Few tips for Passing IELTS (Academic)

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Kunle Emmanuel
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Few tips for Passing IELTS (Academic)

Unread post by Kunle Emmanuel »

I'll be sharing a few IELTS (Academic) tips in this thread from a personal experience and I hope it helps someone. Feel free to add yours.
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In my opinion the listening and reading are easiest to pass as they are objective in nature and have a straightforward marking scheme. You can decipher how well you'll perform in the examination for these aspects from your performance in practice tests.

The speaking and writing parts are more subjective.
I'll start with Listening:
The listening part tests your ability to get information to follow a conversation or narrative and answer questions based on that.

You need to be familiar with the accents and also understand the questions being asked. I recommend that you read the questions to anticipate the responses and follow the conversations.

If you miss what was said in a conversation pertaining to a question, just skip it, as it can throw you off for the entire passage. The recording would be played just once so move on.

I recommend you practice at least for 4 full Cambridge listening tests and score them before the exam. If your performance is not satisfactory, practice more.

Reading:
The reading section tests your ability to extract information from a written passage, document or narrative. You may need to alternate between reading the questions and the passages a lot of times.

I had a challenge identifying the difference between false and not given initially when I started practicing.
I recommend you practice as many Cambridge passages as possible to get an proper hang of the pattern of questioning.
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Few tips for Passing IELTS (Academic)

Unread post by Kunle Emmanuel »

Your scores while practicing usually a reflection on how you'll perform in the exam. Don't forget to time yourself.

Speaking
The speaking tests for your ability to hold a conversation in English language. It's like an oral interview with an examiner. Your examiner seeks to assess your mastery of English Language.

They simply seek to check your ability to give correct answers to questions your asked in fluent English. Your accent doesn't matter so much in this.
Use complex sentences not complex vocabulary, and communicate effectively.

Avoid one word answers and use sentences.

Answer the question in detail without deviating from the question. Do not reinvent another question for yourself. Use examples to buttress your point where neccesary.


If you're asked a question you do not have much information about, say the little you know in a beautiful way, or fabricate stories.
Avoid using ehn, hmm, or long silent pauses. Avoid using slangs

Materials that helped me include IELTS Liz videos on YouTube, and Sample Band 9 videos also on YouTube.
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Re: Few tips for Passing IELTS (Academic)

Unread post by Kunle Emmanuel »

Writing
This is the biggest stumbling block for most people. It usually requires a broad knowledge base, good command of English Language and ability to think fast.

Basic tips include ensuring you complete the required number of words. You can do more but never less. Task 2 carries double the marks for task 1, so share your time appropriately. However task 1 could be the difference between someone that gets 6.5 and another that gets 7.

Ensure you read and understand the question well. Many people answer the question in their head not the one they were asked.
In the exam you'll be given different sheets for task 1 and 2. Ensure you answer on the right sheet so you don't waste your time.

Task 1 requires you to describe a graph or an image using words. Basically, your examiner should picture the image correctly just from reading your writing.

You must use your superlatives, fractions and percentages well here. Make enough comparisons and differences where necessary.

Task 2 requires you to write a passage, and there are different styles for the questions. Some would ask you to argue for both sides and state your opinion, others may ask you to simply pick a side, another may say compare and contrast.

Understand the question you're asked first, and the task you're to accomplish.
Try and develop and outline for how you plan to answer the question. The general recommendation is 4 paragraphs, 1 for introduction, 2 for your points, and 1 for conclusion. It is however not rigid.

For the introduction, paraphrase the question here and state what you plan to do. Be creative if possible. Write an introduction that captures the attention of your reader. Not big words that mean nonsense ooo. You could even use popular adages.

Your introduction should make your examiner anticipate the rest of your essay.
Address the task clearly in the subsequent paragraphs using appropriate parts of speech to make complex sentences. Use appropriate examples where neccesary to buttress your points.

Use connectors to join your paragraphs to ensure it's one flowing essay.
Summarize your points and stand in your conclusion, capturing them beautifully to remind your examiner of your key points, and the possible benefits or advantages of your points.
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Re: Few tips for Passing IELTS (Academic)

Unread post by Kunle Emmanuel »

Read through your essay again for errors and do a word count.
Write in pencil, it's usually neater if you need to make corrections.
Practice as many questions as you can prior to the exam, under exam timing and conditions, maybe about 10 sets from the Cambridge materials

Share your passages with friends to go through them for you.
I used IELTS buddy materials and website while I was preparing the first time and they were very helpful.
You can also read sample band 8-9 essays on different topics for writing to see their writing styles

And for doctors or nurses if IELTS is a stumbling block, you can try OET. A number of people have better reviews of the exam compared to IELTS. It however is more expensive, and holds just a few times in Nigeria for now.

Ask any questions you have in the comment section.

Add any additional advice also if you've taken the exam that is helpful.

Wishing you all the best

copied https://twitter.com/adroitmedic/status/ ... 1167008769
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Re: Few tips for Passing IELTS (Academic)

Unread post by Kunle Emmanuel »

Aisha
Lovely thread. Just to add, practice is key to this exam! It's not enough to read how to answer questions. https://t.co/vc5Lzh63uo was an invaluable resource for me. I recommend it to everyone preparing for the exam. Best of luck people
Toby:
I'd recommend the https://t.co/7ilPB5Ogk3 website for preparation. Reading and watching her posts, comments included, and practicing really helped me. Oh, there's https://t.co/jxeQt1JYft too. I wrote for the first time last month and made an overall band 8 too.
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Re: Few tips for Passing IELTS (Academic)

Unread post by Kunle Emmanuel »

@BritishCouncil hosts free IELTS courses on @FutureLearn. I found them useful.

https://t.co/3ZV9MaVj72

https://t.co/lWAhaERkE4

https://t.co/4I47XrVmx6
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Re: Few tips for Passing IELTS (Academic)

Unread post by Kunle Emmanuel »

Sample of Speaking Test

Interview

– What is your full name?
– Can I see your ID?
– Where are you from?
– Do you work or study?
– What do you do?
– Do you like your job?
– Do you like perfumes?
– What type of perfume do you like? Why?

– Did you ever buy perfume as a gift for someone?
– Do you buy different perfumes sometimes? Why?
– Let’s talk about time management.
– How do you manage your time?
– Is it difficult for you?
– Do you prefer to be busy all the time or not?

Describe a situation when you had to use the Internet to solve a problem. Please say

– When and where was it?
– What was the situation?
– Explain how you felt after that.
Discussion

– Do you find the Internet helpful? Why?
– Does it mostly influence us in a positive or negative way?
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Re: Few tips for Passing IELTS (Academic)

Unread post by Nurse Lagbaja »

Not sure how much help I can offer, but I'll just run through my journey.
Got a job in the UK so needed the IELTS as 'proof of English' for my visa application (also want to try to do an M.Sc. while I'm there).

Was told I needed to pass at/above B1 level (band 4.0) in each section for the job, but found out I would need to pass at/above C1 level (band 7.0) in each section for top grad schools. Also needed the result pretty urgently so I didn't have the option of spending a lot of time to prepare (had 4 days between when I knew I needed the IELTS and when I took the test).

- I created an account, booked a test and paid online at the British Council site - https://ieltsukviregistration.britishcouncil.org

- Read everything on the first couple of pages of this thread, then did same for the last couple of pages. After this, I had a general idea of the IELTS exam structure and the typical problem areas for most candidates (didn't know anything about the IELTS before this).

- Ran through the practice tests on the IELTS Prep App and the challenges on the IELTS Word Power app. I prepared for and took the SATs when I was younger so I found most of the IELTS stuff relatively easy. Also, writing is a hobby for me so I felt pretty confident of my abilities in that section even though statistics from here showed it was the main problem area for candidates.

- My Mistakes on Test Day


Speaking
I wasn't very audible and I talked too fast (which is a general problem I have). The interviewer stopped me twice to tell me to be more audible. If I had been louder, slower and tried to articulate my words more clearly, I would probably have done much better. One disadvantage of not prepping adequately is you don't realize your weaknesses till test day (or you don't even realize you have those weaknesses). So, you should definitely practice much better than I did.

Listening
I got distracted at the beginning of this section. My eraser fell off the table and I (by reflex) bent down to pick it up. By the time I got back up, I realized I had missed some things and just couldn't remember what they were no matter how hard I tried. Probably missed the first two or three questions here which is why I got the 8.5. It's pretty straightforward to get a 9.0 in this section if you listen very attentively and you don't get put off by the accent of the speaker.

Reading
This was a perfect section for me. My background prep for the SATs definitely helped here. My main advice is to forget everything you know about the topic you're reading and focus on what is actually in the passage. If it is not in the passage, it does not exist. Don't get carried away and start providing answers based on your own background knowledge. Only provide answers based on what you read. See below example:
Passage - "Frogs live in swampy habitats and can lay hundreds of eggs each spawning season. Frogs exist in a variety of colors."
Statement - Frogs are green in color
Options - (a) True (b) False (c) Unknown
The correct answer to the above is (c). It's easy to lose concentration and just choose (a) because we generally know frogs to be green in color (especially when you don't have a lot of time), but the passage does not explicitly say this, so that piece of knowledge simply does not exist. The passage also does not explicitly say that frogs are not green in color, so that piece of knowledge also does not exist.
I think it's possible to get a 9.0 here too if you practice well enough and get used to the types of questions asked.

Writing
I was pretty exhausted by the time we got to this section. I didn't have breakfast before my test that morning, a rather foolish decision in retrospect. I also didn't bring a drink along. You definitely should not come for the test on an empty stomach. You should also bring along an energy drink. Don't underestimate just how much energy this test will sap from you. In the end, I finished both write-ups with about 5-10 minutes to spare (writing is my thing) and was completely drained. If I wasn't so exhausted afterwards, I would have gone through both write-ups and substituted some of the more common words for less well-known synonyms. That would definitely have taken me closer to 9.0. So, for writing, the more esoteric the word, the better. Just be sure that you're using the words properly or you'll actually be shooting yourself in the foot. The challenges on the IELTS Word Power app will get you familiar with some synonyms that should come in handy. Also, make sure to properly section your work with paragraphs. Each paragraph should put forward just one uniform idea, and should only contain sentences relating to that idea. Don't make your sentences too long. Each sentence should carry a single unit of thought and should be concise and straight to the point. Finally, don't mess up your punctuation. Practice your writing with these in mind.

- Got the online results about a week after the test. Still waiting for my hard-copy result certificate to be sent to me, and it's taking far too long in my opinion.

- Wish everyone all of the very best!

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Re: Few tips for Passing IELTS (Academic)

Unread post by jacoboram550 »

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Re: Few tips for Passing IELTS (Academic)

Unread post by andrewlewis »

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