Skip to main content
IELTS with Fiona - a better way to improve your IELTS score.

IELTS with Fiona - a better way to improve your IELTS score.

By IELTS with Fiona - Courses, Coaching and Community
Become a Paid Subscriber: Join me for a weekly talk-through of IELTS topics to help you learn about the issues, vocabulary, tips and strategies you need to prepare. Get subscriber-only podcasts. Find all my tips on my website and join the Members Academy for all the downloads, step-by-step online courses, and support to get you a Band 7+ in the #ielts test.
Listen on Spotify
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Castbox Logo


Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo


Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

PodBean Logo


RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


TuneIn Logo


IELTS Listening Part 3: Veterinary science students
In this podcast, you'll practice listening for the tricks in Multiple Choice Questions. This is yet another Listening based on the topic of farming, and it includes many of the keywords on my IELTS planner list Day 1 (Agriculture), for example: - breed - bred/reared - livestock - to increase production - domesticated animals - controlling and eradicating those diseases Add these to your wordlist and check out the other lessons related to agriculture on my website Get the full version of this Listening Part 3 lesson in the Members Academy.
September 26, 2022
Fiona's Writing Academy Episode 8: Academic Task 1 graph about UK migration patterns
This lesson takes you through a dynamic graph about changes in UK migration trends over a period of time in the past. In the lesson, you'll master how to choose 3 key features how to describe relevant changes how to make appropriate comparisons how to deal with large numbers (adding data) how to use 'whereas' correctly how to avoid wrong synonyms the common mistakes that keep you under Band 7. You will also analyse a model essay, and see how 6 students got scores ranging from 6.5 to 8. Join the Members Academy to finally get the IELTS score you need.
September 24, 2022
IELTS Reading: Reducing injuries on the farm
This Reading will also help your Task 2 Writing. Watch this quick video to see why:
September 09, 2022
IELTS Writing Task 2: How to write a Band 9 essay [Introductions]
In today's September Challenge, we're reviewing Task 2 essays, starting with how to write a good Introduction. Check out the blog I refer to here (with a model essay): and learn more about Introductions here:
September 05, 2022
IELTS Writing Task 1: ๐ŸŸ๐Ÿ—Consumption of meat and fish.
Day 3 of the September IELTS Planner Challenge is all about describing changes in Writing Task 1. See the graph and video here. Or just go to my Daily Tips Day 3 on
September 04, 2022
IELTS Listening Part 1: ๐Ÿ„โ€โ™€๏ธ Learning to surf
Day 2 of the September 2022 Challenge. This is a Part 1 but full of TRICKS! Get the full video version in the Members Academy. Join the challenge on my website: (find it in the Daily Tips section)
September 02, 2022
IELTS Reading GT: ๐ŸฅพThe best hiking boots
This is Day 1 of my free IELTS September Challenge 2022. Follow the challenge every day on my website (What's new - daily tips): Get your FREE copy of the planner and work through it with me:
September 01, 2022
Fiona's Writing Academy Episode 7: Task 2 about young people and farming
Nowadays, there is a declining interest among young people to do farming. What are the reasons for this trend? Should young people be encouraged to do farming work? This 19-minute lesson gives you: background ideas topic vocabulary a model essay band score analysis of 8 student examples common mistakes language level-ups (grammar and expressions) Join the Members Academy to finally get the score you need.
August 29, 2022
IELTS Listening: ๐Ÿฆ‹ Buckworth Conservation Group
This is a slightly unusual Listening Part 1 from the latest Cambridge Test Book 17. Get more in the Members Academy: and on my website
August 26, 2022
Fiona's Writing Academy Episode 6: GT Writing a letter of complaint about a swimming pool
You use the local swimming pool often, and during one of your visits, you encountered a problem. Write a letter to the manager. In your letter describe what the problem was say what the swimming pool staff did about it suggest your own solution to the problem. In this 22-minute lesson, you will - examine a model letter - extract the key features of a Band 9 letter - compare 3 other letters (Band 6, Band 6.5 and Band 7) - learn key language that you can use for formal letters of complaint In the Members Academy, you can submit your example for assessment by Fiona. Enrol in the Members Academy Study Programme Using this link.
August 20, 2022
IELTS Reading GT โšฝ๏ธ: History of women's football in Britain
This is a fascinating Section 3 General Training Reading text about the origins of women's football and why it disappeared for 50 years. Practice ย Multiple Choice Questions, Matching Information and Gapfill Summary. Get the full video version with all of the other General Training Courses in the Members Academy:
August 18, 2022
Fiona's Writing Academy Episode 5: Task 1 student diets and health
This lesson takes you through a mixed chart (pie charts and table) about the diet and general health of two groups of students. In the lesson, we'll talk about:ย  making comparisons the correlation/connection between the pie charts and the table choosing the best tense synonyms the common mistakes that keep you under Band 7.ย  Join the Members Academy to improve your writing and get feedback.
August 10, 2022
Fiona's Writing Academy Episode 4: Task 2 - Why do people stay near to where they were born?
Some people spend most of their lives living close to where they were born.ย  What might be the reasons for this?ย  What are the advantages and disadvantages? This 28-minute lesson gives you: background ideas topic vocabulary model essay band score analysis of student examples common mistakes language level-ups (grammar and expressions) Get the full suite of lessons plus my feedback in the Members Academy.
August 08, 2022
Fionaโ€™s Writing Academy Episode 3: IELTS GT letter to a landlord
This is a Writing Coaching lesson from the Members Academy.ย  You are about to move out of your apartment in an English-speaking country. Your landlord helped you a lot during your stay and you have a friend who would like to rent the flat after you. Write a letter to your landlord.ย  In your letter let your landlord know that you will be leaving thank your landlord for his / her help tell him/her about your friend. In this 23-minute lesson, you willย  examine a model letterย ย  extract the key features of a Band 9 letterย  compare 3 other letters (Band 8, Band 7 and Band 6)ย  learn key language that you can use for formal and informal letters review grammar areas that will level up your score e.g. Third Conditionalย  In the Members Academy, you can submit your example for assessment by Fiona.ย  Enrol in the Members Academy Study Programme Using this link.
August 04, 2022
IELTS Listening ๐Ÿ Maple Syrup ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ
In this lesson we cover more words from The List (my 100 Most Common Listening Gap Fill Answers). Pay special attention to the second half, where the speaker describes how maple syrup is produced. This is really useful for Academic Writing Task 1. Get my guide to IELTS Reading Book 17 (Course) in the Members Academy with all the other workbooks, guides, planners and lists. Get individual printable PDF guides in my shop: Thank you for supporting my small business.
July 27, 2022
IELTS Reading: ๐Ÿ… Domesticating the tomato
This is an Academic Test Passage 2 Reading from Book 17 and the podcast covers 3 types of questions: matching information, matching people, and gapfill. In the podcast I discuss how you can understand more of the text if you learn my basic vocabulary lists - you can buy my 3 IELTS vocabulary workbooks and guides on my website shop: - A complete guide to IELTS Word Formation and Spelling - A complete guide to IELTS Vocabulary - A complete guide to the most common IELTS Listening gapfill answers. If you're trying to improve your Academic Reading Skills, I have 2 Reading courses on my website too: Thank you for supporting small, teacher-owned businesses.
July 18, 2022
IELTS Listening: Labyrinths
Book 17 Test 1 Part 4 I chose this Listening just because it's from the most recent Cambridge Practice Test book, and I was pleased to see that all of the gapfill answers conformed to my theories about common IELTS gapfill answers e.g. uncountable nouns, irregular word forms, "made from ____" etc. I put all of my research together in a handy little booklet which you can get in my shop: I also mentioned the previous Listening Podcast I did a couple of weeks ago, which also refers to these patterns (The History of Cleaning): Thank you for supporting small, teacher-run businesses. Best wishes Fiona
July 09, 2022
IELTS Listening: ๐Ÿงผ Early History of Keeping Clean
This is a Section 4 IELTS Listening Test Gapfill Summary based on a lecture about the history of keeping clean. Get more listening practice on my website or follow my 28-day Listening Course in the Members Academy.
June 25, 2022
โญ๏ธIELTS with Fiona daily tips from February 2022โญ๏ธ
Here's my roundup of daily tips from February. Watch the video version on YouTube with this link: In the podcast we'll review: ย  - Idioms for IELTS Speaking ('food for thought' 'peckish' 'flagging')ย  - Formal language ('a high risk of failure')ย  - How to use inversion (Rarely I have? Or Rarely have I?)ย  - Tech tools to help you practise Speakingย  - Collocations with sports (do, go, play or practise?)ย  - Can or Should? - Task 1 Graphs: "Temperature AVERAGED 25 degrees")ย  - Portmanteau terms: breakfast + lunch = ?ย  - 20 WRONG ways to say 'Although' - Pass a test? Take a test? Sit a test? ย  - What are 'Mustakes'? - Tuesday, Toosday or Chewsday?ย  - "It's not everyone's cup of tea"ย  - IELTS Vocabulary: Physical Health Read the new blog about vocabulary lists for IELTS here: Get all the daily tips here:
May 09, 2022
Fiona's Writing Academy Episode 2: Task 1 about fish
This lesson takes you through a dynamic bar chart where you have to describe changes in the amount of fish that was farmed over a 10-year period. In the lesson, we'll talk about: finding key features describing data accurately using a variety of linking and cohesive devices the language of change the common mistakes that keep you under Band 7. Join the Members Academy to improve your writing and get feedback.
April 29, 2022
Fiona's Writing Academy Episode 1: 'The best way to improve public health is by increasing the number of sports facilities.'
Welcome to my very first private podcast. The aim is to help you improve your IELTS Writing by examining a recent question in detail. There is also a video recording of the lesson and a PDF which will be available as an alternative option to the audio-only option (I will include the model essay and any links in the show notes here). Every week, I will take you through an IELTS Writing Task - we'll discuss how to answer the question and how to plan the essay, and we'll also examine a model answer while reviewing useful vocabulary, high-level structures and ways of increasing complexity. If you have any requests, please let me know. Task: Some people say that the best way to improve public health is by increasing the number of sports facilities. Others, however, say that this would have little effect on public health and that other measures are required. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion. BBC News Article link:
April 25, 2022
โญ๏ธ IELTS tips โญ๏ธ Jan 19th - 31st (also on YouTube)
Here's my round-up of the weekly tips that you can find on my website (ย  This podcast is also on YouTube/fionawattam:ย  In this episode we look at my daily tips from January 19th:ย  - when to use the contraction 's' instead of 'is' (Pronunciation) ย  - how to start a letter and why you shouldn't use 'maam' (GT Letter Writing)ย  - 'claptrap' advice: "elucidate" (Academic Task 1)ย  - when to use "Having said that" (Academic Task 2) - when to use 'triple' or 'treble' (Academic Task 1) - feedback or feedbacks? (Grammar)ย  - useful collocations with 'effect' (Vocabulary) - phrasal verb: "I suppose I'll have to make do with it" (Vocabulary)ย  - Spoonerisms (Collocations) #ielts #ieltstips #ieltspreparation
April 17, 2022
IELTS Reading: ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿฝ Could urban engineers learn from dance?
This is a particularly challenging Reading Passage 1, which follows the structure of a Passage 3 'discursive' argument rather than the usual Passage 1 'factual' description. The title gives us a warning of this academic style - it starts with a question, suggesting that there will be a theory developed, with the opinions of expert. It will pose a problem and try to find a solution. This is uncommon for a Passage 1. Also the question types are: Matching information (rare for Task 1) Gapfill (normal for Task 1) Cambridge Book 15 Test 2.
April 06, 2022
โญ๏ธ IELTS tips โญ๏ธ podcast Jan 1st - Jan 17th 2022 with YouTube video
This podcast talks you through a fortnight of daily tips, with an accompanying YouTube video. Get the daily tips here on my website. In this episode we cover: Pronunciation features - weak sounds e.g Fishnchips How to spot a terrible "Model answer" Free Flashcards for common IELTS topics (Quizlet - Marine Ecosystems) How to use the LABELS in IELTS Task 1 Academic Writing Synonyms for 'houses' in Task 1 A model Task 1 about the construction of houses Banned expressions e.g. "No worries" When to use the ampersand (&) Do you use 'a' or 'an' before abbreviations like "MA" or "FAQ"? Collocations: raise awareness Is it ok to use "and so forth"?
March 19, 2022
IELTS Reading:๐ŸงดPlastic is no longer fantastic
In this IELTS GT Part 3 Reading lesson we'll practise Matching Headings, Multiple Choice and Gapfill summary on the topic of plastic.
March 03, 2022
IELTS โญ๏ธDaily tipsโญ๏ธfrom Fiona Dec 9th - 24th 2021
In today's podcast you'll review my daily tips from my annual advent challenge which you can find on my website under "What's New" and Day 9: "It's not worth + ing" Day 10: Pronunciation - Juncture e.g. Ice-cream/I scream, That stuff/That's tough Day 11: Factor vs reason vs cause Day 12: Linking devices - the present participle Day 13: Modals of deduction (must) Day 14: Not only but also Day 15: Mustn't vs Don't have toย  Day 16: Academic Phrasal Verbs Day 17: The grammar of very polite questions Day 18: rise vs raise Day 19: suggest + ing Day 20: Tense review Day 21: damage vs damages Day 22: as well as Day 23: whereby Day 24: a free gift for you
February 03, 2022
IELTS โญ๏ธDaily Tipsโญ๏ธfrom Fiona Nov 20 - Dec 8
In this episode I catch up with the daily tips that you can find on my website under "What's new". This episode covers: Pronunciation of phrasal nouns vs phrasal verbs (to give someone the go-ahead) The meaning of 'a shambles = shambolic' The real meaning of 'actually' The use of 'tripling' (reduce, reuse, recycle) Inversion (Never have I ever...) 'comfortable' gapfill in the Listening test "You do the math" (UK = maths) can vs be able to despite due to The closer you get, the slower I go (car sticker) Even if Few people vs a few people Good at/in Hyphens
January 26, 2022
IELTS Reading: Marine ecosystems ๐Ÿก
This is a nice GT Part 3 Reading to get 2022 off to a great start. It practises Matching Headings, Multiple Choice AND gapfill, and it's absolutely jam-packed with useful IELTS vocabulary, so I made a Quizlet for you to review it. Go to my website "What's new" to get the Quiz Link.
January 04, 2022
IELTS Reading: Having a laugh
This is an academic Passage 3 about the importance of laughter.
December 05, 2021
โญ๏ธIELTS tipsโญ๏ธ Nov 9th - 20th
In this episode I go through a week of tips about: "is pissed" vs "ears pierced", PEEL paragraphs, Jacinda Ardern and New Zealand accents ("bed" vs "bid"), Bruce Willis, The Sixth Sense and modals of deduction ("He must be a teacher"), Why Martin Luther King didn't say "I've got a dream", Are you feeling OVERWHELMED?, Cost vs value, When "I will" sounds like "ul", Hey! and other offensive words,ย  Third Conditional in the LISTENING test, When was the last time you had a barbie? Get all the daily posts on my website
November 27, 2021
โญ๏ธIELTS tipsโญ๏ธ Oct 27th - Nov 8th 2021
This is my weekly round-up of tips from the "What's New" tab on my free website: In this episode we look at Pronunciation mazes by Matt Hancock (the 'ou' and 'ow' sounds and spelling), What's the opposite of 'must'?, "It's not worth it", Listening tricks and synonyms "at least" and "a minimum of", Is it ok to use "etc" in formal writing?, Modal verb meanings e.g "That should be ok", fifTEEN versus FIFty (15/50) in the listening test, A GREENhouse vs a green HOUSE (word stress), How important is the introduction in IELTS Writing Task 2? If you have a question that you'd like me to answer in the Daily Tips, please get in touch.
November 24, 2021
๐Ÿ†What's the best online IELTS course?๐Ÿ†
That's a tough question. It's so hard for anyone to measure the quality and effectiveness of an IELTS course objectively unless they've taken all of the IELTS courses available! So here's a quick checklist of things to look for in a course. Go to the blog to download the checklist; I designed it to help you make an informed decision.ย
November 15, 2021
โญ๏ธIELTS tipsโญ๏ธ Oct 17th - 27th
Here's the latest round-up of all my IELTS Daily Tips blog that you can find on my website. In this blog we go through and revise: Have or get something done How to pronounce 'ative' How to pronounce 'able' Thinking critically Research vs researchers Economic vs economical deteriorate vs get worse instill vs install funnest vs the most fun Get all the tips on my website homepage ("What's New")
November 05, 2021
โญ๏ธIELTS tipsโญ๏ธ: a weekly summary
I'm trying out a new way of sharing my tips and advice for IELTS. If you go to the 'What's new' tab on my website, you'll find a daily tip: You can leave a comment there and ask questions if you need help or if you have any requests. In this podcast I cover the last 7 days of tips: Should I appeal my IELTS score? Third Conditional and 'be able to' 'Just shy of' Academic Task 1 An elderly person you admire Bring back the big cats Polite requests Phrasal verbs with 'with' (accompany = go with)
October 17, 2021
Things you need to know before you buy an online IELTS Course ๐Ÿค‘
Have you ever been ripped off, conned, scammed, tricked, duped or just misled when buying an online IELTS course? In this blog and podcast, I've outlined the 10 'red flags' that you need to know about before you decide which course provider to go with. Here are are some common tactics that you may not even notice, and they range from being simply 'misleading' to illegal. For more information and examples that I've collected over 5 years, head to my blog, where you might like to leave a comment. The 10 sales tactics that might trick you into panic-buying an online course. 1. "The course is full" (but suddenly a place became available - buy it quickly before it goes!) 2. "Only 2 spots left!" (in an email to thousands of people, 2 weeks before the course starts) 3. "Totaly value $1999 - buy today for $9.99" (Meaning: it is only worth $9.99) 4. "Normal price $99 - today only $79" (Permanent discount - illegal in some countries) 5. "The world's most successful course" (Says who?) 6. "Lifetime access" (so you can buy it and forget about it) 7. "Unlimited Speaking and Writing" (you mean 24/7? Just write and speak all day?) 8. Affiliate Marketing 9. Testimonials 10. Other red flags - bad spelling and grammar, plagiarism from other sites, stolen watermarked images, Click Funnels. If someone emails you to tell you that they could charge hundreds of dollars for their time, but they want to help you for free, there are red flags all over the place. Walk away. Find someone that you know, like and TRUST. Big tutoring companies can afford to lose you because there are plenty more people who will fall for false advertising. Maybe it's time to consider the smaller business who focus their time on developing quality courses rather than scamming their students. End of rant.
September 20, 2021
IELTS Reading: Henry Moore (TFNG Bootcamp Day 1) ๐Ÿ—ฟ
The Members Academy Reading Bootcamp started today (you can still join - it's just $28 and includes 28 days of both live and recorded lessons). This week's focus is on True False Not Given questions, so here's a taster of today's lesson. This is an Academic Passage 1 about a sculptor called Henry Moore. I try to get my students to make educated guesses about TFNG questions by the way they're written, and this text is a perfect example of how you can follow a hunch to get the right answer pretty quickly and save time. For example NOT GIVEN: turn the statement into a question. If you canโ€™t answer it, itโ€™s NOT GIVEN. NO: there is usually an opposite word (antonym) e.g. similar โ€“ different; first โ€“ last YES: the answer is usually a synonym or paraphrase e.g complied = did what his father wanted him to do There is a balance in the number of True, False, Not Given (fewer NG). Donโ€™t OVER-THINK the answer. e.g. Q7 doesnโ€™t exactly say โ€˜more popularโ€™ but it means the same thing. I also teach my students to quickly divide the text according to the questions, so that they don't waste any time looking in the wrong place. This text is another perfect example of that. The Bootcamp will run until the end of September, so if you're struggling to get your Reading Score up, come and join us.
September 06, 2021
IELTS Reading: Attitudes to AI ๐Ÿค–
This is an Academic Passage 3 Part 3 (Book 16), so it's tough. In this lesson we'll look at how the language that you learn for Task 2 will help you understand the Reading, and how Reading academic texts like this will help you improve your Writing. Some of the points I mention include: - Word formation - The 'marc' system for pie charts (Makes up, accounts for, represents, consists of) - Willing to vs want - Hedging - Biased, subjective (Task 2 problems) - How to talk about cause and effect - The Language of effect
August 22, 2021
How to use idioms in IELTS
Are you using the right idiom in the right place with the right person and the right pronunciation? To use an idiom correctly there are so many factors that you have to take into account, for example who uses this idiom (age, gender, profession, location)? when do they use this idiom? (context) why do they choose to use this idiom (humour, anger, sarcasm, style)? how often do people use this idiom (once in a blue moon?) In my latest blog, I talk about 3 key factors to help you use idioms correctly: 1. Accuracy 2. Appropriacy 3. Pronunciation Find out more on my blog.
August 13, 2021
IELTS Listening: Stoicism ๐Ÿ›๏ธ
This episode is a Part 4 Listening about an ancient philosophy called Stoicism (don't worry if you've never heard of it - the Listening will explain everything). It's a gapfill summary (one word only) and we also discuss: DESPITE (+ noun or + ing verb or + the fact that) US and UK spellings (do they matter in IELTS?) how my 2-minute Pronunciation feedback can fix a common problem related to your first language (in this case, Spanish). Review the grammar of 'despite' and 'in spite of' on my blog.
July 19, 2021
IELTS Reading: ๐ŸฅBack to the future of skyscraper design.
This passage 2 Academic IELTS Reading is a problem-solution structure. The problem: air-conditioning units generate 'spectacular and largely unnecessary energy use and carbon emissions'. The solution: use natural ventilation, as they did in 19th-century hospitals. This IELTS Reading is packed full of useful vocab like 'to squander energy' (= to waste) and 'it uses a FRACTION of the electricity/at a FRACTION of the energy cost' (=a small or tiny part, amount, or proportion of something). There were also some interesting uses of nouns as adjectives (wards in hospitals = hospital wards) - see my blog about this useful IELTS topic here: and adjectives as nouns ('the prosperous' = the people who are prosperous and 'the public'). Get all my reading tips and advice on my website:
July 04, 2021
IELTS Listening: The history of coffee โ˜•๏ธ
This is a Section 4 Listening. I chose this Listening in order to show you why hyphens are NOT important in Listening gap-fill summaries. There are 3 main types of words in gapfill summaries: 1) Words ending with a suffix like '-tion' or '-sion' 2) Commodities or materials like wool, gold, tea or sugar. 3) Irregular words like plurals ending in y/ies or irregular word forms like poor/poverty. Get the full article about hyphens on my blog: Learn more about Irregular Word Forms on my blog: Learn more about the types of Listening gapfill AND the Pronunciation errors that affect your listening in the Members Academy:
June 25, 2021
IELTS Reading: The Effects of Noise ๐Ÿ™‰
I had a special request for this Academic Passage 3 because it's difficult, but honestly, it's a very early test (Book 7) and is just badly-written. I think the reading itself is very useful as an example of academic writing, with lots you can learn from it, but the questions are simply not good - you can guess 3 of them without even needing to understand what they mean (a sure sign of a bad test), and there is too much similar language (very few synonyms required). If you struggled with this one - forget it and move on (but listen for practice ๐Ÿ˜Š.) Learning points: Hedging - listen to an earlier podcast about hedging: and read the blog:
June 07, 2021
IELTS Writing Feedback: improving your Task 2 essays with 40 keywords
When you get IELTS Writing feedback from your teacher, you should be able to see why you are not achieving your desired score. But this feedback is only useful if you understand exactly what the teacher is talking about when they are pointing out areas you need to work on. Writing Feedback about LANGUAGE is usually easy to understand โ€“ most people know the language related to grammar (e.g. wrong tense, article missing, third person -s), spelling and punctuation. But Writing feedback related to CONTENT and academic STYLE is more difficult, especially if you are not familiar with the demands of academic writing. You need to have a good understanding of the terms that the teacher is using so that you can make the necessary changes. Here is a โ€˜glossary of termsโ€™ that I use regularly in my IELTS Writing Feedback Sessions in the Members Academy. See also How to make your writing more formal for Task 2: IELTS Task 2 Structures that strengthen your argument: How to use 'hedging' in IELTS Writing Task 2 #ielts #ieltswriting #ieltsfiona
May 16, 2021
IELTS Reading: Attitudes to language
This is an Academic Part 1 text. The text and subject matter is difficult but the questions (YNNG) are NOT.ย  In fact, in this episode I will show you how you can mostly guess the answers without reading or understanding very much of the text. Get more help with Yes, No, Not Given questions on my website. If you'd like to contribute to the upkeep of my website and podcast, you can buy me a coffee here: Many thanks Fiona
May 03, 2021
IELTS Reading: What is exploration?
Cambridge Book 15 Test 1 Passage 3
April 11, 2021
IELTS Listening: 'Street Play Scheme' โ›น๏ธโ€โ™‚๏ธโ›น๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿš—
This is a really useful Part 2 IELTS Listening (Book 15) about a community that closed their road to traffic so that the children could play safely outside. It practises Multiple Choice and Choosing from a list. Useful vocab: 'the idea caught on' = the idea became very popular in other places 'give it a go' = try it Useful grammar: Present Perfect vs Past Simple 'The scheme's been up and running for 3 years' = 'The Street Paly Scheme first took place 3 years ago'. 'Be able to' with conditionals 'We'd love to be able to close our road for longer'. Conditionals 'People can use their cars as long as they drive at under 20kph'. 'They're happy to see children outside - even if it does get quite noisy'. 'Kids are getting fresh air, even if they're not doing anything energetic'. Past Perfect As we'd predicted, air quality was better, but what I hadn't expected was how much quieter it would be. Academic Task 1 Vocabulary 'Sales in the shops went up considerably'. Writing Task 2: talking about benefits/outcomes develop confidence get fresh air get to know people in the street air quality was significantly better/less air pollution much quieter/less noise pollution they felt safer/improved safety #ielts #ieltslistening #ielttutor
March 29, 2021
IELTS Writing: 9๏ธโƒฃ tips for a Band 9๏ธโƒฃ essay
In this podcast lesson, I review an online Band 9 essay and discuss 9 features of this essay which could be improved. For each of the points I mention, I provide an alternative so that you can make changes to your own writing. I'll put this on my website ASAP, but in the meantime, you can watch my YouTube video here, so you can see the essays that I'm discussing: My tips about Coherence and Cohesion (avoiding mechanical linking words) are here: There is a video to go with that lesson too. Find more Band 9 essays and tips on my website: (last week's podcast) #ielts #ieltswriting #ieltstask2 #ieltsband9
March 14, 2021
IELTS Writing: Should CEOs earn such high salaries?
In this episode, I talk you through a Band 9 Model IELTS Writing Essay covering: - First lines - PEEL paragraphs - Hedging - Common myths - Conclusions Get the full essay on my website: #ielts #ieltswriting #ieltsfiona
March 01, 2021
IELTS Reading TFNG: Alexander Henderson ๐Ÿ“ธ๐Ÿ“ธ๐Ÿ“ธ
This is a nice and easy Academic Reading Part 1 (great for GT too). It goes in chronological order, so it's easy to find information from dates, names and places, and there are 2 sets of questions (TFNG and gapfill). If you're aiming for 7 and you can get 10/13 correct in less than 20 minutes, you're doing very well. Check your band score here: Get the conditionals review here: Learn about 'willing to' vs 'want to' here: Join the Conditional Bootcamp here: โ˜•Buy me a coffee to say thanks here:
February 14, 2021
IELTS Listening: ๐Ÿฆฃ๐Ÿฆฃ๐ŸฆฃWoolly mammoths on St Paul's Island
Today's Listening is a 6/10 for difficulty. It's a Part 3 Listening with multiple choice and matching from a list. Useful vocabulary and synonyms: surprising = amazing got cut off = became isolated exact = precise contact = get in touch with make detailed notes = write down all the ideas check timing = make sure we won't overrun add personal opinions = give your own viewpoint Join the Conditionals Bootcamp here. Get the Signals and Signposts lesson here. Buy me a coffee to say thanks here:
February 01, 2021
IELTS Reading/Writing: Driverless Cars ๐Ÿš˜
This is a really really useful passage to read because of how it can help your WRITING. The passage itself is not difficult, but it is jam-packed full of excellent examples of Formal Academic Writing so if you have this reading at home, go through it carefully. - 'PEEL' paragraphs - Hedging - Linking words - Noun forms - Conditionals - Critical Thinking Want to say thanks?
January 11, 2021
IELTS Reading: Motivational Factors and the hospitality industry ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿณ๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿณ
This is an extremely difficult Academic Reading Passage 3. It took me 30 minutes to find the answers even with the answer sheet in front of me. What can we learn from a text like this? Background knowledge and vocabulary will aid understanding Strategies such as locating the researchers' names will speed up your responses Every little helps - 2 of my recent daily tasks from the Writing Challenge will help you break down the dense text 1) affect vs effect 2) factor vs reasonย Add these synonyms to your list: managers need to know = it is beneficial for hotel managers to understand to increase employee retention = to encourage staff to remain employees feel obligated to stay = staff feel they shouldn't move little is done = undeveloped practices employee development = improve their skills if cooperation is encouraged = if managers encourage employees to work together research has shown = evidence exists to support this hypothesis staff have a tendency to = employees have a predisposition toย  to dislike their workplace = to view their work environment negatively they conducted a study = they carried out research to fit with company goals = to align with organisational goals Want to support my podcast? Please click on the link below: Many thanks Fiona
December 29, 2020
IELTS Writing: How to hedge in Task 2 ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒณ
In this lesson you'll learn the 9 main ways of hedging - an essential feature of sophisticated academic writing. Get the full lesson and more practice on the blog: This is Day 17 of the Advent Challenge - catch up on anything you've missed by going to this page: Enjoying the podcasts, challenges, lessons and videos? Help support my work by buying me a coffee here: Thanks!
December 20, 2020
IELTS Advent Challenge Tasks ๐ŸŽ„1 - 12
No time to do my Advent Challenge? This podcast (watch the video version on talks you through the past 12 days, so you'll get up and running really quickly! It's never too late to start - just go to my website: and open the windows which will take you through to all the links. Come and post your sentences on Facebook, where I will check them every day: If you'd like to say thanks and contribute to the costs of running the free challenge, you are very welcome to do so here on my 'Buy Me A Coffee' page: In return, I will send you a copy of my A-Z of IELTS Advent when it's ready in the New Year. Many thanks in advance - your donations help me pay for the cost of the website, graphics, advent page and podcast, so you'll be helping me to help others. Best wishes Fiona
December 12, 2020
IELTS Listening Part 3: Children's Literature Course ๐Ÿ“š
Is this Listening more difficult than usual? I got a special request from Elango in my Members Academy, and yes I think it is a tricky one! I had to read the tapescript very carefully to figure out the answer to Question 27, and it even required a bit of background knowledge (possibly true of Question 28 too!). Apart from that, this is a really good one to practise listening for: - Signals and Signposts: - Synonyms (fascinating = interesting; amazed = surprised; type = genre) - Grammar (not many = few) - Language of hedging (comics can serve a really useful purpose = comics have the potential for being useful) - Pronunciation of key words (ballet) Catch up on the Free Writing Task 2 Challenge here:
November 25, 2020
IELTS Writing: โš–๏ธAdvantages and Disadvantages Essay
This is Day 1 of the November Writing Task 2 Challenge. Join us in the Facebook group: And on YouTube (this is the first video) And on my website
November 01, 2020
IELTS Reading: Why fairy tales are really scary tales ๐Ÿงšโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ป
I had a special request from Isabella on Instagram today ๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท. She asked me to look at a really difficult text (yes, this one's 9/10!). It's an Academic Passage 3 and it follows the Reading Type 2 structure (discursive) which goes like this - Title: asks a question (Why? The answer is not what everyone thinks). 1. Old theory: Everyone thinks fairy tales have endured because the STORIES give us WARNINGS about life e.g. Little Red Riding Hood. 2. New theory: Everyone is wrong. There's another reason. 3. Test to prove the old theory is wrong: Is the STORY important? 'NO'. Is the WARNING important? Answer: 'NO'. 4. Results of the test: The reason why fairy tales have endured is just that people enjoy scary stories. 5. Althernative theory (instantly proved wrong): The stories remain relevant because they're about women as victims. 6. Conclusion: Everyone likes scary stories because they build up our resistance to negative emotions, so the first theory is probably right. You can find similar 'discursive' structures here: What destroyed the civilisation of Easter Island? Is there anybody out there? The search for extra-terrestrial intelligence. Autumn Leaves Canadian writer Jay Ingram investigates the mystery of why leaves turn red in the fall. My updated guide to Time Management in the Reading Test gives you 8 techniques to help you improve your Reading Speed for the #ielts test.
October 24, 2020
IELTS Reading: ๐Ÿšดโ€โ™€๏ธBike-sharing schemes around the world
Do you have a bike-sharing scheme where you live? In London there are the so-called 'Boris bikes' (named after Boris Johnson, who launched them in 2010 after being inspired by the success of a similar scheme in Paris, which is mentioned in this reading). This is a Section 2 Academic Text with 3 types of questions: Matching Statements, Choosing from a List and Gapfill. So whenever there's a lot to do, the text is slightly easier. This is a chronological text (in order of time) and is suitable for General Training practice too. It has some fantastic language that you can use in your writing e.g. urban bike-sharing scheme an answer to the threats of air pollution and consumerism. The police were opposed to the initiatives The council rejected ('turned down') the plan. 'The bicycle belongs to the past' That mentality has totally changed. By 1999, people had become more environmentally conscious. The system, however, was prone to vandalism and theft. The Parisian bike-sharing programme now boasts more than 20000 bicycles. Amsterdam is regarded as one of the two most cycle-friendly captials in the world. Today everybody longs for cities that are not dominated by cars. Get all my 10-minute lessons on my website Join the Members Academy See you next weekend, All the best Fiona
October 18, 2020
IELTS Listening: The hunt for sunken settlements and ancient shipwrecks ๐Ÿšขโš“๏ธโšฑ๏ธ
This is a difficult Section 4, but if you listen to my podcast regularly, you will be very familiar with this common IELTS topic! It's about marine archaeology, the use of technology to find ancient shipwrecks and building under the sea, and the lessons researchers can learn about how ancient civilisations lived. In this episode I refer to similar IELTS Reading/Listening texts, so you can see how important it is to learn the vocabulary that is relevant to so many IELTS texts. Find the Modals of Deduction Grammar here [e.g. Atlit-Yam MAY HAVE BEEN DESTROYED by a tsunami, climate change MAY HAVE CAUSED glaciers to melt. Find the Reading about the Lapita [Beyond the Blue Horizon] here. Get all my lessons in one place in the Members Academy.
October 10, 2020
IELTS Reading GT Part 2: Border crossing and Dealing with absence in the workplace
Both texts are gapfill summaries. The first one gives you practice with summary Flow Charts (IELTS 28-Day Planner Day 12) and the second covers the common topic of how to deal with absence in the workplace (good practice if you never usually read this kind of document). Get more General Training Reading tips on my website. Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for daily practice. #ielts #ieltstest #ieltscourse
October 03, 2020
IELTS Listening: Agricultural programme in Mozambique ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿฝโ€๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒพ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽฃ
Listen out for the 5 most common gapfill types in this Part 4 gapfill on the very common topics of Agriculture and Water (28-Day Planner Week 1). Practise these topics on my website: Watch my YouTube 5-minute Vocab review of Agriculture here: And here's the Honeybee Listening I mentioned: Get the 28-Day Planner here - do NOT let it get lost in your computer. Print it off. Use it every day. Listen to another Part 4 about agriculture in Africa here: Get lots more help on my website:
September 22, 2020
IELTS Reading: Nutmeg - a valuable spice ๐ŸŒฐ๐Ÿฅœ
This is an Academic Reading Part 1 (so it's good for GT too). The structure is chronological (in order of time) which helps you locate the answers more easily. It's also very similar to a text on my website: The Story Of Silk, which you can find here: and I refer to last week's podcast about The Eucalyptus Tree to show you how similar they are in terms of the gapfill answers. Check out my blog relating to the grammar in this reading here:
September 13, 2020
Factors influencing your IELTS Score ๐ŸŽฐ - how my new IELTS Progress predictor works.
If you've taken my IELTS Progress Predictor Test, you may be wanting to know a bit more about how it works and what it means for your IELTS Preparation. This podcast talks you through how to make the most of your assets and build a mindset that will help you prove the test wrong! Get the quiz and full blog here
August 16, 2020
IELTS Listening: The Eucalyptus Tree in Australia ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ
#ielts Listening Part 4 - gapfill summary. Find a similar topic here:
August 04, 2020
IELTS Listening: Birth order and personality ๐Ÿšผ
IELTS Listening Part 3: How birth order affects your personality.
July 27, 2020
IELTS GT Reading: ๐Ÿฆ–๐Ÿฆ•Dinosaurs and the secrets they hold ๐Ÿฆ–๐Ÿฆ•
IELTS GT Reading Part 3 - gapfill summary, multiple choice and choosing from a list. Find a similar reading with the vocab you need to know about animals here: Listening about a dinosaur museum and how to spot distractors:
July 19, 2020
IELTS Listening - Cities built by the sea ๐ŸŒŠ๐Ÿ™๏ธ
This is a Section 3 (dialogue between 2 students) with lots of vocab related to the environment: - urban planning - coastal cities - pollutants are discharged into rivers - to protect against flooding - global warming - sea levels are rising - they need to consider the whole ecosystem - environmentalists
July 13, 2020
IELTS Reading: Saving bugs to find new drugs ๐Ÿž๐Ÿ’Š
A long and difficult but FASCINATING text with SO MUCH useful vocabulary which I list at the end. - Matching Information with paragraphs - Choosing from a list - Gapfill summary It's a KEY TOPIC (see similar texts on my website - and and I also talk about how parts of the text help us with Writing.
June 29, 2020
IELTS Reading: An unusual Academic Passage 1 - The concept of intelligence.
This passage has an academic, theoretical structure rather than a factual, chronological one.ย  Watch the video on YouTube to see how it looks: This video will show you how to use the structure to get answers even when the content doesn't make much sense!
June 21, 2020
IELTS GT Reading: Parts 1 and 2
Finding a roommate, the best fitness apps, How to Delegate and Choosing the right CV Format. Find the word formation booklet here:
June 15, 2020
IELTS Listening: ๐Ÿ—บMAPS and MCQs
This video looks at Section 2 of the IELTS Listening Test, which often includes a MAP in the second half.ย  Watch the video on YouTube if you would like to practice with the real test. The first part is Multiple Choice and this video shows you how to recognise distractors: 'rather than' and 'instead of' are CLUES which tell you that you should choose the correct answer RATHER THAN/INSTEAD OF the trick! I break the Listening up into more manageable parts, so this is a LEARNING video rather than a test, but you can pause the video to test yourself too. ย  I also point out the useful vocabulary that you can extract from the listening to help you with Writing Task 1 (Academic - describe changes to a building; General Training - tell your friend about your new home) ย Here is an extra Listening to help you describe changes to maps:ย
June 07, 2020
IELTS Reading: Why companies should welcome disorder
So sorry for the delay - I'm back now! Been working on the daily YouTube lives during Lockdown. Did you miss them? Just go to my YouTube channel (I'll add this podcast as a video if you prefer to read the text and try it for yourself). This is a difficult Academic Passage 3 with Matching Headings, Gapfill and TFNG. Get more Reading practice on my website.
May 29, 2020
IELTS Experts - 10 of your most common questions about IELTS answered
In this podcast (also on YouTube) I ask my boss Max to give us his insider tips about #IELTS (it's exactly the same as what I say but people actually listen to him!). Watch the video here:
April 18, 2020
IELTS Writing: How to use 'despite' and 'in spite of'
This week I've been working really hard on preparing full lessons for my free YouTube Writing Workshops, and I wanted to give you a taste of what happens in the workshops. They are very interactive - I ask you questions and you give me your examples so I can check them. I also take requests! This lesson followed on from 'Although' and 'whereas', so we covered a lot of advanced linking words in 2 days. If you'd like to take part in the sessions, join me every day on my YouTube Channel and in the Facebook group
April 10, 2020
IELTS Writing: Complex sentences made easy for Writing and Speaking ('reduced adverbials'!)
This was the first day of my Live IELTS Writing Workshops on YouTube, so I wanted to give you a taste of what happens in the workshop. ย You post a question on my special website page for the workshops ย I prepare a lesson based on your question ย You join the live session on YouTube ย I give you some practice sentences and you write your own examples in the comments I give you feedback on your comments Repeat every day until the lockdown is over! Catch the video on my channel if you missed it (also on the webiste page above and on Facebook Come and join us! Today we practiced 'Reduced Adverbials' (complex, but simple to use when you know how).
March 30, 2020
IELTS Reading Time Management Tips
Need to read faster in the test? In this video and podcast, I'll take you through a Reading test and show you what you can do at each stage to answer the questions more quickly. The text is called 'The Birdmen' and you can watch the video and try it yourself on YouTube:
March 24, 2020
IELTS Computer-Delivered General Training Reading Test Part 1
This podcast is taken from my YouTube Video (watch this to see the text). I take you through the first part of a Computer-Delivered #IELTS General Training Reading Test and look at the benefits of taking the test online (as well as the drawbacks!).ย  The first reading is horrendous - the second is much easier, so skip forward if you don't like the first one!ย  This is the practice test I used:ยย  Test 1 Part 1: Difficulty rating 8/10 ๐Ÿ˜ฃย  Test 1 Part 2: Difficulty rating 3/10 ๐Ÿ˜„ย  And here's my FULL analysis of the Computer-Delivered test
March 17, 2020
IELTS Writing Error Correction - The Blue Book project ๐Ÿ“˜
Do you rely on a teacher to correct your writing mistakes for the IELTS Test? Is this the most effective way? ย ย  In this podcast I look at some research that's been done about the best way to learn from your mistakes - and the answers may surprise you! ย  Here is the YouTube video, where you can see all the texts that I mention: You can find out more about the award I won from EnglishUK and CambridgeESOL for my research on error correction here:ย ย  Here are some of the tools you can use to correct your own writing:ยยย I also talk about times when a teacher is essential for helping students meet the criteria of the IELTS test.
March 11, 2020
IELTS Listening: ๐Ÿ”†The history of weather forecasting ๐Ÿ”†
I made this as a YouTube video so you can watch it here if you'd like to see the text at the same time: It's a Part 4 gap-fill Listening and I would give it a difficulty rating of 9/10! What do you think?
March 05, 2020
IELTS Reading: Matching Headings - A visit to Oymyakon ๐Ÿฅถ
GT IELTS Matching Headings and gapfill practice. Watch the podcast on YouTube so that you can see the text and my explanations (and try the test for yourself).
February 26, 2020
BONUS episode! My interview with Dr Heidi Brumbaugh, creator of the Vocab Victor app.
This week I interview the creator of the marvellous Vocab Victor app, Dr Heidi Brumbaugh. Dr Heidi realised that my 28-Days of IELTS Word List would be a perfect match for her app, so now you can practise the essential words that you need to learn for IELTS in a fun and motivating way. In the interview, we talked about: the problems students have when they try to learn intermediate vocabulary (and how Vocab Victor solves this problem) how vocabulary is more important than grammar when you're trying to increase your band score the best ways to learn vocabulary and retain new words the benefits of learning from carefully-chosen word lists the importance of reviewing words in different contexts (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking which are included in every day of my 28-Day IELTS Vocabulary Booster Course and Challenge). On top of that, this episode is GREAT listening practice! (Nice to have an American accent for a change!). Find out more about Vocab Victor and how it works with my IELTS word lists on Dr Heidi's page: Get the Vocab Victor app in the app store: Get more information about my 28-Day Intensive Vocabulary Course here:
February 20, 2020
Computer-delivered IELTS: An interview with Jessica from the IELTS Energy Podcast
This week on the podcast I was very happy to invite Jessica Beck from All Ears English and the IELTS Energy Podcast to talk about the pros and cons of the Computer Delivered IELTS Test (amongst other things!). Jess actually took the test herself, and in the interview she tells us what she thinks is great about doing the test on a computer. Here's the link to my blog about the podcast: Find Jess's fantastic IELTS Podcast here: And there are lots of IELTS tips on their IELTS Preparation page here:
February 16, 2020
IELTS Listening: Kite-making kite ๐Ÿช by the Maori people of New Zealand ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ
Part 4 IELTS Listening on the topic of Civilisation (again! See my YouTube video about this). Vocab Victor is the app where you can develop your IELTS vocab with my 28 days of Vocab wordlists. YouTube video about Civilisation: NEW!Vocab Victor App with all my IELTS Vocabulary wordlists from the 28-Day Vocabulary Course and Challenge! Join the course:
February 10, 2020
IELTS Listening: Natural Dyes ๐Ÿงถ๐Ÿงต
Multiple Choice and Matching in a Part 3 (student and tutor). Watch my YouTube video about how to recognise signals in Part 3 Listening: The Reading I mentioned is called Henry Perkins - the man who invented synthetic dyes, and I did a podcast about it with all the questions on Instagram.
February 03, 2020
IELTS Reading GT Section 1: How synonyms work in Part 1 - The best suitcases ๐Ÿ’ผ๐Ÿงณand The Oxford School of Drama ๐ŸŽญ
GT Reading is not always as easy as it looks in Part 1. Yes, the texts are shorter but you have to do 2 of them in 20 mins and you need a good level of Vocab to get the answers quickly and not fall for the tricks! Here we look at Matching Info and TFNG.
January 27, 2020
IELTS Reading: Meet the Organoleptics ๐Ÿคฅ๐Ÿ‘บ๐Ÿ‘ƒ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿฝ
GT Reading Part 3 - matching people, matching info and TFNG.
January 20, 2020
IELTS listening: Field Trip Proposal ๐Ÿœ
Listening Part 3 (Book 8 Test 1). Looking at signals, multiple choice and gap fill. Get more help with Part 3 here and watch my video about the Answer Sheet here Join my A-Z of IELTS challenge here
January 10, 2020
IELTS GT Writing - How to write a letter of complaint
Today's podcast focuses on using Reported Speech and Reporting verbs in Letters of Complaint to tell the reader what you've been told (e.g. by a shop assistant or landlord) so that you can complain about something that hasn't been done. e.g. if the landlord says 'I'll fix it!' you might need to report what he said. There are lots of rules about this: here are the 3 main ones. 1. You said you would fix it. 2. You promised to fix it. 3. You promisedย me that you would fix it. I did today's podcast live on YouTube, so you can watch it there for more information. I'm going to go live on YouTube all through January 2020, so make sure you subscribe!
December 29, 2019
IELTS Reading: The return of artificial intelligence ๐Ÿค–
Reading passage 3 Test Book 5.
December 19, 2019
IELTS GT Writing: A job application ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿฝโ€๐Ÿซ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿซ
Day 15 of the GT IELTS WRITING 28-Day Course is all about different types of job applications. Get all the tips here
December 06, 2019
We need to talk about your writing โœ๐Ÿฝ
I spend half my life telling students to write more formally, and half my life telling students the opposite. There is a huge gulf between the two styles, and itโ€™s probably affecting your score and costing you money. But there are simple solutions. This podcast looks at a few of them. I hope it will help the 77% of my followers who donโ€™t know that they have a problem. Sorry to sound harsh but Iโ€™m honestly trying to help. Get all the tips from the episode here:
November 29, 2019
IELTS Reading: The Lost City ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ช
Hereโ€™s the full blog
November 22, 2019
IELTS Reading: Venus in transit ๐Ÿ”ญ๐Ÿช
This has been on my list of things to do for about a year! Such a tough text but so easy to guess at least half of the answers without a PhD in Astronomy!
November 15, 2019
IELTS Reading: Biological control of pests ๐Ÿฆ—๐ŸŒ๐Ÿ›๐Ÿฆ…
A truly awful text but totally worth it for the vocab and strategies. Learn how to answer these questions without understanding almost anything ๐Ÿ˜ฏ!
November 07, 2019
IELTS Reading: The truth about the environment ๐Ÿ—บ๐Ÿงฏ
Passage 3 with lots of Vocab you can use in Writing Task 2.
October 28, 2019
IELTS listening: ๐ŸŒŠMarine renewable energy (Ocean Energy)
A fabulous Part 4 Listening with tons of Vocab and expressions useful for both Task 1 Writing โœ๐Ÿฝ (processes) and Task 2 Writing โœ๐Ÿฝ.
October 21, 2019
IELTS Tips: What to do when you hit a plateau โ›ฐ
Have you hit a plateau with IELTS? Are you stuck at the same band despite studying really hard? Iโ€™ve done some research and condensed it into this 40-minute episode so that you can push yourself to the next level.
October 11, 2019
IELTS GT Reading: Out of the ashes ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ
Passage 3 about the restoration of an 18th century house which caught fire. Excellent for Vocab about Buildings (Day 8 in the Vocab Course).
October 04, 2019
IELTS Reading: Endless Harvest ๐ŸŸ๐ŸŸ๐ŸŸ
Academic Passage 2 about over-fishing, commercial fishing, sustainable fishing and environmental responsibility. T/F/NG.
September 28, 2019
IELTS Writing Task 2: Do prisons work?
An example of a Band 9 essay that breaks some of the essay-writing โ€˜rulesโ€™, but answers the question perfectly with plenty of expressions that you can use and adapt to suit many other IELTS essay topics. I also rant on a bit about what kind of Vocab you should learn, how you should learn it, and why my Vocabulary Course answers both of those questions, saving you time, hassle and money! Get the full essay here
September 19, 2019
IELTS Reading: Rural Transport Project ๐Ÿšœ ๐Ÿด
Ok this one is pretty tedious BUT! it covers 4 question of the WORST types (Matching Headings, YNNG, Sentence completion and Q40) so itโ€™s well worth a listen. There are also some fab collocations at the end.
September 12, 2019
IELTS Listening: โ›”๏ธ โ›”๏ธSignposts Part 2
Last week I outlined the 10 signals and signposts that lead you to the answer in the Listening Test (see my blog for more details and a YouTube video). This week Iโ€™m showing you an almost identical example so that you can see exactly how these patterns work in other tests and you can apply the same principles to all your tests.
September 06, 2019
IELTS Listening: โ›”๏ธ SIGNALS and SIGNPOSTS to lead you to the answer.โ›”๏ธ
Listening Part 3 is a very carefully structured dialogue full of signals like โ€˜So!โ€™ โ€˜โ€™Well!โ€™ โ€˜โ€™Now!โ€™, emphatic structures (โ€˜What I decided to do was....โ€™), negative tones (โ€˜But Iโ€™m afraid I didnโ€™t manage to...โ€™) and advice structures (โ€˜If I were you Iโ€™d...โ€™ โ€˜I think you should...โ€™ โ€˜You really do need to...โ€™).
August 29, 2019
IELTS Reading: Sustainable Architecture - ๐Ÿœ lessons from the ant ๐Ÿœ
Reading about a building in Zimbabwe whose โ€˜air-conditioning systemโ€™ was based on termite mounds. Fascinating!
August 22, 2019
IELTS Grammar: a simple way of remembering the difference between โ€˜ingโ€™ and infinitives ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ
If you struggle to work out when to use โ€˜ingโ€™ the solution is here! Find the whole blog on my website and 10-minute tutorial on YouTube.
August 15, 2019
IELTS Vocab and Reading: The true cost of food ๐Ÿšœ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿฝโ€๐ŸŒพ
I chose this one JUST because of the vocab! Itโ€™s fabulous to review the topic of intensive industrial agriculture and its impact on the environment.
August 02, 2019
IELTS Writing: Complex sentences ๐Ÿคฉ
10 simple ways to make your sentences more complex for #ielts writing and speaking. If youโ€™re short on time, watch my video on YouTube - find this and all the examples on my blog:
July 27, 2019
IELTS Reading: Climate change and the Inuit โ„๏ธ๐ŸŒž๐ŸŒŽ
A problem-solution structure with matching headings and gap-fill.
July 18, 2019
IELTS Writing: A gap year ๐Ÿคนโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿฝโ€๐ŸŽ“
Looking at 2 model essays from the General Training test (slightly less formal then the Academic Test). Focusing on developing your points using my 'PEGS' method. Finish with a quick TFNG on the same topic ๐Ÿ˜Š
July 11, 2019
IELTS Reading: Bring back the big cats ๐Ÿ…๐Ÿˆ๐Ÿพ
If you listen to just one podcast this week, make sure it's this one! A fascinating text bursting with IELTS vocabulary.
July 04, 2019
Can I prepare for IELTS in one month?
This episodes encourages you to dust off your 28-Day Planner and use it more effectively. Find all the tips and links on my blog
June 27, 2019
IELTS Writing Task 1: How to make predictions ๐Ÿค–
Comparing Bands 5 to 7 in terms of grammatical complexity when making predictions!
June 19, 2019
IELTS Reading part 1: The history of cinema ๐ŸŽฌ๐ŸŽŸ
Academic passage 1 (good for GT too) all about how cinema developed. Good to learn about this topic (there's a listening about it here!
June 11, 2019
IELTS Writing Task 1: โ›ฒ๏ธChanges to a park ๐Ÿฅ€
This episode gives you 5 clear steps towards a better description of changes (to a town, building, map etc). See the map and the magic in my YouTube video ๐Ÿง™๐Ÿฝโ€โ™€๏ธ
May 31, 2019
IELTS Listening: Neolithic Ireland โ˜˜๏ธ
This episode focuses on the grammar of Modals of Deduction in IELTS Listening. Find a full explanation with practice on my website.
May 21, 2019
28 ways to improve your IELTS Vocabulary.๐Ÿ“•
Check out my website for all of the 28 tips with links ย Get the full vocabulary course in the Members Academy
May 09, 2019
IELTS Process Writing: Converting waste ๐Ÿ’ฉto fuel ๐Ÿ”ฅ
A recent #ielts process (see diagram on my social media accounts or check the website where I found it (
May 02, 2019
IELTS Reading: The history of tortoises ๐Ÿข
A very difficult Passage 3 where a Degree in Zoology might help. Here is the text on the website
April 25, 2019
IELTS Writing: Task 1: The lifecycle of a butterfly ๐Ÿ›๐Ÿฆ‹
How to use YouTube clips to help you describe processes and cycles in #ielts Academic Writing Task 1.
April 25, 2019
IELTS Reading: Reducing the effects of climate change ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ›ถ๐ŸŒž๐ŸŒ‡
Academic Passage 3 Book 11 Test 1 - a really useful text for vocabulary. Also good practice for completing a table and matching researchers. ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ”ฌ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿฝโ€๐Ÿ”ฌ
April 17, 2019
IELTS Reading: Glow-worms ๐Ÿ›
A fantastic reading for vocab. Matching information and T/F/NG questions.
April 15, 2019
IELTS Reading: Hearing problems ๐Ÿ‘‚๐Ÿพ
Speed-reading strategies for texts with 3 or more sets of questions. Book 9 Test 2 Passage 1.
April 11, 2019
IELTS Reading: This Marvellous Invention ๐Ÿ—ฃ
A VERY difficult Academic Reading Part 3 (sorry!). Book 11 Test 4. See also 'How did writing begin?' on my website.
April 04, 2019
IELTS Reading: Stepwells ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ
This is a REALLY interesting Passage 1 Academic (good for GT too). Great for vocab topics (Water and Buildings) and speed-reading practice (just find the dates and names - ignore the rest). Please check on my website soon for the full text.
March 28, 2019
IELTS Listening: Business Cultures ๐Ÿค
Section 4 made up entirely of gap fill! Have a look at all the signals that can help you keep your place
March 21, 2019
IELTS General Training Part 1: Passport Applications and Auckland International Airport Services ๐Ÿ›‚๐Ÿ›„
A quick look at TFNG and a less common type of Matching Headings. Get the full text here
March 14, 2019
IELTS Listening: Nanotechnology ๐Ÿค–
Find out how my mindmaps can help you get over 70% of these answers correct! This #ielts listening Part 4 (Book 10 Test 4) will help you with multiple choice and gap-fill. Find out how to sponsor me and get all the worksheets with a special bonus for the first 100 people to sign up at Thank you for your continued support ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ
March 07, 2019
IELTS Reading: Is there anybody out there? ๐Ÿ‘ฝ Matching Headings
How to match headings quickly using only first lines. See the video on YouTube and get the full text on my website ๐Ÿ‘ฝ ๐Ÿ‘ฝ #ielts
February 28, 2019
IELTS Reading: how to use comparisons in TFNG
To celebrate #motherlanguageday, this difficult Academic Passage 3 gives you some easy ways of filling gaps and recognising 'Not Given'. Find the full text here and please let me know what you think about the new style layout ๐Ÿ˜Š
February 21, 2019
IELTS Writing Band 9 and the 'native speaker' myth โ™ฅ๏ธ
In this episode I talk about my Band 9 writing models and why Band 9 exists.
February 14, 2019
IELTS Listening: Study Skills Tutorial ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿพโ€๐ŸŽ“๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿพโ€๐ŸŽ“๐Ÿ“–๐Ÿ“š
Test Book 9 Test 3 Section 3: Listen to a tutor giving advice to a student about her dissertation and practice listening for signals and Gap fill.
February 07, 2019
How to learn the vocab you need for IELTS ๐Ÿ“•๐Ÿฆ”๐Ÿฆ‡๐Ÿฆ‰
This episode helps you through the vocab you need to learn for the #ielts test. It is based on the hedgehog reading from 2 days ago but shows you how the same topics apply in all parts of the exam.
February 02, 2019
IELTS Reading and vocab: Hedgehogs ๐Ÿฆ”
A difficult Part 3, which I made specially for #hedgehogday on February 2nd to raise awareness of the dramatic decline in the hedgehog population.
January 31, 2019
IELTS Listening: Thor Heyerdahl ๐Ÿ›ถ
Test Book 10 Test 2 Section 3. The life and theories of Thor Heyerdahl.
January 24, 2019
IELTS Reading: Museums of Fine Art ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿพโ€๐ŸŽจ Part 2
A difficult Passage 3 - Multiple Choice and Yes No Not Given. Also a rant about where NOT to get your #ielts practice materials.
January 20, 2019
IELTS Reading: Museums of fine art Part 1 ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿพโ€๐ŸŽจ
A complex and sophisticated Academic Reading Part 3, so I'm breaking this podcast up into more manageable parts. Please come back for the next bit ๐Ÿ˜Š
January 17, 2019
IELTS Reading: Doctoring Sales ๐Ÿš‘๐Ÿ’Š๐Ÿ’‰๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿพโ€โš•๏ธ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿผโ€โš•๏ธโ›‘
Book 6 Passage 1: Matching Headings and Yes/No/Not Given. Get the full text here
January 11, 2019
IELTS Listening: The History of Moving Pictures ๐Ÿ“ฝ๐ŸŽฌ๐ŸŽž
Test Book 6 Test 2 Listening Section 4. Multiple Choice and Gap Fill. ๐Ÿ˜Š
January 05, 2019
IELTS Reading: The Story of Silk ๐Ÿ‘˜
Book 11 Academic Test 3 Section 1 - a chronological structure with gap fill and True False Not Given.
December 30, 2018
IELTS Listening: A social history of London ๐ŸŒƒ
Listening Part 4. Book 6 Test 1. ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿฝ
December 24, 2018
IELTS Reading: Autumn Leaves ๐Ÿ
A tough Passage 2 from #ielts Book 10 Test 3, with matching statements, True/False/Not Given and Gapfill. Get the full Reading on my website Also a 5-minute review of when and when not to sound the 'r' in words like 'leaRn', 'teacheR' and 'ManchesteR aiRpoRt' (see the Advent Adventure, December 18th 2018 for more information. Full course coming soon).
December 18, 2018
IELTS Reading: Beyond the blue horizon ๐Ÿ›ถ
Academic Reading Passage 3. Multiple choice, gap-fill and Yes/Not/Not Given. Full Reading now on my website Downloadable PDF with essential vocabulary in the Members Academy.
December 14, 2018
IELTS Listening: The Dolphin ๐Ÿฌ Conservation Trust
#ielts Listening Section 2.
December 09, 2018
Listening Section 2: An open-air swimming ๐ŸŠ๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธ pool
Multiple choice tricks and synonyms. Key vocab and frequent words. Skip the LAST 5 minutes if you want! ๐Ÿ˜ฌ
December 05, 2018
IELTS Listening: 3 types of distractors you need to know about
This Section 3 has examples of 3 different types of distractors that you need to listen for: โ€˜should have, could have, would haveโ€™ ๐Ÿค”
November 28, 2018
IELTS GT Reading: The Iron Bridge ๐Ÿ›ค
A special request from the Speaking Challenge WhatsApp group! Use the structure of a descriptive/factual/chronological text to help you find the answers quickly. I also mentioned 'How The Pyramids Were Built'. Sorry this isn't on the website yet but will be soon!
November 25, 2018
IELTS GT Reading Staff Benefits ๐Ÿค‘๐Ÿค’๐Ÿง–๐Ÿฝโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿพโ€๐ŸŽ“๐Ÿ‘ด๐Ÿฝ
#ielts Cambridge Book 9 Test A Section 2 Part 2 JLP Retail: Staff Benefits plus useful vocab ๐Ÿ˜€
November 21, 2018
IELTS GT Reading: Dress Codes ๐Ÿ‘”๐Ÿ‘–๐Ÿงข๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ‘‘
#ielts Cambridge Tests Book 9 Test A Section 2. Get the full reading on my website ๐Ÿ˜€
November 21, 2018
IELTS Listening: A public building - Taylor Concert Hall ๐Ÿ›
Part 4 on the topic of architecture.
November 18, 2018
IELTS Reading: How did writing begin? ๐Ÿบ๐Ÿบ๐Ÿบ
On a scale of 1 - 10 in terms of difficulty, this is a 10 sorry ๐Ÿ˜!! So if youโ€™re aiming for a 7/8 itโ€™s worth a listen, but please donโ€™t feel discouraged by it! Focus on the strategy rather than the answers in this example. The questions are perfectly divided according to the text structure (โ€˜problemโ€™/โ€˜solutionsโ€™) (problem = no-one knows; solution = lots of theories).
November 14, 2018
IELTS Writing Task 2: How to get ๐Ÿ’ก ideas quickly
Using the topic of advertising, we look at how to get ideas and how to organise a paragraph for #ielts Writing Task 2.
November 12, 2018
IELTS Reading: Crows and tools ๐Ÿงฐ
Quick tips to help you with the Speaking Challenge followed by a Reading Passage 2 about the tool-making abilities of crows (and what we have in common with them). True/False/Not Given. Get the full reading here
November 07, 2018
IELTS November Speaking Challenge and Reading about a pay rise
It's the first week of the November Speaking Challenge and in this podcast I explain the benefits of taking part, speaking every day, recording yourself and joining the Facebook group! It's never too late to start the Challenge - get your Progress Log on my website or click on this link As for the Reading, this week it's a tricky General Training, with lots of True/False/Not Given questions (it also gives a lot of useful real-life tips on how to get a pay rise!) Get the full Reading on my website
November 04, 2018
IELTS ๐ŸŽƒ Speaking Challenge
An explanation about the โ€˜pinkyโ€™ story, the importance of contractions and an introduction to the November 1 minute Speaking Challenge! #ielts1min ๐Ÿ˜„
October 31, 2018
IELTS Reading: Snake oil ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ
This is a long one and a tough one but really worth spending time on. Matching Headings and True False Not Given. Full test coming soon on
October 28, 2018
IELTS Reading: Differences at work ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿฝโ€๐Ÿซ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿฝโ€๐Ÿซ
Find the full Reading here:
October 26, 2018
IELTS Reading: Tidal Power ๐ŸŒŠ๐ŸŒŠ
This reading gives you practice with matching statements, and it recycles key IELTS vocabulary related to renewable energy. Find the full test and explanations here:
October 23, 2018
IELTS Listening Part 2: A theatre ๐ŸŽญ
Learn how to avoid the traps of multiple choice. Get the floor plan on my website.
October 18, 2018
IELTS Listening: BABY COTS ๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿป
Listening Section 2 about cots, with a little bit of pronunciation thrown in!
October 14, 2018
IELTS Writing Task 2: Do children have too many toys?๐Ÿš‚
Latest episode of IELTS Made Easier
September 27, 2018
IELTS Matching Headings: ๐Ÿ—ฟEaster Island ๐Ÿ—ฟ
August 22, 2018
IELTS Writing Task 2: A Band 9๏ธโƒฃessay!
Listen to this amazing model (not mine!)
July 22, 2018
IELTS Reading: Crop-growing skyscrapers Day 1 ๐ŸŒพ๐Ÿข
Latest episode of IELTS Made Easier
July 12, 2018
IELTS Listening: Changes to a town (Barford) Day 2 ๐Ÿก๐Ÿ˜
Latest episode of IELTS Made Easier looks at matching from a list.
July 06, 2018
IELTS Listening: Changes to a town (Barford) Day 1 ๐Ÿก
This episode looks at tricks with multiple choice questions.
July 05, 2018
IELTS Reading: Johnsonโ€™s Dictionary Day 1
Latest episode of IELTS Made Easier
June 29, 2018
IELTS Writing Task 2 paragraph structures ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿฆ“๐Ÿฆ’๐Ÿ‹
Find the full blog on
June 22, 2018
IELTS Reading: Serendipity ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿฝโ€๐Ÿ”ฌ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ”ฌ Day 1
Get the full text here:
June 13, 2018
IELTS Reading. Serendipity: discoveries in science
Go to to download the practice test first!
June 12, 2018
IELTS General Training Reading Day 2: Business Courses
Latest episode of IELTS Made Easier
May 06, 2018
IELTS Writing Task 2: The arts ๐ŸŽญ
How to deal with โ€˜philosophicalโ€™ questions in Task 2 โœ๐Ÿฝ
April 18, 2018
IELTS Reading ๐Ÿ“–: William Henry Perkin
The man who invented purple ๐Ÿ’œ
March 19, 2018
IELTS Reading: The Great Australian Fence
True/False/Not Given
March 13, 2018
Reading T/F/NG - Quantifiers
March 03, 2018
Listening Sparrowhawks 3/3
March 02, 2018
Listening Part 4 -sparrowhawks
February 28, 2018
Making predictions 3
February 26, 2018
Task 1 S.O.S - making predictions
Task 1: making predictions
February 24, 2018