some say there are two kinds of essays, some say four, while some say there are as many as seven!

None of the books and teachers are incorrect. They just use different ways of classification.

I’m going to keep things simple and say there’s only one type of essay: the opinion essay. All Writing Task 2 question demand you to write your opinions. The difference lies in how they are worded. Here are the most common Task 2 question words:

  1. Do the advantages / benefits of … outweigh the disadvantages / drawbacks? or,
    Discuss the advantages/benefits and disadvantages/drawbacks of..
    Organize this essay
  2. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
    Organize this essay
  3. Which factor (…) is more important?
    Organize this essay
  4. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?
    Organize this essay
  5. Two-part question: Why do you think this is important? What is the effect of …?
    Organize this essay
  6. Two-part question: What are the possible reasons for (this problem)? Suggest a solution.
    Organize this essay

Here is a basic four-paragraph structure to organize your essay. For more specific structures, see the ‘Organize this essay’ links below each question. Continue reading

IELTS Writing Task 1: Understanding charts and graphs (Part 1)

What’s more important in IELTS Task 1:

  1. Understanding the chart, or
  2. The way you present the information

The answer is both. And they’re both equally important. Many teachers and websites will give you lists of words and phrases to use in each IELTS task. They are focusing on Step 2 of the writing process. Let’s focus on Step 1. Look at the figure below and answer the questions.

Continue reading

IELTS Vocab-a-day

In IELTS Speaking Part 3, the examiner asks you opinion questions. Sometimes you don’t know how to say something. In such cases, it’s useful to use a phrase like this:

I don’t know if this is the right way to put it…

Listen to this example:

Note that native speakers join some words together like this:

don’t know = /dʌnəʊ/

this is/’ðɪ’sɪz/

put it/’pʊtɪt/

The symbols I’ve used here are called “phonemics”. You’ve probably seen them in dictionaries. They are very, very useful for learning pronunciation. Here’s a fantastic interactive phonemic chart where you can learn the sounds for each symbol.  

IELTS Vocab-a-day

In IELTS Speaking Part 3, the examiner asks you opinion questions. Just like you structure a paragraph in writing, you should structure your speaking as well. For a coherent answer:

1. State your opinion
2. Give one / two reasons
3. (optional) Add an argument from the opposite point of view and disagree with it.

To add an extra point or reason, you can say:

But there’s also something else to consider…

Listen to this example:

Note that native speakers join some words together like this:

there’s also = /ðeə’zɔ:lsəʊ/

something else = /’sʌmθɪ’ŋels/

The symbols I’ve used here are called “phonemics”. You’ve probably seen them in dictionaries. They are very, very useful for learning pronunciation. Here’s a fantastic interactive phonemic chart where you can learn the sounds for each symbol.  

IELTS Vocab-a-day

In IELTS Speaking Part 3, the examiner asks you opinion questions. Just like you structure a paragraph in writing, you should structure your speaking as well. For a coherent answer:

1. State your opinion
2. Give one / two reasons
3. (optional) Add an argument from the opposite point of view and disagree with it.

To add an extra point or reason, you can say:

Another important point is that…

Listen to this example:

Note that native speakers join some words together like this:

Another important = /rɪm/

point is/tɪz/

Also, the word that is shortened like this:

that = /ðət/

The symbols I’ve used here are called “phonemics”. You’ve probably seen them in dictionaries. They are very, very useful for learning pronunciation. Here’s a fantastic interactive phonemic chart where you can learn the sounds for each symbol.