Category Archives: IELTS

Describe your city IELTS speaking part 2

Chicago's famous street decoration called "the bean"

Describe your city sample answer IELTS speaking part 2 question

Describe you city
You should say
Where it is,
What it is known for,
What are the advantages and disadvantage of living there?
What are some of the problems your city faces?

Sample answer:

Audio sample answer by Kroo Scott

I live in Chicago, it is also called the windy city. It is located in the state of Illinois, USA. It is well known for many things, mainly pizza, Al Capone (gangsters), “the bean” and its big businesses. Chicago makes the best deep dish Pizza in the world. What makes Chicago outstanding is it’s people, it is one of the most diverse cities in the world. It has all the things the big apple has yet it has its own charm.

Chicago's famous street decoration called "the bean"

Chicago’s famous street decoration called “the bean”

Chicago has a really cold winters with lots of snow. The main advantage of living in Chicago is it’s numerous opportunities. It is easy to find work. It has some of the best restaurants in the country. The hot dogs are good too. Chicago metropolitan area has some of the largest corporations in the world. It is definitely a city that offers a complete range of options from arts to business. Natural beauty is in abundance too.

Some of the drawbacks of living in Chicago are the dangerous neighborhoods, violence on the streets and it is expensive. Compared to other major cities, Chicago does have a fair bit of shootouts, gun fights and street gun battles.It is also quite expensive to live in some of the better neighborhoods and suburbs.

some suggestions on how to speak about “my home town”

While you describe your city or talk about “my home town” you could broadly think of some points such as it’s location. size, population, it is well known for? etc. you can also describe the weather and attractions. Balance your answer and make sure you have covered all parts of the question.

You may want to look at other IELTS part 2 speaking topics too.

Grammar tips for IELTS – easy things you can do to improve your score

Grammar tips for IELTS

Top two things in grammar that you must be good at to get a good score in IELTS:
1. Prepositions
prepositions are important everywhere but in the IELTS context they are particularly important as a section of the listening module usually has a picture or map and the audio has a lot to do with prepositions.
2. Verb tense

Easy IELTS grammar tips that you can use instantly to improve your writing, speaking and even listening score. The biggest errors are in sentence structures. We’ll discuss one great solution to bad sentence structures here.
It is to see if your sentence follows certain pattern like S+V+O, verb tense agreement..

S = Subject (usually a noun, pronoun or a gerund)
V = Verb
O = object and everything else.

First check if your sentence has a subject. It could sometimes be more than just a word, here’s an example:

Wrong: Play football is good for health.
Correct: Playing football is good for health.

Wrong: School which is near my home.
Corect: School which is near my home is a big one.

“School which is near my home” is the subject here and the sentence needs to be complete, so add a verb.

Use this S+V+O and its variations like SSV, SVV, etc, you’ll be surprised by the number of errors you can identify. One of the reasons students don’t get a good score is because they are not able to identify errors.

Verb tense can totally change the meaning of your sentence – 2nd Grammar tips for IELTS

Be well versed with the usage of tenses. Broadly you need to know where to use what tense.

Important: learn how to use tenses and do the exercise at the end of this article.

Present simple: Use this tense when you talk about things in general, facts, states and repetitive actions.
Subject + base verb
Wrong: I working as a doctor.
Correct: I’m a doctor/I work as a doctor.

Present continuous: Use this when you are talking about a continuing action and now.
How to use present continuous tense: Subject + verb+ing
Wrong: At the moment I watch TV
Correct: At the moment I’m watching TV.

Present perfect: Use this when talking about a completed action related to the present and experiences.
How to use present perfect tense: Subject + have/has+ past participle.
Wrong: I go to New Zealand once.
Correct: I’ve visited New Zealand.

Present perfect continuous: Use this when talking about an action or a state that began in the past but may not have finished yet.
How to use present perfect continuous tense: Subject + have/has + been + verb+ing

Wrong: I have live in this city since 20 years
Correct: I have been living in this city since 1996.

Past simple: Use this to talk about past actions usually with a time reference.
How to use past simple tense: Subject + past veb

Wrong: I go shopping last week.
correct: I went shopping last week.

Past continuous: use this to talk about actions that were continuing in the past.
how to use past continuous tense: subject + was/were + verb+ING

March 12 2015 QA IELTs

March 12 2015 IELTS questions and answers

March 12 2015 QA IELTs

Speaking part one questions:
Do you work or do you study?
Where do you live?
Describe your apartment/house?
How long have you been living there?
What’s your favorite room?why?
What’s you favorite color? why?
What do you think about wearing bright colors?

Lets talk about advertising

Does advertising influence what people buy?
Do you buy what your friends recommend?

Speaking part two – cue card question(although no actual card is given!!)

Describe an occasion that you borrowed something from others.
You should say:
what the thing was
when you borrowed it
whom you borrowed it from
and explain why you borrowed the thing.

Speaking part three – follow up questions

Do people borrow things from friends? what do they generally borrow?

As more follow up questions are sourced they will be updated here.

Writing task topic march 12th IELTS academic test.

Average life expectancy is increasing. Will this cause problems for individuals and society? Suggest some measures that could be taken to reduce the impact of ageing populations.

IELTS – beginner’s guide to understanding the IELTS test

What is IELTS? – Beginner’s guide to IELTS test

IELTS – beginner’s guide to understanding the IELTS test is to help you get a good idea of what it is and how does it happen. IELTS – International English Language testing system is a test that is taken mainly for two purposes among others. Mainly to apply for immigration to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other countries or to study at a university.
IELTS tests are of two types – Academic and General. Academic test is required for higher education while the general test is taken by immigrants.

IELTS Academic test overview

IELTS Academic test overview

Listening section – A question booklet containing the questions is given to the candidates. All answers have to written in this this booklet. At the end of the IELTS listening test, answers can be transferred to the answer sheet.

Reading section – Three separate passages are given, each one could be up to 2 pages. All the three reading passages must be read and relating questions must be answered within one hour. It is important to note that answers can be write on the answer sheet directly.

Writing section – Two writing tasks are given. Task 1 in the academic module is usually a picture, graph, pie, table or a flow chart that shows some data. 150 words should be written in the task 1. Here are more details and beginner’s guide to IELTS writing task one

IELTS General test overview

IELTS General test overview

In the general test, task one is letter writing in 150 words. Both academic and general tests have essay writing in task 2. A 250 word essay is to be written in about 40 words.

Speaking section – It is an interview with an examiner lasting about 15 minutes. It has three parts. Part one could have over 10 questions on familiar or general subjects. In part two a topic is given, the candidate can think about this topic for a minute and then speak for about a minute and a half. Part three consists of follow up questions based on part two.

Listening and reading sections are common to both academic and general tests. Writing and reading are a bit different. Writing in the general test includes writing a letter.

How is the score calculated?

IELTS score is called band. The maximum possible score is a Band 9. Each of the 4 sections get an individual score out of 9. An average of all the 4 sections is taken to arrive at a overall score.

calculating IELTS overall band score.

calculating IELTS overall band score.

Find out how individual band score is calculated. How many answers need to be correct to get a particular band?

How do they get the writing score?

The key factors that are taken into account while calculating the writing score are

IELTS writing score calculation

IELTS writing score calculation

How is the speaking score calculated?

To calculate the speaking score, grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, fluency and coherence are taken into consideration. Each of these components of speaking test are given a band, then it is averaged and rounded off to the nearest 0.5. The speaking test is recorded and examined by examiners.
example calculation
Pronunciation    – 6.0
Grammar            – 5.0
Vocabulary         – 6.0
Fluency and
coherence           – 5.5
overall                 – 6.0

How are the listening and reading scores calculated?

Listening and reading calculations

How are IELTS answers scored?

IELTS scoring system – How is IELTS marked?

IELTS test has 4 modules and each module is scored differently. There is an overall score or Band and an individual score for each module. Usually academic institutions require a certain band in each module and an overall band score too. The overall score is simply an average of all the individual module scores.

Example score:
Listening – 5.0, Reading – 5.0, writing – 7.0 and speaking – 7.0

5+5+7+7 = 24/4 = 6.0

Overall band – 6.0

Individual modules have different Band score that are given to the actual score.
There are 40 questions in the listening module. If all the answers are correct the candidate gets 9 band.

IELTS band calculator card for listening

IELTS band calculator card for listening

IELTS band calculator card for academic reading

IELTS band calculator card for academic reading

The listening section has 40 questions that need to be answered. The pictures show how the score is converted to the IELTS Band in listening which is common to both Academic and General IELTS tests. The writing and speaking modules have different parameters that are calculated to get a score.

How is the IELTS task 1 marked – Band scale explained.

Writing task 1 is measured for
1. Task Achievement – What is Task achievement? It is to measure how much of the question was answered properly. This term is used for marking the IELTS writing task 1.
2. Coherence and Cohesion – the clarity, progression and relevance of the answers are measured to arrive at a particular Band score.
3. Lexical resources – This is fancy term which means usage of vocabulary. It measures the range of words used and how natural was the usage of different words.
4. Grammatical range and accuracy – The usage of different grammar structures including, various descriptors and tenses are carefully checked.

The score is given by examiners and they usually follow some internal specific guidelines to score.

Writing task 2 has the same parameters except the first one.
It’s termed Task responses. It refers to how well developed is the essay, has it clearly stated the position or opinions.