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In this podcast I chat with Jong from Italki, and he shares some advice for the speaking exam. From this interview you will learn a few strategies for the exam and hear a couple of funny stories too. Enjoy!


Jongs profile atItalki

Jong’s profile at Italki

Aousien jumps 2

Check out this email story between Aousien (Band 5 in writing), and myself.

Hello Ben ,

My name is Aous , I have the IELTS on 5 April , so 4 more days to go , I have done before and got 7.5 in all sections except writing I got only 5 and I am really worried about it this time as well

very sad just discovered your website now , I am not sure if it is later since only few days remaining for the exam ,

I am watching the video for task 2 writing and seems really useful

My reply:

Hi mate!
Just 4 days!!!! OMG!!!!!
just joking, there is still time!

If you want you can type your IELTS essay to this question, send me an email, and I will have a quick look.

Improvements in health, education and trade are essential for the development of poorer nations. However, the governments of richer nations should take more responsibility for helping the poorer nations in such areas. To what extent do you agree?

Aousien -after 4 days of study with me and theĀ Sentence Guide, he finally gets his IELTS exam results (17 days after the exam).

Gmail snap shot from my inbox

Gmail snap shot from my inbox

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074 Getting motivated to re-take the IELTS exam

Getting motivated for IELTS

After taking the test a few times it’s pretty easy to throw in the towel and change course.

It’s tough, after all why would you carry on spending money?

Well here are a few thoughts, strategies and videos, to jump start your motivation and get back to it.

Implement the 5 a day rule.

[click to continue…]


What is wrong with the text below?

The biggest reason for insisting that international marketing has many bad sides is because it has a power of command which is very powerful. It could be reached everywhere and it means that every single people in the world easily being a target without concious.

2014-09-04 19

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This is the second in a three part series analysing a poor IELTS essay and transforming it into a Band 8. I go through the essay explaining the problems and how to correct them. I use similar strategies in the Sentence Guide to help student jump a band and pass the writing section.

Here is the question:

Employment is becoming an increasingly illusive goal for many graduates. Some say universities are failing in preparing students for the future, whereas others argue there is a fundamental fall in the calibre of graduates. What are the reasons for this? Has the quality of graduates dropped?

The introduction has already been corrected, now we focus on body paragraph 1 and 2.


Nowadays it is a well known fact that it is impossible to get a job immediately after finishing uni, because everybody is looking for the same positions when they graduate making it more difficult and the number of graduates is increasing. Lots of graduates doing and finishing uni makes it tricky to get a job. For example my cousin did his final year and finished uni but is still doing work in the local Burger King in Leeds.

Where do you think the problems are?

Have a look, copy it down and then try and correct it yourself.


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