Английский язык. Стратегии и тактики выполнения тестовых заданий

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Министерство образования и науки Российской Федерации



А. К. Смарагдина

Английский язык

Стратегии и тактики выполнения тестовых

Учебное пособие








Listening skills acquisition



PART 2. Reading skills acquisition



PART 3. Writing skills acquisition



PART 3. Speaking skills acquisition








The International English
Language Testing System (IELTS) assesses the
English language proficiency of people who want to study or work where English
is used as the language of communication. It provides a fair, accurate and relevant
assessment of language skills, based on well
ablished standards, and covers the
full range of proficiency levels, from non
user to expert user.

IELTS conforms to the highest international standards of language
assessment and is an accredited testing system of the English capabilities of non
English s
peakers. IELTS is recognized for course admission by universities in
many countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK and some
universities in the USA, and is increasing in usage in Germany and the wider
confines of Europe. IELTS is also re
quired as proof of language abilities for
immigration to Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

IELTS results are reported on a 9
band scale designed to be simple and easy
to understand. This scale has remained consistent and has acquired currency
around the w

There are two versions of IELTS. Test takers can choose either

IELTS General Training
. Both versions of the test consist of four
separate components, assessing the four language skills

Listening, Reading,

Writing and Speaking.

The distinction with IELTS Academic lies in the subject
matter and tasks of the Reading and Writing components. The Listening and
Speaking components are the same.

IELTS Academic

ELTS General Training

IELTS Academic measures English
language proficiency

needed for an
academic, higher education
environment. The tasks and texts are
accessible to all test
irrespective of their subject focus.

IELTS General Training measures
English language proficiency in a
practical, everyday context. The
tasks and
texts reflect both
workplace and social situations,

Listening* (30 minutes)

• Four recorded monologues and

Listening* (30 minutes)

• Four recorded monologues and

Reading (60 minutes)

Three long reading passages with

Texts range from the descriptive
and factual to the discursive and

Includes non
verbal materials
such as diagrams, graphs or

Texts are authentic (e.g. taken
from books, journals and newspapers)

Reading (60 minutes)

Three read
ing passages with

Section 1 contains two or three
short factual texts

Section 2 contains two short,
related, factual texts

Section 3 contains one longer
text on a topic of general interest

Texts are authentic (e.g. taken
from company han
dbooks, official
documents, books and newspapers)

Writing (60 minutes)

Writing task of at least 150
words where the candidate must
summarize, describe or explain a table,
Writing (60 minut

Letter writing task of at least 150

Short essay task of at least 250

graph, chart or diagram

Short essay task of at least 250


Speaking (11 to 14 minutes)

face interview

Includes short questions,
speaking at length about a familiar
topic and a structured discussion

Speaking (11 to

14 minutes)

face interview

Includes short questions,
speaking at length about a familiar
topic and a structured discussion

Key similarities

The Listening and Speaking components are the same for both
versions. The distinction between ‘acad
emic’ and ‘general’ literacy has
traditionally been most marked in relation to reading and writing skills. The more
oriented language skills of listening and speaking are equally important in
an academic study or professional context

The same am
Speaking components in both the General Training and Academic versions

The Reading and Writing components are the same length in both

Both versions of the test have the same minimum word

The same assessment criteria and 9
band scale is used to grade both

Key differences

The Reading component of the Academic and General Training versions is
differentiated in terms of:

the choice of texts (topic, genre, length, num

the level of difficulty of the 40 test items. The Academic Reading
component has more items pitched at bands 5
8, whereas the General Training has
more items pitched at bands 3
6. This reflects the different demands of Academic
and General Tra


For the Writing component, the Academic and General Training versions are
differentiated in terms of:

the content and nature of the two writing tasks

the contextual parameters of the tasks.

Given the level of differentiation described above, the

Reading or Writing
scores across the Academic and General Training versions are not interchangeable.

IELTS is a task
based test covering the four language skills (listening,
reading, writing and speaking). IELTS test takers receive individual scores for e
of the four test components. The average of the four provides the overall band

Each of the four components is carefully designed to focus on one skill. This
results in a more equitable form of task design when compared with tests that
assess mul
tiple skills simultaneously and makes it easier to control task difficulty
across the many different test versions produced each year.

For the organizations that require evidence of English language proficiency,
the IELTS approach ensures that the score gi
ven for each component of the test is a
clear and fair reflection of the test taker’s ability in each of the four skills. This can
be of value for professions where some language skills are deemed to be more
important than others. For example, in Canada, n
urses are required to achieve a
higher band score in their IELTS Speaking and Writing test while teachers in
Australia are required to achieve higher scores in their IELTS Speaking and
Listening test.

While IELTS focuses on testing the four skills individu
ally, there is
inevitably an element of integration in each component in the same way that
language skills are integrated in the real world. Test tasks often entail the use of
other skills and are therefore ‘integrated’ to some degree, for example:

• In th
e Writing and Speaking components, information that is read or heard
helps shape the test taker's own production. However, this is carefully controlled to
ensure that the test taker is not required to carry out extensive or complex reading
and listening in

order to respond to the task. This is particularly important because
a score for each skill is being reported and it would be unfair to test takers if their

performance in one skill area was compromised by their lack of proficiency in

Tasks in th
e Reading and Listening components can involve note
any task or test items should focus on reading or listening and should not require

IELTS scor
es and interpretation

Expert user


Has fully operational command of the language:

Very good user


Has fully operational command of the language with
only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies
inappropriate words. Misunderstandings may occur in
unfamiliar situations. Handles complex detailed
argumentation well.

Good user


Has operational command of the language, though with
occasional inaccuracies, inappropriate words and

in some situations.
handles complex language well and understands detailed



Has generally effective command of the language
despite some inaccuracies, inappropriate words and
misunderstandings. Can use and understand

complex language particularly in familiar situations.

Modest user


Has partial command of the language, coping with
overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to
make many mistakes. Should be able to handle basic
communication in own fi

Limited user


frequent problems in understanding and expression.
not able to use complex language.

limited user


Conveys and understands only general meaning in very
familiar sit
Frequent breakdowns in
communication occur.


No real communication is possible except for the most
basic information using isolated words or short formulae


in familiar situations and to meet immediate needs.
great difficult
y understanding spoken and written



Essentially has no ability to use the language beyond
possibly a few isolated words.

Did not attempt
the test


No assessable information provided.

There is no pass or fail in IELTS. Rather, all te
st results are reported on a
clear 9
band scale (from 1, the lowest, to 9, the highest), as shown in the table
above. Test takers receive an overall band score as well as individual scores for
each test component (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking).

The IELTS test
provides an accurate picture of a candidate's language skills and abilities at a
certain point in time. Skills and abilities inevitably diminish overtime if not used. It
is recommended that a Test Report Form more than two years old should
only be
accepted if it is accompanied by evidence that a candidate has actively maintained
or improved their English.

How to interpret IELTS

Test takers receive scores on a band scale from 1 to 9. A profile score is
reported for each skill. The four indivi
dual scores are averaged and rounded to
produce an overall band score. Overall band scores and scores for each component
(Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking) are reported in whole bands or half

Test takers receive a Test Report Form including
or listing their overall band
score and their sub
scores on each of the four components: Listening, Reading,
Writing and Speaking. Each of the component scores is equally weighted. The
overall band score is calculated by taking the mean of the total of the

individual component scores.

Overall band scores are reported to the nearest whole or half band. The
following rounding convention applies; if the average across the ends in .25, it is

rounded up to the next half band, and if it ends in .75, it is ro
unded up to the next
whole band.

Thus, a test taker achieving 6.5 for Listening, 6.5 for Reading, 5.0 for
Writing and 7.0 for Speaking would be awarded an overall band score of 6.5 (25 +
4 = 6.25 = Band 6.5).

Likewise, a test taker achieving 4.0 for Listen
ing, 3.5 for Reading, 4.0 for
Writing and 4.0 for Speaking would be awarded an overall band score of

(15.5+4 = 3.875 = Band 4.0).

On the other hand, a test taker achieving 6.5 for Listening, 6.5 for Reading,
5.5 for Writing and 6.0 for Speaking would b
e awarded band 6 (24.5
4 = 6.125 =
Band 6).





IELTS Listening

test is one area where teachers cannot help students as
much as they can in other areas. The skill of listening is one that

is developed by
practice and there is not much a teacher can say to improve a student’s ability at it.
What we can do is to give you some hints for doing the test and show you the types
of questions that you will come up against when you do the test. Afte
r that, as
much practice as possible is the way to improve.

IELTS Listening

test is approximately 40 minutes in length and there are
four sec
tions, each with a separate listening passage. In each section, there are 10
questions making 40 overall. Sec
tions 1 and 2 are based on social survival in an
speaking country and Sections 3 and 4 are based on a more educational
and training orientation. The listening recording lasts for about 30 minutes and
then you have 10 minutes at the end of the liste
ning to transfer your answers to the

Section 1

Here you will listen to a conversation between 2 people. The
conversation is divided into 2 parts. You have to answer 10
questions based on what you hear. At the start of Section 1, you
will hav
e an example read out to you and then explained. This is
then repeated when the listening starts properly.

Section 2

Here you will hear a monologue, though it may include a second
speaker asking questions in order to stimulate the monologue.
The monologue

is divided into 2 parts. You have to answer 10
questions based on what you hear.

Section 3

Here you will listen to a conversation between 2, 3 or 4 people.
The conversation is divided into 2 parts. You have to answer 10
questions based on what you hear.

Section 4

Here you will hear a monologue, though it may include a second

speaker asking questions in order to stimulate the monologue.
The monologue is divided into 2 parts. You have to answer 10
questions based on what you hear.

The main problem that ca
ndidates have with the IELTS Listening test is that
the listening recording is played once only. Therefore, you have to be quite quick
and very alert in order to pick up the answers, write them down and be ready for
the next answer. Another area where cand
idates have problems is that they are
used to listening to a live speaker in front of them when they can look at the lips
and the body movements. IELTS candidates listen to a record
ing and this is not a
natural skill.

Typical Subjects

Asking a stranger o
r a passer
by for directions

Asking information at a bank or post office

Enrolling at the international students’ office (a place where international
students can get assistance and contact school management board)

Listening to an introduction about a scen
ic spot by a tour guide

Attending an orientation course

Renting a room (flat)

Attending holiday and leisure activities

Going to the doctor, talking about medical facilities of colleges and


Asking information about car parking or
car hiring

Attending job interviews

Giving tutorial presentations

Several topic subjects for Section 4: women’s issue education &
examination nature environment
pollution, transportation, food


IELTS Listenin
g Test Strategies

There isn’t much you can do, but there are some hints. First, you get time to
read the questions at the start of each section and mid
way in each section. Use this
time (usually 20 seconds) wisely. You should know in advance all the quest
before you hear the recording. At the end of the sections, you also get some time to
check your answers. Try to use this time to check through, and then turn ahead to
read the next questions in advance.

When you read the questions, you can usually pre
dict some of the types of
answers that will come. For example, in Section 1, if you can see that the question
is asking for a telephone number, then you know you’ll be listening out for
numbers and the word telephone. In the later sections, this becomes mo
complicated, but the same technique can be used. Think about this when you are
practicing, so you can develop this skill.

Tips and Ideas about the IELTS Listening Test

As in all IELTS tests, the questions get harder as the test goes on. You will
see fr
om your practice that the types of listening passages and questions that you
encounter become progressively difficult from section to section. This does not
mean that by Section 4 they are impossible, but they are more demanding

Beware of s
ome questions which require a number (i.e. a telephone number)
read out only for the speaker to correct himself/herself and then say the correct

An important tip is

to answer all the questions as you hear them; don’t wait
remember the answer and write it down later, so they can wait for the next answer.
This seems to be a mistake. Firs
answers in a row before you can write them down.


In the actual test, at the end, you have an extra 10 minutes to transfer your
question paper and use the 10 minutes given at the end for the transfer. Writing the
answers on the questi
on paper allows you to keep your concentration on the
questions and, if you make a mistake, it’s not so difficult to correct.

Don’t panic if you miss an answer. If it has really gone, then it is history.
Worrying and panicking is only going to make you mis
s another one. One miss is
probably not going to destroy your mark, so calm down and listen for the next one.
keep listening, maybe the answer will come or even be repeated.

Never leave a question unanswered, especially if it is only a multiple
question or something similar. Guess if you really don’t know. There are no marks
taken away for wrong answers or even stupid answers. So, have a go! Logic,
general knowledge or
just luck might give you the right answer!




Choice Questions

This activity uses the skills of paraphrasing and using synonyms to help
students answer Multiple
Choice Questions on the question paper.

ere are some tips for handling Multiple
Choice Questions of the IELTS
Listening test:


Skim through the questions and the answer choices quickly before the
recording starts and d
uring the 30 seconds given. As you do this: underline
the key words

the words that give you the most information, such as the
question words” and nouns, try to work out what you are going to hear
from the vocabulary of the questions and/or pictures.

Translate any pictures into words and look for details that are different in the


Decide what kind of information you need to listen out for.

Listen to the introduction given carefully.

formation will
be given in the same order as the questions, although it might be expressed

Remember to make notes beside the question if you are not sure of the
answer, so you can go back later.

Don’t leave any questions unanswered.

to listen for people correcting themselves when speaking, they
may discuss one of the answer choices and then reject it. Try to eliminate
unlikely answers.

If you need to make a guess, base it on key words and phrases you have
heard. You are answering a Mu
Choice Question and you miss the
answer. One of the options is
None of the above

All of the above.

If you
really don’t know the answer, choose these options

they are likely to be the
right ones because they might not be in the list otherwise. I
f you are
answering a Multiple
Choice Question that involves a number of sentences
or text and you miss the answer, choose the longest option. The answer is
probably going to be a paraphrase of another sentence and that means it will
probably be longer.

ok at this typical task:


Ostrich meat


has more protein than beef.


tastes nearly as good as beef.


is very filling.


One problem with ostrich farming in Britain is


the climate.


the cost of transporting birds.


the price of ostrich eg



Ostrich chicks reared on farms


must be kept in incubators until mature.


are very independent.


need looking after carefully.


The speaker suggests ostrich farms are profitable because


little initial outlay is required.


farmed birds are very productive.



In Multiple
Choice Question type as above, you will be given a ‘stem’

one will be correct (the answer) and two or three may seem
possible but
are in fact incorrect in some way (the distractors).

In tackling Multiple
Choice Questions of this kind, it is very important to
follow these steps:

Step 1:

Read the stem carefully, recognize the key word. Glance through the
options. (The word
s in bold type in the stem and options are key words.)

Step 2
: Predict. In these four questions, the word ostrich is heard many times. That
is to say, ostrich is the topic of the talk. The key word in question 1 is meat, and
options A and B are both compar
ing meat of ostrich and beef, but option C is quite
different. So, basically, we can leave C out. This question is no doubt the
comparison between meat of ostrich and beef. In question 2, the key words are
problem, ostrich farming and Britain. The key word

in option A is climate
, the key
word in option B is transporting, and the key word in option C is eggs. With these
key words alone, we cannot guess the right choice. The only way is to listen
carefully to these key words in order to have the right answer
. You can apply these
techniques when doing questions 3 and 4. In reality, candidates often make
careless mistakes when they misread the stem and so choose the wrong option.


Look at this typical task:


On Monday, Dr. Andrew will visit

these wards:


Male Surgical

D. Male Geriatric


Female Surgical

E. Female Geriatric


Children’s Surgical

F. Infectious


On Tuesday, Dr. Andrew will be with


Dr. Chang





Dr. Thomas





Dr. Gray




This type
of question requires you to select the two out of several options
given. By listening carefully to the job of a doctor named Andrew, you can find out
the correct choices.

In Multiple
Choice Questions, before the passage is played, or as you listen,
the topic of each question in order to stay focused.

Most IELTS tests utilize Multiple
Choice Questions and the best way to deal
with this type of question is by using elimination. More often than not, 50% of the
choices are not completely related to the q
uestion being asked. You would have to
be able to quickly spot these items in order to narrow down your choices.
However, remember that there are times when all choices are correct or none of
them is. So, remember to read and follow the instruc
tions stric
through these tricky questions.

Practice 1. Multiple
Choice Questions

Exercise 1: Listen to the talk and choose the correct answer for each question.


Atlantis was


a legendary island.


an island named after the ocean in which it was supp
osed to have been


an actual island which has disappeared.



both A and B.


According to the selection, today the Atlantic is


romantic rather than businesslike.


completely lacking in romance.


less important to business than in the days of the sailing


important in world commerce.


The Spaniards discovered that calms were most common


just south of the equator.


just on the edge of steady trade winds.


in a narrow belt along the equator.


near the coast of South America.


The area was perilous because


hips could easily be wrecked there.


there was no wind.


ships had no power other than the wind.


both A and B.


Thirst was a grave problem because


the sun was often very hot.


the water supply was limited.


horses required a lot of water



all of the above.


rses were probably thrown overboard in order to


conserve water.


lighten the ship.


spare them the agonies of thirst.


spare the men the trouble of caring for them.


Proof of the Spaniards’ placing a high value on their horses was their


taking them to Amer


crediting them with souls.


regretting their loss.


all of the above.



The selection says that sailors called the area the “horse latitudes” because


the Spaniards told them it was haunted by the ghosts of horses.


they regretted the loss of

the horses.


they had dreams about the lost horses.


the Spaniards had named it that.

Exercise 2: Listen to the recording and
choose the correct answer A, B or C.


Joanne says that visitors to Darwin are often surprised by


the number of young people.


the casual atmosphere.


the range of cultures.


To enjoy cultural activities, the people of Darwin tend to


travel to southern Australia.


bring in artists from other areas.


involve themselves in production.


The Chinese temple in Darwin


is no longer used for i
ts original purpose.


was rebuilt after its destruction in a storm.


was demolished to make room for new buildings.


The main problem with travelling by bicycle is


the climate.


the traffic.


the hills.


What does Joanne say about swimming in the sea?


It is
essential to wear a protective suit.


Swimming is only safe during the winter.


You should stay in certain restricted areas.

choose the correct answer for each question.



long has he been in his present job?



Since 2005


For about three years


For three months


Why does he want a new job?


For a change


To earn more money



What does he like most about his job?


The right to take action and make decisions


His colle


Working conditions


What kind of person are they looking for?


Someone prepared to work overtime


Someone who is punctual


Someone who wants to get on



A degree


A school leaving certificate


A postgraduate diploma


Gap Filling

Gap filling in the IELTS test involves form filling,


2. New Yorkers consume_______ gallons of water each day. (sentence)

3. Reason for delay: ________(gap)

4. Spring rolls are made from ________ (sentence)


Completion Questions.

Your task is to

of the listen
ing text (rather than an edited version), you will need to have a good
understanding of the overall meaning and main points of the section summarized,
nding of the text.

Here are the tips whenever you encounter Summary
in the IELTS Listening test:

Read the instructions carefully because they tell you which questions you
should read

before listening.

Skim through the summarized text t
for which

you will be searching when listening.

Read the summarized text again carefully. Try to work out what you are
going to hear:


Decide what you need to listen out for.


Anticipate grammatical form as well as
vocabulary: predict not only the type
of in
formation or part of speech that is needed, but also what the missing
word or words could actually be.


Listen to the introduction given carefully.


Fill in the gaps as you listen. Write your answers exactly as you

hear them.


if there is the article

before the gap, it means that you have to supply the
answer with a noun in singular form. If not, it means that the answer will be
either plura
l or an uncount
able noun.

Check for correct spelling.

Be alert. A word limit is given; for example, if the question asks for NO
MORE THAN THREE WORDS, use no more than 3 words. Writing 4
words is wrong.


Do not give more than one answer in a gap. Otherwise
, it will be marked as

Make notes beside the gaps you are unsure of the answers.


Sometimes the words you need to fill in do not occur in the same
order as read in the recording. You have to predict before listening so as to keep up
with th
e speed of the recording.

Look at this typical task:

You will now hear a short news item. Fill in the gaps in the summary below with
the correct word or phrase according to what you hear. The first one has been
done for you as an example.

The traffic accid
ent in Example: Lidham has caused the death of (1) _____
persons, and a further (2) ______ people have been taken to St. John’s (3)
______ for treatment. The northbound and southbound of Avalon Road are still
closed, and drivers are advised to avoid the ar
ea. Police believe the driver of a
(4) ______ lost control of the vehicle before reaching the traffic (5) ______ at
the corner of Avalon Road and Batty Avenue. Witnesses told reporters that they
heard the lorry sound the (6) _____moments before it collided

with traffic
turning into the (7) ______. Anyone requiring further information should
telephone the police hotline on (8)


for which you will be searching when listening
. For example, the key word before
gap 1 is death and the key word after this gap is persons. We, therefore, can predict
that a figure is needed. Gap 2 may need another figure as an adjective before the
noun people; from the word treatment, we can guess th
at the word in gap 3 must be
the name of a hospital. The indefinite article a before gap 4 gives us a clue that this
must be a noun referring to a form of transport. With the phrase at the comer of
Avalon Road and Batty Avenue, that is an intersection, we
can think right away of
a collocation: traffic lights. Gaps 6 and 7 come after the definite article the, so the
words here are certainly nouns. Last, by looking at the key words telephone and
hotline, we can be certain that the gap here needs a phone numbe


In this task type, candidates are required to fill in gaps in an outline of part
or of all of the listening text. The outline will focus on the main ideas / facts in the
text. Note form can be used when completing the gaps.

This means that articles,
auxiliary verbs, etc. may be omitted when they are not necessary for the meaning.
A table is used as a way of summarizing information which relates to clear

e.g. place/ time /price.

Here are the tips when you encount

Predict the kind of word or phrase you would need (place, number, name,

Keep in mind that there will be times when you have to write a measurement
word or abbreviation (cm, in, hours, etc.).

Write th
e word or words as you hear them. Do not change them just to make
them fit.

There is no need to write articles (a, an, the).

Always remember the word limit.

In Table
come quickly one after the oth

Gap Filling: Sentence

Here are the tips whenever you encounter Sentence
the IELTS Listening test.

Make it a point to read the sentences before you listen.

Predict not only the type of information or part of speech tha
t is needed, but
also what the missing word or words could be.

Write your answers exactly as you hear them.

check your answers to determine if they are grammatically fit.

Check for correct spelling.


Be alert. A word limit is given; for example, if the q
uestion asks for NO
MORE THAN THREE WORDS, use no more than 3 words. Writing 4
words is wrong.

Practice 2. Gap Filling

Exercise 1: You will hear a radio program in which the speakers discuss the
importance of looking after old people in winter. Listen to
the dialogue and fill
in each blank with NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS.

Mr. Hastings, a (1) _____ from the Social Services Department, came to a radio
program to discuss the importance of looking after (2) _____ in winter. First of
all, he told the listeners th
ere were (3) _____ reasons for them to (4) _____ on
elderly people during the cold winter. Then he explained what they should do to
help the old. For example, they should (5) _____ the old person’s body, make
sure that the one room where the old person liv
es is (6) _____, make sure if the
old person could have a (7) _____ meal. Finally, he mentioned the_____
government and other local (8) _____ already involved in this kind of work. He
wished the listeners could help the old to contact with the (9) ______ t
help for them.


2: You will hear two people discussing an extramural course. Fill in
the information you hear on the application form below.



Course No.
: (1) _____

Fee e
nclosed: (2) ______

Course title:

Drama & Theatre Studies

If there is an examination involved, do you intend sitting it? Yes / No


(3) _____

First name:



(4) _____, Longford

Telephone No.:

daytime: No

evening: (5) ______



(6) _____


(7) ______

Educational qualifications:

Degree in (8)

Diploma in

(9) _____

Previous extramural courses attended:

(10) ______



of items from the l
options may be criteria of some kind. Many variations of this task type are possible
with regard to the type of options to be matched:

1. Matching words/phrases/sentences

This task type
assesses the skill of
given in a conversation on an everyday topic such as different types of hotel or
guest house accommodation. It also assesses the ability to follow a conv
involving interaction between two people. It may also be used to assess candidates’

2. Matching with pictures

This task type also assesses the skill of liste
with pictures given.

Now we tackle the things you should note when you encounter Matching
Questions in the IELTS Listening test.

Before starting to listen, carefully read
and the set of options.

would hear it in the recording.

The ideas in the list might not be expressed in the same way as those in the


this type of question, you should listen for ideas, never listen for
particular words or phrases.


Practice 3. Matching

Exercise 1:

Which ho
tel matches each description? Choose your answers from
E, next to questions 1

1 is in a rural area ………

2 only opened recently ………

3 offers facilities for business functions ………

4 has an indoor swimming poo


A The Bridge Hotel

B Carlton House

C The Imperial

D The Majestic

E The Royal Oak

Exercise 2:
What main problem do the students suggest each company has.
Match the company to the problem. The first has been done for you.

your answers f



next to questions 1


knowledge about their customers


term gain




customer satisfaction




external factors

2. MK Cars

3. Lakeside Golf

4. Bryson's Meats

5. Mojo's Music Shop


Exercise 3: Which opinion does each person express about Mojo's Music?


next to questions


It has good managers


It has been operating for too long


There aren't en
ough music shops



It will close down in the end


It has a good long
term future

1. Sarah

2. John

3. Neil


True/False Questions

Many candidates have a lot of difficulty when doing this type of question.
rstly, they have a tendency of expecting to hear the answer as it is written in the
True/False statement.

For example:


There are six children in John’s family.


I’ve got six children in my family.

It is not likely that you will hear the
answer as it appears in front of you on
the question paper, although there might be one or two easier questions like this.
The people who write the exams often put in ‘traps’ to mislead you and to try to
look at these other ‘traps’ that

Changing the modifier only


All students have to register before 8th August.


Most students have to register before 8th August.

Changing the answer twice


er decides to go to the cinema.



Peter: Let’s go to the cinema, there’s a new film on.

Jane: I’d like to go to the theatre instead to see the play. Peter: OK, that’s
fine. We’ll go to the theatre.

Jane: Great, thanks, oh no

maybe the cinema would

the cinema it is then.

Jane: Are you sure?

Peter: Yes, sure. No, the theatre


Using words that mean the same (synonyms)


All students have to register before 8th August.


All students have to enroll bef
ore 8th August.

Using opposites (antonyms)



I’m worried about Robert, he isn’t happy at all these days

Changing the wording


You have to pay on or before 8th August.


You can’t make payment after the

7th of August.

Here are some tips for handling True/False Questions of the IELTS
Listening test:

Be careful of True/False Questions when the statements given include words
such as always, never, must, have to, only, and all (the students), etc. These so
alled “100 per cent” qualifying words have unconditional or all
meanings in sentences. However, even though the words you read in the question
paper may be heard in the passage, they are often qualified later. If you do not
listen carefully, you
might easily believe these statements are true when they are
actually false. In fact, statements containing the above
mentioned qualifying words
included in the test to discover ca
ndidates’ true listening ability.

in the same sentence but are qualified a little later in the passage. Beware!

True/False Questions

step by step

Before you listen:



Read the i
nstructions carefully.


Always look at (and listen for) the example.

As you listen:


Recognize the key words and topic to listen for and be aware of the question


Check the question statements carefully for modifying and qualifying words.


Beware of question statements that contain the above
mentioned qualifying


If necessary, wait for the speaker to qualify what has been said.

In the time given to you at the end of the True/False Questions:




Guess the answers to unanswered questions

do not leave blanks.

Practice 4. True/False Questions

Exercise 1: Listen to the extract of a television travel program, and then


is a republic in the Himalayas.



All EEC nationals need a visa to visit Guatemala.



A British passport holder has to pay $10 for a visa at the border of



own consulate.



A new limit of seven days will be imposed on tourist visas to visit



Tourists arriving in Burma will not be allowed to visit the capital,



At the moment, the only place you can obtain a visa to
visit Burma
is in Bangkok.



Not all resorts on the Costa del Sol will be offering reductions for
children next year.



Exercise 2: You will hear a college lecturer being interviewed about the
subject of her new book. Look at questions 1
7 and decide if the statements
are true or false.


Pat’s book has already been published for 3 months.



Pat thinks girls do not benefit in mixed
sex schools.



According to Pat’s book, boys always keep quiet when a girl is
speaking in th
e classroom.



Pat thinks boys not only dominate the classroom verbally, but
physically as well.



The so
called “normal” behavior is men dominate women.



Pat deems that girls should go to single
sex schools so that they will
have a chance to develop their potential.



educational school when she was a


7 and decide if the statem
ents are true or false


The talk, which has only 3 weeks to plan, will be held on the 21st of
this month



The talk is about the pollution in the inner city.



Students could get some information about the amount of carbon
monoxide from the



Nowadays, the city inhabitants like to use “car



The students want to mention some solutions of reducing the
number of private cars



One of the students thinks it may be
necessary to build some cycle



The students think it is necessary to make more pedestrian precincts
in the city.






You need to select either the General Trainin
g Module or the Academic
Module. The difference between the two modules lies in the Reading and Writing
tests. The Listening and Speaking tests are the same for both.

In terms of reading, the main difference between the Academic and General
Training module
s lies in the content of the passages. The General Training Module
includes easier texts from social, academic, and work contexts. The Academic
Module includes more advanced texts, at an undergraduate or graduate level, from
academic sources.

Yet, the Acad
emic and General Reading Modules are also similar in many
ways. Both last one hour, contain 3 passages and 40 questions, and are scored in
the same way. Remember that in the IELTS Reading test (unlike in the IELTS
Listening test), no extra time is given to

transfer your answers onto your answer

In fact, most candidates have found the Reading test t
he most difficult. One
of the reasons is unfamiliarity with the topics; some topics are quite strange. The
second reason is there is a time limit and the three reading passages are quite long.
They are neither of the same difficulty nor of the same subject

matter; often the
difficulty level increases from reading passage 1 to reading passage 3.

However, the IELTS Reading test is not that difficult. If you know the right
approach, you can easily score the maximum in it.

The first thing you are advised to do
is to go through the reading test paper
quickly. Just skim through all the passages in about a minute to find out which
passage appears to be the easiest one and which appears to be the difficult one, and
of course begin with the easiest one.

Second, read
the questions before beginning reading. This will help you skip
the unnecessary portions of the reading passage and concentrate more on the
significant areas. Further, look out for the topic sentence that gives the main theme

of the passage. Underline the
key phrases that seem to be more important so that


Outlining strategy for IELTS Reading test

Work out an effective study plan You should apply the following suggestions to
solve the questions in the Reading test

Learn to use the following techniques separately, to switch automatically
and to use several at one time:


Skim the text to obtain general information. Think about the general

information and not the detail. Don’t underline.

Scan for s
pecific detail only; don’t concentrate on the meaning of the
text. If

you start to read

Read the questions FIRST and circle the key words in the QUESTIONS like
dates, names, places, etc. This should be done so that you can have an idea
of the type of infor
mation you will be looking for and when you are reading
the passage, these key words will ring a bell.

Read the instructions carefully. You have to read the instructions to be sure
of what is required. Understanding the instructions is, therefore, just as
important as finding the right answer in the passage.

Read the first paragraph and glance through the questions and think if you
can answer any question.

Read the remaining paragraphs and do the same.

While reading the paragraphs, circle the key words in t

Note that all the questions in ONE PARTICULAR SET are in a sequence
and in order, and so is the information in the paragraphs.


Answer/ Gap
Filling /Multiple
/Classification Questions

A major problem in the exam is the l
ength of the passages and you will not
have time to read them all carefully. You need to train your speed reading skill so
that you can read as efficiently as possible.


About two thirds of the questions in the 1ELTS Reading test focus on
comprehension of s
pecific information, using detail questions. A detail question
asks about one piece of information in the passage rather than the passage. The
answers to this kind of question are generally given in order in the passage, and the
correct answer is often a r
estatement of what is given in the passage. This means
that the correct answer often expresses the same ideas as what is written in the
passage, but the words are not the same. Detail questions can take the following


Answer Questions


Filling Questions


Choice Questions


Classification Questions


True/False/Not Given Questions




Matching Questions



Practice 1. Matching headings to paragraphs



Look always for the most general heading. This may be the first paragraph
or the


lways do exercises with headings first, as the headings summarize the
text. They help you scan the answers to the other questions.

Read the instructions.
Check if you can use a heading more than once.



therefore, a distracter for a genera
l heading. If you removed this detail
from the

paragraph, would it remain intact?

heck for headings that relate to each other: cause/effect;


Read the headings and skim a paragraph quickly. Make a decision quickly.

Expand the heading into a sentence. This might make the meaning clearer.

you find the general theme or focus of the paragraph, stop skimming and match


Once you have matched the headings, read them in order and see if


makes sense.

Exercise 1:

The reading passage has eight paragraphs A


Choose the correct heading for each paragraph from the list of headings
below. Write the correct numbers i

x next to the paragraphs.

List of Headings

i Holiday stress st


Stressful ‘perfect holidays’


Complex holiday preparations

iv Holiday


v Good

advice for happy holidays

vi A

mathematical model

vii Times

have changed


How to relax after a holiday

ix Delayed


x Physical

and psycholog
ical effects of

1 Paragraph A .......

2 Paragraph B .......

3 Paragraph C .......

4 Paragraph D .......

5 Paragraph E .......

6 Paragraph F .......

7 Paragraph G .......

8 Paragraph H .......


Formula explains why it takes so lon
g to relax on holiday


With so much to do, going on holiday is certainly no vacation. First there’s the
flight to arrange, then the hotel or villa to book, and that’s before you’ve sorted
out the delicate matter of the beach outfit, evening wear and readi
ng material.


For much of the year we fantasize about a long break from the relentless drive

of the everyday grind. But making our dream holiday a reality is what makes the
stress really kick in, so it is little wonder it takes most holidaymakers a good
days to relax after their arrival. No matter how idyllic the surroundings, there’s
no immediate way to simply forget all about work, the children’s schooling, the
leaking roof and all those other domestic issues we long to escape.


Susan Quilliam, ps
ychologist, body language expert, and regular TV and radio
commentator, states that stress creates actual changes in the body’s hormonal
balance, which in turn leads to a changed psychological state. She continues by
pointing out that stress caused by tryi
ng to arrange a holiday can be responsible
for these hormonal changes in the body and that this can lead to dramatic mood
alteration. These changes in mood can range from anxiety and irritability to a
range of more serious psychological problems including
mild depression.


As if that weren’t bad enough, Ms Quilliam goes on to say that these hormonal
changes do not rectify themselves immediately when the stressful situation is
removed. It can take the body a certain amount of time to regain its hormonal
stressed before the holiday, we may not be able to relax sufficiently to enjoy

often for several days after our arrival. We can be lying on a beach in
the sunshine but
feeling stressed!


So how many days of our holiday are going to be wasted recovering from
going on holiday? Is it worth going on holiday at all? To answer these questions,
we now have a formula to calculate the amount of holiday time needed to
recover fr
om the stress of preparing for what should be our annual period of rest
and recuperation. The formula, devised by Ms Quilliam, is calculated thus: time
spent preparing for the holiday, multiplied by the level of stress caused by the
preparation (on a scale

of 0 to 9), then divided by the stress level of the holiday
(on a scale of 1 to 15).The result is the number of recovery hours needed before
relaxation is possible.


Ms Quilliam points out that today’s pressurized lifestyles mean that going on
holiday i
s a lot more stressful. Taking a holiday is no longer a question of

catching a bus to the nearest seaside resort with your bucket and spade. We not
only have to organize foreign travel and negotiate long, complex journeys, we
nd work matters before we go. Add in potential
tension with travel partners and the psychological pressures of high expectations,
and by the time we arrive at our destination, we’re stressed to the max!


So according to Ms Quilliam, the secret to a stres
free holiday is planning,
choosing the right kind of holiday and having realistic expectations. This means
concluding any unfinished work in the office and ensuring the little ones are
sufficiently entertained during the trip. You must prepare and plan w
ell in
advance, don’t leave things to the last minute, make a list of the things that you
need to do, and cross them off one by one. If you feel it’s all too much, then
book an all
inclusive holiday where you are transferred to the hotel, you don’t
have to

negotiate lots of different restaurants with the children, and you have a
travel rep on hand to help you with any problems.

The results of a survey commissioned by Lloyds TSB bank and carried out by
Ms Quilliam have confirmed her theories; today’s holi
daymakers really are
stressed out. More than 83 percent of people surveyed admitted to getting
‘severely stressed’ in the run
up to their holiday. More than a quarter of people
admitted to needing the first few days of their holiday to recover. Some became

so anxious they left without making essential arrangements and forgot things
such as feeding the cat (11 per cent), taking out travel insurance (20 per cent),
and cancelling the milk (12 per cent). Amazingly, a tiny minority of travelers (a
little over 1
per cent) actually forgot to tell their bosses they were going on

Exercise 2: The reading passage has nine paragraphs A
I. Which paragraph
contains the following information?

1 What the investigation examined and how.

2 A conclusion drawn from
the findings by one scientist.

3 How cameras helped to find out about another kind of chimp behavior.


the roads.

5 An example of similar past behavior.



Scientists have discovered that groups of chimpanzees organize themselves to
cross the road safely, just like humans.


Scientists from the University of Stirling, Scotland carried out research on a
small chimp community in Guinea, West Afr
ica. They took video footage over a
month period of groups of chimps trying to cross two roads. The first was a
smaller one that was mostly used by pedestrians, but the second was a larger road
used by cars, lorries and motorbikes. It had only recent
ly been widened to carry
this amount of traffic.

What they found was that the strongest and most high
ranking male chimp
moved to the front of the group while the other adult males moved to the back. The
females and young chimps gathered between them.


In this way, the male chimps seemed to be protecting the more vulnerable
members of the group. On some occasions they were also seen to stand guard
while the rest of the group crossed the road, in much the same way as lollipop
people or the police in som
e countries help groups of children cross the road safely
near schools.


The scientists also measured how long the chimps took before crossing the road
and noted that they took least time on the smaller road, more time on the bigger
one and even longer w
hen the road was busy with traffic.


This protective behavior by stronger and less fearful male chimps had been seen
previously when the group travelled to waterholes or other potentially unsafe areas.
But this is the first time it has been witnessed on

The footage is believed to show how chimps can adapt to new environments
created by humans, and that they are able to react flexibly and play different roles
to improve their chances of survival when facing different kinds of danger.



to a researcher on the project, Kimberley Hockings, the findings also
show how ‘dominant individuals act cooperatively with a high level of flexibility
to maximize group protection’. This finding helps researchers understand how
human social behavior has

This video footage comes shortly after footage recently shown of chimps in the
Congo using tools to help them find food and varying the tools they use according
to the task in hand. This study was the first to make use of remote video
ing technology.

Tips& tricks

Stage 1

Check the instructions to find the word limit. It is usually one/two or three

always keep this in mind.

Skim the summary first to get an idea of the

overall meaning.

Work out the grammar needed to fill in each space.

Stage 2

Use collocation of words and ideas where possible to predict the answer
and then

check the text.

Predict using general words. For example, you may know that the blank is
a person.

Look for this in the passage.

he more aware you are of the general idea of the text, the closer your
answer will be.

Stage 3

Look at the text and match your words with words in the passage.

Be careful with any changes in the grammatical form of a word.

kim the summary again with your words in place to check the overall
meaning and then, if you have time, skim the text.


Exercise 1: You have to fill in the gaps of a summary of part of the text using
words from a box. There may be more words than you need

to use so you
need to find the part of the reading that refers to the summary and make sure
that you work out which word will fit. Look at the words in the table and
decide which word will fit in the reading gap fill summary.














The first time that an (1) _____ of air rage was recorded was in the 1940’s, but the
passenger was never actually charged for an offence because there were no clear
s in place to specify where to prosecute. It was later (2) _____ that it would be
the country where the plane is registered. Air rage has (3) _____ significantly since
this time, growing by a staggering 400% from 1995 to 1998. Air rage is (4) _____
to be a

major problem in the future as air travel increases, as do levels of
aggression. Angry (5) ______ can put everyone in danger including the pilots, the
crew and the other passengers, with some form of (6) _____ being the most
common consequence.

Air Rage

he first recorded case of an airline passenger turning seriously violent during a
flight, a phenomenon now widely known as “air rage”, happened in 1947 on a
flight from Havana to Miami. A drunk man assaulted another passenger and bit a
flight attendant. Ho
wever, the man escaped punishment because it was not then
clear under whose legal control a crime committed on plane was, the country
where the plane was registered or the country where the crime was committed. In
1963, at the Tokyo convention, it was deci
ded that the laws of the country where
the plane is registered take precedence.

The frequency of air rage has expanded out of proportion to the growth of air
travel. Until recently few statistics were gathered about air rage, but those that have
been indi
cate that passengers are increasingly likely to cause trouble or engage in

violent acts. For example, in 1998 there were 266 air rage incidents out of
approximately four million passengers, a 400% increase from 1995. In the same
period American Airlines sh
owed a 200% rise. Air travel is predicted to rise by 5%
internationally by 2010 leading to increased airport congestion. This, coupled with
the flying public’s increased aggression, means that air rage may become a major
issue in coming years.

Aside from
discomfort and disruption, air rage poses some very real dangers to
flying. The most extreme of these is when out of control passengers enter the
cockpit. This has actually happened on a number of occasions, the worst of which
have resulted in the death an
d injury of pilots or the intruder taking control of the
attempt to open the emergency doors while in flight, putting the whole aircraft in
danger. These are extreme examples and

cases of air rage more commonly result in
physical assaults on fellow passengers and crew such as throwing objects,
punching, stabbing or scalding with hot coffee.

Exercise 2:

Complete the sentences using NO MORE THAN THREE
WORDS from the text for each

1. The Martian rover is likely to show that the once regarded _____ may be true.


Volcanoes and wind help shape_____.

4. Small holes on the rock clearly indicate the ___
__ on Mars.

5. _____ are more likely to cause the formation of BB
size spherules.

6. The appearance of life depends on oxygen as well as on_____.

The Blueberries of Mars

delivers some h
ard evidence

Giovanni Schiaparelli could have told you there had been water on Mars. It was
Schiaparelli who peered through his telescope one evening in 1877 and discovered

what he took to be the Red Planet’s famous canals. As it turned out, the canals
e an optical illusion, but as more powerful telescopes and, later, spacecraft
zoomed in for closer looks, there was no shortage of clues suggesting that Mars
was once awash in water. Photographs shot from orbit show vast plains that
resemble ancient sea fl
oors, steep gorges that would dwarf the Grand Canyon and
sinuous surface scars that look an awful lot like dry riverbeds.

Given all that, why were NASA scientists so excited last week to announce that
one of their Mars rovers, having crawled across the pla
net for five weeks, finally
determined that Mars, at some point in its deep past, was indeed 'drenched’

to use
NASA’s term

with liquid water?

Part of their excitement probably stems from sheer failure fatigue. NASA has had
its share of setbacks in rece
nt years

including a few disastrous missions to Mars.
So, it was with some relief that lead investigator Steve Squayres announced that
the rover Opportunity had accomplished its primary mission. 'The puzzle pieces
have been falling into place,’ he told a

crowded press conference, 'and the last
piece fell into place a few days ago.’

But there was also, for the NASA team, the pleasure that comes from making a
genuine contribution to space science. For despite all the signs pointing to Mars’
watery past, unt
il Opportunity poked its instruments into the Martian rocks,
nobody was sure how real that water was. At least some of the surface formations
that look water carved could have been formed by volcanism and wind. Just two
years ago, University of Colorado re
searchers published a persuasive paper
quickly evaporated.

The experiments that put that theory to rest

and nailed down the presence of
water for good

were largely conducted o
n one 10
high, 65
wide rock
outcropping in the Meridiani Planum that mission scientists dubbed El Capitan.
The surface of the formation is made up of fine layers

called parallel laminations

he rock is also randomly
pitted with cavities called vugs that are created when salt crystals form in briny

water and then fall out or dissolve away.

support the visual evidence.
They show that it is rich in sulfates known to form in
the presence of water as well as a mineral called jarosite, which not only forms in
water but also actually contains a bit of water trapped in its matrix.

The most intriguing evidence comes in the form

of the BB
size spherules

'blueberries,’ as NASA calls them

scattered throughout the rock. Spheres like
these can be formed either by volcanism or by minerals accreting under water, but
the way the blueberries are mixed randomly through the rock

ot layered on top,
as they would have been after a volcanic eruption

strongly suggests the latter.

None of these findings are dispositive, but their combined weight persuaded
NASA scientists to summarize their findings in unusually explicit language. 'We

have concluded that the rocks here were soaked with liquid water,’ said Squayres
flatly. 'The ground would have been suitable for life.’

Does that mean that there was

or still is

life on Mars? The fossil record on Earth
suggests that given enough time

and oxygen, life will eventually emerge, but
there’s nothing in the current findings to prove that this happened on Mars.
Without more knowledge of such variables as temperature, atmosphere and the
length of time Martian water existed, we can’t simply ass
ume that what happened
on our planet would necessarily occur on another.

Opportunity and its twin robot Spirit are not equipped to search for life. Their
mission is limited to looking for signs of water. But there’s still a lot for them to
do. Just knowing

that rocks were wet doesn’t tell you if the water was flowing or
stationary if it melted down from ice caps or seeped up through the ground. And if
water was once there in such abundance, where did it go? Opportunity, which is
very likely to exceed its pl
anned 90
day mission, is already looking for those
answers, toddling off to investigate other rocks farther and farther from its landing
site. Spirit is conducting its own studies in Gusev Crater, on the opposite side of
the planet.

The next step

the sea
rch for life

will have to wait until 2013 or so. That is when

NASA has tentatively scheduled the first
round trip to Mars

a mission that will
llow those machines

President Bush’s January
announcement notwithstanding

is impossible to say.

Practice 3. Answering multiple
choice questions

Tips& tricks

Stage 1

Focus on co
ntent words like nouns, names, verbs, etc.

Stage 2

Group the alternatives. Look for information that the alternatives have in
common or

that is different.

emember that if alternatives are the same, neither can be the answer.

ping in mind the general picture of the passage, read the alternatives
and predict

the answer. Scan the passage to locate the answer and check
your prediction.

Exercise 1: Decide which of the alternatives is the correct answer and put the
appropriate le
tter in the space provided.


Environment has


created an impossible target.



given clear details of how to achieve a target.


given manuf


It can be inferred from the text that the disposal of

is on the decline.


paper and textiles.





glass and plastics.


'This mixture is useless to industry’ (paragraph 3). Th
is statement is


true for Britain but not for other countries.


a matter of disagreement.


the opinion of the author.


an established fact.


According to the text, recycling is only possible when


there is enough clean material.


there is a s
mall amount of clean material.


it is monitored by the government.


different schemes operate.


1 By 2000. half of the recoverable material in Britain's dustbins will be recycled

for the Environment. But he gave no clues as to how we should go about achieving
it While recycling enthusiasts debate the relative merits of different collection
systems, it will largely be new technology, and the opening
makes Pattern’s target attainable: a recycling scheme is successful only if
manufacturers use the recovered materials in new products that people want to buy.


About half, by weight, of the contents of the typical British dustbin i
s made
up of combustible materials. These materials comprise 33 per cent paper, 7 per
cent plastics (a growing proportion), 4 pet cent textiles and 8 per cent
miscellaneous combustibles.


Of the rest, hard non
combustibles (metals and glass) each make up
10 per cent, and 'putrescibles', such as potato peelings and cabbage stalks, account
for 20 per cent, although this proportion is decreasing as people eat more pre
prepared foods. The final fraction is fines

nameless dust This mixture is useless
industry, and in Britain most of it is disposed of in landfill sites suitable holes, such
as worked out quarries, in which the waste is buried under layers of soil and clay.

That still leaves about 40 per cent of the mixture

glass containers, plastics
, and
some paper and metal containers

as relatively clean when discarded. This dean
element is the main target for Britain’s recyclers.


The first question, then, is how best to separate the clean element from the
rest. The method of collection is impor
tant because manufacturers will not reuse
collected material unless it is clean and available in sufficient quantities. A
bewildering assortment of different collection schemes operates in the rest of
Europe, and pilot schemes arc now under way in many Bri
tish cities including
Leeds, Milton Keynes, Sheffield and Cardiff Sheffield, Cardiff and Dundee are
testing out alternatives as part of government monitored recycling project initiated
last year by Friends of the Earth.


We could almost halve the total we
ight of domestic waste going to landfill
by combination of collect schemes (such as doorstep collections for newspapers),

6 This estimate makes two important assumptions. One is tha
t the government 1
recycled materials, especially glass, paper and plastics. The other is that industry
will continue to introduce new technology that will improve both the pr
oducts and
the techniques used to separate materials from mixed refuse.

Exercise 2:

The Reading section measures your ability to understand
academic passages written in English. You will read one passage and answer
questions about it
Decide which of the

alternatives is the correct answer and

1. Which of the following can be inferred from paragraph 3 about the location of

a. The location of the impact site in Mexico was kept

secret by geologists from
1980 to 1990.

b. It was a well
known fact that the impact had occurred in the Yucatán region.

c. Geologists knew that there had been an impact before they knew where it had


d. The Yucatán region was chosen by geologists

as the most probable impact site
because of its climate.

had impacted Earth?

a. They discovered a large crater in the Yucatán region of Mexico.

b. They found a unique layer o
f sediment worldwide.

c. They were alerted by archaeologists who had been excavating in the Yucatán

d. They located a meteorite with a mass of over a trillion tons.

3. Which of the sentences below best expresses the essential information in the
lowing sentence?

that were unsuspected a few decades ago.

Incorrect choices change the meaning in important ways or leave out essential

a. Until recently, nobody
realized that Earth is exposed to unpredictable violent
impacts from space.

b. In the last few decades, the risk of a random violent impact from space has

c. Since most violent events on Earth occur randomly, nobody can predict when or
where the
y will happen.

in outer space.

4. According to the passage, who conducted investigations about the current






The United States Congress



sentence could be added to the passage in paragraph 6.


This is the criterion emphasized by Darwin’s theory of evoluti
on by natural

Where would the sentence best fit?

Impacts by meteorites represent one mechanism that could cause global
catastrophes and seriously influence the evolution of life all over the planet. (A)
According to some estimates, the majority
of all extinctions of species may be due
to such impacts. (B) Such a perspective fundamentally changes our view of
biological evolution. (C) The standard criterion for the survival of a species is its
success in competing with other species and adapting to

slowly changing
environments. (D) Yet an equally important criterion is the ability of a species to
survive random global ecological catastrophes due to impacts.

Choose the place where the sentence fits best.

a. Option A

b. Option B

c. Option C

d. Option

charts and diagrams

Tips& tricks

You may be asked to match: categories, names or dates with statements
which are paraphrases of the text, sentences which are paraphrases of
items in a list

Make sure you skim the whol

Tables are often quite long. Don’t panic

remember, if a set of questions
looks long, it

is usually because it is easy.

heck the grammar of the table/flowchart/diagram, i.e. is it in note form?

The chart is usually

in columns with headings. Check the types of words
of the other

tems in each column.

f you have a wordlist, follow the same procedure as for summaries. With
diagrams find a reference point and work slowly round the diagram.


Exercise 1:

There are both

advantages and disadvantages for Vodafone to bid
for AT&T Wireless. Label the following statements as: A

advantage, D


Negotiation with equipment vendors.


Profitability of AT&T Wireless.


Integration of networks.


Control of an A
merican operator.


Continental mobile roaming.


Premium needed to outbid.


Sell off Verizon’s shrinking and unattractive landline business.


Global brand.


The patchwork of TDMA, GSM and EDGE.

Mobile Telecommunications

With or without AT&T Wirel
ess, Vodafone now has a fight on its hand

The word 'dilemma’ is widely misused. It does not simply refer to a difficult
exactly what Vodafone, the world’s largest mobile telepho
ne operator, faced this
week as it debated whether to bid for AT&T Wireless, a struggling American firm
that recently put itself up for sale. With the deadline for bids set for February 13th,
there was j much speculation over Vodafone’s intentions as THE E
went to press.

But whether the firm decides to make a play for AT&T Wireless, it now has a fight
on its hands as it struggles to win control of an American mobile operator, an
essential component of its strategy to establish a dominant global bran

At the moment, Vodafone owns 45% of Verizon Wireless, the leading American
operator. The other 55% is owned by Verizon, a fixed
line telephone firm. This is
an anomaly: Vodafone usually has a controlling stake in its subsidiaries. So, it
would love to t
ake control of Verizon Wireless, or buy another operator outright, to

apply the Vodafone brand and integrate its American operations with those
overseas. Surely, then, a bid for AT&T Wireless would make perfect sense? Alas,
no. Worries about the impact of
such a deal have wiped $17 billion off Vodafone’s
market value. Shareholders and managers are divided over the merits of bidding.

The first objection is that to buy AT&T Wireless, Vodafone would have to sell its
stake in Verizon Wireless, worth around $30
billion, back to Verizon. It would
then find itself in a bidding war with Cingular, another operator which has already
made a cash bid of $30 billion for AT&T Wireless. Even if Vodafone wins, the tax
bill associated with selling it Verizon Wireless stake p
lus the premium needed to
outbid Cingular will probably add up to $5
10 billion. As Bob House of Adventis,
a consultancy, observes, that is a lot to pay to swap a minority stake in a very good
operator for a controlling stake in a much less good one

fone would receive far less income from its new American subsidiary; AT&T
Wireless is much less profitable than Verizon Wireless. It would also cost money
other countries. Veriz
C.DMA technology, which it is upgrading to provide high
speed broadband access.
AT&T Wireless, by contrast, has a complicated patchwork of old TDMA and
newer GSM and EDGE technologies. The appeal for Vod
afone is that these
that is currently impossible (though not, it must be said, of much concern
to most
subscribers). It would also increase Vodafone's clout when negotiating with GSM
equipment vendors.

Overall, buying AT&T Wireless would be expensive, difficult and risky which is
why many shareholders arc opposed. In a statement released on February

Vodafone announced that it continues to monitor developments in the US market
and is exploring whether a potential transaction with AT&T Wireless is in the
interests of its shareholders’. It would seem to be an open
shut case buying
AT&T Wireless

would destroy shareholder value. Cingular, in contrast, can cut

costs by merging its existing operations with those of AT&T Wireless, since it is
already operating in the American market. Vodafone cannot.

But the company's Sphinx
like statement could he r
ead both ways. For to win
control of an American operator, the alternative to bidding for AT&T Wireless is
not to do nothing: it is to attempt a $150 billion hostile takeover of Verizon, to win
control of Verizon Wireless. This could make buying AT&T Wire
less look like a
picnic in comparison. And even if Vodafone pulled off such a deal, it would then
have to sell off Verizon`s shrinking and unattractive landline business. I his is not

the company performed a similar maneuver in Japan

but it
is not
difficult to see why bidding for AT&T Wireless might look like the least bad

For Arun Sarin, who took over as Vodafone’s boss last July, the timing could
hardly be worse. Mr. Sarin was planning to concentrate on integrating Vodafone`s
ing businesses, and perhaps working on a deal to extract SFR, its French
associate, from the controlling clutches of Vivendi. Consolidation in the American
market was thought to be a year or two away. But now AT&T Wireless has forced
his hand. Ironically,
a big American deal, whatever form it takes, is just the sort of
thing that Sir Chris Gent, Mr. Sarin’s swashbuckling predecessor, would have

Practice 5. Answering True, False, Not Given questions

A False statement contradicts the information

in a passage:

because it is the direct opposite of the original text, e.g. the text says North, but

statement says South, because it is the negative of the meaning in the original
text, because it is neither of these, but it is not the same as the inf
ormation in the

Turn the statement into a question. You then have to answer Yes/No. If

you can’t, the

answer is Not Given.


ind the central or focal point of the statement. Imagine you are reading

the statement


where is the likely stress in t
he sentence?

ook for words that qualify the sentence or make the sentence restrictive
like only,

by the police, etc. or

impersonal phrases like it is suggested.

hen you are making your de
cision, follow the process of reading the
statement, then

the text.

f you read the statement, the text and then the statement again, you may

wrong answer.

hen you are thinking about the statement, use common sense to predict
the answer.

e 1: Do the following statements agree with the information given in
Reading Passage 1?

In boxes 1


if the statement agrees with the information


if the statement contradicts the information


if there is

no information on this


productive farming land.


Women were often the strongest campaigners for environmental reform.


Reducing urban air and water pollution in the early twenti
eth century was
extremely expensive.


The introduction of the car led to increased suburban development.


Suburban lifestyles in many western nations fail to take account of
environmental protection.


Many governments in the developed world are tryin
g to halt the spread of
the suburbs.


Reading Passage 1



While cities and their metropolitan areas have always interacted with and shaped
the natural

environment, it is only recently that historians have begun to consi
this relationship.

areas has increased, as the

spread of metropolitan populations and urban land uses
has reshaped and destroyed natural

landscapes and environments.


een the city and the natural environment has been circular,

with cities having massive effects on the natural environment, while the natural

in turn, has profoundly shaped urban configurations. Urban history is
filled with stories about

how ci
ty dwellers contended with the forces of nature that
threatened their lives. Nature not

only caused many of the annoyances of daily
urban life, such as bad weather and pests, but

it also gave rise to natural disasters
and catastrophes such as floods, fires
, and earthquakes.

In order to protect

defenses including flood walls and dams, earthquake
resistant buildings, and

places for food and water. At times, such protectiv
e steps sheltered
urbanites against the

worst natural furies, but often their own actions

such as
building under the shadow of

volcanoes, or in earthquake
prone zones

them to danger from natural hazards.


City populations require food, water,
fuel, and construction materials, while urban

need natural materials for production purposes. In order to fulfill these
needs, urbanites

increasingly had to reach far beyond their boundaries. In the
nineteenth century, for

instance, the demands
of city dwellers for food produced
rings of garden farms around cities.

In the twentieth century, as urban populations
increased, the demand for food drove the rise

of large factory farms. Cities also
require fresh water supplies to exist



waterworks, dug wells deeper

and deeper into the earth looking for groundwater, and

dammed and diverted rivers
to obtain water supplies for domestic and industrial uses. In the

process of
obtaining water from distant locales, cities often transformed them
, making

where there had been fertile agricultural areas.


Urbanites had to seek locations to dispose of the wastes they produced. Initially,
they placed

wastes on sites within the city, polluting the air, land, and water with
industrial and domes

effluents. As cities grew larger, they disposed of their
wastes by transporting them to more

distant locations. Thus, cities constructed
sewerage systems for domestic wastes. They

usually discharged the sewage into
neighboring waterways, often pollutin
g the water supply

of downstream cities.

air and the land also became dumps for waste disposal. In the late nineteenth

coal became the preferred fuel for industrial, transportation, and domestic
use. But while

providing an inexpensive and plen
tiful energy supply, coal was also
very dirty. The cities that

used it suffered from air contamination and reduced
sunlight, while the cleaning tasks of

householders were greatly increased.


In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, reformers
began demanding

environmental cleanups and public health improvements. Women's groups
often took the

lead in agitating for clean air and clean water, showing a greater
concern than men in regard

to quality of life and health
related issues. The
cement of the horse, first by electric

trolleys and then

by the car, brought

sanitation. The movements
demanding clean air, however, and reduction of waterway

pollution was largely
unsuccessful. On balance,
urban sanitary conditions were probably


often was the exploitation of urban hinterlands for water supplies, increased

downstream water pollution, and growing auto
mobile congestion and pollution.


In the decades after the 1940s, city environments suffered from heavy pollution as


sought to cope with increased automobile usage, pollution from industrial
production, new

stes of an increasingly

economy. Cleaner fuels and smoke control laws largely freed
cities during the 1940s and

1950s of the dense smoke that they had previously
suffered from. Improved urban air quality

resulted largely from the substitu
tion of
natural gas and oil for coal and the replacement of

the steam locomotive by the
electric. However, great increases in automobile usage in

some larger cities
produced the new phenomenon of smog, and air pollution replaced smoke

as a
major con


During these decades, the suburban out
migration, which had begun in the

century with commuter trains and streetcars and accelerated because of
the availability and

convenience of the automobile, now increased to a torrent,
putting major

strains on the

To a great extent, suburban layouts

ignored environmental considerations, making
little provision for open space, producing

endless rows of resource
consuming and
dependent law
ns, contaminating

groundwater through leaking septic
tanks, and absorbing excessive amounts of fresh water

and energy. The growth of
the outer city since the 1970s reflected a continued preference on

the part of many
people in the western world for space
ntensive single
family houses

by lawns, for private automobiles over public transit, and for the development of


protection, urban life will, as it has in the past
, continue to damage
and stress the natural


Exercise 2: Do the following statements agree with the information given in
Reading Passage 2?

In boxes 1


if the statement agrees with the information


f the statement contradicts the information


if there is no information on this



In the 19th century, researchers studied their own children’s language.


Attempts to elicit very young children’s opinions about language are likely
to fail.


Radio microphones are used because they enable researchers to
communicate with a

number of children in different rooms.


Many children enjoy the interaction with the researcher.

Reading Passage 2



For over 200 years, t
here has been an interest in the way children learn to speak
and understand their first language. Scholars carried out several small
scale studies,
especially towards the end of the 19th century, using data, they recorded in parental
diaries. But detailed,

systematic investigation did not begin until the middle decades
of the 20th century, when the tape recorder came into routine use. This made it
possible to keep a permanent record of samples of child speech, so that analysts
could listen repeatedly to obs
description. Since then, the subject has attracted enormous multidisciplinary interest,
and experimental techniques t
o study the process of language acquisition in depth.


Central to the success of this rapidly emerging field lies the ability of researchers
problems that have to be faced are

quite different from those encountered when
working with adults. Many of the linguist’s routine techniques of enquiry cannot be
used with children. It is not possible to carry out certain kinds of experiments,
because aspects of children’s cognitive devel

such as their ability to pay
attention, or to remember instructions

may not be sufficiently advanced. Nor is it
virtually impossible below the age of three. And any
one who has tried to obtain even
the most basic kind of data

a tape recording of a representative sample of a child’s

knows how frustrating this can be. Some children, it seems, are innately

programmed to switch off as soon as they notice a tape

recorder being switched on.


Since the 1960s, however, several sophisticated recording techniques and
experimental designs have been devised. Children can be observed and recorded
through one
vision windows or using radio microphones, so that the eff
ects of
having an investigator in the same room as the child can be eliminated. Large
recorded for several years. Attention has been paid to devising experimental
techniques tha
t fall well within a child’s intellectual level and social experience.
Even pre
linguistic infants have been brought into the research: acoustic techniques
are used to analyze their vocalizations, and their ability to perceive the world around
them is moni
tored using special recording equipment. The result has been a growing
body of reliable data on the stages of language acquisition from birth until puberty.


There is no single way of studying children’s language. Linguistics and
psychology have each brou
ght their own approach to the subject, and many
children engage, and the great age range that they present. Two main research
paradigms are found.


One of these is known as ‘n
aturalistic sampling’. A sample of a child’s
spontaneous use of language is recorded in familiar and comfortable surroundings.
One of the best places to make the recording is in the child’s own home, but it is not
always easy to maintain good acoustic qual
ity, and the presence of the researcher or
the recording equipment can be a distraction (especially if the proceedings are being
filmed). Alternatively, the recording can be made in a research center, where the
child can play freely with toys while talking

to parents or other children, and the
observers and their equipment are unobtrusive.


A good quality, representative, naturalistic sample is generally considered an ideal
samples are informative about speech production, but they give little guidance about
children’s comprehension of what they hear around them. Moreover, samples cannot
contain everything, and they can easily miss some important features of a child’s

ic ability. They may also not provide enough instances of a developing
feature to enable the analyst to decide about the way the child is learning.

For such reasons, the description of samples of child speech must be supplemented


The ot
experimental psychology have been widely applied to child language research. The
investigator formulates a specific hypothesis about children’s ability to use or
understand an aspect of langu
age and devises a relevant task for a group of subjects
to undertake. A statistical analysis is made of the subjects’ behavior, and the results
provide evidence that supports or falsifies the original hypothesis.


Using this approach, as well as other met
hods of controlled observation,
researchers have come up with many detailed findings about the production and
comprehension of groups of children. However, it is not easy to generalize the
findings of these studies. What may obtain in a carefully controlle
apply in the rush of daily interaction. Different kinds of subjects, experimental
situations, and statistical procedures may produce different results or interpretations.
Experimental research is therefore a slow, painstaking business; it

may take years
before researchers are convinced that all variables have been considered and a
finding is genuine.





The Writing test consists of two tasks. Candidates of both Academic and
in about 20 minutes and 40 minutes respectively. The Writing test comes after the
Listening and Reading tests with a ten

While all candid
ates take the same Listening and Speaking tests, they sit
different Reading and Writing tests, depending on whether they have selected the
Academic Module or the General Training Module. These two do not carry the
same weight and are not interchangeable. O
verall, Tasks 1 of the two modules are
quite different, but Tasks 2 are alike.

Task 1 of the General Training Module

words in response to a situation or problem. Typical situations

center round
arrangements and/or explaining a situation. All of these are fairly similar tasks
which can be written in informal, semi
formal, or formal styles.

Task 1 of the Acad
emic Module

Task 1 of this module asks candidates to write a descriptive report of at least
150 words on some graphic or pictorial information in their own words, usually for
a university lecturer. The tasks may include describing trends in a graph or link
s in

Task 2 of both modules

Tasks 2 of both the Academic Module and the General Training Module are
the same. Candidates are asked to write a short essay of a minimum of 250 words
about 40 minutes. The essay is usually a discussion of a subject of general
solutions to a problem, or speculate about future trends.

The writing tasks assess whether a cand
idate meets the requirements based on his
or her ultimate goal of taking the test. However, the Academic Module expects the

more formal requirements of a higher education establishment as is generally
demanded in an academic context.



The IELTS Writing tasks are scored based on how the candidate responds on
these four marking criteria:


Task Response

how accurately the task is addressed.


Coherence and Cohesion

how organized the writing is.


Lexical Resource

how large the
stock of vocabulary is.


Grammatical Range and Accuracy

how varied and accurate his/her
grammar is.

Generally, your task will be marked from 1 to 9 on the four areas mentioned
above. Task 2 writing is more important than that of Task 1; hence, to cal
culate the
final writing mark, more weight is assigned to the Task 2 mark than to the Task 1
mark. To get a good overall mark though, both tasks have to be well answered. So,
do not hold back on Task 1, or give yourself too little time to answer it properl



The following study hints will help you in the weeks leading up to the
IELTS test.


Grammatical range and accuracy

You should take this marking criterion into consideration. You are expected
to be able to use a
wide range of structures with full flexibility and accuracy. The
aspects of grammar include correct grammar, unity and coherence, brevity and
appropriateness, varieties and complexities of sentence structures, and correct use
of punctuation.


Correct gra

The IELTS writing requires the standard written form of the language. You must,
therefore, be able to use your English precisely and accurately.


Let us now review some common problems that non
native writers have
made when writing in English.


nce fragments

A sentence fragment fails to be a sentence in the sense that it cannot stand by
itself. It does not contain even one independent clause. There are several reasons
why a group of words may seem to act like a sentence, but not have the


The doctor worked round the clock.
Operating on the boy
. (It lacks a subject
and a finite verb.)


many students
want to pass the IELTS test
. (There are two finite

These sentences can be cor
rected as follows:

The doctor worked round the clock, operating on the boy.

There are many students who want to pass the IELTS test. /Many students
want to pass the IELTS test.


on sentences

A run
on sentence consists of two or more main clauses th
without proper punctuation. We often speak in run
on sentences, but we make
pauses and change our tone, so people can understand us. But when we write, no
that they do not sound run


Rodin is a world
famous artist
his sculptures can be found

in many museums
and art galleries. (It has no punctuation.)

“Sesame Street” has been called the longest street in the world
, it can be

in so many par
ts of the world. (It is wrongly punctuated.)

These sentences can be corrected as follows:

Rodin is a world
famous artist. His sculptures can be found in many


museums and

galleries. /Rodin is a world
famous artist, whose sculptures
can be found in many
museums and galleries.

“Sesame Street” has been called the longest street in the world. It can be
seen in so many parts of the world. / “Sesame Street”, the longest street in
the world, can be seen in so many parts of the world. / “Sesame Street”,
which ha
parts of the world.


Dangling participles

Dangling participles are tricky words or phrases that change the meaning of
a sentence so that we do not say exactly what we intend. The dan
gling participle is
an error in sentence structure whereby a grammatical modifier is associated with a
word other than the one intended. For example, a writer may have meant to modify
the subject, but word order makes the modifier seem to modify an object
Such ambiguities can lead to unintentional humor or difficulty in understanding a


Having conducted a comprehensive investigation, some analysis is being
done to find the cause of the problem.

Turning round the corner, an old ch
urch appeared in front of us.

These sentences can be corrected as follows:

Having conducted a comprehensive investigation, we are doing some
analysis to find the cause. of the problem.

Turning round the corner, we saw an old church in front of us. /When w
turned the corner, an old church appeared in front of us.


Verb disagreement

One of the most common and simple errors in English grammar is the
for a singular

subject and vice versa.


For example, you cannot write:

The endless credits at the beginning and end of the film confuses the

nstead, you should 'write:

The endless credits at the beginning and end of the film confuse the



and coherence


means oneness

oneness of thought and purpose. In order for a
sentence to have unity: 1) its ideas must be closely related; 2) the relationship of its
statements must be clear; and 3) the statements must compose only one thought.


refers to a certain characteristic or aspect of writing. Coherence
in writing means that all the ideas in a sentence flow smoothly from one idea to the
next thanks to the effective use of connectors. With coherence, the reader has an
easy time unders
tanding the ideas that the writer wishes to express.

The following sentences lack unity and coherence:

The committee first received many proposals from the local people and then
an investigation began. (This sentence lacks unity because the ideas are not
losely related.)

are not parallel.) Having finished the typing, she gave it to her boss for
signature. (The referent is ambiguous.)

Bac Kan is an inland province. Quang Ninh is a

coastal province. (It lacks a
connector to make it coherent.)


Brevity and appropriateness


means writing concisely and avoiding redundancy.

implies suitable writing styles (formal vs. informal).


The sentences below are wrongly



Environment is equally as important as genetic factors in the child’s
development, (redundancy) The local government has taken many measures
that are effective and

made several policies that are practical to alleviate the
traffic problem in this city, (redundancy)

We are pretty sure that the delay was due to the shortage of baggage
handlers, (inappropriateness)


Writing that contains mostly simple sentences can be uninteresting or even
irritating to read. Conversely, writing that consists of mostly complex sentences is
usually difficult to read. Good writers, therefore, use a wide range of structures.
They also oc
casionally start complex or compound
complex sentences with the
dependent clause and not the independent clause.

Look at the wide range of structures used in the examples below:


Cleft sentences

President Franklin D. Roosevelt was a man confined to the w
heelchair, but it


Prepositional phrases

Only 2.2kg of protein can be lost without death occurring.

With regard to driving, the laws of some countries are notoriously lax and
even the strictest are not strict eno


Participial phrases

They have conducted investigation after investigation, thereby obtaining an
enormous amount of data.



Not only did they lose all their money but also came close to losing their




Today, as an ol
d order passes, the new world is

but less stable.


Earth provides enough for every man’s need, but not for every man’s greed.

There is no objective reality which can be looked at objectively.



We are living in

a highly challenging world, and we are to be always ready
to challenge challenges.

According to the information available to us, the success of our task depends
on the availability of money.


written expressions that you should imitate:

It goes wit
hout saying that the state
run enterprises should try every means
to improve their quality and services in order to survive in the economic

Supposing you wanted to buy a washing machine, it is more than likely that
you would obtain details r
egarding performance, price, etc. from an advertisement.


Correct use of punctuation

Misuse of punctuation is very common. In fact, punctuation is powerful

one punctuation mark can change the whole meaning of a sentence.



A parag
raph is a basic unit of organization in writing in which a group of
sentences develops one main idea. This general idea is expressed in a topic
sentence, and four or five supporting sentences will expand this idea by giving
explanations, details and/or exa
mples to support the main idea. The number of
supporting sentences in a paragraph can vary. The concluding sentence in a
paragraph indicates that the paragraph is ending and summarizes important points
to remember or reprises the main idea. Those are the t
hree parts of a paragraph.

In addition to the three parts of a paragraph, a good paragraph must also
have two important elements: unity and coherence.



Unity means that all the supporting sentences in a paragraph discuss
one and only one main idea (contr
olling idea) stated in the topic sentence.

Look at the example below:

bound to depend on other living creatures, ultimately plants, for its food supply; it
must also d
epend upon the activities of other plants for a continued oxygen supply
for its respiration. Apart from these two basic relationships, it may be affected
directly or indirectly in countless different ways by other plants and animals
around it. Other animal
may provide shelter, concealment or nesting material, and so on. There are
animal will produce its own effects on th
e surrounding plants and animals: some it
may eat or destroy, for others it will provide food; and through its contribution of
manure, it may influence the texture and fertility of the soil. Many farmers now use
chemical fertilizers.

In this paragraph, a
ll the sentences support the main idea (No living creature,
this main idea; that is, all plants and animals can survive thanks to their
dependence on each other. But the m
idsentence (There are difficulties that animals
use chemical fertilizers.) are irrelevant. They mention quite different ideas:
animals’ difficulties in building their nests a
nd farmers’ use of chemical fertilizers.
The unity of this paragraph is, therefore, violated.


Coherence means that your paragraph is easy to read and understand
because your supporting sentences are put in logical order, and your ideas are
connected by
the use of appropriate transition signals.

Transition signals are used to join sentences, idea groups and sections

Look at the example below:


four reasons. It costs
the two cities is $78. Travelling by bus gives her a closer look at cities and
he big
cities of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Fort Wayne. Vilma finds that passengers on
the bus are often closer to her own age. They are easy to talk with on the shared
travel adventure. Many airline passengers are businessmen who keep busy with
their w
ork while flying. Riding a bus allows Vilma to explore any stop along the
way. Once she got off the bus on a small town in Indiana and spent the night with a
girlfriend. The next day she took another bus to Chicago. Vilma usually prefers
buses instead of p
lanes unless she has to get somewhere in a hurry.

This paragraph is difficult to understand due to the lack of transition words
or phrases. It will become easier to follow after the transition signals (in boldface)
are added to lead the reader from one i
dea to the next. Transition words and
they act as signposts that help the reader follow the moveme
nt of the discussion.
You should try to use transition signals appropriately and effectively to increase
your band score.


Topic sentence

The topic sentence is the main sentence of a paragraph, which describes its
content and direction. It has two import
ant functions. It details the controlling idea
of the paragraph. It also sets the tone for the organization of the supporting
sentences that further explain the concept established by the topic sentence.
Therefore, every topic sentence has two parts: a top
ic and a controlling idea. The
topic is usually the subject of the sentence while the controlling idea is the
predicate of the sentence.

Although topic sentences may appear anywhere in a paragraph, in academic
essays, they often appear at the beginning.


opic sentence:

Divorce is viewed differently by Americans and Japanese.


1. Attitudes of Americans 2.

Attitudes of Japanese


Divorce is viewed differently by Americans and Japanese. To
Americans, the happiness of the individual is

important. To Japanese, the needs
of the community and society take precedence. Thus, divorced American women
can remarry easily. There is no stigma attached to divorce. But to Japanese,
divorce is a sign of character weakness and immaturity. A divorc
ed woman in
Japan faces all kinds of social prejudice.


Supporting sentences

Supporting sentences have the following features:

They should directly be tied to the topic sentence.

There are 2
4 sentences in a paragraph.

They develop the main idea

They are arranged in logical order.

They should be proven by using enumeration, exemplification, comparison
and/or contrast, cause
effect relationship, classification, definition, time order
(usually first to last), or even space order (far to ne
ar, near to far), just about
anything, as long as it serves the writer’s purpose.



Tasks 2 of both the Academic Module and the General Training Module are
the same. Candidates are asked to write a short essay of a minimum of 250 words

about 40 minutes. The essay is usually a discussion of a subject of general
solutions to a problem, or speculate about future trends.

A well
organized essay has three parts
: an introductory paragraph, body
paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph. Organization of an essay:


Introduction (3
4 sentences):

a. General statements to lead in

b. Thesis statement

Body (2
4 paragraphs):

Paragraph 1: Topic sentence

a. 1st supporting se

b. 2nd supporting sentence

Paragraph 2: Topic sentence

a. 1st supporting sentence

b. 2nd supporting sentence

Paragraph 3: Topic sentence

Conclusion (2
4 sentences):




supporting sentence


2nd supporting sentence



Clear transition signal


Restate or paraphrase the thesis statement


Conclude or summarize main points of the essay


Comment/Final thought: give the reader

something to think about

Practice 1. Report Writing


An Introduction to Report Writing

Basically, Task 1 of the Academic Module asks you to describe some
information presented in a visual format (graph, chart, table or diagram). You must
write at leas
t 150 words.

The main features given in the graph, chart, table or diagram must be reported in
your description, or you will lose marks. You will also lose marks if you provide
your personal opinion or do not write the required number of words.


The Layo
ut of a Report Passage


A report passage can be presented in an indented style or a block style.


Types of Charts

Overall, candidates will be asked to describe some information presented in
a visual format such as pie charts, bar charts, tables, line grap


The Structure of a Report Passage

The information given in a visual format must be presented accurately and
coherently (i.e. the paragraphs should be linked by sentences that are logically
connected with one another). Especially, the organizati
on is of logical
paragraphing with an introductory paragraph, body paragraphs, and a concluding

Your report passage should consist of three parts:

1. Introduction: 1 paragraph (1
2 sentences)

The introductory sentence(s) explain(s) what you ar
e describing.

2. Body:

4 paragraphs

When discussing the date presented in the task, identify significant trends
and give examples that relate directly to the given information to support your
statements. If you are explaining a process or an object and h
ow it works, you need
to group your information so that it follows a definite logical order. Remember that
the use of verbs expressed in the present (present simple or present perfect) passive
voice is often appropriate when giving a description of a proce
ss or procedure. The
secret here is to select what is important, organize it, and compare and/or contrast.

3. Conclusion

1 paragraph (1
2 sentences)

The conclusion should sum up the global trends shown on the figure and
compare them if



5. Sa
mple essays

Sample 1

The chart gives figures for the sales of eight different items in two London
bakeries on a

typical Saturday in 2010.

Overall, it can be seen that doughnuts were the most popular item in both bakeries.

For Bernie's Buns, nearly 140 do
nuts were sold every Saturday. This figure was
about 7 times

more than the number of salads sold (19). The second and third
bestselling item was cookies

and cakes, at around 118 and 102 items sold
respectively. Rolls and crisps both sold equally

well at ab
ove 70 items sold.

Lovely Loaves sold nearly 20 fewer doughnuts than Bernie's Buns at around 120.
Its lowest

selling item was toasted sandwiches (22). While Bernie's Buns sold
more of most of the items

as compared to Lovely Loaves, Lovely Loaves sold
tly more fresh loaves (50 vs. 40).

Furthermore, Lovely Loaves sold more than three times the number of salads as
compared to

Bernie's Buns, at around 62 and 18 respectively.


Sample 2

The diagrams highlight the steps involved in producing cement and the

process by

There are six stages in the former process from the mixing of two raw materials to

packaging the cement and two stages in the latter process that involves four

The first stage is that lime
stone and clay are crushed, which produces
powder. This powder is

mixed in a mixer and then moves through a rotating heater.
Subsequently, the material is

heated with fire. The following step is that the
mixture moves along a conveyor belt and is

then grou
nd through a grinder, which
produces cement. Finally, the cement is packed into

bags and transported to the
construction site where it is used to make concrete.

15% cement


10% water. Once these materials have been added, the mixer



Exercise 1.

Exercise 2.


Practice 1. Essay writing


Task Requirements

In this task, you need to write an academic
style essay on a single topic
ven. You have no choices here

you must write only about the one topic

prepare yourself with strategies to write a well
organized essay on a variety of
subject areas. You may need to offer solutions to a problem, express an opinion, or
comment on ide
as or arguments presented.

Your essay should be about four or five paragraphs in length, with an
points, but a properly
organized essay, written in full sentences.


The ess
ay organization

When you are writing a Task 2 answer, a structure based on the following
elements could be used: an introductory paragraph, body paragraphs, and a
concluding paragraph.

Below is the basic essay organization:

Introduction (3
4 sentences)


general statements


a thesis statement

Body (2
4 paragraphs)

Paragraph 1:


a topic sentence which is the main point of the paragraph (including an
appropriate connective word)


supporting sentence 1 (logical inference)


supporting sentence
2 (examples)


supporting sentence 3, etc.

Paragraph 2:


a topic sentence which is the main point of the paragraph (including an
appropriate connective word)


supporting sentence 1 (logical inference)



supporting sentence 2 (examples)


porting sentence 3, etc.

Paragraph 3:


a topic sentence which is the main point of the paragraph (including an
appropriate connective word)


supporting sentence 1 (logical inference)


supporting sentence 2 (examples)


supporting sentence 3,


Conclusion (2
4 sentences)


a connective word


a summary of the main points, or a restatement of your thesis in different


your final comment on the subject based on the information proved before



The introduction is the
first paragraph of an essay. It introduces the essay
and arouses the reader's interest.



the topic

the aspect of the topic being dealt with

the stand (attitude) taken by the writer to th
e topic

In other words, the introduction actually contains the conclusion.


Parts of the introduction

The introduction usually has two parts:

General statements: These give the reader the background information about
the topic of an essay. They should
lead the reader gradually from a general idea to
a very’ specific idea.

A thesis statement: This introduces the main idea of an essay. A thesis
statement is like an answer to the question your paper explores. It provides your
reader with a “guide” to you
r argument.




A person born in the late twentieth century has seen a lot of changes taken place in
almost all areas of human life. Some people are excited by the challenges that these
changes offer; others want to return to the simple
r, less automated lifestyle of the
past. Living in the modem world has certain advantages such as a higher standard
of living, but it also has some disadvantages such as a polluted environment, the
depersonalization of human relationships, and the weakenin
g of spiritual values.



The body is at the heart of an essay. It contains several paragraphs. The
purpose of the body is to explain, illustrate, discuss or prove the thesis statement.
There are three things to remember when writing developmental
paragraphs in the


Each paragraph in the body discusses one aspect of the main topic.


The controlling idea in the developmental paragraph should echo the central
idea in the thesis statement.


The developmental paragraphs should have coherenc
e and unity.



is a developing country and tries to import as many goods as possible to serve our
society. But if he quantity of imports is much greater than th
e quantity of exports,
we have to go into debt or depend heavily on other countries. In this case, our
economy will be controlled, and obviously it will not be able to run efficiently and
effectively. On the other hand, if the quantity of exports is greatl
y more than the
quantity of imports, that means we do not efficiently use what we earn from other

countries to serve our society. In this sense, it wastes the earnings.

Secondly, exportation should concentrate on the goods we have the greatest
advantages t
o produce. Considering our society’s real situation, labor
products such as textiles, handicrafts, and so on, should be given priority as
exports. If we do not consider our advantages, maybe our exported products will
have no competitive value in


Thirdly, concerning importation, it is necessary to import technology rather than
consumer goods. Today’s technology plays a major role in developing the
economy. If we import consumer goods, after
consuming them we have to import
again. But if we import technology, we can apply it in our manufacture and
economy can be improved fast and efficiently.



The conc
lusion is the last paragraph of an essay.


Jobs of the conclusion

The conclusion does three things:

It signals the end of the essay.

It summarizes the main points or restates the thesis in different words.

It leaves the reader with the writer’s tho
ught on the subject. A conclusion,
however, should not bring up a new topic.


Parts of the conclusion

The conclusion has two parts:

The concluding sentences

The final thoughts

The concluding sentences

form the first part of the conclusion.

ize the main points or restate the thesis in different words.


Conclusion transition signals


The first sentence in a conclusion usually begins with a conclusion transition
signal such as in brief, in conclusion, in summary, in short, to sum up, etc.



Many nations are facing massive traffic congestion in their cities. This both makes
travel difficult and causes environmental damage. In order to solve this problem, it
is necessary to establish alternative transport systems such as rail
ways. In my
opinion, the best way to finance the development of public transport is to tax car

The conclusion can weigh the pros and cons of the issue:



Encourage people to use public transport


Reduce the number of cars on the road



down on traffic jams/pollution


Save fossil fuels


More money to develop infrastructure



Not door
door service like cars


People like owning cars.


Increased taxes are always unpopular.


Cheap railways would lose money and need stat
e subsidies.


Although taxing private cars would be an unpopular short
term measure, it would
eventually solve the problem of road congestion. Cheap railways and expensive
cars are undoubtedly in the public interest. However, it is unlikely that

government has the political will necessary to bring in measures which would
undoubtedly alienate influential groups within society.



Sample essays

Sample 1.

In some countries young people are encouraged to work or travel for a year
inishing high school and starting university studies. Discuss the
advantages and disadvantages for young people who decide to do this.

In various nations around the world, many people advocate taking a gap year in
order to work or travel before beginning o
ne’s tertiary education. While this
offers a few advantages,
there are

also some disadvantages which are worth

There are two main benefits to students travelling or working before their

education. Firstly, through travelling, they w
ill be able to expand
their horizons. When

students go overseas, they will be exposed to different
cultures and customs. As a result, they

will gain a deeper understanding of the

world. In addition, students who work will learn to

appreciate the value of
oney. This is because they will realize the hard work involved in

money. Consequently, they would think more before purchasing anything they

and may become less impulsive in their spending.

On the other hand, various drawbacks may be noted.
In the first place,
travelling could cause

people to feel homesick. Many students have not been
apart from their family and friends

before so when they travel, they may miss
these people. In extreme circumstances, students

may even become depressed.
onally, students who work may not want to return to their studies. The
reason for this is that they may enjoy earning money and becoming financially
independent. Therefore, their whole future could be negatively affected as these
days it is very important
for everyone to graduate with a degree in order to be
competitive in the
job market

In conclusion, if students take a gap year, they could gain invaluable experience
and learn to

become more independent in relation to money. However, they
may also become

nd end up not continuing their studies. Therefore,
it is necessary to weigh the benefits against the drawbacks carefully before

on such an adventure.

Sample 2.

In some countries the a
verage weight of people is increasing, and their levels of
health and fitness are decreasing. What do you think are the causes of these
problems and what measures could be taken to solve them?

In many nations around the world, declining health and a lack o
f fitness are
becoming very

common among people. There are a number of causes of this,
but certain measures could be

taken to alleviate this problem.

There are several causes of this situation. The main one is that technological

have resulted
in a sedentary lifestyle. Because of the prevalent
use of computers and vehicles, it is no longer necessary to move around much.
This leads to people becoming overweight, which also adversely affects their
health and fitness. In addition, people are consum

food nowadays. For example, fast food, junk food and processed canned food
have become extremely popular due to people’s chronic busyness. Such food
results in a lot of health problems if it is consumed in large quantities.

s possible courses of action could be taken in order to tackle the above.
In the first

place, the government could launch a nationwide campaign to raise
awareness about the

importance of eating healthily and exercising. For instance,
advertisements by the
ministry of

health about the dangers of eating junk food
and not exercising should be regularly shown on

television and the internet.
Another way forward could be for schools to prohibit unhealthy

food from being sold in schools. If schools start to ban to
o much fried food or
food that is

high in sugar and salt, students will be forced to eat a more
balanced and healthy diet at

school. The result is that health would improve

In conclusion, various factors have led to problems related to health

and fitness,
but this


situation could be addressed by the launch of a health and fitness campaign and

mplementation of effective regulations to limit the sale of unhealthy food in
schools. Given

this situation, it is recommended that steps should be
immediately in order to ensure

that the health and fitness of the people in the
country improves.

Exercise 1.
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. Write about the
following topic:

The first car appeared on British roads in 1888.
By the year 2000 there may
be as

many as 29 million vehicles on British roads.

Alternative forms of transport should be encouraged and international laws

introduced to control car ownership and use.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Give reasons fo
r your answer and include any relevant examples from your
knowledge or experience. Write at least 250 words.

Exercise 2.
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. Write about the
following topic:

The threat of nuclear weapons maintains world peace.
Nuclear power
provides cheap

and clean energy.

The benefits of nuclear technology far outweigh the disadvantages.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your
knowledge or experience. W
rite at least 250 words.

Exercise 3.
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. Write about the
following topic:

Some people argue that capital punishment is good for a country. To what

extent do you agree or disagree?

Give reasons for your answer

and include any relevant examples from your
knowledge or experience. Write at least 250 words.

Exercise 4.
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. Write about the
following topic:

encouraged. Others believe

that children who are taught to co
more useful adults.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your
e or experience. Write at least 250 words.





The IELTS Speaking test is the same for both the Academic and General
Training modules. It is different from the other parts of the IELTS test because it is
a one
one interaction between a candidate and an examiner. The three parts of
the test give the candidate the opportunity to use a wide range of speaking skills.
The Speaking test is recorded.

The following table is the format of the IELTS Speaking test:



Task description

Part 1

and Interview


The examiner introduces himself / herself
and confirms the candidate’s identity by
asking questions about the candidate. Next,
the examiner asks the candidate about
familiar topic fra

Part 2

Individual Long


The examiner asks the candidate to speak
for 1

2 minutes on a particular topic.
Information is given on a card and the
candidate has 1 minute to prepare before he
/ she starts. The examiner asks one or two
questions after the candidate’s presentation.

Part 3



The examiner invites the candidate to
participate in a discussion of a more abstract
topic related to the topic on the card in Part

The IELTS Speaking test has been

designed to test your ability to engage in a
conversation and to test how well you can communicate your thoughts and


The IELTS Speaking test is the shortest of the components of the IELTS test

only 11 to 14 minutes. In this short time, you hav
e to convince the examiner who
will be speaking with you of your level of English.

As you have seen in the table above, the Speaking test is divided into 3 parts:

Part 1

involves general introduction. Here, the examiner checks that he or she has
the right
person by confirming the candidate’s name, origin, and identification.
This part is also designed to help the candidate relax and it takes only a few
seconds. Then, the examiner asks the candidate about familiar topics in life such as
his/her country, home

town, family, studies/jobs, free
time activities, future plans,

Part 2

is the individual long turn talk. It provides an opportunity for the
candidate to deliver a long, uninterrupted response. The examiner will g
ive the
candidate a cue card with a subject such as education, family, work, interests, and
lifestyle and some cues or a few guiding questions on the card. These questions are
short, and the structure of the questions is simple. The candidate must talk for

1 to
2 minutes on this subject. He or she is expected to demonstrate an ability to
construct a long sample of English. The examiner will assess the candidate’s
fluency, coherence, range of structures, pronunciation, and vocabulary.

The candidate has an op
tional 1 minute in order to prepare for his/her talk
and is provided with some paper and a pencil in order to make some brief notes.
After the candidate’s talk, the examiner will ask 1 or 2 brief questions in order to
finish off this part which takes about

4 minutes.

Part 3
is the most complex testing part. Here, the examiner will prompt and
lead the candidate to a series of questions on the topic spoken about in Part 2. You
will be scored on how effectively you can develop the abstract ideas on the IELT
test. These questions and discussions may take 4 or 5 minutes. Note that in Part 1
of the Speaking test, questions cannot be changed or reworded. In Part 3,there is
more flexibility. If the candidate does not understand a word in the question, or the
stion itself, it is possible for the candidate to ask for repetition or clarification.


Overall, try to stick to the topic in this specific part of the IELTS test. This is
the section where the examiner will really try to get an understanding of your
dge. Be sure to use proper grammar and accents when appropriate.


Marking Criteria

performance descriptors which describe spoken performance at each of the 9
IELTS bands. Examiners
award a band score for each of the following four
criterion areas:


Fluency and Coherence


Lexical Resource


Grammatical Range and Accuracy



Fluency refers to speaking continuously without stopping, and coherence
means organizing spee
ch in a logical way (i.e. Does your speech flow? Can you be
easily understood?). Lexical Resource refers to using words which are varied and
appropriate for the subject (i.e. Do you use a reasonably wide range of vocabulary
in your speech?).

Grammatical Ra
nge and Accuracy refer to the use of correct grammar and
variation of grammatical usage (i.e. Do you use a wide range of sentence structures
and is your English grammar accurate when you speak?).

Pronunciation refers to speaking in a manner which is easily

understood (i.e.
Do you use English sound, stress and intonation patterns, etc. correctly?).

These four criteria are weighed equally. The examiner gives you a whole
number sub
score for each of these and then calculates the average of the four. The
Speaking test is marked on a scale of 1

9. Most universities require a score
of 6.0

6.5 for entrance; however, this varies according to country and university.

reasonable IELTS Spea
king score. The examiner will be looking for your ability to
use a range of vocabulary and grammar clearly and understandably. Both whole
number and half band scores, such as 6.5, are given for the Speaking test. If the

average score is not a whole number
or a half number, it is rounded to the nearest
whole number or half number.


Seen Problems in the IELTS Speaking Test


Giving short answers.

If you just give answers with only Yes or No, which are too short, you
cannot convince the examin
er of your ability of English. Here, you should
demonstrate your skills in providing extended answers rather than just an outright
Yes/No or other similar one
word answers.

Speak more
than the examiner. Keep talking until the examiner interrupts you or
goes to the next question. If you need time to think, say something like: “That’s an
interesting question!” or just repeat the question in a form like “You’d like me to
tell you about (to


Using broad generalizations.

Some candidates give too many broad generalizations when giving answers.
In addition, some others frequently use the expression such as when listing, which
both takes time and expresses nonsense. Avoid trying to crea
te an impression on
the examiner with big words that you may use incorrectly. Instead, use simple
words to discuss complex ideas; try to present your viewpoint and then explain it;
or you can give some specific examples, arguments or causes and effects. In

you should make use of the time to show your oral ability of English. Speak with
simplicity and sincerity.

Use examples from your own life. These you can speak about more easily
than stories you have made up or read somewhere else. Try to relax and

enjoy the
experience of telling the interviewer as much interesting information about
yourself as you can.


Mentioning complex subjects.

When giving answers, you should not try in vain to express ideas or
concepts that you do not really understand. The

test is designed to give you an

that you say are not true. In brief, focus on what you know rather than on what you
do not know while you are doing the test.


uck on vocabulary.

phrase or a sentence to express yourself. If you cannot find out the right word at
the right time, say something like Oh, the word I’m looking for has slipped my
nd. If you get utterly lost, say I’m afraid I’ve talked myself into a corner. Let me
start over or better I don’t think I should continue with this. Let me say it in a
different way and start answering the question in another way. Sometimes, you can
use so


Giving rote answers.

Remember that this is not a test of knowledge and there is no single answer.
Do not memorize set responses! If you do, it will sound false and come across as if
you ar
e making a speech! You need to sound natural all through the test.
Therefore, do not learn chunks of answers. The examiner is trained to spot this and
will change the questions. Try to give your opinion by developing your answers as
much as possible and sp
eak more than the examiner.


Using incorrect tenses or personal pronouns.

Incorrect tenses or confusing personal pronouns are often used by candidates
in the Speaking test. You might be asked to describe past situations; you, therefore,
have to make su
re you are using the right past forms of verbs.


Paying too much attention to grammar and pronunciation.

Many non
native speakers about to attend an IELTS interview are
understandably worried about making mistakes in their grammar and
pronunciation; the
y, thus, cannot communicate effectively. The examiner will
expect some mistakes

after all, English is a foreign language for you and people
make mistakes in speaking foreign languages. Therefore, do not worry about
lking and concentrate on your



Showing off knowledge.

As with the Writing test, do not show off. Some candidates consider the
interview as a way of showing the assessor what they know. Remember that this is
not a test of knowledge. In the
Speaking test, IELTS candidates are assessed on
their performance in an interview; that is, you will be assessed on your ability to
communicate and to take initiative in a conversation. Hence, concentrate on what
you are saying rather than trying to show o
ff your knowledge: focus on the
common ideas and themes of what you are saying to the examiner.


The IELTS Speaking Test

Part 1

The IELTS Speaking test consists of three parts involving one candidate
(you), with one examiner and an audio recorder
to “capture” your performance.

Part 1 is known as

. Firstly, the examiner is
supposed to step out of the test room to greet you. He/

She then introduces himself
/herself and checks your identity and asks you some simple questions
as greetings
to help put you at ease.

Next, the examiner will ask some simple ‘getting
questions which
will help him/her find out a little about you. These will be general questions about
your family, your studies, where you come from, or what your interests are, etc.

Question Types and How to Do Well

In Part 1, the examiner will ask you som
e very general (very easy) questions
about yourself, your home town, your studies, your likes and dislikes, your
hobbies, etc. To ensure consistency, questions are taken from a scripted examiner

All the questions will be open questions rather than c
losed questions. A
closed question is one that can be answered by a single word or a couple of words;
namely, those are questions beginning Have you ..., Do you ..., Is it..., etc. which
can be answered by Yes or No or couple
word answers.


Here you hav
e to give an explanation, and of course the examiner hears
plenty of English which will help him or her evaluate you. So, make good use of
the opportunity to show how good your English is. The best way to take the
Speaking test is to be relaxed and speak n

In the test room, do remember to:


Avoid giving short, uncommunicative replies.


Offer examples to help you explain a statement.


Use correct connectors and adverbs.

Some typical questions/prompts might be:

Where do you come from?

What is
your home like?

Tell me about your family.

Tell me about your job/studies.

Is there anything you dislike about your job/studies?

What type of transport do you use most?

Do you like reading?

What kind of television programs do you watch?

Tell me about a fil
m you have seen recently.

Do you have a pet?

What kind of food do you like?

How often do you go shopping?

What’s your favorite festival? Why?

Sample answers:

1. Does your city have any historical importance? Are there any historic
monuments there?

Are th
ere any interesting places to see?

Oh, yes. As Da Lat is in a mountainous area with a pleasant climate, the views
there are wonderful. If you climb up the mountains, you can overlook the whole
city enjoying the spectacular scenery. At night, the city is b
rightly lit by the neon

lights. It looks like a crystal city in the rain. The most interesting part here is the
beautiful flower gardens and lovely French architecture. Here we also have some
unspoiled primitive forests where you can experience biodiversit
y and see a lot of
different flowers and plants.

2. What kind of jobs do people do in your home town? Can you describe the
people in your home town? What are the people like in the region where you

Well, like people in other cities, people in my h
Most of them work as workers or professionals, some are involved in managerial
and professional work and others are craftsmen or general laborers.

It’s a bit hard to say. People there are generally very friendly and helpful.
If you
were to visit Hue, you’d soon notice its severe weather with boiling hot days in the
summer, and ceaseless raining weeks in the winter, but I think Hue people do not
often complain or cry over things. Instead, they keep troubles for themselves and
ind a way to get over it on their own. In my opinion, that’s something to do with
the weather there. Other than that, there’s not much difference between us and
those in other regions.


Part 2 Individual Long Turn

The examiner will ask you to speak

for 1
2 minutes on a topic, which he or
she will give you on a card. The card will give you an outline of what you need to
talk about. You will be given one minute to prepare, and you can make notes. The
examiner will give you a piece of paper and a pen.
He or she will invite you to start
talking when your preparation time is up. The examiner will not say anything
while you are speaking but will stop you if you talk for more than two minutes.
Then you might be asked one or two short follow
up questions. Th
e topics will be
of a general nature. You will be asked to describe things such as a restaurant you
enjoy eating in, a book you have read recently or a piece of equipment in your
house you cannot live without. You will also be asked to relate what you are

talking about, to yourself

e.g. “say why you choose to eat in this restaurant”’ or
“say what you enjoyed about the book”.

For example:

Describe a restaurant you enjoy eating in.

You should say:

where this restaurant is

what kind of menu it has

what other

features it has

and explain why you choose to eat there

This part gives you the opportunity to show that you can speak at length
without hesitation. It is also important to show that you can organize your ideas

How to do Part 2

In this par
t of the test, you have to answer questions on themes of general
interest. Generally, the topics in this part can be divided into several major
categories such as people, places, objects, habits and likes (present tense
questions), plans (future tense ques
tions), experiences (past tense /present perfect

The questions in the second part are not complicated but are more
demanding than the ones that you did in Part 1. You are asked to make a
presentation on a topic. Next, the examiner wi
ll have a set of questions to ask you.
How many questions he / she asks depends on how long you talk for in your
answer. Preparation and practice for Part 2 are similar to those in Part 1.

Memorize the following reminders so that you can do well.


Use t
he card that the examiner gives you. You cannot ask him/her for
another one.


Make use of 1 minute’s preparation for appropriate language and idea


Note that some questions ask you to use present, future, or past tenses.
You, therefore, h
ave to employ tenses correctly.



Speak for long enough. You have to talk uninterrupted for 1 to 2


Keep talking until the examiner interrupts you or goes to the next


Start your talk, applying the guides below:

Each point is discussed in turn.

There are pauses between each section.

Signpost language should be used to help the examiner to understand the
main points you are making, and a new point is being introdu


Use the cue card as the structure of your talk and stay coherent. All the cue
cards are organized in the same way with one major topic and 4 sub
topics. You
always know what you are going to say next, and these sub
topics allow you to
pause in the
right places. You can apply these suggestions:

Once you have spoken about one topic, you look down at the card for a

Pause and think about what to say next and relax (In fact, pausing correctly
is part of fluency and coherence because it allows

the listener to understand your
main points.);

Look up at the examiner, make eye contact;

Start again: The next thing I am going to tell you is ...


Answer in the same way as you do in writing; namely, your talk should be
well structured with three
parts: The introduction of your talk can include the topic
itself. The body could be expanded with reasons and examples. You can then end
with your feeling or impression. Remember that it must be presented in fluent and
coherent spoken language.


eye contact with the examiner: In the test itself, it helps you to focus
on the cue card as you speak but do not look at it all the time. Keep it in your hand
and refer to it when possible so that you can make eye contact with the examiner.


Make use of 1
minute’s preparation

Take the one minute provided to prepare. Brainstorm your answer by writing
down all the ideas you get about the topic. You lose no marks if you use up the one
minute. Two minutes can be a long time to talk solo, and the notes you make
help you to keep talking for the full two minutes.

Categorized Topics

This section focuses on subjects of general interest. You do not need
specialized knowledge to elaborate on them. The card with the topic coupled with
three or four sub
topics writ
ten on it does not usually contain difficult lexis or
complicated grammar.

Part 2 covers such a wide range of topics as people (a childhood friend, an
you would like to tra
vel to, a restaurant you know, a hotel you have stayed in, a
garden you remember visiting, etc.); objects (a magazine you think is interesting, a
photograph that you remember, an important letter that you received, your favorite
item of clothing, etc.); ha
bits or hobbies (what your favorite hobbies are, what you
when you were at school, an impor
tant decision that you made, etc.); events and
festivals (a festival that is important in your country, an enjoyable event that you
experienced when you were at school, etc.).

Sample answers:

You should
say: who it is

what they are famous for


director in China. I’ve always admired him. He is a ma
n of average height, in his
forties, I think. So far, he has directed many good films. He is well known in China
for his versatile talents. First of all, he is a famous director. Most of his films have
won international prizes, and the actresses who have a
ppeared in his films would
consequently become popular as well. I like his film "The Road Home ", which
describes how a young teacher and a girl fell in love and how they worked and
enjoyed their life in a small village. It’s really touching with very good

photography and nice music in spite of the simple plot.

Apart from his directing, he has appeared in many films as the main character,
which always gives people a very deep impression. I clearly remember one film in
which he played the role of a terracott
a warrior who came back to life and got
involved, in a love affair with a woman. In recent years, instead of depicting the
uncivilized and backward life in the country areas, he has made great efforts to

2. Describe a city or a town where you h
ave lived.

You should say: where it is located

what part of the city or town you are most familiar with

what the most important landmarks and places to visit are

and explain what makes that city or town special to you.

Well, I’d like to talk about Chongq
ing, a city I used to live in for a few years from
1994 to 2001. It’s a busy mountainous city located in the southwest of China, one
of the four cities directly under the jurisdiction of the central government. Indeed,
its mountainous landscape with Jialin
g River running through makes it so attractive
and unique, especially at night, with its bright lights along the river banks and on
the buildings. Recently, many modern buildings have sprung up, but there are very
few traditional buildings left, which is r
eally a shame, as they have to pull down
the old ones to make room for the new and high
rise commercial buildings.

As a rapidly changing city, Chongqing is famous for its auto, chemical and textile
industries. But a serious problem in this city is pollutio
n and overpopulation. In
fact, there have been several cases of acid rain in the past few years. The

temperature in summer can go up to as high as 37 degrees centigrade. Rush
the buses during the peak periods. People in this city live a stressful and fast
life as there is very keen competition for jobs. They have to work long hours
sometimes. However, people are very hospitable and ready to treat you with one of
local specialties

Chongqing hotpot. They are also quite open
minded, willing
to accept new ideas and cultures.

The nightlife here is fantastic and you can find anything you want in this city,
whether it’s pubs, tea houses, discos, theatres, museums or ci
nemas. On the whole,
Chongqing is quite a good place to live in.

3. Describe an important occasion you have attended, such as a wedding or a
day party.

You should say:

what it was what it was for

what you did

where you had this party

and explain
how the party impressed you.

I’d like to talk about my grandma’s 90th birthday last August. As 90 is an
important age for everyone, my parents decided to host a big birthday party for her.
So, we booked a Chinese dinner in a five
star hotel in Chengdu, an
d all our
relatives, family members, and even some of our colleagues attended that
reception. As far as I can remember, about 150 guests came to wish my grandma a
happy birthday. At the party, we had a very big birthday cake with the Chinese
character “Lon
gevity"’ on it. We lit the candles and my mother made a speech on
behalf of the family, expressing our gratitude to grandma for her hard work and
love in bringing up her children and grandchildren. After that, some of our
relatives and friends spoke very h
ighly of my grandma for her generosity, and the
care she had given to those around her. So, everyone joined us in wishing her a
happy birthday in song and gifts, and we all cheered. Then, we helped her cut and
shared her birthday cake. It is a custom that
if you share the birthday cake of an

elderly person, you may also share her longevity.

My grandma was too excited to say a word, not about the huge cake or loads of
gifts, but about seeing such a happy reunion of her family and friends. She
managed to say
a few words about how she appreciated such a happy occasion, and
about how she had hoped to see such a gathering. But she understood that it was
not very easy to have a party of this size as everyone was busy with his or her
work, and my aunt and uncle liv
ed in Shanghai. The next thing we did was to take
many photos with her. I remember quite clearly that at that time I was thinking
about the change of family structures. As time goes on, the young are moving
away with their jobs leaving the elderly behind,
lonely, helpless and sometimes


Part 3 Two
way discussion

In this section, the candidate will participate in a two
way discussion with
the examiner. The topic wil
l be an expansion of the subject he/she spoke about in
Part 2.The questions in Part 2 relate more to the candidate’s personal experience
whereas in Part 3, he /she will be asked more general, extended or in
questions for the examiner to assess his/he
r ability of expansion on a topic through
comparing and contrasting, narrating, justifying, analyzing, discussing, or
speculating on issues. Part 3 lasts 4
5 minutes.

Useful Tips

Part 3 is where the final score is given to a candidate. This is part of the
where he/she must excel. Thus, do as best as possible without trying too hard or
are averaged between the three parts of the Speaking test, this stage is where the
ng’ is established. Your final score may mostly be decided by your
performance in Part 3.

You will certainly impress the assessor if you apply the useful tips below:



Do not repeat what you have talked about in Part 2 since the questions in
Part 2 relate

more to your personal experience while Part 3 requires more general,
extended, or in
depth responses.


Develop language that is appropriate for the task. For example, employing
phrases such as similar to or different from is useful for a comparison and


If you need time to collect your thoughts, use expressions (sparingly) like
That’s a good question., Well, let me think ...


Do avoid answers with only yes / no. Try to come up with complete
answers, offer examples to back up a certain

statement, or expand your ideas as
much as you can.


Help make your contributions memorable. Try explaining a point using a
short, personal anecdote.


If the examiner asks a question that you do not understand, take control of
the situation with quest
ions such as those that appear below. Responding like this
will show evidence of your communication skills.


If the examiner uses a word or phrase that you do not understand, say
something like:

Sorry, but could you explain what you mean by ...

I haven’
t come across that word I expression before. Could you explain,
what you mean?


Excuse me, I didn’t quite catch that. Could you say that again?

I’m sorry, but would you mind repeating th


If you want to make sure you have understood what the examiner has asked,
you could say:

Do you mean ...?

When you say ...?

Are you asking...?


Do not memorize answers in preparation for the test. The examiner will hear
that you are not speaking

naturally and will change the topic.



Use a wide range of lexis and structures in your talk as this is one of the
major marking criteria.


Maintain eye contact with the examiner. You need to present yourself in a
confident way by looking directly into

his/her eyes.

Common Topics and Suggestions.

Questions in Part 3 are thematically linked with those in Part 2.

Part 2

Part 3

Describing a teacher

Education in your country, learning styles, etc.

Describing a person

Role of the family in modern life, pa
responsibilities, etc.

Describing a problem

Modern life, is it easier or harder than before?

In actual fact, you can predict what you will be asked so as to be well
prepared. For instance, if you talked about the place you once lived in the previo
part, you may hear this statement from the examiner:

We’ve been talking about “the place you lived”, and I’d like to discuss with you
one or two more general questions relating to this topic. First, let’s consider ...

When you hear the examiner say thi
s transition sentence, you know that Part
3 is starting. Be ready!

The sub
topics related to this subject area may be:


Work and housing

Is it a good idea for people to work away from home?

What are the disadvantages of commuting long distance to work?

ould technology help to change the way we live in the future?



Would you prefer to live in a house or a flat?

Do you think architects pay more attention to the appearance of buildings than to
the basic requirement of shelter?

To what exte
nt does climate determine the kind of houses we build?



Housing and the state

Should the state provide cheap housing for low
income earners?

What can be done to help people who are homeless?

Is it the responsibility of the state or the individual to pro
vide housing for the aged?

Sample answers:

Should the state provide cheap housing for low
income earners?

I think that the government should provide cheap houses for people who don’t earn
much money (giving a general opinion). Because if we don’t do th
is, they may end
up sleeping on the street or in the park, and this will only reflect very badly on our
society as a whole (giving specific reasons), o I feel it’s really the responsibility of
the government to provide housing, just as they provide educati
on and, ideally,
health services. That’s one of the reasons why we pay taxes.

Well, in my view, climate probably has quite a lot to do with the way we design
and build our houses (giving
a general opinion). For instance, in the northern part
of Japan, where it snows a lot and is very windy, you find houses built with a steep
roof so that the snow can’t settle on the roof or damage the roof, and the houses
also have fewer windows so as to k
eep out the cold air. But in the southern part,
the houses are often built with more windows for good ventilation, and you know,
with a verandah to keep the sun out of the rooms and to provide a cool place to sit.

How has technology changed the way people

live or work in recent years?

Well, I think, in the last few decades, technology has greatly changed our lives,
either in work or in our daily life. Computer is a good case in point. In the past few
years, more and more people have found it so convenient

and efficient to use
computers to help them do calculation, word processing and data analysis.
Computers1 have also facilitated our communication by shortening the distance
and saving time. We can send a message to our friends who can receive it within
easy access to a great deal of information by surfing the Internet. But it has also

brought a lot of worry and pressure to the older people who are desperately trying
to keep up.
Those who do not know how to use a computer are very much
disadvantaged in their work or in their life.

What would be the changes technology could bring us in the future?

In my opinion, technology would certainly bring more changes to our life. Er, you
ee, the world is suffering from overpopulation and the greenhouse effect. Perhaps,
technology could help us find another planet with living environment similar to our
warmth on t
he earth, for example, we might live under the sea, cool and quiet; it is
possible that the global inhabitants, having seen enough of earth, might enjoy
people, but I think te
chnology can help us achieve all these.

Practice. Speaking Parts 1

Exercise 1.

Part 1 Introduction and interview

[This part of the test begins with the examiner introducing himself or herself and

checking the candidate’s identification. It then conti
nues as an interview.]

Let’s talk about your home town or village.

• What kind of place is it?

• What’s the most interesting part of your town/village?

• What kind of jobs do the people in your town/village do?

• Would you say it’s a good place to live? (W

Let’s move on to talk about accommodation.

• Tell me about the kind of accommodation you live in?

• How long have you lived there?

• What do you like about living there?

• What sort of accommodation would you most like to live in?

Part 2


long turn

Candidate Task Card


where you got it from

how long you have had it

what you use it for

and explain why it is important to you.

You will have to talk about the topic fo
r 1 to 2 minutes.

You have one minute to think about what you're going to say.

You can make some notes to help you if you wish.

Rounding off questions

• Is it valuable in terms of money?

• Would it be easy to replace?

Part 3

way discussion

Let’s con
sider first of all how people’s values have changed.

• What kind of things give status to people in your country?

• Have things changed since your parents’ time?

Finally, let’s talk about the role of advertising.

• Do you think advertising influences what
people buy?

Exercise 2.

Describe someone in your family who you really admire.

You should say:

what relation this person is to you

what are your first memories of this person

how often you see this person

and explain why you really admire this person.

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute
to think about what you're going to say. You can make some notes to help you if
you wish.]

up Questions:

What are the values of family in your country?


How family bo
nding is necessary for happiness in life?

What type of family do you like? Nuclear family or joint family?

How family value and bonding have changed over the last decade?


Describe your favorite Restaurant.

You should say:

where it is

what it l
ooks like inside and outside

what kinds of foods they serve

and explain what makes this restaurant so special to you and others.

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute
to think about what you're going to say.
You can make some notes to help you if
you wish.]

up Questions:

Which one is better: home
made foods or foods from a restaurant?

What traditional foods do you have in your country?

What are the tourist attractions in your city?


e a book that had a major influence on you.

You should say:

what the name of the book is & who the author is

how you first heard of the book

what the main story of the book is

and explain why it played such an important role in your life.

[You will have t
o talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute
to think about what you're going to say. You can make some notes to help you if
you wish.]


up Questions:

How often do you read books?

How books can impact on a man's life?

Name some

of the famous writers of your country?

Have you ever thought about writing a book?

How reading books is different from watching movies?

Exercise 4.

Describe a journey you went on.

You Should say:

where you went

why you went to this particular place


you did and with whom

and describe why you enjoyed your journey? Or, if not, why?

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute
to think about what you're going to say. You can make some notes to help you if
you wish.

up Questions:

What is

the importance of travelling?

What type of places do you recommend people to visit on vacation?

What places do you want to visit in future? Why?




Фоломкина С.К. Некоторые вопросы обучения чтению н
а иностранном
языке в неязыковом вузе // Общая методика обучения иностранным

М.: Русск. яз., 1991.

С. 253


Чичкова О.В. Методика расширения потенциального словаря студентов
старших курсов при чтении текстов: автореф. дис. канд. пед. наук.

Томск, 2003.

18 с.


. Studies in Language Testing 4. The Development of IELTS (A
Study of
the Effect of Background Knowledge on Reading Comprehension).

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
303 p.


Haines S., Ma
y P. IELTS Masterclass Advanced. Oxford University Press


Mark Allen, Debora Powell, Dickie Dolby. IELTS Graduation. Student’s

Oxford: MacMillan Education, 2011.

208 p.


Milanovic, M (2009) Cambridge ESOL and the CEFR. Research Notes 37,


Official Examinations Papers from University of

Cambridge, ESOL
Examinations IELTS 8. Cambridge University Press


Saville, N (2005)

An interview with John Trim at 80,

Language Assessment
Quarterly 2 (4), 263


Taylor, L (2004b) IELTS, Cambridge ESOL examinations

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European Framework Research No

18, 2

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