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IELTS Books Reviews

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IELTS Speaking Topics Compilation

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IELTS Test Schedule 2015

2014 test schedules for the IELTS in the Philippines

IELTS and IELTS UKVI Comparison

Differences between IELTS and IELTS UKVI

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Rechecking of IELTS Test Results - Is It Possible?

Are you unsatisfied with your IELTS examination?

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS exam) is a requirement that has been used by different agencies worldwide. The IELTS test is designed to gauge the individual’s expertise in using the English language. The English language has become the most spoken second language in the world right now. With this fact, providing certification for non-native English speakers on their fluency using the language in speaking, listening, reading and writing has become one of the objectives of the IELTS examination. A lot has challenged the test; however, not all have been successful in gaining their target scores.

Each company, academic institution, or even country has their own standard scores. These scores are needed continue a candidate’s application for the said examination. The score varies depending on the type of module you are taking (Academic and General Training) and the purpose of your exam – employment or education. Hence, there is no pass or failing score in the IELTS. However, some candidates fail to get the required score. In this case, candidates are asking if it is possible to have the IELTS exam rechecked.

The IELTS Exam can be rechecked upon the candidate’s request. Having a recheck of the IELTS exam is usually done when the candidate feels that his or her exam might have wrongly assessed. For starters, candidates need to complete the Enquiry or Results Form. Refer to your test center for the forms may vary slightly depending on which country the candidate is from. Candidate need to check that this must be received by the center within six weeks from the test date and a fee is paid too.

Though the exam can be rechecked, candidates are advised not to recheck the reading and listening parts of the exam. This section of the IELTS can just be right or wrong so there is a slight possibility of getting a better score.

Most candidates have their speaking and writing exams rechecked. These exams are scored subjectively so there is a possibility that the one rechecking it may give the response a better score. However, prior to having rechecked, be sure that you are confident that you did well on those sections.

Having the exam rechecked may take about six to eight weeks. Candidates also need to know that rechecking the examination can either increase the score or decrease by a few points. If you badly need a better score for the IELTS, you can take the exam again rather than waiting for almost a couple of months for the result.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dos and Don'ts When Using Commas in the IELTS Writing Exam

Words build up sentences, sentences creates a paragraph, and paragraphs compose a good essay. Essay writing is not an easy task knowing that you have to consider these essentials to your writing. Hence, getting familiar with the rules in sentence construction and grammar has to be practiced. In the International English Language Testing System examination or IELTS Exam, the writing examination will challenge the candidate’s know-how in using English in a written text. Aside from grammar, sentence construction, and vocabulary, the candidate also needs to be knowledgeable with the rules on punctuation.

Punctuation is one rule in the English language that most candidates overlook. Punctuations serve as guides to readers when to make a pause or a full stop at reading. Let us study a punctuation that can be very confusing when used in writing – the comma.

Commas (,) are generally used in a sentence to signify a pause in reading. Though it has a simple function in the sentences, rules on commas are helpful for any person writing an essay especially an IELTS writing task. Here are some rules to remember:

1. Use commas to separate a series in a sentence.

I eat ham eggs bread and banana for breakfast. When writing things in a series, it is best use commas to separate them. Writing them like the one above is incorrect.

Examples:

I take a shower, cook breakfast, drink some tea, and read a newspaper in the morning before leaving the house.

The graph shows a decrease in the male population, a growth in the female population, and an increase in infant birth.

2. Use a comma when connecting two independent clauses with coordinating conjunctions.

Independent clauses are clauses that have a subject and a verb and a complete thought. Coordinating conjunctions are the following AND, BUT, OR and SO.

Examples:

I met Joel during my birthday party, and she met Chris in a wedding.

The first graph shows an increase in the school’s enrolment, but the second graph focuses on the decrease of quality teachers.

3. Use commas when you start your sentences with time markers such as when, while, before and after.

Examples:

When the data was collected, the researchers started the experiment.

Before the year 1998, the sales for the said product were high.

4. Use comma with nonessential clauses.

Nonessential clauses function as adjectives in the sentences.

Examples:

Mr. Kim, who is wearing s black suit, is the company’s treasurer.

The 88 Bus, which goes to the Rocks Boulevard, never comes late.

Commas are important in writing sentences. Simple sentences become much better when added with details by using commas. Learn more and practice writing sentences with the different rules on comma.


Here are some useful infographics about commas:






Monday, December 16, 2013

Commonly Used Informal Terms that Must be Avoided in IELTS

The IELTS examination or the International English Language Testing System test has been the leading English proficiency examination requirement of different international companies and academic institutions. In the Philippines, most Filipinos who are taking the IELTS undergo IELTS training in different IELTS review centers in the Philippines. A lot of individuals are encouraged to take classes from these review centers as they promise quality education and review programs that are informative and essential in gaining knowledge for the IELTS.

The test has four core language skills – reading, listening, speaking and writing. Amongst these four skills, the speaking and the writing sections are parts wherein the candidate’s skill on grammar is evaluated. Hence, it is important for candidates to use the right vocabulary and the appropriate expressions in creating responses for the speaking and writing sections. Using informal words in the speaking is somehow acceptable; however, such words should be avoided in the writing section. With this, knowledge on commonly used informal terms that must be avoided in the IELTS must be made known to IELTS test takers.

1. Phrasal verbs

There are a lot of phrasal verbs in the English language. As someone who is familiar with English, using phrasal verbs can come out naturally in speaking. However, it is suggested that in writing these should not be employed. Here are some examples of phrasal verbs that should be written in its formal term.

Examples:

  • let me know – inform
  • drop – cancel
  • get in touch – contact
  • say sorry – apologize
  • deal with – handle
  • set up – establish

2. Contractions
In any kind of formal writing, contractions should never be used. Instead of having these words in their short forms, they should be spelled out.

Examples:

  • it’s – it is
  • can’t – cannot
  • didn’t – did not
  • I’m – i am

3. Idiomatic expressions

The usage of idioms is accepted in speaking as long as candidates do not overuse these expressions. In writing, they are considered inappropriate. Some idioms put more emphasis on the writing. However, instead of using an idiomatic expression, candidates can opt for other ways of expressing it. For example, instead of saying “raining cats and dogs”, candidates can express it by saying “heavy downpour”. 
 


4. Active versus Passive

Specifically in writing, using the passive form in writing makes the response more academic. The passive voice is more concerned with the action of the verb rather the one who is doing it. Also, the usage of passive voice helps the candidate avoid too many personal pronouns in the essay.

In IELTS review centers, these commonly used terms are explained thoroughly. Through the given sessions in the centers, candidates become more confident in using the English language in both speaking and writing.

Aussie slang terms must also be avoided

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Three Key Elements of an IELTS Essay

Ever since we started school, we have been taught by our teachers on how to write words, sentences, paragraphs and eventually essays. It is a long process that took years of experience to finally come up with a nice composition. We have had practices from easy topics to those complicated ones. Hence, essay writing is a task almost everybody knows how to do, but hesitant in doing. Why is that so?

Yes, it is a hard thing to write an essay. Apart from the vocabulary and sentences to be used in the essay, it is best to know the elements in writing an essay, most especially writing essays for an English proficiency examination such as the IELTS or the International English Language Testing System examination. These important elements are introduction, body, and conclusion.

ielts essay
The introduction of your essay should contain the main idea of the paragraph. It is expected that the rater will be reading a possible paraphrase of a part of the question. Paraphrasing is one of the skills that candidates for the IELTS have to learn and develop. The introduction can be 3 to 5 sentences.

The second element is the body – the most crucial part. Here, the points or the opinion should be written. It is important to write the point as your first sentence followed by an explanation of this point. Further, make the point stronger by giving examples and more details. The body should have at least two different paragraphs explaining different points.

Finally, write a conclusion that will summarize or paraphrase the idea presented in the introduction. Here is a sample essay for the IELTS:

Question: Many people say that the only way to guarantee in getting a good job is to complete a course of university education. Others claim that it is better to start work after school and gain experience in the world of work.

How far do you agree or disagree with the above views?

(introduction)

It is probably true to say that most people believe that a university degree is the only way to get a good job. I think this is true in certain areas, while in other areas, a degree is not as useful.

(body 1)

To begin with, many people have ambitions to become a qualified professional and there is no doubt that becoming a doctor or a lawyer, for example, is only possible with a degree. Another advantage of graduating from university is that it gives you more choices when it comes to choosing a job. Most employers will be more impressed by a candidate who has a degree than they would be by one who only has high school qualifications because it shows a certain level of intelligence and education, as well as the commitment and self-discipline that is needed in order to study a degree course for three or four years.

(body 2)

On the other hand, there might be some benefit to starting your career early, especially if your chosen field is one which does not typically require a university education. This would apply to somebody who wants to be a car mechanic, or a fashion designer, for instance, who would not necessarily gain anything from going to university. The hands-on experience you gain in your job while others are studying for a degree can give you a distinct advantage. I once read about a man who left school at sixteen and went on to become a wealthy and successful investment broker. He claimed that he had learned all he needed to know by working in his chosen field and that he could not have done any better by getting a degree.

(conclusion)

So, to conclude, it is possible to get a good job without going to university. Having said that, some professions, such as the law, require you to have a degree and as stated above a University degree could potentially open more doors when looking for a job.

Source: http://www.ielts-exam.net/ielts_writing_samples_task_2/630/

Monday, December 9, 2013

Price of IELTS in the Philippines

Is taking the IELTS costly?

ielts

This is the major concern of candidates for the International English Language Testing System examination. Taking the IELTS examination has become a requirement for working professionals and students who want work overseas and undergo academic training respectively. For the past years, an IELTS certification is needed to verify the candidate’s fluency in the English language as they are going to work and study in an English speaking country.

In the Philippines, lots of candidates find IELTS review center to help them build their skills for the IELTS. In IELTS review centers, candidates are given a course program that will suit their needs. Though Filipinos are known to be good at using the language, there are still a lot of techniques, skills, and strategies that are yet to be discovered needed for the IELTS examination.

Finding a good IELTS review centers can be challenging as there are lots of review centers today. Once you have decided where to review, you will be asked whether you need to take the Academic or General Training modules of the IELTS exam. These two modules are different depending on the purpose of the candidate. General Training is usually for work and study program for less than six months, whilst Academic is also for employment and study program for more than six months. Candidates need to check the company or institution which exam they need before applying. Regarding the test, candidates will be asked whether they will take the IELTS under the IDP or British Council. Both are authorized agents of the IELTS. The exams are the same except for their fees. The British Council costs PhP8986 while the IDP is at PhP8900.

IELTS review centers have different course programs offered to candidates. There are regular programs and intensive programs that depend on the need of the candidate. Review center staff makes sure that they explain the programs well and orient them regarding how classes are done. Usually, review centers in the Philippines provide IELTS courses that cost from 3, 000 to 5,000 pesos.

Candidates worry about the money they have to spend for the IELTS exam – the exam fee and the fee for the review. Yes, it can be pricey; however, the training one can get on review centers cannot be compared with the training one gets by studying alone. Invest on knowledge and be the best for the IELTS examination. Choose the best review center, review well, and apply what you have learned on the IELTS test.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

IELTS Test Dates 2014 Philippines

The following are the test schedules for the IELTS exam in the Philippines. You can find useful articles about the exam on this blog or visit http://www.jroozreview.com/ielts-blog for more. We recommend you to visit JRooz for the best IELTS review and training experience.

Get IELTS review discounts at http://goo.gl/PsQJNw.


British Council:



2014 ielts test dates philippines british council




IDP Philippines


2014 ielts test dates philippines idp philippines



Wednesday, December 4, 2013

IELTS Reading Practice Test - Academic Module

Here's a sample IELTS reading practice test for the Academic module provided by IDP.

1. Identifying information.

The Motor Car

A. There are now over 700 million motor vehicles in the world - and the number is rising by more than 40 million each year. The average distance driven by car users is growing too - from 8km a day per person in western Europe in 1965 to 25 km a day in 1995. This dependence on motor vehicles has given rise to major problems, including environmental pollution, depletion of oil resources, traffic congestion and safety.

B. While emissions from new cars are far less harmful than they used to be, city streets and motorways are becoming more crowded than ever, often with older trucks, buses and taxis which emit excessive levels of smoke and fumes. This concentration of vehicles makes air quality in urban areas unpleasant and sometimes dangerous to breathe. Even Moscow has joined the list of capitals afflicted by congestion and traffic fumes. In Mexico City, vehicle pollution is a major health hazard.

C. Until a hundred years ago, most journeys were in the 20km range, the distance conveniently accessible by horse. Heavy freight could only be carried by water or rail. Invention of the motor vehicle brought personal mobility to the masses and made rapid freight delivery possible over a much wider area. In the United Kingdom, about 90 per cent of inland freight is carried by road. The world cannot revert to the horse-drawn wagon. Can it avoid being locked into congested and polluting ways of transporting people and goods?

D. In Europe most cities are still designed for the old modes of transport. Adaptation to the motor car has involved adding ring roads, one-way systems and parking lots. In the United States, more land is assigned to car use than to housing. Urban sprawl means that life without a car is next to impossible. Mass use of motor vehicles has also killed or injured millions of people. Other social effects have been blamed on the car such as alienation and aggressive human behaviour.

E. A 1993 study by the European Federation for Transport and Environment found that car transport is seven times as costly as rail travel in terms of the external social costs it entails - congestion, accidents, pollution, loss of cropland and natural habitats, depletion of oil resources, and so on. Yet cars easily surpass trains or buses as a flexible and convenient mode of personal transport. It is unrealistic to expect people to give up private cars in favour of mass transit.


F. Technical solutions can reduce the pollution problem and increase the fuelled efficiency of engines. But fuel consumption and exhaust emissions depend on which cars are preferred by customers and how they are driven. Many people buy larger cars than they need for daily purposes or waste fuel by driving aggressively. Besides, global car use is increasing at a faster rate than the improvement in emissions and fuel efficiency which technology is now making possible.

G. Some argue that the only long-term solution is to design cities and neighbourhoods so that car journeys are not necessary - all essential services being located within walking distance or easily accessible by public transport. Not only would this save energy and cut carbon dioxide emissions, it would also enhance the quality of community life, putting the emphasis on people instead of cars. Good local government is already bringing this about in some places. But few democratic communities are blessed with the vision – and the capital – to make such profound changes in modern lifestyles.

H. A more likely scenario seems to be a combination of mass transit systems for travel into and around cities, with small ‘low emission’ cars for urban use and larger hybrid or lean burn cars for use elsewhere. Electronically tolled highways might be used to ensure that drivers pay charges geared to actual road use. Better integration of transport systems is also highly desirable - and made more feasible by modern computers. But these are solutions for countries which can afford them. In most developing countries, old cars and old technologies continue to predominate.

Sample Passage 7 has eight paragraphs labelled A-H.

Which paragraphs contains the following information?

Write the correct letter A-H in boxes 14-19 on your answer sheet.

NB You may use any letter more than once.

14 a comparison of past and present transportation methods
15 how driving habits contribute to road problems
16 the relative merits of cars and public transport
17 the writer’s prediction on future solutions
18 the increasing use of motor vehicles
19 the impact of the car on city development


2. Identifying writer’s views/claims

The Risks of Cigarette Smoke

Discovered in the early 1800s and named ‘nicotianine’, the oily essence now called nicotine is the main active ingredient of tobacco. Nicotine, however, is only a small component of cigarette smoke, which contains more than 4,700 chemical compounds, including 43 cancer-causing substances. In recent times, scientific research has been providing evidence that years of cigarette smoking vastly increases the risk of developing fatal medical conditions.

In addition to being responsible for more than 85 per cent of lung cancers, smoking is associated with cancers of, amongst others, the mouth, stomach and kidneys, and is thought to cause about 14 per cent of leukemia and cervical cancers. In 1990, smoking caused more than 84,000 deaths, mainly resulting from such problems as pneumonia, bronchitis and influenza. Smoking, it is believed, is responsible for 30 per cent of all deaths from cancer and clearly represents the most important preventable cause of cancer in countries like the United States today.

Passive smoking, the breathing in of the side-stream smoke from the burning of tobacco between puffs or of the smoke exhaled by a smoker, also causes a serious health risk. A report published in 1992 by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emphasized the health dangers, especially from side-stream smoke. This type of smoke contains more smaller particles and is therefore more likely to be deposited deep in the lungs. On the basis of this report, the EPA has classified environmental tobacco smoke in the highest risk category for causing cancer.

As an illustration of the health risks, in the case of a married couple where one partner is a smoker and one a non-smoker, the latter is believed to have a 30 per cent higher risk of death from heart disease because of passive smoking. The risk of lung cancer also increases over the years of exposure and the figure jumps to 80 per cent if the spouse has been smoking four packs a day for 20 years. It has been calculated that 17 per cent of cases of lung cancer can be attributed to high levels of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke during childhood and adolescence.

A more recent study by researchers at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) has shown that second-hand cigarette smoke does more harm to non-smokers than to smokers. Leaving aside the philosophical question of whether anyone should have to breathe someone else’s cigarette smoke, the report suggests that the smoke experienced by many people in their daily lives is enough to produce substantial adverse effects on a person’s heart and lungs.

The report, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (AMA), was based on the researchers’ own earlier research but also includes a review of studies over the past few years. The American Medical Association represents about half of all US doctors and is a strong opponent of smoking. The study suggests that people who smoke cigarettes are continually damaging their cardiovascular system, which adapts in order to compensate for the effects of smoking. It further states that people who do not smoke do not have the benefit of their system adapting to the smoke inhalation. Consequently, the effects of passive smoking are far greater on non-smokers than on smokers.

This report emphasizes that cancer is not caused by a single element in cigarette smoke; harmful effects to health are caused by many components. Carbon monoxide, for example, competes with oxygen in red blood cells and interferes with the blood’s ability to deliver life-giving oxygen to the heart. Nicotine and other toxins in cigarette smoke activate small blood cells called platelets, which increases the likelihood of blood clots, thereby affecting blood circulation throughout the body.

The researchers criticize the practice of some scientific consultants who work with the tobacco industry for assuming that cigarette smoke has the same impact on smokers as it does on non-smokers. They argue that those scientists are underestimating the damage done by passive smoking and, in support of their recent findings, cite some previous research which points to passive smoking as the cause for between 30,000 and 60,000 deaths from heart attacks each year in the United States. This means that passive smoking is the third most preventable cause of death after active smoking and alcohol-related diseases.

The study argues that the type of action needed against passive smoking should be similar to that being taken against illegal drugs and AIDS (SIDA). The UCSF researchers maintain that the simplest and most cost-effective action is to establish smoke-free work places, schools and public places.

Questions 4 – 7

Do the following statements reflect the claims of the writer in the reading passage.

In boxes 4-7 on your answer sheet write 
YES if the statement reflects the claims of the writer 
NO if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer 
NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

4 Thirty per cent of deaths in the United States are caused by smoking-related diseases.
5 If one partner in a marriage smokes, the other is likely to take up smoking.
6 Teenagers whose parents smoke are at risk of getting lung cancer at some time during their lives.
7 Opponents of smoking financed the UCSF study.


3. Matching features


 [Note: This is an extract from an Academic Reading passage on the development of rockets. The text preceding this extract explored the slow development of the rocket and explained the principle of propulsion.]

The invention of rockets is linked inextricably with the invention of 'black powder'. Most historians of technology credit the Chinese with its discovery. They base their belief on studies of Chinese writings or on the notebooks of early Europeans who settled in or made long visits to China to study its history and civilisation. It is probable that, some time in the tenth century, black powder was first compounded from its basic ingredients of saltpetre, charcoal and sulphur. But this does not mean that it was immediately used to propel rockets. By the thirteenth century, powder-propelled fire arrows had become rather common. The Chinese relied on this type of technological development to produce incendiary projectiles of many sorts, explosive grenades and possibly cannons to repel their enemies. One such weapon was the 'basket of fire' or, as directly translated from Chinese, the 'arrows like flying leopards'. The 0.7 metre-long arrows, each with a long tube of gunpowder attached near the point of each arrow, could be fired from a long, octagonal-shaped basket at the same time and had a range of 400 paces. Another weapon was the 'arrow as a flying sabre', which could be fired from crossbows. The rocket, placed in a similar position to other rocket-propelled arrows, was designed to increase the range. A small iron weight was attached to the 1.5m bamboo shaft, just below the feathers, to increase the arrow's stability by moving the centre of gravity to a position below the rocket. At a similar time, the Arabs had developed the 'egg which moves and burns'. This 'egg' was apparently full of gunpowder and stabilised by a 1.5m tail. It was fired using two rockets attached to either side of this tail.

It was not until the eighteenth century that Europe became seriously interested in the possibilities of using the rocket itself as a weapon of war and not just to propel other weapons. Prior to this, rockets were used only in pyrotechnic displays. The incentive for the more aggressive use of rockets came not from within the European continent but from far-away India, whose leaders had built up a corps of rocketeers and used rockets successfully against the British in the late eighteenth century. The Indian rockets used against the British were described by a British Captain serving in India as ‘an iron envelope about 200 millimetres long and 40 millimetres in diameter with sharp points at the top and a 3m-long bamboo guiding stick’. In the early nineteenth century the British began to experiment with incendiary barrage rockets. The British rocket differed from the Indian version in that it was completely encased in a stout, iron cylinder, terminating in a conical head, measuring one metre in diameter and having a stick almost five metres long and constructed in such a way that it could be firmly attached to the body of the rocket. The Americans developed a rocket, complete with its own launcher, to use against the Mexicans in the mid-nineteenth century. A long cylindrical tube was propped up by two sticks and fastened to the top of the launcher, thereby allowing the rockets to be inserted and lit from the other end. However, the results were sometimes not that impressive as the behaviour of the rockets in flight was less than predictable.

Questions 7 – 10
Look at the following items (Questions 7-10) and the list of groups below.
Match each item with the group which first invented or used them.
Write the correct letter A-E in boxes 7-10 on your answer sheet.
NB You may use any letter more than once.
7 black powder
8 rocket-propelled arrows for fighting
9 rockets as war weapons
10 the rocket launcher

First invented or used by
A the Chinese
B the Indians
C the British
D the Arabs
E the Americans
For the answers, please contact us and we'll send it to you.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Popular IELTS Writing Topics for Academic Module Task 2

The International English Language Testing System examination or the IELTS is one popular English competency test in the whole world. Millions of non-native English speakers take the challenge of this exam to acquire certification of their fluency in using the English language. Among the four language skills, the writing part has been said to be difficult – most especially questions on the Academic Module of the IELTS examination.

The IELTS writing section has two tasks. The first task where candidates need to write an essay based on a diagram or a graph presented. In the second task, the candidate is tasked to write a clear and logical argument on a given topic. The topics covered in this task are easily understood by individuals who are in the undergraduate or postgraduate level. The candidates are asked to write at least 250 words within 40 minutes.

For candidates to excel in this section, there is a huge need to be acquainted with the common or even the popular topics in the IELTS Academic Module Task 2. Hence, here are some topics that are commonly used in the writing Academic Module Task 2.

· Social Issues

- Is freedom of speech necessary in a free society?

- Many newspapers and magazines feature stories about the private lives of famous people. We know what they eat, where they buy their clothes and who they love. We also often see pictures of them in private situations. Is it appropriate for a magazine or newspaper to give this kind of private information about people?

· Technology

- Machine translation (MT) is slower and less accurate than human translation and there is no immediate or predictable likelihood of machines taking over this role from humans. Do you agree or disagree?

- Some people consider computers to be more of a hindrance than a help. Others believe that they have greatly increased human potential. How could computers be considered a hindrance? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience.

· Education
- Nowadays many students have the opportunity to study for part or all of their courses in foreign countries. While studying abroad brings many benefits to individual students, it also has a number of disadvantages. Do you agree or disagree?

- In some countries young people have little leisure time and are under a lot of pressure to work hard in their studies. What do you think are the causes of this? What solutions can you suggest? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

To ace this part of the exam, candidates have to do more practices in writing essays. With the examples mentioned above, candidates can work on them and improve their writing skills.