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Should I Get My IELTS Test Remarked?

One of the biggest concerns students have is whether or not to get their tests remarked if they don't get the scores they were expecting. There is very little official guidance from IDP and the British Council on when you should do this, so I have given you some advice below. Key Facts It is officially called an Enquiry on Results. You must apply for it within 6 weeks of your original result at your local test centre. The test will be sent to Cambridge or Melbourne and assessed by a senior examiner. They will not be told…

IELTS Scores

IELTS is graded on a scale of 0-9. You will receive a score for Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. These scores are then averaged and this will give you your overall score. Scores are always rounded up to the nearest half score. This article will show you what the different band scores mean, how examiners decide what score you get and how to understand your band score more fully. Below is what the overall scores mean. I will only list 6-9 because if you are reading this article and understanding it, you will already…

British Council or IDP?

One of the strangest things I have heard from students goes something like this: ''I'm going to book my test with IDP, the examiners give higher marks.'' ''I'm doing my test with the BC because the examiners there help you more and are very friendly.'' Have you heard this before? It seems that most students have an opinion. One student will say that one is better than the other and then in the next class you will hear someone say the exact opposite. It is always someone's friend's cousin's auntie did it there and she said…

My IELTS test is next week, what should I do?

Do you think that one week is enough time to prepare for the IELTS test? How about one month? How about 3 months? You would not believe the amount of emails I get every day that sound something like this: “I have my test next week, what do I need to do to get a 7.5 in all areas?’’ If you have only one week before your test and you have not studied at all, you are in serious trouble. Below I will outline what you should do if you have 1 week, 1 month or 3 months to prepare for your test. 1 Week Chances of getting the scores…

Top 10 IELTS Articles of 2015

IELTS Advantage had over two and half million views in 2015. Thank you very much for your support. Below are our most popular articles of the year.Click on the title of any article to access it. Free IELTS Writing eCourse This was our most popular page by far and it is no surprise. The free eCourse offers five free video lessons on some of the most important IELTS Writing topics. Thanks for the amazing feedback from all of you who have signed up already. Most Common Task 2 Topics I analysed hundreds of IELTS questions and…

IELTS Simon Interview

It's great to get different perspectives on online IELTS teaching and Simon from IELTS Simon has been kind enough to answer a few of my questions. Simon has one of the best IELTS blogs on the web and if you haven't looked at his website yet, you should check it out here. Below are the answers to my questions and there is some great advice to help you with your IELTS preparation. The answers to questions four and six were my favourites. 1. When somebody asks you what you do, what do you normally say? I usually just say that…

Best Podcasts for English Learners

The best English students are always looking for new ways to develop their skills, and increasingly, podcasts have become an unparalleled source of 'real English'. There are lots of podcasts out there that focus on teaching grammar, vocabulary and other skills, but they tend to be a little too much like being in English class and don't expose learners to how real English speakers converse with each other. Podcasts offer you an insight into what you can expect if you actually lived in an English speaking country. There are…

Can I Use American English?

Introduction I have had lots of emails this month asking if it is OK to use American English in the IELTS test. Whenever this topic comes up in class students get very worried about it and ask lots of questions. My answer is always not to worry about it too much, but this is never a satisfactory answer so here is a more detailed guide on the subject. Are American and British English Really Different? To begin with I should say that they are 99% the same. They have 99% percent the same grammar, the same vocabulary and the…

A Day in the Life of an IELTS Student

After teaching more English students than I can count, the most successful students have one thing in common: they practice English a little every day. It doesn't need to be hours of study- or even study at all- that makes the difference, it can be just 10 minutes a day in some cases. With this in mind I have decided to write a story about a fictional IELTS student. She is really busy studying and working but manages to practice all four skills every day. Here is her story. 7.30 Late for class already. I hate Mondays! At…

IELTS Preparation Books

There are hundreds of IELTS preparation books on the market and choosing the right one can make the difference between studying effectively and getting not getting the score you need. Which IELTS preparation book you choose will also depend on what band score you are aiming for and which skills you want to focus on. As an IELTS teacher I have either used or looked at nearly all of the IELTS books on the market and below are my recommendations. I have no affiliation with any of the companies and will make no money from the…