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

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.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Fake IELTS Results Revealed

A report from SBS has revealed that there were allegedly reported fake results for the IELTS as used in some visa applications for Australia. The said report cited that the fake IELTS test results from Vietnam are sold from $5,000, $10,000, or $12,000, depending on the score. 


A Vietnamese university student who spoke to SBS News on condition of anonymity, said her friend made several unsuccessful attempts to pass the permanent residency test, and became desperate.

“So that's why she contact someone in Vietnam and they told her that if she pay the money, he can help her to get the “seven”.”

“She [made] contact with one man, and they do the contract for her, and she signed the contract.”

The woman allegedly paid about $5000, but then withdrew out of fear.

“She was scared that [if] … immigration find out that it's fake, then she need to go back to Vietnam forever and she doesn't want that.”

But there are claims others are paying a lot more.

A migration agent, who didn’t want to be identified, told SBS News the company she works for, which operates in Vietnam and Australia, offers a middle-man service for those willing to pay.

“If the client wants to work and migrate to Australia, we offer them the fake IELTS, yes,” she said.

“The price gets higher every day. And right now, I know it's about $12,000."

SBS Vietnamese journalist Olivia Nguyen said some foreigners see fake IELTS as their only option.

It is claimed students and workers were using the service.

“They find, fake certificates as the way to get the visa in Australia,” said Ms Nguyen.

“If you pay money, your results will appear online, on the global IELTS website.”

Ms Nguyen spoke to one student who confirmed the rort.

“Don't waste time on study,” the student told SBS. “Instead of spending money on education, save money and time by buying a fake certificate.”

“The fake IELTS result report is made so carefully and delicately,” she claimed. “Even a normal IELTS teacher could not tell the difference.”

The student claimed it wasn’t hard to find an unscrupulous provider: several websites advertise fake IELTS.

Migration agent Ha Nguyen said it could be lucrative.

“If you get an "eight", it's like 20 points already, so it's already a third of your application.”

If these allegations are true, should there be a strict implementation or a tougher IELTS? This type of issues involving English proficiency tests is no surprise. Few months ago, leaks regarding TOEFL in the UK were also reported. You can check that article at this site.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Effective Study Tips for IELTS

Candidates for the IELTS examination religiously focus on reviewing for the exam. Most of these candidates have a target score to reach for their applications overseas. Failing the IELTS is not an option here. Not only will it cause delays with their application but also the IELTS examination is not cheaply priced. Hence, there is great pressure in getting the target score in the exam in only one take.

Successful candidates have their own story to tell on how they passed the IELTS exam. The common denominator to their claim is focus on studying for the test. How can one effectively study for the test? 
review center for ielts
Here are some tips that can help you ace the IELTS test.

· It will be better to know which sub-test you have the most difficulty with. Assessing your skills makes it easier to focus on which part to study. For example, if you have a weakness in writing essays, it will be beneficial to put more time in reviewing doing writing practices. In other words, prioritize the sub-test that you are not confident with.

· Learn how to manage your time for the test. There are some candidates who take so much time answering questions that they lack much time reviewing their responses. Parts of the test have limited time, so practice answering exercises within the allotted time.

· Create a schedule. For example, on Mondays you can study reading. Only focus on area when studying so that you can have all your focus on its skill building activities. For example, when you are studying for reading, you can practice the skill of skimming or scanning and develop these all throughout your study time.

· Study at your most convenient time. If you are a morning person, study in the morning. You have to find out which time makes you more productive. This will ensure that you are learning something from the schedule that you have made.

· Limit the areas to be studied in a day. Information overload is not a good practice. It will only drain you and make you easily tired.

· Understand the test format of the IELTS. Know which skills are evaluated in a particular sub-test or task. Knowing how the test runs will make you more prepared for the real one.

· Listen to IELTS videos online. There are a lot of videos on Youtube that shows skills to be developed for the IELTS test. Also, there are videos on how to do speaking interviews that can guide the viewers on what to do during their exams.

· Find a speaking partner. A speaking partner is recommend for you to practice speaking in English. This will also boost your confidence in using the language.

· Enroll in an IELTS review center. IELTS review centers have very effective class schedules that boost a student’s English skills. They have schedules particularly focused on classroom lectures and only practices. Also, they have one-on-one speaking classes where speaking coaches can give out comments and advice to develop a student’s English skills.

Studying for the IELTS is important. Being prepared for the exam means having enough time learning and improving skills for the IELTS.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

How to Get a High Score in IELTS Exam?

Every candidate in the IELTS or the International English Language Testing System test aims to get an overall band score of 7.0 or even better. This is because most companies and institutions overseas require this score before a specific person can be awarded with a visa or given an opportunity for work. Since everyone does not want to miss both opportunities, there is great pressure in taking the IELTS test.
There are some candidates who believe that the IELTS test is just a comprehension test on how well they can understand English. In reality, there is more to that. The IELTS test evaluates how well one can understand and use the English language in both oral and written aspects. Knowing this, it is important for any candidate to be prepared before taking the examination. How can one get a high score in the IELTS test?

Getting a good score takes a lot of effort and hard work. To help candidates reach their target score and do better in the test, here are some helpful and easy tips.

· Be comfortable in using the English language. Being comfortable means finding opportunities in your day-to-day activities to speak English. Filipinos are actually good speakers, yet they lack the confidence in using it. Use English in talking with colleagues or when buying coffee. It is a good practice for your speaking and comprehension skills.

· Practice reading. In the real test, candidates are faced with very lengthy reading passages. It could be tiresome. Through reading practices, the candidates can practice how to scan passages to save reading time.

· Listen to English materials such as songs, movies, or podcasts. This will help you get familiar with how English words are pronounced particularly in the British or Australian accent. This is important so as to improve the candidates’ note taking skills as well.

· Review your grammar. Candidates usually commit mistakes in subject-verb agreement, verb tenses and even punctuation. These mistakes may seem little, but they can even cause deductions from the score. Reviewing grammar is an advantage for both speaking and writing tests.

· Find a speaking a partner. Candidates gain more confidence in speaking when they have someone to practice with. This person can be someone who is good at speaking English. Allow the person to give out comments and suggestions with your performance.

· Improve your vocabulary. This is very important in understanding listening and reading passages. It is also useful in speaking and writing as you have to choose the right words in making a response.

· Make your own review schedule in your most productive time. Do not push yourself to review for the IELTS if feeling tired or sleepy. This will compromise your learning. Find the right time in a day where you feel relaxed and ready to review.

· Take practice tests. There are a lot of free exercises online where candidates can access easily. These practice exams expose the candidates to possible question types in the real test.

· Have a checklist on what to review on a particular day. Any candidate should understand that putting a lot of information to their brains is not advisable. Cover two to three topics and let the brain rest.

· Take review classes in review centers. With coaches and trainers to help, candidates are sure to be on the right track when it comes to preparing for the IELTS test.

Getting a high score in the IELTS is very possible. What candidates should always remember is to be confident with their English skills. The confidence comes from a well-planned schedule of review for the IELTS test.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

How to Handle Time in IELTS Reading Test?

Long reading passages are tiresome and boring. Most candidates of the IELTS test find it difficult to focus on the reading test as they are prejudiced that this sub-test requires a lot of effort and work to get a high score. Indeed, the reading test can be pretty challenging as you have to finish reading passages in a very limited time.

Time is the major problem when it comes to the reading test. Since candidates are given long passages, managing time to be used during the exam seems to be troublesome. Though the time is limited, there are some ways on how to handle the reading time in the IELTS test. 

· Make sure that you understand the question. Some candidates read the question without totally comprehending the task. They cannot find the right answer in the passage. The tendency is to read the passage again which is exactly a waste of time. Read the question carefully and be sure to know what information you are looking for in the passage.

· Know the specific type of question in the reading. With this knowledge, you will be able to find the answers quickly in the passage. Anticipating the question types while you are still reading the passage can be done as well.

· Skim through the passage. Skimming is getting the main idea or the general overview of the passage. You do not have to read every single word in the passage. What you need to do is comprehend the gist of the passage. This is a skill that should be practiced well prior to taking the examination.

· Do not do quick reading as this could just make you confused. The test is time pressured, but it is more important to know what you are reading.

· Scan through the passage as well. Scanning is finding specific information in the passage such as name, dates, and places without actually reading the whole passage. This is perfect for detail type of questions. Keep in mind what the things you have found as well.

· Do not worry if some vocabulary words are difficult to understand. Some words might not be part of the questions. The important thing is to understand the passage together with its details.

· Having trouble choosing among the options? Move on to the next question. Contemplating on a particular question for quite some time consumes your time.

· Take a guess. If a certain question is too difficult, eliminate some options and take a wild guess. It is better to have more questions answered than spending a lot of time thinking of the right answer to a question.

· Have the correct spelling. This will give you more time to review your answers.

· Practice. Like the old saying goes, “Practice makes perfect.” Reviewing reading skills is a crucial part for the test. Find people to help you with your reading time management. IELTS review centers offer different review programs to help improve a candidate’s reading skill.

Reading can be boring, yet with practice, one can definitely get a good score in the IELTS reading test. Dedication in reviewing is a must, so as much as possible, start reading now. You might find this IELTS reading strategy useful too.