Answer to yesterday’s lesson

Yesterday I posted a lesson about how to write your answers for listening and reading. Make sure you complete the lesson before checking the answers: How to write Answer for Listening & Reading

Answers

  1. a (the $ sign is already given so you don’t need to repeat it.)
  2. a ( you can’t paraphrase the answer in listening or reading. You must write the exact word from the passage. The word “access” isn’t in the passage and would be marked wrong.
  3. d (you can write the time in any way as long as it is clear to read. You can also write it in words if the word count allows)
    1. For question 3, I want you to pay attention to the instructions. The instructions do not say “no more than three words and/or  a number”. The word number is plural = numbers. It is essential that you notice if you can have one number or more than one number. However, for the answer to this question the times given are actually counted as one number anyway – so no problem.

I hope you found that lesson useful 🙂

 

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Writing answers in IELTS listening and reading

Many students have problems writing answers in listening and reading. They are not sure how answers can be written. See the example questions below. How should the answers be written?

Look at the three questions below and choose a letter.

Question 1)

The cost of tickets has increased to $……..

Listening Recording: Tickets used to cost $14 but have gone up since then to $16.50.

Which answer is correct?   a) 16.50      b) $16.50      c) both answers are ok

Question 2)

People who want to go into the Upper Gallery must have an ……………………

Reading Passage: The Upper Gallery is not open to the general public for free. People wishing to visit need to pay for an entry card.

Which answer is correct?   a) entry card       b) access card     c)  both answers are ok

Question 3)

The museum is open until ………….. weeknights only.  (no more than three words and/or numbers).

Listening recording: The museum opens at nine am and shuts at five forty-five pm from Monday to Friday.

Which answer is correct?   a)  five forty-five pm      b) 5.45pm       c) 5:45pm      d) all answers are ok

 

Answers

 

The answers are now available. Click below to see answers for the questions above:

Answers for this lesson

 

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IELTS Reading Skills: Keywords Practice

 

Keywords can help you locate answers in IELTS reading. Try this lesson and see if it helps you.

Can you see the keywords in the question that help you spot the answer in the passage?

Alexander Fleming and Penicillin

Alexander Fleming was born in Ayrshire on 6 August 1881, the son of a farmer. He moved to London at the age of 13 and later trained as a doctor. In 1928, while studying influenza, Fleming noticed that mould had developed accidentally on a set of culture dishes being used to grow the staphylococci germ. The mould had created a bacteria-free circle around itself. Fleming experimented further and decided to call the active substance penicillin. It was two other scientists however, Australian Howard Florey and Ernst Chain, a refugee from Nazi Germany, who developed penicillin further so that it could be produced as a drug. At first supplies of penicillin were very limited, but by the 1940s it was being mass-produced by the American drugs industry.

Notice: This passage is from BBC History. You can read the full article on this page: BBC History Alexander Fleming

Key words

Find the key words in the questions which help you locate the answers:

  1. Where did Fleming study medicine?
    1. (what are this keywords in the question that help you find the answer?
  2. What was Fleming studying when he realised that mould grew on a set of culture dishes?
    1. (what are the keywords in this question that help you find the answer?)
  3. Who gave penicillin its name?
    1. (what keywords in this question help you locate the answer?)

Quote from Fleming: “When I woke up just after dawn on September 28, 1928, I certainly didn’t plan to revolutionise all medicine by discovering the world’s first antibiotic, or bacteria killer. But I suppose that was exactly what I did.“.  

Answers

Click below to reveal the answers:

Answers
  1. keywords:
    1. where – this shows you are looking for a name of a place. So, you should scan the passage for a place name.
    2. other key words are: study medicine – this is paraphrased as “training to be a doctor”
    3. Answer to question: London
  2. keywords
    1. what – this key words shows the answer must be a noun.
    2. culture dishes –  VERY useful key words to locate the answer in the passage. These types of words can’t be paraphrased so you can find them easily and quickly.
    3. Answer to question: influenza
  3. keywords
    1. who: this shows you are looking for a name or names.
    2. other key word: name – this is paraphrased as “call” in the passage.
    3. Answer to question: Fleming

 

You can see that keywords are vitally important to find answers. But be careful as some keywords can be paraphrased so be prepared for that.

I hope you found this lesson useful 🙂

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Answers to the proof reading lesson

Hi guys,

Below are the answers to yesterday’s lesson on proof reading for writing.

  1. Research in space explorations can lead to new cutting edge technology.
    1. Answer: There are two problems with this sentence. “space exploration” is uncountable and therefore there is no “s” needed. Also the word “cutting-edge” requires a hyphen when it is used as an adjective but not when it is used as a noun. In our sentence, it is used as an adjective.
    2. Full correct sentence: Research in space exploration can lead to new cutting-edge technology.
  2. Improving handwriting skills is still essential even in todays modern world.
    1. Answer: There is only one mistake in this sentence. The word “todays” should have an apostrophe = today’s.
    2. Extra comment: “Improving handwriting skills” is a noun phrase and is singular. Therefore the verb is singular.
    3. Full correct sentence: Improving handwriting skills is still essential even in today’s modern world.
  3. Increasing number of people are choosing to to travel by car rather than public transports.
    1. Answer: There are two mistakes in this sentence. An article is missing at the start = an increasing number & “transport” is uncountable so no “s”
    2. Full correct sentence: An increasing number of people are choosing to travel by car rather than public transport.
  4. If students are involved in making decisions about how a school is run it might lead to problems.
    1. Answer: There is only one mistake in this sentence. The sentence needs a comma to divide the clauses.
    2. Full correct sentence: If students are involved in making decisions about how a school is run, it might lead to problems.
  5. While some people think that children should be given more homework, others believe that children should be free for enjoy their leisure time.
    1. Answer: there is only one mistake with this sentence. The proposition is wrong: for = to.
    2. Full correct sentence: While some people think that children should be given more homework, others believe that children should be free to enjoy their leisure time.

Summary of common mistakes

Uncountable nouns: This is one of the most common mistakes in IELTS writing. Students do not pay attention to them. See this list of Uncountable Common Nouns

Gerunds and noun phrases are singular. A gerund is a verb+ing which is used as a noun and it is always singular. See the video below to see an example of this.

Articles: “a” and “the”. So many students miss articles. The most common mistake I see is: “Government should …”. The word “government” is a noun which requires an article. “The government should …”. Always review your articles.

Punctuation: Don’t forget your commas between clauses 🙂

Video Lesson

Making a complex sentence: Using a gerund

 

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Writing Skills: Proof Reading Practice

How good are you at proof reading and spotting mistakes?

In IELTS writing, the more mistakes you make with grammar, the lower your band score will be in that assessment criterion. Grammar counts for 25% of your marks in writing. Learning to proof read your essays is an essential skill to develop.

The following sentences contain mistakes. Can you spot them?

Each sentence contains one or two mistakes.

  1. Research in space explorations can lead to new cutting edge technology.
  2. Improving handwriting skills is still essential even in todays modern world.
  3. Increasing number of people are choosing to to travel by car rather than public transports.
  4. If students are involved in making decisions about how a school is run it might lead to problems.
  5. While some people think that children should be given more homework, others believe that children should be free for enjoy their leisure time.

Answers

The answers are now available to see. Click the link below:

Answers for this lesson

 

More IELTS Essay Writing Lessons 

If you would like more lessons, tips and see some model essays, please see this page: IELTS Writing Task 2 Main Page

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IELTS can be Emotional

IELTS can be emotional for many people for various reasons. In this post, I want to discuss why emotions can bubble over before and during the IELTS test.

The reason I am writing this test to to reassure students that it is normal for emotions to run high in the test. Below are three common problems with emotions and crying in the IELTS test.

1) IELTS is Important for your Future

For many students, the IELTS test is the key to their future. Without a good score, many students are unable to take the next step towards creating a better life for themselves. For this reason, emotions can run high when it comes to IELTS.

However, you should not tackle IELTS with emotions. This is a specific language test with specific rules and specific requirements. You need to tackle IELTS logically and calmly. You must ensure you are fully prepared before you walk into the exam room.

Here are some steps to prepare for IELTS:

  1. Have a realistic goal. Don’t aim for band 7 if your English contains so many mistakes.
  2. Learn as much as you can about the test. What can take into the test room? How does the examiner mark writing task 1? Learn as much as you can:
    1. IELTS Test Information
    2. IELTS Band Scores Explained
  3. Practice each type of question for L, R, W & Sp.
  4. Review model answers for IELTS speaking and writing .
  5. Prepare common topics for speaking and writing.
    1. IELTS Listening Practise & Tips
    2. IELTS Reading Practise & tips
    3. IELTS Writing Task 1 Practise, Tips & Model Answers
    4. IELTS Writing Task 2 Practise, Tips & Model Answers
    5. IELTS Speaking Practise, Tips & Model Answers
    6.  Recent IELTS Exam Questions
  6. Watch my free video: How to Prepare for IELTS (click to open)
  7. Don’t keep taking the test again and again. Review your techniques, review your English and work on your weaknesses before taking the test again.  Make sure the next time you take the test, you have improved.
    Quote Einstein: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

2) Crying in the Speaking Test

I have known students cry in their IELTS speaking test. The most common reason is that they start talking about painful memories which upset them.

This is a language test and a chance to showcase your English. You must think in this way when you enter the test room. All students will be nervous in the test and also emotional to some extent. Students feel pressure to perform and feel the pressure to get good results. This can make you emotional.

In part 2, if the question is about a person you admire, don’t choose to talk about someone who recently died and who you loved. It will distract you from thinking about your English and bring up painful emotions. If you cry in the IELTS test, the examiner CANNOT give you more time. So, be wise in your choices and choose to talk about someone else. Avoid talking about sad memories or difficult personal issues.

If you get emotional in the test, take a deep breathe and hear my words “This is your test! Take control of your test! Take control of your future! Say to the examiner “I’m ready to continue” and then focus on the question – you can do it !!!” I want you to hear my voice, relax and ace your test! My best wishes will always be with you.

3) Problems in L, R, & W

The most common problem in the IELTS listening test is losing your place. This is because students try to understand everything rather than listen for answers and follow key words.

In IELTS reading, I have heard of students crying because they didn’t write their answers directly on the answer sheet. You DO NOT get an extra 10 mins to transfer your answers.

In IELTS writing, the most common reason students get upset is because they didn’t mange their time and failed to complete both tasks. There is a clock in the room and you should keep checking the time. The examiner DOES NOT tell you when to move from task 1 to task 2. You must manage your time for both tasks in the hour provided.

Share your Experiences

Feel free to write a comment and share your experiences of the IELTS test with other students.

  Thanks, Liz

Summing Up Emotions

  1. Be realistic about your expectations in IELTS. If your English is only intermediate level, don’t expect to get band score 7 or 8. This is a language test, tips will only take you to your own personal maximum – not above.
  2. Don’t get over tired. Pace yourself, schedule your practise.
  3. Before the speaking test, get plenty of rest.
  4. In the speaking test, don’t talk about emotional issues or sad memories. This is a language test, make the right decisions so that you can showcase your English.
  5. The examiner can’t give you extra time if you cry in the speaking test. Try to calm down and focus on the next question. Say to the examiner “I’m fine to continue” or “Sorry, I can continue now.”
  6. In LR&W, go to the toilet before the test – you will miss answers and lose time if you go to the toilet during the test.
  7. In the listening test, pay attention to key words and be ready to move to the next question so you don’t lose your place. Always check if there are questions on the next page.
  8. In reading, don’t forget you DON’T get extra time to transfer your answers!! Don’t forget this!
  9. In writing, keep your eye on the clock! Don’t spend more than 20 mins in task 1 and don’t spend more than 40 mins on task 2.  Always write an overview for task 1 and a conclusion for task 2.

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IELTS Speaking Topic for May 2017 with Sample Answers

Below is an IELTS speaking topic for this month, May 2017. It was reported by a few students in their speaking part 1 test.

Robots: IELTS Speaking Part 1 Topic

  1. Do you like robots?
  2. Did you like to watch cartoons about robots when you were a child?
  3. Would you want a robot to work in your home?
  4. What do you think about a robot driving your car?
  5. Would you ever buy a robot?

Sample Answers

These are possible answers to the questions. In IELTS speaking, there is no right or wrong answer. So, I’ve given you three different answers so you can learn technique.

  1. Do you like robots?
    1. Yes, I do. I think, on the whole, they can be very useful as they’re able to do work we can’t do.
    2. No, not really. I’m not very keen on advanced technology and robots take jobs away from normal people.
    3. Definitely. I’m into all kinds of gadgets and robots are top of my list for sure.
  2. Did you like to watch cartoons about robots when you were a child?
    1. Yes, I did. I was huge Transformers fan when I was little. I collected the figurines and even as an adult I love the films.
    2. No, I can’t say I was very interested in cartoons at all. I was so into sport that I didn’t have much time for TV.
  3. What do you think about a robot driving your car?
    1. There is no way on earth I would want a robot in the driver’s seat of my car. They are never 100% reliable.
    2. I think it would be great. I’d be able to sit back, do nothing and enjoy the ride.
    3. I think I’d be continuously nervous waiting for it to break down. I mean, it could cause a serious traffic accident if that happened.

You can find other sample answers and ideas for the other questions written by students in the comments boxes. Notice: Never memorise answers. Just use the ideas and some vocabulary – always express your ideas in your own way.

Vocabulary for the Topic of Robots:

  • breakdown / short circuit / stop working / malfunction
  • never 100% reliable
  • time efficient / able to do work others can’t
  • accurate / more precise than humans
  • able to calculate quickly
  • inexhaustible
  •  driving: quick reaction time / good at steering and manoeuvring vehicles / will not violate road rules / a way to avoid human error /
  • some robots can be easily replaceable / they can be expendable
  • they are obedient and don’t answer back / they follow instructions
  • can be programmed to do different tasks / can be programmes not to hurt people

Examples of Useful Robots Current and Future:

Space Exploration: Robots are sent into space to explore and gather information or materials. They are able to go deeper into space than humans can.

Domestic Chores:  Might one day be useful in doing housework such as hoovering and washing up

Medical Robots: Able to do precise surgery without getting tired or losing concentration. More precise in their movements.

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Transferring Answers in IELTS Listening and Reading

Do you get an extra 10 mins to transfer your answers in IELTS listening and reading? This is extremely important to know.

IELTS Listening: Extra 10 mins

You will listen for 30 mins to a recording and you will answer 40 questions. Your answers will be written on the question paper. You can also make notes and underline on your question paper. At the end of the recording, you will be given 10 mins to transfer your answers from the question paper to the answer sheet.

IELTS Reading: ?

You will be given your reading passages with questions. You will have 1 hour to read the passages and write your answers. Your answer will not be written on the question paper, you MUST write your answers directly onto the answer sheet. You will NOT be given an extra 10 mins to transfer answers. At the end of 1 hour, the invigilator will collect your answer sheet.

Writing Answers: Tips

  • Always pay attention to spelling. If you spell the word wrong, you will lose the point.
  • Pay attention to plurals. If you miss the plural “s”, the answer will be marked wrong.
  • Make sure you put the answer in the right box on the answer sheet. Putting answers in the wrong boxes will affect your score.

IELTS Listening & Reading Lessons

You can find more tips and practice lessons on the main pages. Click to open …

IELTS Listening: Tips & Practice Lessons

IELTS Reading: tips & Practice Lessons

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