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Use a word or phrase challenge for IELTS

Use new words and phrases BEFORE the IELTS exam

How many times do you learn a new word or phrase and then think your work is done? How often do you look for the meaning of a word in the dictionary but never try to use the word yourself? (more…)

Listen and answer the question

IELTS listening practice

When most of my IELTS exam students think of listening practice, they think specifically of the IELTS listening exam paper and the type of questions that are in it. In fact, some students seem to become so obsessed with only doing IELTS exam listening practice that they forget that their listening skills can be improved by listening to other types of listening material. There are some examples of free listening practice materials here and here. You could also listen to this.

The IELTS exam is quite difficult

Be careful when you are using the adverb quite. You can change the meaning of a sentence by putting the main stress on this adverb.

Imagine someone has just cooked dinner for you and they ask you what you think of the food. This is your reply:

It’s quite nice.


Listen and count the words

Listening can be really difficult. In the IELTS listening exam, you are expected to listen, understand and answer questions. In the IELTS speaking exam, you have to listen to the examiner carefully and answer the questions you are asked.

Many IELTS students say that they find listening difficult because they haven’t had enough practice. Let’s face it, it can be really difficult to improve your listening skills if all you are doing is listening to recordings and answering questions. It’s important that all IELTS students try to identify their listening weaknesses and to improve their listening skills. (more…)

Position of adverbs

He ate quickly his breakfast.

Can you identify the adverb in the above sentence? I am sure that you know it is quickly but can you see what is wrong with the sentence? Out of a class of 14 advanced students, 5 made this mistake yesterday. That’s right!! 5. Five. FIVE. Clearly, the adverb is in the wrong place and these advanced students should have known this. They are all capable of scoring an overall IELTS band score of at least 7 but 5 of them still made this basic mistake. Do you know where the adverb should be in the sentence? More importantly, do you know why it must go there? (more…)