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Friday, June 5, 2015

Practical Tips During the IELTS Test

General tips in the four skills

    1. Be Confident in yourself and do not worry about anything. Take a deep breath to relax yourself during the test.
    2. Time is your friend in any test. So, manage your time well. Save as much time as possible during the test.
    3. Use short cuts to save your time. E.g. Sunday = Sun.
    4. Follow instructions: read the instructions carefully.
    5. Answer all the questions: Just guess if you could not find the information.

A. Listening Tips

    1. Understand questions: underline key words in the questions as quick as you can before the audio starts.
    2. Listen for the key words / key information.
    3. Take notes on the question sheet and transfer your answer later (during the 10mn transferring time).
    4. It’s all about how well you understand the conversations or lectures and so forth. You can’t just listening for everything and understand nothing from the listening.
    5. Be cautious of the trick: sometimes the speaker changes the information, if so just cross out you first note and write down the new correct information.
    6. Be careful with spellings, plural forms (s) and tenses. Use your grammar skills to help with this problem. E.g. She … football everyday. => She plays football every day. She… football yesterday. => She played football yesterday.
    7. Answers to questions are in order, so just skip the information you missed and move on to the next questions. You can always guess the answers for what you missed by considering what the best suitable answers are.

B. Reading tips

1.       Understand what the passage is about. Spend about 3 minutes reading quickly: the title, sub-title, the first paragraph and first sentence of each paragraph of the whole passage.
2.       Do not read the whole passage. If you prefer reading the whole passage, you must understand it and be able to answer questions without referring back to the passage more often.
3.       Take notes next to each paragraph: what the paragraph is about.
4.       Understand questions: Underline key words.
5.       Locate answers by referring to the paragraph that might contain the information needed by referring to your notes next to the paragraph.
6.       Read the selected paragraph in the normal pace to understand the meaning and find the answers.
7.       Do not panic with the lengthy passages. Manage your time well by spending less time on the passage you’re familiar with and save more time to spend for the passage you’re not familiar with.

C. Writing tips

You must complete the two tasks: task 1 and task 2. Spend about 20 minutes for task 1 and 40 minutes for task 2. Word count for task 1 is at least 150 words. Word count for task 2 is 250 words.
Task 1:
1.       Read the instruction carefully and underline key words. (You must understand what the instruction is about.)
2.       Analyse the graphic or statistic provided by finding the noticeable comparison points. E.g. the lowest point, the higher point and similar, the difference…
3.       Brainstorm and plan what to write about quickly.
4.       Remember the structure of the writing. E.g. Introduction: The graph illustrates that…
5.       Remember sentence structures.
6.       Remember comparison vocabularies.
7.       Know how to use linkage words such as firstly, secondly, moreover, not only … but also… etc.
8.       Use variety of vocabularies and sentence structures. Do not use to complex sentence structure if you are unsure whether it is correct.
9.       Do not use short cuts or abbreviations.
10.    Must move on to task 2 after 20 minutes.
Task 2:
1.       Read the question carefully and underline key words. (You must understand what the question is about.)
2.       Brainstorm your ideas.
3.       Remember the structure of the writing: introduction, body and conclusion.
4.       Remember important sentence structures.
5.       Remember important vocabularies / academic word lists.
6.       Use variety of sentence structures, yet do not use complex sentences if you are unaware of their proper use.
7.       Know how to use linkage words such as firstly, secondly, moreover, not only … but also… etc.
8.       Do not use short cuts or abbreviations.

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