What’s the difference between ‘affect’ and ‘effect’?

In IELTS, using vocabulary precisely is very important for getting a high score in lexical resource. Affect and effect are often used incorrectly even by native speakers!

Let’s look at the difference between these and how can they be used in a sentence accurately.

They are not exactly synonyms, they are homophones, which means they sound the same but are spelt differently. There are some exceptions when affect can be used as a verb or effect used as a noun, but generally speaking, these are the rules below:

Affect is a verb   –   Effect is a noun

Read moreWhat’s the difference between ‘affect’ and ‘effect’?

What’s more important? grammatical range or accuracy?

Let’s take a look at grammatical range and accuracy in IELTS writing.

Many IELTS test takers think that they need to have a wide range of grammar for a high score in grammatical range and accuracy in the writing section. This is only partly true. If you have a wide range of grammar but it is not accurate then it will not score very high.

My advice is to focus on accuracy rather than range at the start and when you get confident with accuracy you develop your range of grammar. You need to think of the reader when writing and essay. If you are just trying to impress the examiner then you are not considering the overall coherence of the essay. Keep it concise and simple. Of course, if you have a consistently wide range of grammar with good accuracy then you are well on the way to a Band 7 or more.

Read moreWhat’s more important? grammatical range or accuracy?

IELTS Writing: Keeping it simple

Being concise and keeping it simple.

If someone asked me for my advice about the best way to approach the IELTS essay tasks, I would say keep it simple and concise. I correct a lot of IELTS essays but the one thing that stands out is that so many IELTS students are trying too hard to use  ‘complex sentences’ and completely miss the point and end up using ‘complicated sentences’ that the reader would have trouble understanding.

Read moreIELTS Writing: Keeping it simple

IELTS Grammar: Conjunctions in writing

ielts examples in writingUsing conjunctions in IELTS Essays

To get a good band score in IELTS writing it is important to use conjunctions effectively. This shows the examiner you can use grammar precisely and helps the flow of your essay, which makes it easier for the reader. A conjunction is a word used to connect clauses or sentences.

These are marked under grammar and are directly linked to coherence and cohesion in the IELTS marking criteria. If you make mistakes with conjunctions it will affect coherence and cohesion. In fact ‘complex sentences’ can be constructed using conjunctions. Let’s take a look at some of these and how to use them correctly.

Read moreIELTS Grammar: Conjunctions in writing

How to use Cohesive Devices effectively

A guide to linking and cohesion in IELTS writing.

One of the most important skills for getting a good score in the IELTS writing exam, is the way cohesive devices or linking devices are used. In the marking criteria for task 2 essays and Writing task 1 reports, Coherence and Cohesion accounts for 25% of your marks. So it is important to have an essay that flows naturally and is easy for the reader to understand. A key component of this is cohesive devices, however, use them correctly and sparingly.

Read moreHow to use Cohesive Devices effectively

IELTS Grammar: How to use complex sentences

Writing Complex Sentences in IELTS.

It is important to use some ‘complex sentences’ in IELTS writing task 2 otherwise you are unlikely to get a band 6.5 or above. However, not all of your sentences have to be  ‘complex’ you need to use simple sentences too.

Remember that grammar accounts for 25% of your marks in the writing tasks but there is some confusion in IELTS about what a ‘complex sentence’ actually is.

Read moreIELTS Grammar: How to use complex sentences

IELTS grammar: Articles and countable uncountable nouns

2 common IELTS grammar mistakes.

Do you know what most IELTS students have trouble with when it comes to their writing? … It’s articles (the, a, an) and countable/uncountable nouns.

Over many years of marking IELTS essays and listening to students when speaking, I have noticed a few common mistakes, most commonly they are articles (The’, a, an) and countable/uncountable nouns.

Read moreIELTS grammar: Articles and countable uncountable nouns

IELTS Grammar: Instead / Instead of / Rather than

How to use instead / instead of / rather than.

When writing essays in IELTS task 2 (it also comes in handy for the speaking test) you will need to use ‘instead’ or ‘rather than’ to show preference, changing trends, opinions or facts. Here are some sentences based on the topic of technology and internet use.

Read moreIELTS Grammar: Instead / Instead of / Rather than

IELTS Writing task 1: Line graph with a future trend

IELTS graph future trendsWriting about graphs with future trends.

Occasionally in IELTS academic Writing task, 1 graphs with predictions and future trends may come up.

In this case, you need to use the future tense with some specific academic phrases for this kind of tasks. Let’s have a look at the grammar needed in case you get one of these in the exam. Note that the data in this task is dynamic, that means it changes over time.

Read moreIELTS Writing task 1: Line graph with a future trend

IELTS Grammar: Most / Almost / Almost all

How to use Almost all / Most / Almost

A quick grammar lesson here. Let’s take a look at some common grammar mistakes using the word most / almost / almost all. Remember that the IELTS examiners mark you on the range and accuracy of your grammar in the speaking and writing section.

Read moreIELTS Grammar: Most / Almost / Almost all

Don`t copy text!