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IELTS 7

Keys

Time

Module

Total time

strategies

Listening

30

min

 
   

3 parts, finish every part in 15 mins

Reading

60

min

Reading 5 mins, choosing 10 mins

   

Part 2- first in 25-30 mins

Thinking 5 mins, writing 15 mins

Writing introduction and conclusion

Writing

60

min

first(5-10 mins)

 

Body graphs 10 mins

Part 1 second>> 15 mins

Check 15 mins

Reading

A paragraph’s first sentence is usually the main topic sentence, and it gives you a summary of the content of the paragraph.

These are typically nouns, verbs, numbers, or phrases in the question that will probably be duplicated in the passage. Once you have identified those key word(s) or idea, skim the passage quickly to find where those key word(s) or idea appears. The correct answer choice will be nearby

Sometimes a choice will repeat word for word a portion of the passage near the answer. However, beware of such duplication it may be a trap! More than likely, the correct choice will paraphrase or summarize the related portion of the passage, rather than being exactly the same wording

Choosing a right answer

“best looking” answer, which is often wrong.

You only eliminate choices from guessing if you are willing to bet on it.

Always pick the first answer choice among those remaining.

When you have two answer choices that are direct opposites, one of them is usually the correct answer.

When asked for a conclusion that may be drawn, look for critical 'hedge' phrases, such as likely, may, can, will often, sometimes, etc, often, almost, mostly, usually, generally, rarely, sometimes.

This can be a huge help. While you listen, you are free to make notes.

Writing

Report

Never forget:

15 mins writing, 5 mins checking.

150-200 word.

Writing clear and neat.

remember I am writing a report for someone doesn't see the chart

compare the data not just descript them

group the information, similar the trends

Must have

a

Introduction: Say what you're going to Say

b

Body graph: Say it

c

Conclusion: Say what you Said

no new ideas in the conclusion, it should simply restate what you already talked about.

don't use "in conclusion", " to sum up",… it should look like conclusion

Numbers

without

saying that.

a

a

a

a

just over sixty per cent

just over thirty per cent

one in five

one in four one in ten

one in three

fifth

quarter

tenth

third

Countable and uncountable

seventy five per cent

ten per cent

three out of four three quarters

twenty five per cent

twenty per cent

two out of three

two thirds

200,000 - two hundred thousand (When the number is large don’t add ” s”)

a large amount

less and less

a little

many

a lot of

more

a small amount

most

a small number

much

few

no

fewer

none of

fewer and fewer

several

less

the majority of

Sentences formation

the table shows the changes in the number of

over

the period from

to

The table below shows the changes in the number of blacks as a per cent of the total population in ten major cities between 1960 and 1970.

the graph provides some interesting data regarding Comparing and contrasting short term workers with their long term colleagues provides some interesting data regarding risk of cancer and mesothelioma.

the pie graph depicts (that)

this is which describes the trend of

as is shown/demonstrated/exhibited in the diagram/graph/chart/table

as can be seen from the diagram,great changes have taken place in

from the table/chart/diagram/figure,we can see clearly that from the chart that

this table shows the changing proportion of a & b from

or

it is clear/apparent

to

Figure 3 shows the changing proportion of individuals holding vocational level qualifications for skilled trade occupations over the period of 2001 to 2013.

as can be seen from the graph, the two curves show the fluctuation of

over the period from

from then on/from this time onwards

the number of

the number sharply went up to

the percentage of

the figures peaked at

the percentage remained steady at that percentage remained steady until increases began in the 1960s.

sightly larger/smaller than that of

there is not a great deal of difference between

the graphs show a threefold increase in the number of

the situation reached a peak(a high point at) of[%].

the figures/situation bottomed out in The job situation bottomed out in early 1990, and then began a steady climb that lasted for almost a decade.

the figures reached the bottom/a low point/hit a trough.

a increased by

a increased to

high/low/great/small/ percentage.

the percentage of

to

the

remained level.

remained

stayed

steady/stable from (month/year) to (month/year).

the same between

and

in(month/year)

is

and

decreased year by year while

increased

steadily.

a is

times

as much/many as b.

there is an upward trend in the number of As circumstances require, there is an upward trend in the number of employees who take part in various forms of education and training.

a considerable increase/decrease occurred from

figure

from this year onthere was a gradual decline reduction in the of

be similar to

be the same as

there are a lot similarities/differences between

to

from

to

the

rate of decrease slow down.

,reaching a

and

a has something in common with b

the difference between a and b lies in

(year)witnessed/saw

The table/chart diagram/graph shows (that)

According to the table/chart diagram/graph

As (is) shown in the table/chart diagram/graph

As can be seen from the table/chart/diagram/graph/figures,

figures/statistics shows (that)

It can be seen from the figures/statistics

We can see from the figures/statistics

It is clear from the figures/statistics

It is apparent from the figures/statistics

table/chart/diagram/graph figures (that)

table/chart/diagram/graph shows/describes/illustrates how

a sharp rise in

World average food consumption per person has risen by almost a fifth, from 2 360 kcal per person per day in the mid-1960s to 2 800 kcal per person per day today. Over the period to 1997-99, average daily per capita food consumption in developing countries rose from 2 050 kcal to 2 680 kcal (see Annex Table A3).

The proportion of the world's population living in countries with low average food energy intakes has declined dramatically. In the mid-1960s, no less than 57 percent were living in countries with average intakes below 2 200 kcal per day. India and China both came into this category. By 1997-99, although world population had almost doubled to nearly six billion, this proportion had fallen to just 10 percent. Even the absolute numbers - which decline more slowly because of population growth - fell by over two-thirds, from 1 890 million to 570 million.

At the other extreme, the share of the world's population living in countries with average food energy intakes above 2 700 kcal per person per day has more than doubled, from 30 percent to 61 percent. Rapid gains in some of the largest developing countries, including China, Brazil, Indonesia and Nigeria, account for much of this progress. India, however, has yet to move into this category.

閱卷考官經常是不會看那些圖表的,因此文章必須邏輯清晰,如果描述得能令人在腦海 裡勾畫出那個 data chart,這篇 task1 無疑會達到 8 分的水平。開篇的第一句話可以是一 句高度概括性的 introduction(當然開門見山直接描述也是一種寫法);這樣做不僅使 文章更趨於完美,而且可以達到湊字數的目的(但不要照抄題目,除非時間相當緊迫)。 接下來另起一段開始進行描述(根據實際情況 1-2 段),這當中經常要連續使用非限定 性定於從句,從而使得描述過程流暢、清晰。最後也可再另起一段進行簡短的綜述(並 非必須)。上述的任何一個步驟都要遵循

依據現有 data 進行客觀描述的原則,任何推測性或議論性的內容寫得再多、再精彩不 僅不會加分,而且還會成為扣分的因素。

Data description

增加:increase / raise / rise / go up

減少:decrease / grow down / drop / fall

波動:fluctuate / rebound / undulate / wave

穩定:remain stable / stabilize / level off

Beginning

圖表類型:table; chart; diagram; graph; column chart; pie graph

描述:show; describe; illustrate; can be seen from; clear; apparent; reveal; represent

內容:figure; statistic; number; percentage; proportion

Data

一般:have 10%; at 10%; over 10%

最高(低)點:peaked; reached a peak / high point /bottomed out/reached the bottom

變化:recover 略有回升;increase; jump; rise/rose; climbdecrease; fall/fell; drop; decline; reduce

fluctuate 浮動,搖擺不定

remained steady/stable; stay the same; little/hardly any /no change 變化程度: sudden/suddenly 突然的,意外的

rapid/rapidly 迅速的,飛快的,險峻的

dramatic/dramatically 戲劇性的,生動的

significant/significantly 有意義的,重大的,重要的

sharp/sharply 銳利的,明顯的,急劇的

steep/steeply 急劇升降的

steady/steadily 穩固的,堅定不移的

gradual/gradually 漸進的,逐漸的

slow/slowly 緩慢的,不活躍的

slight/slightly 輕微的、略微地

stable/stably 穩定的

表示範圍:from XXX to XXX; between XXX and XXX; for XXX to XXX 多長時間直到

表示程度:almost adv. 幾乎,差不多

nearly adv. 幾乎,密切地

approximately adv. 近似的,大約

about adv. 附近, 大約,轉向,左右,周圍

just over 剛超過

over adv. 結束,越過,從頭到尾

exactly adv. 正確地,嚴密地

precisely adv. 正好 精確地;清晰地

比例:20 per cent 20%

one in three 1/3

one out of every four 1/4

Others

significant changes 圖中一些較大變化

noticeable trend 明顯趨勢

during the same period 在同一時期

grow/grew 增長

distribute 分佈,區別

unequally 不相等地

pronounced 明顯的 average 平均 no doubt 無疑地

corresponding adj. 相應的,通訊的 represent vt. 闡述,表現 overall 總體上講 except 除外

in the case of adv.

in terms of / in respect of / regarding

in contrast 相反,大不相同 in conclusion adv. 最後,總之 in comparison 相比之下 inversely adv. 相反地,倒轉地 in general 通常,大體上,一般而言 range from excessive adj. 過多的,過分的,額外 lower v.降低,跌落 elapse vi.(時間)過去,消逝 category n.種類 government policy 政府政策 market forces 市場規率 measure forecast Synonyms:

describe

reveal

rise

fall

peak

lowest point

remains

fast

slowly

preceded

followed

among

compare

similarly

contrast

in addition

otherwise

的情況下

方面

simultaneously

it is clear that

as much as

considerable less common

Essay

General suggestions

no personal experience

write straight

Don’t overuse connecting words (like However, Furthermore, Moreover, etc) – examiners are watching for you to do that.

check

Structures

Introduction paragraph

A background sentence giving some background information on the essay topic.

A more detailed sentence linking the background sentence to the thesis.

A thesis that presents your point of view on your given topic.

An outline sentence declaring the 2 points you are going to use to support your thesis.

Clear state both side, paraphrase the subject. Redefine the subject. reveal the hidden argument

no opinion is given

Supporting paragraph 1

how the reason has led to this situation, each paragraph => one reason

A topic sentence illustrating the first point you will be presenting to support your thesis (this point taken from your outline sentence).

A sentence showing a real-life example of this topic in action.

A discussion sentence that shows how your example links or proves your topic sentence.

A conclusion sentence that links this entire paragraph back to your thesis.

Supporting paragraph 2

A topic sentence illustrating the second point you will be presenting to support your thesis (this point taken from your outline sentence).

A sentence showing a real-life example of this topic in action.

A discussion sentence that shows how your example links or proves your topic sentence.

A conclusion sentence that links this entire paragraph back to your thesis.

Conclusion paragraph

A summary sentence that briefly states the 2 points you discussed in your supporting paragraphs.

A restatement of your thesis using different words.

A prediction or recommendation based on the topic you have been given.

short is ok, but must conclude all the idea.

Grammar

The

We use the

• with countries or places where the name refers to a group of islands or states: the United States, the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates, the UK

• with superlatives: the best, the longest, the highest

• with cardinal numbers: the first, the second, the third

• when there is only one in the world: the environment, the internet, the sun

• to refer to the only one in this particular area: the government, the police, the river

• in the phrase: the same as

We don’t use the

• with a single country or place: America, England, China

• to talk about something in general. We use the plural if we are talking about

something in general; we use the to identify one specific example. Compare:

People with reading difficulties often have problems with numbers.

The number eight is considered lucky in some countries.

Singular or plural?

We use a plural noun with:

• plural verbs: are, were, have, do, play, etc.: There are a lot of books on the table.

• numbers greater than one: 30 cars, 100 students

• many: It is annoying that so many buses drive past because they are full.

• the number of: The number of buses on our roads has increased each year.

Note that we use a plural noun but a singular verb after the number of.

We use a singular noun with:

• singular verbs: is, was, has, does, plays, etc.: There is only one bedroom in the flat.

• a/an or one: a car, one student

Note that some nouns can look plural but are singular (news, mathematics) and

some nouns have a different form in the plural (children, men, women, people).

Which nouns don’t have a plural form?

• the singular form: food, information, money

• a little / amount of / much / some: How much money do you have?

The amount of traffic on the roads is increasing each year.

• a singular verb: There was already a little furniture in the flat.

If a noun is uncountable, you cannot use:

• a plural form: advices, furnitures, garbages, informations, knowledges

a/an: an advice, a garbage, a knowledge

a few / many / number of: a few shopping, many traffic, the number of knowledge

a number: three travels, four furniture

a plural verb: There were a little furniture in the flat.

If

you want to add a number to an uncountable noun, you can use a piece of /

some / a few pieces of: a piece of advice, three pieces of furniture, a few pieces of garbage

Vocabulary

Prepositions

In

[month / year / morning, afternoon etc]

At

[9 o’clock, 10.30 am etc]

 

from

a point in time]

to…

[another point]

between

point in time]

[a and…

[another point]

during

[a period of time]

 

before

[a point in time or a period of time]

after

[a point in time or a period of time]

by

[a point of time arrived at]

until

[a point of time reached]

 

since

[from a point in the past until now]

Variations

some idiomatic expressions for general ideas

a fair amount of

thereʼs a fair amount of unemployment

a good deal

Young people tend to watch TV a good deal

by and large

By and large, people in my country enjoy watching cricket

as a rule

As a rule, men tend to do less housework than women

nine times out of ten

Nine times out of ten Iʼd read a book before

more often than not

More often than not I ask my wife before

Language bias

Avoid This

Use This Instead

lawyers and their wives

lawyers and their spouses

a

secretary and her boss

a secretary and boss, a secretary and his or her boss

the male nurse

the nurse

Arab man denies assault

Man denies assault charge

charge

the articulate black student

the articulate student

Marie Curie was a great woman scientist

Marie Curie was a great scientist (unless the intent is to compare her only with other women in the sciences)

Christian name

given name, personal name, first name

anchorman

anchor

bellman, bellboy

bellhop

businessman

businessperson, executive, manager, business owner, retailer, etc.

chairman

chair, chairperson

cleaning lady, girl, maid

housecleaner, housekeeper, cleaning person, office cleaner

clergyman

member of the clergy, rabbi, priest, etc.

clergymen

the clergy

congressman

representative, member of Congress, legislator

fireman

firefighter

forefather

ancestor

girl/gal Friday

assistant

housewife

homemaker

insurance man

insurance agent

layman

layperson, nonspecialist, nonprofessional

mailman, postman

mail or letter carrier

policeman

police officer or law enforcement officer

salesman, saleswoman, saleslady, salesgirl

salesperson, sales representative, sales associate, clerk

spokesman

spokesperson, representative

stewardess, steward

flight attendant

Mr. Johnson, the black representative, met with the President today to discuss civil-rights legislation.

Mr. Johnson, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, met with the President today to discuss civil-rights legislation.

Sentences

There are those who say that life is like a book, with chapters for each event in your life and a limited number of pages on which you can spend your time.

It is often said that history is written by the winners

Many commentators are of the view that the world financial crisis will have a significant impact not only on the way banks, corporates and service providers operate in the future but also on where geographically they will prioritise their businesses.

A common opinion is that a girl who is drunk has herself to blame if she gets into trouble.

A

popular belief is that

It

is often said that

One argument put forward is that

It can be argued that

It is generally accepted that My personal view is that

It seems to me that

I tend to believe that

I am of the opinion that

I would argue that In my experience

Naturally,

Evidently,

Generally speaking, On the whole, tends

Typically,

By and large tends may/might/could

Often/frequently/sometimes/usually

What this means is

In other words,

That is to say To be more precise

For example, For instance,

A

good illustration of this is

If

we take an example

Evidence for this is provided by We can see this when One reason for this is The immediate cause of this One of the causes of this is This has resulted in As a result, This has led to On balance, This is a complex issue with no clear answers

If we look at both sides of the argument

Transition words

Addition

also, again, as well as, besides, coupled, with, furthermore, in addition, likewise, moreover, similarly

Consequence

accordingly, as a result, consequently, for this reason, for this purpose, hence, otherwise, so,then, subsequently, therefore, thus, thereupon, wherefore, Generalizing, as a rule, as usual, for the most part, generally, generally speaking, ordinarily, usually

Exemplifying

chiefly, especially, for instance, in particular, markedly, namely, particularly, including, specifically, such as Illustration, for example, for instance, for one thing, as an illustration, illustrated with, as an example, in this case

Emphasis

above all, chiefly, with attention to, especially, particularly, singularly, Similarity, comparatively, coupled with, correspondingly, identically, likewise, similar, moreover, together with

Exception

aside from, barring, besides, except, excepting, excluding, exclusive of, other than, outside of, save

Restatement

in essence, in other words, namely, that is, that is to say, in short, in brief, to put it differently

Contrast and Comparison

contrast, by the same token, conversely, instead, likewise, on one hand, on the other hand, on the contrary, rather, similarly, yet, but, however, still, nevertheless, in contrast

Sequence

at first, first of all, to begin with, in the first place, at the same time, for now, for the time being, the next step, in time, in turn, later on, meanwhile, next, then, soon, the meantime, later, while, earlier, simultaneously, afterward, in conclusion, with this in mind, Summarizing

after all, all in all, all things considered, briefly, by and large, in any case, in any event, in brief, in conclusion, on the whole, in short, in summary, in the final analysis, in the long run, on balance, to sum up, to summarize, finally

Diversion

by the way, incidentally

Direction

here, there, over there, beyond, nearly, opposite, under, above, to the left, to the right, in the distance

Checking list

What to check for

to make a checklist of your own personal mistakes and check for those mistakes.

Grammar

Penalized more heavily for “systematic” errors: these are errors that you make consistently.

Verb tenses: make sure they are consistent and in task 1 that your tenses match the time frame in the graph

Articles: this is something for everyone to check for. Articles are the most common words in English and often go wrong. To get band 7 or over most of your sentences need to be correct: this means your articles need to be correct.

Subject-verb agreement: this means “he does” not “he do”. Even to quite a high level this is a relatively common mistake. The problem being that it is also a basic mistake that examiners will penalise more heavily

Parts of speech: this is another relatively low level mistake that is also quite common particularly with Asian language speakers. Check that you use nouns, verbs and adjectives when you need. This is particularly an issue in task 1 when using trend language (a sharp rise, but to rise sharply).

Range of sentence structures: this one may surprise you, but it is important if you want band 6 or above to vary your sentence structures. It is not enough always to use simple but correct language.

Vocabulary

Repetition: under exam conditions looking for repetition is perhaps the area where a candidate can most improve their writing. It is relatively easy for a candidate to see that they have repeated words and to correct this mistake.

Repetition (2): check that you have not repeated whole phrases and sentences from the question

Spelling: check that you get at least the basic words right

Coherence

Again, this is another area that sometimes does not get checked. You do need to think about this as it accounts for a large part of your mark.

Topic sentences: each paragraph starts with a

topic sentence that clearly

relates to the question

Paragraph development: each paragraph is developed with explanations and examples of the topic sentence. In task 1 this includes having enough detailed information and facts.

Connecting words:make sure that the connecting words you use are accurate. A frequent mistake is to overuse connecting words.

Answering the question

Introduction: check that your introduction addresses all parts of the question

Conclusion: check that your conclusion gives an answer to the question

What not to do

Whatever you do, don’t count the words. That is a complete waste of exam time. If you are worried, count how many words you write in one line and then count how many lines your writing is. (Words like “a” and “an” still count as words).

IELTS is an exam that takes place in 60 minutes, you do not have time to draft and redraft you need skills that are specific to an exam situation.

Summary

Make a checklist of your personal mistakes: you need a teacher/expert user for this

Practise how and when you are going to edit your writing: try different ideas, see what works best

Have an exam strategy for timing: the reason candidates don’t check is they run out of time.

Sample questions

topics

date

“Telecommuting” refers to workers doing their jobs from home for part of each week and communicating with their office using computer technology. Telecommuting is growing in many countries and is expected to be common for most office workers in the coming decades. How do you think society will be affected by the growth of telecommuting? (IELTS to Success)

 

Advances in science and technology and other areas of society in the last 100 years have transformed the way we live as well as postponing the day we die. There is no better time to be alive than now. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? (Focus on IELTS)

 

As most foreign aid often benefits the donor more than the receiver, developing countries should refuse to repay their debts. In what extent do you agree or disagree? (Reading and Writing module)

 

Creative artists should always be given the freedom to express their own ideas (in words, pictures, music or film) in whichever way they wish. There should be no government restrictions on what they do. To what extent do you agree or disagree?(Cambridge IELTS 4)

 

Do young people today make good use of their leisure time? Or do they spend too much time watching television and playing video games, instead of taking part in more productive activities? Discuss. (Focus on IELTS)

 

Education is the single most important factor in the development of a developing country. To what extent do you agree or disagree? (Passport to IELTS)

 

Every country needs to remember its past. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? (IELTS Practice tests with answers)

 

Everyone should stay in school until the age of 18. To what extent do you agree or disagree? sample essay with vocabulary exercises and download

 

Fatherhood ought to be emphasized as much as motherhood. The idea that women are solely responsible for deciding whether or not to have babies leads on to the idea that they are also responsible for bringing the children up. To what extent do you agree or disagree? (Cambridge IELTS 2)

 

Improvement in health, education and trade are essential for the development of poorer nations. However, the government of richer nations should take more responsibility for helping the poorer nations in such areas. To what extent do you agree or disagree? (Cambridge IELTS 3)

In many countries people working in sport and entertainment earn much more money than professionals like doctors, nurses and teachers. Why do you think this happens in some societies and do you consider it is good or bad? (China writing)

In many countries people working in sport and entertainment earn much more money than professionals like doctors, nurses and teachers. Why do you think this happens in some societies and do you consider it is good or bad? sample essay with exercises and download

In many countries schools have severe problems with student behavior. What do you think are the causes of this? What solutions can you suggest? (Cambridge IELTS 4)

In many countries there is a shortage of housing due to a growing population. Some people argue that new towns should be built in the countryside, others argue for the regeneration of cities. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the building new towns in the countryside?

In many countries tourism is a major part of the economy, but it also causes environmental damage and ruins the places it exploits. It is argued that tourists should pay an additional tax to compensate for this damage. Do you agree?

In many countries, children are engaged in some kind of paid work. Some people regard this as completely wrong, while others consider it as valuable work experience, important for learning and taking responsibilities. Discuss. (Cambridge IELTS 3)

In the future, we will have more and more leisure time as machines replace many of the tasks we do at home and work. Discuss the benefits this will bring and also the problem it will cause. (Academic writing practice)

In the modern world car ownership is regarded as a right. However, some argue that governments should try to reduce the number of cars on the road by improving public transport, as the growing number of cars on the road causes traffic congestion and pollution. Discuss

It is commonly thought that it is healthy for adults to maintain an outside interest in order to relax or stay fit. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of 3 of the following sports and pastimes:

It is said that travel broadens the mind. What can we learn by travelling to other countries? Should we first explore our own countries? Discuss.

Many old buildings are protected by law because they are part of nation’s history. However, some people think old buildings should be knocked down to make way for new ones because people need houses and offices. How important is it to maintain old buildings? Should history stand in the way of progress?

Many universities charge higher fees for foreign students. Why do they do this? Do you believe that it is fair?

Modern lifestyles mean that many parents have little time for their children. Many children do not get as much attention from their parents as children did in

the past. To what extent do you agree or disagree? (China writing) See my sample essay for useful vocabulary.

More and more qualified people are moving from poor to rich countries to fill vacancies in specialist areas like engineering, computing and medicine. Some people believe that by encouraging the movement of such people, rich countries are stealing from poor countries. Others feel that this is only part of the natural movement of workers around the world. Give your opinion. (Academic writing practice)

Most countries spend a large amount of money in weapons to defend themselves though they are not at war. They should spend money to help the citizens in poor and disadvantaged countries. Discuss. (China writing)

News editors decide what to broadcast on television and what to print in newspapers. What factors do you think influence these decisions? Do we become used to bad news? Would it be better if more good news was reported? Discuss. (Cambridge IELTS 1)

Newspapers and books are outdated. Why do some people believe this? What is your opinion? (sample essay with exercises and download)

One of the major problems facing the world today is the growing number of refugees. The developed nations in the world should tackle this problem by taking in more refugees. To what extent do you agree with this opinion? sample essay with advice to download

People are now living longer than ever before and many old people are unable to look after themselves. Some people believe that it is the responsibility of families to look after the elderly, while others say governments should provide retirement homes for them where they can be looked after properly. Discuss.

Popular events like the football World Cup and other international sporting occasions are essential in easing international tensions and releasing patriotic emotion in a safe way. To what extent do you agree or disagree? (Cambridge IELTS 3)

Should museums and art galleries be free of charge for the general public, or should a charge, even a voluntary charge, be levied for admittance? Discuss this issue, and give your opinion. (see my sample essay)

Should wealthy nations be required to share their wealth among poorer nations by providing such things as food and education? Or is it the responsibilities of the governments of poorer nations to look after their citizens themselves? (Cambridge IELTS 1)

Some employers reward members of staff for their exceptional contribution to the company by giving them extra money. This practice can act as an incentive for some but may also have a negative impact on others. To what extent is this style of management effective? Are there better ways of encouraging employees to work hard?(IELTS Practice Plus)

Some people argue that the government should give every unemployed person a mobile phone and should make sure they have access to the Internet. They believe this is the best way of using public money to reduce the problem of unemployment. To what extent do you agree or disagree? (Focus on IELTS)

Some people argue that universities should provide students with more practical

training for their future career. Should university education be more vocational or academic. Discuss

Some people believe in the traditional idea that the woman’s place is in the home, while others say that idea is outdated and that women should play an increasingly important role in the workplace of the future. What is your opinion?

Some people believe that the media, such as the press, TV and Internet should be more strictly controlled. Others feel that controls should be loosened to give people freer access to information.To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Some people prefer to live in a house, while others think that there are more advantages living in an apartment. sample essay with vocabulary exercises and download

Some people say that the Internet is making the world smaller by bringing people together. To what extent do you agree that the internet is making it easier for people to communicate with one another?

Some people say the government should not put money in the arts, such as music, opera and paintings, but instead should spend money on construction of public facilities. In what extent do you agree or disagree? (China writing)

Space exploration requires vast sums of money. Is the amount of money spent on space research justifiable? Could the money be better spent? (see my sample essay)

Subjects such as Art, Sport and Music are being dropped from the school curriculum for subjects such as Information Technology. Many people children suffer as a result of these changes. To what extent would you support or reject the idea of moving these subjects from school curriculum? (IELTS Practice tests with answers) sample essay with vocabulary exercise and download

Technology can bring many benefits, but it can also cause social and environmental problems. In relation to new technology, the primary duty of governments should be to focus on potential problems, rather than benefits. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? (Model tests for the IELTS)

Television has had a significant influence on the culture of many societies. To what extent would you say that television has positively or negatively affected the cultural development of your society? (see my sample essay)

The best way to solve the world’s environmental problems is to increase the cost of fuel. To what extent do you agree or disagree? (China writing) sample essay with vocabulary exercises and download

The government should control the amount of violence in films and on television in order to decrease the violent crimes in society. In what extent do you agree or disagree? (China writing)

The idea of having a single career is becoming an old fashioned one. The new fashion will be to have several careers or ways of earning money and further education will be something that continues throughout life. To what extent do you agree or disagree? (Cambridge IELTS 1)

The increasing role of English in the world today means that the learning of other languages is being neglected. This will have serious results for the continued use of these languages, and of their cultures. To what extent do you agree or

disagree? (Essay Writing)

The position of women in society has changed markedly in the last twenty years. Many of the problems young people now experience, such as juvenile delinquency, arise from the fact that many married women now work and not at home to care for their children. To what extent do you agree or disagree? (Cambridge IELTS 2)

The threat of nuclear weapons maintains world peace. Nuclear power provides cheap and clean energy. The benefits of nuclear technology far outweigh the disadvantages. Do you agree or disagree? Give reasons for your answer. (see my sample essay with commentary)

The world is consuming natural resources faster than they can be renewed. Therefore, it is important that products are made to last. Governments should discourage people from constantly buying more up to date or fashionable products. To what extent do you agree with this statement? (Model tests for the IELTS)

There are many different types of music in the world today. Why do we need music? Is the traditional music of a country more important than the international music that is heard everywhere nowadays? Discuss. (Cambridge IELTS 1)

Unemployment is one of the most serious problems facing developed nations today. What are the advantages and/or disadvantages of reducing the working week to thirty five hours? sample essay with vocabulary exercises and download

We live today in an electronic information age. It is easier to be connected by technology yet many people seem no closer to feeling happy in their lives. In what extent do you agree or disagree. (IELTS on Track)

When a country develops its technology, the traditional skills and ways of life die out. It is pointless to try and keep them alive. To what extent do you agree or disagree? (Cambridge IELTS 3)

Young drivers are careless and overconfident, and too many are killed in accidents. To eliminate this problem, we could teach children the skills of safe driving while they are at school. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? (IELTS Practice tests with answers)

Young people are said to have lost many of the traditional values of the older generation. This does not matter, because the old values have no relevance in the modern world. We need to develop a whole new set of values. In what extent do you agree or disagree? (Essay Writing)

Speaking

Confidential

Not to be distributed.

Minutes Presentation Topics:

1. Favorite personality

2. Favorite game

3. Ideal life

4. City

5. Country

6. Tv play

7. Movie

8. Child

9. Your mother

10. Your father

11. Favorite uncle

12. Favorite aunt

13. Best moment in life

14. Biggest achievement

15. Unforgettable incident

16. Leader

17.Advantages and disadvantages of shopping

18. Book

19. Novel

20. Wife

21. Husband

22. Your dream life

23. Passion in life

24. Best teacher

25. Best traveling experience

Part 2 Topic Card

1. Describe a museum

1) How often do you visit the museum? 2) Which type of museum is popular in your country? 3) Why do you want to visit the museum?

Follow-up:

What do you think of the importance of museums in history? How do you think of the heritage of a country? Compare the museums nowadays and in the past

1) Where was the photo taken? 2) Who took the photo? 3) What can be seen from the photo? 4) Explain why it is the favorite photograph for you.

Follow-up:

How to take good photo? When do people use camera? How can the new technology put cinema’s skill advanced?

3. The important historic place

1) What is the place? 2) Where is it located? 3) Why do you think it is important?

Follow-up:

What do you think of the historic place in the future? Will the government increase or decrease the safety guard? What are the changes to the local people and economy? What is the impact on the historic place by tourists

4. Describe a party

1) What is the party? 2) Why was the party held? 3) Who attended the party? 4) What did you do for that party?

Follow-up:

What’s the difference between serious party and friendly party? Why are some people late for parties intentionally? Why do some people like party while others hate it? What would you do if the guests feel bored? Will there be more and more people to attend parties?

5. Describe a subject taught in your school?

1) Who teaches it? 2) How is it taught? 3) What do you learn from the class?

Follow-up:

Is there any difference between the traditional and modern educational systems? What are the pros and cons of the current educational system in your country? Do you think it is necessary to give comment or criticism to teachers?

6. What is the important invention before the age of computer?

1) What is the invention? 2) Why do you think it is very important? 3) What are the advantages and disadvantages of the invention?

Follow-up:

What is the significant impact of modern inventions on life? Which skills do you want to study in the future? Do you think it’s necessary to develop modern invention in the countryside?

7. Describe a foreign country you have never been to

1) Where is the country? 2) When will you go there? 3) Why would you like to go there?

Follow-up:

Say something about the tourism development in China, facility, services and the effect

on environment.

What is the importance of travel and tourism industry?

What do you think the function of tourist guides?

8. Describe your favourite movie

1) What’s the name of the film? 2) What’s the theme of the film? 3) Why do you like it?

Follow-up:

Describe a type pf movie you like. What’s the difference between Chinese and American movies? What do you think of the violent films (Hollywood films)? Why movies need computer techniques? Any example of movie using computer

techniques

Which parts of cinema are the most important and how to improve it?

9. Describe a newspaper or magazine

1)What’s your habit for reading?

2) What are the benefits of reading?

3) What's the main difference between newspaper and magazine?

Follow-up:

What do you think the important qualities for a news reporter? What’s the function of a report to the society? What kinds of books/newspapers/magazines do Chinese adolescents read? With the popularity of Internet, do you think newspapers and magazines will disappear?

10. Describe a children’s game (sports not suggested)

1) How is it played? 2) What can you learn from the game? 3) What impact does it bring on your growth?

Follow-up:

What do you think of the benefits of children’s games? Nowadays children have less and less time for game, what do you think about it? What do you think the difference between games nowadays and in the past? What’s the negative aspect of games?

11.

Describe a happy event in your life?

1) When did it happen? 2) Where did it happen? 3) What was it?

Follow-up:

Tell me how you organize your study time? What do you think is important in achieving happiness? How do Chinese celebrate some happy events? What do the camera and video play in celebrating?

12. Describe a thing which is important to you

1) Who gave it to you? 2) What is the thing? 3) What does the thing mean to you?

Follow-up:

What are the changes of city between now and past? Does money represent happiness and why? How do you regard as the things people want to earn?

13. Describe one of your neighbours

1)When did you become neighbours?

2) Do you often meet?

3) State whether your neighbour is a good one

Follow-up:

What is the difference between neighbours and friends? Why do people like to watch TV serials in their houses? How do you think of the relationship in the city? How to improve the neighbourhood?

14. Describe one of the shopping centers you often go to

1) Where is the shopping center? 2) How often do you go to the center? 3) Why do you often go to it and its characteristics?

Follow-up:

Will smaller shops survive in the current business system? What are the characteristics of shopping malls and smaller shops and their difference? What is the trend of future shopping centers? Talk about Internet shopping

15. Describe your favourite animal

1) What kind of animal is it? 2) Describe it briefly 3) Why do you like the animal?

Follow-up:

What do you need to do to take care of it? What’s the future trend of the animal? How do you think of the poaching of some precious animals such as pandas

16. Describe a historical place

1) What is the place? 2) Where is it located? 3) What is the historical meaning of the place?

Follow-up:

What do you think of the future trend of historic places? Will government strengthen its protection toward historic places? What are the changes brought about by the historic place in local economy, people, etc? What is the effect of tourists on the place?

17. Advertisement

1) What are the forms of advertisement? 2) What are the functions of advertisement? 3) What is the effect of advertisement to people?

Follow-up:

Do you feel bored and disgusted about advertisement? What do you think are the criteria of assessing a good piece of advertisement? What will happen if unauthoritative advertisements prevail in the market?

18. Describe an important letter

1) When did you receive the letter? 2) From whom did you receive the letter? 3) Explain the reasons why it is important

Follow-up:

What is the significance of handwriting? Does your country have handwriting lesson now? Compare the handwriting now and past With the popularity of computers and Internet, will people lose their ability to write letters?

19. Describe the best present you have received

1) Who sent it to you? 2) When did you receive it? 3) Detailed information about the present

Follow-up:

Do you think that present giving will play an important role in Chinese daily life? Why? Do you think that the brand name is very important for sales? In terms of the media, which do you think will play a main role in present giving,

television, newspaper or Internet?

1) Where do you go for the holidays and how long do them last? 2) Who do you go with? 3) Talk about any interesting things happening during your holidays

Follow-up:

What do the Chinese people mostly do in their leisure time?

What's the difference between holidays today and 5 years ago and the reasons for the change?

Do you think people will spend more time on leisure or working in the future?

ARTICLES

Happiness is like a pebble dropped into a pool to set in motion an ever-widening circle of ripples. As Stevenson has said, being happy is a duty.

There is no exact definition of the word happiness. Happy people are happy for all sorts of reasons. The key is not wealth or physical well-being, since we find beggars, invalids and so-called failures, who are extremely happy.

Being happy is a sort of unexpected dividend. But staying happy is an accomplishment, a triumph of soul and character. It is not selfish to strive for it. It is, indeed, a duty to ourselves and others.

Being unhappy is like an infectious disease. It causes people to shrink away from the sufferer. He soon finds himself alone, miserable and embittered. There is, however, a cure so simple as to seem, at first glance, ridiculous; if you don’t feel happy, pretend to be!

It works. Before long you will find that instead of repelling people, you attract them. You discover how deeply rewarding it is to be the center of wider and wider circles of good will.

Then the make-believe becomes a reality. You possess the secret of peace of mind, and can forget yourself in being of service to others.

Being happy, once it is realized as a duty and established as a habit, opens doors into unimaginable gardens thronged with grateful friends.

The love of beauty is an essential part of all healthy human nature. It is a moral quality. The absence of it is not an assured ground of condemnation, but the presence of it is an invariable sign of goodness of heart. In proportion to the degree in which it is felt will probably be the degree in which nobleness and beauty of character will be attained.

Natural beauty is an all-pervading presence. The universe is its temple. It unfolds into the numberless flowers of spring. It waves in the branches of trees and the green blades of grass. It haunts the depths of the earth and the sea. It gleams from the hues of the shell and the precious stone. And not only these minute objects but the oceans, the mountains, the clouds, the stars, the rising and the setting sun---all overflow with beauty. This beauty is so precious, and so congenial to our tenderest and noblest feelings, that it is painful to think of the multitude of people living in the midst of it and yet remaining almost blind to it.

All persons should seek to become acquainted with the beauty in nature. There is not a worm we tread upon, nor a leaf that dances merrily as it falls before the autumn winds, but calls for our study and admiration. The power to appreciate beauty not merely increases our sources of happiness---it enlarges our moral nature, too. Beauty calms our restlessness and dispels our cares. Go into the fields or the woods; spend a summer day by the sea or the mountains, and all your little perplexities and anxieties will vanish. Listen to sweet music, and your foolish fears and petty jealousies will pass away. The beauty of the world helps us to seek and find the beauty of goodness.

Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose.

From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men above all for those upon whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends, and also for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day I realize how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labors of my fellowmen, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received. My peace of mind is often troubled by the depressing sense that I have borrowed too heavily from the work of other men.

I do not believe we can have any freedom at all in the philosophical sense, for we act not only under external compulsion but also by inner necessity. Schopenhauer’s saying— “A man can surely do what he wills to do, but he cannot determine what he wills”—impressed itself upon me in youth and has always consoled me when I have witnessed or suffered life’s hardships. This conviction is a perpetual breeder of tolerance, for it does not allow us to take ourselves or others too seriously; it makes rather for a sense of humor.

To ponder interminably over the reason for one’s own existence or the meaning of life in general seems to me, from an objective point of view, to be sheer folly. And yet everyone holds certain ideals by which he guides his aspiration and his judgment. The ideals which have always shone before me and filled me with the joy of living are goodness, beauty, and truth. To make a goal of comfort or happiness has never appealed to me; a system of ethics built on this basis would be sufficient only for a herd of cattle.

A man may usually be known by the books he reads as well as by the company he keeps; for

there is a companionship of books as well as of men; and one should always live in the best company, whether it be of books or of men.

A good book may be among the best of friends. It is the same today that it always was, and it

will never change. It is the most patient and cheerful of companions. It does not turn its back upon us in times of adversity or distress. It always receives us with the same kindness;

amusing and instructing us in youth, and comforting and consoling us in age.

Men often discover their affinity to each other by the mutual love they have for a book just as two persons sometimes discover a friend by the admiration which both entertain for a third. There is an old proverb, ‘Love me, love my dog." But there is more wisdom in this:" Love me, love my book." The book is a truer and higher bond of union. Men can think, feel, and sympathize with each other through their favorite author. They live in him together, and he in them.

A good book is often the best urn of a life enshrining the best that life could think out; for

the world of a man's life is, for the most part, but the world of his thoughts. Thus the best

books are treasuries of good words, the golden thoughts, which, remembered and cherished, become our constant companions and comforters.

Books possess an essence of immortality. They are by far the most lasting products of human effort. Temples and statues decay, but books survive. Time is of no account with

great thoughts, which are as fresh today as when they first passed through their author's minds, ages ago. What was then said and thought still speaks to us as vividly as ever from the printed page. The only effect of time have been to sift out the bad products; for nothing

in literature can long survive e but what is really good.

Books introduce us into the best society; they bring us into the presence of the greatest minds that have ever lived. We hear what they said and did; we see the as if they were really alive; we sympathize with them, enjoy with them, grieve with them; their experience becomes ours, and we feel as if we were in a measure actors with them in the scenes which they describe.

The great and good do not die, even in this world. Embalmed in books, their spirits walk abroad. The book is a living voice. It is an intellect to which on still listens.