Welcome!

Welcome to IELTS Advantage. This site was set up to help IELTS students study at home for free. All posts are written by an experienced IELTS teacher. The site will be updated daily with hints and tips, full lessons and sample answers. All of the posts are categorised in one of the four skills you will be tested on. The aim is to provide as much help as possible for IELTS students all over the world, so if you have an idea for a lesson or post, please let me know in the comments section. The best way to keep up to date is…

New Three-Part IELTS Writing Video Training

Hi I hope you're well. I've created something really special for you. Writing is probably the most difficult part of the whole IELTS test. So, I've created a brand new three-part writing course for you and included 3 beautiful PDF eBooks. It will help you improve your writing in three easy steps. Click here to get it. It will only be available for another 2 days. I hope you like it. Thanks Chris

Using Collocations to Boost Your IELTS Score

The correct use of collocations is an essential part of improving your English level and boosting your IELTS score. Using collocations correctly allows you to write and speak more like a native speaker and they are also one of the things that examiners look out for when marking your tests. Learning new words as part of a collocation is a much more effective way of improving our vocabulary than simply learning single words by themselves. Collocations are two or more words that naturally go together. They sound 'correct' to a…

5 Things Band 7+ IELTS Students Do

I'm a bit obsessed with the difference between a student who gets the scores that they need and those that don't. Every time I get an email from someone who got a 7 or above, I try to find out what they did that allowed them to get such a high score. I'm certain that it does not come down to their level of English, skills or knowledge- of course, those things are very important- but 5 key things that they do when they are preparing for the test. Here they are: They Work Hard This is the number one factor that you control.…

There’s More Than One Way to Get a High IELTS Score

A very common idiom that native English speakers use is "There's more than one way to skin a cat.'' It means that there is more than one way of achieving an aim or doing something. This is one of the most difficult things for IELTS students to understand- there are many different techniques, strategies, methods etc. that you could use to help you get a high mark. The IELTS test, especially the speaking and writing parts, is not like a maths test where there is only one correct answer to a question. Alright, there is…

25 Most Frequently Asked Questions

I get around 100 questions per day from students through email and during my Facebook Live sessions. Nearly all of them are one of the 25 below, so I decided to put the answers all in one post to make it simple and easy for you. Even if you haven't asked a question, you will probably find the answers interesting/useful/surprising. Quick Tip- My website has the answer to nearly every IELTS question you could ever think of. All you have to do is go to Google and enter 'IELTS Advantage' + Your Question and you should be able…

A Guide to Telling the IELTS Examiner Lies

I was chatting to an IELTS examiner about things that stop students doing well on their speaking and writing tests and one thing he said was really interesting- 'The speaking and writing tests are not lie detector tests.' What he means is that many students think that you have to tell the absolute truth. You don't. For example, a student in his class was asked to describe their favourite outfit during a practice exercise. The student said they couldn't remember any details about their favourite outfit, so they stopped…

Top 10 IELTS Articles of 2016

Here are the most popular IELTS posts, on my site, over the past year. Enjoy! Top 10 Most Common Task 2 Topics Writing Task 2 Structures Speaking Topics- Part 1 How to Write an Effective Introduction IELTS vs TOEFL: Which is Easier? Secret to Getting a Band 9 on the Reading Test Agree or Disagree Lesson Task 1 Maps Lesson How to Write a Complex Sentence Task 1 Grammar and Vocabulary Guide

7 Ways Idioms Can LOWER Your IELTS Score

I probably get asked more questions about idioms than any other single thing. Every day I get questions like: Will using idioms increase my score? Which idioms should I use? How many idioms should I use in the speaking test? Should I use idioms in the writing test? This is one of the most misunderstood areas of the test and making some of the mistakes below can really lower your score. Below are 7 ways idioms can decrease your speaking and writing score. Mistake # 1- Using Idioms in Writing Task 1 Academic Task 1 on the…

7 IELTS Fluency Problems (and how to improve them)

Of all of the things I assess on the IELTS Speaking test, the most common problem is fluency. Fluency is your ability to speak smoothly (not quickly) without noticeable effort or loss of coherence. Poor fluency is normally associated with frequent self-correction, hesitation, pausing or repetition. In order to help you improve your fluency I will identify the most common reasons for poor fluency and then look at how to improve each of them. We will also discuss what you can do each day to help you improve your fluency.…

How to Improve IELTS Reading and Listening Skills

Students often ask me 'How do I improve my reading and listening skills?' The short answer is 'Read and listen more.' However, this is not a very good answer because you need to know HOW to practice and WHERE to get good sources of reading and listening material. This article will help you: Learn HOW to practice WHERE to find the best sources HOW often you should be practicing How to Practice Listening and Reading There are two kinds of listening and reading practice- passive and active. One of them is the most common, but…