Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Do's and Don't's for the IELTS Academic Task 1 Writing

There could be different ways to present the answer in IELTS writing task-1 but here are the common guidelines which need to be taken under consideration in writing:-

When writing introduction don`t copy the question, it will carry discredit of plagiarism. Try to write the sentence with your own word. One effective technique would be to paraphrase the question by replacing words with synonyms and changing sentence structure and don`t  use any long chunks of words same as the question.

Don`t try to say the same idea with different sentence twice. It makes the content poor and can disturb the examiner. It also shows the lack of diversity in writing which can in the long run affect the marking process. If you are week in grammar then do not use too much complex and compound sentences they have tense issues need to be focused. Try to write your ideas and supporting examples in simple sentence and simple is beautiful. But, occasionally write 3 or 4 sentences with compound and complex structures.  Too much simple sentences can make the writing no-academic, so use some linker like “on the other hand”, “another part of the scenario is that” to make the flow of writing as coherent as possible.

In the grammar part tense is more important than any other structures. For example. If you are describing a graph presenting data of past years., then you should use past form of verbs. Same as describing future tense should be used in describing future trends or data. It is noticeable here that for writing about process diagram always use present form of verbs.

Don`t put your hand from the answering booklet after you finish your writing before 1 hour. Make a revision as thoroughly as possible and make correction wherever needed. Using a pencil can help a lot in this revision process as you can always erase it and your would not get dirty with jig jag crosses.

Remember Part-1 is not a creative writing. You are suppose to present what is relevant to the graph, table or diagram. So, don`t use your imagination to describe any data or facts. The examiner will deduct any irrelevant sentences from the total word count and the marks get affected with this.

So, to do well in the Part-1 writing in IELTS, just stick to the structure with relevancy. A very competent English language user can get half a band if they do follow the guidelines presented in this article. On the other hand, a normal competent candidate can score high by following these roles. In the long run, there is no Right or wrong answer in the IELTS test. A good preparation and confident will make the difference here.

How to Score Well in the Reading Test
In a academic environment, the most frequent skill one need to face is reading. So, it is not a surprise that IELTS test will examine your ability to read deeply and with this it will flush your academic skill intelligently to the world. Imagine, in a university environment, you have to read hundreds of articles to produce just a piece of assignment paper. In this circustances, it is always the time constraints that will stuck you and all you need to demonstrate the quick reading skill with proper understanding. You will also be surprised to know that the IELTS academic reading module is so concrete that The Government of Hong Kong use reading score for job application screening. So as the universal acceptance of IELTS as a sign of one`s language skill is beyond any question.

IELTS academic reading test dosn`t only focus on only academic papers but also includes newpaper articles and books. All three passages are fairly in high level and vary with different topics like science, history, real world views etc. The reading passages may contain specialized topics but could be understandable to all types of readers. The argument presented in those passages would be simple to complex, some are not very easy to go with, ex dilled with compels argument to make it difficult to answer questions and it is done intentionally to assess candidat`s skill level close to Band 9.

  • Time is the Enemy: 1 Hour total time with 3 passages on 40 questions. If you have 40 minutes to answer 40  questions, that means 5 minutes to read each passage and 5 minutes to transfer the answer to the answer sheet.
  • Familiarize yourself with question types: If you acquire this from mock test, you will not get puzzled during the original test. There are 8 types: multiple choice, sentence completion, short answer questions, classifying, yes/no/not given,  labeling paragraphs with headings, labelling a diagram and completing a summary.
  • Get to know the skills: Each question type can be solved using some techniques and you need to know those.
  • Understand test taker`s intention: One of these three passage would be very hard to read. Generally it is the last passage but it could be the first one as well. The difficulty level of question in each passage increases progressively as well.
  • Locate the words and synonyms: Most of the time you will find the exact word in the question and in the passage, but in few cases you will be puzzled with synonyms. So, be aware of that.
  • What is paraphrasing: It means the passage is saying for example: In Australia the weather is drier in summer than any continent of the world. In question: Australian summer is the driest of all parts of the world. These two sentences convey the same meaning.
  • Listen to the Question: Don`t write 4 word answer if the question says: write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS
  • Don`t Forget the Answer Sheet: Suppose you have done well in the reading part and score Band 4 in the test. Why, because you can`t put all the answers from question paper to the answer sheet!
·         Secret Skills Needed for IELTS Reading
·         Do you think IELTS reading section is just like your everyday reading.  If you think so, then you are probably wrong. Because, many IELTS candidate think like this and get a bad band score after the test.  Reading like everyday experience of reading newspaper, books and magazines would not do any help in the IELTS exam where you can pass the limited 1 hour by only reading and enjoying the passages. One might also get frightened by encountering unclear sentences or words in the passage and ink it as a failure to the exam but in reality you can score a very high band even without getting the full passage meaning. In order to do so, you need to focus on certain skills that are essential to the IELTS reading module.
·         If you are thinking about reading every sentence of the passage to get it`s main themes, then you will probably run out of time in the IETLS reading test.  You need to have a quick glance at the sentences of each paragraph to get the overall idea and this technique is called speed reading. Generally reading the introductory paragraph and the conclusion will enable you to identify the overall meaning of the passage.  The first two lines of each paragraph and the last line contains the gist of each paragraphs. Your eyes should be constantly on move all over the paragraphs to answer each questions correctly.  How you can achieve that much skill? The answer is practice. Read each passage of your official IELS practice test book as quick as possible and don’t spend more than 5 minutes on each, which would be more or same in the original IELTS test where you can spend 1 or 2 minutes more on the longest passage.
·         You also need to understand the organization of the passage.  Well this skill requires you to have sufficient academic background of  reading a lots of journal articles, research papers and reports. You need to identify the introductory part of the passage, specifically which paragraphs presents introductory discussions, which sentences express concluder remarks etc. You can write a brief summarizing sentence beside each passage to find the answer to the question as quickly as possible. This technique will also be helpful in answering the heading match questions.
·         In order to identify the keywords like number or names in the passage, you need to have scanning skills. Scanning means you are not reading any sentences or passage in the paragraph, rather have a bird`s eye view in the whole passage to find the needle in the hay stack. You don’t need to have high speed reading skills to do that, jut move your eyes vertically on the passage and though you can locate the keyword in the passage. Some also suggest to read the sentences backward, but this process could be time consuming.
·         Most of the question in Reading module can be answered by applying skimming and scanning technique. While there are at least 8 questions for advanced level reader which are ambiguous and need a master in paragraphing skill.  Paraphrase means same meaning with different words or word sequence in a sentence, presenting one idea in another way but the meaning remains similar. IELTS examiners often push these questions to assess the competency level of the candidate. A good vocabulary stock will helpful on this regard but it is also noticeable that technical words will remain same in the passage and questions.
·         IELTS  reading test is also filled with unfamiliar words, which makes it difficult to understand the meaning of a sentence. Reading the sentences around that unknown word can reveal its meaning. Skilled IELTS test-takers have more than just a well-stocked vocabulary; they also have the skills to cope with an unknown word and guess intelligently at its most likely meaning.
·         In the end, it is not that difficult to get 7.0 Band in the IELTS reading module as only 30 out of 40 questions need to be corrected and it is quite easy with little practice. So, the secret is don`t put too much time on difficult 10 questions, rather concentrate on the easy ones first. Just skip any hard question and get to the next one quickly to get a wholesome band score.
Main Skills in Demand for IELTS Reading Section

The purpose of IELTS reading test is to assess your ability to quickly identify relative topics in the essay which is very crucial in academic environment where a student have to go though thousands of reference materials for each subjects.  There is no other reason why people should read so thoroughly for example reading for entertainment. So, get this fact before you read any IELTS reading task passage that you are not reading for knowledge improvements or amusement rather than reading technically by focusing on questions only.
Throughout the one-hour assignment, there are three readings, of steadily expanding difficulty level, with what added up to roughly 40 questions with approximately 13 questions on each (The number changes from exam to exam). The task rewire to concentrate on question specific inquiries that doesn't necessarily demand seed reading but quick reading.
Four reading skills are incorporated in the IELTS reading:-
  1. Read the instructions carefully:  Candidates need to look what the question ask to write for example instruction of not writing more than 3 words. However, there are eight broad categories of questions which the candidates need to be familiarize by practicing before the exam so that they can make themselves comfortable during test period of one hour.
  2. Get the overall meaning: Students do not require understand the deeper meaning of the passages. They just need to learn the overall meaning. Some passages may based upon expert ideas but can be understood at general level by every types of readers. For example, the readers may be from non-scientific background, but they can get the reason behind high tide and low tide in rivers for the gravitational force of moon.
  3. Finding related points in the passage: Each argument or idea in the passage is supported by sentences around it. The question is focused on those main ideas and examinee need to identify supporting points to answer some questions. Understanding the morphology of English essay writing like introduction-detailing-conclusion is crucial in IELTS reading test as the reader must discover how the ideas are connected in the essay.
  4. Avoid test takers trap: Some question in True/False/Not Given type are just follow same sequence of words as in the reading passage so that the candidates thinks those as true statement. But, most often those statements are joint with extreme words like “most of the” “all” etc which makes them false statement or can be tagged as not given.
  5. Look what lies beneath: Several passages start with supporting a main topic but ends with completely different argument. So, candidates need to grasp the main idea of the passage. For example, passages can be toned as positive or negative approach on a point of view, irony of disagreement., fact finding or simple describing something. Understanding writers point of view question can be answered in this way. But, remember it is the most difficult type of question in IELTS reading section as you will not find the writers point in any sentence of the passage rather it would be the gist of whole passage. Vast reading habit is demanded to acquire that reading insight. So, read as many passages as possible before the exam.

So, it is needless to say that reading task in IELTS can be the most easy part for many candidates who have extensive reading experience. For others it is a life-long skills to be achieved yet.
Skills on Demand in the IELTS Listening Test
The listening test for IELTS embodies four areas to be finished in 30 minutes with 10 minutes extra times to transfer the answers in Answer sheet. (40 minutes in aggregate). The recording which  will be used to write answers will be played just once. In different expressions, there is no thinking time during the test, write as you listen where even the spelling ought to be right. In this way, Do you think it is easy to give correct answers of 40 questions? There are two principle focuses to be acquainted with before whatever the answer might be: your hearing speed with accuracy and how you understand other`s voices in a distinctive ways.

Firstly, the listening habit of understanding every dialect in English on mass media like radio, television and movies does not necessarily ensure that everyone can assume the answers during the IELTS listening test. The way with which an academic conversation need to be noticed, must be practiced thoroughly before the test. There may be numerous skills to grasp for doing that like getting numbers, date and place or persons name rightly and distinguish dialogues between multiple speakers. All things considered properly, you need to look where to look for in the recording to pick the answers. In this way a candidate can accustomed with the exact methodology of effective listening,  The enlightenments you need to seek for IELTS listening test are as below:

 • There are different characteristics of oral English to acclimate. The most regular and exceptionally imperative in IELTS is articulation.
• To grasp elocution: stress, pitch, phrasing, inflection, related information ought to be examined.
• Once the previously stated components are encountered successfully, distinctive listening exercises will continuously divulge the perception skill to answer questions rightfully.
• Finally, you should not disregard that past elocution is the stress that gives both variety and disarray when you attempt to listen to any dialect. Along these recordings, recognize distinctive accent most utilized in today’s English speaking world for example the American, British, Australian and Canadian.
• Secondly, since capability is the heart in IELTS, you need to verify you are great at collocation. This is experimental in IELTS since each listening assignment is finished inside a particular setting. Along these audio records, you don't basically decipher any haphazard correspondences. You should know how expressions are assembled and how they pass on describing important issues.. Henceforth, you need to recognize these aptitudes.
• Be equipped to speculate if the missing word you need to fill into is a noun, verb, verb modifier or a descriptive word, and dependably take note what usually precedes or after each of the parts of conversation. Here your capability to summarize English speaking outflows is exceptionally significant, as the aforementioned guide you to the precise word to be utilized in different question types like bank filling an multiple choices. The second needs a general comprehension of the content, with the intention that you can pick the right synonym in the passage corresponded to your selected  keyword in the question.
• Be acquainted with various expression type like public speaking, information giving and private chatting so that you can quickly get comfortable with the recordings each sections,
 • And have the ability to rapidly review the essential thoughts in a dialect, distinguishing key parts in a conversation from common expressions like stating personal wonder, anxiety and curiosity.

Consequently, each IELTS test-taker must be given the adequate aides in preparing and practicing for the genuine listening test. Nothing is more accommodating than knowing first the rudiments before managing the many-sided quality that needed for each sections in the listening test. 

Fundamental Skills for the IELTS Listening Test
English may be the most influential language in the current world as it is used for diversified purposes in multinational environment. For, some language speakers like German it is easy to learn as German language share the common root with English. For many others it is difficult to learn like Chinese, Indians as their language have completely different root. But, in this era of globalization, there two nations need to deal in more and more in English. You can now guess for non-native speakers, English is hard to speak as well as hard to listen.

The IELTS Listening test is very easy for some candidates while it could be a nightmare for many. It is not easy because the audio recording played during the test is not the normal conversation you listen in the movie or music rather those are highly academic language. That said , your ear should be well adapted to listen academic speaking like report/thesis presentation, lecture of professor’s etc.

On the other hand, adapting to listen different accent like British, American and Australian is crucial. It is really difficult to listen at lexical level in different conversation, that means getting every words right. You should be more focused on understanding on sentence level and become comfortable with the accent traps.

The listening test itself is filled with confusions to obtain key data and facts in the passage.  The candidate is assessed how tactfully he/she can grasp necessary parts in the conversation. A conversation is generally a natural speaking process, but listen it accurately needs great attentions and The IELTS test is there to examine that consciousness. In academic environment students entitled to take notes while listening lectures, that is exactly the same what an IELTS examinee need to focus.

So, it is important that you practice different speakers accents to adapt to the change of accent. Identify distracters that can fluctuate the level of concentration should be done at this stage. As for example, a speaker can present many supporting views to clarify the main points while your ear should stick to the main issues of a speaking.

Intonation is another key issues in the IELTS listening test which means lowering and raising voice to present and argument. Most often you will listen a monotonous monologue for a while then stuck by a sudden up-pitch of voice, and there is 90% possibility of getting answer in that part of talking. The universal structure of public speaking is also noticeable in the exam. A speaker first introduce about the title of speech and then presents example, arguments and conclusion. Focusing on this structure will pre-prepare your mindset for listening. In the end, loosing concentration would be devastating for you during the IELTS listening test, so be careful about that.

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