Category Archives: Study Tips

IELTS Self-Testing Practice Materials


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, 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


See How Easily You Can Make Your Writing Better – Pro Tips for Beginning English Writers

English with a Smile

By Natasha Nixon


®Mary Vertulfo

Writing English can be very difficult, especially if you are not a native English speaker. However, there are a few tips that you can put to use in order to make your English writing better. In this article, we will take a look at a couple very practical writing tips for those who are just now getting started with the English language. Although it might take a bit of time and effort, you, too, can be a great English writer to communicate via email, letters, and more.

Keep It Simple

One of the most important things to remember when first starting to write English is that you want to keep your sentences and words fairly simple. Just getting your point across to the reader is the most important thing. Do not worry about things like using big words or trying to make complicated sentences or…

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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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Easy Lesson on Singular and Plural Forms in English – Look at the beautiful carp in the pond!

English with a Smile

easy easy easy easy easy easy easy easy easy easy easy easy easy easy easy easy


Joe Lewis

As you probably know, most plural nouns in English are with an S at the end.

The plural of hand is hands: one hand, two hands.

The plural of pen is pens: one pen, two pens.

One dress, two dresses. (The extra e is to pronounce it. You can’t say dresss, can you?)

It gets a bit more complicated with several words that stay the same in the plural.

The plural of sheep is sheep.

The plural of fish is fish or fishes (you may choose).

The plural of deer is deer.

Then there are a few words that have an irregular plural form.

Examples are:

Child – children

Foot – feet

Mouse – mice

Tooth – teeth

Goose – geese

Man – men

Woman –…

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What’s a “Good” TOEFL Score?


If you are a non-native English speaker planning to attend a US university, you’ll need to take either the TOEFL iBT or IELTS in order to determine and demonstrate English proficiency. But what constitutes a “good” score? Instead of thinking in terms of “good” and “bad” it’s useful to see what your college or university requires and make goals to exceed their requirements. Having a goal in mind will help challenge and direct you in your study of the TOEFL, whether it’s through an English school or private classes. The world-wide average Internet TOEFL score in 2012 was 80/120.

Here is a chart from that shows required scores for a few US universities.

Test Score Requirements
(click for more info)
Internet-Based TOEFL Paper-Based TOEFL GPA/SAT/ACT Graph
Amherst College 100 recommended 600 recommended see graph
Bowling Green State U 61 minimum not reported see graph
MIT 90 minimum
100 recommended
577 minimum
600 recommended
see graph
The Ohio State University 79 minimum 550 minimum see graph
Pomona College 100 minimum 600 minimum see graph
UC Berkeley 80 minimum 550 minimum see graph
University of Florida 80 minimum 550 minimum see graph
UNC Chapel Hill 100 recommended 600 recommended see graph
University of Southern California 100 minimum not reported see graph
UT Austin 79 minimum 550 minimum see graph
Whitman College 85 minimum 560 minimum see graph

If you’re looking to improve your TOEFL score, or study in the US to learn English, look at our school’s programs and contact us for details.