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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

Perfect 9s in Speaking, Listening and Writing! Nancy explains how she did it in this episode of IELTSCast! (High quality recording)

Posted on July 24, 2012 by - 9 Comments

Thanks to those of you who provided me with some feedback on the podcast.  Yes, I know the quality has been questionable at times, but this episode should hopefully be a little more to your liking.

I am very excited to introduce this episode to you.  Nancy, a native from Oxford, talks about how she scored band 9 in Speaking, Listening and Writing!  Click here to listen to the entire interview!

Last week, a student suggested I post ‘key points’ for each podcast episode to help listeners decide whether to tune in or not.  So in my talk with Nancy, we discuss:

  • -difficulties native speakers have when taking the IELTS
  • -what she did to prepare for her exam
  • -what she recommends students do to prepare properly
  • -how she responded during the speaking portion of the exam

As always, please provide me with feedback and consider leaving me a generous 5 star rating on iTunes. 🙂

To subscribe to IELTSCast and have these interviews automatically sync to your mobile device through iTunes, click here.  If you do not use iTunes, you can access all former episodes here.

Have you scored band 7 or higher?  Consider sharing your IELTS related study and testing tips with the world through a recorded interview! 

Email: ryanthiggins@gmail.com

 

IELTS Grammar Tip – How to use commas in your Task 1 and 2 responses

Posted on July 17, 2012 by - 11 Comments

Commas can be a challenge.  Knowing when and how to use them can be the skill that takes your writing band beyond 7.  I hope you find this short video helpful.

Please comment and let me know what other grammar related topics I should touch upon in upcoming videos.

IELTSCast Episode 6 – Listen to Alla’s band 8 speaking level!

Posted on July 11, 2012 by - 1 Comment

In this episode, Alla talks to me from Uzbekistan.  I think you’ll agree that it is no surprise she scored band 8 in the speaking section of her exam!   Click here to listen to the entire interview!

To subscribe to IELTSCast and have these interviews automatically sync to your mobile device through iTunes, click here.  If you do not use iTunes, you can access all former episodes here.

Have you scored band 7 or higher?  Contact me and consider sharing your IELTS related study and testing tips with the world through a recorded interview! 

Email: ryanthiggins@gmail.com

 

Are you taking your IELTS in 2012? Watch this video! We discuss how to respond to 8 different IELTS Task 2 questions.

Posted on July 6, 2012 by - 16 Comments

Many of you have emailed me the Task 2 questions you faced on your exam in 2012.  In this video, we look at 8 of them and discuss how to respond to each one effectively.

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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.

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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://gumroad.com/l/fWPb

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

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

How to start sentences in your IELTS essay!

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 5 of your Task 1 or 2 samples: http://tinyurl.com/zkr9w2r

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