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How to improve your LEVEL and Get the IELTS SCORE you want
(without paying for expensive courses or books!)

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Contents
Translate this pdf document Before we begin 3 4

Reading Listening Speaking Writing In conclusion

6 11 16 20 27

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Translate this document
I know as a student of English that you should take every opportunity to read things in En glish to he lp y ou im prove. And having lived in a non-English speaking cou ntry, I al so kn ow how time-consuming a nd frus trating it ca n b e searching on the In ternet and struggling to read things in a for eign language, when you just want the answer NOW! This document has been written to help you with your IELTS preparation. I’d be m uch h appier if you c hose t o translate th is doc ument so that you c ould access that information as quickly as possible. Then you can put these ideas to good use and focus on improving your level of English. So thank God for Google translate! I know the translations aren’t perfect but they are a gr eat he lp and tim esaver. S o p lease feel free to fo llow the instructions below: Step 1: Open Zoho Viewer by clicking this link: http://viewer.zoho.com/Upload.jsp Upload this pdf file. Step 2: Zoho Viewer will then provide a URL (web address) for this document. Copy this web address and go to Google translate using this link: http://translate.google.com/# Paste the web ad dress and se lect th e la nguage yo u wa nt to translate to . Click the Translate button. Happy reading!

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Before we begin
Unfortunately th ere’s n o m agic f ormula to h elp y ou im prove y our lev el of English. The only way to improve is t o PRACTICE PRACTICE

PRACTICE. In t he pa st your Englis h teachers pr obably told you to do
more practice outside class. Now this advice is more important than ever if you want to get 6.5 or more in your IELTS exam. Getting this result means you can study at university or live/work in another country. Not getting this result means you can’t.

However, you don’t n eed to spend lots of mo ney on English courses or expensive b ooks. A ll the help you nee d is FREE. You n eed to un derstand where to find this help, and how to use it. Before you start the most important rule is:

‘Little and often.’
Doing a little practice e veryday is far m ore beneficial than 2 h ours once a week. Yo u only need to spend 15 minutes every day to help you improve. If you have time, spend 30 minutes. But, you must decide how much time you can spend EVERY DAY. And then STUDY AT THE SAME TIME EVERY DAY and make it part of your routine. For example, you can study for 15 minutes:   After breakfast before you leave the house On the bus to school / work
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www.myieltsteacher.com  D uring your lunch break  On the bus home  Make it the first job you do when you get home  A fter dinner  Instead of sitting in front of the TV  Before you go to bed

Why is this routine more beneficial?
Because when you study for a short time every day:  you remember things more easily because you are reminded every day  y ou don’t get bored  you don’t daydream so you achieve more during your study time  little successes are motivating so you feel like you are improving

However, ONLY doing IELTS practice tests WILL your level or your overall IELTS score.

NOT improve

You need to focus on the different skills in English in order to improve your level. That means improving:  Read ing  Lis tening  W riting  Spe aking  Gr ammar  Vo cabulary

If you think yo u ha ve mor e problems wit h one o f these sk ills than t he others then you need to focus on that skill. For example, if reading is the most difficult part of the exam for you, then spend most of your time trying to improve that skill. And remember, you need time to improve. With daily practice of one skill you c an i mprove y our lev el ov er 1 mon th. If you n eed to i mprove yo ur level in more than one skill, you might need 6 months. So let’s get started.

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Reading
You need to develop your ‘reading strategies’ so that you can read more proficiently in English. What does that mean?

Think about how you read a newspaper in your own language.    Do you start at the top of the page and read everything to the bottom? Do you read every word carefully? Do you stop reading when you don’t know a word in your own language? The answer is NO. Generally your eyes move over the page looking at the story headings. When you find an interesting heading you stop. You look more carefully at the first sentence of this story. If you’re interested your eyes move over the story quickly looking for the main words that tell you what the story is about. If these are uninteresting you give up and move on to another story. If these are interesting you slow down and start to read the story. If you don’t understand a word it doesn’t matter because you just want to know what happens in the story. These are ‘reading strategies’. You need to transfer these strategies that you use for your own language to English.

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Tip 1
One of the most important things you need to do in the IELTS exam is to use these re ading s trategies to q uickly look a t ea ch paragraph in the text and answer this question: What is the main topic of this paragraph? Maybe you can underline a few words to answer this question. Or maybe you can write 1 or 2 words next to the paragraph. Here’s an example:

Turkish people are renowned for their hospitality. Whatever their financial status, they welcome, and feed their guests as much as their resources allow. It may sound unbelievable but in Anatolia it is acceptable to knock on any door and ask for shelter, and it will be given, because unknown visitors are considered to be sent by God. This is, of course, too much to ask of the city dwellers who have lost trust in others after years of migration and the ensuing urban unrest.
1

Comment: Hospitality of Turkish people is the main topic

Comment: These sentences support and explain what the writer means by hospitality in Turkey Comment: In contrast to the main topic, this sentence states that in cities Turkish people are not hospitable and explains why.

So, if I wa s reading the whole article I wo uld underline the words in the firs t sentence, OR write n otes at the sid e of th e pa ragraph, eg. Tur kish pe ople hospitality. I would repeat this process for every paragraph in an article. This process should take you about 5-7 minutes for a 750 - 900 word text. At first you will find it takes you longer, especially as it can be difficult sometimes to separate the main topic from the supporting sentences. Unfortunately not every par agraph has the ma in i dea in the firs t se ntence! So, it is essential that you practice this technique in order to increase your speed. Using th is process in the I ELTS e xam will h elp you ans wer the qu estions more quickly because you won’t spend time searching the whole text again.
1 Taken from Culture Shock! A Guide to Customs and Etiquette Turkey (p.71). Arin Bayraktaroglu. Times Books

International. 1996

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Tip 2
Another imp ortant tec hnique is to use punctuation and sy mbols to help yo u find information quickly.

Punctuation: we always us e c apital le tters for names – John Smith, the
city of Sydney, the month of October etc. If you need to find the name of something in a long text then look for capital letters.

Symbols: percentages - %, a third – 1/3 etc.
If you’re looking for ratios or rates of something it’s a good idea to think about looking for these symbols.

Money – £100, €750, $55,000
Look for currency symbols.

Numbers - 350
You’ll f ind all th ese things mo re quickly if you move your e yes o ver the t ext instead of re ading. An d th is saves y ou time in the exa m. Yo u c an use the same technique for specific words   finding a specific word such as ‘table’ in a text, or if you nee d to find w ords relate d to a t opic, for ex ample finding different types of fruit such as ‘melon’, ‘apples’ etc. To improve your speed at these strategies you need to practice reading ‘real’ English texts a nd try to fin d the to pic in ea ch p aragraph. The n fin d nam es, numbers and symbols. Time yourself.

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Tip 3
Where do you find real English texts ? On the internet – and they’re all FREE IELTS read ing texts a re ta ken fro m newspapers, b ooks, magazines and journals, and so these are the best places to practice your reading strategies. Try choosing articles from the following:           www.guardian.co.uk www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish-central-magazine-archivepage.htm www.theaustralian.com.au www.nytimes.com www.economist.com www.newscientist.com http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/archives www.newint.org www.time.com/time www.newsweek.com

It he lps to c hoose an article w ith a t opic th at in terests you, but y ou s hould choose from a var iety of cultural, environmental, business, medical, scientific, educational and political themes. What subject are you planning to study at university? If you can visit a library with English lan guage boo ks you can bor row books re lated to th is s ubject. You can prepare for your IELTS exam AND for university. If yo u’re em igrating, w here are you going and w hat are y ou go ing t o do? Search the internet fo r this country’s newspapers. You can prepare for your IELTS exam, read local news stories about your new home country, find your ideal home AND a job!
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Tip 4
If you’re studying in an English class (or have done recently) or are taking an IELTS class, go back over your notes. Read through your notebook and your English class book – you should continue to remind yourself about what you have learnt. If you don’t , then you w ill forget everything. And that means you have wasted your money and your time.

Tip 5
The Australia Network has produced an excellent TV series on IELTS which you can download from the internet: http://australianetwork.com/studyenglish/se_about.htm There are 3 s eries to watch a nd they c over al l aspects of Gr ammar, Vocabulary, Listening, Speaking, Writing and Reading for Academic IELTS. First of all loo k through the to pics of the episodes for each series and decide which p rograms wou ld be mos t useful for you. Once you h ave c hosen t he program yo u would like to watc h y ou can download wor ksheets and transcripts too. I would re commend lo oking a t Series 3 as a lo t of these episodes focus on reading strategies.

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Listening
Like reading, you need to d evelop your ‘listening strategies’ so that you can listen more proficiently in English.

Think about how you listen to the news on the radio in your own language.    Do you sit and listen carefully to every part of the news bulletin? Do you listen to every word carefully? Do you stop listening when you don’t know a word in your own language, and focus on the meaning of that unknown word? The answer is NO. Generally you listen to the radio while you are doing something else, like driving. So you are not concentrating on every word they say, but your ears can hear the sound. When you hear words connected to a news story that you want to know about, you concentrate on listening to the radio. But you still don’t listen to individual words. You normally listen to phrases. Because you know how your language is constructed you can often hear the beginning of a phrase and guess the ending. (Think about a bad telephone connection. Imagine every 4th word is missing because the signal is weak. You can probably still understand the conversation because your brain automatically ‘fills in’ the missing word from its memory bank of phrases) So, when you listen to the news on the radio you are only half listening because your brain does all the work of predicting and filling in gaps. And if you don’t know the meaning of a word you don’t care because it doesn’t affect your understanding.

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www.myieltsteacher.com This kind of listening behaviour is very difficult to transfer into English listening because your k nowledge o f phr ases an d grammar s tructure is more l imited. However, you ha ve le arnt g rammar a nd v ocabulary p hrases s o y ou can sometimes guess what words will follow.

Tip 1
When listening to something in English the best idea is n ot to focus on every word because th is bec omes v ery tirin g. Yo u als o ge t bored and then y our brain ‘turns of f’, so you ac tually m iss the most important in formation. You should focus on the words that you understand. This will hopefully help you i n un derstanding th e main i dea. And don’t panic when you he ar unknown words. The good news in the exam is that you have time read the questions before you listen. This gives you time to think about the topic you might be listening to, and to use your knowledge of English to help you guess the answer.

The topic – us ing t he in formation in th e questions you c an think a bout a ll
the words you kno w related to the topic. These words will prob ably be verbs and nouns.

Guess the answer – for ‘gap fill’ type questions you’ll need to think about
the gr ammar of your answer. Does the ‘gap’ require a noun, adjective, verb etc? For other types of questions are you listening for a name, number, place, time etc?

Tip 2
To generally improve your listening ability you need to listen to the radio

and watch TV.
If you’re liv ing in an E nglish s peaking co untry you h ave lots o f choice. Yo u can also secretly listen to people speaking on the bus, in the street etc. And
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www.myieltsteacher.com you will obviously listen as you go about your normal life doing activities such as ordering takeaway food on the telephone, buying tickets for the bus etc. If you do n’t l ive in a n Eng lish s peaking co untry t hen you ha ve l ess ch oice. First of all check out your channels on digital or c able TV. Normally you can find news channels in English, such as BBC World News and CNN, as well as other c hannels sh owing En glish la nguage programs. You can als o watch your favourite series or a f ilm in English, but make sure you turn off or c over the subtitles (reading subtitles won’t improve your listening!)

Tip 3
There are sites on the internet where you can listen to news:   www.uksuperweb.co.uk/radio.html This we bsite allows ac cess to lots of radio stations in the UK. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/video_and_audio/default.stm This web site has short n ews video clips fro m th e BBC . The benefit of recorded video is th at yo u can listen to it several times, and this allows you to note down some interesting and useful new vocabulary.     http://au.news.yahoo.com/vodcast/ For mp4 video news from Australia http://news.ninemsn.com.au/video.aspx For more recorded video news from Australia. http://edition.cnn.com/video/ For recorded news from the USA. http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/how2 pod cast. Here are sites where you can listen and answer questions:     http://www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish-central-listening-downloadsarticles.htm http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/professionals-podcasts http://www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish-podcasts-professionalsarchive.htm http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/ielts-mock-papers
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Some students have told me of a te chnique they ha ve foun d r eally us eful. When they liste n to s omething i n English at h ome (the news, t he cla ss C D etc.) they listen again and again, and they try to write down every word they hear. O ver time they s ay it has rea lly helped the m to i mprove. I t’s not something I’ve tried, but if students tell me it w orks, then I’m happy to share the idea with you.

Tip 4
If you’re studying in an English class (or have done recently) or are taking an IELTS clas s, go bac k ov er y our n otes. Go b ack ov er the lis tening ac tivities from class. You can listen to the CD several times to work out why the correct answers are correct, or check the tape script at the back of th e book. Think about w hich word s and phr ases help yo u to understand this is the c orrect answer? And don’t forget to read through your notebook and your English class book – you should continue to remind yourself about what you have learnt. Just like for reading, if you don’t, then you will forget everything. An d that means you have wasted your money and your time.

Tip 5
The Australia Network has produced an excellent TV series on IELTS which you can download from the internet: http://australianetwork.com/studyenglish/se_about.htm There ar e 3 series to watch and they cover al l as pects of Grammar, Vocabulary, Listening, Speaking, Writing and Reading for Academic IELTS. First of all loo k through the to pics of the episodes for each series and decide which p rograms wou ld be mos t useful for you. Once you h ave c hosen t he
Copyright © 2010 - 2012. My IELTS Teacher. All rights reserved.

www.myieltsteacher.com program yo u would like to watc h y ou can download wor ksheets and transcripts too. I would re commend lo oking a t Series 3 as a lo t of these episodes focus on listening strategies.

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Speaking
If you ha ve problems w ith fluency then y ou c an’t s peak naturally and confidently, a nd you a lways s top and s tart bec ause you c an’t f ind th e r ight word. In order to improve your fluency you need to speak more.

Tip 1
In an English speaking country there are more people to practice with, but it can be a li ttle frightening. You need to fin d so meone who is ha ppy to listen and speak to you. Often you can find another student in your class, but make sure they are from a different country so you have to speak English together. Or maybe you are living with a host family. Their job is to look after you and provide you with o pportunities to s peak at ho me. Yo ur j ob is to th ink a bout subjects y ou wan t to talk ab out and then s tart a c onversation with them. Please do n’t expect the m to w ork hard trying to make you s peak – you

need to think about topics if y ou want th em t o speak to you. Make
sure you are prepared to talk about different subjects – you need to be able to give op inions an d ex plain wh y you ha ve these opin ions. But be c areful! Remember your host family is from a different culture and may have different opinions. Cho ose topics that won’t cause problems if you have very different opinions. If you don’t live in an English speaking country it c an be more difficult to find someone to practice with. You can find another student in your class, but you have to be very strict about not speaking your own language. Nowadays ma ny s tudents ar e mee ting up o n Facebook a nd other

networking sites, looking for speaking partners, and speaking for FREE online using Skype. If you hav e a Fac ebook ac count t hen search for Splendid

Speaking, Best IELTS Online a nd My IELTS Teacher – t hey all
have Facebook pages. You can post a message on their ‘discussions’ or ‘wall’
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www.myieltsteacher.com page looking for a speaking partner to practice with for the IELTS exam. You then need to share your Skype details with each other and organise a time to call. Again you need to plan this carefully so you don’t have lots of silence. Maybe agree a few top ics th at y ou ca n talk a bout in ad vance, giving your op inion, explaining why yo u hav e this o pinion, and a sking for y our partner’s opinion. You c ould even find som e IEL TS s peaking exams and te st ea ch other! Tr y these links:   http://www.myieltsteacher.com/speaking_test_practice.html http://www.ielts-blog.com/ielts-preparation-tips/speaking-tips/ieltsspeaking-test-questions/

Tip 2
If you c an’t fin d a pa rtner the n speak to yourself (in Englis h)! You c an talk about:      what you have done today what you’re going to do tomorrow any problems you need to solve any arguments you’ve had and what you wish you’d said the topics and situations are endless

It’s bes t to do this privately i n yo ur ro om! Howe ver, if you speak s ilently i n your head, you could do this on the bus on the way home! To help you improve you should sometimes record yourself doing this. When you listen you can check several things:    how often do you hesitate or use ‘er...’? do you use the same words all the time? you could try to us e n ew vo cabulary th at you have learnt and no tice which words you use

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www.myieltsteacher.com  do y ou u se d ifferent tenses to talk ab out different th ings? Ag ain yo u could try to include new grammar structures that you have learnt A good ide a is to record y ourself t he first time y ou do this. Th en if y ou continue to practice this speaking activity every day, record yourself again 10 days later. And then record yourself again after another 10 days. When yo u compare the recordings ca n y ou hea r an improvement? There should be some ch ange a fter a ll th is practice. If you’re n ot h appy th ough, think abo ut try ing to i mprove your vocabulary an d grammar an d then ad d these words and structures to your speaking. With 5-10 minutes daily practice your fluency should improve over 1 month.

Tip 3
If you hav e pr oblems with accuracy then y ou a re m aking lots of mist akes with y our grammar and v ocabulary when you s peak. wrong. If you have English lessons you can ask your teacher about the mistakes they notice with y our speaking. If you’re not taking any classes then you need to ask someone y ou trust to c omment o n y our accuracy – this could be an old student, family member or other friend. Or if you hav e no ne o f these, th en maybe you can ask your Skype partner. To try a nd so lve y our p roblems y ou n eed t o record your speaking as mentioned above. However, when you listen to the recording your job now is to notice when you make mistakes. For ex ample, you c ould lis ten and focus on your ve rb te nses. Ar e you us ing th e c orrect te nse for eac h subject you talk about? Or you could focus on prepositions. Very o ften these mistakes o ccur because you h ave mis understood something and lea rnt i t

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www.myieltsteacher.com Check a g ood grammar boo k (eg . Murphy’s Es sential Gramma r in Use Intermediate – s ee if you c an borrow a co py fro m a friend o r a li brary) or search for specific grammar topics online:       http://www.englishcorner.vacau.com/grammar/grammar.html http://www.englishgrammarsecrets.com/ http://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar http://esl.about.com/od/intermediateenglish/u/continue.htm http://www.english-at-home.com/grammar/ http://www.world-english.org/

If y ou know w hat mistakes y ou normally m ake y ou’ll be s urprised how often you make them on the recording. But this tells you that you need to think and speak m ore carefully when using the se words. Ev entually you can c hange your mistakes.

Tip 4
The Australia Network has produced an excellent TV series on IELTS which you can download from the internet: http://australianetwork.com/studyenglish/se_about.htm I wo uld r ecommend lo oking a t Series 2 and 3 as a lot of these e pisodes

focus on speaking. First of all look through the topics of the episodes for
each series and decide which programs would be most useful for you. Once you h ave c hosen the pr ogram you wo uld lik e to wa tch you c an do wnload worksheets and transcripts too.

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Writing
For the IELTS exam yo u need to write an e ssay, and e ither de scribe a graph/process o r writ e a le tter, de pending o n w hether yo u ar e tak ing the Academic or Gene ral exam. T o un derstand ho w t o a nswer th ese qu estions you need training. I s uggest you check out a few I ELTS websites to find out how to brainstorm and pla n essa ys, and d evelop your v ocabulary for describing graphs and writing letters. Here are a few to get you started:    www.myieltsteacher.com www.bestieltsonline.com www.dcielts.com

To improve your formal writing skills you need to focus on several areas.

Tip 1
Grammar If you have problems with grammar, you need to work out what your

main problems are. How do you d o this? Lo ok b ack ov er past writ ing
you h ave produced. Th is ma y be homework o r ac tivities from an E nglish class. When your teacher marked the writing, what mistakes did you make? Have you written reports or emails at work? Is there someone you can ask to check over you r writ ing a nd highlight your mistakes? Th is c ould be an old English teacher, a fl uent English speaking friend or relative, a fr iend’s friend, or someone you meet on Facebook. The most important thing is to find out where you are making mistakes. Th is could be verb te nses, p assive stru ctures, p repositions, articles etc . Y ou should u se a good gr ammar book (eg. M urphy’s Essential Gra mmar i n Us e Intermediate – s ee if you c an borrow a co py fro m a friend o r a li brary) or search for the se sp ecific topics o nline. grammar websites:
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Here are some us eful En glish

www.myieltsteacher.com       http://www.englishcorner.vacau.com/grammar/grammar.html http://www.englishgrammarsecrets.com/ http://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar http://esl.about.com/od/intermediateenglish/u/continue.htm http://www.english-at-home.com/grammar/ http://www.world-english.org/

Most of these websites also h ave p ractice p ages s o y ou re ad the rule s an d then test yourself. The Australia Network has produced an excellent TV series on IELTS which you can download from the internet: http://australianetwork.com/studyenglish/se_about.htm I wo uld r ecommend l ooking a t Series 1 and 2 as a lot o f these episodes focus on grammar and writing. First of all look through the topics of th e episodes for each series and decide which programs would be most useful for you. On ce y ou ha ve ch osen th e program you would like to w atch y ou can download worksheets and transcripts too. When you do some writing in the future, always check it when you’ve finished. It’s amazing how ma ny p oints students lose bec ause th ey don’t ch eck th eir writing. We a ll make b asic mistakes when we write s o it’s e ssential to read through your work when you’ve finished. You should check thos e structures which you normally have problems with. If you know what your problems are you’ll be more ca reful in th e fu ture. But rem ember, you do n’t ha ve to b e perfect t o g et the IELTS sc ore you wan t (un less you wa nt 9! ). For most students who nee d 6 .5 or 7, you ne ed to make su re your bas ic grammar is accurate (tenses, pr epositions, spelling, p ossessive apostrophes). You al so need to use some complex sentences (see Tip 5 below).

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Tip 2
Vocabulary If you have problems with vocabulary, you need to work out what your

main problems are.
you make?

How do you do th is? In

the sa me wa y with

grammar, look back over past writing you have produced. What mistakes did

There ar e va rious types of vocabulary mistakes th at IEL TS s tudents tend to make:

1. using the wrong grammatical forms
This means you have chosen the correct word for the topic, but you have used th e n oun form instead of the adjective fo rm, or in stead of the ve rb form. eg. verb - decide, noun – decision, adjective – decisive etc.

2. using the correct word but in the wrong place in the sentence
Some words m ust be us ed in a specific place in a se ntence. This is especially true for adverbs, but there are lots of other rules too. eg. Th ere are still many peo ple who b elieve tha t we s hould do mo re to prevent global warming. The positioning of the word still depends on whether you use the verb ‘be’ (as in this sentence) or other verbs (as in the next sentence). Eg. These people still believe we should do more.

3. how a word is used with other words
Some w ords can be us ed together with l ots o f words, b ut s ome wor ds cannot. eg. Global warming causes the climate to change and some areas of the world suffer fr om ex treme weather co nditions su ch as heavy rain at unusual times of the year.
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www.myieltsteacher.com Here th ere are a few phrases where certain wor ds g o to gether, global warming no t g lobal heating, suffer fr om no t s uffer a gainst, weather conditions not weather situations, heavy rain not strong rain. In order to know how to use a word correctly use an English-English dictionary for students, or check online:   http://dictionary.cambridge.org/ http://www.ldoceonline.com/

An English-English dictionary will tell you which word you need to use, how to use it c orrectly a nd how to sp ell it . I t al so gives you a v ariety o f e xample sentences using the word.

Tip 3
If you think your vocabulary is too basic and you need to develop it
for th e IELTS ex am there is lo ts of a dvice and lin ks t o useful we bsites on these web pages:    www.myieltsteacher.com www.bestieltsonline.com www.dcielts.com

Again, th e Aus tralia Ne twork TV s eries on IEL TS prov ides som e e xcellent programs on IELTS vocabulary. http://australianetwork.com/studyenglish/se_about.htm I wo uld r ecommend lo oking a t Series 1 and 2 as a lot of these e pisodes focus on vocabulary. First of all look through the topics of th e episodes for each series and decide which programs would be most useful for you. Once you h ave c hosen the pr ogram you wo uld lik e to wa tch you c an do wnload worksheets and transcripts too.

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Tip 4
Finally a word on how to learn and remember vocabulary. The best way to re member w ords is to re peat them. Only by rep eating words a sufficient number of times can your brain actually set up a system to try and remember it when y ou need it. (Th ink about how yo u try to rem ember a n ew p hone number – I often try repeating it until I finally remember it.) The bes t (an d mos t fun ) way to r epeat wo rds is to write the ne w wo rd o n a yellow po st-it no te. Include o ther imp ortant information if you want, s uch a s form (noun, adjective etc.), pronunciation, translation etc. And always add an example s entence th at inc ludes th e wo rd. This s entence must hav e s ome personal s ignificance for you or be re lated to yo ur life in some way. Wh y? Because personal information is easier for you to remember and relate to. I would choose about 10 wor ds for 1 we ek, ea ch with th eir s eparate pos t-it note. (Be realistic with your learning and memory ability. Learn 10 words well in 1 week so tha t you ca n still re member them 1 mo nth la ter. If you try t o learn mo re t han th at you’ll find you ha ve forgotten them after only a fe w weeks.) Now s tick these p ost-it no tes around the h ouse, for e xample on th e fridge, bathroom mir ror etc. Eve ry time y ou s ee the p ost-it note s ay t he word and sentence. You could see it 7 times a day, so say the word and the sentence 7 times a day. Do th is every day for 1 week and you have said the word about 50 times. That’s repetition! Save the post-it notes so that after 1 or 2 weeks you can test yourself. Over a few months you could easily learn and remember about 150 words that are useful for IELTS. Excellent!

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Tip 5
Using complex structures Some studen ts hav e problems using comp lex g rammar s tructures in their writing. T hey may b e too fri ghtened of us ing the se s tructures be cause th ey aren’t su re ho w t o us e th em c orrectly, or they u se t hem but m ake m istakes every time. First of all, what are complex structures? If you need to get a minimum of 6.5 in the IELTS exam you need to know and use

passive

structures,

relative

clauses

and

if-

clauses/conditional sentences. And you need to use them accurately
most of the time. As wit h the g rammar p roblems m entioned before, you s hould u se a g ood grammar book (eg. Murphy’s Essential Grammar in Use Intermediate – see if you c an b orrow a c opy from a friend or a libra ry) so that you c an p ractise these structures. Or search these topics online:       http://www.englishcorner.vacau.com/grammar/grammar.html http://www.englishgrammarsecrets.com/ http://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar http://esl.about.com/od/intermediateenglish/u/continue.htm http://www.english-at-home.com/grammar/ http://www.world-english.org/

If you need more help on how to use these complex structures in your writing for the IELTS ex am you sh ould check th e adv ice an d links on thes e we b pages:    www.myieltsteacher.com www.bestieltsonline.com www.dcielts.com

Copyright © 2010 - 2012. My IELTS Teacher. All rights reserved.

www.myieltsteacher.com The Au stralia Network TV se ries on IEL TS h as a lot of help http://australianetwork.com/studyenglish/se_about.htm I would recommend looking at Series 1 and 2 as some of th ese episodes focus o n grammar and complex structures. First of a ll loo k through the topics of the episodes for each series and decide which programs would be most useful for you. Once you have chosen the program you would like to watch you can download worksheets and transcripts too. for g rammar:

Copyright © 2010 - 2012. My IELTS Teacher. All rights reserved.

www.myieltsteacher.com

In conclusion
So there is my advice on how to improve the 4 skills you are tested on in the IELTS exam. A ll o f the ad vice can be foun d for FREE wi thout bu ying expensive books or paying for English courses. Of co urse, these books and courses are excellent ways to i mprove your English but only if you also study every d ay, for at le ast 15 m inutes, to improve your level.

Spending

money does not guarantee results. Working hard does. And how long do you need to prepare for the exam?
This depends on your current level and what score you want. Have a look at the table below:

Common Cambridge Typical European ESOL Language Framework exams school levels (CEF)
A1 A2 B1 B2 C1 C2 KET PET FCE CAE CPE Elementary Pre Intermediate Intermediate Upper Intermediate Lower Advanced Advanced

IELTS scores

1-2 3 3.5- 4.5 5-6 6.5-7 7.5+

If you believe you are currently an Upper Intermediate student and

you need 5.5 then you are nearly ready to take the exam. First of all you
need to do a practice reading and listening test, you can find some online at:   http://www.myieltsteacher.com/reading_practice_tests.html http://www.myieltsteacher.com/practice_tests.html

Count ho w man y c orrect a nswers yo u g et and then u se th e IELTS score

calculator on these web pages to find out your approximate IELTS score.

Copyright © 2010 - 2012. My IELTS Teacher. All rights reserved.

www.myieltsteacher.com If you get less than 5.5 you need to use the advice in this document to make some improvements for 1 or 2 months. In the meantime, you should also use the websites sug gested to work on your sp eaking and writing, an d tr y a practice test. Then take an other practice rea ding an d li stening tes t t o see if you h ave improved. Once yo u have r eached th e ri ght s core then you a re ready to tr y the exam.

If you are currently an Upper Intermediate student and you want 6.5, y ou ne ed to wo rk on im proving y our lev el. This c ould take 6
months. A fter th at you c an try a pra ctice test a nd c heck y our reading a nd listening scores. Remember, if you only do IELTS practice tests you WILL NOT improve your level or your overall IELTS score. You need to work on the different skills that are causing you problems. Once you have improved these skills, then your level will increase. And then your IELTS result will increase. One final word…. Don’t give up. Don’t get depressed. If you work hard you can achieve. If you really want to s tudy at university or em igrate, and you need a s pecific IELTS result, then your motivation and desire is strong enough to he lp you. Believe in yourself.

Copyright © 2010 - 2012. My IELTS Teacher. All rights reserved.

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