More bad IELTS tips

I recently published a list of 32 bad IELTS tips. That seemed like a lot, but then I remembered even more bad advice from textbooks, websites and students which I think is worth a mention. Would love to hear other people’s ideas too.

Bad IELTS Speaking Part Two tips

Some IELTS books have completely pointless activities where they get students to draw mind maps as preparation for Speaking Part Two presentations. Interestingly, none of them even pretend that this can be done in one minute, which makes it completely useless in the exam. Worse, it is likely to make students say anything they like about the topic on the card, whereas in fact they have to answer just the four questions on that topic which are given on the card. They should therefore just write brief answers or key words to each of those questions on their scrap paper.

I very occasionally see students going the other way and trying to really save time by writing answers to the questions in their own language, but this is likely to affect their fluency and even possibly accuracy while speaking and so should avoided.

Please share any other bad ideas in this and other parts of the test below.

Many worksheets and articles with better tips here:

Teaching IELTS articles

IELTS games/ worksheets

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3 Responses to More bad IELTS tips

  1. Dave Weller says:

    In China some IELTS prep schools recommend that candidates try and tell the examiners a joke to make them laugh and so build rapport… As an IELTS speaking examiner. I remember hearing the same two or three awful jokes all weekend long!

  2. alexcase says:

    Thanks for your comment. I hadn’t come across that one. On the other side, some students do need telling that there is no such thing as IELTS Academic speaking test, and so casual language like idioms are a good way of showing range of language, and jokes are fine if they come up naturally.

  3. alexcase says:

    Good worksheets for looking at good and bad tips like these in my new book on the topic:

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