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 • 123 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.

    How to get a high score in IELTS Academic reading

    How to get a high score in IELTS Academic reading

     

    In this tutorial, we discuss how to get a high score in IELTS Academic reading with ex-examiner Robert.

    We look at:



    * What does the average test taker score in IELTS academic reading

    * How many correct answers do you need to score 7.0 in academic reading

    * What skills do you need to score high in the IELTS academic reading exam

    * How to answer a sample IELTS reading question



    What does the average test taker score in IELTS Academic Reading?

    If we check through the band scores that IELTS test takers obtain, reading comes a very close second to listening. In listening, the average is something like 6.3 whereas in academic reading it’s 6.2, followed by speaking at 6.0 and writing at 5.7.

    Of course, there are variations by native language too. Interestingly, in many countries, it’s reading that scores the highest. In Japan, for example, reading averages 6.1 and listening 5.9. Perhaps in countries where students need to read extensively in English at university or in their careers but have less exposure to spoken English, then this trend is not surprising. 

    Read more IELTS statistics here.

    How many correct answers do you need to score 7.0 in Academic Reading?

    The IELTS Academic reading test includes a total of 40 questions. Here’s how many correct answers you’ll need per score.



    30 to 32 correct answers- 7.0 

    33 to 34 correct answers-  7.5 

    35 to 36 correct answers-  8.0 

    37 to 38 correct answers-  8.5

    39 to 40 correct answers-  9.0

    23 to 26 correct answers-6.0 

    27 to 29 correct answers- 6.5



    In General Training even higher scores are required, probably because the tasks are thought to be easier. You’d need 34 or 35 correct answers for a 7.0, for example.

    It’s important to have this clear idea of how many correct answers are required to get the minimum result you’re looking for. It will guide you when you’re doing practice tests. 

    What skills do you need to score high in the IELTS academic reading exam?

    The IELTS academic reading exam is testing certain skills you need if you want to call yourself  a “good” or “efficient” reader. Applying these skills helps you to understand what you read at different levels. They include:



    Being able to pick out relevant facts and data in a written text

    Getting a general idea of what a text is about through an initial quick reading

    Ability to differentiate between main and secondary ideas

    Ability to fully comprehend the writer’s position in an argumentative text



    How to answer a sample IELTS reading question

    Let’s look at an example taken from a part of the online computer based IELTS reading test practice samples provided by the British Council. 

    It’s a multiple-choice task with one answer out of four given options, A, B, C and D. 

    The question heading reads: in Paragraph 1, the writer suggests that companies could consider:



    Abolishing pay schemes that are based on age

    Avoiding pay that is based on piece-rates

    Increasing pay for older workers

    Equipping older workers with new skills



    Paragraph 1. 

    The general assumption is that older workers are paid more in spite of, rather than because of their productivity. That might partially explain why, when employers are under pressure to cut costs, they persuade a 55-year-old to take early retirement. Take away seniority-based pay scales and older workers may become a much more attractive employment proposition. But most employers and many workers are uncomfortable with the idea of reducing someone’s pay in later life – although manual workers on piece-rates often earn less as they get older. So,

    • 22 min
    Developing listening skills for the IELTS Test

    Developing listening skills for the IELTS Test

     

    In this tutorial, we discuss developing listening skills for the IELTS test with ex-examiner Robert.

    We cover:



    * How to improve your IELTS listening skills

    Different ways to immerse yourself in the language 

    * How to get a feel for the language

    A technique to help with vocabulary and pronunciation  (story of a student who was mimicking news broadcasts). 

    * Active listening vs Extensive listening



    In the IELTS listening test, you have to listen, read and write simultaneously. The 40 questions of the 4 sections will come at you at a natural speed, giving you very little chance to do anything but answer the question. Those precious seconds you have before the audio for each section begins is your key to knowing what to listen out for. 

    Strategies to improve your IELTS listening skills



    Take every opportunity to regularly listen to English through whatever means you have (radio, podcasts, whatever). We could call this extensive listening. Think for a moment about when you started learning English. Before you could say anything at all, you had to understand what you were hearing, right? And as you made progress, you began to understand more complex messages. You started to “listen”. It’s what some language researchers call “comprehensible input”. We understand what we hear (or read) even though we still can’t produce, through speech or writing, all of what we hear or read. It helps to push you up to the next level. 

    Watch, read the closed caption audio script in English, stop whenever, replay partially or wholly, replay without sound or subtitles and act out the dialogues from recall as well as summarize what you’ve seen, and talk about it with fellow viewers. In fact, you can just about do anything you want to from letting it just flow around you for pure enjoyment and, shall we say, general understanding, to efforts to work on word meanings, pronunciation, intonation, colloquial language, vocabulary as it applies for example, to specific areas.



    Join many other students who have achieved IELTS success with our online IELTS course.

    You can download or listen to the full tutorial here:

    | Direct Download Here | Stitcher | iTunes | Spotify |

     

    • 26 min
    Tips to improve your IELTS Vocabulary from an ex-examiner

    Tips to improve your IELTS Vocabulary from an ex-examiner

     

    In this tutorial, we discuss tips to improve your IELTS vocabulary from an ex-examiner.

    We look at:



    4 things you can start doing today to improve your IELTS vocabulary

    How to make sure you don’t forget the vocabulary before your exam

    3 useful tools that can improve your IELTS vocabulary



    The key to success in IELTS is an extensive vocabulary. If you can paraphrase and use synonyms, then your speaking and writing test scores are bound to be high and in reading and listening, you should have no significant issues. 

    4 Things you can start doing today to improve your IELTS Vocabulary



    Keep separate pages from different types of words. According to grammatical categories for example – nouns, verbs, adjectives, connectors, prepositions and so on. You can also have different sections for vocabulary associated with topics. Education, science, sport etc. 

    Words do not exist in isolation. They appear in a context, they collocate with other words – a verb with a noun, an adverb with a verb, an adjective with a noun. Prepositions too form these close bonds with other words. And why stop at the word? Word combinations, different types of collocations that include fixed or semi-fixed expressions and words that frequently go together, are so important when it comes to learning and using a second language. So, record the expression, not just the word. 

    Note down the context where the word or expression came from an English coursebook, newspaper, magazine, online written source, video source or whatever. The context should be as full as possible. If it’s formal or not.





    * It’s a great idea to include with each item some synonyms and antonyms, some kind of cross-reference to other words and expressions, their uses in different contexts and so on. 



    How to make sure you remember the vocabulary during your exam

    Recording and noting vocabulary is one thing. How many times have you heard or read a new vocabulary item and the very next day, completely forgotten its meaning? Here’s how to make sure you don’t forget



    If you have a note of the item and the context, it’s a great idea to add further information about the item if and when you come across it again, perhaps in a different context. 

    The only way is repetition and practice. 

    One sure way of making a new word or expression part of you is to start trying it out. This could be in front of a mirror, when speaking to someone, asking someone if what you are saying is correct (the pronunciation, the grammar, the context). 



    3 Useful tools that can improve your IELTS Vocabulary

    There are many other ways to increase your vocabulary. Here are 3 useful tools that can help:



    An up-to-date probably online dictionary of thesaurus really helps. 

    You can also use mnemonics, a great tool to help your memory.

    Testing yourself, for example with a simple flashcard is another technique that can be effective. Look at a word on one side of a card and say out loud what it means, giving an example. Turn over the card to check. That can work the other way around too. 



    Join many other students who have achieved IELTS success with our online IELTS course.

    You can download or listen to the full tutorial here:

    | Direct Download Here | Stitcher | a href="https://itunes.apple.

    • 20 min
    Band 9 Answers to latest IELTS Task 2 questions July 2022

    Band 9 Answers to latest IELTS Task 2 questions July 2022

     

    In this tutorial, we provide you with Band 9 answers to the latest IELTS Task 2 questions as seen in the exam in July 2022.

    Listen to the full tutorial and you will learn:



    How to get and organise ideas for task 2 essay questions

    Types of essay ideas you should avoid 

    How to practice your brainstorming skills for the exam

    Sample paragraph structure for IELTS task 2

    How to answer tricky “to what extent do you agree or disagree”  questions

    * Sample Band 9 answers to three of the latest IELTS Task 2 questions



    Each sample answer has:



    an introduction

    two body paragraphs

    a conclusion



    Read the questions and a summary of the sample Band 9 answers below:

    Question 1: Nowadays many people prefer to buy famous brands of clothes, cars and other items. What are the reasons for this? Do you think it is a positive or negative development?

    Introduction

    People preferring to buy famous brands of clothes, cars and other items is a negative development because it’s making our society more materialistic and consumer-driven. This may cause other values such as environmental awareness, child labour, and fair working practices to get pushed aside if the more famous brands are not so conscious of these issues.

    Body Paragraph 1

    The reasons people prefer to buy famous brands of clothes is because of status, to show their wealth because of the quality associated with these famous brands

    Another reason is the advertisements for these products and endorsements by famous celebrities. It is well known in advertising that a lot of people want to be seen as successful and wealthy. Brands take advantage of this with endorsements from celebrities and other notable personalities.

    Body Paragraph 2

    A lot of people see these brands and they wanted to be associated with the brand because of certain celebrity endorsements. For example, Nike has an active and athletic brand and people also want to be seen as athletic, active and as winners and this largely explains sports endorsements as well. The famous Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal earns millions of dollars per year from Nike for celebrity endorsements to wear Nike clothing at his games. This in turn generates demand as people aspire to be like Rafael Nadal and one way they can get closer is by wearing the same clothes as he does.

    Conclusion

    The increase in preference for famous brands of clothes and other products is a negative development because it can create problems for people who do not have the money to buy expensive brands.

    Due to the capitalist nature of these famous brands, important values such as ecological manufacturing, equal working conditions and prohibiting child labour may become secondary. Many famous brands do not have the best track record for fair working practices and other crucial issues.

    Question 2: Some people think the primary purpose of schools is to turn the children into good citizens and workers, rather than to benefit them as individuals. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

    Introduction

    I completely agree that schools do turn children into good citizens and workers. This is because education creates a more civilised society with reduced crime rates. However, I disagree with the idea that the school does not benefit the children as individuals.

    Body Paragraph 1

    Schools produce better workers which means there’s more productivity and more wealth in the economy. This ultimately benefits more people and the society at large because of the taxes and the redistribution of this wealth.

    Body Paragraph 2

    The idea of schools producing exemplary citizens and workers rather than developing them as individuals is flawed because when a school produces a child that is an...

    • 24 min
    IELTS Writing tips for Chinese students with Phil

    IELTS Writing tips for Chinese students with Phil

     

    In this episode, we discuss the top 5 IELTS writing tips for Chinese students with Phil Longwell, an EAP and Study Skills Tutor from the University of Central Lancashire.

    We discuss:



    Phil’s experience teaching Chinese students how to write in English

    5 tips for Chinese students preparing for IELTS writing exams

    Common mistakes Chinese students make in academic writing

    Phil’s favourite piece of academic vocabulary he always uses with Chinese learners who want to study in UK universities



    [VIDEO] Paraphrase (original parody)



    Join many other students who have achieved IELTS success with our online IELTS course.

     

    You can download or listen to the full tutorial here:

    | Direct Download Here | Stitcher | iTunes | Spotify |

    • 29 min
    IELTS Band 8 Student after 4 attempts

    IELTS Band 8 Student after 4 attempts

     

    Meet Mohamed, an IELTS Band 8 student after 4 attempts.

    In this tutorial, you will learn how we helped Mohamed score 7 in IELTS Writing and band 8 overall twice after being stuck at 6.5 during two previous IELTS tests.

    Mohamed is an Egyptian doctor who works in Kuwait. He needed to pass IELTS for the General Medical Council registration to practice medicine in the UK.

    He needed a Band score of 7.5 in IELTS Academic and a minimum score of 7 in all the modules to complete his registration with the GMC.

    Why Mohamed needed a native English speaker to correct his essays

    Before discovering the IELTS Podcast, Mohamed had taken the IELTS twice in 2019. He scored 6 and 6.5 in writing despite paying for another essay correction service. The writing feedback from this service was not detailed enough to help him improve.

    Frustrated with being stuck at 6.5 in writing, Mohamed started to look for solutions and found IELTS Podcast before his third attempt in 2020. He enrolled in our writing course and scored 7 in writing but had to postpone his travel plans due to personal reasons.

    In 2022, he re-started his relocation plans and enrolled in our writing course again to help him prepare.

    Before joining our Sentence Guide with Essay Corrections course, Mohamed wondered what could really be the difference between IELTS Podcast tutors and other English teachers.

    He quickly realized that working with native English speakers and ex-IELTS examiners at IELTS Podcast made all the difference.

    Our effective essay correction methods helped Mohamed learn how to write essays properly by highlighting his errors and showing him how to correct them. 

    What Mohamed learnt from our Writing course

    Mohamed learnt some powerful writing tips from our tutors and ex-IELTS examiners about:



    * proper vocabulary usage to avoid losing points

    * how to use complex words in the right context

    * how to sound more natural and use higher quality sentences in your Task 1 response



    Our writing course also taught Mohamed:



    * why planning your ideas for your essay is so important

    * how to save time during the test

    * why memorizing collocations alone is not enough to pass IELTS writing

    * how to be OVER prepared for academic task 1



    By his fourth IELTS attempt, Mohamed got an overall band score of 8 with 9 in Reading, 8.5 in Listening, 7 in Writing and 7.5 in Speaking.

    He shares a super tip that helped him gain 8.5 in listening and a great resource to improve your reading fast.

    Now that he has passed IELTS, Mohamed is on his way to the UK this August to start a new job and we wish him all the best.

    We helped Mohamed score 7 and achieve success in IELTS Writing twice!

    We can do the same for you. Sign up for our Sentence Guide with Essay Corrections course today!

     

    You can download or listen to the full tutorial here:

    | Direct Download Here | Stitcher | iTunes | Spotify |

     

    • 28 min

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