FREE IELTS Review Materials

download free materials for your IELTS training

IELTS Apps Review

comprehensive review of various android/iOS apps for the IELTS

IELTS Books Reviews

dissecting various IELTS books

IELTS Speaking Topics Compilation

practice your speaking skills with these topics

IELTS Test Schedule 2015

2014 test schedules for the IELTS in the Philippines

IELTS and IELTS UKVI Comparison

Differences between IELTS and IELTS UKVI

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Worst Advice We've Ever Heard about IELTS Review

I am pretty sure that all IELTS candidates have heard of reviewing for the IELTS, and many of these IELTS examinees are living witness that review centers are really a good help in preparing for the examination. A friend of mine once asked me for advice as he was preparing for the IELTS examination. We had this friend who gave him the worst advice about reviewing for the IELTS – to review alone or simply do self-reviewing

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

IELTS UK Speaking Test & Answers

Taking the speaking test for the IELTS was the most challenging part of my preparation for my UK visa. A couple of months ago, I was scheduled to take the IELTS UKVI speaking examination. Before my examination, I took review classes in an IELTS review center. It was pretty difficult for me as I was balancing time for my review and work. In a week, I could only attend three sessions as I was pretty swamped with work. There was a huge pressure for me to hit my target score in the IELTS examination. First, I already found an employer overseas and the only requirement left to be completed was the IELTS. The other thing was the exam cost quite a lot and I did not want to retake the examination. With this in mind, I put my best foot forward in reviewing for the examination. Lucky for me, I got the best IELTS instructors in town.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Tips on How to Avoid Common IELTS Mistakes in the IELTS

Committing a mistake in an examination is common, yet if you are taking the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination, mistakes should be, as much as possible, avoided. There are lots of IELTS candidates that take time in reviewing for the IELTS. These examinees believe that preparing for the exam is important for them to get a good score in the IELTS test.

Friday, December 11, 2015

How to Improve Your IELTS Listening Score

Listening skill is crucial to any IELTS candidate. In speaking, you have to carefully listen to the question of
the examiner to think of good responses. Listening skill is most especially needed in the listening sub-test where candidates have to answer several listening passages. The challenge in getting a high score in
this sub-test is high; hence, here are some tips on how to improve and get a good score for the IELTS
listening test.

image source

  • Do practice tests. The aim of these practice tests is for you to be familiar with the question typesin the examination. However, do not limit yourself in listening to IELTS listening materials. Thereare other materials like podcasts that can help improve your comprehension in English. TheInternet itself has a lot of good sources for practice.

  • Time management is the key. How to do this? By simply looking at the questions, you will understand whether what word goes in the blanks. Write hints so that you can focus well while listening and easily spot the answer in the passages.

  • Spelling matters a lot. Spell the words correctly once you fill in the blanks. This is commonly overlooked by some candidates. As a result, they get a low score. Make sure proper nouns are capitalized. Doing the opposite will make your answer incorrect.

  • Use the time to review your answers wisely. Check all your answers: their word forms and spelling. No matter how minor your mistakes are, most of the time they are not considered right.

  • Learn the skill of anticipation. Before each part, an introduction is made. During this time, take a guess on what kind of questions will be made. The topic is usually given at this time, so you are already given a hint of the passage.

  • Improve vocabulary. Read a lot to be familiar with more words. It will be much better to study Australian or British vocabulary words as they are commonly used in the IELTS test.

  • Listen to how Australians or British talk. It will be better to be exposed with different accents to help you understand conversations or lectures in the test. Most people get confused with the flow of the passage since they do not hear the right words clearly.

  • Practice note taking skills. In the test, audio passages are only played once so you have to get all the right details in one listening. Practice listening by doing transcribing activities. Try listening to news on write the first part of it. Not only will it improve your note taking skill but also your comprehension skills.

  • Attend listening classes. Listening classes in IELTS review centers aim to make students become familiar with the course of the exam. Further, practices are given to ensure that each student will develop and build strong skills for the exam.

The IELTS listening test is not that difficult when you come prepared for it. The important thing is to
develop good vocabulary and improve note-taking skills. Practicing lets you be familiar with the test.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Best Tongue Twisters for the IELTS Speaking Exam

Speaking is one of the sub-tests in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) that requires preparation from all the candidates. The IELTS Speaking examination requires the candidate to sit on a one-on-one interview as an evaluation. Most Filipinos are good English speakers; however, they lack the confidence when speaking in front of a native English speaker. Thus, a lot of Filipinos take time to practice speaking English not only to improve their confidence in using the language but also develop their English skills.

There are lots of activities that one can do to be more comfortable in speaking the English language. One of these many ways is doing tongue twisters. Tongue twisters are phrases or sentences in the English language that are created to be difficult properly. They are a good practice in one’s pronunciation, stress, and even enunciation when speaking. Tongue twisters are fun and probably one of the best ways to improve one’s clarity when speaking.

To help you with your preparation for the IELTS test, here are some of the best tongue twisters in the English language.

1. I saw Susie sitting in a shoe shine shop.
       Where she sits she shines, and where she shines she sits.

2. Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
        A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.
        If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
        Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?

3. Denise sees the fleece,
        Denise sees the fleas.
        At least Denise could sneeze
        and feed and freeze the fleas.

4. Something in a thirty-acre thermal thicket of thorns and thistles thumped and thundered                       threatening the three-D thoughts of Matthew the thug - although, theatrically, it was only the               thirteen-thousand thistles and thorns through the underneath of his thigh that the thirty year old           thug thought of that morning.

5. There was a fisherman named Fisher
        who fished for some fish in a fissure.
        Till a fish with a grin,
        pulled the fisherman in.
        Now they're fishing the fissure for Fisher.

6. If Pickford's packers packed a packet of crisps would the packet of crisps that Pickford's packers         packed survive for two and a half years?

7. How much wood could Chuck Woods' woodchuck chuck, if Chuck Woods' woodchuck could             and would chuck wood? If Chuck Woods' woodchuck could and would chuck wood, how much         wood could and would Chuck Woods' woodchuck chuck? Chuck Woods' woodchuck would               chuck, he would, as much as he could, and chuck as much wood as any woodchuck would, if a           woodchuck could and would chuck wood.

8. Through three cheese trees three free fleas flew.
        While these fleas flew, freezy breeze blew.
        Freezy breeze made these three trees freeze.
        Freezy trees made these trees' cheese freeze.
        That's what made these three free fleas sneeze.

Aside from tongue twisters, it is also helpful for examiners to follow these tips:

Always find an opportunity to speak the English language. 
Find a speaking partner who can help you improve English. 
Improve your vocabulary.
Enroll in an IELTS speaking workshop to improve both skill and confidence. 

With constant practice with these tips and tongue twisters, being a good English speaker is very possible. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Words to Avoid in IELTS Speaking and Writing

The writing and speaking sub-tests of the IELTS or the International English Language Testing System examination deals with evaluating a candidate’s English skill in both oral and written. Some candidates cannot get a good score in these sub-tests because of the lack of knowledge on what other skills are needed. Vocabulary is one aspect candidates have to improve for these tests.

No matter how wide your vocabulary is, there are some words that should be avoided in the test. These words make your speaking and writing confusing, out of the topic, or in other words incorrect. Some words are not suitable to be used in both tests since they give off a different definition or it lacks a formal tone for the test. Here are some words candidates have to avoid in speaking and writing.


Using this in the Academic writing’s first stack is a big mistake. The essay is based on graphs, charts or diagrams. Facts are already laid out, so all you have to do is to write a summary based on the given data. The word “personally” makes writing personal. 

Personally, I think that the increase of tourists in Greenland lasted for 7 years.

In conclusion
You are not making any conclusions as you are interpreting facts in a data. This phrase is better used in opinion-based essays such as the second task of the writing. 

In conclusion, cars that were manufactured in 1990 boosted the profits of the company. 

But and And
These make the writing very informal. IELTS writing uses the formal tone in writing. Instead of these words, you can use the words however, in contrast, on the contrary, additionally, and further.

CCTVs’ footage can be used as proof for some crimes. But, they can be altered. 

In the modern era
This phrase is overused as an introduction. IELTS questions mostly asked about current issues so putting a time frame is totally unnecessary. 

In this modern era, a lot of children are getting obese.

In a nut shell
This shows conclusion in your writing, yet this idiom is informal. Phrases such as in conclusion and in summary are already enough for your conclusion.

In a nut shell, advertising has brought good influence to the public. 


Yes and No
If you want to agree or disagree with a statement, avoid saying YES and NO only. Elaborate or use other phrases to show agreement or disagreement.

Examiner: Do you live with your parents?
Examinee: Yes. (X)
Examinee: Yes, I do. We live in an apartment.

I don’t understand
Avoid saying this. It is better to say What do you mean by..?

I am sorry, but I don’t understand what you said. (X)
I am sorry, but what do you mean when you said obsolete?

I think…
This is overused, and some use this even though the question is not asking about their opinion. You can use I believe or In my opinion. 

I think that I am very cheerful. (X)
In my opinion, I can describe myself to be cheerful.

What do you think?
You should avoid asking your examiner this question. If you do not have any idea about the topic, then tell them I am afraid I know nothing about the topic.

I don’t have any idea, what do you think? (X)
I am really sorry but I do not know anything about this topic. 

These words will serve as your guide to avoid getting deductions in your IELTS writing and speaking tests. Think of other ways in expressing your ideas for the IELTS speaking and writing tests. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

How Much Does an IELTS UKVI Exam Cost?

A great deal of people is searching for different opportunities overseas. For Filipinos, working and studying overseas should not be missed as an opportunity. One country that has been gaining a lot of popularity amongst Filipinos is the United Kingdom.

In the recent years, the number of Filipinos leaving the country for work and study has risen. Most of these working professionals are in the healthcare industry as the UK has rising demand for nurses in their country. Further, many students want to experience studying in a prestigious academic institution in the UK; hence, they leave for scholarship programs in these universities. Though it seems like going to the UK is easy, there are a number of requirements that need to be completed and submitted, and one of these is the IELTS UKVI. 


The United Kingdom Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has announced that it will only accept the International English Language Testing System test results in UKVI authorized test centers (IELTS UKVI). This is to provide another rating under the CEFR level. With this announcement, Filipinos start looking for information about the IELTS UKVI. 

The IELTS UKVI has the same exam content with the IELTStest. The obvious difference between the two is that the IELTS UKVI can only be taken in UKVI accredited test centers. Currently, there are only two cities in the Philippines that host the exam – Manila and Cebu. Another difference is that the candidates have to pay PhP 14, 835 as their fee for the test – a lot more expensive with the IELTS test. The test fee is the same for both British Council and IDP. 

The IELTS UKVI still has the two modules of the test – the Academic and the General Training modules. For the Academic test, this is the test needed by individuals who are planning to undergo graduate or postgraduate studies in the UK. This is also needed for individuals who are planning to seek professional registration in the country. The General Training, on the other hand, is for applicants who will study under a below degree level. Just like the IELT test, test candidates for the IELTS UKVI should consider some preparations for the test. Below is a list of some things to get ready for the IELTS UKVI test. 

•    Make sure you take the test with good vocabulary. Filipinos are accustomed to using American English vocabulary. There are some American English words that have British English counterparts. Knowing these words will help you better understand articles and passages.
•    Listen well in the exam. Note taking skills are best to be developed for the IELTS UKVI. A success in the listening test relies on how well the candidate has taken down notes and how well he or she managed to comprehend the passage.
•    Improve grammar and sentence construction. Well-thought of responses in speaking and writing gets candidates a good score. This is possible when responses are grammatically correct and are used in well-constructed sentences.
•    Take every opportunity to speak English. Getting used to speaking the language builds fluency and confidence needed for the speaking test. Always try to use the English language in simple conversations daily.
•    Review in IELTS UKVI test centers. With programs on lectures and practices, one gets a lot of training and exposure needed for the test.

The IELTS UKVI test is not only a requirement to be completed but also a good way to assess your English skills. Take the IELTS UKVI with the right amount of practice and review.