IELTS Test format

What To Expect In Each Section Of The Test

This is just an informative text about the IELTS Test Format as described in IELTS Essentials™  which I am republishing here for your own convenience. The original can be found here .

Continue reading


High Ielts score beats ability in quest for academic results

I thought today I might share an interesting read with you about high IELTS scores. The original article appeared at el.gazetteHigh Ielts score beats ability in quest for academic results

High Ielts score beats ability in quest for academic results

Pre-sessional courses don’t boost academic results for weaker test performers, study finds

By: Federica Tedeschi

14443001654_a60a17c32c_b (1).jpg

Why do international students do worse than their native-speaker counterparts academically?

Figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency have shown that they gain proportionately fewer first and upper second-class degrees than UK home students


Continue reading

IELTS ACADEMIC LISTENING TIPS for the multiple choice section


  1. Underline these keywords and as the listening progresses look only at these words and not everything else. Focus your attention on them.
  2. Pay attention to:
  3. synonyms for words that are included in the various options or ideas expressed in a different way
  4. dates or numbers and any other information that could be very specific.
  5. Also, BE CAREFUL! A lot of times details are mentioned from ALL the options. You have to be alert to distinguish clearly which one is the correct one!
  6. Don’t spend too much time trying to think of an answer. Just move on to the next one.
  7. If you are unsure about an answer, you can guess. Or you can take advantage of the 10 minutes given to you to transfer your answers to think or rethink about a tricky question.
  8. Good luck!

Continue reading

Exam topics (March, 2016 in Greece)

These are the various topics for the IELTS exam in the beginning of March in Greece as our students remember them.
Text 1
Text one was about the cultivation of organic foods and seeds. There was an example of a farm in the US, where a family grows, collects and stores seeds. The text concluded in several surveys conducted by experts, stating that there are dangers, such as famine, in case we do not increase food production and create new cultivation techniques.
Text 2
Text two focused mainly on how science can be affected by social and economical ideas, on how sociologists can disprove some scientific ideas that were taken as a fact and on how some researchers adopted new techniques that take into account modern sociological views and ideas.
Text 3
Text three was about chemicals, such as fluoride, that are mixed in the water in order to keep it clean and also benefit the health of the teeth. There was a debate between people who opposed this technique and people in favor. Scientific opinions were also mentioned.
Task 1
The first picture shows a top plan of an estate as it is now and the second picture, as it is designed to become in the future.
Compare both pictures and highlight the changes that will take place.
 032105D8-51E3-4384-B2EA-2111FC474E470280B1A7-146B-4B2D-A29F-61F69E2F3485 (2)
     FF493B62-C025-4BAF-BDF0-349F5A8E32CEF9337E4D-3E7F-4F67-8280-5943A5917B38 (2)
Task 2
Some people believe that the purpose of school is to shape a child to be a good citizen and a qualified worker, while others believe that school must firstly focus on shaping a balanced individual.
To what extend do you agree or disagree
Justify your opinion and give a personal example if possible
Part 1
1. Which space do you prefer most to spend your time when you are at home.
2. What changes would you make to this space if possible.
Part 2
Describe a meal you had with friends. Please say
What  you ate
What  you talked about
What was worth remembering
Part 3
1. In what situations a family is not able to have dinner altogether?
2. Are there any special foods Greeks enjoy eating during the holidays?
3. Who of the two are bound the most between each other : Colleagues or classmates?

3rd Videographic for IELTS practice

Young and growing: An animated infographic showing how the global population is set to change

Watch the videographic and complete the gaps of the tapescript:

In 1950, —————————— (1) in rich countries in North America, Europe and Oceania was around 30 years old. 

In Asia, Africa and Latin America it was closer to 20 . 

Since then ——————————————————- (2) as people have fewer babies and live longer. But Africa’s different.

It’s high fertility and deaths from war and disease that ————– (3a) the median age ———— (3b). 

Though ———————————– (4) as people live longer, healthier lives. 

In the rich world, ———————————- (5) , while the median age in poor countries ————————— (6). 

A ———————————————– (7) in terms of population numbers. 

In the middle of the 20th century, there were 2.5 billion people. 

In most places, the population ————————————- (8) — and ———————————————– (9) by 2050. 

In Asia, the number of people surged and is forecast to taper off. 

But in Africa, the population ————————————- (10) and this is likely to continue . 

In fact, Africa’s population ——————————————— (11) to almost two and a half billion people by 2050, making the region a growing market.

3rd videographic Answer key

2nd Videographic – for IELTS practice

This is my 2nd videographic activity I have prepared and I hope you will find it as helpful as the first one.


 Meeting of the minds : how sexual equality increases income inequality

Listen to the video and insert the phrases in the correct gap

huge increase  much worse    quarter less    emergence of  swelled   similarly

credentialed   with a             dramatically increasing     about twice   at the same

     economic disparity    most     diploma        a quarter of    with a degree 


In 1960, ———- (1) American men  ——– (2) high school ——– (3) or less married women ——— (4)  education level. Biologists call this ‘assortative mating’ , like ‘Marries like’. Then, only ——– (5)  men ———– (6) married women with one, in part because they weren’t as cpmmon.

It was even fewer if they held a graduate degree. But half a century later with more educated women in the workforce, the situation’s vastly different.

Now, men with a degree are ——- (7)  as likely as they were to marry women with one. With a graduate degree, 40%  of men marry similar women, a ——— (8)  from 13 percent in 1960.

This marks the ———- (9)  power couples. Those with less schooling are less likely to marry their female equivalents, probably because women have better graduation rates. The good news is that women are better-educated and marrying —————- (10)  men, who in the past might have married their secretaries. But the bad news is that power couples earn much more, ——————– (11) income inequality. In 1960, a couple without high school diplomas owned a ————  (12)  than the mean household income. The situation is now ———- (13).

Power couples took home 76% percent more than the average household but it’s ——– (14)  to 120 percent more now.  So a byproduct of women’s equality is greater —————- (15)  and that advantage may be passed down as a birthright to their kids.

answer key

Videographics – for IELTS practice

Have you ever seen a videographic? I’m sure most of you have. Have you ever thought of using them in an IELTS class? Well, they are an excellent choice for IELTS students because a videographic is a video which combines moving images with graphical images on top. (macmillan dictionary) There are several videographics you can find online which are like ‘live’ charts. Everything takes place in front of your eyes. I find them particularly helpful for students starting to work with charts. It’s a great practice.

I have started preparing a short series of such videographics which students can watch and complete a short exercise. The videos are short so they do not have to spend a lot of time on them. In this way, they watch the analysis of a graph/chart, etc. and also learn and/or revise language used when writing a report for IELTS task 1. Teachers can download the video and do the exercise in class or you can ask your students to visit my blog and do the exercise. Whichever is more convenient.

I hope you like them. Remember to leave me feedback so that I know you find them helpful!


Global smart phone shipments

Sales have reached a ———— (1) but with a new cast of companies. In ——— (2) around ———————– (3) smartphones were sold. Nokia shipped— ——– (4) , —————- (5) by Blackberry, Apple, Samsung, HTC and others. The market soared but Samsung and Apple took over the first and second ————- (6) and pulled away. Last year, shipments ———– (7) a billion according to the research firm IDC. Samsung and Apple still dominate but new names make the top 5 : LG of S.Korea and Huawei and Lenovo from China . Nokia left the —————- (8) all together. It’s selling its mobile phone Division to Microsoft. Blackberry and HTC are absent, too. The ———— (9) growth is the cheap android phones especially from China. Today, supplies outside the top 5 ———— —– (10) almost 40% of shipments, ——– (11) the ——- (12) of just 4 years ago.

ǝɹɐɥs ˙21 ‘ǝlqnop ˙11 ‘ɹoɟ ʇunoɔɔɐ ˙01 ‘ʇsǝʇsɐɟ ˙9 ‘pɹɐoq ɹǝpɐǝl ˙8 ‘pǝɥɔɐǝɹ ˙7 ‘sʇods ˙6 ‘pǝʍolloɟ ˙5 ‘ ʇsoɯ ǝɥʇ ˙4 ‘000˙000˙003 ˙3 ‘0102 ˙2 ‘uoıllıq ˙1
ʎǝʞ ɹǝʍsuɐ