Prepare for your IELTS Exam

IELTS study

I don’t know if these are really secrets or not. In fact most of them are really just common sense but I am often surprised how many students seem to make life more difficult for themselves in terms of IELTS than it needs to be. By taking this route it not only costs more (how many exams do you want to take before getting your score?) but it can also take more time to actually achieve your score.

I have been an IELTS teacher for over 20 years and in all that time I have mostly taught students who need band 7 and 8. In fact I specialise in teaching bands 7 and 8 and of the hundreds of students that I have taught and prepared for IELTS over the years I have seen most pass their exam and move on with their lives and I can see among these successful students the reasons why they were successful and also perhaps why others are not. So here are some of the most important things to consider when deciding to take the IELTS 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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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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10 Ways to be a Terrific Language Student
I have spent decades teaching students English. Over the years, I have learned just as much from them as they have from me. One thing that has always fascinated me is how they approach the process of language learning.  I was recently thinking of a group of students that I was privileged to work with one summer many years ago.  All of these particular students worked hard and made progress and were delightful to teach and work with.  Later on, I spent some time analysing their preparedness and study methods which gave me some insights into what sort of things seem to work well. Continue reading

Write a blog, improve your english IELTSIt will soon be a New Year!  This is a perfect time to pursue new projects and rekindle commitments to long held goals.  Perhaps this year will be the year that you achieve the band you desire on the IELTS.  Perhaps you have always secretly wanted to start a blog.  Well I am here to tell you that one of these desires can help you achieve the other.  Starting a blog, written in English of course, is a great way to improve your writing skills and achieve the band that you need in the IELTS.

Writing a blog will give you excellent and invaluable writing practise, and it can also give you a critical audience to both correct and enjoy your writing.  All of these things will help you make great strides forward in your mastery of the English language.  All you really need to get started is some ideas on interesting subjects to write about, a computer with internet access, and a healthy dose of courage!

Before you leap in and launch your blog to an unsuspecting audience you need to consider three questions: Continue reading

New Year Ultimate IELTS Workshop
Soon the calendar will roll over onto a New Year!  This is a time of celebrating, reflecting on the year we are leaving behind, and, of course, setting new goals and resolutions for the year ahead.  If your New Year includes a resolution to finally get the band you need in the IELTS and make your mastery of the English language a living reality, then we have got exactly what you need! Continue reading

Thinking in EnglishAt this point in your life you may be totally focused on just passing the IELTS that you will say, “Berni!  How can I even think about thinking in English! It is too much!”  But I wanted to tell you some of my experiences with learning a foreign language and give you something to aim for.  After all, you are learning English to become fluent in it, not just to take and pass an exam.  And you can do it!  You can learn English well enough not only to pass your IELTS, but also to eventually become so fluent that you think in English as well.

I remember when I was at school learning French, one of the best pieces of advice my teacher gave us was, “If you don’t know it don’t use it!” Continue reading

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