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IELTS Listening Test: Top Tips


The IELTS Listening test is quite challenging, especially for people who are not accustomed to hearing English spoken in their day-to-day environment.

However, thanks to the internet it is now possible to listen to a wide variety of authentic language exchanges to help you prepare for the different types of recordings you will hear in the test.

Start by downloading things that you're really interested in, which could be anything from TV dramas to news bulletins and then start 'tuning in' to different things such as radio interviews or specialist lectures.

Your comprehension will soon start to expand along with your range of vocabulary, which will help increase your score in the speaking and writing test too!

Here are 15 more top tips to help you prepare for the IELTS Listening test:

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IELTS Reading Test: Top Tips


The main difficulty that people have with the IELTS reading test (General & Academic) is timing. Reading each text carefully and answering all 40 questions within the 60-minute time limit is not an easy task.

To get a high score (band 7+), a planned strategy and precise time-management skills are required as well as a good level of vocabulary and overall comprehension.

Some of the iPass tutors have compiled this list of 15 top exam tips to help you think about the reading techniques you will need to use to crack the IELTS reading test!

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Norman - iPass student of the month

Norman from The Philippines is our student of the month for March! Read More →

IELTS Writing Test: Top Tips


In our 12 years of helping IELTS candidates get the band scores they need, it is nearly always the Writing test that presents the most difficulty, especially when aiming for band 7 or above.

One of the most important things to do while preparing for the IELTS writing test is to understand the marking criteria which is used by IELTS examiners. Knowing what examiners are looking for in order to award a band 6 or a band 8 is essential in helping you to produce the level of writing that is required for that band.

Our expert IELTS tutors analyse your writing skills in exactly the same way as real examiners and help to point out how you can improve to meet the criteria of the band score you need. And here they also want to share with you 15 excellent tips related to all parts of the IELTS writing test.

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IELTS Speaking Test: Top Tips


IELTS candidates are often most nervous about the speaking test, which is understandable. You are face-to-face with the person who is assessing you, someone you have never met before, and you have no idea what topic they are going to choose to ask you questions about.

But if you can train yourself to forget that you are being examined and try to approach the test in a more positive way by seeing it as an opportunity to demonstrate how good your spoken English is and how comfortable you are chatting in English, it can be a positive experience and you might even enjoy it!

If you've got your IELTS speaking test coming up, check out our 15 top tips which will help you to stay calm and get through the test with confidence!

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Phrasal verbs in action: News


In any part of the IELTS Speaking test, you may be asked to comment on how you keep up with the news, what kind of news stories you're interested in or what kind of news makes the headlines in your country.

This post looks at some typical phrasal verbs that can be used when talking about news, whether it's local, domestic or international. Think about how you could use them when chatting about the news in your area or commenting about general current affairs.

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Susan - iPass student of the month

Susan from India is our student of the month for January! Read More →

Phrasal verbs in action: Possessions


In Part 2 of the IELTS Speaking test, you may be asked to describe something you own that is important to you. You may have to say where you got it from or who gave it to you and you will most definitely be asked to explain why it is important to you.

This post looks at some typical phrasal verbs that can be used when talking about personal possessions. Try to use them next time you're practising English with a partner or your teacher so that they become more familiar to you.

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Interview with an IELTS examiner

We recently quizzed Helen, an IELTS examiner in Portugal, about what she thought were the secrets of IELTS test success!

Here's what she had to say .....

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Phrasal Verbs in Action: TV

Whether you're a TV addict or not, 'watching television' is a common topic in the IELTS speaking test, so it's good to have the appropriate vocabulary to talk about it and definitely a good idea to have some frequently used phrasal verbs at your disposal too!

This blogpost shares a few that you can start using straight away!

watching tv

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I got 7.0 overall band as expected!! I was very close to get 7.5 though.

Listening 6.5; Reading 7.5; Writing 6.0; Speaking 8.5

Thanks for all your help and patience!!

- Sergio - Chile

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