So what is the problem with MCQ in the listening test? Well, the listening test itself is a real exercise in multi-tasking. Not only do you have to listen carefully but you also have to read the questions and write down the answers simultaneously. There is a lot to do. The main focus must be on listening as once this is gone then you cannot retrieve the information.

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IELTS Speaking isn’t just a ‘chat’. Just like all the other parts of the IELTS test, it is put together in such a way that you can demonstrate a variety of speaking skills to the examiner – such things as showing your vocabulary, being able to communicate at length about various topics and presenting a short ‘talk’ on a particular subject.  These are all things you will need to do as students and also in your future work. What this means is that you can and should prepare for your IELTS speaking just like you prepare for every other part of the exam.

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I meet students every day who need IELTS for various reasons; higher education, immigration to get jobs, to keep jobs or for promotions. One thing that strikes me often about some students is how they will just book a test without giving any thought to, firstly, whether they are ready to achieve the band they require and, secondly, to the amount of preparation that they may need in order to be ready for the exam.

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The Ultimate IELTS Study Plan for Band 7 and 8

It’s important to remember that a language is a skill (like driving a car or playing the piano). The more you practise the better you will become and if you don’t practise then you won’t be able to do these things well at all. There are some techniques and strategies for IELTS which you can learn but these are really exam techniques and unless your English language level is where you need it for your band, they will not help you a lot.

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Anyone who has ever studied a second language in a classroom and then had the experience of speaking with a native speaker in a real conversation can tell you; the real thing is so much harder to understand!  You might think that you are fluent in French until you are greeted by your waiter at Huitrerie Regis in Paris and struggle to order the oysters.  “Why does he talk so fast!?”  You may ask yourself.  “What’s up with his accent?”  You have just learned first-hand that experiencing a language in the real world outside of the classroom is a lot different than the books and the careful practice conversations.

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Tale of Focus and Dedication
Every so often, I like to blog a case study.  I like to do these blogs because it shows you firsthand what it looks like to work with me and how I can help you achieve your goals, and it also highlights the success and victories of my extremely hardworking students!  This case study illustrates a journey we both took to reach a particular language goal.  Like the other case studies I have done, the benefit gained was mutual, but unlike the others this case study was a very scary journey. Continue reading

Expand Your Vocabulary
One of the fun things about learning any language is expanding the number of words with which you can express yourself!  Each language has many, many words to choose from all with their own shades and nuances of meaning.  Widening your vocabulary in every language that you speak is always a fantastic goal to have.  If you have decided that it is time to stretch your linguistic wings a little, then this post is exactly what you need!

In this post, I suggest 10 things you can do to expand your vocabulary. I also recommend two things that I normally tell you NEVER to do!! Continue reading

IELTS writing section
I have had many students over the years tell me that the writing portion of the IELTS is very intimidating.  Well I am here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be!  In fact, the writing section can be a section of the IELTS that you feel very confident in, and yes, even enjoy!  Follow my tips below and turn your struggles into confidence.
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