Sunday, 25 January 2015

General Training Writing - Task 2

Many people like to wear fashionable clothes. Why do you think this is the case? Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

Fashion is big business in today’s world. Every season the fashion changes and Fashion Weeks in major cities around the world as well as fashion magazines and fashion TV lead the trends and are mainly responsible for what will be popular in the shops.

Many people are into fashion as they regard this as art and they believe that trendy clothes say something about their personality. Fashionable clothes are an indication that a person is aware of what is in fashion at that particular point in time. So being in fashion may be seen as a sign of sophistication and being current. What is more, some people value change and like to experiment with their image and the clothes they wear so they often change their wardrobe.

This is a positive development for the fashion industry because they are able to produce new designs to meet the demand of consumers, providing jobs to thousands of workers from textile workers to shop assistants. If a person is able to afford new clothes every season it is an advantage for them if they desire to be in fashion and to be talked about. 

On the other hand being fashionable may be a drawback if consumers feel pressure to impress their peers with their fashion sense. Some individuals may not be able to afford being trendy. In terms of the industry, there may be a waste of resources in an attempt to satisfy the tastes of consumers and fashion victims created by the fashion world.

Question taken from The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS for Academic and General Training p.332

General Training Writing - Task 2

It is sometimes said that people should be encourage to get married before they are 30, as this is best both for the individual and society. Do you agree or disagree?

Getting married or not or at what age is an individual choice in many societies today. People seem to be getting married later on in life nowadays because they first want to finish their studies, travel and establish their career before settling down.

Those who get married early are able to enjoy their partner and family while they are still young and have energy to bring up their children. By the time their children are adults they are still young enough to enjoy their life. Society benefits as well in terms of having a young workforce and a productive economy. This can be seen in countries such as Turkey.

On the other hand, in many European countries people decide to tie the knot in their forties. This is a big change for individuals who are used to being independent and living on their own. It is also difficult for women to have a baby later on in life and children grow up with ageing parents. The main benefit of this choice is that individuals are mature, settled and financially secure after 30. Similarly, older parents are better able to provide for their children and this improves a child’s standard of living.

Although I do not think there is an ideal age to get married as this is a personal preference, I believe it is better to encourage individuals to get married earlier on in life, particularly if their aim is to have a family. Many societies promote getting married before 30 as parents of the married couple are in a better position to help raise their grandchildern.

Question taken from The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS for Academic and General Training p.299

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

IELTS Speaking - dealing with problems

If you don't understand the question - 'I'm not really sure what you mean.'

If you didn't hear the question properly - 'I'm sorry, could you repeat the question?'

If you made a mistake - 'Sorry, I meant to say.....'

If you aren't sure how to answer - 'I honestly have no idea', 'I've never really thought about that before.'

Monday, 19 January 2015

IELTS Speaking - Agreeing and disagreeing

Strongly disagree
I completely disagree.
Oh no, not at all.

Disagree to some extent
I think I would probably have to say no.
I can see your point, but.....

Neither agree nor disagree
Well, I think there are valid points for both.
Actually, I think it depends on the situation/country/person etc.
It seems to me that there are two sides to consider.

Agree to some extent
To a certain extent, yes.

Strongly agree
I totally agree with that.
Yes, I think that's absolutely right.

The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS for Academic & General Training p.385

Sunday, 18 January 2015

IELTS General Training Reading - Vocabulary

Vocabulary related to work:

hospitality - the industry related to hotels and restaurants

retail - the industry related to shops

redundancy - the loss of a job due to a business closing

retire - to stop working - usually because of age

consumer - a person who uses goods

customer - a person who buys goods

manual - the type of work done with your hands

shift - a person's scheduled period of work

employee - a staff member

employer - the person who provides you with work

deadline - the time by which work must be completed

recruit - to hire or employ a person for a job

The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS for Academic & General Training p.84

IELTS General Training Writing - Task 1

Your local hospital has advertised for people to do unpaid work helping at the hospital. You would like to do some work at the hospital in your free time.

Write a letter to the hospital. In your letter
  • Explain why you would like to do unpaid work at the hospital
  • Say what type of unpaid work you would be able to do
  • Give details of when you would be available for this work

Dear Sir or Madam,

Further to your advertisement in the Small Town Times regarding voluntary work at your hospital, I would like to express my interest.

I am a resident of Small Town and my children and grandchildren were delivered at your hospital. The hospital employees have always taken good care of my family when they were ill and I would like to somehow give back the support I have received by offering my services. I have recently retired so I would like to use my spare time to help my local community.

I have worked as an Office Administrator for thirty five years, therefore, I believe it would be ideal for me to assist with any office duties such as filing, answering the phone, and filling in forms for patients.

I am available for work in the mornings from 7am until 2pm from Monday to Friday. Unfortunately, I am not available in the afternoons or at weekends.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,

Whitney Gray

Question taken from The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS For Academic & General Training p.299

Thursday, 15 January 2015

IELTS Reading - Positive/Negative adjectives

Positive (+): diverse (=different), unspoilt (=not damaged), accomplished (=talented), productive (=creative), realistic (=accurate), sophisticated (=cultured), efficient (=well organised), thorough (=in-depth), influential (=important), prominent (=noticeable)

Negative (-): vulnerable (=exposed), dated (=old-fashioned), confusing (=not clear), irrelevant (=unrelated), harsh (=strict), catastrophic (=disastrous), monotonous (=repetitive), distorted (=one-sided), biased (=partial)

The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS for Academic & General Training p.73

Monday, 12 January 2015

IELTS Reading - Discursive passages

Some words in the reading passage help explain how ideas are connected together.

To add more information or to clarify a point: moreover, furthermore, indeed, in addition, similarly, in fact

To present the opposite view: although, though, despite, in spite of, nonetheless, whilst

To give an example: such as, for instance, to illustrate this

To draw a conclusion: therefore, consequently, thus, as a result, hence

The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS for Academic and General Training p.64

Sunday, 11 January 2015

IELTS Reading Skills - Matching Information

In this type of reading question, you need to find an idea or some information in the passage and match it to a phrase that describes it.

The findings of a study – (they are asking for the results of a study) e.g. A month later, we were able to test it again and the results showed a significant change in temperature when the insulation was used.

The method used in a research study – (they are asking the way in which research was done) e.g. We achieved this by weighing the animals both before and after periods of exercise.

The reaction to something – (they are asking how people felt) e.g. After ten years, they gave up. The experiment had failed and, as a result, the public grew angry at the waste of public funds.

A description of a habitat – (they are asking about the natural environment) e.g. They live in dark, humid areas and so tend to be found in and around tropical rainforests.

The difference between current and past studies – (comparing today's studies with past ones) e.g. Our study looked at the surrounding environment while previous researchers have concentrated on diet.

A description of how something works – (steps involved) e.g. Water is forced at pressure through a narrow pipe. The water hits the top of the water wheel, causing it to turn.

A cause of something – (the reason why something is like that) e.g. The water is warm thanks to a natural hot spring beneath the riverbed.

The amount of time needed for something – (you need to look for a period of time) e.g. It takes 35 days for the chick to leave the nest and fly.

You might be asked to find:
a number, a date, a measurement, a reason, a cause, an effect, a conclusion, the problems, a finding, an account, a reaction, a description

The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS for Academic & General Training p.60

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

IELTS Listening - Synonyms

In the IELTS listening section, the words you hear will not be exactly the same as what you read on the question paper so you will need to recognise some synonyms.

a price - a fee
a location - a place
funding - money
dangerous - risky
a solution - an answer
to transport - to carry
a disadvantage - a drawback
an effect - an impact
worried - concerned
enthusiastic - eager
afraid - scared
confused - puzzled
irritated - annoyed
reluctant - hesitant
doubtful - dubious
results - findings
definition - meaning
challenges - problems
history - background
advantages - benefits
disadvantages - drawbacks
answers - solutions
summarise - conclude

The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS for Academic and General Training p.23,33,39

Commonly Misspelt words in IELTS

government, environment, until, nowadays, believe, because, countries, people, technology, opportunities, between, their, modern, experience, important, children, restaurant, conclusion, society, competition

The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS for Academic and General Training p.131