How to prepare for IELTS

Whether you are a first-time IELTS taker or someone that needs to resit the exam, this document can provide some direction  regarding how to prepare effectively.   Before we begin, it is important to remember that the IELTS is a language proficiency exam, and thus preparing for it goes beyond simply reading a few textbooks and watching a few YouTube videos. You will see the word “actively” on this page several times. This word is used to highlight the importance of taking initiative in your studies and documenting your progression as your language improves. Be sure not to let yourself confuse passive study approaches (i.e. half-listening to a BBC podcast episode while gazing out a bus window) with active study approaches (i.e. listening to a BBC podcast episode more than once and noting/mimicking/reviewing all new language items you hear).   To arrive at an effective IELTS preparation strategy, complete the following 4 steps and…(more)

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Model essay! This question was seen in Sri Lanka in April 2018…

Nowadays, the most important task is the protection of the environment for future generations. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Although there are many pressing issues in the world today, preservation of the environment for future generations is an extremely important concern. I agree that humanity should prioritise its address of issues that affect the natural world. I will support this position by looking at the environment’s role in maintaining human health and the manner in which it provides various sources of energy for human activity.

Firstly, attention should be paid to the environment because neglect can lead to a serious decline in the healthfulness of people. For example, the quality of air in countries with heavy manufacturing industries is often so low that extended exposure is often carcinogenic. The ramifications of this can be problematic for many generations, as pervasive illness can make it impossible for communities to build wealth and dig their way out of poverty. This is thus one clear reason why commitment to the wellbeing of the natural world is paramount.

Further, reckless use of energy sources can have detrimental effects that last into subsequent generations. For instance, deforestation in parts of Canada and Northern Europe in the 20th Century has altered timber resources in these regions in ways that will require several decades to restore. If these resources are not replenished, the responsibility will fall on the shoulders of future generations, which is a burden that could make these people less competitive globally.

As the above makes clear, ensuring posterity’s inheritance of a healthy natural environment is critical for many reasons. I hope human intelligence and ingenuity continue to work towards making this possible.

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This is a Task 2 model essay! Try copying it word for word! Then try writing it from memory! Be sure to note any new language items you see in your journal! 👀

This question was seen in Saudi Arabia in May 2018:

Some people think cars are the best way to get around a city, while others prefer cycling. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Getting around a city by car or bicycle poses advantages and disadvantages. This essay will examine both before declaring a preference.

There are two obvious benefits to travelling around a city by car. The first is speed. For example, a car can get its driver from one side of a metropolis like New York City to the other in only a few hours. Cars also allow travellers to transport large numbers of items with them, a trait that is very useful to professionals commuting to and from work. These two abilities are simply not possible by bicycle. Thus, there is convincing support for the argument that cars are the optimal vehicle with which to travel around a city.

However, there are nevertheless several advantages to traversing a city by bicycle. For one, unlike a car, a bicycle does not produce harmful emissions, and this is much better for the cleanliness of a city. Bicycles are also small enough to navigate their way between cars, and this means they are less prone to delays due to traffic jams. In addition to this, their small size makes them easier to park, which can significantly reduce transportation related costs in a large city.

This discussion makes clear that both sides of the debate purport valid and convincing arguments that are relevant to the particular needs of the traveller, so it is difficult to declare one form of transport universally better than the other. In my personal case, transit via bicycle is best because I only travel short distances. Both cars and bicycles can be effective methods of city transport given specific circumstances.

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Watch me write an IELTS essay!

The process involves more planning than you might think! In this video, I try to explain some of the mental planning you should quickly do before starting your Task 2 response. Coming up with a few ideas regarding how to approach the essay question gives you some direction and helps you to produce much better structure in your essay.

The question that appears in this video is:

Some people think that the government should invest money in arts and culture, while others believe the government should spend money on more important things. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

If you would like to read a text version of the essay that appears in this video, I published it two days ago here: http://ieltsielts.com/read-this-may-2018-model-essay/

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