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Ryan’s Latest Blog Post

Posted on June 25, 2014
A model response to a Task 2 question that asks for causes and solutions

In this video, I demonstrate how to respond to Task 2 questions that instruct the candidate to provide causes and solutions:

Posted in (Writing) | Leave a comment
See earlier blog posts…

Ryan's Recent Posts Posts

A model response to a Task 2 question that asks for causes and solutions

In this video, I demonstrate how to respond to Task 2 questions that instruct the candidate to provide causes and solutions:

Vinod scores band 7 and explains how!

Vinod and I share a terrific conversation about his success. Tune in here:

Argument and discussion essay structures explained

In this video, I talk broadly about these two essay structures and how they can be applied to your Task 2 response:

Responding when given multiple data sources in Academic Task 1

In this video, we look at a Task 1 question that presents two pie charts and a table:

Model response from video:

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 16.53.50

The two pie charts display the fatality rates of 6 infectious disease categories as percentages of overall infectious disease deaths in Canada in the years 1900 and 1930. The corresponding table outlines the number of deaths due to infectious diseases per 1000 people in Canada for the same years.

Deaths caused by 3 of the 6 infectious disease categories shrunk as percentages of overall infectious disease deaths between the years 1900 and 1930. Diphtheria dropped from 37% to 24%. Typhoid and scarlet fever dropped from 29% to 18% and 9% to 5%, respectively. Measles was the only disease that held a consistent proportion of overall infectious disease deaths at 12%. Whooping cough grew from 11% to 15% and other, non-pandemic diseases swelled from 2% to 26%.

However, the table adds significant context to the above values. It appears as though the overall death rates due to infectious diseases fell tremendously over the period in question. In 1900, 86 out of 1000 people died of infectious diseases in Canada. In 1930, however, this figure was only 32. Thus, because overall death rates from infectious diseases shrunk so dramatically over the 30 years in question, any trends observed between the two pie charts can be assumed less intense than they appear.

Understanding your Academic Task 1 data source

In this tutorial video, I go over the different data sources you may receive on your exam and talk about response approaches.

How to decide whether to use argument or discussion essay structure

In this video, we review how to choose between argument and discussion essay structures:

Three new Academic Task 1 videos! Model table, graph and diagram responses!

In today’s post, I want to address an area of the IELTS that I haven’t touched up in a while – Academic Task 1.

As you know, Academic Task 1 challenges your ability to describe visual data in written English. In the following videos, I explain a way to approach structuring your response should you be faced with a table, graph or diagram.

Table video tutorial:

Model response:

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 16.37.07

The table illustrates how leisure time was spent in Ottawa among different age groups in the year 2009. The popularity of most activities appears to vary widely between ages.

At 42 monthly hours, Internet, computer and television use among teenagers was the highest for all age groups in 2009. This number was only 32 for those aged 20 to 39 and 27 for those 40 to 49 years of age. The lowest rate of engagement for this pastime was seen among those 50 to 59 years of age, at 25 monthly hours. A figure of 36 monthly hours was recorded for those 60 and older.

The popularity of exercise, however, moved in tandem with age, as figures of 15, 17, 22 and 23 monthly hours were noted for the first four age groups in the table. Significantly smaller values of 18 and 15 monthly hours are seen among those 50 to 59 years of age and those 60 and older, respectively.

The popularity of reading increased in an even more linear manner. In order of age group, 16, 21, 22, 24, 26 and 33 monthly hours were reported in 2009.

However, the opposite trend was seen for socialising, with teens allotting a staggering 58 hours per month to the pastime. Declining figures of 26, 14, 12 and finally 8 monthly hours were seen among the subsequent age groups. A slight increase in popularity to 12 monthly hours was experienced among those 60 and older.

Graph video tutorial:

Model response:

marriage

The graph shows marriage, divorce and remarriage numbers in the United Kingdom between the years 1961 and 1999. There appears to be a somewhat negative relationship between first marriage rates and the rates of divorces and remarriages.

According to the data, there were just shy of 350,000 first marriages in 1961. This value grew in a slightly unstable manner to a peak in 1970 of 400,000 before dropping to 270,000 in 1978. What followed this was a period of very gradual decrease until 250,000 first marriages were hit in 1991. This downward progression accelerated mildly until 1999, when first marriage numbers were roughly 200,000. 

Divorce and remarriage numbers, however, moved in the opposite direction. There were roughly 25,000 divorces in the UK in 1961 and over the next decade this number swelled to 125,000. A period of modest, yet unstable, growth then occurred and carried on until about 1984, when a plateau of just over 150,000 was reached. Light variation around this value continued until 1999. Remarriages showed similar growth, accelerating from 50,000 in 1961 to 125,000 in 1971. The remaining period was marked by a relatively stable plateau of roughly 120,000 remarriages per year.

Diagram video tutorial:

Model response:

hydro

The diagram shows the hydro-electric power generating process. According to the image, the process contains both cyclical and linear stages and is highly dependent upon natural rainfall and the force of gravity.

The process begins when the sun’s rays evaporate water. This evaporated moisture forms clouds and is precipitated back to the earth as rain. Some of this rain is collected in a dammed reservoir located at the base of a mountain, which uses the earth’s gravitational pull to enhance the water collection process. The dam is connected to a valve that allows the water to flow downhill and into a turbine, where the kinetic energy of this moving water is converted to electricity. The water is then directed towards a pump and returned to the reservoir for future use.

The electricity produced in the turbine is routed to a transformer station via high voltage cables. The transformer station converts the electricity to a useable energy and transfers this energy to residential and industrial areas through underground cable. Energy consumption marks the final stage of the process.

Try mock Listening test 4! Get your pen and paper ready…

In this video, we run through mock Listening test 4 together. Get a pen and paper ready!

(Download the entire package – tutorial video, script, printable exam paper and MP3 – by clicking here!)

Responding to Task 2 questions that instruct you to “Analyse both positions.”

Watch this video outlining how to respond to Task 2 questions that instruct “Analyse both positions.”

I’ve updated my YouTube page’s outline! Let me show you the new layout in this video…

I’ve reorganized my YouTube page to make my lessons easier to work through. Watch this video for a demonstration to the new program:

How to make reference to age groups in Academic Task 1

How would you make reference to the age groups in the following Task 1 data source?

Screen Shot 2014-05-11 at 18.31.38

For many, referring to age ranges is a challenge. Phrases like “women 16 to 24 years old” and “16 to 24 year old women” are often confused, and this can cost you valuable GRA points on your exam. In the following video, I hope to share a couple of structures that you can apply to your own writing.

Would you like to practice the above structures in your own writing? Post a few samples to The IELTS Network community to receive free feedback.

Hoi uses several visuals to explain how he scored IELTS band 7.5

Hoi, author of speed reading software at jendoux.com, shared many insights during our conversation through the use of several visuals, which are included in the video version of the interview. If you are without access to YouTube, scroll down to see the images referred to. Below are also copies of the correspondence Hoi had with his examination center prior to sitting his IELTS.

(No access to YouTube? Download the MP3 here.)

Here are the visuals Hoi refers to while speaking:

Screen Shot 2014-05-10 at 13.09.24 3

Screen Shot 2014-05-10 at 13.09.24 2

Screen Shot 2014-05-10 at 13.01.28

Here is a step-by-step walkthrough of the process Hoi went through to apply for and engage his exam:

1) On 14 February 2014, Hoi applied for the IELTS General in person. His application and payment of £140 were received at the London Exam Centre.

2) On 28 February 2014, Hoi received the following emails confirming his application had been received (click to enlarge):

1

1(2)

1(3)

1(4)

2(1)

2(2)

2(3)

3) A few hours later, Hoi received confirmation that his application and payment had been approved. The below email is a confirmation of reservation for a spot in the 5 June 2014 General Module exam.

3(1)

3(2)

4) Two weeks later, Hoi received a confirmation letter from his exam center:

4(1)

4(2)

 

 

 

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Academic Task 1: How to write at a 9 level

This eBook groups all information the student needs to know to perform well on Task 1 of their Academic exam.

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General Task 1: How to write at a 9 level

Learn to write the 6 letter types that appear on the General exam.

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Academic and General Task 2: How to write at a 9 level

An eBook describing everything necessary to compose a successful essay.