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IELTS Test Preparation Tips


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The IELTS English Grammar – Secret of Success

ielts english grammarThe IELTS has two formats of tests, (1) IELTS Academic Test and (2) IELTS General Training Test. Both the formats have four parts, 1) Listening Test, 2) Speaking Test, 3) Reading Test and  4) Writing Test. If a candidate gets to see the study materials of the IELTS Tests, he won’t find the words ‘Grammar Test’, anywhere. But it’s an open secret that ‘Strength of English Grammar’ is one of the major ‘Keys’ of success in the IELTS. It has been observed with surprise that a candidate with ‘Proper Knowledge in English Grammar,’ tries to take the IELTS Tests. The results are obvious, a complete failure. Questions may be asked ‘Is it compulsory to be good at IELTS English Grammar ?’. Anybody having at least some knowledge of the ‘IELTS Tests,’ would answer, without a pause for thinking, “Yes, it is compulsory, one can’t do well without it.”

Beginners might go wrong with grammar while learning a new language. But the IELTS Tests are for the experts not for the beginners. As the IELTS takes tests of proficiency in all forms of the English, Listening, Speaking, Reading, and writing. It does not take to be a linguist; rather anyone would agree with that a language can’t be learned without at least the ‘Basic knowledge of Grammar.’ When it comes to the case of the IELTS, it is a highest standard test. The Band Score at the IELTS Test is accepted in 140 countries and more than 9000 institutions/organizations. Even the Governments of some countries issue VISA, after checking the IELTS Band Score. So it’s not just good knowledge in English, ‘Command over the English Grammar’ is compulsory as well.

While preparing for the test some ‘Key points or secrets’ are to be remembered:

  1. It’s desired that a candidate should write in grammatically right perfect ‘Academic English.’
  2. Especially in the speaking test and the writing test 25% of is responsible for accuracy in grammar.
  3. If the answer of a candidate, contains more than 50%  grammatical errors, he won’t be able to score more than Band 6.
  4. To score Band 7/7+ more than 50% of the answers must be error free.
  5. Candidates are found to lose most of their marks in speaking and writing tests.
  6. Amongst the most common errors are found the wrong use of the article ‘The.’
  7. Amongst some most common errors are the wrong usage of countable and uncountable nouns. For example, the words ‘Information,’ ‘News’ have no plural forms.
  8. In cases of some countable nouns, candidates make mistakes like: ‘Four advice,’ instead of ‘Four advices.’
  9. The problem in using noun-verb agreements are also founded, like: ‘There is some cats playing in the garden.’ The right one should be, ‘There are some cats playing in the garden’.
  10. Some mistakes also get noticed like: ‘He should know how to speak in French’, instead, ‘He should know speaking in French’.
  11. Contractions which are used in spoken English, like Can’t, don’t are not to be used in written form. Write ‘Cannot, Do not’.
  12. Proper use of ‘Punctuation’ matters. Like when one is writing: Moreover there are…. Wrong. Moreover, there are … correct. Likewise, in the case of use of some words, like ‘Firstly, lastly, however,’ use of a pause mark in the form of a comma is a must.

Thus, there are hundreds of such delicate issues to be talked about. How one can even dare to think that without learning these small but invaluable grammatical issues, he can steer clear a test like the IELTS. So what is the way out? How can a person from a non-English speaking country break the barrier of complex grammatical accuracy? Well, of course, there are ways, and its’ not uphill tasks at all. Its’ just looking back to the basics. Any candidate either from English-speaking country or not, English medium background or not must have read the basic grammar of English language in his school. But its’ often found that people ignore the grammar intentionally, or otherwise due lack of proper guidance they keep away from the grammar. It tells havoc when one goes for higher study. Therefore a brief detail on ‘How to polish your grammar skill’ is needed.

Firstly, a candidate should follow good grammar books and learn the basics like the sequence of tenses, punctuation, articles, parts of speech, the formation of sentences, etc. For a serious candidate it’s not a matter of long period at all because he has read all the rules of grammar in his school life but might have forgotten some of them over time due to lack of application. So, when a candidate starts preparing for the IELTS, he must be aware of the fact that his knowledge of grammar should be his strength as it would be responsible for bringing him at least 25% marks. As always the goal is to achieve a high band at least 7 or 7+, one should understand that while polishing his grammar, he should put stress on writing complex sentences with flawless grammar, spelling apart.

Any authentic ‘Grammar Book’ is good enough to provide one with the essence of knowledge in English grammar. Considering the standard of the IELTS test one should also follow a high-level grammar book, where not only rules of grammar are there but also given are the exceptions. Taking help of an Experienced English teacher would be very handy to save time, to achieve perfection and to avoid the frustration of course. Why frustration? If a student opting for higher study/a working professional looking for a great career in an English-speaking country, is asked to go back to the basics, it might be frustrating for him. But surprisingly enough, even Native-English speakers are found to be erroneous with grammar. That’s why the help of an expert is suggested, as he would pick out the ‘Key things,’ that one needs to learn, not the whole book is worth reading.

If one cannot afford to appoint a teacher, no reason to get upset. On the Internet so many blogs and websites are there to provide immensely valuable free to download study materials. One just needs to pick and choose the right websites/blogs. For that, he can read the reviews of the website in concern and select the right one(s) for him. The free study materials are immensely helpful and are subject specific as well. If one faces some specific problems, he can get specific/applicable solutions for that on the Internet. Some more examples can be cited which any candidate should keep in mind.

Though we have already mentioned about how to use the article ‘The’, a few examples might be more helpful.

Some common rules for using ‘The’ are like:

  • When we are talking about ‘Only one thing’ in a particular area, we can use ‘The’: ‘The police caught the thief.’/ ‘The hospital was ransacked by some hooligans.’
  • When we are talking about something which is only one in the universe, we can use ‘The’: ‘On the internet, you will get some valuable tips related to your study.
  • When we use superlatives: This accident is the worst in the last ten years./ The temperature dropped to the lowest degrees on 9th January in 2016

Here are some more examples. In the English language some nouns are uncountable. Hence they should always be in the singular form:

  • He spends huge money for advertisings and foods. {Wrong, it should be advertisement, and food.}
  • All his informations were useless. {Wrong, it should be information.}
  • For scoring high on the IELTS you need to have huge knowledges over the English language. (Wrong, it should be knowledge.}

 

Thus some more words which have no plural forms are: Education, Money, Travel, Happiness, Works and much more. Apart from the examples cited above, there are dozens of more to mention like: using ‘The noun-verb agreement,’ using ‘To + infinite verb’ properly, which article to be used before which noun phrases, etc. An eligible candidate should be familiar with all ‘The rules’ mentioned so far and also he should have the right knowledge of ‘Exceptions’ to the rules as well. After studying the discussions made so far, some might have started thinking, ‘Oh! my God’, it’s impossible to learn so many things, it would take a year or two! But the reality is not as bad as it sounds. For the focused study for the IELTS preparation study materials available on the Internet is adequate. Still, the idea of studying a ‘High Standard’ grammar book should not be neglected. After all, you are not supposed to be ‘experimenting’ with options; your stand makes it or breaks it.


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