IELTS Strategies and Tips on All 4 Modules: Reading/Listening/Writing/Speaking:
There are many tips and strategies you should know in order to get the top mark in all four IELTS modules. This lesson will go into detail on each! But firstly, let’s understand the overall reason why people practice and don’t improve their English. Once you understand this, we will talk about how you can improve all four areas.
A lot of non-native English speakers tend to give up when speaking. Sometimes, we focus so much on trying to be perfect when speaking but this actually makes it impossible without feeling disappointed. Then we walk away from certain conversations feeling bad about the way we speak.
Here’s my first encouragement to you…
You are not alone! Don’t give up just because you’ve had way too many mistakes.
Self-reflection helps but…
Which one of these problems do you have that you know you need to work on?
1. Feeling stressed or scared
This happens to everyone. When we feel stressed or scared, these feelings stop usfrom doing our best.
That’s why it’s essential to try to control your feelings and change your mindset about speaking English.
It’s also important to practice as often as possible as this helps you overcome these feelings with time.
2. Not enough practice
If you learn a lot of English but don’t practice what you learn by speaking with other people, you will not be able to use the things you’ve understood correctly.
You will have a lot of information but won’t know how to use it.
3. Too much to remember
This one is also related to practice. If you learn too many words or grammar rules, it will be much easier to make mistakes when trying to use or remember all the words or grammar.
It’s important to know how to use the knowledge you have instead of always learning new things.
4. Not enough preparation
To make fewer mistakes, it’s always a good idea to prepare before speaking, especially if you know what you want to speak about and with who.
You can prepare ideas, words, and even phrases to use.
Now, let’s talk about strategies for IELTS reading! Here is the most concise summary you will find. Learn it and reuse it everytime for a great result!
Now, let’s have a look at this reading passage which just has multiple-choice questions. Can you apply the above strategies and get a better mark?
Read the following passage.
I would like to express my sincere condolences on the recent passing of your father. Pamela and the children also send their thoughts and prayers to you and your family at this difficult time.
Although I didn’t know your dad that well, on the half dozen or so occasions that I spent time in his company over the years, I did come to realize his great kindness and compassion towards those less fortunate than him. And I do know that he was very highly respected throughout this community and profession, and his good works changed the lives of many.
You were truly fortunate to have such a man as a model in your life.
As you know, it was not that long ago that my own father passed away, so I have some idea of what you and your family are going through. I realize that no words of comfort are quite enough to replace the loss.
Please pass my deepest sympathies on to your mother, and brother, and sister, and to all of your father’s grandchildren.
Yours in sympathy,
Q. Choose the best option according to the information given in the message.
1) Pamela is wife of ____________.
D.) Leonard Henderson
2) Whose father has passed? __________
3) What Leonard has lost?
4) Why is Gord showing his sympathy?
A.)Leonard is his best friend
B.)Gord understands how Leonard feels
C.) Gord’s father had also passed away
D.)Both B and C
5) Leonard’s father had
C.) gone on a vacation
D.) known Leonard’s father.
6) Whose works transformed the lives of people?
How did you do?
Correct answers : a:c:d:d:a:d
This is just a quick mock test. Want 10 complete mock tests including all four modules that actually reflect the real exam? You will also be getting:
1. Free Feedback
2. 15 hours worth of videos covering all reasons why students fail and how they can impress the examiner
3. Copy/paste templates for speaking and writing
Check out the complete offer here: https://hzadeducation.com/product/classes-ielts/
START THE HABIT OF LISTENING
Have you been struggling to listen well? Did you know that it takes practice for one to master the skill to listen?
I’d like to share with you one great tip to practice listening.
Listening to true stories is a great way to improve your listening skills. Storytellers are everywhere, you can find them anywhere on social media like Spotify, Youtube, etc.
But, I’ve recently heard of The Moth Radio Hour…. It’s a free storytelling radio show that you can listen to as a podcast.
Their stories are all true and endearing…. I bet you’ll enjoy their stories as much as I do!
The best way to practice listening is to start on something you are interested in. Storytelling especially true stories will always be engaging.
AND what’s great about podcasts is that you can multitask while listening to any stories you like!
Try making this a habit. You can listen to them on the train, while cooking, in the car, etc.
When you make this a habitual part of your routine, you will benefit from learning new vocabulary words, everyday expressions, complex sentences, etc.
My challenge for you this week is to choose a true story that you like, listen to it, and re-tell the stories to your family and friends.
Here’s the big trick!
Make sure you explain to yourself everything that you have listened to! Assume you are a teacher and you have to explain the content to a student of yours! That’s what we do as teachers! You will be shocked at how good your understanding of the content will become when you start to explain the content in your own words. You will also learn to paraphrase the content and this is key since the examiner paraphrases the questions versus the listening scripts in the real IELTS exam!
Use These Steps For Better Writing:
PRE-WRITE: rewriting is the process of brainstorming – generating ideas, gathering information, and organizing what you already know.
This first process is where you brainstorm your thoughts and ideas by using the Venn diagram, bullet points, categorical list, etc. This will help you organize your thoughts and process exactly what you want to write.
DRAFT: drafting is the process of taking an idea that has formed in your head and putting it onto paper.
This is basically where you write down all of the objectives you’ve constructed in your mind and write down practically all the ideas you can think of onto your paper.
REVISE: Revising is taking your draft and making any changes or improvements.
Revising helps you see the bigger picture of what is missing or what needs to change in your paper. This is a crucial step to make sure that you are able to convey your message through writing.
Edit: Editing is the process of making your written piece more readable, coherent, or understandable.
The last step is to make sure your writing is clear and intelligible. You need to read your piece and make sure to edit grammatical errors so the writing is more cohesive and easy to read.
PUBLISH: Once you have completed all the stages of the writing process, you can publish your piece of writing.
Now let’s also understand how you are marked in the exam! Once you learn what examiners are looking for, you will completely transform your writing. Check out my video here that details all examiner marking rules: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pvLna48k3E
HERE ARE 4 TIPS ON HOW TO BE BETTER IN IELTS SPEAKING:
1. Surround yourself with English
If you want to speak English well, you need to create an English learning environment.
When we surround ourselves with the language, we’re helping our brain absorb whatever sound we hear around us. This is an opportunity to observe and immerse into the language. Sometimes this might be difficult if you are in a non-English speaking country, if this is you, I have just the right tips for you. A disclaimer though, this isn’t just for people outside English-speaking countries this is for everyone who wants to improve their speaking skills.
Watch different kinds of movies or vlogs, interviews, or even stand-up comedy. When you are watching movies or videos, it will help absorb new words in your brain and the more you entertain the concept, the more you become curious or interested in phrases or words.
Once you catch a glimpse of an expression you want to use, use them in conversations! Listen to real-life conversations and take mental notes of certain phrases or expressions that native speakers would use. Mingle and make friends, and learn about interesting things in English!
2. Use effective methods
Don’t waste time on lists of random vocabulary and boring textbooks! Learn in context with real-life materials, and put what you learn into practice.
3. Speak more often
– Fluency is impossible if you don’t practice your speaking.
Think about how many times you’ve spoken English this week. Are you using English to communicate, or are you just studying it?
4. Get support and feedback
– Don’t be afraid to get help from a professional English teacher. A teacher can help you understand what you’re doing well, and what you can do to improve
The above are mainly general tips. For a detailed lesson on IELTS speaking, go here:
Speaking Continued: The Power of Tongue Twisters!
Tongue twisters are words that challenge even native speakers! They are cleverly inserted in one very difficult sentence, like:
“She sells seashells at a seashore”.
It will be so damn difficult!
So why do we need them and where to find some good ones?
Firstly, this link is probably the best one:
(It has the most popular and challenging tongue twisters that ever existed!)
Secondly, there are a ton of reasons why they can improve your English speaking:
1. They will make it easy for you to speak faster when your mouth movements become natural
2. They improve your pronunciation and accent
3. They can be used for warm up! I use them before my YT videos and you can use them before your exam or your next job interview. The most famous comedians, public speakers, politicians, and actors, and several more notable professionals use tongue twisters right before a huge act!
4. They are a challenging exercise, and hence, can be a lot of fun!
Rules for you to practice them:
1. You should first read all of them slow, then read all of them again at the fastest possible pace you can!
2. When you are able to easily manage the above. Read each tongue twister at least 3 times, do it with the next one and so on.
3. Do this activity at least 3-4 times a week to develop the right pronunciation habits and to build speed.
4. Feel free to sound dumb! Everyone does! Tongue twisters are just that type of exercise where you notice a ton of ‘fails’ but with more practice, you can get rid of them easily!
Stop Using The Same Words in Every Sentence!
Did you know that finding great alternative words, will not only give you higher marks but will also make you sound more eloquent?
Understand that English teachers or examiners take notes on how many times you’ve repeated the same words in a paragraph or in sentences.
Repetitive words in a paragraph just feel… eh…! EVEN if you are talking informally, it is still acceptable to utilize academic-sounding words.
For example, connectors can be difficult to use. So, some people might just use the word ‘BUT’ in every sentence.
MEMORIZE alternative words and understand how to use them instead!
Let’s look at the word “BUT”:
What other alternatives can we use instead of the word “BUT”?
The conjunction “BUT” marks an opposition or contrast, though in a casual way:
We are going, but we shall return.
However indicates a less marked opposition, but displays a second consideration to be compared with the first:
We are going; however (“notice this also”), we shall return.
Nevertheless implies a concession, something which should not be forgotten in making a summing up: We are going; nevertheless (“do not forget that”), we shall return.
Still implies that in spite of a preceding concession, something must be considered possible or even inevitable:
We have to go on foot; still (“it is probable and possible that”), we’ll get there.
Yet implies that in spite of a preceding concession, there is still a chance for a different outcome:
We are going; yet (“in spite of all, some day”), we shall return.
Alternative words are important, HOWEVER, it is crucial to ensure that you understand the meaning of each synonym you’ll want to use as they could have differing meanings.
Check out this extremely detailed lesson on vocabulary and how to improve your learning instantly: https://hzadeducation.com/2022/11/11/top-notch-vocabulary-to-use-for-english-ielts-and-celpip/
Use more Phrasal Verbs!
What are Phrasal Verbs… AND WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT?
You will always hear people talk about vocabulary, complex sentences and conjunctions. Sometimes, they also through in ‘complex phrases’. What does that mean? Complex phrases or phrasal verbs are things like:
-tied up with
-break in on
These PHRASAL VERBS are of immense importance to you for many reasons:
-Native speakers use them, and you need to learn them to familiarize yourself with day to day conversations
-You can use them for your IELTS, CELPIP, OET, PTE exams and gain a higher mark
-You can express yourself better when you are translating thoughts from your language into English
-You will not sound repetitive using the same old words. You will sound more alive and animated with fancier and more versatile words!
So what do you need to do?
Go on this link and learn as many phrasal verbs as you can! This is one of my favorite links as it has the day-to-day conversation tone:
If you are new to the HZad family, you probably haven’t heard of our repetition strategy. The best way to learn the above is to make 3-5 sentences per phrasal verb and do that over and over again for 1-2 weeks. This will ensure you not only remember the phrasal verbs but that you actually start using them!
For a complete and thorough IELTS course, once again, check this link: https://hzadeducation.com/product/classes-ielts/