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, October 30, 2013

The Three Sections of the IELTS Reading Exam for General Training/Academic Module



Reading is fun. Do you agree with this? For sure, there will be a lot of negative reactions from those who find reading a tedious task. In fact, reading is something most people find boring to do. However, for English competency tests like the IELTS or the International English Language Testing System examination, practicing reading long passages can be a good advantage for its candidates. The reading section of the IELTS exam is one of the tedious tasks in the test. In both General Training and Academic Modules, the reading section is composed of three different sections. Let us find out more on what to expect on these three sections of the reading section. 

In the Academic Module and the General Training Module, candidates are asked to read three reading passages with a total of 1,500 to 2,500 words. There will be about 38 to 42 questions that the candidate has to answer in 60 minutes. 

The types of materials used in the Academic Module are magazines, journals textbooks and newspapers. The topics are all appropriate and accessible to candidates entering a postgraduate and undergraduate course. On the other hand, the General Training Module, the materials are from notices, advertisements, booklets, leaflets, timetables, books and magazine articles. 

The first section of the reading is “social survival.” It contains text relevant to basic linguistic survival in English with tasks about retrieving and providing factual information and sources from notices, advertisements and timetables. The second section is “workplace survival” that focuses on the workplace content like job descriptions, contacts and training materials. Finally, the third section is a “general reading” which involves extended prose with more complex structure but with emphasis on descriptive and instructive texts. 

Generally, candidates need to follow the instructions written on every task. If a question is a little difficult to answer, it is best to move on to the next question and just return to the unanswered question later. It is better to answer items on the test than stay on them for too long. Pay attention to the word limit indicated. If it asks you to write in a maximum of eight words, write within the limit. There will be deductions on your score. The greatest tip here in the IELTS reading is that to answer all the questions on the reading section. For one, there will be no penalties for incorrect responses so there is literally nothing to lose in answering all the questions even if it is just a guess.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

IELTS Grammar: Prepositions "to, of, for"

IELTS Grammar: Prepositions "to, of, for"

Grammar is one subject most people do not like studying. It is really complicated and with all the rules it has, being confused is very normal. However, in the IELTS examination or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam, the usage of grammar in speaking and writing are very important. Hence, it is really vital for any candidates to know the basics in grammar most especially with the prepositions.

Prepositions are words that link words and phrases to other parts of the sentence. There are quite a number of prepositions with very different rules on when to use them. At this point, let us have a deeper understanding of the prepositions To, Of, and For.

TO
•    to indicate the direction to where something or someone is heading

Examples:

My sister is heading to the office this early morning.
The books were sent to Mr. Loh in Singapore.
All of us went to the amusement park yesterday.
Please give it back to me.
•    to show a limit or ending point

Examples:

The snow was piled up to the roof.
The prices rose up to 10 percent compared last year.

•    to indicate time or period

In my work before, I used to work from eight in the morning to ten in the evening.
What time is it? Ten to five.

  
FOR

•    to show how to use something

Examples:

This place is for showcases and that is for the parking.
They baked some cookies for your anniversary.
This knife is for cutting bread.

•    to mean “because of”

Examples:

I am so happy for you. Good job!
We feel sorry for the loss.
For this reason, I think students have to make use of modern instructional materials.

•    to indicate time or duration

Examples:

He has been a very famous actor for ten years.
I have attended the seminar for three days.
I can talk to you for a few minutes.

OF

•    to show belonging, or relating, or connected with

Examples:

The highlight of the show is at the end.
Don’t use that. That is the chair of my sister.
I always dreamt of being rich and famous.
The first page of the portfolio is an acknowledgement.

•    to indicate reference

Examples:
I got married in the summer of 2012.
This is a picture of my boyfriend.

•    to indicate an amount or number

Examples:

I have drunk three cups of coffee this morning.
I had only four hours of sleep because of my report.
A large number of students gathered for the protest.

There are a lot of practice tests online where you can test you skills on prepositions. Be familiar and use it appropriately in your sentences.

You can also visit http://www.ieltsexamstips.com/2013/09/prepositions-ielts-exam-tips.html  to know more about the prepositions “on, in, at” when indicating time and place.


Download a PDF version of this article here.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Best Pointers to Remember Before Taking the IELTS

The IELTS or the International English Language Testing System examination has long been running to be the in demand English competency examination needed by companies and institutions by companies and institutions abroad. The need for the IELTS certification is apparent as more and more students and working professionals are applying for the examination and taking review courses for the IELTS examination. Indeed, it is best for any candidate for IELTS to prepare before the real IELTS examination.

Here are some things one should remember in preparation for the taking the IELTS examination.

Before the examination day:

• Comply with the requirements you need in applying for a slot in the IELTS examination. Go online and check the dates that are still available.

• Always remember to know whether you need to take the Academic or the General Training module of the examination. To be sure, check on the company or the academic institution you are applying for. Remember that you need to be sure on the required score that you need to get for the examination.

• Take review classes a couple of months before the scheduled exam. There are a lot of IELTS review centers available in the country today, so candidates are presented with a lot of choices. In addition, taking review classes can help the individual be more familiar with the exam as mock tests are given in the duration of the program.

• Study at home by reading other materials like practice tests online and even books and newspapers that will help you expand your vocabulary needed for the examination.

• Take a lot of rest the night before the exam day. Do not review. Take advantage of this time to let your mind and body to get the rest and rejuvenation it needs.

On the test day:

• Arrive in the test center a couple of hours before the examination. Check your email regarding the location of the test center. You could visit the test center to be familiar with the place.

• Bring your ID (the one you used upon registration) and pencils. Your ID will be verified once you arrive and the pencils will be used during the examination. 
ielts exam philippines

• Eat before going to the examination. An empty stomach will be a trouble to your concentration during the examination.

• Use the toilet before the test starts.

• Wear something comfortable on the test day. It is advisable to bring a jacket or coats for some test centers have really cold temperature inside the testing rooms.

The IELTS examination is easier once you have prepared everything that you need. IELTS review centers coaches and staff will give you the advice that you need to do before and on the day of the examination.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Common Mistakes in IELTS Listening Exam

Though a lot of people consider the listening part of the IELTS or the International English Language Testing System examination easy, there are still a number of test takers who commit a lot of mistakes in responding to the tasks. There are some factors why some candidates, particularly Filipinos, fail to get a satisfactory score in the IELTS examination. This is the very reason why a lot of Filipinos choose to find a review center where they can find resources and training that will guide them and develop necessary skills for the listening examination.


The listening section of the IELTS is the same for both Academic and the General Training examination. It is divided into four different sections with ten questions in each. The candidate is given about forty minutes to answer and transfer these answers on the answer sheet. Question types used in the listening section are multiple choice, short answers, sentence completion, matching, chart completion and even some classification questions.


The best thing to get a good score in the IELTS listening section is to avoid some common mistakes. Here are some common mistakes candidates commit in the listening section.


• Misspelled words cannot be given any considerations or simply wrong spelling wrong. For example, when asked to fill in a chart, if you write “cat” instead of the correct answer “cats”, your answer will still be wrong. Hence, you have to listen carefully on the audio recording. Remember that the audio is only played once so taking down notes is very important and necessary.

• There are times that when we are not sure of our answer, we leave the question behind. Though you are not sure with your answer, still write it down. Who knows your guess could be the right answer? Meaning to say, take the risk in writing what you have heard than leave the blank.

• Sometimes, candidates immediately write an answer that they have heard immediately on blanks. However, sometimes in the listening, the speaker corrects a detail that has been said; hence, candidates should listen carefully first before writing down any answers.

• If you are asked to write no more than three words, then write within the limit. Failure to comply with the instruction results to a reduction to the score. The problem is most candidates just fail to read the instruction carefully and just write answers without even understanding the task. This should be avoided and corrected.

To be more familiar on the correct strategies in answering the listening section and avoiding the common mistakes, you can practice online or you can find assistance from training centers for the IELTS. Here, start your IELTS listening practice at this post http://www.ieltsexamstips.com/2013/09/ielts-listening-practice-test-from.html.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Useful Conjunctive Adverbs to Enhance Your Performance in the IELTS Writing and Speaking Tests

Grammar is a very important aspect one should manage to handle well in speaking and writing. This is the very reason why some companies and agencies require their applicants – professionals or students – to have a high band score in the IELTS or the International English Language Testing System examination especially in the speaking and writing sections. Both sections challenge the candidate’s knowledge and expertise in using the English language with a particular focus on the usage of grammar.

Whether speaking or writing, it is very best for the candidate to be organized in his speaking response and essays for the writing part. Once thing emphasized in this aspect is the use of conjunctive adverbs in the speaking responses and essays for the writing.

What are these conjunctive adverbs?

Conjunctive adverbs are words that use to indicate a connection between two independent clauses into a single sentence. Conjunctive adverbs are adverbs that function as conjunctions in the sentence as they link ideas in two or more sentences that show relationship and ideas among these sentences.  These relationships can show comparison, contrast, sequence, cause-effect or other relationship between ideas.
Here are some conjunctive adverbs that you can use:

To show addition:    also, besides, furthermore, in addition, likewise, moreover, similarly
To show contrast:    however, instead, rather, still, yet
To show emphasis:    certainly, indeed, surely, truly
To show result:        accordingly, consequently, otherwise, therefore
To show sequence:    first, second, third, afterward, finally, lastly, later, next, then

Here are sample sentences where conjunctive adverbs are used:

The movie got good reviews; however, I was not really impressed with it.

The demand for caregivers abroad has increased; hence, more and more people have started preparing their requirements to apply for the said vacancy.

You’d better fill up the tank; otherwise, we will surely run out of gas going to California.

With the used of conjunctive adverbs in your IELTS speaking response, it guides the examiner within your answers. It makes your response have a smooth flow making the examiner not confused with the flow of your ideas. In the writing section, the use of conjunctive adverbs is essential in exhibiting the relationship of one sentence to another. It is an effective way of providing coherence and fluency in the essay. 

You can use the following image and share it via Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media sites. You can also save it on your phone and remember these conjuctive adverbs for your IELTS writing and speaking tests.




Monday, October 7, 2013

The Importance of Newspapers to Improve IELTS Writing Skills

For most people, writing in the English language takes a lot of expertise. There are some technicalities in writing that one must acquire to be able to come up with a logical and reasonable writing output. These technicalities include grammar, sentence construction, vocabulary and expressions, punctuation, and most importantly the coherence and flow of the ideas in the essay. 
ielts writing

In taking an English competency test like the IELTS or the International English Language Testing System examination, preparing for the writing exam is very crucial. If you are taking the Academic writing, you will have to interpret a given data, graph or process in an essay form making the writing a little technical and difficult. In the General Training, you will have to compose a letter based on a given situation; hence, knowledge on writing correspondence is important. With these in mind, preparation for the IELTS writing should really be made and done. For starters, when preparing for the IELTS writing, you could start by reading newspapers.

Why newspapers?

Newspapers are good source of reading materials. They have varied styles of writing including formal news writing found in headlines or news beat and free writing style commonly used in editorials and lifestyle sections. How will these writing be able to help you improve your skills for the IELTS?

• Vocabulary and expressions

There are some good vocabulary words and very good expressions writers use in their articles. Being familiar with these is a good practice to widen your vocabulary bank. In addition, you will also have the chance to understand different word expressions that can be used to make your writing more intelligent and logical.

• Sentence structures

Newspapers articles have the best sentence structures. Though they seem so complicated and a little difficult to understand, the sentences are all in good sentence construction. For candidates reading these, studying closely how sentences are constructed is the best way to practice for your own writing.

• Grammar

News beat writing uses grammar well. The grammar construction is very consistent and the flow of ideas is superb. Hence, newspapers have highly paid editors to do the job.

Newspapers are the best source of ideas when coming up with writing articles. In IELTS review centers, mentors also suggest reading newspapers as a good start for developing one’s vocabulary and sentence flow.
For better practice on writing, it is advisable to enrol in an IELTS review center. Coaches provide writing practices and critique your essay. Trust these mentors for they are experienced in doing this. Thus, visit an IELTS review center today.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

IELTS Speaking Topics 2013

What’s the advantage of knowing sample topic speaking questions in the IELTS or the International English Language Testing examination?

Better and more prepared answers. Everyone wants to have a good response in the speaking examination of the IELTS. There is a desire for any candidate to impress the interviewer with very intelligent and logical responses. To be able to do these, one must be fully prepared for the examination. One thing to do is to know the common speaking topics for the speaking examination. Having knowledge and access to the questions asked in the IELTS speaking especially this year 2013 helps the candidate anticipate what kinds of questions could probably be included in the speaking test.

Here are some speaking topics and questions that have been used in this year’s IELTS speaking examination.

Part 1 – Introduction

What is your name?
Do you work or study?
Where are you originally from?
What kind of foods do you like?
In the future when you have children, would you recommend those kinds of food?
What are the special features in your hometown?
Would you like to stay there in the future? Why or why not?
Who selected your clothes when you were a child?
What would you look for when choosing clothes?
Is it easy to buy clothes for someone else?
Do you prefer writing mails or emails?
What is the difference between communication through emails and letters?

Part II – Cue card

Talk about an enjoyable family event that you have attended, please say:
- When and where did it happen?
- What happened at this event?
- Who was there at this event?
And explain why this event was enjoyable.
Follow up: Do you often take part in family events?

Describe a film based on a real life event or real person. Please say:
- When did you see it?
- Did you like it or not? Why?
- What did you learn from the movie?
Talk about a film or TV program which made you laugh a lot. Please say:
- What it was?
- When you saw it?
- Who the characters were?
Explain what it made you laugh a lot.

Part III – Discussion

Do you think families are important?
Who are more important, family or friends?
When do friends become more important than family?
Many countries are experiencing what is called, “an aging population”. What problems will these countries have as the percentage of old people in society increases and the percentage of young people decreases?
What are the most important things to make a movie successful?
Do you think the star acting in the movie influences the success of the movies? Why?

These are only some questions that you can practice for the IELTS speaking examination. Practice answering these questions in front of a friend or take review classes in IELTS review centers as coaches will rate and provide enriching critique and comments for you to have better responses. You may refer to this page for the compilation of IELTS speaking topics.