Monthly Archives: December 2013

Developing Vocabulary for IELTS

OK. So you know that vocabulary is important for IELTS. But really, did you know it is THE most important factor in increasing your band score? So what do I mean by vocabulary? Good vocabulary does not mean big words. In fact, quite the opposite. Having a good vocabulary means using:

  • Collocations e.g. bar of soap, utterly stupid etc.
  • Common phrasal verbs e.g. ask around, break down etc.
  • Fixed and semi-fixed expressions eg. little did I know, all of a sudden
  • Less commonly used words and phrases e.g. interpersonal skills, broaden my horizons, human existence

So how does one go about developing a good vocabulary that can enable you to get a better band score? Here’s what I tell my students: Continue reading

IELTS Writing Task 1: Understanding charts and graphs (Part 9)

In Part 8 of this series – Understanding charts and graphs – I gave you a list of phrases to describe figures in IELTS Writing Task 1. I asked you then to make two lists:
1. Phrases that can be used to describe the table here e.g. a fifth
2. Phrases that can’t be used to describe the table here e.g. a tenth (10.34%, 10.44%)

Here are the answers:

1. Phrases that can be used to describe the table above

a tenth (10.34%, 10.44%)
one in ten (same as a tenth)
a third (35.52%, 36.93%)
one in three (same as a third)
just over forty per cent (40.16%)
just under ninety per cent  (89.49%, 89.28%, 88.62%)
one in twenty (5.42%, 5.95%, 5.75%)
more than fifty percent (58.20%)
less than one percent (0.92%, 0.74%, 0.94%, 0.92% 0.80%, 0.66%, 0.50%)
three out of four (78.99%)
four out of five (80.74%, 82.61%)
three quarters (same as three out of four)
two out of three (63.20%)
two thirds (same as two out of three)
Continue reading

IELTS Writing Task 1: Understanding charts and graphs (Part 8)

In Part 6 and Part 7 of this series – Understanding charts and graphs – you analyzed a table of data. Now let’s look at some ways to describe the data in this chart.

Here is the sample Writing Task 1 question.

 

The table below shows changes in the devices used to access the internet by US adults in 2012 and Q1 of 2013. Write a report for a university lecturer describing the information shown below.

Percentage of adults in the United States who used various devices to access the internet in 2012 and Q1 of 2013.

Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 18.21.40

Source: http://assets.monetate.com/eq/EQ1_2013_final.pdf

 

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IELTS Writing Task 1: Understanding charts and graphs (Part 7)

Here are the answers to the questions about the Writing Task 1 table a couple of days ago.

In case you missed it, here is the link to the post with the questions. You can see the table there too. Answering these questions will really help you in understanding how to analyze the data in the chart correctly. And you know that analyzing data is crucial to writing a good, meaningful description.

Answers:

  1. T / F / NG
  2. The table shows the percentage of people in USA who use the Internet between January 2012 and March 2013 .
    T / F / NG
  3. The table shows change over time (dynamic).
    T / F / NG
  4. The use of the iPhone as a way to access the internet fluctuated somewhat during this period.
    T / F / NG
  5. Generally speaking, the use of smartphones and tablets to surf the web nearly doubled in this period.
    T / F / NG
  6. Windows smartphones were not very popular among US citizens in 2012-2013
    T / F / NG
  7. Android smartphones were more popular than tablets using the same operating system as a means of accessing the internet.
    T / F / NG
  8. The use of traditional devices to browse the internet saw a steep decline in this period.
    T / F / NG

What was your score? Which sentences were difficult for you? Ask your questions in the comments below.

IELTS Writing Task 1: Understanding charts and graphs (Part 6)

Last week, we analyzed a line graph and reviewed / learned useful vocabulary for the IELTS Writing Task 1.

This week, we’ll learn to analyze tables and describe them. Tables, bar charts and line graphs are the most common visuals used in Task 1. It is very important to understand the data the table represents so that you can write an accurate description.

Look at this table and answer the questions below.

 The table below shows changes in the devices used to access the internet by US adults in 2012 and Q1 of 2013. Write a report for a university lecturer describing the information shown below.

Percentage of adults in the United States who used various devices to access the internet in 2012 and Q1 of 2013.

Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 18.21.40

Source: http://assets.monetate.com/eq/EQ1_2013_final.pdf

 

 

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IELTS Tips: Using keywords

It’s very important to identify keywords in the questions in IELTS exams.

KEYWORDS

Keywords help you zero in on the most important information, understand the question, and answer it fully. Always read the question first – in listening, reading, and writing exams – then underline the keywords. In the speaking exam, listen to the examiner’s question carefully to identify the main words.

 

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