Writing task one: single line graph Friday, 08 June 2007 You will be given a graph with a single

line. Your task is to write a 150 word report to describe the information given in the graph. You are not asked to give your opinion. You should spend around twenty minutes on the task. Task one is not worth as many marks as task two and so you should make sure that you keep within the recommended twenty minute time frame. What is being tested is your ability to:

  

objectively describe the information given to you report on a topic without the use of opinion use suitable language to describe the graph

Sample task You should spend about 20 minutes on this task. Write a report for a university lecturer describing the information in the graph below. You should write at least 150 words.

When you’ve finished the task How good is your answer? Check the guidelines on the next page and read the sample answer. Guidelines for a good answer Does the report have a suitable structure?

 

Does it have an introduction, body and conclusion? Does it include connective words to make the writing cohesive within sentences and paragraphs?

Does the report use suitable grammar and vocabulary?

 

Does it include a variety of sentence structures? Does it include a range of appropriate vocabulary?

Does the report meet the requirements of the task?

  

Does it meet the word limit requirements? Does it describe the whole graph adequately? Does it focus on the important trends presented in the graphic information?

Sample answer The graph shows the number of cases of X disease in Someland between the years 1960 and 1995. As an overall trend, it is clear that the number of cases of the disease increased fairly rapidly until the mid seventies, remained constant for around a decade at 500 cases before dropping to zero in the late 80s. In 1960, the number of cases stood at approximately 100. That number rose steadily to 200 by 1969 and then more sharply to 500 in 1977. At this point the number of cases remained stable until 1984 before plummeting to zero by 1988. From 1988 to 1995 Someland was free of the disease. In conclusion, the graph shows that the disease was increasingly prevalent until the 1980s when it was eradicated from Someland. What do you think? What is your opinion of this sample answer? How well does it meet the requirements of the guidelines? Read the next page for a teacher's comments on this answer. Teacher's comments on the sample answer Here is what an IELTS teacher said about the sample answer. The report structure is easy to follow and logical with a clear introduction, body and conclusion. The candidate uses cohesive words to connect pieces of information and make the writing flow such as ‘until’ and ‘before’ in the second sentence. The candidate uses a variety of grammatical structures and vocabulary so that the writing is not repetitive. In terms of task requirements the report is a little short but this is because the simple graph used as an example does not have sufficient information for the candidate to describe. In the real IELTS test the graph will have more information and so the need to look for trends will be even greater than in this example. Strategies for improving your IELTS score Selecting information It is important that you describe the whole graph fully. However, this does not mean that you should note every detail. In most cases there will be too much information for you to mention each figure. You will therefore need to summarise the graph by dividing it into its main parts. This is what we mean by describing the trends. For example, in a chronological line graph it might seem sensible to describe the information year by year or period by period. The graph above gives the information in five year sections so we could write our report like this: The number of cases of X disease started at 50 in 1965 and then went up gradually to 100 in 1965 and continued up to 200 in 1970 and then went up more sharply to 380 in 1975.

While this way of describing the information may be accurate, it does not meaningfully sum up the information in the graph. In fact, the information in the graph would most meaningfully be described in four chronological sections following the shape of the graph. In the Sample Task, the graph shows four main trends:

   

first, a gradual increase from 1960 to 1968 second, a steeper increase from 1968 to 1977 third, a plateau from 1977 to 1983 fourth, a drop from 1983 to 1988

The structure of the report must show these four main trends clearly. Report structure Your report should be structured simply with an introduction, body and conclusion. Tenses should be used appropriately. Introduction Use two standard opening sentences to introduce your report. These opening sentences should make up the first paragraph. Sentence one should define what the graph is about; that is, the date, location, what is being described in the graph etc. For example: The graph shows the number of cases of X disease in Someland between the years 1960 and 1995 … Notice the tense used. Even though it describes information from the past, the graph shows the information in the present time. Notice that the sample opening sentence does not simply copy the words used on the graphic material. Copied sentences will not be assessed by the examiner and so you waste your time including them. Describing the overall trend Sentence two (and possibly three) might sum up the overall trend. For example: It can be clearly seen that X disease increased rapidly to 500 cases around the 1980s and then dropped to zero before 1999, while Y disease fell consistently from a high point of nearly 600 cases in 1960 to less than 100 cases in 1995. Notice the tense used. Here we are talking about the occurrence of the disease in the past. Describing the graph in detail The body of the report will describe the graph or graphs in detail. You will need to decide on the most clear and logical order to present the material. Line graphs generally present information in chronological order and so the most logical order for you to write up the information would, most probably be from earliest to latest. Bar graphs, pie charts are organised in different ways and so you need to decide on the organisation of each one. Concluding sentences Your report may end with one or two sentences which summarise your report to draw a relevant conclusion. Grammar and vocabulary Avoiding repetition You will receive a higher mark if your writing uses a range of structures and vocabulary correctly rather than a limited

number. For example, the candidate who writes: The number of cases of X disease started at 50 in 1965 and then went up to 200 in 1970 and then went up to 500 in 1980 and then went down to zero in 1990. will lose marks for being repetitive. You should therefore practise writing reports using a wide variety of terms to describe the different movements in the graphs and different structures to vary your writing. Describing trends Trends are changes or movements. These changes are normally expressed in numeric items, for example, population, production volumes or unemployment. There are three basic trends:

Expressing movement: nouns and verbs For each trend there are a number of verbs and nouns to express the movement. We can use a verb of change, for example: Unemployment levels fell Or we can use a related noun, for example: There was a fall in unemployment levels Direction Verbs Nouns

Rose (to) Increased (to) Went up (to) Climbed (to) Boomed

A rise An increase Growth An upward trend A boom (a dramatic rise)

Fell (to) Declined (to) Decreased (to) Dipped (to) Dropped (to) Went down (to) Slumped (to) Reduced (to)

A decrease A decline A fall A drop A slump (a dramatic fall) A reduction

Levelled out (at) Did not change Remained stable (at) Remained steady (at) Stayed constant (at) Maintained the same level

A levelling out No change

Fluctuated (around) Peaked (at) Plateaued (at) Stood at (we use this phrase to focus on a particular point, before we mention the movement, for example: In the first year, unemployment stood at … ) Describing the movement: adjectives and adverbs Sometimes we need to give more information about a trend as follows: There has been a slight increase in the value of the dollar (degree of change) Unemployment fell rapidly last year (the speed of change)

A fluctuation Reached a peak (of) Reached at plateau (at)

Remember that we modify a noun with an adjective (a slight increase) and a verb with an adverb (to increase slightly). Describing the degree of change Adjectives Dramatic Sharp Huge Enormous Steep Substantial Considerable Significant Marked Moderate enormously steeply substantially considerably significantly markedly moderately Adverbs dramatically sharply

Slight Small Minimal Describing the speed of change Adjectives Rapid Quick Swift Sudden Steady Gradual Slow Exercise

slightly

minimally

Adverbs rapidly quickly swiftly suddenly steadily gradually slowly

Use the following terms and any others necessary to describe the graph below. initially, stood at, dip/dipped, peak/peaked, level/levelled out

Describing a trend We can describe a trend by looking at:

the difference between two levels

the end point of the trend

Describing the difference between two levels This year unemployment has increased by 20,000 cases (the difference between this year and last year is 20,000 cases). This year there has been an increase in unemployment of 5%. Notice the prepositions. We use to increase by (with the verb) and an increase of (with the noun). Describing the end point This year unemployment has risen to 10% (the end result is that unemployment is up to 10%). This year there has been a rise in unemployment to 10%. Notice the prepositions. We use to rise to (with the verb) and a rise to (with the noun). Exercise Write 3 sentences describing the graph below using by, of and to.

Expressing approximation We use words to express approximation when the point we are trying to describe is between milestones on the graph. just under well under roughly approximately about just over well over nearly around

Writing task one: double line graph

Friday, 08 June 2007 Task description You will be given a graph with two lines. Your task is to describe the information given in the graph by writing a 150 word report. You are not asked to give your opinion. You should spend around 20 minutes on the task. What is being tested is your ability to:

   

objectively describe the information given to you compare and contrast report on an impersonal topic without the use of opinion use the language of graph description

Sample task You should spend about 20 minutes on this task. Write a report for a university lecturer describing the information in the graph below. You should write at least 150 words.

Your task Complete the task one report writing exercise above. Spend only 20 minutes. Then look at the guidelines and the sample answer below. Guidelines for a good answer Does the report have a suitable structure?

 

Does it have an introduction, body and conclusion? Does it include connective words to make the writing cohesive within sentences and paragraphs?

Does the report use suitable grammar and vocabulary?

 

Does it include a variety of sentence structures? Does it include a range of appropriate vocabulary?

Does the report meet the requirements of the task?

  

Does it meet the word limit requirements? Does it describe the whole graph adequately? Does it focus on the important trends presented in the graphic information?

Now read sample answer one. How well does it follow the guidelines? Sample answer one The graph shows the rate of smoking in Someland. In 1960, 600 men in every 1,000 was smoking. This number decreased gradually to 500 by 1974 and continued to decrease but more steeply to 300 in 1995. In contrast the rate of women smokers in 1960 was very low at only 80 in every 1,000. This number increased to 170 by 1968 and increased again but more steeply to 320 in 1977. The rate of female smokers then remained stable at 320 until 1984 at which point the figures began to decline and had dropped to 250 by 1995. Teacher's comments on sample answer one Here is what an IELTS teacher said about this sample answer: The report structure lacks a clear introduction giving the parameters of the graph (should include who and when) and lacks a statement summing up the main trends. The report also lacks any conclusion. The candidate uses a variety of grammatical structures and vocabulary so that the writing is not repetitive. In terms of task requirements, the report is short because the introduction and conclusion sections are missing. However, the body of the report does describe the graph well. Sample answer two Now look at a better answer to this task. Notice how it follows the guidelines. The graph compares the rate of smoking in men and women in Someland between the years 1960 and 2000. It can be clearly seen that the rate of smoking for both men and women is currently declining and that fewer women have smoked throughout the period. In 1960, 600 men in every 1,000 was smoking. This number decreased gradually to 500 by 1974 and continued to decrease but more steeply to 250 in 2000. In contrast, the rate of smoking in women in 1960 was very low at only 80 in every 1,000. By 1968 this increased to 170, and increased again but more steeply to 320 in 1977. The rate of female smokers then remained stable at 320 until 1984 at which point the figures began to decline and had dropped to 200 by 2000. In conclusion we can see that the rate of smoking in men dropped throughout the whole period but was always at a higher level than the female figures. The rate of smoking in women increased until 1977 but then decreased for the rest of the period.

Strategies for improving your IELTS score Selecting information In completing this task it is important that you describe the whole graph fully. However, this does not mean that you should note every detail. In most cases there will be too much information for you to mention each figure. You will therefore need to summarise the graph in meaningful segments, as we saw in the section on single line graphs. Report structure Like the single line graph, your report should be structured simply with an introduction, body and conclusion. Tenses should be used appropriately. Use two standard opening sentences to introduce the graph and your report. These opening sentences should make up the first paragraph. Sentence one should define what the graph is about, that is the date, location, what is being described in the graph etc. For example: The graph compares the rate of smoking between men and women in Someland between the years 1960 and 2000. Notice that in the single line graph we said that ‘the graph shows … ’ but with two lines we can more accurately say ‘the graph compares … ’ Notice the tense used. Even though it describes information from the past, the graph shows the information in the present time. Notice that the sample opening sentence does not simply copy the words used on the graphic material. Copied sentences will not be assessed by the examiner and so you waste your time including them. Sentence two (and possibly three) might sum up the overall trend. For example: It can be clearly seen that the rate of smoking for both men and women is currently declining and that fewer women had smoked throughout the period. Notice that the Present perfect tense is used. Here we are talking about the rate of smoking in the past and up to the present. The body of the report will describe the graph or graphs in detail. You will need to decide on the most clear and logical order to present the material. Line graphs generally present information in chronological order and so the most logical order for you to write up the information would also, most probably, be from earliest to latest. Bar graphs, pie charts, etc are organised in different ways and so you need to decide on the organisation of each one. Your report should end with one or two sentences which summarise your report or draw a relevant conclusion. Writing task one: bar graphs Saturday, 09 June 2007 Task description You will be given one or more bar graphs. Your task is to describe the information given in the graph by writing a 150 word report. You are not asked to give your opinion. You should spend around 20 minutes on the task. What is being tested is your ability to:

   

objectively describe some graphic information compare and contrast report on an impersonal topic without the use of opinion use the language of graph description

Sample task You should spend about 20 minutes on this task. Write a report for a university lecturer describing the information in the graph below. You should write at least 150 words.

Your task

Complete the task one report writing exercise above. Spend only 20 minutes. Then look at the guidelines and the sample answer below. Guidelines for a good answer Does the report have a suitable structure?

 

Does it have an introduction, body and conclusion? Does it include connective words to make the writing cohesive within sentences and paragraphs?

Does the report use suitable grammar and vocabulary?

 

Does it include a variety of sentence structures? Does it include a range of appropriate vocabulary?

Does the report meet the requirements of the task?

  

Does it meet the word limit requirements? Does it describe the whole graph adequately? Does it focus on the important trends presented in the graphic information?

Now read sample answer one. How well does it follow the guidelines? Sample answer one The graphs compare the number of deaths caused by six diseases in Someland in 1990 with the amount of research funding allocated to each of those diseases. It can be clearly seen that the amount of research funding in many cases did not correlate with the seriousness of the disease in terms of numbers of deaths. In 1990 there were around 0.2 million deaths from AIDS, 0.1 million deaths from leprosy, 0.3 million deaths from tropical diseases, 0.5 million deaths from diarrhoea, 0.4 million deaths from malaria and 1.8 million deaths from TB. These figures can be contrasted with the amount of funding allocated for each disease. In 1990 AIDS received 180 million dollars in research funding, leprosy 80 million dollars in research funding, tropical diseases 79 million dollars in research funding, diarrhoea 60 million dollars in research funding, malaria 50 million dollars and TB 20 million dollars in research funding. In conclusion it is clear that funding allocation for disease research in Someland is not wholly determined by the number of deaths for which each disease is responsible in a given year. Strategies for improving your IELTS score Selecting information In completing this task, it is important that you fully describe all of the graphic information given. However, this does not mean that you should note every detail. In most cases there will be too much information for you to mention each figure. You will therefore need to summarise the graph in meaningful segments. In other words, you will describe the significant trends in your report. Report structure Like the line graphs, your report should be structured simply with an introduction, body and conclusion. Tenses should be used appropriately.

Use two standard opening sentences to introduce the graph and your report. These opening sentences should make up the first paragraph. Sentence one should define what the graph is about, that is, the date, location, what is being described in the graph etc. For example: The graphs compare the number of deaths caused by six diseases in Someland in 1990 with the amount of research funding allocated to each of those diseases. Notice that in the single line graph we said that ‘the graph shows… but with two bar graphs we can more accurately say ‘the graphs compare … ’. Notice that the Simple Past tense used. Even though it describes information from the past, the graph shows the information in the present time. Notice that the sample opening sentence does not simply copy the words used on the graphic material. Copied sentences will not be assessed by the examiner and so you waste your time including them. Sentence two (and possibly three) might sum up the overall trend. For example: It can be clearly seen that the amount of research funding in many cases did not correlate with the seriousness of the disease in terms of numbers of deaths. Notice the tense used. Here we are talking about 1990. The body of the report will describe the graph or graphs in detail. You will need to decide on the most clear and logical order to present the material. In this case it might be best to work through the diseases one by one. Ideally your report should end with one or two sentences which summarise your report or draw a relevant conclusion. Grammar and vocabulary You will receive a higher mark if your writing uses a range of structures and vocabulary correctly rather than a limited number. When describing some bar graphs you will sometimes use the same language as the line graphs. This will be the case if one axis of the bar graph gives a time scale. In that case, your report will generally describe the information in terms of time from the earliest event to the latest. For example: In 1990 X fell. In 1990 there was a rise in X. Look at the following graph and read the description.

In this graph of Electro Inc’s television sales between 1996 and 1999, we can see that purchases of televisions went up in 1996 and continued to rise steadily until 1998 when they dropped slightly. In some cases, however, it will not be appropriate to describe the bar graphs in terms of time and different language will need to be used. For example, in the following graph we could not say: In 1990 there was a rise in holiday makers from Indonesia. because the word ‘rise’ implies that the graph also shows a lower number of holiday makers at an earlier time, which in fact it doesn’t.

In this case we can say: Someland was the most popular destination for holiday makers from Indonesia

Writing task one: pie charts Saturday, 09 June 2007 You will be given one or more pie charts. You task is to describe the information given in the graph by writing a 150 word report. You are not asked to give your opinion. You should spend around 20 minutes on the task. What is being tested is your ability to:

   

objectively describe some graphic information compare and contrast report on an impersonal topic without the use of opinion use the language of graph description

Sample task You should spend about 20 minutes on this task. Write a report for a university lecturer describing the information in the two graphs below. You should write at least 150 words.

Your task Complete the task one report writing exercise above. Spend only 20 minutes. Then look at the guidelines and the sample answer below. Guidelines for a good answer Does the report have a suitable structure?

 

Does it have an introduction, body and conclusion? Does it include connective words to make the writing cohesive within sentences and paragraphs?

Does the report use suitable grammar and vocabulary?

 

Does it include a variety of sentence structures? Does it include a range of appropriate vocabulary?

Does the report meet the requirements of the task?

  

Does it meet the word limit requirements? Does it describe the whole graph adequately? Does it focus on the important trends presented in the graphic information?

Now read sample answer one. How well does it follow the guidelines? Sample answer one The pie charts compare the highest level of education achieved by women in Someland across two years, 1945 and 1995. It can be clearly seen that women received a much higher level of education in Someland in 1995 than they did in 1945. In 1945 only 30% of women completed their secondary education and 1% went on to a first degree. No women had completed post-graduate studies. This situation had changed radically by 1995. In 1995, 90% of women in Someland had

completed secondary education and of those, half had graduated from an initial degree and 20% had gone on to postgraduate studies. At the other end of the scale we can see that by 1995 all girls were completing lower secondary, although 10% ended their schooling at this point. This is in stark contrast with 1945 when only 30% of girls completed primary school, 35% had no schooling at all and 35% only completed the third grade. In conclusion, we can see that in the 50 years from 1945 to 1995 there have been huge positive developments to the education levels of women in Someland. Teacher's comments on the sample answer Here is what an IELTS teacher said about the sample answer. The report structure is clear and well organised with an introduction, body and conclusion. The candidate uses a variety of grammatical structures and vocabulary so that the writing is not repetitive. In terms of task requirements, the report meets the word limit. Although the candidate has not included every figure presented in the charts, the answer does accurately reflect the content of the graphic material and gives a strong impression of the trend of change in the education of women which is the main point of the comparison of those particular charts. The sample answer above is therefore a very good one. Strategies for improving your IELTS score Selecting information In completing this task, it is important that you fully describe all of the graphic information given. However, this does not mean that you should note every detail. In most cases there will be too much information for you to mention each figure. You will therefore need to summarise the graph in meaningful segments. In other words, you will describe the significant trends in your report. Report structure As in the line graphs task, your report should be structured simply with an introduction, body and conclusion. Tenses should be used appropriately. Use two standard opening sentences to introduce the graph or graphs and your report. These opening sentences should make up the first paragraph. Sentence one should define what the graph is about, that is the date, location, what is being described in the graphs etc. For example: The pie charts compare the highest level of education achieved by women in Someland across two years, 1945 and 1995. Notice that in the single line graph we said that ‘the graph shows' but with two charts we can more accurately say ‘the pie charts compare’. Note the tense used. Even though it describes information from the past, the graph shows the information in the present time. Notice that the sample opening sentence does not simply copy the words used on the graphic material. Copied sentences will not be assessed by the examiner and so you waste your time including them. Sentence two (and possibly three) might sum up the overall trend. For example: It can be clearly seen that women received a much higher level of education in Someland in 1995 than they did in 1945. Notice the Simple Past tense is used. Here we are talking about what happened in the past.

The body of the report will describe the chart or charts in detail. You will need to decide on the most clear and logical order to present the material. In this case it might be best to work through the charts one by one. Ideally your report should end with one or two sentences which summarise your report or draw a relevant conclusion. Grammar and vocabulary You will receive a higher mark if your writing uses a range of structures and vocabulary correctly rather than a limited number. Pie charts generally show figures in percentages and your language in writing the report should reflect this. You will talk about ‘the percentage of graduates’ or the ‘proportion of people who completed secondary school’. Make sure that you are confident with comparatives and superlatives used to compare and contrast and the language used to describe pie charts. Comparing and contrasting One syllable Adjectives with one syllable form their comparatives and superlatives like this: cheap large bright Exceptions: good bad better worse best worst cheaper larger brighter cheapest largest brightest

Two syllables Some adjectives with two syllables form their comparatives and superlatives like this: pretty happy prettier happier prettiest happiest

But many form their comparatives and superlatives like this: striking more striking most striking

Although some can form their comparatives and superlatives like this: common clever more common more clever / cleverer most common most clever / cleverest

Three or more syllables All adjectives with three or more syllables form their comparatives and superlatives like this: attractive more attractive most attractive

profitable expensive Exercise

more profitable more expensive

most profitable most expensive

What are the comparative and superlative forms of these adjectives: COMPARITIVE accurate certain convenient correct dangerous happy likely modern new possible probable up-to-date Describing one part of the chart Starting with the adjective: The highest The greatest The lowest The most A significant The smallest The largest percentage of proportion of number of women cars sold holiday makers are employed in the X category are red come from Spain SUPERLATIVE

Starting with the subject: Red is the Professional is the Spain is the Describing two parts of the chart Starting with the adjective: As many Twice as many Three times as many Not as many as … most second/third most least popular prevalent common car colour employment category holiday destination

More Far more Much more Many more A lot more Substantially more Considerably more Significantly more Slightly more Fractionally more Starting with the subject: red cars women holiday makers

are sold are employed in X come from X than

as Blue cars are quite as Women are just as Spain is nearly as almost as not as

common popular prevalent

as …

more much more far more substantially more considerably more slightly more fractionally more less much less far less considerably less fractionally less

women cars sold holiday makers

than

Writing task one: tables Saturday, 09 June 2007 You will be given one table of figures. Your task is to describe the information given in the graph by writing a 150 word report. You are not asked to give your opinion. You should spend around 20 minutes on the task. What is being tested is your ability to:

   

objectively describe the information presented in a table compare and contrast report on an impersonal topic without the use of opinion use language appropriate to the description of tables

Sample task You should spend about 20 minutes on this task. Write a report for a university lecturer describing the information in the table below. You should write at least 150 words.

Your task Complete the Task One report exercise above. Spend only 20 minutes. Then look at the notes and the sample answer below. Guidelines for a good answer Does the report have a suitable structure?

 

Does it have an introduction, body and conclusion? Does it include connective words to make the writing cohesive within sentences and paragraphs?

Does the report use suitable grammar and vocabulary?

 

Does it include a variety of sentence structures? Does it include a range of appropriate vocabulary?

Does the report meet the requirements of the task?

Does it meet the word limit requirements?

 

Does it describe the whole graph adequately? Does it focus on the important trends presented in the table?

Sample answers We will now compare two sample answers, one better than the other. How well does each one follow the guidelines? Sample answer one The table shows how people in different age groups spent their leisure time in Someland. It can be clearly seen that the amount of leisure time available varied considerably across the age groups. Teenagers in Someland spent 1,200 hours a year watching TV and those in the over 70s group spent 100 hours less at 1,100. They spent 150 hours on socialising with 4 or less people compared with 200 hours at the other end of the scale. They spent 350 hours socialising with 4 or more people compared with 25 hours. The teenagers spent 450 hours on group exercise but retired people didn’t do any. In conclusion, we can see that in Someland the teenagers and retired people prefer to spend their free time in different ways. Teacher's comments on the sample answer Here is what an IELTS teacher said about the sample answer. The report structure is clear and well organised with an introduction, body and conclusion. The candidate uses repetitive grammatical structures and vocabulary which would bring the mark down considerably. The tense used is not appropriate as there is no indication on the table that the figures refer to the past. Also the reader doesn’t know who is being referred to in the two sentences on socialising. The word ‘prefer’ in the conclusion is inappropriate because the table does not give any indication of people’s reasons for spending their time on one activity rather than another. Someone may choose indoor rather than outdoor activities because of their health although they would prefer to go outside. In terms of task requirements the report has serious problems. Although in writing about a table you will have the difficulty of there being too much information to put into a 150 word report, you can’t solve this problem by ignoring whole sections of the table. In this case the candidate simply compared two age levels and ignored the rest. Sample answer two Here is an example of a better answer to this task. Notice how it follows the guidelines. The table shows how people in different age groups spend their leisure time in Someland over the course of a year. It can be clearly seen that the amount of leisure time available varies considerably across the age groups and that people of different age levels have very different ways of spending their leisure time. According to the figures, as people age in Someland their social lives reduce. Teenagers and people in their twenties spend on average 500 hours per year on socialising and 350 hours of that time is with a group of more than 4 people. Although the total hours of socialising in their 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s is fairly constant (between 300-350), socialising with more than 4 people drops dramatically to 50 hours in the 30s and 40s age groups and only 25 from 50 years old. Group and individual exercise follow a similar pattern. People of all ages spend a good part of their leisure time on entertainment such as TV/video viewing and cinema. In both cases, teenagers and retired people spend around twice as much time as those who are at working age. Home entertainment ranges from just over a thousand hours for teenagers and retired people and an average of 600 hours for everyone else. Cinema accounts for 100 hours of the teenagers and retired people’s leisure time and 25-50 hours for the rest.

In conclusion we can see there is a significant trend towards solitary and smaller group activities as people grow older and that teenagers and retired people spend a lot more time on entertainment than those of working age do. Strategies for improving your IELTS score Selecting information Like the line graphs your report should be structured simply with an introduction, body and conclusion. Tenses should be used appropriately. Use two standard opening sentences to introduce the table and your report. These opening sentences should make up the first paragraph. Sentence one should define what the table is about; that is, the date, location, what is being described in the graphs etc. For example: The table shows how people in different age groups spend their leisure time in Someland over the course of a year. Notice that the sample opening sentence does not simply copy the words used on the graphic material. Copied sentences will not be assessed by the examiner and so you waste your time including them. Sentence two (and possibly three) might sum up the overall trend. For example: It can be clearly seen that the amount of leisure time available varies considerably across the age groups and that people of different age levels have very different ways of spending their free time. Notice the tense used. In this case there is no date given and so we must take the table information as being current now. The body of the report will describe the information presented in the table in detail. You will need to decide on the most clear and logical order to present the material. Generally you will choose one of the categories given in the table; that is, the age or activity in the example task above. Your choice would depend on whether you could see the most significant trends occurring by age group or by activity. In this case distinguishing the age group is your primary concern in describing this table, and you would do this by highlighting some differences between the activity preferences of the age groups. Ideally your report should end with one or two sentences which summarise your report or draw a relevant conclusion. Grammar and vocabulary You will receive a higher mark if your writing uses a range of structures and vocabulary correctly rather than a limited number. Selecting your information In completing this task it is important that you cover all of the information given. However, this does not mean that you should note every detail. In tables there is invariably too much information for you to mention each figure. You will therefore need to summarise the table in meaningful segments. In other words, you will describe the significant trends in your report. To see the trends in a table, start by finding patterns under the horizontal and vertical headings. In the sample task you would analyse the age groups and activities. We can see that at different times in their lives Someland people have more or less free time and their priorities for how they spend their free time are different. In analysing the activities we can look for which age groups spend more time on individual or group, cheap or expensive, home or outdoor, strenuous or restful activities. By describing trends in this way, we can avoid having to describe every age group across every activity. Writing task one: processes

Saturday, 09 June 2007 You will be given a diagram of a process. Your task is to describe the information given in the diagram by writing a 150 word report. You are not asked to give your opinion. What is being tested Task one questions asking you to describe a process rarely appear on the IELTS test. They are different from table, graph and chart description because they test your ability to:

  

describe each important stage in the process and expand where necessary link your descriptions of each stage use the present simple passive

As process tasks can vary widely, it is essential that you look at a lot of examples in IELTS preparation books. You should spend around 20 minutes on the task. Sample task You should spend about 20 minutes on this task. The flow chart below shows how national examination papers are marked in Someland. Write a report for a university lecturer describing the information below. You should write at least 150 words.

Your task

Complete the Task One report exercise above. Spend only 20 minutes. Then look at the notes and the sample answer below. Guidelines for a good answer Does the report have a suitable structure?

 

Does it have an introduction, body and conclusion? Does it include connective words to make the writing cohesive within sentences and paragraphs?

Does the report use suitable grammar and vocabulary?

 

Does it include a variety of sentence structures? Does it include a range of appropriate vocabulary?

Does the report meet the requirements of the task?

 

Does it meet the word limit requirements? Does it describe the whole process adequately?

Sample answers The sample task given is simplified for the sake of explaining this kind of report task clearly. In a genuine test you can expect the process to be more complex. The flow chart shows the marking procedures for national exam papers in Someland. After the papers are collected, the Reading and Listening papers are marked by an administrator and then collated. The writing papers are treated differently. After collection, the writing papers are marked by an examiner. The marks are then sent to an administrator for collation while the exam papers are sent to an examination board. The board either stores the papers or reassesses them. Strategies for improving your IELTS score Meeting the task requirements When you begin the writing test, look at the illustration (flow chart, diagram etc) and try to work out what the important stages are, the order they occur and any obvious reasons for the order. Your report must include every stage shown in the diagram or flow chart. When looking at the illustration, be careful to distinguish stages which happen concurrently. (A is performed at the same time as B) and others which are alternatives (either A or B is performed). The flow chart given in the Sample Task demonstrates this problem. Look at the stages for the writing test. In the second stage we can see that the writing paper is marked by an examiner. It is then sent to the examination board while at the same time the marks are sent to an administrator. These events occur concurrently. In the final stage, the papers are either stored or reassessed. These events are alternatives. It may happen that the diagram does not make much sense to you at first glance. Look for a starting point and follow through the stages in your mind before beginning to write. If it’s still not making sense, then go on to Task Two but make sure that you give yourself 20 minutes to complete the report before the end of the writing test time. It often happens that our brains can sort problems out for us even when we are focusing on something else. Report structure

Like the line graphs, your report should be structured simply with an introduction, body and conclusion. Tenses should be used appropriately. Use one standard opening sentence to introduce the report. This opening sentence will make up the first paragraph. You should state simply what the process is. For example: The flow chart shows the marking procedures for national exam papers in Someland. Notice that the sample opening sentence does not simply copy the words used in the task instructions. Copied sentences will not be assessed by the examiner and so you waste your time including them. The body of the report will describe the process in a logical order. A conclusion will generally not be necessary in this kind of report. Grammar and vocabulary You will receive a higher mark if your writing uses a range of structures and vocabulary correctly rather than a limited number. If the flow chart is simple and linear then you may be able to link the stages together by simply using some of the following transition signals. To begin with First of all First Secondly, thirdly, etc Then Next After that Finally If the process is more complex, as in the example above, then you may need to also use these words Alternatively Otherwise In addition At the same time Concurrently Using the present simple passive The passive is associated with an impersonal formal style. It is often used in notices, announcements and describing processes. Compare the following sentences: Active: The examiner marks the test paper Passive: The test paper is marked The two sentences have the same meaning but the emphasis is different. In the active sentence we are more interested in the person or thing doing the action (the agent). In the passive sentence we are more interested in the person or thing affected by the action. If we want to mention the agent we use by:

The test paper is marked by the examiner But often the agent is not important. The passive is not another way of expressing the same sentence in the active. We choose the active or passive depending on what we are more interested in. In the first sentence we are more interested in the examiner. In the second sentence we are more interested in the test paper. Subject rapid is / are Is Past Participle marked (by agent) (by the examiner)

Writing task two Saturday, 09 June 2007 You will be given a discussion topic. Your task is to write a 250 word essay on that topic. You should spend around 40 minutes on the task. What is being tested Task one questions asking you to describe a process rarely appear on the IELTS test. They are different from table, graph and chart description because they test your ability to:

    

Present a point of view with convincing evidence Challenge an alternate point of view Focus on the topic and avoid irrelevancies Communicate in a style that is easy to follow and cohesive Use English accurately and appropriately

Sample task You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. Present a written argument to an educated reader with no specialist knowledge of the following topic: Television has had a significant influence on the culture of many societies. To what extent would you say that television has positively or negatively affected the cultural development of your society? You should write at least 250 words Use your own knowledge and experience and support your arguments with examples and relevant evidence. Your task Complete the task 2 exercise above. Spend only 40 minutes on the task, then look at the notes and sample answer below. Sample answer It has been around forty years since television was first introduced into Australian households and people today still have mixed views on whether it has a positive or a negative influence on the society.

Many people believe that television damages culture. It promotes the stronger cultures of countries such as Britain and North America and weakens the cultures of less wealthy countries. This is because the stronger, wealthier countries are able to assert their own culture by producing more programs that are shown widely around the world. These programs then influence people, particularly young people, in the countries where they are shown. Also, because television networks need to attract large audiences to secure their financial survival, they must produce programs which are interesting to a broad range of people. In Australia this range is very broad because we are a multicultural society and people of all ages like to watch television. To interest all these different people, most television programs are short in length, full of action and excitement, do not require much intelligence or knowledge to understand, and follow universal themes common to all cultures, such as love and crime. Television programs which concentrate on or develop themes pertinent to one particular culture are not so successful because they interest a smaller audience. Nevertheless we much acknowledge that television does have some positive effects on the cultures within a society as well. People who do not live within their own culture can, in a limited way, access it through the multicultural station on the television. For example, Aboriginal children who have grown up in white families, or migrants and international students living in Australia, can watch programs from their own culture on the television. In conclusion, I hold the view that television promotes and strengthens those cultures that are wealthy and influential while it weakens the cultures that are already in a weakened position. Teacher's comments Here is what a teacher said about the sample answer: The essay has a clear introduction which poses the problem. Three paragraphs which makes relevant points on the topic and a conclusion which sums up the main point of the whole essay. The grammar and vocabulary are rich and varied. It is therefore a very good answer. Strategies for improving your IELTS score The style of essay required for Task 2 of the IELTS writing test is standard to academic courses. There are several published textbooks available to assist you to improve your writing skills for this part of the test. Structure and cohesion should be evident at the essay level, within and between paragraphs and within and between sentences. Structure and cohesion have a very important effect on the readability and clarity of your essay as a whole. The structure of your essay should show a clear development from introduction, through your points and on to the conclusion. Your essay needs to have an introduction, body and conclusion. Structure and cohesion should also be apparent within and between paragraphs. Each paragraph will typically contain a topic sentence which states the main point of your paragraph. The topic sentence is usually the first one. This will be followed by the evidence which supports the point of the paragraph. The final sentence will typically lead into the point of the following paragraph. A good essay will also have structure and cohesion within and between sentences. It is important that you are confident using linking devices such as relative clauses, connectives and transition signals. Connecting sentences A. Use connectives such as the following with verb phrases. For movements in the same direction use 'then' and 'and' and 'then continued its upward / downward trend more … '. Disconnected sentences

After that it rose gradually to 5,000 by 1952. And then it went up to 15,000 by 1954. Connected sentence After that it rose gradually to 5,000 by 1952, then more steeply to 15,000 by 1954 Connected sentence After that it rose gradually to 5,000 then continued its upward trend more steeply to 15,000. Exercise Connect these sentences using 'then', 'and' and 'then continued its upward/downward trend more … '. It dropped swiftly to 1,000 in 1998. Then it went down slowly to 900 in '99 It slowly decreased to 100. Then it quickly dropped to 15. It increased substantially at the beginning of the year. It increased gradually at the end of the year. For contrasting movements use ‘ but’ Disconnected sentences It rose to 35,000 by 1960. After that it fell to 12,000 by 1962. Connected sentence It rose to 35,000 by 1960 but later fell to 12,000 by 1962 Exercise Connect these sentences using 'but'. It fluctuated around 100 in 1999. Then it levelled out in the year 2,000. It went down to 15,000 in 1960. Then it climbed back to 2,000 in 1961. B. Use connectives such as the following with noun phrases. Use 'which was followed by' , 'which led to', 'which preceded' Disconnected sentences There was a fall to 6,000 by 1968. Then an increase to 8,000 by 1970. Connected sentence There was a fall to 6,000 by 1968 which was followed by an increase to 8,000 by 1970. Connected sentence There was a fall to 6,000 by 1968 which led to an increase to 8,000 by 1970. Connected sentence There was a fall to 6,000 by 1968 which preceded an increase to 8,000 by 1970. Exercise Connect these sentences using‘ which was followed by’, ‘which led to’, ‘which preceded’. There was a sharp rise to 900 in 1991. Then there was a gradual decline to 800 in 1992.

There was a slight drop to 90. Then there was a more marked decline to 50. It reached a peak at Christmas. Then it dropped back to the November levels of 500. The speaking component Sunday, 10 June 2007 The IELTS speaking test takes around 15 minutes and is in the form of an interview. The interview will most probably seem like a friendly conversation which typically covers some aspects of your past, present and future situations. The interviewer will direct the conversation through questions which mostly focus on you and your opinions. The interview has four main sections:

   

some general questions about yourself a discussion of topics of general interest a role play a discussion of your future plans and a conclusion

It is important that you relax and speak as confidently as you can. Candidates who are difficult to draw into the conversation may not achieve their potential band score simply because they haven't been able to demonstrate the level of language they are capable of producing. The interview: section one Sunday, 10 June 2007 Task description Section One of the interview is an introduction in which the interviewer will ask you some general questions about yourself. The questions are often, but not always, based on the CV that you filled out before the test. This section of the interview aims to be like a friendly conversation in which the interviewer asks questions that are not too difficult, to try to get to know you and relax you. Sample questions Prior to the test, you will be asked to fill in a CV (Curriculum Vitae) which will ask for general information about topics such as the following:

    

Your country of origin Where you learnt English How long you have been learning English Level of education achieved Interests and future plans

The first section of the test will go something like this:

  

The interviewer greets the candidate and introduces himself or herself. The interviewer asks the candidate to state his or her name clearly for the cassette. The interviewer asks to see the candidate’s passport and CV form.

Typical questions for this stage of the test might be: It says on your CV that you are interested in … Could you tell me why you like it? How often do you … ? With whom? Where? Why are you taking the IELTS test? Is this your hometown? If not: Tell me about the place you come from. Would you rather live here or there? Tell me how the public transport system in your hometown compares with here. If yes: What do you like about living here? Are there any bad points about this place? Strategies for approaching the task Firstly, you should be very careful what you write on your CV as this could be the basis for the discussion in this part of the test and may influence the interviewer’s choice of topics for the second part of the test as well. Remember that one of the aims of this section is to get you talking freely so that the interviewer can assess your level of English. The interviewer wants you to talk about something you are interested in so that you will perform your best. It is for this reason that you are asked to write down some information about yourself that the interviewer can use as a basis for the questions. One question on the CV asks you to write down your interests. Make sure that you are prepared to talk about the interests you write down here. For example, if one of your interests is scuba diving, make sure that you learn the vocabulary you need to discuss this topic in English before the test. And check the pronunciation with a native speaker of English if possible. One candidate wrote down that she was interested in the environment, though in fact, she knew nothing about environmental issues. The interviewer, thinking that this would be a good topic to get the candidate talking freely, began to ask question after questions about the candidate’s views on various issues related to the environment. The candidate didn’t have the language to cope with the questions and also didn’t have any ideas to express about the issues. So instead of the candidate feeling relaxed from the beginning of the interview talking about a familiar topic, she felt very uncomfortable and may not have performed as well as she could as a result. So choose carefully what you write down on the CV and prepare the language you will need to discuss these topics before the test. This does not mean that you should memorise a speech as the interviewer will immediately change the topic if s/he thinks that what you are saying is rehearsed. It would be more useful to find people with whom you can practise speaking about the topics. You should also be prepared to use the past, present and present perfect tenses to describe your current situation. For example, ‘I have been studying English for two years since I moved to the city’. The interview: section two

Sunday, 10 June 2007 Task description In this section the interviewer will move onto one or more topics of general interest. You may need to speak longer (take longer turns) than in the first section and you may need to describe or explain. Sample questions It is not possible to predict what topics may be discussed at this point in the interview; however, some standard topics are:

      

Traditional or modern buildings in your country Tourism and tourist sites Celebrations and cultural activities Family and family relationships Schooling and the education system in your country City and country living Modern and traditional lifestyles

If the interview does not take place in your country of origin, you may be asked to compare your country’s architecture, level of tourism, culture etc with those of the country you are living in. What is being tested is your ability to:

 

take longer turns in a conversation give information involving description and explanation

Strategies for approaching the task Carefully consider what you know about each of the topics above. Try to think of all the questions that someone who was trying to get to know you might ask, and make sure that you have all the vocabulary you need to discuss the topics in depth. Check and practise the pronunciation of any new vocabulary. Where there are contentious issues, try to develop an opinion. You will perform better in the IELTS interview if your speech is fluent. And you’re likely to be more fluent if you have already thought about the topic and have some ideas to express. This doesn’t mean memorising or rehearsing a speech because you can never be sure exactly what the questions will be, and also the examiner will immediately ask a different question if s/he suspects that your answer is memorised. The interview: section three Sunday, 10 June 2007 Task description Section three is like a role play. The examiner will explain a situation to you and then instruct you to ask questions to find out more information. The examiner will give you a card with around six question prompts to help you make the questions. You should use the question prompts to ask all the questions on the card. Be ready to ask additional questions

if the examiner invites you to, or if the examiner looks expectantly at you after you have asked all the prompted ones. What is being tested is your ability to:

  

use a question form correctly use a variety of question words ask questions politely

Sample questions The examiner says: ‘I have just enrolled in a new course. You want to find out about the course. Look at this card carefully and when you’re ready begin to ask your questions.’ Interview card The interviewer has just enrolled in a course. Ask the interviewer some questions to find out about the course. Title of course? How long? Location? Purpose? Cost? Strategies for approaching the task Before the test, you need to practise making correct questions using a variety of question words appropriate to the situation. You also need to practise making your questions polite. There are two main ways to do this. 1. Use an introductory sentence politely, asking the interviewer to give you the information. For example: Marianne, I’d like to ask you some questions about your course, if that’s all right. (Interviewer responds by nodding agreement or saying ‘Certainly. What’s the name of the course?) 2. Use embedded questions. For example: Could you tell me the name of the course, please? Notice that with embedded questions we use the statement word order, not: Could you tell me what is the name of the course? The interview: section four Sunday, 10 June 2007 Task description Using your CV as a starting point, the interviewer will ask you about your future plans. The interviewer will aim to involve you in a discussion exploring possible problems, your concerns, your expectations, your hopes and possible steps to achieving your goals.

Sample questions It is not possible to predict what questions will come up at this point in the test except that you know that the topic will be your future. The questions will be drawn from your CV, or from what the examiner has learned about you in the earlier sections of the interview, and most will arise naturally from the discussion and the information you are giving as this section progresses. What is being tested is your ability to:

  

give in-depth answers to questions about your future use the language of speculation explain and defend your actions, plans, assumptions, predictions, reasons etc

Strategies for approaching the task Carefully consider your future plans before the test. If you haven’t definitely decided what career path you will follow, then choose one plan to talk about in the interview. For example, if you haven’t decided whether you want to be an astronaut or a business man, choose one – whichever you think is the easier to talk about – and don’t bother to mention the other at the interview. Prepare all the vocabulary you will need to discuss that career path, especially the steps you will need to take to reach your desired position and how you would overcome any possible problems. Be prepared to use conditional sentences to discuss, for example, what you will do if you achieve your goal or you cannot achieve your goal; for example: If I can’t go to an Australian university to study, I will have to work in my parents’ business Be prepared to use perfect tenses to explain how you got to the situation you are in now. For example: Interviewer: How did you decide to become an engineer? Candidate: Well, I’d (or I’ve) always been very good at maths, so after finishing high school I … Be prepared to speculate about the future: I hope to … I’m hoping to … I’d like to … If possible I’d like to … I plan to … I’ve always dreamed of … I assume that … I’m assuming that … I expect that … The reading component Sunday, 10 June 2007 The IELTS reading test takes one hour. In this time you are required to read three texts of between 500 and 900 words each. The texts and questions increase in difficulty. There will be around 40 questions to answer and record on the

answer sheet within the 60 minutes. Most students come out of the reading test feeling that there wasn’t enough time to complete the exam paper. For this reason it is very important that you take a number of timed practice reading tests before the actual exam day to develop the skills of skimming and scanning and other timesaving strategies. In the following pages you will find information and practice questions to prepare you to answer some of the most common types of question in the reading test:

        

Summary completion Matching headings to paragraphs Identifying the writer’s views Multiple choice Selecting factors Table completion Matching causes and effects Sentence completion Short answer questions

Sample reading text Sunday, 10 June 2007 The reading text on the following page is longer that usual and is used as the basis for all the questions and examples in this section. However, in the real IELTS test the 40 or 50 questions will be based on three texts not just one, and the questions will not test your understanding of a point in the text more than once, as they may do here. Lessons from the Titanic A From the comfort of our modern lives we tend to look back at the turn of the twentieth century as a dangerous time for sea travellers. With limited communication facilities, and shipping technology still in its infancy in the early nineteen hundreds, we consider ocean travel to have been a risky business. But to the people of the time it was one of the safest forms of transport. At the time of the Titanic’s maiden voyage in 1912, there had only been four lives lost in the previous forty years on passenger ships on the North Atlantic crossing. And the Titanic was confidently proclaimed to be unsinkable. She represented the pinnacle of technological advance at the time. Her builders, crew and passengers had no doubt that she was the finest ship ever built. But still she did sink on April 14, 1912, taking 1,517 of her passengers and crew with her. B The RMS Titanic left Southampton for New York on April 10, 1912. On board were some of the richest and most famous people of the time who had paid large sums of money to sail on the first voyage of the most luxurious ship in the world. Imagine her placed on her end: she was larger at 269 metres than many of the tallest buildings of the day. And with nine decks, she was as high as an eleven storey building. The Titanic carried 329 first class, 285 second class and 710 third class passengers with 899 crew members, under the care of the very experienced Captain Edward J. Smith. She also carried enough food to feed a small town, including 40,000 fresh eggs, 36,000 apples, 111,000 lbs of fresh meat and 2,200

lbs of coffee for the five day journey. C RMS Titanic was believed to be unsinkable because the hull was divided into sixteen watertight compartments. Even if two of these compartments flooded, the ship could still float. The ship’s owners could not imagine that, in the case of an accident, the Titanic would not be able to float until she was rescued. It was largely as a result of this confidence in the ship and in the safety of ocean travel that the disaster could claim such a great loss of life. D In the ten hours prior to the Titanic’s fatal collision with an iceberg at 11.40pm, six warnings of icebergs in her path were received by the Titanic's wireless operators. Only one of these messages was formally posted on the bridge; the others were in various locations across the ship. If the combined information in these messages of iceberg positions had been plotted, the ice field which lay across the Titanic’s path would have been apparent. Instead, the lack of formal procedures for dealing with information from a relatively new piece of technology, the wireless, meant that the danger was not known until too late. This was not the fault of the Titanic crew. Procedures for dealing with warnings received through the wireless had not been formalised across the shipping industry at the time. The fact that the wireless operators were not even Titanic crew, but rather contracted workers from a wireless company, made their role in the ship’s operation quite unclear. E Captain Smith’s seemingly casual attitude in increasing the speed on this day to a dangerous 22 knots or 41 kilometres per hour, can then be partly explained by his ignorance of what lay ahead. But this only partly accounts for his actions, since the spring weather in Greenland was known to cause huge chunks of ice to break off from the glaciers. Captain Smith knew that these icebergs would float southward and had already acknowledged this danger by taking a more southerly route than at other times of the year. So why was the Titanic travelling at high speed when he knew, if not of the specific risk, at least of the general risk of icebergs in her path? As with the lack of coordination of the wireless messages, it was simply standard operating procedure at the time. Captain Smith was following the practices accepted on the North Atlantic, practices which had coincided with forty years of safe travel. He believed, wrongly as we now know, that the ship could turn or stop in time if an iceberg was sighted by the lookouts. F There were around two and a half hours between the time the Titanic rammed into the iceberg and its final submersion. In this time 705 people were loaded into the twenty lifeboats. There were 473 empty seats available on lifeboats while over 1,500 people drowned. These figures raise two important issues. Firstly, why there were not enough lifeboats to seat every passenger and crew member on board. And secondly, why the lifeboats were not full. G The Titanic had sixteen lifeboats and four collapsible boats which could carry just over half the number of people on board her maiden voyage and only a third of the Titanic’s total capacity. Regulations for the number of lifeboats required were based on outdated British Board of Trade regulations written in 1894 for ships a quarter of the Titanic’s size, and had never been revised. Under these requirements, the Titanic was only obliged to carry enough lifeboats to seat 962 people. At design meetings in 1910, the shipyard’s managing director, Alexander Carlisle, had proposed that forty eight lifeboats be installed on the Titanic, but the idea had been quickly rejected as too expensive. Discussion then turned to the ship’s décor, and as Carlisle later described the incident … ’we spent two hours discussing carpet for the first class cabins and fifteen minutes discussing lifeboats’. H The belief that the Titanic was unsinkable was so strong that passengers and crew alike clung to the belief even as she was actually sinking. This attitude was not helped by Captain Smith, who had not acquainted his senior officers with the full situation. For the first hour after the collision, the majority of people aboard the Titanic, including senior crew, were not aware that she would sink, that there were insufficient lifeboats or that the nearest ship responding to the Titanic’s distress calls would arrive two hours after she was on the bottom of the ocean. As a result, the officers in charge of loading the boats received a very halfhearted response to their early calls for women and children to board the lifeboats. People felt that they would be safer, and certainly warmer, aboard the Titanic than perched in a little boat in the North Atlantic Ocean. Not realising the magnitude of the impending disaster themselves, the officers allowed several boats to be lowered only half full. I Procedures again were at fault, as an additional reason for the officers’ reluctance to lower the lifeboats at full capacity was that they feared the lifeboats would buckle under the weight of 65 people. They had not been informed that the lifeboats had been fully tested prior to departure. Such procedures as assigning passengers and crew to lifeboats and

lifeboat loading drills were simply not part of the standard operation of ships nor were they included in crew training at this time. J As the Titanic sank, another ship, believed to have been the Californian, was seen motionless less than twenty miles away. The ship failed to respond to the Titanic’s eight distress rockets. Although the officers of the Californian tried to signal the Titanic with their flashing Morse lamp, they did not wake up their radio operator to listen for a distress call. At this time, communication at sea through wireless was new and the benefits not well appreciated, so the wireless on ships was often not operated around the clock. In the case of the Californian, the wireless operator slept unaware while 1,500 Titanic passengers and crew drowned only a few miles away. K After the Titanic sank, investigations were held in both Washington and London. In the end, both inquiries decided that no one could be blamed for the sinking. However, they did address the fundamental safety issues which had contributed to the enormous loss of life. As a result, international agreements were drawn up to improve safety procedures at sea. The new regulations covered 24 hour wireless operation, crew training, proper lifeboat drills, lifeboat capacity for all on board and the creation of an international ice patrol. Reading task type one: summary completion Sunday, 10 June 2007 Task description The input for this type of question will be a summary of all or part of the reading text. The summary will contain a number of gaps. All of the information in the summary will be contained in the reading text, although the words used will be different. You will also be provided with a list of words to use to fill the gaps. There will be more words than gaps. These words have been chosen so that only one word will be suitable for each gap (the answer) but other words may appear suitable (distracters). Your task is to complete the summary using one word from the list for each gap. Because the summary is a paraphrase of the reading text (rather than an edited version), you will need to have a good understanding of the overall meaning and main points of the section summarised, rather than a detailed understanding of the text. What is being tested is your ability to:

 

skim the text for information paraphrase the original text

Sample task Complete the summary below. Choose your answers from the box at the bottom of the page and write them in boxes 1-8 on your answer sheet. NB There are more words than spaces so you will not use them all. You may use any of the words more than once. List of Words passengers lifeboats worried happy confident inadequate float dangers enormous advanced ocean excitement

fast record drown

handbook fast size

water procedures sink

afloat orders safety

The Finest Ship Ever Built The North Atlantic Ocean crossing on the Titanic was expected to set a new standard for …(1)… travel in terms of comfort and …(2)… The shipping industry had an excellent safety …(3)… on the North Atlantic Crossing over the previous forty years and the Titanic was the finest and safest liner ever built. The Titanic combined the greatest technology of the day with sheer …(4)…, luxury and new safety features. The Titanic’s owners were …(5)… that even if the Titanic were letting in …(6)… she would …(7) … indefinitely until help arrived. In hindsight we know that the Titanic was not unsinkable and that technology alone could not save lives when facilities were …(8)… and humans did not follow safe …(9)… whether because of arrogance or ignorance. Answer Key 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Answer key: The Finest Ship Ever Built The North Atlantic Ocean crossing on the Titanic was expected to set a new standard for ocean travel in terms of comfort and safety. The shipping industry had an excellent record on the North Atlantic Crossing over the previous forty years and the Titanic was the finest and safest liner ever built. The Titanic combined the greatest technology of the day with sheer size, luxury and new safety features. The Titanic’s owners were confident that even if the Titanic were letting in water, she would float indefinitely until help arrived. In hindsight we know that the Titanic was not unsinkable and that technology alone could not save lives when facilities were inadequate and humans did not follow safe procedures whether because of arrogance or ignorance. How to approach summary completion questions Step 1: Read the instructions carefully. Note that in this case you have to choose your answers from the words provided. Also note that in this case you can use any word more than once. Remember though that every IELTS test is different. So make sure that you read the instructions carefully even if you have practised the type of question before. ocean safety record size confident water float inadequate procedures

Step 2:

Skim through the summary to get an idea of the topic. In this case the summary refers generally to

peoples’ views about the Titanic in terms of safety. Step 3: Decide which section of the text the summary covers – in this case mainly paragraphs A and C. In some cases the summary may cover the whole text. Read through the summary, referring to the list of words each time you reach a gap. Select one or more possible words from the list to fill each gap. Reject any words that do not fit grammatically, even if the meaning seems correct. Confirm your choice by referring to the relevant sections of the text. Quickly read through your completed summary to check that it makes sense.

Step 4:

Step 5:

Reading task type two: matching headings to paragraphs Monday, 11 June 2007 Task description In this type of question, you will be given a list of headings. The instructions will also indicate around 4 to 6 paragraphs from the reading text. The task is to find the most suitable heading for each of the paragraphs. There will be more headings than paragraphs, and you shouldn’t use any heading more than once unless the instructions tell you that you can. To complete this task well, you will need to be able to identify each paragraph’s main focus. The correct heading will sum up the main idea of the paragraph. What is being tested is your ability to:

Identify the main idea of a paragraph

Sample task Choose the heading which best sums up the primary cause of the problem described in paragraphs D, E, G, H and I of the text. Write the appropriate numbers (i – x) in the boxes on your answer sheet. List of Headings i ii iii iv v vi vii Ignorance of the impending disaster Captain’s orders ignored Captain’s over-confidence Rough sea conditions Faulty design Iceberg locations not plotted Low priority placed on safety

viii ix x

Number of lifeboats adequate Inadequate training Ice warnings ignored

Answer Key Paragraph D Paragraph E Paragraph G Paragraph H Paragraph I vi iii vii i ix

How to approach matching headings to paragraphs Step 1: Read the instructions carefully. Note that the heading you choose should sum up the main idea of the paragraph. Also note which paragraphs you need to look at, as you are often not required to do them all. Familiarise yourself with the list of paragraph headings by skimming through them quickly. Read through the first paragraph for which you have to find a heading. Remember that you are reading to find out the main idea of the paragraph. Concentrate on the main idea or focus of the paragraph and try not to be distracted by details or by unfamiliar vocabulary. Choose the heading from the list which best sums up the main point of the paragraph you have just read. If you can’t choose between two headings, go on to the next paragraph – you can come back to that question later. But don’t forget to make a choice before the end of the test because if you leave a blank or you have marked two answers on your answer sheet, you will be graded as incorrect for that question.

Step 2: Step 3:

Step 4:

Reading task type three: identifying the writer’s views Monday, 11 June 2007 In this task type you will be given a number of statements. You will have to decide if these statements agree with the writer's views. To complete this task well you will often need to be able to recognise the writer’s views not only from what is said directly, but also from what is implied. For example, we do not need the writer to state directly that he/she disapproves of zoos. We can infer this disapproval if the writer states his/her disapproval of the following: animals being taken from the wild, animals being caged, people paying money to see animals, animals not having any privacy. However, if the writer

simply describes the problems with zoos this does not necessarily imply disapproval. Also, we should not try to guess the writer’s views. In statement 5 of the sample task on the following page, we should not assume that because we think that the lifeboats should have rescued more people, or because ‘everybody’ thinks that the lifeboats should have returned to rescue more people, that this is the writer’s view. In this case the writer does not express any view on this issue; she simply states the fact that the lifeboats were not full and so the answer must be Not Given. What is being tested is your ability to:

  

identify opinion and attitude skim for detailed information make inferences

Sample task Do the following statements agree with the views of the writer in the reading passage? In boxes 1-7 on your answer sheet write: Yes No Not 1. If the statement agrees with the writer If the statement contradicts the writer Given If it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this The enormous loss of life on the Titanic was primarily caused by inadequate equipment, training and procedures. Nobody had thought of installing enough lifeboats to accommodate all the passengers and crew in the event of an emergency. Captain Smith didn’t inform his officers of the true situation because he didn’t want to cause a panic. The lifeboats would have buckled if they had been fully loaded. After the Titanic sank the lifeboats which were not full should have returned to rescue as many people from the water as they could. The Captain of the Californian could have brought his ship to the rescue if he had realised that the Titanic was sinking. The sinking of the Titanic prompted an overhaul of standard operating procedures which made ocean travel much safer.

2.

3. 4. 5.

6.

7.

Answer Key 1 Yes

2 3 4 5 6 7

No Not Given No Not Given Yes Yes

How to approach questions to identify the writer's views Step 1: Read the instructions carefully. Note that you are asked to identify the writer’s opinion, which may not necessarily be the same as the facts. Note also the difference between the three categories you have to use, particularly: No The statement contradicts the writer. Not Given The writer does not give an opinion on this point. Step 2: Skim through all of the statements to get an idea of the topics you will be searching for in your reading of the text. Read the first statement again more carefully. Note the main point or opinion given in the statement. Skim the text for the section which refers to that idea. If you come across information relating to other statements, put a mark beside the section so that you can find it quickly again later. Once you have found the appropriate section of the text, read more carefully. Decide if the statement agrees with the view of the author (mark Yes on your answer sheet) or disagrees with the author (mark No on your answer sheet). If the author doesn’t give an opinion which agrees or disagrees with the statement then mark Not Given on your answer sheet.

Step 3: Step 4:

Step 5:

Reading task type four: multiple choice Monday, 11 June 2007 In this question type you will be given a ‘stem’ which may be an incomplete sentence or a question. The stem will be followed by three or four options – one will be correct (the answer) and three may seem possible but are in fact incorrect in some way (the distracters). In tackling this type of question, it is very important to read the stem carefully. Candidates often make careless mistakes when they misread the stem and so choose the wrong option.

What is being tested Multiple choice questions can be designed to test a wide variety of reading skills. The questions may require you to have an overall understanding of the main points of the text as in Question 1 of the sample task, in which case you will need to be able to read for gist. Or they may require you to have a detailed understanding of particular points as in questions 2 and 3 of the Sample Task, in which case you will need to be able to read for specific details. Multiple choice questions may

also ask you to identify facts or opinions in the text. Sample task Choose the appropriate letters A-D and write your answers in boxes 1-3 on your answer sheet. 1. Which is most at fault for the magnitude of the Titanic disaster? A. The ship B. The Titanic’s owners and builders C. Standard operating procedure D. The captain and crew 2. The number of lifeboats on the Titanic … A. would have been sufficient if all boats had been filled to capacity B. met the regulations for much smaller ships but not the Titanic C. had been designed in 1894 by the British Board of Trade D. could carry more people than required under the regulations 3. The Titanic was … A. higher than the tallest buildings of her day B. divided into 16 watertight compartments C. unsinkable D. the most technologically advanced liner of her time

Answer Key 1 2 3 How to approach multiple choice questions Step 1: Step 2: Read the instructions carefully Skim all the questions briefly to get an idea of the topics for which you will be searching when reading the text. Read the first question again more carefully. Decide what you will need to read to answer the question. Is the question asking you for a particular detail that you need to find in the text? Or is the question asking you for an answer which requires a global understanding of the whole text? Once you have decided the best strategy for dealing with the question (as above), you will need to proceed to read the text in the appropriate manner, for example reading for gist, reading for detail etc. C B D

Step 3:

Step 4:

Reading task type five: selecting factors Monday, 11 June 2007 You will be provided with a number of statements some of which paraphrase or summarise what the writer said. In this task type you need to show that you know what information the writer did (and did not) mention on a particular topic. What is being tested is your ability to:

  

skim and scan the text for details understand paraphrase understand inference

Sample task The writer mentions a number of factors related to poor communication which contributed to the disaster. Which 3 of the following factors are mentioned? Write your answers (A-H) in boxes 1-3 on your answer sheet. A. B. C. D. E. F. G. H. The Titanic was travelling too fast. Ships were not required to operate their wireless continually. There were insufficient lifeboats on the ship. The Titanic’s wireless was not operating around the clock. Ice warnings were not dealt with systematically. The Californian’s wireless had broken down. The Titanic’s wireless had broken down. Captain Smith did not give his officers enough information.

Answer Key 1 2 3 B E H

How to approach questions where you have to select factors

Step 1:

Read the instructions carefully. Note that only three of the factors are correct. Note also that the instructions in this sample task tell you what topic to focus on. In this case the instructions tell you to focus on poor communication as a contributing factor in the disaster. Although other factors may have contributed to the disaster (such as A and C) only the three correct answers focus on poor communication as a contributing factor. Read through the list of factors. Scan the text and find the sections or paragraphs which discuss poor communication. Read those sections carefully and select the appropriate three factors.

Step 2: Step 3: Step 4:

Reading task type six: table completion Monday, 11 June 2007 You will be provided with an incomplete table which summarises or paraphrases information given in the reading text. The information in table form may be organised differently from the way in which it appears in the text, for example chronologically instead of in order of importance. The task is to complete the gaps in three words or fewer. What is being tested is your ability to:

 

skim for specific information understand gist and paraphrase

Sample task Complete the table below using information from the reading passage. Write no more than three words for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 1-8 on your answer sheet. Regulated after the Titanic disaster? (Write Yes, No or Doesn't say) Doesn’t say … (3) … … (4) …

Problem

Cause of the problem

Position of icebergs not plotted Insufficient lifeboats

… (1) … scattered all over the ship … (2) … regulations a) ignorance of the extent of the danger

Lifeboats not full b) fear that the lifeboats would … (5) … Californian didn’t listen to the distress calls No … (7) … wireless operation … (6) …

… (8) …

Answer Key 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Ice warnings / wireless messages Out dated / out of date Yes Doesn’t say Buckle Yes 24 hour Yes

How to approach table completion tasks Step 1: Read the instructions carefully. Note that in the sample task you may use your own words if you wish, based on the information in the reading text. In other cases you will be instructed to use the words from the reading text only. Note also that here you may write only three words or fewer. Look at the table and especially any headings. Decide which is the most useful way to read the table. In this case you need to read it horizontally to answer the questions. Glance at the other information given in the table to get an idea of what information you will be searching for when you read. Look at the first row under the headings. Decide what key ideas you will need to search for as you skim the reading text. Decide also what information you will need to complete the first gap. For example, in the sample task you will skim for a paragraph or section discussing icebergs not being plotted because something was scattered all over the ship. What was that something? Skim the text for the appropriate paragraph or section. Read that section more carefully and decide on the best word or words to fill the gap. Remember that you will need to use the appropriate form of any verbs.

Step 2:

Step 3:

Step 4: Step 5:

Reading task type seven: matching causes and effects Monday, 11 June 2007 You will be provided with two lists. In most cases, one list contains a small number of causes and the other list contains a larger number of effects. The task is to find the effect which arose from (matches) each cause. To complete this task well you will need to understand clearly what the words ‘cause’ and ‘effect’ mean. What is being tested is your ability to:

  

understand cause and effect relationships understand gist and paraphrase skim for information

Sample task The reading passage describes a number of cause and effect relationships. Match each cause (1-4) in List A with its effect (A-H) in List B Write your answers (A-H) in boxes 1-4 on your answer sheet. NB There are more effects in List B than you will need, so you will not use all of them. You may use any effect more than once if you wish. List A: Causes List B: Effects A. Lack of lifeboat training and drills B. More than two of the watertight compartments filled with water 1. Outdated regulations designed for much smaller ships 2. Captain Smith’s failure to communicate sufficient information to officers 3. No requirements for 24 hour a day wireless operation 4. Lack of procedures for dealing with wireless messages C. Locations of icebergs received in ice warnings were not plotted D. Half full lifeboats did not return to rescue people E. Nearby ship did not come to Titanic’s rescue F. Not enough lifeboats G. Passengers panicked H. Lifeboats were not fully loaded

Answer Key 1. 2. 3. 4. F H E C

How to approach questions to match causes and effects Step 1: Read the instructions carefully.

Step 2:

RLook at the table and decide which list you should work from. In most cases it would be most efficient to work from the shorter list (usually the causes). Read the first cause. Briefly familiarise yourself with the effects list. Which effects seem possible at this stage? Skim the reading text to find the section which discusses the first cause. Read that section of the reading text carefully to find the effect. When you have found the effect in the reading passage, refer back to the effects list and select the one which best paraphrases the information in the reading text. If none of the effects listed seem to match, then keep reading the text, as it is not unusual for causes to have more than one effect.

Step 3: Step 4: Step 5: Step 6: Step 7:

Reading task type eight: sentence completion Monday, 11 June 2007 You will be provided with a number of incomplete sentences which you need to complete using information from the reading text. Generally you must complete the statement in three words or fewer, but confirm this with the instructions. What is being tested is your ability to:

  

skim for general information read for details understand paraphrase in the incomplete sentences

Sample task Complete the sentences below using words taken from the reading passage. Use no more than three words for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 1-3 on your answer sheet. 1. One positive outcome was that the inquiries into the Titanic disaster sought to improve safety procedures by initiating …(1)… The Titanic’s safety feature, which convinced most people that she wouldn’t sink, was her …(2)… Passenger ships across the North Atlantic Ocean had had an excellent safety record in the …(3)…

2. 3.

Answer Key 1. international agreements / new regulations

2. 3.

sixteen watertight compartments previous forty years

How to approach sentence completion questions Step 1: Read the instructions carefully. Note that in the sample task you must only use words from the reading passage, and that you may use no more than three words to complete each sentence. Briefly read through all the incomplete sentences to get an idea of what information you will have to find in the text. Read the first sentence more carefully. Decide what information you will need. In this case, you will look for a section discussing inquiries about improving safety procedures. Once you have found the relevant section of the reading text, look back at the incomplete sentence and decide what specific information you need to complete it. In this case, you need to find what was initiated. Read that part of the text more carefully to find the answer. Remember that the correct answer you find in the text should fit the incomplete sentence grammatically. If not, you may need to look for another answer. In some IELTS tests the instructions will not say ‘using words taken from the text’, in which case you can use your own words or change the form of the words in the reading text.

Step 2:

Step 3:

Step 4:

Step 5:

Reading task type nine: short answer questions Monday, 11 June 2007 You will be provided with a number of questions which you have to answer. Generally your answers must be in three words or fewer but confirm this with the instructions. What is being tested is your ability to:

   

skim for general information read for details identify the focus of the question understand paraphrase in the incomplete sentences

Sample task Using no more than three words, answer the following questions. Write your answers in boxes 1-3 on your answer sheet. 1. Alexander Carlisle implied that the Titanic’s owners were more concerned about the ship’s appearance than what?

2.

The laws of which government regulated the lifeboat requirements that the Titanic conformed to in 1912? What term used in the passage tells the reader that this was the Titanic’s first journey?

3.

Answer Key 1. 2. 3. safety / lifeboats Britain / the British government maiden

How to approach short answer questions Step 1: Read the instructions carefully. Note that in the sample task you may use your own words but you may not use more than three words for each answer. Briefly read through all of the questions to get an idea of what information you will have to find in the text. Read the first question more carefully. Decide what information you will skim for. In this case you will skim for reference to Alexander Carlisle. Once you have found the relevant section of the reading text, look back at the question and decide what specific information you need to answer the question. In this case, you need to find what the owners thought was less important than Titanic’s appearance. Read that part of the text more carefully to find the answer. Your answer does not need to be a complete sentence but it does need to make sense grammatically.

Step 2:

Step 3:

Step 4:

Step 5: Step 6:

The listening component Saturday, 16 June 2007 The IELTS listening test takes approximately 30 minutes. The listening material is recorded on a cassette tape which you will hear only once. There are four sections in the listening test presented in order of increasing difficulty. The first two sections are on topics of general interest such as a report of a lost bag or an introduction to a public facility. Section one will be in the form of a dialogue, section two will be a monologue. Sections three and four will have an education or training focus. There will be a lecture and a discussion between two and four people. As you listen you should write your answers on the question booklet. At the end of the recorded material you will be given

ten minutes to copy your answers onto the answer sheet. Most candidates come out of the listening test not feeling very confident of their answers after listening to the recording only once. For this reason it is very important that you take a number of timed practice listening tests before the actual exam day to become familiar with the style of questions asked, the speed of the speech and to develop the skill of recording your answers as you listen. Sample tapescript and questions The following sample tapescript and questions are based on section four of the listening test (a short lecture with an education or training focus). Generally each of the four extracts will be divided into sections so that you will have only a few questions to answer at a time. You will be given a few seconds after each section to check your answers and read the next group of questions. In the real IELTS test the questions will not test your understanding of a point in the listening material more than once, as they may do here. For more information about the other sections of the test, consult the recommended IELTS guidebooks. Tapescript Good morning everyone. Welcome to the second year of your teaching degree. My name is Simon Taylor. I'm a second year lecturer in the education faculty. Today I'll be giving you an overview of the field trip to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, that you all registered for at the end of last year. As many of you will be aware, the field trip is offered to student teachers in the second year of the teaching degree. The trip replaces the three week practical teaching placement in the second semester. But please don't get the impression that the trip will be a holiday. In fact you will do the same amount of work in Vietnam as your peers do in Australia. You will still complete 3 weeks practice teaching, but in a Vietnamese school rather than an Australian one. Each week you will need to teach 10 hours and observe at least 10 hours. Your class supervisor will be the student's normal teacher and so will most probably be Vietnamese. You will need to fit in with what the class supervisor asks you to teach and follow any instructions they may give you in terms of teaching methodology. You might find this difficult at first, especially if what the class supervisor asks you to do contradicts the methodology we have taught you here. But remember that whatever happens, it will be a learning experience. Actually in past field trips the Vietnamese supervisors have not interfered at all and our student teachers have found them very supportive. You will be placed in classes at the University of Education, Ho Chi Minh City. This is the largest teacher training institution for secondary teachers in the south of Vietnam. It has a very good reputation within the country and with foreign universities. Cambridge University and Melbourne University and a number of others have developed good ties with the University of Education. Many of the staff have received their training in England, the US, Australia and New Zealand. The section of the university that you'll be working in is the Centre for Foreign Languages. This is the largest English language centre in the country and enrolls up to 40,000 students across 12 campuses at any one time. The students in this section of the university are in fact not trainee teachers but members of the public who pay fees to study English. The language centre runs in three shifts of four hours each day. They are from 7am to 11am, 1pm to 5pm and 5pm to 9pm. So each student will be in class for four hours in the morning, afternoon or evening. But they don't study every day. Classes run three times a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, which the Vietnamese call the even days, or on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday - the odd days. You will teach two hours of the morning shift each day except Saturday. You'll have two groups of students. One group on the even days and the other on the odd days. If you would like to get out your blank timetables I'll tell you your teaching commitments. On Monday you'll observe your first group (which we'll call group A) for the first two hours then teach from 9am-11am. Apart from Wednesday you'll be free during the afternoon shift to prepare your lessons. In the evening on Monday there'll be an official welcoming dinner put on by the university.

On Tuesday, you'll observe your second group (group B) from 7am till 9am and then teach the rest of the lesson. In the evening we will go out to dinner together on a floating restaurant. On Wednesday you'll teach group A from 7am to 9am and then observe until 11am. A few of the students are planning to take you on a tour of the city in the afternoon. And we will take them out for dinner in the evening. On Thursday it will be group B again. You'll teach them from 7am till 9am and observe from 9am to 11am. As yet we haven't made any plans for the evening meal on Thursday. Friday, you'll teach from 7am to 9am and observe from 9am to 11am. And that will be group A again. In the evening we will travel by bus to Vung Tau which is a sea side city a couple of hours out of Ho Chi Minh City. We'll be staying in Vung Tau over the weekend. So Saturday and Sunday will of course be free. In the classes you'll be teaching, there could be up to 70 students and the furniture which consists of long benches cannot be moved. So setting students into small discussion groups is quite difficult but not impossible. We'll talk more about some strategies for teaching large classes in our tutorials before the field trip. Well, I think that's all I have to say at present about the field trip. Cathy Jones is here now to talk about the non-teaching arrangements such as your accommodation, sight seeing and so on. Sample question one: selecting topics Task description You will be provided with a number of topics, three of which summarise parts of the listening text. The others are not discussed in the listening text. Your task is to decide which three topics are discussed. Sample task Tick the three items which are discussed in the talk. A. B. C. D. E. F. G. H. Teaching schedule for student teachers Safety issues for student teachers on the field trip Accommodation How the field trip fits into the teaching degree Vietnamese students' level of proficiency in English How the work requirements for the field trip compare with the work requirements for student teachers who remain in Australia Quality of English language teaching in Vietnamese universities Textbooks commonly used in Vietnamese English classes

Answer Key A. B. discussed

C. D. E. F. discussed Sample question two: summary completion Task description The input for this type of question will be a summary of all or part of the listening text. The summary will contain a number of gaps. All of the information in the summary will be contained in the listening text although the words used may be different. Your task is to complete the summary using not more than three words for each gap. Sample task Complete the notes below by writing no more than three words in the spaces provided. Simon Taylor, a … (1) … from the education faculty, gave some information about the … (2) … to … (3) … which will be held in the … (4) … . The student teachers will complete three weeks in a Vietnamese language centre involving ten hours of … (5) … and ten hours of … (6) … . Answer Key 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. lecturer/second year lecturer field trip Vietnam second semester observation Sample question three: multiple choice Task description In this question type you will be given a 'stem' which may be an incomplete sentence (e.g. Questions 1 and 32 below) or a question (e.g. question 2 below). The stem will be followed by three or four options - one will be correct (the answer) and three may seem possible but are in fact incorrect in some way (the distractors). In tackling this type of question it is very important to read the stem carefully. Candidates often make careless mistakes when they misread the stem and so choose the wrong option. Sample task Circle the appropriate letters A - D. 1. Participants on the field trip will be: A. Vietnamese teachers B. students of English discussed

C. Australian teachers D. trainee teachers

2.

How long will the field trip run for? A. 1 week B. 3 weeks C. one month D. one semester

3.

The Foreign Language Centre runs classes: A. 7 days a week B. 6 days a week C. 5 days a week D. 3 days a week

Answer Key 1. 2. 3. D B B Sample question four: form completion Task description You will be provided with an incomplete form which covers information from the listening text. Your task is to complete the gaps in three words or fewer. The information in the form will be presented in the same order as the information you hear. In other words, you will hear the answer to question one before the answer to question two. So it is very important that you use the time given to look at the question booklet to try and work out the order that you will hear the required information. In the case below, the questions are ordered vertically through the days of the week not horizontally. So you can expect to hear information about Monday first, then Tuesday etc. rather than mornings first then afternoons, evenings etc. Sample task Complete the form. Write no more than three words for each answer. Monday Morning 7-9 Morning 9 - 11 Observe group A … (1) … Tuesday … (2) … Teach group B Wednesday Teach group A Observe group A Thursday … (5) … Friday Teach group A Observe group A

… (6) …

Afternoon

Prepare lessons welcoming dinner

… (3) … dinner floating restaurant

… (4) …

Prepare lessons No plans

Prepare lessons travel by … (7) … to Vung Tau

Evening

Dinner with students

Answer Key 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Teach group A Observe group B Prepare lessons City tour Teach group B Observe group B Bus Sample question five: sentence completion Task description You will be provided with a number of incomplete statements which you need to complete using information from the listening text. Generally you must complete the statement in three words or fewer, but confirm this with the instructions. The questions will be presented in the same order as the answers in the listening text. In other words, you will hear the answer to question one before the answer to question two. Sample task Complete the notes using no more than three words. 1. 2. 3. In the mornings the student teachers will … … … … … … … … … . student teachers could be teaching large classes with up to … … … … … … . Discussion groups are quite difficult to arrange in Vietnamese classes but not … … … ……….

Answer Key 1. 2. 3. teach and observe 70 students impossible Sample question six: short answer questions Task description You will be provided with a number of questions which you have to answer. Generally your answers must be in three words or fewer, but confirm this with the instructions.

Sample task Answer the questions using no more than three words. 1. 2. 3. How many campuses does the Centre for Foreign Languages have? How many hours does each lesson run for? What will Cathy Jones talk about?

Answer Key 1. 2. 3. 12 4 non-teaching arrangements/accommodation, sightseeing, etc

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful