IELTS blog by Pete Jones and sponsored by Analyse Academic Help

My IELTS blog is where I share IELTS tips, book reviews, common IELTS topics and more. If you like what you read, subscribe via email or RSS or try my free IELTS course.

How to make fewer IELTS spelling mistakes

3 quick ways to improve your spelling and make fewer mistakes in IELTS Listening, Reading and Writing

Spelling is important in IELTS. If you spell an answer incorrectly in IELTS Listening or Reading, you won’t receive a mark for that answer. The more spelling mistakes you make in IELTS Writing, the less likely you are to get the Writing band score you need.

  • Writing band score 6.0: “Makes some errors in spelling…”
  • Writing band score 7.0: “May produce occasional errors…”
  • Writing band score 8.0: “Produces rare errors in spelling…”

The good news is you can improve your spelling quickly by using the 3 simple techniques below. Continue reading

3 simple steps to making fewer mistakes in your IELTS Speaking test

How to make fewer IELTS Speaking mistakes and improve your band score

Reducing the number of mistakes you make in the IELTS Speaking test is one way to improve your IELTS Speaking band score.

So, if you’re worried about the number of vocabulary, grammar or pronunciation mistakes you make, follow the 3 simple steps in the infographic below.

How to make fewer IELTS Speaking mistakes in 3 simple steps. Step 1: Discover what IELTS Speaking mistakes you make. Step 2: Notice and correct your IELTS Speaking mistakes. Step 3: Recognise when you make fewer IELTS Speaking mistakes and return to Step 1. Continue reading

IELTS Academic Writing Task 2 topics 2016

Which IELTS Academic Writing Task 2 topics have been common in 2016?

IELTS Academic Writing Task 2 topics 2016 - children's lifestylesLike many IELTS General Training Writing Task 2 questions in 2016, a lot of IELTS Academic Writing Task 2 questions have been on the topic of modern lifestyles.

The difference between IELTS Academic and General Training Writing Task 2 topics has been that IELTS Academic tasks have included questions on children’s lifestyles.

For those of you taking an IELTS test in 2016, it would be a good idea to look at the following examples of writing tasks on the topic of modern lifestyles and think about what ideas you would include in your answers.

Examples of IELTS Academic Writing Task 2 questions from 2016

Here are some examples of IELTS Academic Writing Task 2 questions (reported by candidates in Malaysia, Singapore, the UK and Vietnam in 2016) that focus on modern lifestyles (including children’s lifestyles). Continue reading

IELTS General Training Writing Task 2 topics 2016

Which IELTS General Training Writing Task 2 topics have been common in 2016?

IELTS Writing Task 2 answer sheetWhile the topic of many IELTS General Training Writing Task 2 questions in 2016 has been school education (as was the case in 2015), this year has seen another topic become common.

From what IELTS candidates have reported about their IELTS tests in 2016, a common IELTS General Training Writing Task 2 topic has been modern lifestyles.

If you’re planning to take an IELTS test in 2016, it would be a good idea to look at the following examples of writing tasks on this topic, and think about what grammar and vocabulary you may need to use in your writing.

Examples of IELTS General Training Writing Task 2 questions from 2016

Here are some examples of IELTS General Training Writing Task 2 topics (reported by candidates in Australia, Egypt, India and Malaysia in 2016) that focus on modern lifestyles.

Continue reading

IELTS Speaking band score 7 grammar

What grammar do you need to use to get an IELTS Speaking band score 7?

To show the examiner that you have enough grammar to get a band score 7 in the IELTS Speaking test, you need to use different kinds of complex grammar.

Complex grammar includes:

  • Complex verb phrases, i.e. verbs with two or more words and that include a word like ‘may’, ‘could’, ‘will’ or ‘have/has’ – see examples below
  • Complex noun phrases, i.e. nouns with two or more words and that include a main noun with other words connected to it – see example below
  • Complex sentences, e.g. sentences beginning with ‘when’, ‘if’ or ‘although’ or sentences containing a relative clause – see example below

Watch the following video to see me explain how an IELTS band score 6.5 candidate could use different types of complex grammar to get a higher band score.

In the first part of the video, the candidate, Ranhee, talks about an IELTS Speaking Part 2 topic for two minutes. In the second part, I explain what grammar Ranhee needs to use to get a band score 7.

Continue reading

How to prepare for IELTS: What the experts say

Four experts share some advice on how to prepare for IELTS

I give a lot of advice on this blog about how to prepare for IELTS but I thought for this post I’d share some advice from other specialists in IELTS preparation.

So, apart from becoming familiar with the exam format and improving your English in general, what do the experts say about preparing for the IELTS test?

Continue reading

IELTS Trainer: A review

Is the book IELTS Trainer suitable for you?

IELTS Trainer contains six complete IELTS Academic practice tests with guidance and tips on how to answer the questions in the first two practice tests.

What I like about IELTS Trainer:
  1. IELTS TrainerWhat I like most about this book is that it focuses on exam strategies by giving suggested steps to take when answering different types of IELTS question.
  2. The book includes all of the main types of question in the IELTS Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking tests.
  3. Another feature I like is that (unlike other IELTS practice tests) this book includes advice/tips on answering specific questions and explanations about why particular IELTS Listening and Reading answers are correct or incorrect.
  4. The book highlights some useful language for the Writing and Speaking test, e.g. phrases like ‘For the most part…‘ and ‘In general…‘ for making general statements.
  5. The book also highlights some common mistakes that¬† IELTS candidates make. One mistake highlighted is missing out the preposition ‘with‘ after the verbs ‘agree‘ and ‘disagree‘, e.g. “I strongly agree the idea that…” instead of “I strongly agree with the idea that…“.
  6. To help you improve your Listening band score, the book includes some practice listening to letters/numbers and explains the different ways that a date may be written as an answer (e.g. 18th February, 18 February, February 18, the 18th of February)

Continue reading

10 ways to speak more fluently in your IELTS Speaking test

How to improve your spoken fluency for IELTS

Answering IELTS Speaking questions more easily is one way to improve your IELTS Speaking band score. That’s easy for me to say, of course, but may not be so easy for you to do.

So, I’d like to show you ten ways to answer IELTS Speaking questions more easily, i.e. speak more fluently in your IELTS Speaking test.

You can read about all ten ways below or hear me talk about some of them in the following IELTS video.

Continue reading

IELTS Speaking collocations

What are collocations and why are they important in the IELTS Speaking test?

To get a band score 7 or above in the IELTS Speaking test, you need to use some collocations, i.e. combinations of words that native speakers of English often use when speaking or writing.

Here are some examples of collocations that you may be familiar with on the common IELTS topic of technology:

  • verb + noun, e.g. develop technology
  • adjective + noun, e.g. digital technology
  • noun + preposition, e.g. advances in technology

To see how a candidate could have used some of these collocations to improve their IELTS band score from a 6.5 to a 7.0, check out my latest YouTube video below.

In the first part of the video, the candidate, Efim, answers some IELTS Speaking Part 3 questions. In the second part, I explain what collocations Efim could have used to get a band score 7.0.

Continue reading

IELTS Speaking Part 2 tasks

What different types of IELTS Speaking Part 2 tasks are there?

As you probably know, in IELTS Speaking Part 2 you are given a speaking topic on a task card and one minute to prepare before you have to talk about the topic for between one and two minutes.

What you may not know is that the IELTS Speaking Part 2 task could be to describe a past experience, something that you like or like doing, a person, a possession, a place or an event.

IELTS Speaking Part 2 task: a past experience

The most common type of IELTS Speaking Part 2 task is probably to describe a past experience, e.g. a restaurant or party you enjoyed going to.

Watch the video below to see a candidate, Alvin, describe a restaurant he enjoyed going to and then hear me talk about a common mistake that IELTS candidates make in this type of IELTS Speaking Part 2 task.

Continue reading