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IELTS Top Tips: Part 2
Following on from our IELTS Top Tips: Part 1 covering listening and reading, this week we bring you our guide to the productive sections of the exam: speaking and writing
Speaking


  • Build a library
Collect your favourite phrasal verbs/idioms and make sure they can be used in a variety of contexts: e.g. describing likes and dislikes. Remember, you have a limited time to impress and it is vital you show off your knowledge

  • Start your preparation early
Don’t leave speaking preparation till the end of the course. Start using your favourite expressions soon and try to use them every time you practise. The aim is for you to be able to produce a range of grammar and vocabulary that will impress the examiner and not seem forced.

  • Use your voice
Don’t make the mistake of thinking pronunciation is only about vowel and consonant sounds. While accurate production is important you should also remember to change the speed and pitch of your voice to add emphasise, and enhance meaning.

Writing
  • What’s true for speaking is true for writing
Like speaking, start your writing preparation early aiming to collect advanced grammar and vocabulary that you will be able to use in part 2. One possibility is to prepare a model for part 2 into which you can insert the details of your particular topic.

  • Be practical in part 1
Remember that while part 2 is literary, part 1 is more scientific. You do not need beautiful vocabulary or a wide range of advanced structures to succeed here. Rather, ask yourself if a reader could recreate the graph/diagram/chart from your description. Focus on accuracy and detail.

  • Tactics, tactics, tactics

You should be able to do well in writing as it is so tactical. Learn the rules and follow them. Pay close attention to the word count and most importantly: ANSWER THE QUESTION and resist the temptation to alter it to suit your interests or knowledge.

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