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

Are you having trouble with your pronunciation? Check out this interview with a speech therapist!

Posted on August 31, 2012 by - 4 Comments

I like to keep up with what’s happening in the online IELTS world, but somehow this gem of an interview slipped under my radar.  Ben of IELTSPodcast.com recently spoke with Esther Bruhl of speakmoreclearly.com about what an IELTS student can do to improve the quality of their speaking.  Esther shares a number of great tips for honing the clarity of your voice.  Here is a little excerpt from the interview to whet your appetite:

 Ben: What should a student do to communicate more clearly?

Esther: For non-English speaking background languages, the key is to move your mouth more.  Many languages tend to be spoken with a more closed mouth because that is what the language demands.  When we speak English, we actually drop our jaw more and move our mouth more.  Doing this will immediately make your pronunciation clearer.  Listen, repeat, pretend and mimic, too.  One of the keys to pronouncing and speaking more clearly is to listen to native English speakers using headphones.  Doing this allows the listener to stimulate the auditory nerve in a much stronger fashion.  Listening to the BBC is great without headphones is great, but to improve your speaking a student really needs to copy and mimic speech patterns.

Listen to the entire interview by clicking here!

Essay response to an IELTS Task 2 question seen in Paris, France

Posted on August 24, 2012 by - 7 Comments

There are many things that motivate a person to work, but money is the most compelling.  In your opinion, how influential is the power of money?

People the world over come from different circumstances and work for different reasons.  Although many may have alternative sources of motivation for the work that they do, money is thought to be among the most stimulating forces in the world.  This will be proven by looking at how financial gain can force a person to engage in professions that are both unpleasant and, in some instances, fundamentally irrational.

For one, many people around the world engage in jobs they do not enjoy simply because they want money.  For example, hundreds of millions of people do manufacturing work across the developing world.  As this kind of labour is often tiring, dangerous and even degrading in some circumstances, it is easy to see that the only thing motivating these people to engage in this work is monetary compensation.  As this shows, the power and influence of money is difficult to underestimate.

In addition to this, monetary reward can even compel people to do jobs that are irrational and self-defeating.  For example, the decisions made by individuals working in the American financial district prior to the crisis of 2008 were damaging to the world’s economic stability.  Were personal financial gain to be taken away from the overall equation, it is doubtful any of these same devastating financial decisions would have been made.  Thus, the extreme motivational power of money can be seen.

As the above shows, money holds an authority over the decisions and career directions of most people.  It therefore must be concluded that money acts as one of the world’s most influential forces, and this is a phenomenon that is not expected to change anytime soon.

 

Want to improve your IELTS mark rapidly? Find English role models speaking on subjects you enjoy!

Posted on August 22, 2012 by - 4 Comments

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Afnan, a Bangladeshi IELTS student now in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  In our conversation, Afnan and I talk about her success and how she engaged the exam.  Listen to our conversation by clicking here!  Afnan also shared with me a quality online IELTS resource I had not heard of: Best IELTS Online.

For those of you waiting for new writing examples, they are coming!  I am working on an entirely new website design and finalizing an ebook for Task 1 of the General exam, so this is where the majority of my time has been going.  But rest assured I haven’t forgotten what most people come to this website for.

Please also consider giving me a few review stars in iTunes by clicking here.  Doing this really helps my podcast audience grow.  Thanks!

Don’t write long essays! Prashant scores band 8 with only 263 words.

Posted on August 15, 2012 by - 13 Comments

Did you think you needed to write more than 300 words to score well on Task 2 of your writing exam?  Think again!  Prashant hit band 8 with only 263 words, and he argues that being concise is the key.  Listen to my chat with him by clicking here.

Background on this episode: Prashant and I had been working together online for several weeks prior to his exam.  He is a very talented writer but was held back by little grammatical and lexical issues.  After cleaning these areas up, he rocketed from band 6.5 to 8!  What a success story!

Are you feeling nice?  Please leave me a review in iTunes.  Click here and then click ‘View in iTunes‘ to open your iTunes browser.  Reviews help my work immensely.

Go get those 9s!

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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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Ryan's Recent Posts Posts

IELTS study hacks (and other Q&A!)

The resources seen in the video are:

Are you interested in studying with me online? Send an email to ryan@ieltsielts.com and tell me about your IELTS goals. I will let you know what I can do to help.

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This way to band 9…

The essay in this video was written by a practicing IELTS examiner.

This question was seen last year in Moscow:

Some people contend that all young people should attend university after high school, while others maintain that this is not always the best option. Discuss both views and give your opinion. Give reasons for your answer and include examples from your own experience where appropriate.

Some feel that all young people should attend university, while others point out this may not be a suitable path for everyone. I am of the latter view. I believe that career training in other areas may serve the interests of many young people far better than undergraduate studies.

On the one hand, there is convincing support for university education for all. Firstly, a liberal education encourages the broadening of the mind. For example, students of history, art and literature tend to be tolerant and thoughtful and fulfil useful service careers in teaching, journalism, public relations and politics. Encouraging everyone to enrol in university would also push people towards lucrative professional roles, such as those held by doctors and lawyers, positions that also bring great social prestige.

However, despite these benefits, universal tertiary education would be problematic at both the societal and personal levels. It should be noted that the building of houses and offices, the transporting of goods, and the production of furniture and appliances are essential to society and require skilled manual workers and tradespeople. Further, many young men and women naturally excel when working with their hands. Forcing them to study disciplines of abstract thought would clearly be a waste of their time and potential. Thus, encouraging people to choose a path that allows them to invest in their natural strengths is better for both the individual and society as a whole.

Overall, it can be seen that although pursuing a university education has many merits, it may be more of a hindrance than a help to some people. In my own case, being very bad with my hands but quite handy with words, university was the right option for me. As this essay has shown, everyone is different and no one course in life fits all.

Carry on with your IELTS training! Click to buy an ebook:

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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.

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Just 60 minutes to better IELTS Speaking!

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