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Author: Andrew Stokes, IELTS specialist, ClarityEnglish

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 be asked 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.
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IELTS preparation: Using your mobile to boost your band score

How many times do you check your mobile every day? North Americans check their social media accounts on average 17 times a day; young people in the UK spend more than 27 hours a week on their phones; in Malaysia and Qatar it’s 40 times a day! So do these devices, which we all have at our fingertips, offer opportunities to boost your IELTS band score? In this post we will look at three ways in which they do.
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IELTS Writing: The easiest way to fail

The challenge

First, try to answer these questions:

  1. What is the minimum number of words you need to write for Writing Task 1?
  2. What are the five points the examiner is looking for in IELTS Writing?
  3. How should you divide your time between Task 1 and Task 2?

If you can’t answer these three questions confidently, you are not ready to take IELTS. The easiest way to fail to get the band score you need is to go into the test without fully understanding what is required of you.
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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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