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The IELTS offers a number of different testing accommodations, depending on the test-taker’s documented disability or learning difficulties. The full range of commonly-offered accommodations are listed in brief on the official IELTS Special Arrangements page. For an even more detailed description of these IELTS special arrangements, go to the IELTS.org Special Requirements portal.

What do I need to apply for IELTS accommodations?

If you plan to apply for accommodations, make sure to apply early. It takes up to 12 weeks for the IELTS to review your request, make a decision, and arrange for accommodations. To apply for accommodations, you’ll need an official medical report that is less than two years old and includes the following:

  • The opinion of a fully qualified physician or other appropriate medical professional
  • Details on the nature of the disability
  • Details about the degree of the disability
  • An accounting of the type of medical testing or screening used to document the disability

(These details are also listed on this official IELTS web page.)

Possible IELTS Special Arrangements

Possible accommodations for learning difficulties include:

  • Large print test booklets, answer sheets, etc.
  • Braille
  • A human assistant to help write answers
  • Hearing aid equipment
  • Lip-reading visuals to accompany the IELTS Listening section
  • A word processor
  • Extended testing time (IELTS Reading and IELTS Writing sections only)
Where do I apply for IELTS special arrangements?

There is no central contact for requesting IELTS accommodations. Instead, your point of contact will be the test center where you plan to take the test. To locate your test center, use IELTS.org’s test center location service. Your test center will give you any additional info you need about requesting accommodations for learning difficulties.

How to use Magoosh to simulate IELTS accommodations

You can add extra time to your practice tests on Magoosh. First go to the Account tab on the upper right and choose Profile:

Then select the green Edit Account Information button on the bottom left:

And then select the time change you want:

For more registration information, check out our posts on registering for the IELTS.

The post IELTS Special Arrangements: Resources, Links, and Instructions appeared first on Magoosh IELTS Blog.

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Introducing Magoosh’s Guide to the IELTS Exam!

There’s been a lot going on behind the scenes here at Magoosh! And today, we’re so excited to share the results of our work with you: our new, free IELTS eBook, the Complete Guide to the IELTS Exam!

Are you a beginning student? In this IELTS guide, you’ll get an overview of the IELTS for the first time. Looking for advanced work? This free IELTS book PDF has strategies and extra practice to get your score as high as possible!
 

What to Expect from Magoosh’s Free IELTS eBook

First of all, here’s what not to expect…spending money. That’s right: the Complete Guide to the IELTS Exam is 100% free!

And as if that weren’t exciting enough, you’ll find a lot more in this complete guide to IELTS PDF:

  • More than 150 pages covering all aspects of IELTS preparation
  • Everything you need to know about every type of question you’ll find on the IELTS
  • Expect, proven strategies to help you master each question type
  • Sample problems with explanations to help guide you through what you’ll see on the IELTS
  • And even more, including study schedules and where to find more resources!

All totally free! You can download the free IELTS book by clicking the button:
 

“Magoosh practice modules make you familiar with the real exam questions and make for a confident, anxiety free preparation. Also the lessons are easy and very handy for the last minute preparation.”

Magoosh IELTS student, band score 8

The Complete Guide to the IELTS Exam

So how should you use this IELTS guide? NOT like a textbook. We don’t like writing dense, academic books that nobody wants to read! So start by looking through the table of contents and skimming the sections that appeal to you the most, or the sections you need help with. Later, you can go back and read more deeply, learning and practicing strategies as you go.

We hope you enjoy this new IELTS resource! Please let us know what you think of our free IELTS eBook by leaving us a comment below. And if you’re looking for more free resources, be sure to take a look at our free IELTS vocabulary flashcards.

The post Free IELTS eBook: Complete Guide to the IELTS Exam appeared first on Magoosh IELTS Blog.

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6 Useful Sentence Patterns to Improve Your IELTS Writing

Listen and subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher. Or listen right here:

In this episode, Eliot and Naomi talk about a very important IELTS Writing skill: Sentence Construction.

They’ll cover:

  • Powerful sentence patterns
  • Using sentence patterns to improve your writing

If you like this lesson, please subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher for more IELTS lessons, and check out all of our IELTS Podcast episodes here!

And don’t forget to check out our examples of Useful Sentence Patterns for IELTS Writing!

Learn how to improve your IELTS band score with Magoosh! Use coupon code ieltspodcast to save 20% on our IELTS test prep!

IELTS Podcast: Episode 27 Transcript

Naomi: Welcome to the Magoosh IELTS Podcast! This is Episode 27. In this episode, we’ll discuss a very important IELTS Writing skill: sentence construction. Eliot and I will talk about some powerful sentence patterns, and how you can use them to improve your writing.

And don’t forget to visit us at IELTS.Magoosh.com for more great resources to improve your IELTS band score. Use coupon code “ieltspodcast” to save 20% off your IELTS test prep!

Okay, let’s get started!

Naomi: Sentence structure can be so tricky, can’t it Eliot? I mean, there must be thousands of useful sentence patterns in English.

Eliot: That is true Naomi. But at the same time, you won’t need to use thousands of sentence patterns in your IELTS Writing Tasks.

Naomi: So how many different sentence patterns should our students be thinking about?

Eliot: A handful of really good ones should do the trick for IELTS Writing. In fact, I have a short list that could serve a lot of our students well: six simple but powerful sentence patterns.

Naomi: Only six? Those sentence types must really pack a punch.

Eliot: They do. But what’s really important is that students focus on a small number of sentences they think they can do really well. Trying to master too many sentence patterns can wear you out and waste time. Several good ones is enough.

Naomi: I’m excited to hear about your picks, then. What’s the first pattern students should know from Eliot’s “Stupendous 6?”

Eliot: Let’s start with “it is” plus adjective, plus “that.”

Naomi: (Repeating slowly) “It is + adjective + that.”

Eliot: Right. The phrase “it is,” followed by an adjective, followed by the word “that.” It’s a common sentence beginner. It’s great way to start the kinds of smart-sounding academic sentences you’d use in an IELTS Writing Task 2 essay.

Naomi: Intriguing! But can you give me an example?

Eliot: Yes, let me think of one. OK…. Suppose, for example, that you get a prompt where you are asked whether or not the Internet has improved people’s lives or made their lives more complicated. To describe some of your thoughts on the topic, you could say:
“It is indisputable that the Internet plays an essential role in people’s lives today.”

Naomi: Ooh, that’s a good one! But what if there was a different IELTS Writing topic. What about… say…education!

Eliot: OK, give me a moment, I have something for this….
“It is undeniable that education offers us opportunities to get higher salaries and a better life.”

Naomi: I like it. Let me do one! Hmm…
“It is clear that modern technology makes our world more connected and entertaining than ever before.”

Eliot: Nice one! OK, shall we look at another sentence pattern?

Naomi: Yes, please!

Eliot: You can start a sentence with “there is no doubt that….”

Naomi: Could you also say “There is no denying that…?”

Eliot: Yes, that’s a good variation on the pattern. So, an example. How about….
“There is no denying that the cost of living is rising higher and higher in big cities.”

Naomi: Or…
“There is no doubt that child safety is an important concern for parents.”

Eliot: You are coming up with such good examples, Naomi.

Naomi: Aw, thank you. You too, Eliot. OK, what sentence pattern are we going to try out next?

Eliot: Next, let’s look at sentences th at include the phrase “an increasing number.” Or alternatively, “a growing number….”

Naomi:
“A growing number of experts feel that climate change is the most serious environmental challenge we face today.”

Eliot: Good one! OK:
“An increasing number of people around the world are using smartphones.”

Naomi: I love these. So far though, it seems like all the examples are just for describing situations or making broad statements. Do you have any sentence patterns that serve other purposes?

Eliot: Sure thing, Naomi. I was just about to get to that.

Naomi: Before we talk through the rest of Eliot’s “stupendous six” favorite IELTS Writing sentence patterns, let’s pause for a word from Magoosh.

Kevin: Do you want a great IELTS score?
Magoosh can help!

Here’s what you’ll get with Magoosh:
In-depth video lessons that cover concepts, pitfalls, and shortcuts
Over 200 practice questions to help you prepare for your exam
24/7 email access to a team of remote tutors ready to answer your questions
Are you ready to improve your score and get into your dream program? Great! We’re ready to help you. Visit us at ielts.magoosh.com and use coupon code “podcast” to save 20% off your IELTS test prep.
Now back to the show!

Eliot: So my next favorite sentence pattern describes cause and effect. This sentence pattern mentions the effect first, and then the cause. You use “The reason why (effect)…” “… is that (cause).”

Naomi: Let me make sure I understand this pattern. In this kind of sentence, you would say…
“The reason why (something) is that (something).”
I think I get it, but I’m not sure. Could you come up with the first example, so I can really understand how this works with cause and effect statements?

Eliot: I can do that! We’ll start just with a cause and effect. Let’s say the cause is heavy rain, and the effect is flooding….

Naomi: I’m with you so far.

Eliot: Good, good. OK, the sentence pattern could be like this:
“The reason there is so much flooding is that there was a very heavy rainfall.”

Naomi: I get it! “The reason (effect) is that (cause)!”

Eliot: Yes, it’s a little bit of a tricky pattern at first, but once you master that pattern, it’s so useful. So we’ve covered general statements, cause and effect…. Now let’s look at another important writing purpose in IELTS essays: describing a debate over an issue.

Naomi: That does come up a lot in IELTS Writing Task 2. So, what pattern do you recommend for framing a debate?

Eliot: “There is a hot debate over….”

Naomi: “Hot.” I know the most common meaning of “hot.” But “hot” doesn’t mean “high temperature” in this case, does it?

Eliot: It really doesn’t. In this context “hot” means “well known,” and “active.” It’s a great way to describe debates about the modern social issues that come up in the second IELTS Writing Task.

Naomi: The debate is “hot,” so everyone’s talking about it. I can picture that. And I think I have an example. Want to hear it?

Eliot: Sure, go for it!

Naomi: There is a hot debate over how much time children should spend playing video games.

Eliot: That is a nice, relevant, “hot” debate. Ok, I’ve got another sentence pattern for you, with a new purpose: connecting two qualities.

Naomi: OK, what do you mean by connecting qualities? That one is really hard to picture.

Eliot: Yes, that particular aspect of IELTS essay writing is hard to describe without giving both a good pattern and an example. I’ll start with the pattern. The pattern uses comparative adjectives, words like “more,” “less,” “greater,” smaller,” “louder,” and so on. And then the comparative adjectives fall into this pattern:
“The” plus (comparative adjective)(something)(comma) “the” plus (comparative adjective)(something)”

Naomi: (repeating slowly….)
The + (comparative adjective describing something), the + (comparative adjective describing something else)
OK, I’m still a little lost….

Eliot: We really do need an example for this one, don’t we? OK, how about:
“The younger someone is, the more dependent they will be on their parents.”

Naomi: OK, now I get it. You’re connecting the qualities of being young and being dependent. OK, let me show a link between two qualities: “The bigger an animal is, the more food it needs to eat.” I’m connecting size with appetite.

Eliot: I like that one.

Naomi: That’s been six sentence patterns, hasn’t it? Your stupendous six. So beyond those six, what else is out there?

Eliot: There are so many good ones to choose from. If you’re taking the IELTS, pick a handful of sentence patterns you really like. Master them, commit them to memory, and you’ll have a handy group of secret weapons when you get to IELTS Writing Task 2. And if anyone wants to learn a little more about IELTS sentence patterns, check out our blog article “Useful Sentence Patterns for IELTS Writing.” That article covers my sic favorite sentence patterns, with a few extra examples, and there’s a seventh bonus sentence pattern that’s useful for writing a conclusion to a paragraph or to a whole essay.

The post IELTS Podcast (Ep. 27) | 6 Useful Sentence Patterns to Improve Your IELTS Writing appeared first on Magoosh IELTS Blog.

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3 Example IELTS Agree-Disagree Questions

Listen and subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher. Or listen right here:

In this episode, Eliot and Naomi talk about how to understand and respond to an IELTS Academic Writing Task 2 essay question.

They’ll cover:

  • Writing Task 2 requirements
  • Different ways you can write responses to three Task 2 Agree-Disagree example questions

If you like this lesson, please subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher for more IELTS lessons, and check out all of our IELTS Podcast episodes here!

And don’t forget to check out our other IELTS resources!

Learn how to improve your IELTS band score with Magoosh! Use coupon code ieltspodcast to save 20% on our IELTS test prep!

IELTS Podcast: Episode 26 Transcript

Naomi: Welcome to the Magoosh IELTS Podcast! This is Episode 26. In this episode, you’re going to learn how to understand and respond to an IELTS Academic Writing Task 2 essay question that is formatted as an Agree-Disagree question. First Eliot and I will explain the Task 2 requirements, and then we’ll walk you through the different ways you can write responses to three Task 2 Agree-Disagree example questions.

And don’t forget to visit us at IELTS.Magoosh.com for more great resources to improve your IELTS band score. Use coupon code “ieltspodcast” to save 20% off your IELTS test prep!

Okay, let’s get started!

Today Eliot and I are discussing IELTS agree-disagree questions. You may run into this type of essay question in the Academic IELTS Writing Task 2.

Eliot: In this episode we’re going to go over three example agree-disagree question prompts, and show you the ways you could structure your response to each of them.

Naomi: Before we get started with the example questions, let’s talk a little more about Academic Writing Task 2. Eliot, what do you think students should know about this section of the IELTS?

Eliot: Well, IELTS Academic Writing Task 2 is the second of two writing tasks on the IELTS. In Task 2, you’ll be asked to respond to an open-ended essay prompt. If the prompt ends with the phrase: ‘To what extent do you agree or disagree’, you’re dealing with an agree-disagree essay question.

Naomi: Task 1 definitely isn’t easy, but most students find IELTS Writing Task 2 even more challenging. Would you recommend that students spend more time on Task 2 than on Task 1?

Eliot: Yes, definitely. You’ll have a total of 60 minutes to complete both tasks. I suggest that you spend only 20 minutes on Task 1 and use the remaining 40 minutes for Task 2.

Naomi: Ok, so what makes Task 2 more difficult than Task 1?

Eliot: Well, first of all, Task 1 just asks you to transfer information from a visual into writing. But Task 2 requires you to answer an open essay question. There’s no clear or “correct” answer.

Naomi: And Task 1 has a lower minimum word count, right?

Eliot: Exactly. Task 1 requires that you write 150 words or more, but for Task 2 you will be expected to write at least 250 words.

Naomi: So are the two Tasks weighted equally in terms of points?

Eliot: That’s a great question, and the answer is no! Task 2 is worth twice as many points as Task 1, so it’s a really good idea to spend a bit more time on Task 2.

Naomi: So to recap: you recommend that students spend 20 minutes on Task 1 and 40 minutes on Task 2. How should students break down those 40 minutes?

Eliot: Writing speed varies a lot from student to student, so how you’ll want to break down that 40 minutes will depends a lot on how fast you can write.

Naomi: Can you give us a rough guideline?

Eliot: Sure…I suggest you spend between 2 and 10 minutes planning your essay, 25 to 32 minutes writing, and the remaining 5 (or more) minutes editing your work.

Naomi: Great, anything else students should know?

Eliot: Well, the more you practice Task 2 responses, the quicker you will become, so don’t worry too much if your not hitting your timing goals right away. You just need to keep practicing!

Naomi: Before we hear the agree-disagree sample questions, let’s pause for a word from Magoosh.

Kevin: Do you want a great IELTS score?

Magoosh can help!

Here’s what you’ll get with Magoosh:
· In-depth video lessons that cover concepts, pitfalls, and shortcuts
· Over 200 practice questions to help you prepare for your exam
· 24/7 email access to a team of remote tutors ready to answer your questions
Are you ready to improve your score and get into your dream program? Great! We’re ready to help you. Visit us at ielts.magoosh.com and use coupon code “podcast” to save 20% off your IELTS test prep.

Now back to the show!

Naomi: So Eliot, let’s talk about the agree-disagree essay questions. What are some examples of this type of prompt?

Eliot: An agree-disagree prompt would be something like: “The leaders or directors of organizations are often older people. But some people say that young people can also be leaders. To what extent do you agree or disagree?”

Naomi: And how would you answer a question like that?

Eliot: Before writing anything, you should have a clear point of view. Notice how the question asked “to what extent” do you agree or disagree? Make sure your answer responds to that part of the question.

Naomi: What do you mean?

Eliot: I would suggest that you choose one of the three following positions: Either, “I completely agree…”, “I completely disagree…”, or “I partly agree and partly disagree…”.

Naomi: Oh, I see…So let’s start with the “I completely agree” answer. How would you structure a “completely agree” essay response to the prompt from earlier?

Eliot: So remember the prompt was “The leaders or directors of organizations are often older people. But some people say that young people can also be leaders. To what extent do you agree or disagree?”

Naomi: Right.

Eliot: Begin with an introduction stating that you completely agree that young people can be leaders.

Naomi: Okay, sounds like a good start. You’re writing a five-paragraph essay…that means that after the introduction there will be three body paragraphs, followed by a conclusion. What should you write for the body paragraphs?

Eliot: Use each of the first two body paragraphs to state one reason why you agree with that young people can be leaders. You can use the third paragraph either to state a third reason why you agree, or to explain why the opposite view is wrong.

Naomi: Okay, and what about the conclusion?

Eliot: For the concluding paragraph, restate your position one last time, in this case, that you completely agree that young people can be leaders.

Naomi: Okay great, thanks Eliot! Let’s look at another example question, and talk about how to respond if you “completely disagree”.

Eliot: So here’s our second example question: “Maintaining public libraries is a waste of time since computer technology is now replacing their functions. To what extent do you agree or disagree?”

Naomi: Okay, so where should you start?

Eliot: It’s really the same format as for our last example. You’ll just be giving arguments as to why you think the view is wrong rather than right.

Naomi: Okay, so start with an introductory paragraph stating that you completely disagree that maintaining public libraries is a waste of time?

Eliot: Exactly! Then you’ll write your three body paragraphs. And in each one, give one reason that you think that computers aren’t a substitute for public libraries.

Naomi: And then for your conclusion, should you quickly summarize your body paragraphs, and restate that computer technology hasn’t replaced public libraries, and therefore, we should still maintain them?

Eliot: Yes, that’s perfect. You see how similar the “completely agree” format is to the “completely disagree” format?

Naomi: Yes, it’s the same basic structure. You’re just arguing in the opposite direction.

Eliot: Right. But if you decide you’re going to argue for “partly agree and partly disagree”, things will look a little different.

Naomi: How so?

Eliot: Well let’s look at one more prompt. Here’s the example: “People’s shopping habits depend more on the age group they belong to than any other factor. To what extent do you agree or disagree?”

Naomi: Okay. So how do you answer?

Eliot: In the introduction you’ll want to say that you partly agree and partly disagree that age group is the most important factor in determining shopping habits. Then state a few points you agree with and a few points you disagree with.

Naomi: Okay, what about the body paragraphs?

Eliot: You only really need two body paragraphs, but they’ll be a little longer than the body paragraphs in the “completely agree” or “completely disagree” answers. In the first body paragraph, explain the points you agree with. Then in the second body paragraph, explain the points you disagree with.

Naomi: And then in the conclusion you’ll restate your view?

Eliot: Exactly! And those are the three examples of how to answer agree-disagree Task 2 questions on the IELTS!

Naomi: So what did you think? If you need more practice, check out the show notes for a transcript of this episode so that you can follow along and listen again.

Oh and by the way! We’re looking for volunteers to help us translate the show transcripts from English to your first language. If you are interested, please email me at naomi@magoosh.com with the subject line “translation,” and let me know what language you can translate into!

Thanks for listening! If you like our show, help us out by leaving a rating and review in Apple Podcasts, it helps people find us! And don’t forget to hit the subscribe button. Until next time! This is Naomi at Magoosh, wishing you happy studying!

The post IELTS Podcast (Ep. 26) | 3 Example IELTS Agree-Disagree Questions appeared first on Magoosh IELTS Blog.

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How to Prepare for IELTS Academic Speaking Episode

Listen and subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher. Or listen right here:

In this episode, Eliot and Naomi talk about IELTS Speaking. They’ll cover:

  • What makes IELTS Speaking so different?
  • What are all three parts of the IELTS Speaking section?
  • What are the IELTS Speaking scoring categories?

If you like this lesson, please subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher for more IELTS lessons, and check out all of our IELTS Podcast episodes here!

And don’t forget to check out The Complete Guide to IELTS Speaking!

Learn how to improve your IELTS band score with Magoosh! Use coupon code ieltspodcast to save 20% on our IELTS test prep!

IELTS Podcast: Episode 25 Transcript

Naomi: Welcome to the Magoosh IELTS Podcast! This is Episode 25.

In this episode, we’ll discuss all things IELTS-Speaking. Check the show notes for a complete transcript, and links to the IELTS Speaking resources we discuss.

And don’t forget to visit us at IELTS.Magoosh.com for more great resources to improve your IELTS band score. Use coupon code “ieltspodcast” to save 20% off your IELTS test prep!

Okay, let’s get started!

Eliot: The IELTS Speaking section really is unique. You’re not just sitting there alone in a test center with your exam booklet.

Naomi: It is a real change of pace, isn’t it, Eliot? Can you tell our students more about what makes IELTS Speaking so different?

Eliot: Well, most noticeably, it’s an actual interview, where you talk to a real human being.

Naomi: An interview. That sounds intimidating. Is it stressful, like a job interview?

Eliot: Don’t worry, it’s definitely not structured like a job interview and shouldn’t be nearly as stressful. The interview has different sorts of questions, and comes in three parts….

Naomi: What makes each part different?

Eliot: You can think of them as three different pieces of the same conversation. And each part has a connection to the next. In Part 1, you’re asked a series of questions about your personal life. But nothing that’s deeply personal or embarrassing– just questions about your hobbies, things you like to do with your family, your hometown, etc…. This part of the interview lasts 4 or 5 minutes.

Naomi: That does sound easier than a job interview. So how does IELTS Speaking Part 1 lead to the second part?

Eliot: For the second part, you’re still talking about something personal from your life. But now you need to give a short solo speech. You’ll be given a topic card, and a minute to prepare a speech based on the topic card. The speech itself will last for 1 to 2 minutes. This is longer than you’ll speak on your own during any other part of the test. So they call the IELTS Speaking Part 2 speech “the long turn.”

Naomi: Does that mean Part 2 is even shorter than Part 1? Is IELTS Speaking Part 2 just 2 or 3 minutes long?

Eliot: No, it still lasts 4-5 minutes. After you give your speech, the interviewer asks you some follow-up questions about how you responded to the topic card.

Naomi: About that topic card. I’m having a little trouble picturing it. What does it look like?

Eliot: It’s a small index card with a detailed question written on it. Actually, why don’t I read a typical IELTS Speaking Part 2 topic card to you?

Naomi: Oh yes, that would be very helpful.

Eliot: OK, here’s one:

Describe an important tradition in your family.

You should say:

  • What the tradition is.
  • How it’s celebrated.
  • When it’s celebrated.

And explain why the tradition is important to your family.

Naomi: That really is a lot like the kinds of things you’d discuss in Part 1. So tell me: Does the IELTS set up the Part 1 questions so that they cover the same subject as the Part 2 “long turn”?

Eliot: That would be nice, wouldn’t it? Unfortunately, the topics that come up in Part 1 and Part 2 are random, and aren’t guaranteed to be directly related to each other. But here’s the good news: Part 3 does deal with the same subject you see on the Part 2 “long turn” topic card.

Naomi: You don’t have to give another speech, do you?

Eliot: Thankfully, no. Instead, Part 3 is kind of a “wind-down” exercise from Part 2. The interviewer and the student will have a short follow-up conversation about the subject of the speech, or a closely related subject.

Naomi: It sounds like you’re saying that if the subject changes, it won’t change much.

Eliot: Precisely. And the subject in Part 3, if it’s different, won’t be a full change in topic. Instead, it will be a shift to a similar topic. For example, if the long turn talk is about family, the student and teacher will either continue to talk about family, or about something family related, like respect for elders, or the importance of family versus friends.

Naomi: And the last part of the interview– does that last 4 to 5 minutes as well?

Eliot: Perfect guess! Yes, parts 1, 2, and 3 are each 4 to 5 minutes long.

Naomi: So what should students know as they prepare to give answers that will get them a good score?

Eliot: Sure here are some important preparation tips to get a great score on this section.

Naomi: Before we look at scoring for IELTS Speaking, and what that means for your IELTS Speaking prep, let’s pause for a word from Magoosh.

Kevin: Do you want a great IELTS score?

Magoosh can help!

Here’s what you’ll get with Magoosh:

  • In-depth video lessons that cover concepts, pitfalls, and shortcuts
  • Over 200 practice questions to help you prepare for your exam
  • 24/7 email access to a team of remote tutors ready to answer your questions

Are you ready to improve your score and get into your dream program? Great! We’re ready to help you. Visit us at ielts.magoosh.com and use coupon code “podcast” to save 20% off your IELTS test prep.
Now back to the show!

Eliot: First and foremost, students should know their interviewer. I don’t mean know the interviewer personally, of course. But students should know what the interviewer is looking for, how the interview’s going to score their response.

Naomi: There must be scoring categories. Kind of like the Writing score categories we talked about in Episode 22? [

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If you’ve been searching for a free IELTS practice test online, well done! It’s a great idea to practice for the exam using full-length tests. After all, on test day, you won’t just do a handful of problems at a time—you’ll have to answer many in a row. But you can train yourself for this by building endurance! How? By taking IELTS sample tests.

Even more good news: we at Magoosh are excited to announce that we are launching our own IELTS mock test! Written by our exam experts, this IELTS sample test is exactly like what you will see on test day.

Table of Contents

Before we take you to the test, let’s take a quick look at all the great things about IELTS practice, just in case I haven’t already convinced you…

 

Why You Should Take an IELTS Sample Test

When you’re studying for the IELTS, practicing specific skills is important. However, you won’t know if you’re fully prepared to succeed on the exam until you take a full-length IELTS sample test. Building your endurance is an important part of IELTS exam practice: not all skills you’ll need on test day are related to IELTS Reading practice or IELTS Listening practice! In fact, it is so important to take these tests that you should make them a cornerstone of your IELTS review.

Now, you may be asking: how many IELTS practise tests should you take? About one each week is ideal.

I know, I know! It sounds like a lot. And it is a lot. But just think about everything you can learn from taking and reviewing these exams…

If you’re a beginner, you’ll see an IELTS exam sample, and you’ll know what to expect on test day. The sample exam can also act as an IELTS diagnostic test, showing your strengths and weaknesses. If you’re in the middle of your prep, an IELTS sample paper can show you what’s working in your preparation and what’s not. And if you’re about to take the exam, taking an IELTS practice test can give you an idea of what IELTS score range you can anticipate getting (although remember that tests vary and factors like anxiety may make your actual score different).

Convinced now? I thought so! Without further ado, let’s take a look at Magoosh’s IELTS free test.



 

Magoosh’s Free IELTS Practice Test PDF

Click this link to get your copy of the free, full-length IELTS sample test.

What exactly is it you ask? Well, the Magoosh IELTS Practice Test is a full-length exam. Inside this PDF (and at the bottom of this post), you’ll find questions that reflect what you’ll see on test day.

There’s an IELTS Reading sample test, an IELTS Listening practice test, and even IELTS Speaking practice and IELTS Writing practice. In terms of IELTS preparation online, you’ve just hit the jackpot!

Now, the big question becomes…



 

How to Take an IELTS Mock Test

You’ll want to take all of your IELTS practice tests correctly. By this, I mean you’ll need to take the practice tests under the same conditions as the real IELTS exam. Be careful: this is an Academic IELTS; if you’re taking the General IELTS, your test will be structured slightly differently (check out the Magoosh IELTS eBook for the full explanation of how)!

Use the Correct IELTS Test Structure

Here’s a quick refresher of what your IELTS test day will probably look like, as well as the item counts and distribution you’ll see on the Magoosh IELTS mock test!

Structure of IELTS Listening Practice Test
Number of questions: 40
Number of audio tracks: 4
Type of audio tracks: 2 conversations, 2 monologues
Time limit: 30 minutes to answer questions, 10 minutes to transfer the questions over to your answer sheet

IELTS Reading Practice Test for Academic Exam
Number of questions: 40
Number of reading passages: 3 long academic passages
Type of reading passages: long academic passages
Time limit: 60 minutes

IELTS Academic Writing Practice
Number of tasks: 40
Types of tasks: TASK 1: essay that summarizes info from a chart or table, TASK 2: academic opinion essay on a social issue
Task lengths: TASK 1: minimum of 150 words, TASK 2: minimum of 250 words
Time limit: 60 minutes

IELTS Speaking Practice Test
Type of task: 3 part interview
Number of questions: approximately 13 (5 short questions in part 1, 2 long questions and 2 short questions in part 2, 5 short questions in part 3)
Time limit: 11-14 minutes
Interviewer: In the IELTS Speaking section, you’ll be interviewed by an actual human being. To correctly practice the interview, find a speaking partner if possible.
Additional details on structure: See Magoosh’s Complete Guide to IELTS Speaking.

IELTS Sequence: In What Order Should You Do the Practice Sections?

At most IELTS test centers, the sequence of the sections is the same as the list immediately above. You will complete the Listening section, followed by the Reading section. Then you’ll complete your two IELTS Writing tasks. And finally, you’ll enter the IELTS Speaking interview.

However, the Speaking section’s place in the sequence can be different at different test centers. While most IELTS test sites give the Speaking interview last, some centers handle Speaking very differently. You may be asked to complete the interview first, before the remaining three sections. And some centers, you may even sit the IELTS Speaking interview on a different day or week than the rest of the exam.

Obviously, you’ll want your sequence for Speaking to match your real exam. Talk to your test center to see how they schedule the Speaking section, in relation to the other IELTS sections.

IELTS Practice Tests: When to Take Breaks

There are no breaks during the first three sections of the IELTS test. For a truly IELTS-like practice test, you should go straight from Listening to your IELTS practice test Reading section, and then straight from Reading to the IELTS Writing section.

There will usually be a break between IELTS Speaking and the rest of the exam. To know how long that break will be, check with the exam center where you’ll sit your IELTS. Then use the correct break time in your own IELTS sample tests.

Timing Your IELTS Practice Tests

On test day, two things will help you keep an eye on your IELTS section time limits: a wall clock, and the invigilator, or proctor. The invigilator is the person who supervises students during the exam.

The invigilator will announce the time limit at the beginning of the test. Then, the IELTS exam invigilator will announce time checks during the test section. The invigilator tells students when there is 40 minutes left, 20 minutes left, and 5 minutes left. The invigilator also announces when the time is up. And during all this, you can of course also look at the wall clock.

Obviously, you won’t have a invigilator present during your practice tests. But that added detail isn’t necessary. What’s most important is that you have some kind of timer system that matches the IELTS time limits.

During your practice tests, keep a clock in plain view. Use that clock with an timer app such as Google Timer. For your virtual timer, set 30 minutes for Listening, 10 minutes for transferring Listening answers to the answer sheet, 60 minutes for your IELTS mock test Reading section, and so on.

Learn to monitor your own time, without glancing at the clock too frequently. With enough practice, you’ll get a strong sense of the IELTS time limits. By test day, you may not even need the proctor’s guidance at all.

Pacing and Endurance on Your IELTS Sample Test

Time-consciousness is good. But there’s more to time management than just watching the clock.

On your IELTS practice tests, you should also practice pacing skills. This means making the best use of the time you’re given for a section or task. It also means learning how to work quickly enough to finish all the questions on time, without rushing and making mistakes.

Remember though—answering IELTS questions well and answering them quickly are not the same thing. Accuracy and pacing are two separate skills. Of these two skills, accuracy is the most important. You can give your answers as quickly as you want. But if you’re not giving good answers, no amount of speed will get you a good score.

So when you first start doing IELTS practice tests and IELTS practice questions, don’t stop when your time is up. Instead, take as long as you need. This allows you to focus on accuracy—the most important IELTS skill—first.

For instance, if you get to 60 minutes in an IELTS practice test Reading section and you’re still not quite done yet, keep working. You should even take time to go back and double check your Reading answers if you need to. To give another example, in your first few IELTS practice test Writing sections, keep writing until you are sure you’ve written both tasks well.

Make note of how long your first IELTS practice tests take you. If you’re over time, keep practicing. As you get more comfortable with the IELTS questions and tasks, you’ll also get faster. Soon, you’ll be ready to hold yourself to the time limits. But you don’t need to follow them at first.

The same is true of your endurance skills—that is, your ability to work on the IELTS without getting tired and needing breaks.

When you first start doing practice tests, stop and rest if you absolutely have to. Make note of how much that slows you down. Then learn to take slower breaks as you get more comfortable. By test day, be ready to do the first three sections without breaks. But you don’t need to do that in your earliest practice tests.



 

“The practice tests and the explanation videos provided in Magoosh helped me a lot. The reading and listening sections had a variety of questions spanning across all difficulty levels which was helpful as I didn’t get intimidated on the exam day.”
Magoosh IELTS student, band score 8.5 How to Score Your IELTS Sample Test

Once you’ve successfully taken a full-length IELTS sample test, the next step is to score it. There are a number of good tools out there for scoring your IELTS practice test. Read on!

IELTS Review: Scoring Your IELTS Practice Test Reading Listening Sections

To score your IELTS practice test Reading and Listening sections, check the answers and explanations page after you finish your practice IELTS test. After checking your answers, refer to the score chart and scoring video, which will help you find your raw score. The raw score is the number of questions you got right.

Once you have your raw scores for Listening and Reading, you can convert them into IELTS band scores. The IELTS itself does have an official chart to do this. You can find this on the “IELTS Scoring in Detail” page from IELTS.org.

Unfortunately, the official score conversion chart for IELTS Listening and Reading is incomplete. The chart only covers some of the bands, without showing raw score conversions for the highest and lowest IELTS bands.

That’s frustrating, but there is a fix. In my experience, the unofficial IELTS Raw Score Calculator website is pretty accurate for scoring either an IELTS test sample for Listening or an IELTS practice test Reading sample. You can enter your raw scores into that website. Or you can look at the following very useful chart, based on the website:

Source: Wikipedia

Scoring Your IELTS Sample Test: IELTS Practice Test Writing and Speaking Sections

The IELTS practice test Writing and Speaking sections don’t come with an answer key, but that doesn’t mean we don’t help you out! The Writing test comes with high-scoring sample essays. Plus, you can record your Writing and Speaking answers in the Magoosh IELTS online product, which will help you grade them at a later date. You may also use the IELTS band descriptors for Writing Task 1, Writing Task 2, and Speaking. These give good descriptions of the score levels for these two sections.

To score your IELTS Speaking practice section and IELTS practice test Writing section, you can look at the band descriptors on your own. However, it’s hard to assess your own English. If possible, IELTS essays and speech should be reviewed by a tutor or uploaded to an IELTS forum such as the IELTS Network. For your IELTS practice test Writing and Speaking sections, it’s always best to have someone else help you estimate your band scores.

Estimating your Whole-Test Score for an IELTS Practice Exam

The first step to getting your whole test score is to calculate your individual scores for IELTS practice test Writing, Listening, Reading, and Speaking sections (as described above).

Once you have those four scores, average them together. Then round up or down to the nearest 0.5. For example, if the average of your four sections is 6.25, that rounds up to a band 6.5 for your IELTS practice test. Following that pattern, a 6.125 would round down to 6, and a 5.75 would round up to Band 7.



 

“The lessons on the platform are perfect for exam oriented study and are tailor made for those who are short on time. The questions in the Practice module are representative of those I came across during the exam.”
Magoosh IELTS student, band score 8 Learning from Your Mistakes in IELTS Sample Tests

You can always learn from mistakes. But the best time to learn from your mistakes is before test day. An IELTS sample test is a chance to make mistakes, risk free. Learn from your mistakes now, and you won’t make as many mistakes once you’re sitting in the real IELTS test center.

So keep an error log. What’s an error log, you may ask? It’s just what you’d expect. It’s a log, or record, of the errors and mistakes you make on your IELTS practice test.

When you get a wrong answer in IELTS Listening or Reading, make note of this in your error log. Write down the question number, and note the IELTS Reading question types or IELTS Listening question types that you’ve missed. Be sure to also make note of what concepts and skills were tested, such as word meaning, listening for number words, and so on. Finally, make note of what you could do in order to avoid similar mistakes in the future. (EX: notice the context around an unfamiliar word, work on distinguishing between the sound of “17” and “70,” and so on.)

For Writing and Speaking, and error log will work a bit differently. In these sections, record any problems you might have with pacing, organization, pronunciation, grammar, and so on. You can adjust your studies based on the log, focusing on your weaknesses in these two sections.



 

Where to Find More Full-Length IELTS Practice Tests

Of course, we recommend taking many IELTS practice tests before your official exam—which means that just one IELTS practice test isn’t going to be enough? So once you’ve completed this exam, where can you find more IELTS sample papers?

The answer to that question? All over the web! A quick Google search will pull up tons of IELTS practice tests, and many an IELTS practice test free download. (Most of these come in the form of an IELTS practice test PDF, but there are many other formats..

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Introducing Magoosh’s Guide to the IELTS Exam!

There’s been a lot going on behind the scenes here at Magoosh! And today, we’re so excited to share the results of our work with you: our new, free IELTS eBook, the Complete Guide to the IELTS Exam!

Are you a beginning student? In this IELTS guide, you’ll get an overview of the IELTS for the first time. Looking for advanced work? This free IELTS book PDF has strategies and extra practice to get your score as high as possible!
 

What to Expect from Magoosh’s Free IELTS eBook

First of all, here’s what not to expect…spending money. That’s right: the Complete Guide to the IELTS Exam is 100% free!

And as if that weren’t exciting enough, you’ll find a lot more in this complete guide to IELTS PDF:

  • More than 150 pages covering all aspects of IELTS preparation
  • Everything you need to know about every type of question you’ll find on the IELTS
  • Expect, proven strategies to help you master each question type
  • Sample problems with explanations to help guide you through what you’ll see on the IELTS
  • And even more, including study schedules and where to find more resources!

All totally free! You can download the free IELTS book by clicking the button:
 

“Magoosh practice modules make you familiar with the real exam questions and make for a confident, anxiety free preparation. Also the lessons are easy and very handy for the last minute preparation.”

Magoosh IELTS student, band score 8

The Complete Guide to the IELTS Exam

So how should you use this IELTS guide? NOT like a textbook. We don’t like writing dense, academic books that nobody wants to read! So start by looking through the table of contents and skimming the sections that appeal to you the most, or the sections you need help with. Later, you can go back and read more deeply, learning and practicing strategies as you go.

We hope you enjoy this new IELTS resource! Please let us know what you think of our free IELTS eBook by leaving us a comment below. And if you’re looking for more free resources, be sure to take a look at our free IELTS vocabulary flashcards.

The post Free IELTS eBook: Complete Guide to the IELTS Exam appeared first on Magoosh IELTS Blog.

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Where to Find IELTS Practice Tests (and How to Use Them!)

Listen and subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher. Or listen right here:

In this episode, Eliot and Naomi talk about IELTS practice tests. They’ll cover:

  • Why it’s important to study for the IELTS using practice tests
  • Tips on where to find high quality IELTS practice tests online
  • How you can use practice tests as part of your IELTS study routine

If you like this lesson, please subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher for more IELTS lessons, and check out all of our IELTS Podcast episodes here!

And don’t forget to check out these IELTS resources!

Learn how to improve your IELTS band score with Magoosh! Use coupon code ieltspodcast to save 20% on our IELTS test prep!

IELTS Podcast: Episode 24 Transcript

Naomi:Welcome to the Magoosh IELTS Podcast! This is Episode 24. In this episode, you’re going to learn about IELTS practice tests, including what makes a good IELTS practice test, where to find them, and how to use practice tests as part of your IELTS test preparation.

First Eliot and I will discuss why it’s important for students to study for the IELTS using practice tests, then we’ll give you some tips on where to find high quality IELTS practice tests online. We’ll end by talking a little bit about how you can use practice tests as part of your IELTS study routine. Check for a link to the free Magoosh IELTS Practice Test in the show notes.

And don’t forget to visit us at IELTS.Magoosh.com for more great resources to improve your IELTS band score. Use coupon code “ieltspodcast” to save 20% off your IELTS test prep!

Okay, let’s get started!

Today we’re going to talk about IELTS practice tests, where to find them, and how to use them. So Eliot, why is it important to take practice tests when preparing for the IELTS?

Eliot: On test day, you won’t just do a handful of problems at a time—you’ll have to answer many in a row. Taking practice tests helps you build endurance and get comfortable with the format of the test.

Naomi: Okay, that makes sense. When you’re studying for the IELTS, practicing specific skills—like vocabulary—is important…but you won’t know if you’re fully prepared for the exam until you take a full-length IELTS sample test.

Eliot: Exactly. Building endurance is an extremely important part of your IELTS exam practice, so practice tests should have a big role your study plan.

Naomi: So how many practice tests should students be taking to prepare for the IELTS?

Eliot: Ideally you should take one practice test every week.

Naomi: That’s sound like a lot of practice tests!

Eliot: Yes—it is a lot, but if you stick to this schedule you’ll be extremely well prepared for the real exam.

Naomi: So what are some of the benefits of taking practice tests, besides building endurance?

Eliot: Taking an IELTS practice test will teach you what to expect on test day. The sample exam can also show you your strengths and weaknesses, so you can focus your studying on the areas you need to improve the most.

Naomi: What about if you’re already in the middle of your IELTS preparation?

Eliot: If you’re in the middle of your IELTS prep, taking an IELTS practice test can show you what’s working in your preparation and what’s not.

Naomi: And if the exam is only a few days away?

Eliot: If test day is around the corner, taking an IELTS practice test will give you an idea of what score you can expect to get on the real thing—that way you can go into the exam a little more relaxed.

Naomi: Sounds great! So where can students find these practice tests?

Eliot: Well, a quick Google search will pull up tons of IELTS practice tests. But the trick is to find IELTS sample tests that truly good quality.

Naomi: And what makes a practice test high quality?

Eliot: Not all IELTS practice tests have questions that are like the ones on the real test. If you take a practice IELTS test that’s not much like the real one, you won’t be prepared for the actual exam.

Naomi: Okay, so how can students know the practice test they’re using is realistic?

Eliot: The best IELTS online tests are the ones from the official IELTS websites. Every website offers a free IELTS practice test PDF, or rather multiple IELTS practice test PDFs.

Naomi: Doesn’t Magoosh also offer a free IELTS practice test?

Eliot: Yes! We recently put out a high quality, full-length practice test, which is available on our website. It’s a PDF you can download and print out. Inside this PDF you’ll find questions that reflect exactly what you’ll see on test day.

Naomi: So the PDF includes an IELTS Reading sample test, an IELTS Listening practice test, and also IELTS Speaking practice and IELTS Writing practice?

Eliot: Yes, just like the real thing!

Naomi: Awesome!

Before we find out how to take an IELTS practice test, let’s pause for a word from Magoosh.

Kevin: Do you want a great IELTS score?

Magoosh can help!

Here’s what you’ll get with Magoosh:
· In-depth video lessons that cover concepts, pitfalls, and shortcuts
· Over 200 practice questions to help you prepare for your exam
· 24/7 email access to a team of remote tutors ready to answer your questions
Are you ready to improve your score and get into your dream program? Great! We’re ready to help you. Visit us at ielts.magoosh.com and use coupon code “podcast” to save 20% off your IELTS test prep.
Now back to the show!

Naomi: So Eliot, do you have any advice on how students should use practice tests in their IELTS study routines?

Eliot: Yes. You’ll need to take the practice tests under the same conditions as the real IELTS exam.

Naomi: So you’re saying students should act as though they’re actually taking the real IELTS exam every time they take a practice test.

Eliot: Exactly. Start by making sure you’re taking the test in the right order. First complete the Listening section, followed by the Reading section. Then complete your two IELTS Writing tasks. And end with the IELTS Speaking interview.

Naomi: What about breaks in between sections?

Eliot: There are no breaks during the first three sections of the IELTS test.

Naomi: So for a truly IELTS-like practice test, you should go straight from Listening to your IELTS practice test Reading section, and then straight from Reading to the IELTS Writing section?

Eliot: Right. And then there will usually be a break between IELTS Speaking and the rest of the exam. To know how long that break will be, check with the exam center where you’ll sit your IELTS. Then use the correct break time in your own IELTS sample tests.

Naomi: Good idea. And it’s also important that you time yourself, right?

Eliot: Yes, you absolutely must take your practice tests according to the real IELTS schedule. During your practice tests, keep a clock or a timer app (such as Google Timer) in plain view.

Naomi: So if you’re using a timer you would set it to 30 minutes for Listening, 10 minutes for transferring Listening answers to the answer sheet, 60 minutes for your IELTS mock test Reading section, and so on?

Eliot: Right. Learn to monitor your own time, without glancing at the clock too frequently. With enough practice, you’ll get a strong sense of the IELTS time limits. By test day, you may not even need the proctor’s guidance at all.

Naomi: Ok, so you’ll take your practice test with a timer…but there’s more to time management than just watching the clock, right?

Eliot: Absolutely. You should also practice pacing skills. This means making the best use of the time you’re given for a section or task and learning how to work quickly enough to finish all the questions on time, without rushing and making mistakes.

Naomi: How can students work on their pacing?
Eliot: When you first start doing IELTS practice tests, don’t stop when your time is up. Instead, take as long as you need. This allows you to focus on accuracy—the most important IELTS skill—first.

Naomi: Then what?

Eliot: As you get more comfortable with the IELTS questions and tasks, you’ll also get faster. Soon, you’ll be ready to hold yourself to the time limits.

Naomi: But you don’t need to follow them at first?

Eliot: Right. The most important thing is that you complete all the questions and keep learning from your mistakes. As you get more comfortable with the test, you’ll get faster.

Naomi:
So the bottom line is: take a lot of realistic IELTS practice tests?

Eliot: That’s it! And you can get started right now with Magoosh’s free IELTS practice test PDF. Just make sure to set aside approximately three hours of uninterrupted time to take the test.

Naomi: After the test, check your answers and make note of any questions you missed!

So what did you think? If you need more practice, check out the show notes for a transcript of this episode so that you can follow along and listen again.

Oh and by the way! We’re looking for volunteers to help us translate the show transcripts from English to your first language. If you are interested, please email me at naomi@magoosh.com with the subject line “translation,” and let me know what language you can translate into!

Thanks for listening! If you like our show, help us out by leaving a rating and review in Apple Podcasts, it helps people find us! And don’t forget to hit the subscribe button. Until next time! This is Naomi at Magoosh, wishing you happy studying!

The post IELTS Podcast (Ep. 24) | Where to Find IELTS Practice Tests (and How to Use Them!) appeared first on Magoosh IELTS Blog.

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How to Study for the IELTS in One Month

Listen and subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher. Or listen right here:

In this episode, Eliot and Naomi talk about how to study for the IELTS in one month. They’ll cover:

  • What you should study
  • How much time you should spend studying
  • Our 1-month study plan

If you like this lesson, please subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher for more IELTS lessons, and check out all of our IELTS Podcast episodes here!

And don’t forget to check out these IELTS resources!

Learn how to improve your IELTS band score with Magoosh! Use coupon code ieltspodcast to save 20% on our IELTS test prep!

IELTS Podcast: Episode 23 Transcript

Naomi:Welcome to the Magoosh IELTS Podcast! This is Episode 23. In this episode, we’re going to tell you how to study for the IELTS in one month. Afterward, you can check the show notes for direct links to Magoosh’s one month IELTS study plan, and links to recommended IELTS prep materials.

Don’t forget to visit us at IELTS.Magoosh.com for more great resources to improve your IELTS band score. Use coupon code “ieltspodcast” to save 20% off your IELTS test prep!

Okay, let’s get started!

Eliot: If you need to study for the IELTS, you may wonder exactly what you should study, and how much time you should spend studying.

Naomi: That really can be tricky. I mean, obviously, you want to practice for all four sections of the test. But is there anything else students should focus on, Eliot?

Eliot: Well, Naomi, studying IELTS Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking does cover a lot of the bases. But yes, there are a few other general things students should study. Vocabulary is a big one. A good English vocabulary will help you in every section of the test. And it’s good to study skills that are test specific.

Naomi: Now, what do you mean by test-specific? Can you give me some examples?

Eliot: Sure. Let’s take pacing, the skill of finishing your tasks at the right speed. This skill is really specific to timed exams like the IELTS. But it’s not specific to any one section. It’s not really even a language skill, per se. As another example, it helps to understand the question types you’ll see in each section.

Naomi: It sounds like you’re saying IELTS Prep should focus on language skills, but also include some test-taking skills?

Eliot: You got it!

Naomi: So what does that balance look like? How much time should be spent on language lessons versus skills lessons?

Eliot: Well now, that’s a tricky question. You really do need to strike a careful balance between language learning and skills building. It helps to have a good plan.

Naomi: But how can students put together a really good study plan? It sounds like making a study timetable is a difficult task in and of itself.

Eliot: It really can be tricky. I know this first hand, because I actually wrote some study plans for our blog. That way, students don’t have to put in that kind of hard work, and can focus more on their actual test prep They can use one of the Magoosh IELTS study plans. Our one month IELTS study plan is especially popular.

Naomi: I’ve seen that plan on the blog. So that one month timetable– it tells tells students how much to study vocabulary, and how much time to spend on each language and testing skill?

Eliot: That’s right. And in addition to covering the kinds of things you need to study, our one month study plan includes a checklist of the resources you should use–the right books, websites, and apps for the perfect 4 weeks of IELTS prep.

Naomi: So what materials do the students need for this plan?

Eliot: It’s a surprisingly simple list, actually. Almost everything comes from just one of two sources: the official makers of the test, or Magoosh. For official stuff, the plan requires The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS, and two official IELTS websites: IELTS.org and the British Council’s IELTS page. From Magoosh IELTS, students use our video lessons, practice questions, IELTS vocabulary flashcards, and blog posts. Oh, and one resource that’s not from us for from the people who make the test: EnglishVocabularyExercises.com.

Naomi: I’ve been to EnglishVocabularyExercises.com. I didn’t see the IELTS mentioned on the site, though. Are you sure this is a really good source of IELTS prep?

Eliot: Oh, definitely. You’re right that the website doesn’t really deal with the IELTS directly. But this site is all about intermediate to advanced English vocabulary. And that’s the exact level of vocabulary you’ll see on the exam.

Naomi: That makes sense. So to do this study plan, the students need the official guide for the IELTS, the official IELTS websites, the Magoosh IELTS video lessons, flashcards, and blog, and that English vocabulary website.

Eliot: That’s it in a nutshell. And once they have those materials, they can follow our detailed four week planner for IELTS Prep.

Naomi: I feel like I understand the materials and activities now. But how does the actual schedule incorporate all of that? If I recall, you get a list of things to do for each of the four weeks?

Eliot:

Naomi: Before we look at the structure of Magoosh’s one month IELTS study plan, let’s pause for a word from Magoosh.

Kevin: Do you want a great IELTS score?
Magoosh can help!

Here’s what you’ll get with Magoosh:

  • In-depth video lessons that cover concepts, pitfalls, and shortcuts
  • Over 200 practice questions to help you prepare for your exam
  • 24/7 email access to a team of remote tutors ready to answer your questions

Are you ready to improve your score and get into your dream program? Great! We’re ready to help you. Visit us at ielts.magoosh.com and use coupon code “podcast” to save 20% off your IELTS test prep.

Now back to the show!

Eliot: In our study plan, you do get a list of what to do each week. And the schedule of study activities is even more detailed than that. We give a day-by-day breakdown of recommended study activities.

Naomi: I can see how this could help a lot of students. So… four weeks, and four sections of the IELTS. Should students focus on a different section each week?

Eliot: I recommend against that, actually. It’s important to remember that the four English skills are used together in real life. So it’s good to study all four skills in a week. Students should also get in some practice with vocab and test skills each week.

Naomi: Wow, that sounds like a lot to cover every week. Will our students really have time for that?

Eliot: Now that is a good question. I set up the study plan so that students need to prep for one or two hours per day, on average. Some days require more study time, though. For example, students should set aside at least three hours on any day where they’re taking a full-length IELTS practice test.

Naomi: That time sounds like it could be manageable. But what if something comes up? What if a student has a really busy day, and they don’t have enough time to do that day’s activities?

Eliot: That definitely happens from time to time. In that case, I encourage students to catch up on those missed activities on another day in the week.

Naomi: That kind of flexibility is good. Are there any other changes students can make to the plans, if they need to?

Eliot: Absolutely. I set up all of the IELTS plans so that students can customize them. Some students, for instance, may be very good at IELTS Reading already, but also really struggle with IELTS Speaking. In that case, they could skip some of the Reading practice and replace it with extra Speaking practice.

Naomi: It sounds like you’re saying the study plan can either be followed closely, or modified?

Eliot: That’s correct. Many students go through our one month study schedule exactly as-is, but I’ve also heard from students who treat this plan as a loose guideline– a foundation for a personal plan they put together for themselves.

Naomi: So what did you think? If you need to look at these tips again, check out the show notes for a transcript of this episode so that you can follow along and listen again.

Oh and by the way! We’re looking for volunteers to help us translate the show transcripts from English to your first language. If you are interested, please email me at naomi@magoosh.com with the subject line “translation,” and let me know what language you can translate into!

Thanks for listening! If you like our show, help us out by leaving a rating and review in Apple Podcasts, it helps people find us! And don’t forget to hit the subscribe button. Until next time!

This is Naomi at Magoosh, wishing you happy studying!

The post IELTS Podcast (Ep. 23) | How to Study for the IELTS in One Month appeared first on Magoosh IELTS Blog.

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How to Prepare for IELTS Academic Writing Task 2

Listen and subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher. Or listen right here:

In this episode you will learn about how to prepare for the Academic IELTS Writing Task 2. Eliot and Naomi will discuss:

  • Organization
  • Structure
  • Tone
  • Example Questions
  • Scoring

If you like this lesson, please subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher for more IELTS lessons, and check out all of our IELTS Podcast episodes here!

And don’t forget to check out our other IELTS Academic Writing Task 2 resources!

IELTS Podcast: Episode 22 Transcript

Naomi: Welcome to the Magoosh IELTS Podcast! This is Episode 22. In this episode, you’re going to learn about IELTS Academic Writing Task 2. We’re going to discuss everything you need to know about this second essay, including organization, structure, tone, example questions, and scoring.

Don’t forget to visit us at IELTS.Magoosh.com for more great resources to improve your IELTS band score. Use coupon code “ieltspodcast” to save 20% off your IELTS test prep!

And now, for the show!

Eliot: Today Naomi and I will discuss IELTS Writing task 2, and talk about some tips and tricks for writing a really good second IELTS essay.

Naomi: Eliot, what would you say is the first thing students should know about this essay?

Eliot: They should know that this is a bigger essay– one that takes more work and time than IELTS Writing Task 1. The IELTS recommends you spend 20 minutes on Writing Task 1, but 40 minutes on Task 2.

Naomi: So most of your IELTS Writing section time should be devoted to the second essay? Why is that?

Eliot: There are a few different reasons, actually. One of the reasons comes down to scoring. Task 2 makes up two-thirds of your writing score. And you’re expected to write more– they need to state an opinion and defend it with examples and details. That’s why there’s a 250 word minimum for the second essay versus the 150 word expectation for that first task.

Naomi: Wow! How can students write all that in just 40 minutes?

Eliot: The key is careful time management for each stage of writing. IELTS Task 2 Essay planning should take 2-10 minutes, then the actual writing should take 25-32 minutes, with 5 minutes left over to go back and proofread.

Naomi: So how exactly should you organize things?

Eliot: In both your outline and your essay, there are a few rules you should follow. Obviously, you’ll want to start with the introduction. Keep that part fairly short. Just restate the topic, and add your thesis. That’s where you state your position and your main points. After that, you can move straight to the body paragraphs. Body paragraph 1 will give supporting details for thesis main point 1….

Naomi: …And body paragraph 2 covers thesis main point 2?

Eliot: You’re getting the idea! Then, after the body, end with a conclusion, where you restate and review the main points. The conclusion should be short and sweet–like the introduction.

Naomi: What about the writing style? Any special words or sentence structures students should use?

Eliot: The writing will be academic–formal. So we want sentences that are complete, and sometimes compound and complex.

Naomi: So there should be sentence variety.

Eliot: Definitely. And you don’t just need sentence variety. Top scoring Task 2 essays also have word variety. Students should avoid using the same words and phrases over and over. Oh, and keep the tone formal and academic.

Naomi: OK, I think I can almost picture what a good outline and essay look like. But how can I know for sure that I’m picturing the right thing?

Eliot: Well, fortunately for you and our students, Magoosh has some sample materials for that. If you go to our Complete Guide to IELTS Writing Task 2, you’ll see a sample question for the second IELTS essay, and a model outline. Our guide has a model IELTS Writing Task 2 essay as well. We’ll put links in the show notes.

Naomi: That’s great. Now that our students know how to outline and write the essay, what else should they know?

Eliot: It’s also a good idea to look at the question types, and the way this essay is scored.

Naomi: Before we look at IELTS Writing Task 2 question types and scoring, let’s hear from Magoosh.

Kevin: Do you want a great IELTS score?
Magoosh can help!

Here’s what you’ll get with Magoosh:
· In-depth video lessons that cover concepts, pitfalls, and shortcuts
· Over 200 practice questions to help you prepare for your exam
· 24/7 email access to a team of remote tutors ready to answer your questions
Are you ready to improve your score and get into your dream program? Great! We’re ready to help you. Visit us at ielts.magoosh.com and use coupon code “podcast” to save 20% off your IELTS test prep.

Now back to the show!

Naomi: So you were saying there are different types of questions? How many different types?

Eliot: Students will be happy to hear that there are just five question types for IELTS Writing Task 2. There are agree-disagree question types, advantage/disadvantage, cause and solution questions, questions where you discuss both sides of an argument, and thematic questions that focus on a special topic.

Naomi: In a lot of these questions, I notice you need to discuss two sides to a debate….

Eliot: Most questions are like that, yes. But there are also “Cause and Solution to a Problem” questions. The students need to propose a solution, but they don’t really have to choose a position in the same way.

Naomi: Interesting! I’ll be honest, though. I’m having a little trouble imagining examples of each type of question. Is there a place I can go to see some actual questions?

Eliot: Yes! This is another place where Magoosh has you covered. Our complete guide to IELTS Writing Task 2 includes examples of each of the 5 IELTS Writing Task 2 question types. Check the show notes for that link.

Naomi: Nice! And the outline and structure you described above–that works for any question type?

Eliot: Sure. Essays can be structured the same way no matter what kind of question you get.

Naomi: That’s a relief. But what about scoring? If you answer a different kind of question, will your essay be scored in a different way?

Eliot: Not to worry, all essays are scored by the exact same standards. But I’m glad you brought that up. It’s really important for students to know exactly how IELTS Writing Task 2 is scored. Knowing the scoring system is a powerful way to aim for the best score.

Naomi: So how does the scoring system work, in a nutshell?

Eliot: Well, you get points in 4 categories: Task Response, Grammatical Range and Accuracy, Lexical Resource, and Coherence and Cohesion.

Naomi: What do these category names really mean?

Eliot: Great question! Let’s start with Task Response. Here, the scorers ask themselves “Did this student fully answer the question”? If you follow the structure we talked about earlier– introduction, body paragraphs, conclusion, you have the best chance of answering the question completely.

Naomi: Got it! I think after task response, you mentioned grammatical range and accuracy? That one’s exactly what it sounds like, isn’t it?

Eliot: Pretty much, yeah. In the Grammatical range and accuracy category, scorers look for the kind of sentence variety we discussed earlier. The grammar of sentences should be varied, and used correctly.

Naomi: OK, and lexical….

Eliot: Lexical resource! “Lexical” means related to words and their meanings. Lexical resource is the use of a good range of vocabulary. It’s the vocabulary variety I mentioned before. With correctly used words, of course!

Naomi: That leaves us with coherence and cohesion….

Eliot: That category is all about your ability to present your ideas logically and clearly. You earn points for laying your your ideas in logical order, with clear connections between the information.

Naomi: And let me guess… I can see more tips and examples for these scoring categories in Magoosh’s Complete Guide to IELTS Writing Task 2, right?

Eliot: That’s right! You can see examples and a lot of extra advice in our Complete Guide to IELTS Writing Task 2. It’s all in the section entitled Improving Your IELTS Writing Task 2 Score (By Scoring Category). Don’t worry, we’ll put links to all of the resources we covered in the show notes.

Naomi: So what did you think? If you need more practice, check out the show notes for a transcript of this episode so that you can follow along and listen again.

Oh and by the way! We’re looking for volunteers to help us translate the show transcripts from English to your first language. If you are interested, please email me at naomi@magoosh.com with the subject line “translation,” and let me know what language you can translate into!

Thanks for listening! If you like our show, help us out by leaving a rating and review in Apple Podcasts, it helps people find us! And don’t forget to hit the subscribe button. Until next time!

This is Naomi at Magoosh, wishing you happy studying!

The post IELTS Podcast (Ep. 22) | How to Prepare for IELTS Academic Writing Task 2 appeared first on Magoosh IELTS Blog.

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