Search for Numbers First

Posted: June 25, 2011 in Reading

Numbers are easier than words to locate within a reading passage. If a number is mentioned in the question, search for the key “number” in the passage. Check around each use of the number to see if the answer you need is located nearby. Remember though, that numbers can also be expressed in word form in a reading passage.

101 hints for IELTS

Check The Difficult Vocabularies

Posted: June 25, 2011 in Reading

You may not understand every word in the reading passages. Even native English-speaking people might have difficulty fully understanding all the vocabulary presented in an IELTS test. You are not allowed to use a dictionary in the examination room.

The best approach is to guess the meaning of the word from the context, that is, from the words that surround it. However, this is not always an easy task. If you still have no idea what the word means, ask yourself if it contributes a positive (+) or negative (-) meaning to the sentence. This is usually enough to assist you to work out the meaning or intention of the writer.

101 hints for IELTS

It is a mistake to begin reading a passage without first having a reason to read. There are 3 parts to the Reading Test, and many candidates begin each part in the same way – by reading the passage. They might read it in detail, or scan it quickly to find out what the topic of the passage is and to get a general idea of the contents. However, candidates who do this first have forgotten the need to predict information. They do not have a good enough reason to read the passage so soon.

Always have a reason to read a passage before you begin to do so. Have a question in your mind – something you are looking for – otherwise you will not be managing your time well.


101 helpful hints for IELTS

Guide your reader through your text by using linking expressions that show how your ideas are organized. To do this, use adverbials at the beginning of the sentences.


Firstly, there can be no doubt that this substance brings no health benefits whatsoever, as shown by the government report.

There is also the fact that it is far too expensive, compared with similar products.

Decide whether you agree/disagree completely with the statement, partly agree/disagree with it, or have no definite opinion.
Choose one of these approaches:

  • State your position in the introduction and then justify it with arguments. This may be more suitable if you feel strongly about the statement.
  • Present the arguments first and then say what you think in the conclusion. This may be better if you have no strong opinion but can put forward arguments on both sides.

In which part of a paragraph would you use these linking expressions?

Put them into these three groups.

  1. For the first point ….
  2. For the subsequent points ….
  3. For the last point ….

Secondly              finally                    first of all             moreover

In addition          lastly                      besides                furthermore

In the first place               above all              to begin with



  1. To begin with, In the first place, first of all
  2. Secondly, furthermore, moreover, in addition, besides
  3. Finally, lastly

1. You can use some techniques a-h in your introduction or conclusion. Match them with example expression i-vii below.

For Introduction

a. Introduce the topic in your own words

b. Say why it is controversial

c. State your position

d. Say how you will deal with the topic


For Conclusion

e. Summarize the arguments you have used

f. Make concessions to opposing arguments

g. State or restate your position

h. Make a recommendation for the future.


i. On balance, therefore there seems to be agreement that …

ii.  I believe that steps should now be taken to ensure …

iii. Although it cannot be denied that …

iv. I shall compare and contrast the views …

v. For these reasons, I feel there is little doubt that …

vi. Recently, there has been considerable discussion of …

vii. I do not find this statement at all convincing …

viii. The implications of this have led some to claim that …


2. Note down more expressions you could use for a-h.

3. Look at the topic of Writing Task 2.

a. What are your feelings about this?

b. Which approach will you choose?

c. Which of a-h above will you use?


1. Introduction

a – vi

b –  viii

c – vii

d – iv


e – i

f – iii

g – v

h – ii


a. A topic of great public debate at present is ….

b. The danger of this, according to … is …

c. To a certain extent I agree with this, but …

d. In this essay, I shall present evidence that …

e. To sum up, it is clear that …

f. Despite the undoubted advantages of this, …

g. In view of the above, I strongly believe that …

h. I would suggest that a change in the law is necessary  in order to …