Tag Archives: IELTS

Mugging up words to increase the IELTS writing score (academic writing)

DSC_2778To get a good decent score in IELTS many test takers may choose to mug up huge pool of vocabulary. How effective is that? This author finds it a good thing to do to enrich the performance on IELTS exam´s writing section, however there are certain other things too, to take care of.

Now the first question that might come to your brain is from where should you learn new words. Those who are going through tests some other tests (besides IELTS) for which a large number of words are generally needed to be memorized will automatically have a huge collection of words. But knowing such a giant list doesn’t mean one knows to articulate the mugged words in correct manner, without undermining the literary flavor of the writing. Generally based on this author’s observation the words people memorise for these type of exams are commonly used in the articles of some of the popular international news medias. While you read those articles simply make a habit of spotting new words and try to see how the writer have used the word. You may wish to copy those sentences for your future reference.

On the other hand if you don’t require to mug up words for any exam or you simply don’t like the task of memorizing,  simply make a habit of reading quality articles and see the usage of variety of unknown or less known words.

If you have a very limited time to prepare for IELTS, this author would suggest not to try learning new words much, unless you have an extra sharp memory to learn new stuff in short time and apply it in correctly in sentences. In such scenarios simply use the vocabulary stock you already have with yourself and its probably unwise to underestimate it. Just be careful to avoid excessive repetition of same words or phrases.  If the flow of writing is coherent to the task and have the display of intellectual capabilities in the writing, it should not be difficult to get your preferred scored.

However, language preparation is grossly subjective and experiences and performances vary from person to person. If after trying your best you are not being able to get your desired score, you should probably seek help of an expert.

Read in IELTS Section:

The writing above is a clip of an individualized experience of the author of this article and has no relation with any official IELTS exam or its bodies. Please cross check issues that concern you from various competent authorities dealing with IELTS. This blog shouldn’t be used as a tool to prepare for any exam or test.

TIPS for IELTS Speaking (academic)

Speaking is your birth right. Utilize the opportunities offered to you to speak.

Finally we are now going to discuss the tips for speaking section of IELTS test. We will try here to explore various things we can do to get a good score in the speaking test.

According to me speaking is the easiest part of the test. But for some it might be difficult. Here we will first discuss how should one prepare for the test at home. There may be many effective ways but the ways which I found useful are as the following:

  1. Try to identify first, how good speaker you are. One good way is to ask an expert of English language, but if that is not available to you easily, as it may be for many, you may have to figure it out yourself. One good way to judge your own English is to check if your speaking is as fluent and grammatically correct as those in reputed english news channels. No matter how remote location you live in if you can manage some internet connection you can get multiple good news channels these days for listening news. I would recommend a Japanese news channel called NHK WORLD (http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/), I found their English easy to understand and good for learning purpose. Besides their regular news, they broadcast interesting programs on cooking, science, arts etc. which really are good audio visual experiences, and don’t feel boring. However, you may use any other such news website or television channel of your choice. This is an easy way to listen and learn English, I think. Some although prefer movies, I don’t think movies really help much since it might snatch too much of your emotions and attentions with the story and you might forget to keep pace with the English language. So when you listen to a English commentary try to follow carefully to the way different sentences are spoken.
  2. Now when you speak yourself about a topic try to see if you have a good and grammatically correct flow of speech. You may use an audio recorder to record it and then listen to your own speech. It’s good to speak on anything for practice. If you are on your way to your cousin’s house sitting in a bus just try describing things you see around you in your mind in English. For example, if you see a railway track and you may say to yourself ‘Here we can see the railway tracks. It seems a train is coming. But some men are working on the railway track, I am afraid they don’t get crushed by……..’ just like a news reporter. Therefore you can actually practice speaking at any time at any place whenever you have some free time, all you need is the will to speak English.
  3. Next is speaking in the format of the test. Know the components of the test properly beforehand, and rehearse yourself. There are many free speaking material for practice available on the web.
It is social to smile, we know it since our infancy, but forget sometimes when we grow up. So SMILE!

For the first and third part of the test, when examiner asks you some questions on various issues:

  1. Firstly, DON’T panic. Just imagine yourself as a celebrity who is getting a chance to be interviewed. So keep a smile on your face and simply answer the questions.
  2. If you are asked, if you like to do drawing, a poor answer will be simply to answer yes or no. Make some efforts to explain why you like or don’t like to paint. An example may be ‘I love drawing, it’s actually my passion. Drawing helps me express my emotions by means of pictures. It also is a work which I prefer to do in my free time’. There are hundreds of other ways you may say the same thing in. Just keep on speaking relevant to what you are asked.
  3. Some people try to memorize answers for questions which ask you to describe or introduce yourself. I can’t surely say if that is effective or not, but you may simply state your name, works, studies, hobbies, how other people find you as a person etc. Probably there is no rule except the rule of common sense. Rather, trying to memorizing can confuse yourself and obscure your own qualities of speaking.

For the second part of the test when you are asked to speak about a topic for few minutes non-stop:

  1. This probably is the simplest part of the test although many might perceive this as the toughest part. In this section, the examiner will not ask you anything, just answer whatever is asked in the writen question, simple! Imagine how difficult would it have been if there were no questions in this section and only the topic. So, in a way the questions help us to find some thing to speak.
  2. Its ideal to wear a wrist watch if they allow you (you may seek their permission). A watch with seconds hand is ideal probably. When you are given the topic just keep an eye on the seconds hand of your watch to know how much time you is left.
  3. The one minute time given for thinking about the topic is valuable, utilize it to its fullest. Write down bullet points, about the topic. Write as many points you can. Trying to write sentences might be like committing suicide, but its up to you.
  4. Then calmly start replying. Reply to all queries and keep speaking until you are stopped.
  5. You can do this section nicely, if you do a good amount of practice before hand while you are at home. Keep a clock or watch with second’s hand and keep practicing. You will soon have an idea on your pace and timing.
Nice grooming gives a good feel!

Finally on the days before test day and on the test day:

  1. Be oriented properly about the venue, where the test center is and how to travel there. This can help to alleviate the anxiety of reaching the test center in time.
  2. Try to have good night’s sleep the day before the test so that you can feel refreshed on the test day.
  3. A good grooming and dressing may help you boost your energy up, however this probably is not mandatory. According to me the feeling of well being helps in any exam situation. However, many don’t think in the same way.
  4. Before you enter the test room, if possible and if your situation allows try doing simple conversations in English to warm up, like asking ‘where is the lavatory?’ etc.
  5. Then once you are inside the test room have self confidence. Speak loudly and clearly, so that you are easily audible.

That’s all for the speaking section. Hope, these few tips for the speaking test were interesting and helpful.

The writing above is a clip of an individualized experience of the author of this article and has no relation with any official IELTS exam or its bodies. Please cross check issues that concern you from various competent authorities dealing with IELTS. This blog shouldn’t be used as a tool to prepare for any exam or test.

Tips for IELTS writing task – 2 (academic)

Here are few tips that might help you perform better in your task 2 of academic writing in your IELTS test.

Before you start writing, read the question stem carefully. Take care of the words used in the question. And stick to the facts asked in the question throughout your writing.

Writing an Introduction:

Introduce in your own way, try not to make it too large. You may state what are you going to say in the remaining paras like ‘the essay will try to explore the disadvantages of smoking’. Don’t write conclusion type statement here.

Writing the Body:

  1. Now moving on to the body part of the writing.  You may make one para or multiple depending upon the requirement. If you are asked about advantage and disadvantage of mobile phone, 2 para stating each will be helpful.
  2. Give example, if you are asked to do so. What many of us, including me confuse is the difference between example and logic (a teacher corrected me in this regard). Let me explain – when you are writing about negative sides of mobile phone, a logic you may keep is that talking on this devices along with driving is harmful, but don’t mistake it with an example. An example for this will possibly be something like this- ‘ a friend of mine encountered an accident while driving her car and talking with her boy friend on mobile’.
  3. If you are writing about advantage and disadvantage try to give an example of each.

Writing  the Conclusion/Summery:

This is another vital part. Here, you should say your opinion or suggestions, if any. A good attitude statement is also fine if possible to attach, like ‘child labor is a curse to our society and may our wisdom blossom to prevent it’. Some even suggest to attach a quotation of some great person like Newton or Lincoln or Gandhi, but do that only if you can remember it word to word But people say that it can give your score a edge, not sure, how true it is. I found the latter very difficult, so I never tried it.

After finishing the writing of the task, if possible check it immediately, word to word, so that you can get rid of all possible mistakes you might have made in spelling, grammar, tense etc.

The writing above is a clip of an individualized experience of the author of this article and has no relation with any official IELTS exam or its bodies. Please cross check issues that concern you from various competent authorities dealing with IELTS. This blog shouldn’t be used as a tool to prepare for any exam or test.