If your Eastern European mail-order bride is looking to find a professional job in an English-speaking country such as Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand or Canada, chances are she will have to sit the IELTS test, i.e. International English Language Testing System (IELTS) – this exam has four components: listening, reading, writing and speaking. Therefore, I’d like to share some insights into this exam with you today.
Be prepared for background noises.
In some countries, you don’t have headphones during the IELTS listening test, whereas in some other countries, headphones are provided for candidates. If your Eastern European mail-order brides not allowed to use headphones, she must be prepared for background noises. Consequently, she would be well-advised to do listening practice near a busy street! In this way, she can be well-prepared for the actual IELTS test.
Even if you can use headphones during the IELTS listening test in your country, I still encourage you to be prepared for background noises because in some dialogues, there will be some existing background noises on the CD (the test is designed in this way on purpose)! That’s because the IELTS listening component wants to emulate real-life scenarios in order to test your real listening skills.
Notice the sequence of questions and answers.
In the IELTS listening test, all questions and answers follow a sequence. For instance, if you have found the answers to Question 1 and Question 3, then the answer to Question 2 must be located between the answer to Question 1 and the answer to Question 3.
That is to say, if your Eastern European mail-order bride has missed the answer to Question 2, she shouldn’t wait for this answer anymore because it’s already gone. What she should focus on is looking for answers to the following questions.
Of course, do not leave any blanks on the answer sheet because a blank won’t help you, whereas guessing the answer might help you in this situation.
Notice the style and general requirement of the listening component.
In the IELTS listening test, the first section is always quite simple, and gradually, questions become more and more complicated. No matter you are sitting the academic version or the general training version of the IELTS test, the listening component is the same: the first section is usually something easy, and then there are some academic dialogues such as a conversation between a few students having a discussion about an assignment. The last section of the listening component is usually an academic lecture on a topic that is not too difficult.
When your Eastern European mail-order bride does the listening component, she has to make sure that she reads the instructions carefully because the instructions usually tell you that you should use words that you hear to fill in the blanks – always check if this is the requirement of the listening component.
Use skimming and scanning techniques in the reading component.
Skimming and scanning are the two major techniques that practically solve all problems in the reading component.
Skimming: reading for the main idea.
When your Eastern European mail-order bride starts to deal with one article in the reading component, the first thing she must do is to read this article very quickly, using skimming. She needs to have a basic understanding of the main idea of the article first. Skimming is characterized by reading the first sentence of each paragraph.
The second step is to read the questions below the article so that you know what you need to look for in the article. When you are reading the questions, remember to use a pencil to underline key words in each question.
Step Three is to look for the answers to the questions in the article. This process is called scanning (reading for specific details).
Answers to questions also follow a sequence which has been discussed previously.
Pay attention to synonyms.
A huge trick in IELTS reading is the use of synonyms. From the examiner’s point of view, understanding synonyms is of vital importance in terms of reading comprehension.
The key words that you have underlined in the questions are always rephrased in the article! Therefore, you must be able to identify and locate the synonyms of those key words, and these locations and their nearby areas are where you can find the answers!
Pay attention to True or False VS Yes or No.
In the IELTS reading component, there are True, False or Not Given and Yes, No or Not Given – two systems! If your Eastern European mail-order bride puts ‘Yes’ in brackets which expect ‘True’, then she will lose marks! Therefore, it is incredibly important to notice what exactly you must write down in brackets (always read the instructions first).
By the way, here is how to tell the difference between ‘False’/’No’ and ‘Not Given’: ‘False’/’No’ means the statement contradicts the content in the article; ‘Not Given’ means the information provided by the statement does not exist in the article.
Writing component strategy: Identify the nature of the question.
I am going to discuss how to write Task 2 of the writing component because Task 2 is more important than Task 1.
When your Eastern European mail-order bride receives the writing question (Task 2 of the writing component), the first thing she needs to do is to identify the nature of the question. Usually, there are three types of questions: argument, report and mixture. An argument is asking for your opinion. A report is asking you to provide some facts. A mixture is a combination of an argument and a report.
- Nowadays, e-learning is becoming more and more popular. Some people claim that e-learning should replace traditional classroom learning, whereas others believe that traditional classroom learning is much better than e-learning. Discuss both views and provide your opinion.
- Nowadays, e-learning is becoming more and more popular. Some people claim that e-learning should replace traditional classroom learning, whereas others believe that traditional classroom learning is much better than e-learning. Provide your opinion with reasons.
Although these two argument questions are different (look at the last sentence of each question), your Eastern European mail-order bride can use the same way to go about them, according to many IELTS coaches and mentors.
A report example: Nowadays, social media websites are becoming more and more popular, yet many teenagers use social media websites to do cyber bullying. What are the reasons for this problem? How should people deal with this problem?
You can see that in this task, your Eastern European mail-order bride’s opinion is irrelevant – she just needs to address the ‘what’ and ‘how’ questions by providing some facts (reasons and solutions). Therefore, it is a report.
A mixture example: Nowadays, mobile phones are becoming more and more popular, yet some people argue that mobile phones are harmful for teenagers in many ways. Do you agree with their argument? What can the society do to help teenagers in this regard?
In this mixture example, the first part is about your opinion (argument); the second part is about some facts/suggestions (report).