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

May 2011 – IELTS Academic Task 2 exam question (as reported by student)

Posted on May 30, 2011 by - 5 Comments

An online student of mine faced the following Task 2 question recently on their exam:

People nowadays live longer than they used to.  What caused this situation?  Is it a negative or positive development?

People today enjoy longer life spans than at any other point in human history.  The most notable causes of this are generally accepted to be the medical and technological advancements of the twentieth century and the heightened ability of nations to share information with each other.  It is argued these advancements and the ultimate postponement of death yield positive results the world over.  This will be proven by looking at how longer life spans give people more time to contribute creatively to the world as well as a chance to develop a heightened level of wisdom that only comes with age.

Firstly, the longer people live, the more time they have to create things and the richer human culture becomes.  A tragic example of the caliber of talent humanity can lose when great creators die young is Mozart.  Mozart died in his thirties, which was young, even for his time.  Had he the privilege of living longer, he could have contributed so much more to the world.  Thus, it is clear why the extending of the mortal deadline should be seen as a positive thing.

Another constructive quality that comes as a result of living a long time is wisdom.  As most people would agree, persons of age tend to have a deeper understanding of the world than their younger counterparts.  Thus, it is argued the collective wisdom of humanity could be increased simply by providing more people with the opportunity to live longer.  It is for this reason that the idea of extending lifespan is considered a good thing.

After looking at how age allows people to create more in addition to awarding them wisdom, it is felt that the delaying of the point at which a person passes can only be seen as a positive thing.  It is hoped human evolution will continue to postpone the inevitable arrival of death.

Recent General Task 1 question (full written response) May 2011 exam

Posted on May 24, 2011 by - 2 Comments

An online student of mine recently told me they saw the following question on the Task 1 portion of their General exam:

An annual event was recently held in your area.  Write a letter to the organizers of this event congratulating them on a successful production.

In your letter, include:

-the details of the event

-what you most liked about the event

-a polite criticism of something you thought could be improved

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to congratulate you on your recent performance of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night this past Saturday at the Mickelson Theatre of the Arts in Brisbane.  Here in Brisbane, we look forward to your annual displays of the world’s most celebrated writer.  It was a magnificent show, and I am sure everyone in the audience was as mesmerized as I was.

Let me start by saying your choice to cast Alice Piper for the lead role was very fitting.  I personally found her performance particularly astonishing and was the highlight of the evening for me.  Victor Kempler’s interpretation of the character Sebastian made for good accompaniment, however I have to say that I feel an older actor would have probably been more suitable.  This is only a minor imperfection, though, and one that paled in comparison to the event’s strengths.

Congratulations on your fantastic effort!  You have left Brisbane waiting with enthusiasm for your return next year.

Bravo!

Ryan

Ryan’s note:

  • Alice Piper, Victor Kempler and the Mickelson Theatre of the Arts are people and places created by me

General Task 2 suggested response from the IELTS exam as seen in Brazil (May 2011)

Posted on May 20, 2011 by - 3 Comments

(For more questions like this one, check out www.IELTS-blog.com.)

Here is the question as it appeared on the IELTS exam in Brazil:

Many old cities around the world are going through a major process of modernization.  What are the advantages and disadvantages of modernization?

Here is my suggested response:

A new wave of industrialization has taken the developing world by storm.  Among many of these countries, a policy of fast-tracking has been adopted, often producing mixed results.  The advantages and disadvantages of the rapid modernizing of many old cities around the world will be analyzed in this essay.

Perhaps the most significant advantage of this process is the raising of living standards.  For example, many second tier cities in India have seen a boom in the quality of life found there.  Thus, the collective effort being made in India to modernize is also having a positive impact on the lives of Indian people.  From this perspective, modernization can be seen as a positive thing.

However, despite this advantage, there are also notable disadvantages to fast-tracking development.  For one, rapid modernization often involves the destruction of historical relics, buildings and roads.  This has been unfortunately true in areas like Anhui, China, where the demolishing of many culturally significant buildings is occurring at a degree akin to that of the Cultural Revolution.  Thus, it is clear that there are many disadvantages to this wave of modernization as well.

After analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of bringing the cities of the developing world up to speed with those of the developed world, it is felt modernization causes more good than harm.  However, it is hoped that caution is employed in the efforts made to renew the old cities of the world.

IELTS Brazil General Task 1 suggested response (May 2011)

Posted on May 18, 2011 by - 1 Comment

(This question taken from IELT-blog.)

Here is a Task 1 question as seen on the General IELTS exam in Brazil this month:

A friend of yours is applying for a job as a sports instructor for teenagers in a summer school in Australia.  He is asking you to write a recommendation letter to the principal of the school.  In your letter, you should say:

-how long you have known him for

-what are his qualifications

-why he is suitable for the position

Here is my suggested response:

To whom it may concern,

I am writing to you on behalf of my friend, Elliot Carter, who recently sent you an application and aspires to be a part of your team this summer.  It would be my pleasure to give you some background information on him and explain why I feel he would be a wonderful addition to your faculty.

Personally, I have known Elliot for the better part of seven years as we studied Adolescent Education together at Brent University in Canberra.  In addition to graduating with distinction, Elliot spent each of his university summers volunteering at various schools similar to your own.  His popularity with the students garnered him the ‘favourite teacher’ award at each of those schools.  Following this experience, he was offered the title of Academic Director at the prestigious Youth Melbourne Academy of Leaders, which he has held to this day.  He has informed me that he is eager to take on a new challenge, hence his enthusiasm regarding working at your institution.

I hope this letter encourages you to add Elliot to your roster of teachers.  With all of his experiences and qualifications, I have no doubt he will bring a lot of talent to you.

Sincerely,

Ryan

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

You construct a band 9 essay by the end of this video!

IELTS Academic and General Task 2 - How to write at a band 9 level

Buy Ryan’s Task 2 ebook here: https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?i=929957&c=single&cl=166811

Have Ryan personally assess five of your Task 1 or 2 samples: https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?i=930041&c=single&cl=166811

Here is the essay as it appears in the video:

Nowadays, all new town planning should include public parks, shopping malls and sports facilities. Do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Designing the layout of a new town is an extremely intricate process. The question of what should and should not be included sets the foundation of the town’s identity forever. In my opinion, the addition of public parks, shopping malls and sports facilities is essential to the incubation of community and the encouragement of healthy lifestyles. I thus agree that these items should be included when a new town is being planned, and I will share examples to prove this.

Firstly, public parks and shopping centres help new towns foster a sense of community. For example, my small Canadian town has a very nice park near its centre. At weekends, the open context of the park environment makes it possible for people to meet each other and create friendships. This sort of organic community building is seen in my hometown’s shopping mall, too. Shopping malls encourage interaction, and thus they are great forums within which people can mingle and have experiences that could evolve into friendships. Thus, the helpful role public parks and shopping malls play in the establishing of a new town is clear.

Secondly, sports facilities catalyse positive lifestyle choices among townsfolk. For instance, the central location of my small town’s football pitch is a regular reminder to people passing by that exercise is important. Children in the town are visually aware that sport is accessible to them, and thus they engage in physical activity regularly. This is a clear advantage to town designs that include sports facilities.

As the above shows, public parks, shopping malls and sports facilities are helpful in many ways to the establishment of a town. Their inclusion in the planning of new towns is thus highly recommended.

You choose the prepositions!

 

The essay as it appears in the video:

What are some alternatives to fossil fuels? Do you feel the world will ever stop using them?

Global dependence on fossil fuels continues to be a pressing problem in the modern world. Although environmentally friendly energy sources are available, market prices make these alternatives prohibitively expensive for most people. I argue that humanity will indeed stop using fossil fuels in the future, but this will only happen when the price of cleaner energy sources falls to a point of competition. This will be proved by looking specifically at current trends within solar energy and biodiesel consumption.

Firstly, the increased availability of solar water heaters has made solar energy prices competitive with fossil fuels in some parts of the world. For example, the mass production of solar water heaters in China has led to their adoption as a cheap alternative to water heated using coal. Because this trend comes as a direct result of financial incentive, it is logical to conclude that market shifts will eventually cause green energy to take the place of fossil fuels.

This phenomenon is further exemplified by alternative fuel types such as biodiesel. For instance, although still slightly more expensive than energy sources derived from fossil fuels, biodiesel’s steady decline in price over the past 20 years coincides directly with a rise in its sales in most parts of the world. As most experts argue, a massive shift to biodiesel consumption will occur when prices remain consistently below fossil fuels. Thus, worldwide dependence on fossil fuels can be expected to erode as alternatives become more economical.

As evidenced by these trends in solar energy and biodiesel consumption, humanity is gradually shifting itself from fossil fuels to more environmentally friendly energy sources, and I hope this development continues.

IELTS Academic and General Task 2 - How to write at a band 9 level

Buy Ryan’s Task 2 ebook here: https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?i=929957&c=single&cl=166811

Have Ryan personally assess five of your Task 1 or 2 samples: https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?i=930041&c=single&cl=166811

Do the advantages trump the disadvantages in this IELTS essay?

[Note: The word ‘phenomenons’ appears in this video. This should be ‘phenomena’, as it is with reference to the scientific plural.]

More and more students are going to another country for higher education. Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?

It is very common today for students to go abroad to complete their college or university education. However, this trend presents both advantages and disadvantages to the students and the institutions involved. These items will be analysed in this essay before a position is declared.

The advantages of rising foreign student numbers are numerous. For one, this trend encourages human collaboration and the exchanging of ideas. For example, a Canadian engineering student attending a Japanese university would bring ideas and perspectives different to those of their classmates, a phenomenon that enriches the university’s program and level of discussion as a whole. In addition to this, having studied outside their home country, this student would take valuable international understanding with them, an important second benefit that promotes peace and international friendship. As this example shows, students and the world at large benefit when higher studies are engaged outside the home country.

However, many would argue the globalising of higher education does have certain disadvantages. For many young adults, foreign students may represent a threat to both professional opportunities after school and the overall workforce of their country. In the US, for example, companies scout talent on university campuses, and at select times this means offering employment to a foreign student instead of a local student. Although this scenario does occur, its impact on local graduates and their employment opportunities has been sensationalised by the media and large personalities like President Trump. Moreover, it should be remembered that attracting the world’s most talented students increases opportunities for important phenomena like scientific discoveries. Thus, the disadvantages of students going abroad for higher education are difficult to define.

As the above discussion reveals, the advantages of globalised higher education much outweigh the disadvantages, and I strongly hope countries continue to encourage the growth of their foreign student bodies.

IELTS Academic and General Task 2 - How to write at a band 9 level

Buy Ryan’s Task 2 ebook here: https://gumroad.com/l/fWPb

Have Ryan personally assess five of your Task 1 or 2 samples: http://tinyurl.com/zkr9w2r

CAN YOU WRITE IN ALL CAPS ON THE IELTS?! (…and other questions!)

In this video, we use the Information for Candidates PDF to answer a few questions. Download your own copy of this document at: https://www.ielts.org/~/media/publications/information-for-candidates/ielts-information-for-candidates-2015-english-uk.ashx

(Is that link not working? Google ‘IELTS info for candidates’.)

IELTS Academic and General Task 2 - How to write at a band 9 level

Buy Ryan’s Task 2 ebook here: https://gumroad.com/l/fWPb

Have Ryan personally assess five of your Task 1 or 2 samples: http://tinyurl.com/zkr9w2r

How does Ryan’s IELTS writing service work?

IELTS Academic and General Task 2 - How to write at a band 9 level

Buy Ryan’s Task 2 ebook here: https://gumroad.com/l/fWPb

Have Ryan personally assess five of your Task 1 or 2 samples: http://tinyurl.com/zkr9w2r

Read All Posts