Category Archives: IELTS

IELTS Self-Testing Practice Materials

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According to the Journal of Experimental Psychology, self-testing, such as taking a practice test or simulating a testing environment, is an effective study tool. To help you prepare for the IELTS through self-testing, here are some links to IELTS testing materials. These materials are from http://www.ielts.org, and they include pdf tests and answer sheets.

Reading Samples

Academic Writing Samples

General Training Reading Samples

General Training Writing Samples

Speaking Samples

Listening Samples

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IELTS Listening True/False/Not Given Question: Aim for Band 7.5

18.02.14 True False Not Given 2 - Questions

In this weeks lesson we have this tricky True/False/Not given exercise (answers coming next week):

Millions of lives around the world could be saved, and the quality of life of hundreds of millions markedly improved – very inexpensively – by eradicating three vitamin and mineral deficiencies in people’s diets. The three vitamins and minerals are vitamin A, iodine and iron – so-called micronutrients. More than 2 billion people are at risk from micronutrient deficiencies and more than 1 billion people are actually ill or disabled by them, causing mental retardation, learning disabilities, low work capacity and blindness. It costs little to correct these deficiencies through fortification of food and water supplies. In a country of 50 million people, this would cost about $25 million a year. That $25 million would yield a fortyfold return on investment.

1. Most illnesses in developing countries are caused by too many vitamin and mineral…

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TOEFL Essay Checklist

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The TOEFL’s writing exam was previously administered as a separate test. Now, the writing section is Section 4 of your TOEFL iBT. It is divided into two sections: Integrated Writing and Independent Writing. The integrated section is writing which is based on reading and listening. You will read a passage on a particular topic, and then you will listen to a lecture on that same topic. During the reading and lecture, you’re able to take notes in order to collect your thoughts when writing. Afterwards, you will be given a question in which you must respond in 150 – 225 words.

The independent section will also be based on a question, but it will require you to give an opinion and justify your argument. The question will ask your opinion on a topic, such as “It is better to grow up with siblings than without. Do you agree or disagree? Use specific reasons and examples to develop your essay.” You will have 30 minutes to write this portion. When writing the independent portion, it’s important to remember this essay checklist from English Club:

Essay checklist
Do I have an interesting introductory sentence?
Do I have a thesis?
Does my introduction state the topics that I plan to cover?
Does each paragraph have a topic sentence?
Do I use examples and reasons to support my points?
Is my spelling and punctuation correct?
Do I use simple grammatical structure that I am comfortable with?
Do I use transitional phrases?
Have I covered both sides of an issue fairly?
Did I prove my thesis?
Does my conclusion end with an interesting thought or idea?

TOEFL Tips: Parts of a Paragraph

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From Testden.com:

Topic Sentence
What is the topic sentence?
The topic sentence is the first sentence in a paragraph.

What does it do?
It introduces the main idea of the paragraph.

How do I write one?
Summarize the main idea of your paragraph. Indicate to the reader what your paragraph will be about.

Example:

There are three reasons why Canada is one of the best countries in the world. First, Canada has an excellent health care system. All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. Second, Canada has a high standard of education. Students are taught by well-trained teachers and are encouraged to continue studying at university. Finally, Canada’s cities are clean and efficiently managed. Canadian cities have many parks and lots of space for people to live. As a result, Canada is a desirable place to live.

Supporting Details

What are supporting sentences?
They come after the topic sentence, making up the body of a paragraph.

What do they do?
They give details to develop and support the main idea of the paragraph.

How do I write them?
You should give supporting facts, details, and examples.

Example:

There are three reasons why Canada is one of the best countries in the world. First, Canada has an excellent health care system. All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. Second, Canada has a high standard of education. Students are taught by well-trained teachers and are encouraged to continue studying at university. Finally, Canada’s cities are clean and efficiently managed. Canadian cities have many parks and lots of space for people to live. As a result, Canada is a desirable place to live.

Closing Sentence
What is the closing sentence?
The closing sentence is the last sentence in a paragraph.

What does it do?
It restates the main idea of your paragraph.

How do I write one?
Restate the main idea of the paragraph using different words.

Example:

There are three reasons why Canada is one of the best countries in the world. First, Canada has an excellent health care system. All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. Second, Canada has a high standard of education. Students are taught by well-trained teachers and are encouraged to continue studying at university. Finally, Canada’s cities are clean and efficiently managed. Canadian cities have many parks and lots of space for people to live. As a result, Canada is a desirable place to live.

IELTS Listening Test Advice

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From the IETLS website:

Make the most of your Listening test:

  • if you cannot hear the audio clearly, let a member of staff know straightaway
  • follow the instructions carefully; they may be different to practice or previous tests
  • listen for the specific information you want
  • try and anticipate what the speaker will say; this will require concentration
  • do not worry if there is a word you do not understand; you may not need to use it
  • if you do not know the answer to a question, attempt it but do not waste time; move quickly onto the next one
  • be careful with your spelling and grammar
  • do not panic if you think the topic is too difficult or the speaker is too fast; relax and tune in
  • read, write and listen at the same time
  • focus precisely on what you are asked to do in completion type questions
  • pay attention to the word limit; for example, if you are asked to complete a sentence using no more than two words, if the correct answer is ‘leather coat’, the answer ‘coat made of leather’ would be incorrect
  • if the question asks you to complete the note ‘in the…’ and the correct answer is ‘morning’, note that ‘in the morning’ would be incorrect; the correct answer is ‘morning’
  • attempt all questions; there are no penalties for incorrect answers
  • check your answers