IELTS vocabulary: Crime and Punishment

IELTS vocabulary crime

In IELTS writing task 2 there are various topics that come up, such as The Environment, Family, Society, Work, Technology, Robotics, Education, Food and Diet, Health, Sports and sometimes Crime. The topic of crime is difficult for many students as there is so much vocabulary surrounding this.

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IELTS academic writing: model answer for 2 diagrams

ielts academic diagrams mapsModel answer for 2 IELTS maps/diagrams

Maps or diagrams often show up in the IELTS exam (writing task 1 academic). There are 3 types of maps: past and past , past and present and present and future. So make sure you check the timeframe and set aside 4 minutes to analyse the task and plan your writing. A well planned task will help you get to Band 7.

Here is a model answer for a park layout comparing past and present. This task was taken from the latest IELTS 14 book from Cambridge university press.

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Writing an introduction without paraphrasing

ielts writing paraphrasingDo you have to paraphrase the task question when writing an IELTS essay?

This is a question I was recently asked. The answer is ….well no you don’t have to paraphrase but I would advise it if you want a higher score (Band 7 or 8).

If you are really concerned about your paraphrasing abilities and you just can’t get it right, or if you are aiming for a Band 6 or 6.5, then just write a short 2 or 3 sentence introduction with a thesis statement only.

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Unusual IELTS speaking part 1 topics

IELTS speaking part 1 topicsTricky or strange IELTS part 1 speaking topics.

Part 1 of the IELTS speaking test is actually the easiest. The topics are nearly always about you and your experiences. Usually, the topics are pretty easy everyday topics such as Job/studies, hobbies, food, travel, hometown, music, daily routine and so on. The examiner asks between 9 to 12 questions around 3 topics and this part of the test lasts around 5 minutes.

However, sometimes the examiner might ask you questions around an unusual topic. This is quite normal as the examiner wants to check whether you have memorised answers to the most common topics and needs to evaluate your true ability. Do not memorise stock answers as the examiner is trained to spot these and you could lose marks.

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IELTS Writing task 1: Diagrams with a model answer

IELTS Model answer for 3 diagrams over 3 time periods

Here is a tricky looking task. It consists of 3 maps/diagrams over 3 time periods showing changes that have taken place. Actually, it is easier than it looks as long as you logically group the information. So for this model answer, I have 3 main body paragraphs. Each main body covers the map for each year.

Planning is important in IELTS writing task 1 just as it is in the essay section writing task 2. Spend about 3 minutes planning a task 1 as you must analyse the task, think of what comparisons you have to make, the language needed and decide on a logical structure.

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IELTS opinion essay about wealth

Model answer for an IELTS essay on the topic of wealth and helping others.

Before writing anything we must always analyse the task. Take 2 minutes to do this and underline keywords and decide what exactly you need to write about. In this stage check the instruction words too.

It might seem obvious but this is a crucial stage before even planning or writing. I have seen so many essays go off-topic because the student did not spend the time at the start analysing the task Let’s see the task question below.

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Paraphrasing in IELTS Speaking

IELTS speakingThe key to a higher score in IELTS speaking is paraphrasing.

You are probably aware that paraphrasing is a crucial skill to master in IELTS writing and is important for a Band score of 7 or more, but what about in Speaking?

In the IELTS speaking Band descriptors for Band 7 lexical resource, it says: ‘uses paraphrase effectively’ and for Band 4 lexical resource it mentions: ‘rarely attempts to paraphrase’. So clearly this is important to consider when in the speaking exam.

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IELTS General Writing Task 1: Formal letter model answer

A letter to your boss asking for time off

In the IELTS general training, you will need to write a letter in writing task 1. It will be either formal or informal. Take a look at the model answer below for a formal letter asking for time off from your boss. This is written in a formal tone because a letter to your boss is always formal.

To see a lesson on using formal language in IELTS letters click here

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IELTS Listening lesson: Maps

Labelling a Map in IELTS listening.

Listening to directions for a map can be quite tricky for some people. In IELTS listening you often get a map where you have to listen to someone giving directions and then label that map. This lesson should help you when you are faced with this in the exam.

The main language you need here is location language and prepositions of place.

This kind of task comes up usually in part 2 of the listening section but you could also get it in other sections of the listening test. Nearly always it is one person speaking, such as a tour guide or someone showing people around a building.

Sometimes you will be given a list of words to match the gaps with. Other map tasks just have a gap, so you will need to pick up the words from listening only.

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IELTS Grammar: Conditional sentences.

How to use zero, 1st, 2nd and 3rd conditionals (if sentences)

There are four kinds of conditional sentences. The zero conditional describes real or specific situations, while unreal Conditionals describe unreal, imaginary situations or hopes for the future. With unreal conditionals there is a difference in the likelihood of them happening, however, they don’t refer to the past. The 3rd conditional is for past regret, how something could be different or a past hypothetical situation.

Conditional sentences are very useful structures in IELTS as they are seen by the examiner as complex sentences and are often included in a natural conversation. This comes in very handy in the IELTS speaking section when talking about your daily life, talking about possibilities and expressing regret or a hypothetical past.

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