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Dear Kishore, it is very kind of you to be here.Since I have some questions when I do IELTS listening test,I want to ask something about these .The first thing is that in Cambridge IELTS 5, there is a question about "type of transportation" and the answer in answer key is"by minibus", but I think " minibus" really can be the better answer.So I wander if there are tricks for learners to get the best answer and do not lose the score. And could you give me some suggestions for the speaking test ? I mean if there is a topic in part 2 that I am not familiar with ,what should I do ? IS it appropriate to require to change a topic ? Bset wishes!

Kishore:   I’m glad to be able to help! There aren’t tricks to my knowledge for learners to always get the best answers. I cannot comment on that specific example you mention on minibus but there is almost always a reason for why something is correct, or incorrect. Try to identify that, and if you cannot, try get a teacher to do that. Re speaking, particularly part 2, you usually are not able to ask for a change of topic. In this circumstance the best thing to do is explain why you are not familiar or experienced in this topic, and then try to talk about something that is related to the topic. There is a danger your examiner might consider you are talking off-topic, so be careful with this.


Hi Kishore, could you please recommend some IELTS preparation books? thanks a lot !

Kishore:   The book I used to teach with was called Insight into IELTS. That was good for both self-study and classroom use.


Have taken IELTS for 3 times, but every time is score 6, my speaking score is the lowest, how to improve? I am bad in fluency and intonation, how to improve.

Kishore:   For fluency, practice speaking, even by yourself, on different topics. Talk for one minute, then make it 2 minutes, then increase again and again. It is important to talk at length, this is a sign of fluency, and avoid too much hesitation or repetition. Fluency also needs coherence, this means how you link what you say, making it easier for your listener to understand your overall speaking. See these videos explain more about fluency & coherence, and then another on pronunciation, including intonation. http://www.chinaielts.org/guide/band_descriptors_speaking.shtml Listen to native speakers – either on the television or on the internet (radio) – and notice their intonation, then copy them. There is no perfect intonation or accent. Make sure you are clear and easy to understand.


Hi Kishore! I'm havign trouble doing the "Ture or False or Not Given" type of question, especially dediscerning the "Not Given". Do you have any tips for me? Thanks! :)

Kishore:   This is a common issue. The key is make sure you understand the question, especially the key words, and remember to look for synonyms for these key words. If the fact you are looking for is clearly in the reading that this is TRUE. If the reading says the opposite of the fact in the question, this is FALSE. If it not TRUE or FALSE, it is NOT GIVEN. Remember to only use the info in the passage, not your own knowledge. If you cannot find the answer within 2 mins, opt for NG because the information is probably not there.

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In writting task 2, question like "What are the advantages and disadvantages relates to this topic", do you have to state your own opinion in the essay?? Thanks

Kishore:   Simple answer - yes, you are expected to state your opinion. For example, you could say that, in your opinion, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, or the opposite, or that they two are equal.


hi, kishore,nice to meet you here.I just graduated from high school and i want to go abroad for futher study.I stareted perparing the IELTS Test these days.My targer is to get a band of 7 to 8.Can you give me some advice on improving my speaking and writing please?It's hard to find opportunities to practice my spoken English in our university .How can i make progress in the two aspects with a relatively tight schdule? I feel it difficult to strike a balance between my regular courses and IELTS Test preparation.Do you have any suggestions?I also need some advice on expanding my range of vocabulary.


The first time I took part in the exam,I got 6 in written work.But the second time I got5.5 in writing.I don't know why,because the method I prepare it is the same as the first time.I want to know what I should do and how I take exercise now to prepare my third time exam in October 26.

Kishore:   Hi. The slight difference in those writing scores can happen - there could be any number of reasons, perhaps your ideas and arguments were not quite as strong in the second exam, perhaps you made a few more grammatical or vocabulary-related mistakes. I cannot say for sure. In terms of preparation, I suggest you look through all the videos here to understand precisely what is expected in the writing test, and also learn the tips that are suggested ?http://www.iqiyi.com/v_19rrhtfbv4.html. Also look at the writing section on Road to IELTS where you will have the chance to practice some techniques. Good luck!


I am very confused about how to use "-"symbol. For example, "low-risk investment". Will I loose mark if I write "low risk investment "?

Kishore:   You would not lose any marks for this specific example. It is difficult to generalise so I cannot say this will always happen in all cases.

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i will have the speaking exam this sunday and i am very afriad of being asked a difficult question in part2.help!TAT

Colin:   Just remember that the IELTS speaking test is about communicating. It’s okay to pause, hesitate, start again, make small mistakes… Just focus on communicating YOUR ideas to the examiner. Best of luck!


How can I improve my listening ability?

Colin:   If you can work with a good teacher the following might be easier…the different task types assess different listening skills such as listening for main ideas and listening for detail. Find out what you are already good at and what you need to improve in. There are a variety of different listening sub-skills so it’s good to find out which are your strengths and areas for development… oh of course you need to practice listening too! Visit learnEnglish.britishcouncil.org.cn for different listening activities.


Hi colin, m I late? Can you help me with my writing problem? I feel blank when dealing with writing task 2..it is really difficult for me to generate a 150 words...I don't know what to start ,how should I expand my answer? Help me please

Colin:   Hello! You need to spend some time brainstorming ideas. So the fact that you are thinking about generating ideas is good thing! First thing to do is read the topic and then understand it. Then on a piece of paper or the question paper, make notes about any ideas that come to mind. You can increase your ideas by looking at the question from different perspectives…what might an older or very young person say? What ideas are there from a(n) economic/environmental/political/society perspective etc.? When you have some ideas you need to organise them. You need to practise generating and organising your ideas. Practice is important. Look at our online prep course www.roadtoIELTS.com for more ideas on generating ideas.


Hi colin, from your opinion, what kind of key facts I need to be ware of for the preparation of IELTS listening test? I found i can easily get lost during the test...not easy to concentrate on the content for me....

Colin:   Hello! You need to remember that the test is designed with lots of places to start again (section 1, section 2 etc.). Also remember that the test is designed so that you can answer question 5 without knowing the answer to question 4, for example. Spend the silent time, reading the tasks and doing two things: predicting possible answers (and then listening to check or reconfirm your ideas); predicting possible paraphrases of the words in the question. If you are getting lost it helps to listen for paraphrases (similar words) that are used in the questions. And try to relax… if you are getting stressed or anxious, you won’t be able to listen as well as you can… keep breathing!

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