IELTS Reading: How important is culture?

Will your culture affect your performance in IELTS Reading?

Back in 1978, researchers at the University of Illinois conducted an experiment in which they asked subjects from India and the US to read two passages: one about an Indian wedding and the other about an American wedding. They then tested their reading comprehension. They found that ‘Subjects read the native passage more rapidly, recalled a larger amount of information from the native passage, produced more culturally appropriate elaborations of the native passage, and produced more culturally based distortions of the foreign passage.’

In other words, they found that your culture does affect reading performance and the way you interpret a text.

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IELTS Speaking: The most important 60 seconds in IELTS

In Part 2 of the Speaking test, you are given a card with a topic, and 60 seconds to prepare. You then have to speak on the topic for one to two minutes. This one minute of preparation time is absolutely critical, and can make all the difference in achieving the band score you need — or failing to reach it. In this post we will look at how you should use that crucial 60 seconds.

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IELTS Preparation: The best way to prepare for IELTS

The IELTS test is critically important for most people. It can make the difference between studying overseas and staying at home; between having your immigration status confirmed or denied — perhaps for ever.

So, with your IELTS test coming up, you should study non-stop to get the result you need, right? The evidence suggests that this is not the case. You need to study, yes, but you need to study strategically.

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IELTS Writing: The most difficult paper?

It’s difficult to go seriously wrong with the Reading and Listening tests in IELTS. Even if you have trouble understanding the text or the audio, the question paper gives you a pretty clear idea of what you need to write. And if you’re not sure, you can always guess. With the Speaking test, you’ll answer a series of questions, so even if you make a mistake with one of them, you’ll get another chance with the next question. Writing Task 2 is different — If you fail to understand the question, and go off on the wrong track, you could score no marks at all. And that could mean missing the band score you need.

Let’s start by looking at a sample Writing Task 2 question.

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IELTS Reading: Keyword synonyms

The problem

Many candidates think Reading is one of the hardest modules in the IELTS test — the timing is so tight, and understanding the questions correctly while you are under pressure is no easy task. And on top of this, the examiner is constantly trying to confuse you!

To perform well in the IELTS Reading test you need to develop strategies. The most important technique for matching the information in the question to the answer in the text is to think of keyword synonyms.
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IELTS Listening: All the basics, from the British Council

The problem

It’s easy to do badly in IELTS Listening if you don’t have a thorough understanding of what to expect. For example, are you confident you can answer these questions:

  1. Is it important to use capital letters accurately?
  2. Is a point subtracted if you get an answer wrong?
  3. How much time do you have to study the question paper before the audio starts?

More importantly, what should you do with the time you have between looking at the question paper and listening to the recording? Knowing this can easily make the difference between one band score and another.
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