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

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Top Ten Foods for Memory Retention (To Help You Remember Your IELTS Review Lessons)

As we grow older, we tend to have this difficulty of remembering certain things such as our children’s birthdays, important appointments, and even things that we keep around the house. This problem with memory may seem to be funny in its initial stage; however, the severity of this case gets worse in the long run. It is a fact that our brain cells are the only cells in our body that do not regenerate. Meaning to say, if a brain cell dies, it will cause a reduction on your memory.

It is known to many that there are a lot of people who have been planning to take the International English Language Testing System examination or the IELTS. These applicants age range from young adolescents up to people in the 50’s. Problems in memorizing concepts and strategies may not be a huge issue for young adults, but for those who have problems memorizing information, say those adults, finding the right strategy in helping them become familiar with the IELTS test is very important.

Diet plays an important part in one’s memory retention; hence, it is best to know what foods are best for applicants to binge on while preparing for the IELTS. Here are some foods to boost that memory:

1. Cauliflowers

Cauliflower is a rich source of choline, which is a good mental energy booster. Eating cauliflowers can help applicants be more efficient in memorizing facts and strategies for the examination.

2. Salmon

Fish is very rich in omega -3 fatty acid, specially salmons. Getting salmon in your diet, even once a week, gives you a memory of someone three years younger than of your age.

3. Eggs

Vitamins A, B, B12, and D are known to promote nourishment in the brain. Luckily, eggs are rich in these nutrients. However, do not eat too much as it can be pretty dangerous to those with hypertension.

4. Whole Grains

Folic acid is best for the protection of one’s memory. In addition, it also maintains the concentration and boost the flow of blood in the brain. Brown rice and oats are good examples of whole grains.

5. Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds

These two promote the increase of the cognitive functioning of the brain that helps relieve depression and insomnia.

6. Berries

Known as a superfood, berries have antioxidants that boost the brain’s function. The main target of this antioxidant is to protect the brain cells from wearing out.

7. Coffee
Consumption of coffee reduces the risk of mental related illnesses like Dementia. Coffee has natural antioxidants that promote mental alertness. 

8. Avocados

Avocados promote healthy blood flow. Healthy blood flow means healthy brain functioning. 

9. Dark Chocolates

Antioxidants that reduce cell damage are present in dark chocolates.

10. Broccoli

Rich in magnesium, broccoli helps prevent memory loss and improve intelligence no matter how old you are.

Making these foods part of your daily diet can promote better memory. Now only you improve your memory but also promote good and healthy diet. Start eating these foods today and be ready to learn more and store more knowledge about the IELTS.

Feel free to share the infographic below:

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

IELTS Speaking Test Scoring and Time

Almost all candidates for an examination are anxious to take speaking exams. Well, for the IELTS or the International English Language Testing System examination, speaking is one of the most dreaded sections of the examinations. It is a face-to-face interview with a native English speaker; thus, it brings a whole new level of anxiety and stress to the candidate. Unlike in the reading and listening, you know if you are wrong because you chose or wrote the wrong answers. How about for the speaking? How is the speaking scored by the evaluators?

In the speaking examination, there are 4 grading criteria. These guide the evaluators in gauging the individual’s expertise in the English language. These criteria are the following: fluency and coherence, pronunciation, lexical resource, and grammatical range and accuracy.

1. Fluency and coherence

When we say fluency, it usually involves the individual’s pace in speaking, the length of the response and the right pauses in the responses. Coherence is more on the effective detailing of the answer by providing the right illustrations and connectors in the sentence. As a candidate, one should always remember to be clear in giving responses. No vague responses, no confusing remarks.

2. Pronunciation

These criteria evaluate the correct pronunciation, sentence stress and intonation used in the response. Sometimes a candidate can be very conscious on his or her pronunciation that it may sound exaggerated. The main element here is how clear you can express your words. There is no need to impress the interview of your American or British accent.

3. Lexical Resource

This comprises the vocabulary usage on the different topics asked during the interview. Also, the candidate is assessed on how appropriate these words are used in explaining or detailing his or her response.

4. Grammatical range and accuracy

The evaluator will be keen in examining how well you can avoid grammar mistakes in your sentences, how well you can use verb tenses and the structure of your sentences.

Here is an example of how the score is calculated:

The example above shows a good score for the speaking test. However, it also shows a weak point in coming up with coherent and fluent responses. This should be given attention and worked on more.

The speaking test for the IELTS is before or after the written tests. It could be scheduled a couple of days before the test or a couple of hours after the test. It is best to check your confirmation letter of the schedule of the test.


Friday, January 24, 2014

IELTS Grammar Training - Rules in Using the Apostrophe

Here's a slide that discusses the rules when it comes to using the apostrophe.You can download the PDF version here.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

How to Interpret the Diagrams in the IELTS Writing Exam

Writing an essay is honestly difficult. But what’s more difficult is interpreting diagrams? How can one do it?
The IELTS or the International English Language Testing System Writing examination is different from both Academic and the General Training modules. It is known that the Academic module has a more difficult task compared to the General Training. What makes this module difficult is its first task where candidates need to interpret a diagram. 

Diagrams are pictures that can show charts or processes. In the first writing task, the candidate needs to describe the diagram on his or her own interpretation. Let us discuss the example below.

Task: The diagram illustrates the process that is used to manufacture bricks for the building industry. Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features and make comparisons where relevant. Write at least 150 words. 

Given the task and diagram below, let us learn how to interpret this diagram.

1. Candidates should start the essay with an introduction of the diagram.

Since it is a process diagram, there will be stages in a step-by-step order. In writing an introduction, paraphrase the task. Do not repeat the question. Read the task and write an introduction based on your own understanding of the task.

2. After the introduction, focus on the main point of the diagram. 

Provide an overview of what the diagram is all about. Like in the example, you can write that how many steps are involved in creating a brick.

3. Provide the important details found in the diagram. 

Since this is a process diagram, the essay should show the order of how bricks are manufactured. Using transition words are very helpful in this. Transition words are signal words that guide the reader in the essay. For example, in this diagram, transition words like to begin, next, following, finally can be used. 

In writing an essay, be sure to have these details in separate paragraphs. The introduction should be one paragraph. In providing details, it will be best if the steps are in introduced and given more explanation in different paragraphs. By doing this, the reader is guided that he or she is reading a process paragraph. Take note on the proper usage of transition words, sentence construction, and of course the overall grammar in your essay. 

Furthermore, always remember to use the right words in the essay. Using the right vocabulary for the essay will help the response explain or describe what it wants to interpret. Hence, use the right vocabulary and expressions for intelligent responses.