Friday, July 1, 2011

IELTS Exam Preparation

Not only has English become an international language; it is used by more and more people around the world as a medium of post-school study.
To help universities and colleges select students with sufficient English skills to succeed in their courses, The IELTS test was introduced in 1989 to assess “whether candidates are ready to train in the medium of English”. It is now used for this purpose around the globe.

Depending in the course of study that students plan to take, students must elect to sit either the
Academic IELTS test or the General Training IELTS test. This choice must be made when applying to sit the test. The Academic IELTS test is necessary for students who plan to study at university (undergraduate or postgraduate courses), and will test the student’s ability both to understand and to use complex academic language. The General Training IELTS test is required by other institutions, such as colleges and high schools, for courses that require less complex language skills, and is also as a general test of English proficiency e.g. for immigration purposes in Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

The Test Format
There are four sub-tests, or modules, to the IELTS test: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. Students must sit all four sub-tests. While all students take the same Listening and Speaking tests, they sit different Reading and Writing tests, depending on whether they have selected the Academic IELTS test or the General Training IELTS test.

On the day of the test, the four subsections will be taken in the following order:

IELTS Test Structure
Total Test Time
2 hours 45 minutes

The Speaking test may even take place a day or two later at some centers.

IELTS listening test
lasts for about 30 minutes. It consists of four sections, played on cassette tape, in order of increasing difficulty. Each section might be a dialogue or a monologue. The test is played once only, and the questions for each section must be answered while listening, although time is given for students to check their answers.

IELTS Reading test
lasts for 60 minutes. Students are given an Academic Reading test, or a General Training Reading test. Both tests consist of three sections, and in both tests the sections are in order of increasing difficulty.

IELTS Writing test
also lasts for 60 minutes. Again, students take either an Academic test, or a General Training test. Students must perform two writing tasks, which require different styles of writing. There is no choice of question topics.

IELTS Speaking test
consists of a one-to-one interview with a specially trained examiner. The examiner will lead the candidate through the three parts of the test:
An introduction and interview, an individual long turn where the candidate speaks for one or two minutes on a particular topic, and a two-way discussion thematically linked to the individual long turn. This interview will last for approximately 11-14 minutes.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What are the qualities of a good friend?

True friendships can start instantly but they take time to build. Here are a few qualities to look for when making friends as a teen -- and beyond.

1. A good friend is honest.

A good friend may not share every detail of every second of their life, but they do try to be clear about their intentions. This means that they try to present an accurate picture of who they are and of different situations. When something doesn't seem right, they let you know.
2. A good friend is fun, unique and interesting.
OK, this is a given, and probably the reason you became friends in the first place. But there's a lot to be said for chemistry and shared interests.
As for fun, it depends how you define it: Some friends are fun because they're the life of the party, others are fun because they notice every strange little detail about a situation. Some people are fun simply because they see life like no one else does.

3. A good friend is attentive and adaptable.

A good friend is at least a fairly good listener and notices how little, day-to-day things affect you. They can't read your mind, but chances are they can usually tell when you're happy, sad, excited, shocked or upset. If they're aware that they're doing something that annoys you, they try to change their ways or at least talk to you about it.

4. A good friend is supportive of you and your goals.

Sure, your friend may think you're cool, but are they on the same page as you? Do they know what you want most out of life? A really good friend will know what makes you tick and help you become the person you want to be. They won't try to change who you are or drag you into situations that make you uncomfortable or put you at risk of losing something that matters to you.

5. A good friend is a friend you can trust.

A true friend won't try to steal your girlfriend or boyfriend, your job or your personality. They won't gossip about you constantly or try to damage your reputation. They will let you know when they're concerned and do their best to stick up for you when you're in trouble.

6. A good friend makes it clear that they care about you.

Different people may have different ways of letting you know that they care about you. One person may give you a big hug whereas another person might gently tease you. A big clue that someone cares is that they talk to you fairly often and, in general, know what's going on in your life and act interested about it.

7. A good friend sticks with you in good times and bad.

Loyalty is a quality almost everyone lists when asked what they look for in a friend. A loyal friend will stick with you when your new play is a flop, when you bomb the SATs or when your parents get divorced. If you move or switch schools, they'll do their best to stay in touch with you.

8. A good friend accepts you for who you are, even when you're being a butthead.

In friendship, being accepting goes hand in hand with being loyal. A true friend rolls with the punches as you grow and change and know how to deal with your quirks and faults.
They are also patient with you when you make mistakes -- even big ones -- and learn how to forgive you when you hurt them. In other words, they treat you as you'd like to be treated, even when you aren't at your best.


What is friendship? 

It is an in-depth relationship combining trust, support, communication, loyalty, understanding, empathy, and intimacy. Aspects of life that all of us crave.

Being able to trust and relax with your friend is a big part of friendship.
Remember when you were young and went with a friend to her grandma's for the week-end. It was fun but when you got home, home was wonderful. Your feeling was "I'm home. I can relax now."

That's what a friendship should be.
You go out into the world and do your best. You have your ups and downs, your problems and triumphs, your fun and vicissitudes. You charm and you perform.
Then you come "home" to a friend. You can relax, put up your feet; you are relieved. If you still have to be charming and/or performing, it's not a relief.
Friendship is a comfy situation like home. You get home, kick off your shoes, relax and sigh, "Ahh, home." 

But no one can form a friendship until he/she realizes that the basis of being friends is meeting the needs of the other person. One must be a friend to have one.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Here are few practice topics intended for Writing Task II (Academic) of IELTS : 
  1. Some people believe that only pupils of similar interests should be given admissions in schools.Others are of the opinions that schools should be open to all children with varied interests. How far you agree or disagree with the above views. Give your opinion in not less than 250 words.
  2. Some authors believe that urbanization is a ‘Modern Disease’. In not less than 250 words explain if you agree with this view and give your own opinion.
  3. Capital punishment is a brutal decision and should be abolished. Give your views in not less than 250 words if you agree or disagree with it.
  4. Most criminals are set free once they finish their jail terms. Is the re introduction of criminals in societies is justified? Place your views in no less than 250 words.
  5. Working and living abroad helps us to know other cultures well. How far you think working abroad has good or bad impacts on our cultural lives?
  6. If you were given to change, what all changes you would implement in this 21st century to make our world a better living place? Discuss few changes in not less than 250 words.
  7. Computers can easily do all the basic and advanced calculations. Do you think your children should spend more time learning basic mathematics or advanced computer technology. Give your views in not less than 250 words.
  8. Should poor countries continue to receive International Aids? Give your views in not less than 250 words.
  9. Some parents grow their children in strict discipline while others leave them free to learn lessons of lives on their own. Which is one of these is a better approach and why? Give your own opinion in not less than 250 words.
  10. The modern technology is all making things easily available. Internet has provided us the easy dowloadable versions of most books we need. Can internet world replace the world of books and words ? Give your own views in not less than 250 words.
  11. As most postgraduate research is funded by industry then students grants should also come from the same source. How far you agree with this. Give your views in not less than 250 words.
  12. Modern technology is transforming the way we work and is of benefit to our society. How far you think our social lives influenced by modern technology.
  13. In order keep the students more focused, the sports classes should be stopped in High schools. You think this will be a right approach for a better generation?
  14. Children are the impressions of their parent’s behaviour. If a child behaves badly his parents should be considered responsible and should be punished. How far you agree with this.
  15. What do you think the government in your country should do to make your country more successful.
  16. Smoking is a bad habit and should be abandoned completely world wide. Give your views in not less than 250 words.
  17. Time is an important factor in every field. Do you think following strict time limits is more important than giving quality results. Give your views in not less than 250 words.
  18. Life was simpler without so much of technology. Give your views in not less than 250 words.
  19. Are famous people treated unfairly by the media ? Should they be given more privacy, or is the price of their fame an invasion into their private lives?
  20. Should developing countries pay more attention towards education or improving business standards? 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Writing Task 1 (Consumption trend of fast food in Britain)

The chart below shows the amount of money per week spent on fast foods in Britain. The graph shows the trends in consumption of fast foods. Write a report for a university lecturer describing the information below.

Two graphs are given. The column graph depicts the expenditure on fast foods by different income groups in Britain and the line graph shows the trends in consumption of fast foods from 1970 to 1990.

The chart shows that high income earners consumed considerably more fast foods than the other income groups. They spent more than twice as much on hamburgers (43 pence per person per week) as on fish and chips or pizza (both under 20 pence). Average income earners spent 33 pence per person per week on hamburgers, which was the maximum they spent on any given fast food. This was followed by fish and chips at 24 pence, then pizza at 11 pence per person per week. Low income earners spent less than other income groups on fast foods, though fish and chips remains their most popular fast food, followed by hamburgers and then pizza.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Another Model of Academic Writing Task 1 of IELTS (01)

Chorleywood is a village near London whose population has increased steadily since the middle of the nineteenth century. The map below shows the development of the village.

The map shows the development of Chorleywood village in between 1868 and 1994.  Chorleywood park and golf coast lies in the centre of layout. To the south of this is the Chorleywood station. To the south of the Chorleywood Park, the darkly shaded area is developed in between 1922 and 1970. The horizontally shaded area around the station is developed in between 1883 and 1922. It can be seen from the graph that the area north of Chorleywood station and the west of Chorleywood park and the golf course developed in between 1868 and 1883.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Homework (Michael)

Homework for 9 February 2011

1. Writing Task 1A

The chart below shows the number of men and women in further education in Britain in three periods and whether they were studying full-time or part-time.

Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

2. Writing Task 1B

The graph below shows radio and television audiences throughout the day in 1992.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Homework (Rani)

Homework for January 27, 2011

Do the exercises in :
  • Unit 20 (Relative clauses), on page 173-183

  • Unit 23 (Linking ideas), on page 198-209

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Homework (Michael)

Homework for January 26, 2011

Make an outline for Writing Task 2 from the following statements:

The threat of nuclear weapons maintains world peace. Nuclear power provides cheap and clean energy.

The benefits of nuclear technology far outweigh the disadvantages.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Homework (Michael)

Homework for January 19, 2011

Make an introduction paragraph of essay from these 3 statements:
  • Government should spend most of their budget on the military. Do you agree with this view?
  • Population control policies like China's one child policy are a good way to fight poverty. Discuss it!
  • TV Channels should be allowed to show violence and nudity as it is the viewers responsibility as to what they choose to watch. Discuss it!

    Friday, January 7, 2011

    Writing Task 1 (Different levels of post-school qualifications)

    The chart below shows the different levels of post-school qualifications in Australia and the proportion of men and women who held them in 1999. Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

    The given bar graph gives information about the percentage of men and women who held
    different levels of post-school qualifications in Australia in 1999. It is clear that gender differences were more pronounced in some fields than others.

    According to the graph, we can see immediately that there were substantial differences in the proportion of men and women at different levels. The biggest difference was at the lowest post-school level, where 90% men who held a skilled vocational diploma compared with only 10% women. By contrast, more women attended undergraduate diplomas which reached 70%,  and 50% women held bachelor's degree.

    At the higher levels of education, the number of men with postgraduate diplomas was clearly more than that of the women which is 70% compared with 30%, respectively, and 60% men were attended Master's degree.

    In conclusion, it can be seen that more men than women held post-school qualifications at the lower and higher levels of education, while more women reached undergraduate diploma level than men. However, the
    smallest margin of gender difference was at the level of Bachelor's degree in the year of 1999.

    This ends my report.