Month: December 2013

Developing Vocabulary for IELTS

OK. So you know that vocabulary is important for IELTS. But really, did you know it is THE most important factor in increasing your band score? So what do I mean by vocabulary? Good vocabulary does not mean big words. In fact, quite the opposite. Having a good vocabulary means using:

  • Collocations e.g. bar of soap, utterly stupid etc.
  • Common phrasal verbs e.g. ask around, break down etc.
  • Fixed and semi-fixed expressions eg. little did I know, all of a sudden
  • Less commonly used words and phrases e.g. interpersonal skills, broaden my horizons, human existence

So how does one go about developing a good vocabulary that can enable you to get a better band score? Here’s what I tell my students: (more…)

IELTS Writing Task 1: Understanding charts and graphs (Part 7)

Here are the answers to the questions about the Writing Task 1 table a couple of days ago.

In case you missed it, here is the link to the post with the questions. You can see the table there too. Answering these questions will really help you in understanding how to analyze the data in the chart correctly. And you know that analyzing data is crucial to writing a good, meaningful description.


  1. T / F / NG
  2. The table shows the percentage of people in USA who use the Internet between January 2012 and March 2013 .
    T / F / NG
  3. The table shows change over time (dynamic).
    T / F / NG
  4. The use of the iPhone as a way to access the internet fluctuated somewhat during this period.
    T / F / NG
  5. Generally speaking, the use of smartphones and tablets to surf the web nearly doubled in this period.
    T / F / NG
  6. Windows smartphones were not very popular among US citizens in 2012-2013
    T / F / NG
  7. Android smartphones were more popular than tablets using the same operating system as a means of accessing the internet.
    T / F / NG
  8. The use of traditional devices to browse the internet saw a steep decline in this period.
    T / F / NG

What was your score? Which sentences were difficult for you? Ask your questions in the comments below.

IELTS Tips: Using keywords

It’s very important to identify keywords in the questions in IELTS exams.


Keywords help you zero in on the most important information, understand the question, and answer it fully. Always read the question first – in listening, reading, and writing exams – then underline the keywords. In the speaking exam, listen to the examiner’s question carefully to identify the main words.