20 episodes

Complete tutorials for IELTS to help you improve faster and pass the exam.

Visit the site for a complete range of online courses and a new improved essay correction service.

IELTS Podcast Ben Worthington

    • Education
    • 4.5 • 141 Ratings

Complete tutorials for IELTS to help you improve faster and pass the exam.

Visit the site for a complete range of online courses and a new improved essay correction service.

    What an IELTS Examiner looks for when grading an IELTS speaking student

    What an IELTS Examiner looks for when grading an IELTS speaking student

    What Qualities Do Successful IELTS Candidates Exhibit?

    As a seasoned IELTS examiner, my decade-long experience has shown me the distinguishing characteristics of candidates who excel in the Speaking test. This article unfolds the vital components assessed during the test and shares actionable strategies for candidates aiming for higher band scores. You can find further insights here.

    How Can You Improve Fluency and Coherence?

    Fluency and coherence stand as pillars in the evaluation of speaking skills. Successful candidates display a smooth delivery of ideas, utilizing linking words effectively for cohesion. Regular speaking practice, aiming for a natural pace and logical idea connection, enhances fluency.

    Is Your Vocabulary Helping You Score Higher?

    A rich lexical resource signifies the candidate’s ability to use varied and accurate vocabulary. Expanding your vocabulary through extensive reading and practice is crucial. Employ new words in different scenarios to fortify your lexical resource.

    Why Is Grammatical Range and Accuracy Fundamental?

    Grammatical mastery reflects in the use of diverse sentence structures and grammatical correctness. Practicing varied grammatical forms and seeking constructive feedback can significantly improve accuracy. For more tips, visit our grammar guide.

    Can Pronunciation Influence Your IELTS Speaking Score?

    Clear and accurate pronunciation enhances comprehension and effectiveness in communication, influencing scores positively. Listening and mimicking native speakers, focusing on stress and intonation, can improve pronunciation skills.

    How Important Is Interaction and Engagement During the Test?

    Engaging actively with the examiner by listening attentively and responding appropriately demonstrates communicative competence. Practice engaging in discussions on various topics to improve interaction skills.

    Aiming for excellence in the IELTS Speaking exam involves a comprehensive focus on fluency, vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, and interaction. Consistent practice and dedication are indispensable for achieving the desired band score. Discover more strategies here.

    About Robert Buckinghamshire

    Robert, a seasoned IELTS examiner with three decades of experience, consistently aids candidates in achieving success in the IELTS exam. Outside of work, he passionately supports the football team Manchester United and harbours a strong disdain for one of their rivals, whom he refers to as “THE Arsenal.”

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    • 21 min
    IELTS Writing: How to Use Academic Hedging in Task 2 Essays

    IELTS Writing: How to Use Academic Hedging in Task 2 Essays

    Unlock the secrets to enhancing your IELTS Writing Task 2 scores through academic hedging.

    Why Is Academic Hedging a Key to Higher IELTS Band Scores?


    Mastering academic hedging can significantly impact your IELTS Writing Task 2 scores. This technique not only polishes your language but also embodies an academic tone, essential for achieving Band 7 and beyond.

    How Can Academic Hedging Propel Your Essay From Band 6.5 to Band 7?

    Academic hedging, by introducing nuanced language to express degrees of certainty, adds depth to your arguments, making a smooth transition from Band 6.5 to Band 7 achievable.

    What Role Does Grammatical Range and Accuracy Play?

    Subtle language adjustments in academic hedging not only convey complex ideas more effectively but also enhance grammatical range and accuracy, crucial for a higher score.

    Understanding the Importance of Distancing in Academic Writing

    Distancing from absolute statements without empirical evidence showcases your ability to approach topics with intellectual humility, reflecting critical thinking and Band 7 proficiency.

    Transforming Your Essays with Academic Hedging: Practical Examples

    See how academic hedging can transform statements, making your arguments more nuanced and academically rigorous:

    * Original: “Climate change is undoubtedly caused by human activities.”

    Hedged: “There is substantial evidence to suggest that human activities may significantly contribute to climate change.”

    * Original: “Technology always improves the quality of life.”

    Hedged: “In many instances, technological advancements have been observed to enhance the quality of life.”

    * Original: “Education is the only solution to societal problems.”

    Hedged: “Education is widely regarded as a potential catalyst for addressing various societal challenges.”

    Concluding Thoughts on Mastering Academic Hedging

    Integrating academic hedging into your essays not only boosts grammatical accuracy and coherence but also adds sophistication, leading to an improved band score.

    You can download or listen to the audio version here:

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    Transcript available by clicking here.

    Related Articles

    * IELTS Writing Task 2 Strategies

    * Top IELTS Speaking Tips

    * Effective IELTS Reading Tips

    Explore More

    Discover more about academic writing at Harvard University’s Writing Center.

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    About the Author: Ben Worthington, founder of IELTSPodcast, has dedicated his career to helping students achie...

    • 16 min
    IELTS Speaking: Model Answers to Recent Speaking Questions 2024

    IELTS Speaking: Model Answers to Recent Speaking Questions 2024

    Introducing our latest podcast episode: “IELTS Speaking: Model Answers to Recent Speaking Questions 2024!”

    Here are five reasons why you should tune in:

    * Expert Insights: Gain valuable insights from seasoned IELTS tutors who share their expertise in crafting effective responses to Part 3 questions.

    * Model Answers: Learn by example with meticulously crafted model answers that illustrate the principles of effective communication and language proficiency.

    * Strategic Approach: Discover strategic approaches and techniques to structure your responses coherently and impressively in the IELTS Speaking Part 3 section.

    * Topic Coverage: Explore a wide range of recent IELTS Speaking Part 3 questions, ensuring you’re well-prepared for any topic that might come your way in the exam.

    * Practical Tips: Receive practical tips and actionable advice on vocabulary usage, fluency, pronunciation, and more, tailored specifically for success in the IELTS Speaking exam.

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    Don’t miss out on this invaluable resource to elevate your IELTS Speaking performance! Tune in now to unlock the secrets of mastering Part 3.

    Part 1 Questions

    * Family: Can you tell me something about your family members? How much time do you manage to spend with them?

    * Social Media: Do you like using social media? Which ones? Do your friends use social media?

    * Daily Habits: How many hours do you sleep every day (or, every night)? Do you think it’s important to keep the city clean?

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    Part 2 Questions

    * Describe a performance you enjoyed watching: What the performance was, when and where you watched it, who was performing, and explain why you enjoyed it.

    * An Important Text Message: Describe an important text message you received, including who sent the message, what was in the message, why the person sent it, and why it was important to you.

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    Part 3 Questions

    * Preserving Historic Buildings: Discuss the benefits, costs, contributions to cultural identity, and measures to balance preservation with public safety.

    * Endangered Plants and Animals: Talk about the factors contributing to endangerment and your opinions on conservation efforts.

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    Additional Questions Across Parts include Morning Routines, Collecting, Crowded Places, Cakes, Memory, Colours, Music, Being Bored, among many others covering a wide array of everyday activities, personal preferences, and societal topics.

    These questions are indicative of the variety you can expect in the IELTS speaking section, encompassing personal experiences, descriptive tasks, and opinion-based discussions on a broad range of subjects. Practicing with these questions can help enhance your fluency, coherence, lexical resource, grammatical range and accuracy, as well as pronunciation—key criteria on which you’ll be evaluated during the test.

    You can download or listen to the audio version here:

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    • 27 min
    IELTS Academic Task 1: How to Identify Patterns and Group Data

    IELTS Academic Task 1: How to Identify Patterns and Group Data

    In the pursuit of achieving a Band 8 in the IELTS Academic Task 1, mastering the skill of identifying patterns and grouping data is paramount.

    The ability to discern trends, make comparisons, and organise information effectively not only demonstrates proficiency in data analysis but also enhances the clarity and coherence of your written response.

    This article aims to provide you with a practical guide to navigate four common types of data representation encountered in the Task 1: pie charts, line graphs, flow charts, and bar charts.

    Practical Guide:

    Pie Charts:

    Understanding Composition: Begin by examining the sections of the pie chart and identifying the proportions each segment represents.

    Highlighting Key Points: Focus on the largest and smallest segments, as well as any significant variations or outliers.

    Comparing Categories: Analyse the relationships between different categories and highlight any notable disparities or similarities.

    Providing Context: Offer context by describing the significance of each category and explaining its relevance to the overall data.

    Example Sentence: “The pie chart illustrates the distribution of household expenditure across various categories, with the largest proportion allocated to housing expenses, followed by transportation and food costs.”

    Line Graphs:

    Identifying Trends: Examine the trajectory of the line graph to identify trends, fluctuations, or patterns over time.

    Highlighting Peaks and Troughs: Pay attention to peak points, troughs, and any sudden spikes or dips in the data, indicating significant changes.

    Describing Relationships: Describe the relationship between different variables plotted on the graph and elucidate any correlations or causal connections.

    Interpreting Data: Interpret the data by explaining the implications of the trends observed and forecasting potential future developments.

    Example Sentence: “The line graph depicts the fluctuation in global temperatures over the past century, revealing a steady upward trend with notable spikes in the recent decades, indicating a concerning acceleration of climate change.”

    Flow Charts:

    Sequential Analysis: Follow the sequence of steps presented in the flow chart and identify the progression or decision-making process illustrated.

    Identifying Nodes and Branches: Pay attention to decision points, branches, and nodes, and analyse the outcomes or implications of each step.

    Tracing Paths: Trace the paths followed in the flow chart and identify any alternative routes or divergences in the flow of information.

    Summarising Processes: Summarise the processes depicted in the flow chart and elucidate the significance of each step in achieving the desired outcome.

    Example Sentence: “The flow chart outlines the process of product development, delineating the sequential stages from conceptualization and design to production and marketing.”

    Bar Charts:

    Comparative Analysis: Compare the values represented by different bars in the chart and identify any significant variations or disparities.

    Highlighting Extremes: Focus on the highest and lowest bars, as well as any outliers, to discern noteworthy trends or outliers.

    Describing Distribution: Describe the distribution of data across various categories and elucidate the significance of any clusters or gaps.

    Interpreting Data: Interpret the data by explaining the implications of the trends observed and forecasting potential future developments.

    Example Sentence: “The bar chart illustrates the distribution of educational attainment among different age groups, with the highest proportion of post-secondary graduates observed in the 25-34 age bracket.”

    By honing your skills in identifying patterns and grouping data across diverse formats, you’ll be better equipped to tackle the co...

    • 23 min
    IELTS: Mastering Discussions About the Future in the IELTS Speaking Exam

    IELTS: Mastering Discussions About the Future in the IELTS Speaking Exam

    Being able to articulate ideas about the future effectively is crucial for success in the IELTS Speaking exam, particularly in Part 3 where candidates are expected to discuss abstract topics and express opinions.

    In this guide, we will delve into strategies for talking about the future, incorporating comparisons in time and utilising different tenses to convey ideas accurately.

    Practical Examples for Part 3 Questions:

    Topic: Technology Advancements

    Question: “How do you think technology will impact education in the future?”

    Response: “I believe technology will revolutionise education in the future. Whereas in the past, students primarily relied on traditional teaching methods, such as textbooks and lectures, in the future, we can expect to see a greater integration of digital resources and interactive learning platforms.”

    Topic: Environmental Sustainability

    Question: “What measures should governments take to address climate change in the coming decades?”

    Response: “In the past, governments have often focused on short-term solutions to environmental issues. However, looking ahead, it’s imperative for them to implement long-term strategies, such as investing in renewable energy sources and adopting sustainable policies to mitigate the impacts of climate change.”

    Topic: Workforce Trends

    Question: “How do you think the nature of work will change in the future?”

    Response: “The future of work is likely to undergo significant transformations. While in the past, traditional employment models prevailed, we can anticipate a shift towards remote work arrangements and the gig economy, where individuals have more flexibility and autonomy in their careers.”Grammar Points on Using


    Comparing Future Predictions: When discussing the future, it’s essential to use appropriate language to compare future scenarios with past or present situations.

    Using Future Forms: Utilise different future tenses, such as “will + base form,” “going to + base form,” and the present continuous for future arrangements or plans.

    Expressing Certainty: Use modal verbs like “will,” “might,” and “may” to indicate varying degrees of certainty about future events or outcomes.

    Comparing Hypothetical Scenarios: Practice constructing sentences with conditional clauses to compare hypothetical future situations with present realities.

    Avoiding Ambiguity: Be clear and specific when making comparisons about the future, avoiding vague or ambiguous language that could confuse the listener.

    Practical Tips to Master Comparisons:

    Read and Analyse Future Scenarios: Engage with articles, essays, or reports discussing future trends and predictions in various fields. Analyse how comparisons are used to illustrate potential changes over time.

    Practice Future Tense Structures: Dedicate time to practice constructing sentences using different future tense forms. Write or speak about future plans, predictions, and hypothetical situations to solidify your understanding.

    Expand Your Vocabulary: Learn and memorise vocabulary related to future predictions, technological advancements, environmental issues, and societal changes. Having a rich vocabulary will enable you to articulate your ideas more effectively.

    Listen to Model Responses: Listen to sample IELTS Speaking recordings or watch videos of proficient speakers discussing future topics. Pay attention to their use of comparisons and how they structure their responses.

    Engage in Conversations: Practice discussing future-oriented topics with classmates, tutors, or language partners. Engaging in conversations allows you to apply the grammar points and tips you’ve learned in a practical conte...

    • 21 min
    Part 3: Expert Model Answers (to recent questions) 2024

    Part 3: Expert Model Answers (to recent questions) 2024

    Welcome to our latest podcast episode: “IELTS Speaking Part 3: Expert Model Answers” Here are four reasons why this episode is a must-listen:

    Expert Guidance: Receive expert guidance from a seasoned IELTS tutor who unveils the secrets behind crafting stellar responses to IELTS Speaking Part 3 questions.

    Illustrative Examples: Dive deep into illustrative examples of model answers that demonstrate effective communication strategies and language proficiency.

    Effective Strategies: Discover effective strategies and tactics for structuring your responses strategically to impress examiners in the IELTS Speaking Part 3 section.

    Practical Advice: Benefit from practical advice and actionable tips on vocabulary usage, fluency enhancement, pronunciation refinement, and more, tailored specifically to excel in the IELTS Speaking exam.

    Don’t miss out on this golden opportunity to enhance your IELTS Speaking skills! Tune in now to unlock the secrets to acing Part 3 with confidence.

    Join many other students who have achieved IELTS success with our online course or get instant writing feedback with our online IELTS essay checker. 

    You can download or listen to the audio version here:

    Direct Download | Stitcher | iTunes | Spotify |


    • 24 min

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