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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!
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Hi Ryan,
Thanks for your help, I’ve scored band 8 in writing.
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Hi Ryan,
I prepared just by looking at your videos and scored 7.5! Thank you!
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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

Listen and repeat my band 9 speaking demonstration!

Posted on October 28, 2013 by - 4 Comments

Here are two versions of the same IELTS conversation. The first version is a run through of the IELTS interview from start to finish. The second version has pauses to allow you to repeat after me. Practicing this second version can help to strengthen your intonation.

Scroll down to find MP3 copies of the conversations.

Click here to download an MP3 copy of  Version 1 of this conversation (listen).

Click here to download an MP3 copy of Version 2 of this conversation (listen and repeat).

Here is a transcript of the conversation:

IELTS Speaking Blog

Mock IELTS Speaking Test 1

This recording is copyright EnglishRyan.com. No part of this recording is endorsed by or has affiliation with The University of Cambridge ESOL examinations, the British Council or IDP Education.

My name is Elizabeth, and I will be acting as Ryan’s examiner.

In this recording, Ryan will demonstrate how to engage the examination at a band 9 level. You will hear the recorded examination two times. The first time, you are only expected to listen. The second time, pauses will be placed after each of Ryan’s responses. You are expected to repeat Ryan’s responses to better hone your speaking ability.

Now we shall begin. Remember, this first time you are only expected to listen.

Could you tell me your full name please?

Good afternoon. I’m Ryan Higgins.

What should I call you?

Please call me Ryan.

Thank you. What country are you from?

I’m from Canada.

Please give me your identification.

Here you are.

Now, in this first part, I’d like to ask you some questions about yourself. Let’s talk about the city you come from. What kind of place is it?

Well, I come from a small farming community called Smithson. It’s a charming town with friendly people and a main street with little shops. The homes are fairly old and antique looking, and I think this adds to Smithson’s charm. Because its population is only about 2000 people, Smithson is known for being fairly quiet. Many young people choose to build their careers outside of Smithson, so the demographics of the town are aging. So I guess Smithson could be described as “sleepy”.

What’s the most interesting part of Smithson?

The most interesting part…well, the main street that runs through the centre of the city has a small clock tower at one end. This clock tower was once a railway station, but the station has been out of use for several decades. Now the clock tower is used as the post office. But aside from this, the only other really interesting thing would be the scenery. Smithson has several farms, and the farming fields are beautiful during the warmer months of the year.

What kind of jobs do people in the town do?

As I mentioned, farming is pretty central to the community. The farms are predominantly maize farms, so people work in this area. But people also work in the little businesses along main street and in the post office and police office.

Would you say it’s a good place to live?

That’s an interesting question. I would say it is a good place to live for certain types of people. If you like a quiet lifestyle, then you would love Smithson. I can see why the aged enjoy it. For me personally, I find the town a little slow. I completely understand why so many young people choose to move closer to a bigger city.

OK. Let’s move on to talk about work. Tell me about the kind of work you do.

I manage Quality Assurance for a technology company, PAL Computing. Our company produces voice recognition technology to clients that build products requiring voice recognition. My job involves a lot of task management, so this means I spend most of my day in meetings to ensure our projects are moving along as planned.

What do you enjoy about your work?

I’ve always liked working with people, so the social side of meeting coworkers every day to discuss problems appeals to me. I’m also enthusiastic about our products at PAL. I think the technologies we build are exciting.

What things do you find challenging at work?

Hmm, let me see. Well, every month I have to present a progress report to our board. That can sometimes be challenging, especially if we’ve had a slow production month. On rare occasions, I have to cut people from the team that underperform. This can be challenging, of course. Nobody likes to do this, I don’t think. I suppose those would be the main challenges of my position.

Let’s talk about workplace relationships. For the sake of your work, how important is it for you to have good rapport with your team members?

It’s important for my team members to feel I am an approachable person. If they have a problem and they don’t tell me about the problem, it could affect the entire team. So I try to be a warm and approachable person so everyone at PAL Quality Assurance feels they could comfortably talk with me.

What methods do you use?

I’m sorry. What do you mean by “methods”.

I mean what methods do you use to show your team members you are an approachable person?

I try to be friendly with everyone. My team is only about 15 people, so it is easy for me to greet each person in the morning and ask them how they have been. I share information with them about my family. So, I feel, this personal touch makes people feel they know me and can trust me and come to me with any issues they have.

Thank you. Now I’d like to ask you to speak for one to two minutes on a topic. Normally, you would have one minute to plan your answer, but for the sake of this recording we are going to skip this step.

Your cue card reads:

Describe a trip you made by public transport.

Where did you go?

Why did you choose public transport?

How did you feel about the trip?

Share some details about the trip.

Remember, you have one to two minutes to deliver this monologue. I’ll tell you when the time is up. Start speaking now, please.

Recently, I took a coach from Toronto to Montreal to visit my brother. It is a journey that normally takes about 5 hours, but this bus company stops halfway for a 30 minute break.

I chose to travel by public transportation because I don’t like driving long distances. When I travel via bus, I can read or work on my computer or sleep. I find this helps me arrive relaxed. In fact, I often opt for the public transportation option if I can.

Overall, I felt the journey was quite comfortable. Because it was a coach, the seats were very spacious and reclined enough that I could get some sleep. There was also a Wi-Fi connection, which is something I haven’t seen on a bus before. I didn’t use it, but I saw several other people connect to it. Travelling in the spring also means it was a very scenic journey. To get to Montreal from Toronto you spend a lot of time on highways surrounded by lush green nature, so that was nice.

The price, however, was a little steep. I think I paid $110 for a return ticket, which, to me, is quite expensive. I suppose it would have been cheaper to drive, but I feel arriving fresh is money well spent. So, on the whole, the entire experience was a positive one. I would highly recommend public transportation to anyone.

Thank you. Why do you think some people would rather drive than travel by bus?

I suppose it is probably a privacy thing. If you drive, you can stop whenever you like or listen to the radio as loud as you like. Yes, I would imagine privacy is the main reason. But I suppose others may choose to drive to save money or to give themselves a certain flexibility.

And what do you mean by “flexibility”?

Well, for example, had I driven to visit my brother in Montreal, I would have had a car with which to drive around city. I could also have been flexible with the time I came back to Toronto. If I wanted to stay with my brother an extra day, I could.

We’ve been talking about travel. I’d like to discuss with you one or two more general questions relating to this topic. What do you feel a city needs to attract tourists?

Hmm, let me see. Well, I suppose having recognizable landmarks doesn’t hurt. Paris has certain iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, for example. Sydney has the Opera House. New York City has the Statue of Liberty. In addition to this, most tourists want nice weather, so places like Hong Kong and Sydney may have advantages over places like Glasgow. I suppose basic things like safety and accessibility are important. Cost is always a factor, too.

You mentioned “safety” as something that can attract tourism. Can you expand on that?

I think countries with track records of being welcoming to foreigners build up reputations. The last thing people want on their vacation is to have to worry about being robbed or worse. So I feel countries that take tourist safety seriously will always be attractive to prospective travelers.

Are all aspects of the tourism industry positive?

Not all aspects, no. I think tourism can sometimes be damaging to the local traditions of a city. In Shanghai, for example, many of the historical temples have McDonald’s restaurants and Starbucks restaurants next to them to service tourists. I feel this tarnishes the image of these ancient locations. It can dilute the experience a little bit.

What do you think about this, that people are willing to tarnish the image of historical locations in their city in an effort to profit from foreign visitors?

I do not think people are actively working to damage their city, it is more a question of economics. Tourists travel to other countries with money to spend. Fast food restaurants only spring up in tourist hotspots because tourists are willing to spend money there. I suppose it is more the tourists’ fault for altering the image of these historical landmarks than the locals’.

Can you tell me about something you purchased while travelling that holds special meaning to you?

Well, several years ago, perhaps almost an entire decade ago, I travelled to Paris. My grandmother is French Canadian, so she was especially excited for me to go to France. My grandmother also collects little bells, which she displays on a shelf in her family room. Anyway, while at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, I came across a man selling brushed steel items with images of the Eiffel Tower on them. Among his goods, I found a little bell. I gave this bell to my grandmother, and I know it came to mean something special to both of us.

Why do you think people buy souvenirs?

Most people likely buy souvenirs because they help you recall a place or an experience. For example, when I see that bell, I remember spending the day walking around Paris. I think souvenirs also help a person show their friends and family that they care about them and think about them. Those are probably the main reasons why people buy souvenirs.

Thank you. That is the end of the speaking test. Students listening to this recording may now play the second version of this test to practice their speaking.

How to score band 9 in all sections of the exam!

Posted on October 16, 2013 by - Comments are off

In the follow video, I revisit the preparation strategies Vidit (band 9) and Toby (band 8) shared with me in their respective IELTSCast.com interviews. Try applying these IELTS methods of study to your own regimen:

I also had a very interesting interview with Sabih, an IELTS candidate that scored band 7 on his first attempt. Sabih is an interesting case as he did very little studying before his exam. To hear the entire interview, click here!

How to score band 9 in all sections of the exam!

Posted on October 14, 2013 by - 5 Comments

In the follow video, I revisit the preparation strategies Vidit (band 9) and Toby (band 8) shared with me in their respective IELTSCast.com interviews. Try applying these IELTS methods of study to your own regimen:

I also had a very interesting interview with Sabih, an IELTS candidate that scored band 7 on his first attempt. Sabih is an interesting case as he did very little studying before his exam. To hear the entire interview, click here!

Try these 8 questions! How solid are your Task 2 lexical resources?

Posted on October 5, 2013 by - 1 Comment

Here is the text from the video:

Some people think that they can learn better by themselves than with a teacher. Others think that it is always better to have a teacher. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons to develop your essay.

The process of learning is a very personal thing. Thus, a study arrangement that works for one person may be entirely counterproductive/ countercultural / counterintuitive for another. For me, I much prefer learning from a teacher to independent study. The merits of a pupil-instructor partnership will be shown by looking at how teachers can both bequeath / instill / derive motivation and cater lesson plans to a student’s interests.

Firstly, students that work with teachers are often more motivated than students that learn alone. For example, I recall being driven to complete readings for small study sessions at university because I knew my professor expected me to engage in this way / do so / capitalize on my studies. Thus, the accountability that teachers bring to the accountability arrangement / student needs / learning mix can greatly encourage students to work hard. This is one of the main reasons I prefer learning with a teacher.

In addition to this, instructors can often energize / fortify / build subjects in a way that makes them easier to study. For instance, a great high school teacher of mine used to teach Shakespearian plays in a very ubiquitous / animated / interested manner. His enthusiasm for the subject instilled interest in his students, and this accelerated the speed with which pupils digested / ate / gorged the information in his classes. Thus, this is yet another reason I would rather study with a teacher than alone.

As the above makes clear, there are several advantages instructor based learning has that independent study does not. Although everyone learns in a similar fashion / differently / productively, I personally derive multiple benefits from having a teacher to interact with. Thus, finding a fitting student-teacher study arrangement is important.

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

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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):

Better IELTS sentence structure in 28 minutes!

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

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Want to know more about my IELTS Writing course? Download the entire course file here: http://ieltsielts.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/IELTS-Writing-with-Ryan-Official-Course-File.pdf

Here is the task and response as they appear in the video:

Consumers are exposed to an extreme amount of advertising in the modern era. To what extent do you think people are influenced by ads? What measures would you suggest to protect them?

Modern approaches to marketing have become increasingly intrusive, and this has exposed people to more advertising than ever before in history. Because many of these advertisements successfully manipulate the viewer’s lifestyle and opinions, I feel their influence is profound. This essay will analyse examples that demonstrate this influence. It will also offer suggestions regarding how society can guard itself against the powers of advertising.

The influence of advertising can change lifestyles and societal values in dangerous ways. For example, fast food, such as that served by McDonald’s and KFC, is often presented as the diet of athletic people. To the public, these images normalise and validate what many scientific studies have confirmed is a very unhealthy dietary choice. In addition to altering lifestyles, marketing campaigns can also confuse the public about important societal events. For instance, a recently released video depicts a group of marching protestors defusing a confrontation with the police by giving them a Pepsi. Many people correctly pointed out that such imagery trivialises the purpose of protest and the professional role of the police, images that could dangerously alter the opinions of impressionable young people. Thus, as the above examples show, advertising in the modern era is extremely influential.

To protect people from these negative effects, one approach is to regulate the number of times a marketing campaign can target a specific person’s social media account. This has been effective in Canada, where marketers are only allowed to present their promotional Facebook imagery to people old enough to know they are being advertised to. A second strategy could be to create awareness programs in high schools that educate young people about advertisements and their influence. These two policies would help preserve the public’s ability to remain critical of what they see.

Although advertising is an economic necessity, its influence should be recognised and kept under control. As the above has shown, societies should work to guard their freedom to make decisions unaltered by the interests of large companies.

I have updated my online course file! Download it here:

I've updated my course file

>>>DOWNLOAD THE UPDATED COURSE FILE HERE!<<<<

My online IELTS course file has been updated to include Task 1 and 2 questions seen in late 2016 and early 2017! Download the file and then buy a corrections pack to get started:

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After your payment clears, send your work to ryan@ieltsielts.com. I will return a full cleanup and comment to you within 36 hours.


Please remember to send me your success story after your IELTS. Here is one I received this week:

Dear Ryan,

I must give all my gratitude to you and if I had not used your correction service, I would definitely have not achieved writing band 7 so smoothly!

Recent success story

If you need any testimonial, just feel free to ask me to do that. 

I have recommended your website, YouTube video lessons and correction service to many of my clients, who also have the same IELTS requirement for the migration purpose. 

One thousand thanks are not enough for you, indeed!!!


 Here’s another one from a few weeks earlier:

Dear Ryan,

I am writing this email to genuinely thank you for helping me crack IELTS writing. I wouldn’t have been able to do that, if it wasn’t for your ebooks.

I scored 8 in writing only because I followed your blogs, watched writing videos and read your ebooks for task 1 and task 2. It took me six months to raise my score in writing from 7.5 to 8 but it was all worth it. I was in desperate need for this perfect score so I could become eligible for my permanent residency application process and now I can gladly say that I am.

So thank you for the amazing work that you are doing to help out thousands of people who are struggling to achieve their target score.


Big congratulations on the success and thanks for sharing, guys!  😎

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