IELTS Speaking Tips – Part 1

IELTS tips

The questions in Part 1 are on general topics about your life. Your answers are from your life and experience. There is no right or wrong answer.

  • About you
  • Study
  • Work
  • Your town
  • Free time
  • Holidays
  • Places to go in your free time
  • Transport
  • Shopping
  • Your neighbourhood
  • Reading
  • Sports and games

About you


  • What is your (full) name?
  • Can I have your name please?
  • Could you tell me your full name please?
  • What shall I call you?
  • How can I address you?
  • Does your name have any special meaning?
  • Is your name important to you?
  • Do Korean people like changing their name? Why?
  • Have you ever changed your name? Why or why not?
  • Why do so many people change their name?
  • Do you work or study?

Study


  • What are you studying?
  • What’s your major?
  • Why did you choose that subject?
  • What do you find most interesting about your course?
  • What is your favorite subject?
  • What do you dislike about your study?
  • What do you hope to do after your graduation?
  • What are your ambitions for the future?
  • Do you hope to gain any qualifications?
  • What are the advantages of studying instead of working?

Work


  • Can you describe your job to me?
  • What do you do for a living?
  • How long have you been doing it?
  • Can you describe one of your typical working days?
  • What’s your daily routine on a working day?
  • Why did you choose to do that job?
  • What things do you enjoy about your work? Why?
  • What do you think is the attraction of your work?
  • What is your ideal job?
  • Do you want to change your current job? Why or why not?
  • Are you willing to keep your job permanently?
  • What are your plans for the future?

Your town


  • Can you describe your town or village to me?
  • Tell me something about your hometown.
  • Where are you from?
  • Where is your hometown?
  • Where do you come from?
  • What is the name of the street you live on?
  • What kind of street do you live on?
  • What do you like about your town?
  • What is the weather like in your town?
  • What building is considered famous in your town?
  • What jobs do people in your town do?
  • How has your town changed over the last twenty years?
  • What changes have taken place in your city in recent years?
  • Do you think it is better to live in the center of town or outside in the country? Why?

Free time


  • What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
  • How much time do you have each week for doing these things?
  • Why do you like doing these activities?
  • How did you start doing this activity at first?
  • Is there some other hobby or sport you would like to try? Why?
  • How has the way people spend their free time changed over the years?

Holidays


  • What do you do when you have a holiday?
  • Who do you usually spend holiday with?
  • Where do you like to spend your holidays? Why?
  • Can you describe a typical day in your holidays?
  • Why are holidays and important to you?
  • If you could take a holiday anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why?
  • What do people usually do during holidays and in your town?

Places to go in your free time


  • What do people do in your town in their free time?
  • Where can they go out for entertainment, or to enjoy themselves?
  • Which do you prefer: eating in restaurants or eating at home?
  • Which are the best places to eat out?

Transport


  • How did you come here today?
  • What is public transport like in your town?
  • How do you think it could be improved?
  • Do you think people should use public transport more? Why (not)?

Shopping


  • How much time do you spend shopping every week?
  • Do you enjoy going shopping? Why (not)?
  • What is your favourite shop and why do you like it?
  • What problems are there with shopping in your area?

Your neighbourhood


  • Can you describe the house where you live to me?
  • What is there to do in the area where you live?
  • What do you like about the area where you live?
  • How do you think it could be improved?
  • Do you think it is better to live in the centre of town or outside in the country? Why?

Reading


  • Do you enjoy reading? Why?
  • What sort of things do you read?
  • Tell me something about your favourite book.
  • What are the advantages of reading instead of watching television or going to the cinema?

Sports and games


  • What sports are most popular in your country?
  • What sports and games did you most enjoy playing
  • when you were a child?
  • Do people take as much exercise as in the past?
  • Why is exercise good for you?
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Which IELTS Books are the Best?

IELTS tips

Cambridge IELTS 11


IELTS

Cambridge IELTS 11 provides students with an excellent opportunity to familiarise themselves with IELTS and to practise examination techniques using authentic test material. You can choose an edition containing either four complete tests for Academic or for General Training module. An introduction to these different modules is included in each book, together with with an explanation of the scoring system used by Cambridge English Language Assessment. A comprehensive section of answers and tapescripts makes the material ideal for students working partly or entirely on their own.

Cambridge IELTS 10 Student’s Book with Answers


IELTS

Cambridge IELTS 10 provides students with an excellent opportunity to familiarise themselves with IELTS and to practise examination techniques using authentic test material prepared by Cambridge English Language Assessment. It contains four complete tests for Academic module candidates, plus extra Reading and Writing modules for General Training module candidates. An introduction to these different modules is included in each book, together with with an explanation of the scoring system used by Cambridge English Language Assessment. A comprehensive section of answers and tapescripts makes the material ideal for students working partly or entirely on their own.

Cambridge Grammar for IELTS Student’s Book with Answers and Audio CD


IELTS

Cambridge Grammar for IELTS provides complete coverage of the grammar needed for the IELTS test, and develops listening skills at the same time. It includes a wide range of IELTS tasks from the Academic and General Training Reading, Writing and Listening modules, and contains helpful grammar explanations and a grammar glossary. A Student’s Book ‘without answers’ is also available.

Cambridge Vocabulary for IELTS Advanced Band 6.5+ with Answers and Audio CD


IELTS

The book covers all the vocabulary needed by students aiming for band 6.5 and above in the IELTS tests and provides students with practice of exam tasks from each paper. Cambridge Vocabulary for IELTS Advanced focuses on moving students to 6.5 and beyond by working on vocabulary-building strategies necessary for success at advanced levels. It includes useful tips on how to approach IELTS exam tasks and covers especially tricky areas such as paraphrase and collocation. It is informed by the Cambridge English Corpus to ensure that the vocabulary is presented in genuine contexts and includes real learner errors. The Audio CD contains the listening and pronunciation exercises from each unit. The material is suitable for self-study or homework tasks, and may also be used in class with the teacher.

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IELTS Preparation tips which can help you…

IELTS tips

What are the key components of IELTS exam preparation? How should you prepare separate sections of IELTS to boost your overall score in the exam? How can you crack IELTS exam to enter different countries for your studies and work? Accepted over 140 countries worldwide, IELTS is one of the most popular English proficiency tests to study abroad. Divided into two versions- Academic and General, the test is a basic yardstick for admission to many universities globally. So, the big question is what does it take to crack IELTS? Before we bring you IELTS preparation tips, let us have a look at the exam pattern:

IELTS Test Component Duration Brief Description
Listening 30 minutes 4 sections, 40 items
Reading 60 minutes 3 sections, 40 items
Writing 60 minutes 2 tasks
Speaking 11-14 minutes 3 part one-on-one conversation

One of the interesting factors of IELTS preparation is that you can seamlessly incorporate your IELTS practice in your daily routine. Whether you are reading your favourite book, chatting with friends or even watching television, you can prepare for IELTS on the go!

Candidates can check IELTS pattern and IELTS preparation tips for all sections.

1. IELTS Preparation Tips – Listening Section

IELTS Listening pattern:

The Listening section is the most important part of the IELTS test. This section of IELTS has 4 sections and includes 40 items. In terms of IELTS preparation, it is best to take each section separately.

Here are the IELTS preparation tips for the Listening section:

  1. One-on-one interaction: As the name suggests, the one-on-one section is an interaction between two people. It could be a telephonic conversation or a general one and you will be asked to note down specific information from the conversation. The best way to prepare for this IELTS test is by listening to as many as conversations possible. A very easy way is to practice listening to English bulletins. One of the difficulties that a non-native English listener faces is to comprehend the fluency of native English speakers. However, this obstacle can be easily overcome with regular practice involving listening and noting it down on paper.
  2. Speech: In this section, the test-taker is made to listen to a speech. You listen to a speech in a social or academic context and answer a series of questions. The test will measure how well you can grasp the core idea of the speech and understand highlighted issues.
  3. Monologue: Similar to speech, this section involves a monologue. The best IELTS preparation tips to prepare for this is by mainly listening to discussions on television.
  4. Group discussion: This involves interaction between a maximum of four people. So, it is important that you make yourself comfortable catching up with more than one speech flow. Again, attending and listening to discussions are the best way to prepare for this test.

Some other IELTS preparation tips for listening section

  • In the listening IELTS section, make sure you read the first example at the beginning of the first section to acquaint yourself with the sound, the speaker and the situation.
  • Make sure you continue to listen to the audio while you write down the answers.
  • You have to practise listening to both an individual talking and more than one person speaking simultaneously.
  • Be smart with spellings, many lose easy marks because of spelling mistakes.
  • Practice short hand writing style, as it will save you lot of time. For instance, instead of writing approximately write approx.

2. IELTS Preparation Tips – Reading Section

This section evaluates your reading skills. Basically, you are given a long article to read which is followed by a set of questions like multiple choice, sentence completion, summary writing, matching information, short-answers. The reading section for both IELTS Academic and General test are different. Since, you are required to sit for the Academic test for the purpose of admission the content of the test is generally heavier and tougher.

Here are the IELTS preparation tips for the IELTS Reading test:

  1. Read as much as possible: This might seem tedious in the beginning. Therefore, the easier way to do that is by reading whatever is interesting to you in the beginning. It might be a short paragraph, an Ad, newspaper briefs. Once that phase is over, shift to heavier material like long essays, editorials, short stories.
  2. Make Notes: Always make notes while reading. This will sharpen your ability to look for details. Highlight and note down whatever seems important.
  3. Repeat the exercise: Do not stop after reading a note once. Sometimes it helps to go through the whole process of reading the text as it helps you to keep updated and remember what you had earlier taken note of. Also, you could find new vital points in the same text when you re-read it.
  4. Practice comprehension: Practicing comprehensions help a lot in the preparation process. Since the questions in the test are based on the style of comprehension, it always helps to sharpen your skills in comprehension.

Some other IELTS preparation tips for reading section

  • Read the entire passage carefully and take an overview of the crux of the passage.
  • Be careful of the time limits, you will not be given any extra seconds.
  • Do not leave any question unanswered even if you are not sure of the answer, as there is no negative marking.
  • To save few seconds, write the responses directly on sheets since you will not be given extra time to write it again.

3. IELTS Preparation Tips – Writing Section

The writing section in each version of IELTS has two sub sections. In the academic test, you are required to describe a chart, graph or diagram and in addition write an essay expressing your point of view or argument.

In the general test, the test-taker is presented with a situation and asked to write a letter explaining the situation along with the essay.

Here are the IELTS preparation tips for the IELTS writing test:

1. Read sample essays: It is always helpful to read as many sample essays as possible. Study the essays carefully and note down the points. There are few points to consider here:
Bring clarity on what is the essay about.

  1. Does the first paragraph make the topic clear?
  2. Does the headline reflect the subject of the essay?
  3. Observe how the writer flows the vital points of the essay.

2. Write essays: It is important to write sample essays as part of the preparation. Keep the following points in mind before writing the essay:

Note all the points that come to mind on the topic.

  1. Once that is done, filter the necessary points from the same list.
  2. Bring clarity on which direction you want your essay to take.
  3. While presenting an argument, it is important that you stick to your point. Never present more than one point of view in an argument. It will reflect confusion on the invigilator’s part.

3. Grammar practice: Practicing grammar will help you in making your essays and summaries free of any mistakes. Since it is an English level exam, grammar is one of the vital areas that will be checked. Hence, it is important that your articles are grammatically correct.

Some other IELTS Preparation tips for writing section
  • Begin with Task 2 first as it is worth more marks and is more easier.
  • Make sure you complete both the tasks on time. To get familiar with IELTS writing section time limits, it is necessary you practise writing.
  • Avoid informal language as much as you can, for instance, no abbreviations, no 1st or 2ndpronouns or possessive, apart from the concluding paragraph where you support your response.
  • Underline important words in the task to focus on what you have to do when you start answering. It works as a reminder.
  • Stick to the topic, do not write unnecesarry responses.

4. IELTS Preparation Tips – Speaking Section

One of the interesting sections of the IELTS test, the speaking section involves a one-on-one live interaction with an invigilator. This test analyses your use of spoken English, and takes between 11 and 14 minutes.

The speaking test requires you to be spontaneous as it is a human interaction as opposed to a computerized one. The test is divided into three parts.

First part: In the first part, the examiner asks some general questions to the test taker like his/her interests, what are you studying etc. Here are the tips to crack this section:

  1. Add value to your replies: It is good to be specific with your replies but you can always add some interesting facts in your answers. Eg: If you are asked where are you from? Besides answering the usual you can also add some detail about the place you are from.
  2. Be responsive: Do not take too long to answer questions. Be quick and responsive.

Second part: In this part, you are given a topic and asked to speak uninterrupted on the topic for at least 2 to 3 minutes. The examiner tests both your speaking skills and knowledge in this test.

  1. Think before you speak: It is best to take at least a minute before you start speaking. Bring clarity on the points you are going to make and most importantly how you are going to start.
  2. Knowledge: Make sure you have knowledge about what you are speaking. You should be able to communicate the key points of the topic to the invigilator.

Third part: This part is important as here the examiner asks you questions about the topic from the second part. He can put forward some arguments from your speech or he could ask you to elaborate on a specific point of view you have previously shared.

  1. Remember your arguments: Always remember your arguments from the previous test part. You should not look surprised or taken off guard when asked a question.
  2. Do not sound confused: Do not let your answer reflect confusion. Be confident and show your willingness.

Some other IELTS Preparation tips for Speaking

  • This is the section where you can enjoy speaking English, thus be confident and talk as fluently as you want.
  • You can do so by practising recording on a tape at home and listen to it. Focus on your mistakes and pronunciation.
  • Make sure you don’t go with prepared answer, as the examiner may spot it.
  • The best way to respond is to present your opinion, as that will help them assess your communication skills.
  • Remember there is no single answer and there is no right or wrong answer. However, make sure you present your idea.
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IELTS Listening

IELTS tips

IELTS tests a range of listening skills that you need to live, work or study in an English-speaking environment. This means that you need to be able to understand different types of spoken English in a range of formal and informal context.

Duration and format


Listening is the first module in the IELTS test. It has four sections of increasing difficulty, with a total of 40 questions, and takes about 30 minutes. Each section has 10 questions and is heard ONCE only. You have time to look through the questions before you listen, and also time to check your answers after each section. You write your answers on the question paper as you listen, and you then have 10 minutes at the end of the test to transfer your answers to a separate answer sheet. You will hear a range of accents including British, North American and Australian English.

Structure of the test


IELTS Listening Section 1 and 2

Section 1 and 2 develop the listening skills needed for survival in an English-speaking country, in situations such as shopping, accommodation, etc.
These listening passages include:

  • a conversation between two speakers talking about, for example, opening a bank account
  • a monologue about, for example, a tour of a museum or information on part-time English courses
IELTS Listening Section 3 and 4

Section 3 and 4 have a more academic context, with an educational or training focus.
These include:

  • a conversation between up to four people talking about, for example, a school project
  • a monologue, where, for example, a lecturer is talking on a general academic topic

Question types


A variety of questions are used, chosen from the following types:

  • Multiple choice
  • Matching
  • Classification
  • Short-answer questions and lists
  • Note/Table/Flow chart completion
  • Sentence or summary completion
  • Labelling a diagram, map or plan

Each section of the test usually contains two or three question types, so in one complete listening test you could get a maximum of 12 different question types (usually you will get about eight or nine). Sometimes the same question type occurs in more than one section of the test. Remember, you may get a mix of the listening question types in any section of the test.

Marking

All the answers have one mark. Any answer which is above the word limit specified for that task will not receive a mark, so it is important to read the instructions carefully. Spelling and grammar must be correct. Both British and American spelling are acceptable, e.g. programme/program, colour/color, but you should NOT use abbreviations. Numbers can be written as words or figures.

The final score is converted into a Band Score of between 1 and 9. You can get half bands in the listening test, e.g. 7.5.

How can I improve my Listening scores?

  • Use the time you have before the speaker begins, to look at the questions and try to predict what sorts of answers are required. (e.g. Do you need a number, date or a name?)
  • There is no negative marking so you should not leave blanks. Answer all the questions.
  • Try to anticipate what the speaker will say next. This will help you to focus on the answers.
  • Underline key words in the questions to help you when listening.
  • Don’t worry if you miss a question while the passage is going on. Answer the next and go back to the one you missed later.
  • Check your spelling and grammar carefully.
  • Be careful to transfer your answers accurately, in the time given at the end of the test to do this.

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Listening, Reading, Writing & Speaking – IELTS Test Format

IELTS tips

The IELTS test is used to assess the abilities of the student like listening, reading, writing and speaking in less than three hours of time. It is a widely accepted test and has two types one is the IELTS Academic and the other is IELTS General training. The listening and speaking sections of both the tests are the same but the subject matter of the reading and writing components differ depending on the type of test you appear for. The listening reading and writing are completed on the same day without any breaks in between them. However, the speaking component can be completed up to a week before or after the other tests which will be informed to you by your test center. The duration of the test is 2 hours and 45 minutes. The test format of all the four sections is described as below.

Listening Section:

The listening section is for 30 minutes and you have to listen to four recordings of native English speakers after which you need to write your answers to a series of questions. In the first recording, you have to listen to a conversation between two people which is set in an everyday social context. In the second one, there will be a monologue which will be set in an everyday social context like a speech about local facilities. The third recording will be a conversation between up to four people in a training or educational contexts like maybe a tutor and a student discussing an assignment. In the fourth recording, you have to listen to a monologue which will be given on an academic subject like a university lecture.

The evaluators look for the evidence of your ability to understand the main ideas and the detailed information along with the attitudes and opinions of speakers, the purpose of an utterance and how well can you follow the development of ideas.

Reading Section

The reading section consists of 60 minutes and has 40 questions which test a wide range of reading skills. You will be expected to read for gist, for main ideas, for details, for skimming, understanding the logical argument and understanding the opinion, attitude, and purpose of the writer.

In the IELTS Academic test of IELTS there will be three long texts which will have descriptive, factual discursive and analytical texts. These would be taken from books, magazines, journals and newspapers. The IELTS General Training test has extracts from books, newspapers, magazines, notices, company handbooks, advertisements, and guidelines. These are the materials which you are likely to encounter on a daily basis in an English speaking environment.

Writing Section

The writing section is for 60 minutes and the topics for the same of general interest and suitable for the test takers entering the undergraduate and postgraduate studies or seeking the professional registration.

IELTS Academic Test:

In the first task you will be given a graph, chart, table or diagram and you will be asked to describe, explain or summarize the information in your own words. You might have to describe and explain data, describe the stages of a process or describe an event. In the second task, you will be asked to write an essay responding to a point of view, an argument or a problem. Both the responses should be in a formal style.

IELTS General Training:

In the first task you will be given a situation and you will have to write a letter requesting the information or explaining the situation. The letter can be personal, formal or semi-formal in style. In the second task you will have to write an essay responding to a point of view, problem or an argument. The essay can be personal.

Speaking Section

The speaking section is of 11-14 minutes and it is used to assess the use of spoken English. In the first part, the examiner will ask you the general questions about yourself and a range of familiar topics such as family, work, home, studies and other interests. This lasts for 4 to 5 minutes. In the second part, you are given a card which asks you to talk about a given topic. You have to speak for two minutes before which you are given a one minute time to prepare. You are then asked one or two questions on the same topic. The third part includes further questions about the topic in part 2 in which you get to discuss more abstract ideas and issues. This again lasts for four to five minutes.

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IELTS Listening Preparation

IELTS tips

There are four sections in the listening test. Each section has 10 questions, making a total of 40 questions. The sections become progressively harder. The answers to the questions come in the same order as the information on the recording. The whole test lasts about 30 minutes, including the instructions, your reading and listening time, and the time allowed for transferring your answers from the questions paper to an answer sheet. The instructions are included on the recording.

IELTS exam preparation can be difficult to find on the Internet. We have best of the  IELTS exam preparation materials and coaching classes.

Section 1

This is a conversation between two speakers on an everyday, social topic. This means that you listen to two people talking to each other about arranging a trip, organising an event, etc. The focus is on listening for specific factual information.

Section 2

This is a talk by one speaker on a general topic. This means that you listen to one person giving information about a public event, a service provided, etc. The focus is on listening for specific factual information.

Section 3

This is a discussion between two to four speakers on a topic related to ‘academic needs’. This means that you listen to up to four people talking to each other about an assignment for a course, an academic subject in a seminar, etc. The focus is on listening for specific factual information, attitudes and speakers’ opinions.

Section 4

This is a lecture or talk by one speaker on an academic or study-related topic. This means that you listen to a person giving a lecture, a talk, etc. The focus is on listening for main ideas, specific factual information, attitude and speakers’ opinions.

You will be allowed approximately 30 seconds to study the questions before the test begins. You can use this time to check what types of answers are needed (for example, dates, times, names, money, etc.), and pay special attention to the first question.

All the best 🙂

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IELTS Speaking Preparation

IELTS tips

The Speaking Module consists of a face-to-face interview with an examiner. The examiner will lead the candidate through the three parts of the test: an introduction and interview, an individual long turn where the candidate speaks for one to two minutes on a particular topic, and a two-way discussion thematically linked to the individual long turn. This interview will last for approximately 11-14 minutes. The examiner records the interview.



Part 1

Part 1 lasts for 4 to 5 minutes and begins with introduction. The examiner then asks a number of questions about familiar topics such as your studies, work, hobbies, interests, etc.

Part 2

Part 2 lasts 3 to 4 minutes and is based on the candidate giving a short talk. You are giving a card with a familiar topic and several prompts. You then have one minute to make notes on what you want to say before speaking for two minutes on the topic given. You do not have a choice of topic but the topics are based on your own experience, such as a person or place you know, or an event or activity you have experienced. The examiner may ask you a brief question at the end.

Part 3

Part 3 lasts for 4 to 5 minutes. The questions in Part 3 will be connected to the topic of Part 2. They allow you to discuss more abstract issues and ideas. Part 3 is a discussion between you and the examiner.

You are expected to be able to respond to questions on familiar and unfamiliar topics and to speak at length. You are assessed on a nine-band scale for fluency, vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation.

 

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IELTS Writing strategies

IELTS tips

Spend 20 minutes on Task 1 (150 words) and 40 minutes on Task 2 (250 words). Task 2 is longer than Task 1 and is worth twice as many marks.

Task 1


Before you write

  • Read the task and make a mental summary of the key points and overall trends/stages.
  • Why? Because if you misinterpret the data or diagram, you will lose a lot of marks for content.

As you write

  • Introduce the information, in a sentence or two, using your own words.
  • Why? Because if you copy the question, the examiner will not count these words.
  • Summarise the key points and use data to illustrate these.
  • Why? Because you will lose marks if you miss key points or fail to illustrate them.
  • Include an overview of the information – either in your introduction or conclusion.
  • Why? Because you will lose marks if your answer does not contain an overview.

How you write

  • Try to show that you can use your own words (wherever possible) and a range of grammatical structures.
  • Why? Because you will get more marks for vocabulary and grammar if you can do this.
  • Divide your answer into paragraphs and use linkers to connect your ideas.
  • Why? Because you will get more marks if you can organise your answer well and use a range of linking and reference words.

When you have finished

  • Count your words to make sure you have written enough.
  • Why? Because short answers lose marks. (There are no extra marks for long answers.)
  • Check your grammar, spelling and punctuation.
  • Why? Because mistakes in these areas can reduce your marks.

Task 2


Before you write

  • Read the task carefully to decide how many parts it has and what your position is.
  • Why? Because you will lose marks if you do not address all the parts of the question relevantly.
  • Make a quick plan either mentally or on rough paper. Decide on your main ideas.
  • Why? Because the examiner will be looking for a number of clear main ideas.

As you write

  • Introduce your answer in your own words and make your position clear. You may state your position here as well.
  • Why? Because the examiner will not count copied material as part of your total word count.
  • Present your main ideas clearly and use examples to support them.
  • Why? Because you will get more marks if your ideas are clear and well supported.
  • Write a conclusion and re-state your position.
  • Why? Because your examiner will expect to find a logical conclusion and a consistent position.

How you write

  • Try to show that you can use your own words (wherever possible) and a range of grammatical structures.
  • Why? Because you will get more marks for vocabulary and grammar if you can do this.
  • Divide your answer into paragraphs and use linkers to connect your ideas.
  • Why? Because you will get more marks if you can organise your answer well and use a range of linking and reference words.

When you have finished

  • Count your words to make sure you have written enough.
  • Why? Because short answers lose marks. (There are no extra marks for long answers.)
  • Check your grammar, spelling and punctuation.
  • Why? Because mistakes in these areas can reduce your marks.
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IELTS Writing Task 1: comparing pie charts

IELTS tips

pie chart

 

1) The pie charts show how many people listened to music in 2000 and 2010. ……

2) The pie charts show the proportion of songs played on different formats in 2000 and 2010. ……

3) More people listened to music on radio in 2010 than in 2000. ……

4) In 2000 nearly a third of songs were played on cassette tape but this amount decreased to about two per cent in 2010. ……

5) The proportion of people listened to music on CD was about the same in 2000 and 2010. ……

6) There was a slight increase in the number of people listening to music on MP3 player from 2000 to 2010. ……

7) In 2000 no one used the Internet to listen to music but in 2010 people used the Internet to listen to a quarter of the total songs. ……

8) In 2010 approximately half of the songs were played using two formats: MP3 player and CD. ……

9) From 2000 to 2010 the number of people listening to music on radio decreased by just over 25 percent. ……

10) From 2000 to 2010 the number of people listening to music on radio decreased to approximately half. ……

Test Tip

Note the way we use prepositions with numbers and dates:

2000   40%
2010   25%

In 2010 the number decreased to 25 per cent. (40 -> 25)
In 2010 the number decreased by 15 per cent. (40 – 15 = 25)
In 2010 the number decreased from 40 per cent. NOT in 40 per cent.
The number dropped to 25 per cent between 2000 and 2010. (40 -> 25)
By 2010 the number had fallen to 25 per cent.

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IELTS Writing Task 1: describing a line graph

IELTS tips

Test Tip

Useful introductory expressions:
The graph shows / indicates / depicts / illustrates
From the graph it is clear
It can be seen from the graph
As can be seen from the graph,
As is shown / illustrated by the graph,
Example: The graph shows the percentage of children using supplements in a place over a year.

Useful time expressions:
over the next… / for the following… (for the following two months… over the next six months…)
from … to / between … and (from June to August… between June and August…)
during (during the first three months…)

Warning!
Per cent is the word form of the symbol %. We can write 10% or 10 per centPercentage is the noun form: The percentage of children using supplements. NOT The percent of children

Note!
You can use a combination of adjective + noun, or verb + adverb, to avoid repeating the same phrase.
Example: There was a sharp decrease in the numbers. The numbers decreased sharply.

Language for graphs


This exercise focuses on some basic language, which you need to describe graphs. Look at the graph below. Following the graph, there are 25 statements about the data.

remain (-ed, -ed)
unchanged, steady, stable, constant, plateau, fixed/static

From January to March the percentage of children using supplements remained fairly static at approximately 10%.
The percentage of children taking dietary supplements was relatively stable during the first two months of the year.
During the first two months, supplement use remained fairly unchanged.


fall (fell, fallen), decrease (-ed, -ed), drop (dropped, dropped), plunge (-ed, -ed), decline (-ed, -ed)
slight (slightly), steady (steadily), gradual (gradually), gentle (gently), slow (slowly)
downward trend

It then fell gradually in March.
There was a slight decrease in the use of dietary supplements in March.
The graph shows a slight decrease in March.
Supplement use experienced a steady decrease in March.
Supplement use decreased slightly in March.



fluctuate (-ed, -ed)
wildly

It went up and down widely over the next two months.
It fluctuated for the following two months.


rise (rose, risen), grow (grew, grown), climb (-ed, -ed), shoot up (shot up, shot up)
dramatic (dramatically), sharp (sharply), significant (significantly), rapid (rapidly)
upward trend

There was a significant increase in the percentage of children taking dietary supplements between June and August.
The period between June and August saw a dramatic growth in the use of dietary supplements.
Between June and August, the percentage of children taking dietary supplements shot up dramatically.
The greatest rise was from June to August when it rose by 22% for two consecutive months from June to August.


peak (-ed, -ed), reach (-ed, -ed)

The percentage of children taking dietary supplements was at its highest level in April.
Supplement use peaked at close to 25% in April.
It reached a peak of 25% in April.


fall (fell, fallen), decrease (-ed, -ed), drop (-ed, -ed)
dramatic (dramatically), sharp (sharply), significant (significantly), rapid (rapidly)

Between August and October, this figure dropped dramatically to 11%.
From August to October, there was a drop of 14% in the percentage of children taking dietary supplements.
Between August and October, There was a considerable fall in the percentage of children using supplements.
This was followed by a sharp drop of 14% over the next two months.
Supplement use experienced a dramatic fall between August and October.


fall (fell, fallen), decrease (-ed, -ed), drop (dropped, dropped), plunge (-ed, -ed), decline (-ed, -ed), reach (-ed, -ed) its lowest point
slight (slightly), steady (steadily), gradual (gradually), gentle (gently), slow (slowly)
downward trend

Between October and December, the decrease in the use of dietary supplements was at a much slower pace than in the previous two months.
Supplement use continued to fall steadily over the next two months until it reached its lowest point in December.
It fell to a low of only 5% in December.

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