Free IELTS resources to help you maximize your score.
Don’t stop at 7. Go and get that 9!

Dear Ryan,
Thanks to your guidance, I was able to increase my writing score from 6.5 to 7.5, and then to 8.5! I really don't believe I could have done it without you.
-Imam Mohamed

Hi Ryan,
I am so happy to inform you that I scored 7.5 in writing!
-Sunish Manalody

Hi Ryan,
Thanks for your help, I’ve scored band 8 in writing.
-Vladan Martinovic

Hi Ryan,
I prepared just by looking at your videos and scored 7.5! Thank you!
-Rahul Paldiwal

Hi Ryan,
I would like to thank you for your very helpful lessons. I finally got 7 in all modules and can now start residency processing for New Zealand!
-Kiran Kiccha

Hi Ryan,
I obtained a writing score of 8.5. Your videos were instrumental in helping me achieving this score. Thanks, mate!
-Carlos Flores

Hi Ryan,
Thank you for my 8.0 writing score. You ebook played a pivotal role in my success!
-Awais Butt

Hi Ryan,
I read your blog every day and scored 7.5 in writing!
-Vikrant Mahajan

I went from band 6.0 to 7.5 following Ryan’s coaching!
-Viacheslav Porotikov

How to start and end sentences in your IELTS Task 2 discussion essay (video)

Posted on March 31, 2011 by - 4 Comments

Here’s a quick video I threw together providing some tips on starting and ending sentences in your essay.

 

Effective examples versus ineffective examples on your Task 2 essay?

Posted on March 30, 2011 by - Comments are off

Let me offer an analogy regarding the importance of examples: Examples are to an IELTS essay as a tent pole is to a tent. In other words, examples are what hold up an argument in an essay (whether that argument is yours or someone else’s). Without them, an argument simply fails to hold much water and is impossible to prove. Thus to succeed on your IELTS Task 2 essay question, you’ve got to choose effective examples carefully.

So what makes a good example good and a bad example bad?
The answer is simple: (1) Good examples are specific. Bad examples are vague. (2) Good examples demonstrate the argument in action. Bad examples show little connection to the argument at all. (3) Good examples are displayed in a manner that does not disrupt the flow of the writer’s work. Bad examples feel like they have been randomly dropped into the essay.

When it comes to choosing an effective IELTS Task 2 essay example, specific is always the goal. Take the following, for example:

Don’t be ambiguous…
For instance, mobile phone growth in some countries has been dramatic.

Instead try being more specific…
For instance, mobile phone growth in China and India has been dramatic.

Don’t write in a manner that will make your IELTS examiner guess at your meaning…
Cars are the example.

Tell your examiner clearly what the link is between the argument you are trying to support and your evidence…
Cars play a good example here as they are the largest source of carbon emissions in the developing eastern world.

IELTS discussion essay writing process videos

Posted on March 30, 2011 by - Comments are off

Here is a 2-part video series I put together this morning regarding the discussion essay writing process. We also go over discussion essay question analysis.

Here are the IELTS textbooks I would recommend…

Posted on March 29, 2011 by - 2 Comments

There are thousands of IELTS books out there and most of them aren’t cheap. As an IELTS writing instructor, I have taught using many of these books and can conclude that some of them are overrated. An exam prep book, in my humble opinion, has to go beyond simply providing sample test questions and sample test answers. A good exam prep book needs to be able to describe effective thinking patterns, analytical reasoning and effective test taking strategies.

The following is a list of the textbooks I feel best outline the skills an IELTS test taker should know (click the images for more info):

1. How to prepare for IELTS (British Council, Ray de Witt) – This book provides an excellent summary of all section of the exam, plus helpful tips that clearly show what the student’s thought processes should be while engaging the IELTS test. Personally, I feel the sample questions in this book tend to be more challenging than those faced on the real exam, which makes this study guide a real mental workout for students of all levels.

2. Insight into IELTS (Cambridge Examinations Publishing) – I can hear you students out there groaning! Yes, this old series is definitely among the best IELTS prep books out there. What I like most is the open-ended lesson structures they provide that really show students how to think and how to train themselves to engage the examination with flexibility.  I’ve used parts of this book in my classroom for over five years.

3. Kaplan IELTS (Kaplan Publishing) – I feel the Kaplan textbook series (for all tests, not just IELTS) present the test-taking thought process in a gradual and easy to understand manner. I’ve used Kaplan’s IELTS series for both classroom IELTS courses as well as private 1-to-1 classes and students always appreciate the layout of the text, which is very straightforward (perfect for independent study).

eBooks eBooks

eBooks
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.

Buy Now
eBooks
General Task 1: How to write at a 9 level

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

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

An eBook describing everything necessary to compose a successful essay.

Buy Now

Ryan's Recent Posts Posts

How to get full marks for Task Achievement

The essay in this video was written by IELTS Examiner C. This question was seen recently in Sydney:

These days many people prefer to rent rather than buy their own house. Why is this this so? Discuss the relative advantages and disadvantages of renting or buying, and give your own opinion.

Give reasons for your answer and examples from your personal experience where appropriate.

Here is the essay as it appears in the video:

In most major cities in the west, people are opting to rent a home instead of buy. This is mostly because house prices have increased dramatically while personal income has not, a trend that means mortgage repayments now account for a much larger share of income than in the past. Renters have more disposable income every week than buyers and this is a big attraction. However, in my opinion, this is a false economy and in the long run I believe that the advantages of buying a property greatly outweigh the short-term savings to be made by renting.

While it is certainly cheaper week-by-week to rent than pay a mortgage, the renter misses out on the large capital gains to be made when buying a home. When I took out my own mortgage on my two-bedroom apartment, my repayments on a $400,000 loan were about $600 a week, compared with $500 for rental value on a similar property. However, over the past three years my apartment has appreciated by more than $250,000, greatly outweighing the $15,000 I would have saved by renting. In addition to this, my mortgage payments secured an acquisition of property that will remain valuable for my family into the future. Financial growth of this sort is not possible through renting.

Renters do not only lose out on capital gains, they also lose in terms of security and peace of mind. The roof over their heads once their lease is over is always at the mercy of the landlord, who might at any time decide to sell the property. The landlord can also put up the rent when they feel the market warrants it. Further, unless the renter invests their savings judiciously, the money they save will be frittered on day-to-day life, leaving them very much poorer than the buyer once retirement looms.

In conclusion, while a first mortgage will cost more each week than renting, the advantages of buying, including capital appreciation and housing security, greatly outweigh the short-term savings to be made by renting.

Buy my ebooks:

T1 General resized for sale T1 Academic resized for sale 2017 Task 2 ebook cover PNG file

My Academic Task 1 ebook has been updated!

 AWT1 small

$19 USD

  • 6+ years of ongoing development and classroom testing
  • 74 pages
  • 10+ band 9 model answers
  • Examiner approved
  • Purchase once; receive all future ebook updates FREE!

all-cc-logos

Paypal-Button

Have you purchased an earlier copy? Email me to receive the update FREE of charge: ryan@ieltsielts.com

Other questions? Leave a voicemail: 001-888-820-8546 Contact me on WeChat: ieltsnetwork

 

Just 60 minutes to better IELTS Speaking!

Click here to download an MP3 copy of the conversation.

Buy Ryan’s Task 2 ebook (2017 version!) Click the Table of Contents to see what’s inside:
2017 Task 2 ebook cover PNG file TOC small

$19 USD! Get an automatic email delivery in two minutes:

buy-now-1

Did you know I have ebooks for both modules of IELTS Writing? Have a look: http://ieltsielts.com/study-with-ryan/

Band 9 writing under an X-ray!

Thanks to ‘Examiner C’ for this model. Here is the essay as it appears in the video:

Many people think that public celebrations (like national holidays, festivals, etc.) are a waste of money and that the government should spend these funds in a better way.

Do you agree or disagree?

Give reasons for your answer and examples from personal experience where appropriate.

National holidays cost countries and their governments a lot of money. Wages need to be paid to employees despite their absence from work, and a national loss in productivity is experienced. For these reasons, some people suggest governments do away with holidays and instead spend the money on worthy projects. While this might seem at first to be a practical suggestion, I disagree strongly for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it is axiomatic that a country’s production of goods declines when workers are not working; however, this is a tiny part of a much larger economic picture. Productivity is a function not only of hours worked but also of energy, drive, and morale. Thus, national holidays, which give workers a chance to relax and to celebrate aspects of their country and their lives, make for a happier and more productive workforce. In Australia, for example, the long weekend is a tradition that helps to unify society by making all feel rewarded and valued in a common enterprise and identity. It is for these reasons that labelling public celebrations ‘a waste of money’ cannot be supported.

Further, having the financial means to start new national projects is a good thing, but the question of apportioning funds in a manner that an entire society agrees is ‘a better way’ is simply unrealistic. A further consideration is the ramifications of pressure put on workers to work 52 straight weeks a year, a policy that could lead to stress-related illnesses and serious social problems. As this shows, the cancelling of public holidays and redirection of funds is an implausible suggestion.

In conclusion, I must affirm that while it is tempting to realise the short-term increase in productivity and savings that would result from abolishing public holidays, the overall cost greatly outweighs the gains.

Buy Ryan’s Task 2 ebook (2017 version!) Click the Table of Contents to see what’s inside:
2017 Task 2 ebook cover PNG file TOC small

$19 USD! Get an automatic email delivery in two minutes:

buy-now-1

Did you know I have ebooks for both modules of IELTS Writing? Have a look: http://ieltsielts.com/study-with-ryan/

A former examiner wrote this band 9 essay…

Buy Ryan’s Task 2 ebook (2017 version!) Click the Table of Contents to see what’s inside:
2017 Task 2 ebook cover PNG file TOC small

$19 USD! Get an automatic email delivery in two minutes:

buy-now-1

Watch a second video like the above here: https://www.patreon.com/ieltsryan

Here is the essay as it appears in the video:

Many people believe that a large proportion of a country’s health budget should be diverted from treatment to spending on health education and preventative measures. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? Give examples from personal experience where appropriate.

Modern medicine has evolved along two lines: prevention and cure. Many believe that too much emphasis is placed on the latter and that the balance of national health spending should shift to prevention. I am inclined to agree; however, my support is with the stipulation that an imbalance in the other direction should be avoided.

Many modern diseases that require pharmaceutical or surgical intervention, such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer, are induced by poor lifestyle choices. There is an abundance of evidence that these conditions are brought on by such factors as smoking, excessive dietary fat and sugar, and a lack of physical exercise. I have myself lost several family members to cancers and heart disease caused by smoking. Because the cost of treating these diseases is very high, and the prognosis uncertain, the need for preventative intervention is clear.

Fulfilling this need could be exercised in a number of ways. For one, the government could provide more health and fitness centres, and mount a public awareness campaign to encourage people to use them. In addition to this, taxes could be placed on excessive salt or sugar in processed foods, and special taxes could be added to tobacco products to discourage their use. I believe that measures such as these will in the long term dramatically reduce the incidence of certain deadly diseases.

However, it should be remembered that not all examples of modern disease are preventable or predictable, and it is critical to maintain research into cures for all diseases. Thus, in diverting health spending from treatment to preventative measures, countries should encourage a balanced approach to help extend lifespans and maximise quality of life. Prevention may be better than cure, but it can never wholly replace it.

Did you enjoy the above exercise? Watch another one for $1 USD (click ‘Rent’ in the top right corner):

Read All Posts