What are the difficulties faced while preparing for IELTS

What are the difficulties faced while preparing for IELTS


Answering that question without taking you through a list of difficulties students usually face while preparing for the IELTS Test would do grave injustice to all those reading this. What needs to be kept in mind that you are a unique individual and will face hurdles different from others, therefore, to ease things out for you, I would like to list down possible obstacles that you may encounter while studying for the test

Listening : A section that requires you to multitask, i.e., read the questions, listen to audio, write down the answers and at the same time ensure no spelling mistakes. Sounds a lot to do at first, however, this can be mastered with time, practice and patience. Learn the basics – get used to the various accents, work on your writing speed and handwriting, since this is a paper-pencil test and most importantly – increase your level of concentration – one of the most important requirements because your concentration level determines a good score. If you are not focused enough while listening to the audios, you WILL lose out on a string of answers that will leave you with a low score. Practice at least one test on each day (all 40 questions) since questions like MCQs, Sentence completion, Maps will pose as a challenge initially and may require constant practice. You are allowed to give yourself the leverage of listening to the audios twice, but do not make it a habit. Giving the audios a listen the second time will help you identify the mistakes you made in the first attempt, if any. The score will gradually increase, which means, it would be irrational to expect yourself to score 36+ within the first couple weeks of preparation

Reading : Three passages to be completed in 60 minutes which makes saving every minute all the more essential while attempting this section. Before anything else, it’s imperative that you scan the passage well, this will not only give you a brief outline of the context, but also help in relating questions with the passage in a better way. Next, read the passage well, this time, with the intent of understanding each word. Every small detail given in it, be it the heading, sub-heading, caption, footnote, etc. is to be read because each word will give you information that you will require to answer the questions correctly. As the passages progress, the level of difficulty increases, which means – you will need maximum time for the third comprehension. This is where the difficulties begin! Dividing time between the three passages and making sure to complete all 40 questions within the given time frame. Because you are an individual, the problems faced by you will be entirely different from what others face. However, questions like True, False, Not Given, Flow Chart, Sentence Completion are the most ticklish ones, practice them well

Writing : Requires you to know synonyms, antonyms, etc. Basically anything and everything that assists you with a better vocabulary. Pick up new words everyday, the source, however, could be your favourite T.V show! Make reading a habit, that *always* helps. Make meaningful sentences out of the words you pick up. Now, the writing sections has two tasks, Task 1 – Report Writing (Academic)/Letter (General) – To be written in more that 150 words, anything less will contribute towards a lesser score. Avoid repetition of words… this is where the usage of vocabulary comes into picture, since one of the criteria is Lexical Resource that takes into account the usage of different words. Adhere to the instructions and write a valid answer. Task 2 – Essay Writing – This must exceed 250 words! Putting your ideas and thoughts together to write a good essay can be challenging if the question is not understood. Write a short introduction, mostly involving paraphrase of the question. You will NOT be marked for a copied statement. Support or oppose the view if you have been asked to choose one, or write both positives and negatives if the question demands. Make sure to involve logical examples to validate your claims, this will not only explain your point of view well, but also give you enough material to write, because one can easily fall short for words. Usage of short form or casual words is prohibited. Proof read your answers for better results, a habit that often leads to improvisation of the write ups

Speaking : A form of a personal interview that lasts anywhere between 11–14 minutes during which you are expected to speak and answer the questions well. Here, you are tested on your verbal skills, and you are required to speak slowly and confidently as every word you utter gets recorded for further assessment. A lot of under confident candidates end up answering in monosyllables, which is suicidal! Your answers should be lengthy, in short – be as chatty as possible – at the same time ensuring you stick to what has been asked to speak about. Again, steer clear of repetition of words. If you make a mistake while speaking, correct yourself… this conveys that you know your English well. It’s wiser to practice the questions, all three sections, with someone who has a good hold over spoken English, most preferably a qualified trainer, who can give you an honest feedback, because you cannot possibly assess your answers , unless you record and to listen to them later. However, one usually gets biased towards their responses.

For one-on-one live training sessions with flexible timings, do get in touch at resham@inshore.in

I wish you all the very best!

Resham, IELTS Trainer




How to score a 7 in each section of the IELTS


How to score a 7 in each section of the IELTS

Hello there!

One of the most frequently asked questions, because it is the desire of each student to score higher on the test.

Let me begin by telling you that there are no shortcuts. A test taker has to keep in mind that it is their responsibility to master the language.

A common mistake – Students study only for IELTS

Reality – Studying for IELTS is NOT enough! The most common belief when it comes to preparing for the test is that it is important to study from as many books, and as much study material available, but, in order to achieve the desired score, it is imperative that you get to the core and learn the basics. And by basics I mean two most important features of the English language – Grammar, and Vocabulary. You must give yourself at least two months of preparation time before taking the test because mastering the language is a time consuming process. I often see students not spending enough time with the exam and taking it in a haste and that results in multiple unsuccessful attempts. Getting a higher score on the IELTS Test will require you each section individually, but know the basis of attempting each question is the same. Take time and read the questions, understand them well. Students commonly rush through the questions, missing out the key words that usually lead to the correct answers.

Listening – Read the questions well before the audios begin and then listen to the audios well, multiple times when you begin preparing, because chances are you will miss out on the answers. Listen to the audio again, to identify the mistakes made, but don’t make it a habit.

Reading – The passages need to be read thoroughly. The first step is to scan the passage well, this must be completed within 2–3 minutes. Next, go to the questions, read them well and understand each word. The third step is to read through the passage, this time with an intent to grasp all that it talks about. Go back and forth between the questions and the passage and write the answers.

Writing – The first task requires you to write more 150 words, make sure you write more than the said number of words, anything less than 150 would result in a lower score. Use synonyms, antonyms, metaphors, idioms, etc. This would give you a wider range of vocabulary. The second task is about writing an essay of over 250 words. Read the question properly and follow the instructions. Begin with a short and crisp introduction, paraphrasing the question, followed by detailed description of your thoughts/ideas/opinions. Always make sure to include examples, because you can then convey your views in a much better way. End it with a conclusion

Proof read your answers to avoid spelling mistakes

Speaking – Divided into three sections, the speaking section lasts anywhere between 11–14 minutes. One has to speak clearly and loudly since everything that you say gets recorded for further assessment. Speak slowly, because that gives your mind to think simultaneously. Use good vocabulary and do not make mistakes while answering the questions. If at any point you make a mistake, correct yourself! Do not answer in monosyllables. Your answers must be lengthy and valid

For one-on-one live training sessions with flexible timings, do get in touch at resham@inshore.in

I wish you all the very best!

Resham, IELTS Trainer





Is revision required before taking the IELTS Test


Let me begin by explaining to you the importance of regular practice, since you are preparing for an exam that tests your command over the English language. What you, as a student need to realize is that you will be taking a test of language that involves grammar, and grammar doesn’t require revision, but understanding. Sure, the questions will have to be studied well, and those can be answered correctly only if you have grasped the working of grammar well!

It’s imperative that you complete the Cambridge IELTS series, at the same time not forgetting the importance of what I like to call the building blocks of IELTS – Grammar, and Vocabulary. Once you have mastered these two, there is no need for you to revise all that you’ve prepared. And besides, the test requires religious practice, not mugging! As long as you put in effort to understand the way the questions are attempted/answered, revision can be given a miss

IELTS demands at least two-three hours of practice on everyday basis. Do not set a timeline when you begin preparing for them. Only once you ace the mock tests should you think about booking the date for the test, something that most students do in reverse and end up scoring less that desired/required score.

For one-on-one live training sessions with flexible timings, do get in touch at resham@inshore.in

I wish you all the very best!

Resham, IELTS Trainer



Should re-evaluation be opted in case of a string of low scores in the writing section

Should the Writing Task 1 of The Academic Module of the IELTS involve a Conclusion?

Save the Trees



I will begin by telling you something that I remind all my students at each step – Your answer lies in the question!!

I notice maximum students skipping the very basic, that is, reading the question and understanding it well. I’d recommend that you make this a habit because this will definitely help you score higher. Task 1 of the Academic Writing section is about “Summarizing” the main features of the given Pie Chart/Bar Diagram/Table, etc.

Your answer should consist of

  1. Introduction – Paraphrasing the question (Remember, no marks are given if you repeat the question)
  2. Overview – Explaining the Key features, basically highlighting them. The examiner expects you to write them, or else you will not score above 5 – 5.5.
  3. Body Paragraphs – You can write in two different paragraphs, explaining the key features in detail. Do no forget to include the data given from both the horizontal and the vertical axis.

Avoid repetition of words at all times. One of the criteria your answer is marked on is Lexical Resource, which means you will be tested on your vocabulary. Learn your Synonyms, Antonyms, Phrases, etc. really well. Another very important aspect that you need to bear in mind is the usage of Grammar. Incorrect use of Grammar means a deduction in score!

In the end I would like to reiterate that a candidate is NOT required to write a conclusion because the task is all about synopsising the important features and making comparisons and not writing their views

For one-on-one live training sessions with flexible timings, do get in touch at resham@inshore.in

I wish you all the very best!



Is it possible to get a good score on the IELTS Test in a short span of time?

Hello There!!

To begin with, let me tell you that question is not valid! I will explain this in detail…

As a trainer, I get a lot of queries and students who wish to take training because they hurried up into taking the exam. The very basic understanding of the test is of utmost importance to be able to get a score, to get a good score, however, you need time and patience to be spent with the test, thereby scoring at least 38 on 40 in the Listening & Reading section. The writing will test your grammar and vocabulary, and I call these two the most important features of the English language, and because IELTS is an English proficiency, there is no way you can master these two in a “short” span of time. However, if you are confident about your knowledge in the above said basics, you will next be required to understand the test and the way of handling the questions, and in a way that you get maximum answers correct. A tip that i’d like to give you here is – You answer lies in the question!! … Yes, you read that right! Another most commonly made mistake is not understanding the questions. The instructions are not followed properly and that lead to incorrect responses.

My recommendation to you would be to read enough about the test from the Cambridge official guide, attempt the questions and then jump to the IELTS Cambridge series, these will explain to you the questions in detail and help you getting maximum correct answers. Do Not breeze through the questions, take one section at a time. A period of 6 weeks, to say the least, is required to do well in the mock tests that you’d be taking before taking the test.


How to improve Reading and Writing score

How to improve Reading and Writing score

Hello There!

Improvement is a very subjective term, however when as a trainer I talk about improvement, it usually means anything close to 8 or above! And that is doable, given you put in the right amount of efforts and practice on daily basis. You will have to get invested to reach a level as good as 8 or beyond. Having said that, if you are a student of the Academic module, the score requirement is university specific, but if its the General module that have to appear for, the score requirement is much higher, which automatically means more efforts. But that does not mean it will be a cake walk for those taking the Academic module. The test is taken in the exact same way, except the two sections, that are Reading and Writing.

ReadingTo be completed in 1 hour, 40 Questions to be answered. 3 passages in the academic module, however 3–5 in the General. The difficulty level increases as you progress. Try and complete the first two passages withing 30–35 minutes, because the last passage will be toughest and the most time consuming. Remember, there are no shortcuts! A student must practice from various tests, and I recommend Cambridge IELTS Series for the same. Learn newer words on every day basis because these will help you understand the meanings if you encounter them in the passages. Bear in mind that the questions are always paraphrased, you however will have to use the exact same words from the passage. There is no negative marking on the IELTS Test, but spelling mistakes will lead to deduction of score. Practice your spellings, because this will help you with the remaing three sections. Different questions will have to be tackled with different techniques. A very useful tip here is that your answer lies in the question if you read it careful though. Most of the students overlook the headings and fail to understand what has been demanded of them as an answer and end up writing incorrect answers. Do not read everything, skim through the main ideas, and go through the questions, because if you read slowly, you will end up wasting a lot of time. The Reading section is time based, and if you spend too much on a question, you will lose out a lot of time. with Use the elimination method for questions like List of Headings, that’s because two options out of the given multiple options appear to be the answer. Start by vertically scanning each given option and matching them with the passage/paragraph . Identify the weak areas and work on them. One of the best ways to understand this section is through the Cambridge official guide. I strongly recommend this book since it explains the basic concepts of the exam.

Grammar is a very important aspect of the exam. You must be thorough with Singular- Plural, Tenses, Verbs, Nouns, etc.

Booking the test date may not be a wise move till you score at least 38 on 40.

Writing – 2 Tasks to be completed in 1 Hour.

Task 1 (Academic Module) – This task involves summarizing the main features in the given diagram, that could be a graph, life cycle, table with numbers or percentages. Do not miss out on any of the given features to score good. Avoid repetition or words. Learn your synonyms, antonyms, phrases, metaphors and similes well. These will assist you greatly with improving your vocabulary and beautify your write ups. Use formal language.

Task 1 (General Module) – Write a formal or informal letter, depending on the question. There is no format that needs to be followed. Read the question well, and answer every bullet. Make sure you use the correct forms of grammar.

The first task

Write at least 150 words, nothing less. Can write up to 165, but not more since you will need time in end to read through what you’ve written and because you are time bound, it’s always better to complete the task in a bout 15 minutes.

Task 2 (General & Academic) – This task requires the student to write an essay of more than 250 words, which means they can write up to 260–265 words. Read the question well, understand and follow the instructions. It may ask you to either support or oppose the given statement or both support and oppose in other type of question. If you are, however supporting it, do not contradict yourself and write examples supporting your ideas, thoughts, opinions and views on the matter. Divide your essay in three to four paragraphs, each having a significant meaning and purpose but linked well, shouldn’t present scattered ideas. End your essay in a conclusion that sums up well all that you’ve written. Always read through and correct if any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors

Write according to the following four marking criteria:

  • Task Achievement.(Task 1)
  • Task Response (Task 2)
  • Coherence and Cohesion.
  • Lexical Resource (Vocabulary)
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy

For one-on-one live training sessions with flexible timings, do get in touch at resham@inshore.in

I wish you all the very best!