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Friday, August 28, 2015

How to Get Band 7 or Better for All IELTS Components

Tips on Scoring Band 7 in All IELTS Components

Guest post by Jessie Yarrow (Share you education tips with 40,000+ Malaysian students)

How to Get Band 7 or Better for All IELTS Components
The International English Language Testing System, commonly known as IELTS is one of the most famous international tests in the world. It has a universal appeal and is given by students as well as professionals alike.

IELTS is not an easy nut to crack as it is concerned with the English language. Languages cannot be mastered in a day or a week. They have to be learnt phrase by phrase, sentence by sentence and sometimes, word by word.

Students who want to score as high as band 7 or above should know that preparing for the IELTS requires dedication and planned preparation. Following are some tips which can help you in preparing for the test.

1. Go beyond the study books

There is a lot of material like books and journals on how to score band 9 in IELTS. While such resources can be beneficial, depending only on them may be unwise. In order to get a good score in IELTS, students must explore all the possible ways of learning English and practise them.

Going beyond books means students must not restrict their target to the test; instead, their target should be mastering the English language. They should utilise all possible means to master it.

It includes accessing web portals which can help in learning English, interacting with people who know good English through social media. Internet can be used as a highly effective resource to learn English.

2. Prepare for all sections

There are 4 sections in the IELTS exam, listening, reading, writing and speaking. All four need good preparation and practise. It should also be remembered that different sections need different ways of preparation. For example, in order to hone listening and speaking skills, one must listen to English in its actual accent and practise speaking it.

One of the common mistakes done by students while preparing for IELTS is ignoring a particular section of the test. Some students may think that –for instance- they are good at reading or listening and may not consider it necessary to prepare for it resulting in marks lower than what they had anticipated. So, it’s necessary that students take all the four sections of the exams seriously.

While preparing for a particular section, students should focus all their energies for that particular section only. For example, if a student is preparing for reading, then they should dedicate a day or two just for reading and should not deviate to other sections during that time.

3. Previous papers are a treasure : use them

It’s very essential that students get accustomed to the test pattern of IELTS so that they can prepare accordingly. It’s always a good idea to go through previous papers of the tests to get familiarised.
IELTS British Council

Previous papers, if solved, will give students an edge and they will be able to react to the real paper much faster.

There are study resources available on the British Council’s official portal too which can be utilised to prepare for the test.

4. Get help

People who have passed the IELTS are resources themselves. Those who are attempting the test can get help from those who have passed it as they can provide insights, especially about the listening and speaking sections of the exam in which preparations cannot be done merely by studying.

By asking advice from those who have appeared for the test, students will know what kind of questions to expect in the various sections of the test. They will also get guidance as to which resources can be used during the preparation and how to use them.

Students can also avail the services of professional trainers and get trained for the test. Professional trainers have much greater expertise and experience in training and can guide the students more effectively.

Going through newspapers, reading novels and books will prove to be a huge boost to enhance the reading skills. A good reader can also become a good writer. Writing short passages and getting them reviewed will also help. It must be remembered that punctuation and grammar is very important in writing.

As far as the listening and speaking sections are concerned, students must practice speaking in English with someone who is well versed in the language. Watching English movies with subtitles, listening to English radio stations will also help.

Due to the popularity of IELTS, professionals have taken the reigns of guiding and training students for the test. Students can now get in touch with experts so that they can be guided and instructed on how to prepare for the test and how to improve on their weaknesses in all the four sections.

Jessie Yarrow is a passionate blogger from London. She writes articles on various topics such as Education, gadgets, travel...etc. As of now she is focusing on Univariety, which provides professional career guidance for school students and also connects them with admission officers of various international universities and test preparation experts.

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Friday, August 14, 2015

How to Turn SPM English / IELTS / MUET Essay Writing into a Pleasant Experience

How to Turn Essay Writing into a Pleasant Experience

Guest post by Lily Wilson (Share you education tips with 40,000+ Malaysian students)

For most of us, essay writing is as painful as pulling off our fingernails…with an ice pick…while dancing a jig. However, it does not have to be. Yes, your professor (unsuccessfully) already tried everything. Give this foolproof method a try; you (and your cat) won’t be disappointed.

Panduan MUET Guide Tips
Panduan MUET

1. Be Spontaneous!

Often we are our worst critics, which mean that there is one important element missing from our writing. Pick up your favorite piece of writing and it is highly likely you will find it in there. Spontaneity is one difficult thing to fake. When writing your first draft, dial the settings of your internal editor to mute. If you stop to cringe at every mistake you make, you’ll never be spontaneous. The mark of a good piece of writing is that it flows smoothly. Revisit for nitpicking but for now, just let the spirit move you!

Being over conscious about the mistakes will block your thinking ability. Mistakes do happen, but they can be rectified later when you proofread the content. Writing comes from passion and a strong willpower to give an opinion about an issue or enlighten everybody regarding a topic. So, don’t be harsh and write with a free mind.

2. Act On It!

A general design that will work for most essays goes something like this:
  • State your topic - be gentle and take your time to introduce it.
  • Support it – now trot out facts and pieces of evidence in support of your topic.
  • Rinse, Lather, Repeat – do #2 again.
  • Get up close and personal – now give your personal opinion regarding the topic at hand.
  • End It – summarize the first four steps to form a conclusion.
This isn’t the design, it is a design. If it does not fit your essay, remodel until it does. If it does, why fix something that isn’t broken?

Writing with a definite purpose, not just maintains the flow, but also helps impart knowledge to the readers. Keeping the right format is essential to make a spellbinding content. A wall of content never looks good, so add sub-headings and points to give the writing an attractive look.

3. Don’t Drag It Out!

So the boy elf decided that he’d go join the war against the exceptionally evil warlock and once he had him under his control, he was going to end him and then he’d have pie…lots and lots of pie.

Wait, who was going to get pie? The exceptionally evil warlock? Didn’t the elf want to kill him? Wasn’t he already dead? This is what a really long sentence does to the reader. Any reader, be it your teacher or your cat (more on that later), will be jarred by an extremely long sentence. Avoid long sentences like you would avoid the plague. They are the bane of smooth pieces of writing that take you along for the ride.

Make sure to maintain a balance in the writings because sometimes, we drag the content a bit too far, hence resulting in a confusion as to what has actually happened in the above written lines. Keeping sentences too long or short can be frustrating. A sentence continuing for three-four lines is as frustrating as a sentence of three-four words. So, make the proper use of conjunctions and punctuation marks.

4. Read Up On It!

Read what you like because it is highly probable that is what you will love writing about. Pick up a book or an article by your favorite writer and re-read it, noticing how they write. Pay attention to sentence structure and the verbosity (the lack of it) and then model your writing after it. Reading various sources will also aid you in forming your arguments while addressing that topic in a phd essay from Good English Essay Writing.

Writing about a topic calls for some prerequisite research in order to provide an unbiased view about the topic. Readers like reading content with great substance, so read a book, an article, a novel or an e-book to gather as much information as you can about the topic, so as to be able to present an in-depth information in the essay.

5. To Err Is To Be Human With Lower Grades!

Now comes the hard part. Editing puts the fear of god in world famous best-selling authors. They would rather do anything than revisit their work and dissect it like they dissected frogs in the Biology lab. Even so, they do it. So man up (or woman up) and read your work with a critical eye. Once you are done with the second draft, give it a read-over to ensure no mistakes have escaped your eagle eyes. Done? Good, I will admit I had my doubts. Moving on!

It is an arduous task to find the errors in the writing because you believe the content is fine, as you have written it. Grammar is the biggest enemy of the writers because it is perceived differently by different writers, so the grammar, which is fine to you may be wrong to someone else, so you have to take the help of a professional service in order to get the content edited and mistakes removed.

6. Let Me Hear You Say It!

Yes, editing your work is important, yet when you continue to read the same piece of text for the umpteenth time, you’re bound to miss out on some errors. How do you rectify these seemingly invisible mistakes marring the perfection of your masterpiece? Simple, you let the computer (or your pet cat) read it back to you. The change in activity and tone — your cat is not going to mimic your inflection, would it? — will help you grasp some of the errors you would have missed otherwise.

The errors in your essay can easily be detected once you start hearing it from a voice software. Determining the errors will become easier and thus, you can save yourself from the embarrassments that you would have suffered in the hands of the readers.

7. Challenge Yourself!

Participate in challenges, like the NaNoWriMo. Not only will you get better at writing, regular practice will help you fall in love with the art that is writing. Do not let your newly acquired grasp at essay writing get rusty. Frequent use will polish off the rough edges.

Always stay in touch with the new writing styles and methods, and try to incorporate them in your writing. This will bring freshness into your content and will keep the readers interested as well.

Lily Wilson is a 34 year-old homestay freelance academic writer. Lily runs her personal blog AnAwfulLotofWriting and works as a contributing academic writer at ThePensters.com.

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