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Understanding Section One of IELTS Speaking Test

BY almio harjanto ON March 29, 2017 
Knowing the types of questions in IELTS Speaking Test helps us a lot to demonstrate our ability as required. In this article, we will see what is expected of us to perform when the examiner asks the questions in Part One of IELTS Speaking test.
The following are the types of questions that ask your ability in typical areas and sample questions as well as answers. I am bringing up Sport as example topic since it is quite popular and many enjoy talking about it.

1.    Identifying question:
What kind of exercise do you enjoy?
è I am really keen on running because it’s quite easy, since you don’t need fancy equipment and it doesn’t require specific time to do it.
2.       Expressing an opinion:
Is it important to exercise regularly?
è Yes, it is. Doing this on schedule will keep our mind and physique healthy and fit especially in order to do our routines every day.
3.    Comparing
Do you think people are exercising more these days compared to 50 years ago?
èNo, I don’t think so. Nowadays, there are more activities to do as responsibilities due to the ever expanding varieties of aspects of life. These people are so banded with their duties that that have to sacrifice workouts.
4.    Describing
Can you tell me what the facilities in your sport center look like?
èYes, I have the impression that all equipment installed are of well-known brands and technologically quite advanced
5.    Expressing preferences
Is it better if you exercise alone or with a partner?
èI can see that since there are more attractive activities to partake or at least issues to share about, I would say doing workouts with a partner is the best.

There are no in-depth answers on this stage of interview but we can extend the answer with some long sentences. To get high IELTS Test Score, make sure you are familiar with vocabularies related to the topicsandknow the verb tense. For example, “I provide my own racket and shuttlecockanytime I go for my scheduled practice.” This response uses essential terms that are related to badminton. “What exercise do you enjoy?” This question calls for the usage of Present Tense.


In our IELTS Preparation course we heavily emphasize these types in our classes. We alsoexpose them to various topics that are common to be tested in IELTS Test.

How Long Should You Write?


IELTS Writing Test consists of two tasks. In Task 1, you must summarise and compare information from a graph, chart, table, diagram, or a combination of these, and Task 2 is a topic on which you have to write an essay. Task 1 tests your ability to analyse data objectively without giving an opinion, whereas Task 2 usually requires a subjective piece of writing on a fairly general topic. In addition, it is worth noting that the exam is not testing knowledge of English language, but rather competence in using English.

In the exam, the minimum word limit for Task 1 is 150 words and you need to spend about 20 minutes on this task. Task 2 must be at least 250 words, on which you need to spend about 40 minutes. There is no maximum word limit for both tasks. Many candidates frequently exceed the minimum amounts by a very wide margin, which creates several problems. Rather than concentrating on producing a good essay, candidates write beyond what is necessary, thinking that there are extra marks for writing more. This is usually not the case.

It is very important that you try to keep the word limits, and perhaps write just a little more. You could write between 150 and 170 words for Task 1 and 250 and 280 for Task 2. If you write too few words, you will lose marks. If you write less than the limit of 150 words for Task 1 and 250 words for Task 2, you will lose marks too.

How to tell we wrote enough to pass the minimum word count? While practising for the IELTS Test, count the number of words you write per line and then work out how many lines you need to reach the 150/250 word limit. It might be worth trying to draw a line to mark the word limits when you are practising. This will help you to keep to the limits and help you to focus on where you are going and what you are aiming for.

Another important reason for writing just a little more than the word limit is to give yourself enough time to check what you have written. During the actual exam, for example Task 2, you should spend 5-6 minutes analysing the question, about 30 minutes writing your essay, and 4-5 minutes checking your essay for mistakes.

What should you do first? Task 1 or Task 2? From the psychological point of view, it is probably wise to do Task 1 first as it gives you a sense of accomplishment when you have finished it. However, note that the value of the marks given to each task is different. There are twice as many marks for Task 2 as for Task 1. The marks are combined to produce one Band Score from 1 to 9 for the whole test.
Source: Tips are compiled from IELTS Jakarta Material
Be SpecTacular! ;)

(Fredrik Nael)

MAKE SURE YOUR ANSWERS ARE EASY TO READ



You cannot expect to do well if your answers cannot be read. Candidates may be unaware that their answers cannot be understood by the examiners who mark the tests. Be careful!

Words: If you have trouble with English letters, you could write your Listening and Reading
Test answers in BLOCK LETTERS.

Practice, so your letters look like these:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Or
a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Your letters must be distinguishable from each other. Pay particular attention to:
E and F
I, J and L
M, N and W
U and V
I and T
(It is often hard to tell the difference between these letters when candidates write them quickly.)

Numbers: Numbers can be even more difficult to read:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
Many candidates do not realize that their numbers cannot be recognized by the examiners. Practice so that your numbers look similar to those shown above.

You can find more practice by joining IELTS Jakarta.
Good Luck :)

References:
101 Helpful hints for IELTS

Onny Anastasia Tampubolon

One Activity to Improve Reading Skill in IELTS


The process of completing Reading in IELTS examination is often considered difficult and tedious and it is profoundly true due to the fact that people are born with different backgrounds and abilities which influence everyone to have various interests and hobbies. Frankly speaking, to have reading as a hobby is actually a major benefit for those who are or will take the IELTS exam because those people are used to reading long sentences with special words at an early age. IELTS reading consists of lots of difficult words with long dreary sentences and style which shares similarities with non-fiction books, novels and newspapers.


I am not here to suggest every applicant to read all those books every day before taking the IELTS, but it is best for everybody to read and finish a book or two once a week. It is often difficult for people in adapting to new changes or picking up new hobbies, it is why allowing ourselves to buy novels or non-fiction books based on the covers which peak our interest, and finish reading them would be one of the easiest methods in improving applicant’s reading skills. Reading those books, understanding the difficult words, comprehending the incredibly hard plots will indirectly force our brain to work and absorb information which would strengthen our grammar and vocabulary abilities. Once people are used to their new hobby of reading, they will genuinely spend more time doing it and in turn, it provides them the atmosphere where they feel comfortable of reading long texts, paragraphs and essay which are generally found in IELTS reading module. IELTS Preparation program in SpecTa Education and www.IELTSJakarta.com are the two sources of excellent information in regards to handling IELTS examination especially in purpose of achieving wonderful score. 

Melvin Kevin
1st March 2017

INCREASE YOUR PERSONAL SPEED


Undoubtedly, in the IELTS test, time is candidate’s enemy. It is common to hear that the candidates having taken the test and not performing as well as they hoped complain for unable to give all the answers in Listening Test since the tape was probably too fast, and running out of time in the Reading Test.
            Firstly, do not worry if you do not finish the tests. The test is designed to measure candidates over a range of scores from 0 to 9 (0 indicates the test was not attempted). Candidates whose English is near perfect can expect to score 9, but even native English-speaking people would be unlikely to complete every Listening Test answer perfectly or finish the Reading Test a long time before the examination ends. Remember, the test is meant to be challenging.
            The IELTS test measures many aspects of your English ability including the speed at which you listen, read, write, speak, and think in English. Your personal speed is not something which changes a great deal from day to day, but does change considerably over a longer period of time, as a direct result of practice in working with the English language. This is why IELTS preparation is important for students who aim to achieve high score in IELTS.
            Your personal speed and ability in the 5 areas previously mentioned is pretty well fixed at any given time. The official IELTS Band Scores you receive are extremely accurate, since each test is trialed extensively to achieve standardised results for candidates at all English levels. Nonetheless, there are certainly many things you can do, before and on the day of the test, to help maximise the use of your time and give yourself the best chance of success.
            The Listening, Reading, and Writing Tests are given in that order, and are usually held on a single morning. The combined length of those three tests is 2 hours and 30 minutes. (The Speaking Test is conducted at an appointed time in the afternoon.) Only one short break is given between the Reading and Writing Tests, so you need to be at your best for a long period of time. Thus, teachers in IELTS Jakarta always suggest you to have good sleep and eat well before the test. Good Luck.

References:
101 Helpful hints for IELTS


Onny Anastasia Tampubolon