A High Score Bar Chart Exercise

Fill in the gaps to complete the high score bar chart for  IELTS writing task 1. Use the completed bar chart report to model your own writing as it gives the right structure to use and a good range of sentence structures and language.

Below are useful sentence structures which are commonly used for bar charts for each paragraph (the introduction, overview and body paragraphs) to make up a complete task 1 writing model.

You will see a full report for the bar chart below and you must fill in the gaps to complete it by using the correct verb in their appropriate form.

The bar chart below shows the number of research students studying different subject in 2005.

IELTS bar chart

Model IELTS Bar Chart Report

Fill in the report below using the following verbs. You must put the verbs in the correct form and tense. Each verb can be used more than once.

to be   /   to see  / to study   /  to  illustrate  /  to show  /  to choose  / to learn  /  to prefer

The bar chart (1).  ………………… how many male and female research students (2). ……………….. six different subjects (linguistics, psychology, natural sciences, engineering, programming and mathematics) in 2005.

Overall, there (3). …………. more male research students than females in 2005. Although the most popular subject for both genders 4. …………..natural sciences, men least (5). …………….. linguistics and women (6). …………. little interest in mathematics. Linguistics was the only subject that 7. ………… favoured by women more than men.

There was a similar number of men and women in three subjects. There were equal numbers in research students (200) (8). ……………….. natural sciences. There was a difference between the genders of about 25 in both psychology and linguistic with more women (9). …………….. linguistics (around 110) and more men taking psychology (200).

A difference of about half (10)………… evident in engineering and programming where 150 men chose both subjects. By contrast, 200 men selected mathematics which was approximately five fold that of women (about 40).

Answers
  1. illustrates
  2. studied
  3. were
  4. was
  5. preferred
  6. showed
  7. was
  8. studying / learning
  9. studying / learning / choosing
  10. was

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Matching Sentence Endings: IELTS Reading Practice

In this type of question you need to choose the correct ending for each sentence by selecting the ending from a list given. This is not the most common question type in IELTS reading but it does appear in the test and it is worth practising.

This is one of my tough lessons which I’ve written to challenge the higher level students.

Skim read the passage and then read through the sentences with the possible endings. Pay attention to grammar in order to complete each sentence – the sentence must be grammatically correct. The information contained in a correctly completed sentence can be found in the passage.

NASA’s Orion ‘Mars Ship’ set for test flight

IELTS Space Topic

A US space capsule that could help get humans to Mars is about to make its maiden flight.Orion will be launched on a Delta rocket out of Cape Canaveral in Florida on a short journey above the Earth to test key technologies. The conical vessel is reminiscent of the Apollo command ships that took men to the Moon in the 1960s and 1970s, but bigger and with cutting-edge systems. Given that this is a first outing, there will be no people aboard.

Nonetheless, the US space agency describes the demonstration as a major event. Nasa has a window in which to launch Orion of about two-and-a-half hours, which began at 07:05 local time (12:05 GMT). The launch preparations had to be stopped shortly before the opening of the window because a boat strayed into the eastern part of the launch range. After that, the countdown had to be held because of strong winds and a technical issue.

Orion is being developed alongside a powerful new rocket that will have its own debut in 2017 or 2018. Together, they will form the core capabilities needed to send humans beyond the International Space Station to destinations such as the Red Planet. For Thursday’s flight, the Delta IV-Heavy rocket – currently the beefiest launcher in the world – is being used as a stand-in. It will send Orion twice around the globe, throwing the ship up to an altitude of almost 6,000km (3,600 miles). This will set up a fast fall back to Earth, with a re-entry speed into the atmosphere close to 30,000km/h (20,000mph) – near what would be expected of a capsule coming back from the Moon. It should give engineers the opportunity to check the performance of Orion’s critical heat shield, which is likely to experience temperatures in excess of 2,000C (4,000F). They will also watch how the parachutes deploy as they gently lower the capsule into Pacific waters off Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula. (Passage from BBC News)

Questions 1-4

Complete the sentences by selecting the correct ending, A-G (not all letters will be used).

  1.  The first ever flight of Orion is aimed to ……
  2. Although the shape of Orion is similar to previous ships, it ………..
  3. A new rocket is also being developed which …………
  4. The rocket which will be used as a replacement will ………….
  5. As temperatures reach extreme levels on re-entry, this maiden flight will ……….
  • a. send Orion twice around the world.
  • b. has state of the art technology.
  • c. test the critical heat shield.
  • d. check Orion’s performance.
  • e. test the most important technology.
  • f. will have its first voyage in a few years.
  • g. help humans get to Mars

Answers

Click below to reveal the answers.

Answers
  1. e
  2. b
  3. f
  4. a
  5. c

All reading exercises on ieltsliz.com have been written by myself to help you prepare for your IELTS test.   

Liz

Vocab Builder
  • maiden flight / maiden voyage = first ever flight / first journey
  • conical = shaped narrowing to a point
  • similar to something in the past
  • cutting-edge = front-line / pioneering / brand-new
  • strayed = drifted
  • debut = first appearance
  • in excess of = more than
  • (parachute) deploys = opens

 

See all my IELTS Reading Tips and Practice Lessons

Map Completion for IELTS Listening

You may have to fill in points on a map in IELTS listening section2. This means you will be given a picture of a map to complete. When you must decide the answers to numbers on a map, the answer will come in order but that doesn’t mean it will be simple.

Always prepare the map by looking at the locations of each number and predicting what language you might hear to find the answers. Make sure you check the title of the map to help you predict answers and language.

Map Completion

Complete the map below using no more than two words for each question.

Bedford Surgery

Map Building Plan

Transcript

Welcome to the Bedford Doctor’s Surgery. As you are a new patient, please listen to the information about our practice to learn about our surgery and the facilities available. To enter our surgery you will need to go up the stairs to the first floor so if you are disabled and need wheelchair access, you will need to call us to organize this. Once you enter the surgery, please go straight to the reception room on the left and sign in with our receptionist. You’ll also be able to wait for the doctor here. If you need the toilets, you’ll have to go back down to the ground floor which isn’t shown on the map and belong to the company renting that floor. If you have a large bag or a coat, you may want to leave them in the cloakroom which is located at the other end of the building. For the cloakroom, turn right once you get up the stairs and go straight ahead, it’s a small room at the end of the corridor.

The two doctor’s surgeries are situated just to the right of the stairs both with a lovely view over the town, one of them used to be the old waiting room. We also have a radiology unit which is next to the cloakroom and a laboratory for blood work just beyond the radiology unit. For patients who will be traveling by bus, there’s a bus stop just a few doors away from the surgery and for those of you coming by car, please park outside our main doors.

Answers
1. reception / reception room (left of the stairs)
2. cloakroom (right of the stairs at the end. You must spell this correctly to get the answer)
3. surgery (directly right of the stairs – the speakers says two surgeries so this is for number 4 as well. The speaker said that one of them used to be a waiting room – this is in the past, not now – a typical IELTS trap).
4. surgery
5. radiology unit (next to the cloakroom – if you didn’t get cloakroom, then you will have a problem to get this correct. You will need both words for a correct answer)
6. laboratory (next to the radiology unit)

 

Grammar for IELTS Writing: Adding a Clause Video Tutorial

This video tutorial will teach you how to improve your grammar for IELTS writing task 2 by adding a clause to a sentence to form a complex sentence structure. To get a good score, you must be able to demonstrate a range of grammar including the ability to use clauses.

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Should I Speak Fast or Slow?

Many students ask me if they should speak fast or slow in their IELTS speaking test. Some students think that if they speak more quickly, they will get better results. Before I answer the questions of how fast to talk, lets look more at how your speaking test is assessed.

All this falls under the criterion of ‘fluency‘ which accounts for 25% of your final marks for your IELTS speaking.. Fluency relates to the flow, smoothness and coherence of your speech.

Flow – this is about your ability to keep talking. If you are aiming for band score 6 and above, this will be important. You must show the ability to answer at length rather than just give short answers.

Smoothness – this relates to how often you break your speech with pauses, hesitations, self-corrections and silences. All of this interrupts the flow and stops the smoothness of your speech. If you are aiming for band score 6 and above, it is important  to avoid any long pauses and to avoid  repeating yourself.

Coherence – this is all about being understood. There is no point having a goof flow with smooth speech if you are not talking in any logical order. This means organising your ideas so that the listener can understand and also using some linking devices to help the listener follow what you are saying.

So, how fast should you speak? As long as you keep a steady pace, you will be fine. Avoid speaking very slow because the listener can get lost in what you are trying to say. Alternatively, don’t speak very fast as you may lose your coherence. So, keep a stead, even pace when you are talking, extend your answers, avoid long pauses, don’t repeat yourself too much, avoid correcting yourself more than once or twice and keep a logical order to what you are saying.

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IELTS Opinion Essay Body Paragraphs

This lesson looks at how expand your main points for the body paragraphs in your IELTS writing task 2. This lesson follows on from two previous lessons. Make sure you read the previous lessons first:

Every one of us should become a vegetarian because eating meat can cause serious health problems.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Planning Body Paragraph A

The main point: A vegetarian diet is certain healthy.

Supporting points:

  • a diet based mainly on vegetables is rich in essential vitamins and minerals
  • protein can be found in pulses and dairy products
  • avoiding certain meats can help reduce heart problems and diabetes

Planning Body Paragraph B

The main point: Not all meat is unhealthy

Supporting points:

  • not all meat is unhealthy
  • examples: fish and chicken

Planning Body Paragraph C

The main point: Having a balanced diet is key

Supporting points

  • A diet which has mostly vegetables and a small amount of meat is best
  • Eating meat in moderation is considered beneficial to health

Now try writing the paragraphs before you check the models below.

Models

Model Paragraph A
Firstly, it must be admitted that having a vegetarian diet is certainly healthy. A diet which contains a high quantity of vegetables is rich in all the essential vitamins and minerals needed to promote health. In addition, avoiding red meats, which is said to lead to heart problems if eaten in large quantities, can also be beneficial.
Model Paragraph B
However, while having a vegetarian diet is certainly a healthy way to eat, not all meats are actually unhealthy. Take, for example fish, this meat contains vital omega 3 oils which are essential in building health and it is recommended by the medical profession to include fish in the diet at least once a week. Another illustration is white meat, such as chicken, this meat is also considered healthy when eaten in moderation.
Model Paragraph C
Finally, the key to health is to eat a balanced diet which consists of predominantly vegetables but also some healthy meats, namely fish and chicken. Having a balanced diet is generally more manageable for most people and would require only small changes in their current diet to see significant changes in their health.

 

Recommended Lessons

IELTS Opinion Essay Model
IELTS Video Lesson Writing Skills: Connecting sentences
IELTS Video Lesson for Writing: Should ideas be interesting?

 

Grammar Accuracy for IELTS Writing Task 1

When you describe a chart, for example a pie chart, in 25% of your marks is based on grammar. In the criteria of grammar, the examiner will check the range of sentence structures and also the accuracy of your grammar. The more mistakes you have, the lower your score will be.

There are a number of common errors which students make with their grammar. Here is a list:

  1. Articles (using a / an / the )
  2. Plurals
  3. Uncountable nouns
  4. Punctuation (commas and full stops)
  5. Noun verb agreement (remember that third person singular in the present tense has an ‘s’)
  6. Verb tense
  7. Prepositions (in / on / at etc)

How does grammar accuracy affect the band scores?

Band Score 5 = frequent errors and there may be mistakes in punctuation. Errors may cause difficulty for the reader.

Band Score 6 = some errors in grammar and punctuation but errors rarely cause communication problems.

Band Score 7 = has good control of grammar and punctuation. Few mistakes made.

Band Score 8 = the majority of sentences are free of errors.There are only occasional errors made.

ielts grammar exerciseGrammar Accuracy Practice

Look at the following sentences and find the grammar mistakes. Each sentence may have one or more mistakes.

1. While the spending on housing was 72.2%  in 2010 the spending was 22%.

2. The spending on food were 11.2% in 1950 and 34% in 2010.

3. The biggest spending in 1950 is 72.2% in 1950 while in 2010 the majority of money spent is on food.

4. Spending on other item was 4.4% in the first year and 19.2% in the second year.

5. The pie charts shows the typical expenditure of a household in 6 main categories.

6. There was an increase in spending in all area except with housing and education, which showed a downward trend over the period given.

7. The least amount spent in both years was in health care.

8. There was significant decrease in spending on housing from 72% to 22%.

Answers
  1. There should be a comma after 72.2%. (punctuation)
  2. were = was (noun verb agreement)
  3. is = was (verb tense – this mistake is made twice)
  4. item = items (plurals)
  5. shows = show (noun verb agreement)
    1. area = areas (plurals)
    2. with = for (prepositions)
  6. in = on (prepositions)
  7. There was  significant decrease… = There was a significant decrease…(articles)

 

True False Not Given: IELTS Reading Practice Lesson

Free practice reading for IELTS True False Not Given questions. IELTS reading TFNG questions come in both the Academic reading test and the General Training reading test. Below are 4 practice lessons for IELTS TFNG questions. They are not IELTS tests. They are practice lessons for IELTS students.

TFNG Help

Question: Do you have a lesson to understand TFNG questions?

Answer: Yes, click here: TFNG Tips Video

Question: I don’t understand one of the questions below.

Answer: Read the comments boxes below. I do not provide a question/answer service.

Understanding Questions: If there is a question you don’t understand, please review the comments boxes lower down the page. I have explained many answers to students and you can find the explanations below.

TFNG Reading: Exercise 1

Passage: The Thames Tunnel

When it opened in 1843 the Thames Tunnel was described as the Eighth Wonder of the World. People came from far and wide to see the first tunnel under a river. On the first day, fifty thousand people descended the staircase and paid a penny to walk through the tunnel. By the end of the first three months there were a million people, or half the population of London. This was the most successful visitor attraction in the world. In the age of sail and horse-drawn coaches, people came long distances and bought souvenirs and listened to the entertainment in the cross-tunnel arches. The idea, of course, was not entertainment but to move cargo and turn a profit.

Notice: This passage is from brunel-museum.org.uk. You can read the full article here: The Thames Tunnel

Questions 1-5

Are the following statements true, false or not given according to the information in the passage?

  • True = the statement matches the information in the passage
  • False = the statement contradicts the information in the passage
  • Not Given = the information is not found in the passage
  1. People were drawn from all over to see the Thames Tunnel.
  2. People were able to travel by sea or land in those days.
  3. Statues of the tunnel could be purchased as souvenirs.
  4. The aim of building the tunnel was make money as a tourist attraction.

Answers

Click below to reveal the answers.

Answers

I do not provide a question/answer service. Please read the comments boxes below for further tips. From IELTS Liz

  1. T
  2. T
  3. NG (no information is given about the types of souvenirs sold)
  4. F (the aim was to make money through moving cargo)

 

TFNG Reading: Exercise 2

Passage: Pyramid Building

The pyramid blocks were hewn from quarries using stone and copper tools. The blocks were transported to the pyramid site from remote quarries using barges, and from local quarries using wooden sleds. The Egyptians did not use the wheel during the Pyramid Age, an invention that would have been of limited use on softer ground under heavy loads. The sleds were dragged manually, sometimes with the help of beasts of burden, over smoothed roads. Some of the existing pathways were equipped with transverse wooden beams to lend support to the sled. A lubricant may have been poured upon the road to reduce friction.

Egyptians successfully completed the most massive building projects in all of history. There is nothing magical or supernatural in the means by which they achieved their goals, as is commonly thought. By all indications, they retained their knowledge of construction throughout their history, but they were limited after the Fourth Dynasty not by the lack of technology but rather by the lack of the abundant resources that were previously available. More than two thousand years later, the Romans would move huge stones, some weighing nearly 1,000 tons, using similar techniques at Baalbek.

Notice: The above passage is from: catchpenny.org. You can view the full article here: How the pyramids were built

Questions 1-7

Decide if the statements below are True, False or Not Given according to the information in the passage.

  1. The wheel was invented during the Pyramid Age, even thought it was not used.
  2. Sleds were dragged by animals not humans.
  3. It is possible that Ancient Egyptians could have lubricated their roads to aid transportation.
  4. The building work of the Ancient Egyptians is unrivalled.
  5. Some people believed that magic may have been used by the Ancient Egyptians.
  6. Limited technology limited the construction of the Ancient Egyptians in the Fourth Dynasty.
  7. The Romans learned the techniques of moving huge stones from the Ancient Egyptians.

Answers

Click below to reveal the answers:

Answers

I do not provide a question/answer service. Please read the comments boxes below for further tips. From IELTS Liz

  1. NG
  2. F
  3. T
  4. T
  5. T
  6. F
  7. NG
Vocabulary

Here is a list of useful vocabulary and below that is an audio so you can listen to the pronunciation of the words.

  • hewn = cut / chopped
  • granite = a type of stone
  • to be of limited use = not very useful
  • dragged = pulled
  • manually = by hand
  • friction = resistance
  • ramp = slope / inclines
  • configuration = formation
  • conjecture = guesswork / estimation / surmise
  • retained = kept
  • abundant = plentiful / rich / ample

 

TFNG Reading: Exercise 3

Composer Ludwig van Beethoven was born on or near December 16, 1770, in Bonn, Germany. He is widely considered the greatest composer of all time. Sometime between the births of his two younger brothers, Beethoven’s father began teaching him music with an extraordinary rigour and brutality that affected him for the rest of his life. On a near daily basis, Beethoven was flogged, locked in the cellar and deprived of sleep for extra hours of practice. He studied the violin and clavier with his father as well as taking additional lessons from organists around town. Beethoven was a prodigiously talented musician from his earliest days and displayed flashes of the creative imagination that would eventually reach farther than any composer’s before or since.

In 1804, only weeks after Napoleon proclaimed himself Emperor, Beethoven debuted his Symphony No. 3 in Napoleon’s honor. It was his grandest and most original work to date — so unlike anything heard before that through weeks of rehearsal, the musicians could not figure out how to play it. At the same time as he was composing these great and immortal works, Beethoven was struggling to come to terms with a shocking and terrible fact, one that he tried desperately to conceal. He was going deaf. By the turn of the century, Beethoven struggled to make out the words spoken to him in conversation.

Despite his extraordinary output of beautiful music, Beethoven was frequently miserable throughout his adult life. Beethoven died on March 26, 1827, at the age of 56.

Notice: The passage above is from biography.com. You can read the full article on this page: Ludwig Van Beethoven. There is also a great video to watch about this composer.

Questions 1 – 8

Are the following statements True, False or Not Given according to the information in the passage.

  1. It is not known exactly when Beethoven was born.
  2. Beethoven suffered cruelty at the hands of his father.
  3. Beethoven was denied hours of sleep as a punishment for poor performance.
  4. Beethoven’s father was also a talented musician.
  5. Beethoven’s  Symphony No. 3 was inspired by a famous man.
  6. In the early 1800’s Beethoven struggled to follow a conversation.

Answers

Click below to reveal the answers.

Answers

I do not provide a question/answer service. Please read the comments boxes below for further tips. From IELTS Liz

  1. True
  2. True
  3. False
  4. Not Given
  5. Not Given
  6. True

 

TFNG Reading Exercise 4

Passage: Spam Messaging 

SPAM, as every user of mobile phones in China is aware to their intense annoyance, is a roaring trade in China. Its delivery-men drive through residential neighbourhoods in “text-messaging cars”, with illegal but easy-to-buy gadgetry they use to hijack links between mobile-phone users and nearby communications masts. They then target the numbers they harvest, blasting them with spam text messages before driving away. Mobile-phone users usually see only the wearisome results: another sprinkling of spam messages offering deals on flats, investment advice and dodgy receipts for tax purposes.

Chinese mobile-users get more spam text messages than their counterparts anywhere else in the world. They received more than 300 billion of them in 2013, or close to one a day for each person using a mobile phone. Users in bigger markets like Beijing and Shanghai receive two a day, or more than 700 annually, accounting for perhaps one-fifth to one-third of all texts. Americans, by comparison, received an estimated 4.5 billion junk messages in 2011, or fewer than 20 per mobile-user for the year—out of a total of more than two trillion text messages sent.

(Notice: Passage from The economist, November 2014)

Questions 1-7

Decide if the following questions are true, false or not given.

  1. In China, SPAM text messaging is a successful business.
  2. People’s phone numbers are collected through the use of technology which cannot be readily bought.
  3. In no other country do people receive more Spam texts than in China.
  4. In 2013, the number of SPAM texts increased considerably to reach 300 billion.
  5. The majority of all texts received in Shanghai and Beijing are SPAM.
  6. In 2011, Americans sent more texts than anywhere else in the world.

Answers

Click below to reveal the answers.

Answers

I do not provide a question/answer service. Please read the comments boxes below for further tips. From IELTS Liz

  1. True (roaring trade)
  2. False (the gadgetry = technology / easy to buy = readily bought ). This is false because the passage shows it is easy to buy which contradicts the statement.
  3. True
  4. Not Given (there is no information if the number given had increased or decreased before hitting over 300 billion)
  5. False (only one third are SPAM at the most)
  6. Not Given
Vocabulary
  • intense = strong / extreme
  • roaring business = successful business / booming business
  • residential = suburban
  • gadget = device
  • harvest information = collect / gather
  • sprinkling = smattering
  • counterparts = equals / colleagues
  • spam messages = junk messages
  • digits = numbers / numerals

 

IELTS Reading Practice & Tips

A free video lesson and list of tips for IELTS Reading TFNG: IELTS Reading TFNG Tips

All Reading Lessons and Tips: IELTS Reading main page on ieltsliz.com

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