As Road to IELTS Speaking section receives a major update, Sarah Philpot writes about its new features and how the new highly interactive program can boost your IELTS preparation and band score.
To do well in IELTS, you need to understand how the test works. This is difficult to do quickly because there are so many task types, and so many sections to the test (Speaking Parts 1, 2 and 3; Writing Parts 1 and 2; and so on). Each part tests different things in different ways. So, there’s a lot to learn.
‘Reading and writing cannot be separated from each other: the more in-depth reading you do, the more in-depth writing you will eventually do.’ The University of Washington points to a clear link between reading and writing. Reading exposes you to different styles; it shows you how grammar is used correctly; and it helps you to build vocabulary and use it accurately. As the IELTS Writing paper has been referred to as the most difficult paper, all of these skills can help to improve the way you write. But to get the maximum benefit for your IELTS Writing test, and boost your band score, you need to use reading as a source for focused writing activities. Read on for an example of how you can do this.
You may have read one of our posts about nine commonly-asked questions for the Listening module. In this post, I am going to discuss some frequently asked questions raised by candidates about the Reading module.
Most people find the Listening test more stressful than the Reading test. That’s because when you are reading, you have the texts in front of you and you can refer to them more than once. When you are listening, if you miss an answer, it’s gone — and because you only hear the recording once, you can never get it back. So you need to work out some strategies in advance.
In the IELTS Speaking test you will be asked questions about different aspects of your life: your hobbies, where you live, your occupation. How important is it to answer truthfully?
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. So, with your IELTS test coming up, you should be studying non-stop to prepare and get the result you need, right? The evidence suggests that this is not the case. Yes, you need to study, but you need to study strategically.
For some candidates, it’s very tempting to write as much as they can in the one hour given in the Writing section — they want to really showcase their range of vocabulary and their ability to write long sentences. But do long essays really get you a better band score?
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.
IELTS is an international test, so you might hear a range of different accents, including Australian, British, New Zealand and North American. Remember that you only hear the audio once in the Listening test so you need to be absolutely confident that you can pick out every detail first time. An unfamiliar accent can get in the way of that. While there will not be any extreme accents, you should at least be familiar with a range of ‘standard’ accents.