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June 30, 2016

Last week in the official IELTS exam, the Essay question in the General Exam was actually harder than in the Academic exam.

This was the question for the Academic Exam:

The main reason for most people to choose their job or career is money.    

To what extent do you...

June 29, 2016

It is always fantastic to get a letter from a former student and today I would like to share with you this letter sent to me by Kim Pham.   Kim was in the first class I taught at the ITEC, the International Training and Education Center at the Vietnam National Universi...

June 25, 2016

In my last blog, I wrote about trying to see the BIG picture when writing about the overview (main idea) in an IELTS writing task 1 question.

Today let's look at a graph from the REAL WORLD, which is trending on social media right now.

This graph shows results from a ref...

June 23, 2016

Writing the overview is probably the most difficult thing for many students in writing task 1.  

There is one key to writing a good overview and it doesn't depend on language.   It depends on your ability to see the BIG PICTURE.

What does this mean?   Think of it this wa...

June 17, 2016

The following sample essay is an example of an Agree/Disagree essay.   The technique I use in this essay can also be used to answer a TO WHAT EXTENT DO YOU AGREE  essay.

The technique  is to write about BOTH SIDES of a question, focusing on the GOOD points of the s...

June 14, 2016

Understanding the Question is VERY IMPORTANT for your overall band score in the IELTS.   In fact, a misunderstanding of the question can lead to a band score of 4 in Task Achievement if most of your writing is OFF TOPIC.

As an examiner, I have been surprised a...

June 8, 2016

Two days ago, I got a letter from a student of mine.   She recently took the IELTS exam and got 8.0 in speaking with an overall score of 7.5.  This is a fantastic speaking mark for a student from Vietnam, as Vietnamese students often have problems with the speaking par...

June 2, 2016

I would like to know which part of the IELTS exam is most difficult for you.  Please give me as much information as you can!    For example, maybe your main problem is READING.   Why is it hard for you?   The vocabulary?   The questions? The time limit?...

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