April 28, 2011

15 things to know about IELTS speaking

Photo credit: bpsusf on Flickr.

Today you'll be seeing some basic pointers for IELTS speaking. Read on.

1. The IELTS Speaking test consists of 3 parts.

Re: Part 1

2. Part 1 lasts for around 4 to 5 minutes.

3. The purpose of this part of the test is to enable the candidates to gradually adjust and feel comfortable.

4. Candidates are given a series of questions about familiar topics.

5. This part also assesses how the candidate communicates certain opinions and information on everyday topics and common experiences or situations.

Re: Part 2

6. This part consists of what is known as the long turn.

7. It lasts for around 3 to 4 minutes.

8. Candidates are given a task or prompt card that states what they are to talk about.

9. Candidates are given 1 minute to prepare for their answer.

10. Candidates are allowed to make short notes to organize their answers.

11. This part of the test assesses the candidate's skill of speaking at length with regard to a particular topic for 2 minutes.

Re: Part 3

12. It lasts for around 4 to 5 minutes.

13. Questions for this part of the test are related to the topic in part 2.

14. This part consists of a discussion.

15. Candidates are assessed on how they express and justify opinions, analyze, discuss, and speculate about certain issues.

Check out our other IELTS overview posts.

April 26, 2011

Do You Capitalize “God”?

One of our first tips here in our blog was about capitalizing nouns.

In tip no. 8, we wrote that the various names for God and the names of sacred books should be capitalized.
CAPS: God, Jehovah, Allah, the Bible, the Koran

NO CAPS: There were many gods and goddesses in ancient myths.

Recently, we've just discovered an informative post that discusses more about this topic. It provides useful tips on how you capitalize certain religious words, such as "god," "godly," "bible," etc.

Although we have just celebrated the Holy Week, it's still a good time to read up on some tips about religious words. Remember also that capitalization is important in the IELTS especially in writing, and in the sentence completion questions in Listening and Reading.

Read more about Grammar Girl's blog post "Do you capitalize 'God'?"

April 24, 2011

12 Basic Pointers about IELTS General Training Writing

Today you'll get to read some pointers with regard to IELTS General Training Writing. Here you go.

For Task 1:

1) Candidates write a personal letter. The letter may be informal, semi-formal, or formal.

2) The letter for Task 1 should contain at least 150 words.

3) The criterion of Task Achievement is checked here.

4) Candidates should allot 20 minutes for this task.

5) Addresses are not required to be included in the letter.

For Task 2:

6) The candidates may be instructed to discuss a topic by providing general factual information, providing solutions to a problem, presenting and justifying an opinion, or evaluating ideas and evidence.

7) The essay in Task 2 should contain at least 250 words.

8) The criterion of Task Response is checked here.

9) Candidates should allot 40 minutes for this task.

For both Tasks 1 and 2:

10) Candidates must answer both tasks.

11) The criteria of Coherence and Cohesion, Lexical Resource, and Grammatical Range and Accuracy are checked here.

12) Remember that examiners assess Tasks 1 and 2 separately.

Check out our other IELTS overview posts:

April 17, 2011

17 Quick reminders for IELTS academic writing

Hello. Now, we'll be sharing to you some things for you to remember about the IELTS Academic writing.

For Task 1:

1) Your writing task should contain an introductory or summarizing statement.

2) Allot only 20 minutes for this task.

3) Never have less than 150 words for your work.

4) The task usually involves describing information or data from a table, graph, diagram, chart, etc.

5) The criterion of task achievement is checked here.

For Task 2:

6) This task is worth more points compared to that of task 1.

7) Candidates are expected to write a separate introduction and conclusion.

8) Allot 40 minutes for this Task.

9) Never have less than 250 words for your work.

10) The task usually involves a discussion of a problem, opinion, or issue.

11) The criterion of task response is checked here.

For both Tasks 1 and 2:

12) The criteria of grammatical range and accuracy, coherence and cohesion, and lexical resource are assessed.

13) Never copy the words from your examination paper. Always paraphrase.

14) Academic language and style should be used here.

15) Always read, understand, and follow instructions.

16) It helps to plan/brainstorm for your answers.

17) It is recommended for you to leave some time so that you could check your work.

Check out our other IELTS overview posts:

April 10, 2011

11 Things to know about IELTS general training reading

Reading About Cisco
Photo credit: Yellow Snow Photography on Flickr.

Hello. Today you'll be reading some pretty basic stuff about IELTS General Training Reading. You will notice a number of similarities with that of IELTS Academic Reading. However, do note the differences as well. Let's proceed.

1) This exam has 40 total items.

2) It is composed of 3 sections.

3) 2 or 3 short texts could be expected in the first section.

4) 2 texts could be seen in the second section.

5) 1 text is read in the third section.

6) Social topics is a usual feature in the first section.

7) "Workplace survival" is a characteristic of second section texts.

8) Notices, advertisements, official documents, or timetables are some of the sources for the exam.

9) Candidates are penalized for errors in spelling and grammar.

10) Candidates should write their answers directly on the supplied answer sheet.

11) Candidates only have 60 minutes to finish the test.

Check out our other IELTS overview posts:

April 3, 2011

7 Things to know about IELTS academic reading

Hello. Last time, we shared basic stuff about IELTS listening. In today's post, you're going to see some essential pieces of info about IELTS academic reading. Here they are:

1) IELTS Academic Reading is composed of 3 passages.

2) It has a total of 40 questions/items.

3) Every item is worth 1 point.

4) IELTS Candidates have 60 minutes to finish the exam.

5) Magazines, journals, books, and newspapers usually make up the sources of the passages.

6) The passages may contain diagrams or graphs.

7) The exam may contain different question types, such as multiple choice questions, sentence completion, and choosing headings.

Check out our other IELTS overview posts: