IELTS Preparation – Academic

ielts preparation

Study Guide

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Welcome to the IELTS academic preparation course. This is the first step towards achieving your goals of studying abroad.

In this course, you’ll discover each of the four test sections and learn key strategies to get through them successfully.

What’s inside

First of all, in the listening section, you’ll learn key strategies for success. You’ll study identify keywords in the audio recordings, how to approach multiple-choice type questions, paraphrasing, and listening for key information.

The skills gained in the listening section will come in handy during the reading section as well. You’ll learn how to identify keywords in texts, skimming and scanning for information, summary completion, recognising facts, and multiple-choice tasks.

Next, the writing section focuses on proper essay structure. You’ll become familiar with academic, or tier 2 vocabulary, how to organise your information, grammar and vocabulary for essays, as well as how to form a clear, cohesive response.

Finally, the speaking section will give you practice sounding natural to native speakers, what vocabulary to use versus what to leave out and how to handle grammar mistakes.

This course comes packed with resources for you to download and practice with. An instructor is available to answer questions in the Social Cafe IELTS group forum and will assess your writing tasks as part of the writing module activities. You will also have a chance to complete a mock test, receiving an example band score letting you know if you’re ready for the real test.

If you’re having difficulty, make sure to reach out to the instructor. They’re happy to help and answer any questions you might have. Your success is important.

Don’t forget to download the study guide to look over and practice when not in the course.

Follow the IELTS preparation – academic course carefully and you’ll be on your way to achieving a Band 8 score or better.

Good luck!

Module 1 - Listening

1
Welcome
1 min 40 sec

Welcome to the IELTS academic preparation course. Over the next few weeks, we'll be going over the different sections of the test and discussing strategies to reach that band 9.

2
Introduction to IELTS Listening
1 min 13 sec

In the listening section of the IELTS preparation course, we'll be looking at 3 main strategies to help you get through and achieve that high band.

3
Introduction to Listening IELTS Preparation
5 min

The IELTS listening section focuses on 3 main skills. these include identifying keywords, recognising paraphrasing, and listening for specific information.

In this section, we'll be strengthening these skills and becoming familiar with the test format.

4
Thought Question
5
Suggested readings and helpful links
5 mins

These resources are helpful reading for anyone preparing to take the IELTS test.

6
IELTS listening keywords
2 mins 43 sec

Keywords are so important in the IELTS listening section. Developing skills to recognise keywords and synonyms are crucial for success.

7
Keywords
10 mins

Being able to identify keywords quickly and easily is essential to performing well in the listening section of the IELTS exam. Many students think they can listen for information in the audio and the right answer will be clear; this is rarely the case. The test will try to trick you with false information and digressions, so it’s important to have a good understanding of conversational language, not just vocabulary.

8
Listening exercise
7 questions

This quiz will test your ability to distinguish keywords and phrases. You can use it as a starting point to assess how much you already know and what you should focus on as we move through the lesson.

9
Personal Assessment
10
Key terms and definitions
20 mins

A list of the key terms and definitions used in this module.

This list contains important words and phrases you should be familiar with in order to understand speakers in the listening section, as well as to recognise in the reading section of the test.

11
Helpful links
12
IELTS listening Paraphrasing
2 mins 20 sec

Paraphrasing is used throughout the IELTS test. This lesson will show you how to recognise it in conversations.

13
Paraphrasing
10 mins

Paraphrasing means to restate something in a different way. It will be used often in the test and is a necessary skill to practice.

14
Short Answer practice
3 questions

Practice listening for keywords and paraphrasing.

15
Personal Assessment
16
IELTS Listening Collecting Data
2 mins 50 seconds

Listening to collect data in the IELTS listening section is an important skill, not just for getting a high band on the test, but for your future studies as well.

17
Listening to Collect Data
5 mins

It’s common in the listening section to find a visual element such as a flow chart or table. You’ll have to listen carefully to get the right answers. 

18
Tips
5 mins

A few quick tips to help you get through the listening section.

19
visual practice
5 questions

Listen to the audio about a library and label the diagram.

20
Listening in Practice
21
IELTS Listening tips
56 seconds

This concludes the IELTS listening section of the academic preparation course. You should be prepared to move on to the reading section.

Module 2 Reading

1
Introduction to IELTS Reading
1:38

Welcome to IELTS reading. This module is the largest in the course because we’ve packed it with all the information you need to get through the section

Most students assume that because they can read English fine they’ll do well, but this section of the test isn’t checking your reading proficiency. It’s designed to see how well you can find information in technical texts, whether you can identify the difference between opinion and fact, and accuracy in understanding.

2
Reading section
5 mins

Like the listening section, the reading section's focus is to test your ability to locate relevant information quickly. 

3
Key Terms and Definitions

This list of key terms is important to know and recognise. You'll see them come up in many different kinds of study materials. Therefore, understanding these terms means you're on your way to performing well on the test.

4
Completing tables
1:54

Visual tasks are common in the reading section. Filling in tables is one of these tasks

You’ll be given a text and a partially completed chart to fill in.

Your first step will be to look at the missing information and decide what keywords you should be looking for.

5
Reading Visual Elements – Tables
10 mins

Tables and charts are an important part of the IELTS test. You’ll be tested on how well you can recognise information and report what you see. This lesson will share some tips on how to do that effectively.

6
Table Completion Practice
5 questions

Practice filling in a table by locating keywords in a text.

7
Personal Assessment
8
Reading Flow Charts
1:24 min

Like tables, flow charts use the same techniques of skimming and scanning to find the missing information

Your first step should always be to look at the questions. Find out what information is missing in the flow chart and take note of things you’re looking for.

9
Reading Visual Elements – Flow Charts
10 mins

Like table completion, flow charts will have you go through the text and find the information that completes the chart. This information will appear in order instead of being scattered throughout the text. 

10
Flow Chart Practice
3 questions

Check your knowledge of flow chart completion with this quick quiz.

11
Personal Assessment
12
Matching Headings
1:28 mins

Matching headings is one of the more difficult tasks to complete

Although you will have to spend more time reading, you still don’t want to read the text from beginning to end.

Again, read the questions first. It’s important to know what information you should be looking for

13
Identifying Information – Matching Headings
14
Matching Headings Practice
1 question
15
Personal Assessment
16
Sentence Completion
1:36 min

Sentence completion tasks are like heading match tasks, but they do require less reading.

This task requires you to match two parts of a sentence, and like the heading task, there are more options than are needed

17
Sentence Completion
10 mins

The matching sentence ending task is like the matching heading task. You’ll be given an incomplete sentence on one side and your task is to find and match the sentence ends. Sounds simple? This is also one of the more difficult tasks on the exam; they’ll often try to trick you with subtle differences. Like the matching heading task, however, there are some simple strategies you can use to complete it quickly and successfully.

18
Sentence Completion Practice
1 question
19
Personal Assessment
20
True False Not Given
1:55 min

This task is common on the IELTS test, and it’s designed to check your ability to find accurate information

The text for these questions is usually pretty short but the information can be difficult to find.

It’s often tempting to assume true or false answers, don’t do this. 

21
Identifying Information
10 mins

The academic IELTS is testing your ability to perform in an academic setting and therefore tests your ability to locate and understand information.

22
Identifying Information Practice
3 questions

Try the True/False/Not Given tasks for yourself.

23
Personal Assessment
24
Summary Completion
1:30 min

Summary completion tasks come in 2 forms matching words and phrases from a given list or finding them in the text

When you read your questions, you should have a good idea of the kind of information you’re going to look for.

25
Summary Completion Tasks
10 mins

There're two kinds of summary completion tasks. In one, you fill in the missing words from a list. In the other, you find the words in the text

26
Summary Completion Practice – word list
1 question

Use what you've learned in these summary completion tasks

27
Summary Completion Practice – words from the text
1 question

Use what you've learned to fill in the gaps on this summary completion task.

28
Personal Assessment
29
Multiple Choice
1:55 min

Multiple choice questions are often some of the easiest tasks to complete

There are 2 types, one where you have to choose one answer from many, and one where you will choose multiple answers from a list

30
Multiple Choice Questions
10 mins

When it comes to multiple-choice questions, they’re usually the easiest task. The answer is there in front of you, you just must choose the right one. You can get through these quickly -often with reading extraordinarily little of the text- which just a few quick tricks.

31
Multiple-choice Practice – one answer
4 questions

Use the strategies from the last lesson to complete the multiple choice task

32
Multiple-choice Practice – more than one answer
2 questions

Now try to find the two correct answers. Use the skills you've learned so far.

33
Personal Assessment
34
Reading Section Summary: How did you do?
5 mins

Let’s summarise the last module. I’m sure you’ve noticed a common element throughout the listening and reading sections, and that’s recognising keywords. This is the best way to locate information quickly, which is important when you’re under a time constraint.

Module 3 Speaking

1
introduction to Speaking
1:10 min

Welcome to the speaking module. Here, you’ll learn key tricks to sound more natural and prepared for the interview portion of the test.

This is a short section of the test, the interview lasts about 10-15 mins and you’re given a cue card to look at.

In this module you’ll learn techniques to sounding more natural when you speak, phrases to incorporate into the conversation, ways to speak more clearly and more.

We’ll also be breaking down the rubric so you know exactly what the interviewer is listening for.

This is a short module. But it is packed with a lot of tips.

2
Speaking section

The speaking section is the shortest in the exam. It lasts between 11 and 16 minutes and consists of greetings and introductions, question and answer and short explanations.

3
Confident Conversation Vocabulary
2:13 mins

It’s hard to show how fluent you are in speaking when you’re nervous. Don’t worry, the examiners know this. Let’s look at a few quick techniques to seem more confident

The first thing you want to do is sit up straight with your hands on the table. This makes you look confident, as well as sound confident. Speak with your head up and feet flat on the floor. It doesn’t seem like much, but it makes a huge difference. Try it.

4
Conversational Vocabulary
10 mins

Conversational vocabulary can make people anxious about the interview portion of the exam. Speaking can be stressful, but with a little practice, this can be the best section to bring your overall band score up. 

5
Replacing Simple Vocabulary
6
Word Match-up
1 question

match the tier 2 words to their simple meaning

7
Tips For The Interview
2:29 mins

The interview is the shortest section of the test. Usually around 10-15 minutes.

Like public speaking though, nerves can make you speak too quickly and end early, you’ll want to avoid that, and know what to expect will help you present yourself well

The interview will begin with general greetings. Remember that this is a formal interview, so avoid using any slang and clearly enunciate your words.

8
The Interview
10 mins

The interview portion of the test can be nerve-racking; it’s important to be prepared so you can remain calm and speak naturally. Easier said than done right? Well, let’s look at a few tips that will help you keep your cool and sound as clear and natural as possible.

9
Speaking assessment
10
How Do I Sound More Natural?
2:18 min

It’s important to sound comfortable using English. You could sound great while you practice and speak with your peers, but if nerves take over in the interview it can really mess things up.

There are a few tricks you can remember to get through this though. We’ve already talked about a few of them, but it’s helpful to reiterate.

11
Sounding Natural
10 mins

The first thing you want to do is make a good impression on the interviewer. You can do this by showing you’re confident in communicating with people. These next few tips will help you show confidence, whether you feel it or not.

12
Speaking assessment
13
Summary
5 mins

The speaking section of the IELTS test is a good opportunity to increase your overall band score if you can sound confident and clear.

Module 4 Writing

1
Introduction to Writing
1:15 min

The writing section can be the hardest for a lot of students. There’s a lot to consider when writing your essays. The time limit and word count can cause a lot of stress. We’re going to be addressing some ways you can easily achieve a high band on these tasks.

2
Writing section Introduction lesson

The writing section can be the hardest for a lot of students.There’s a lot to consider when writing your essays, and the time limit and word count can cause a lot of stress. We’re going to be addressing some ways you can easily achieve a high band on these tasks. 

3
Easy Essay Structure

It’s so important to make sure your writing is well structured. This will make sure the examiner can easily read and understand what you’ve written.

The basic structure for most essays is paragraphs. This simple framework will make sure your essay is cohesive and easily meets the word count requirement.

This structure can be used for both essay tasks. When we look at each individual task, I’ll tell you how you can adjust it fit the task better. But the basics remain the same.

4
Essay Structure
10 mins

Essays are an important part of the IELTS test, especially the academic test. There is a lot the examiners are checking here. There’s an easy way to make sure you’re meeting the criteria laid out in the rubric, and with a little practice, you’ll be writing essays that don’t just get a high band score, but also help you when writing essays in your college or university courses.

5
Simple Essay Form
6
What are Cohesive Devices?
2:18 min

Cohesive devices are words that help you transition from one idea to the next.

They make your writing clear and easy to read and it’s something the examiners are looking for in your essays.

We’re going to look at a few simple words that will enhance your writing and make it sound natural

Knowing what kinds of words, you want to use ahead of time will make it easier to structure your essay. Choose some words that are easy to remember and incorporate into your writing, that way you can be prepared before you even get started.

7
Cohesive Devices
5 mins

These words are used to keep your writing need and orderly. They give your writing direction and make it clear for the examiner to understand your ideas.

8
Essay Cohesion
9
Grammar for IELTS
2:05 min

Most students think grammar and vocabulary are the most important part of the essays. While it’s true it pays a role, it isn’t a large as you think.

Examiners are looking for specific things in each of the tasks. In task 1, they want to see how well you can assess information and express the data in writing.

 Part of that is your grammar and vocabulary, but most of it is clarity.

That said, what you should be focusing on is not difficult grammar rules, but simple grammar structures. 

10
Grammar and Vocabulary
10 mins

Many people focus on grammar and vocabulary when it comes to writing essays. They think they must have a large, academic vocabulary to do well in the IELTS writing section; that’s not the case. While you shouldn’t be using simple vocabulary, you don’t have to learn complicated vocabulary to do well.

Examiners are looking for how well you can express yourself through writing. Large, technical words can make your essays hard to read and there’s a higher risk of using these words incorrectly, which will hurt your band score.

11
Vocabulary match
2 questions

Match the “very” and “really” words to their more interesting synonyms. Make sure to take note of the ones you like best to use in your essays.

12
Task 1 Essay
15 mins

In the task 1 essay, you’ll be asked to look at a visual element and describe the data. This could be a graph, a chart or a table. It’s up to you to decide what you feel is the most important information and communicate it in writing. 

13
Writing Task 1
14
Task 2 Essay
15 mins

The task 2 essay is easier for some students, even though it’s a longer essay. You’ll be asked to write 250 words on a general topic. It’s usually structured as an opinion or argumentative essay. You’ll read a statement and then be asked either if you agree or disagree and to what extent, or to discuss both sides and then state your opinion. 

15
Writing task 2
16
Congratulations On Completing The Course
5 mins

Congratulations on reaching the end of the course. I hope the information you’ve learned here has helped you understand the IELTS exam better and given you confidence in your ability to successfully complete the test. 

Since this is an academic IELTS preparation course, you should be at an advanced level of English before starting. This course doesn't teach advanced English techniques, but the skills necessary to pass the IELTS exam with a high band score.
The lessons in this course are designed to give you all the information you need to successfully achieve a high band score in the IELTS exam. Lesson content, self-paced activities and quizzes, access to live instructors and the community forum make it easy and fun to learn and develop your skills. We encourage you to make use of all resources provided. If you're interested in continuing lessons with one of our live instructors we offer discounts to current and past students to re-enroll in a class or who want to move on to the next level.
We encourage students to communicate any problems they have with us so we can work together to find solutions. Stay in touch with your instructor and let them know if you need help. Our team cares about your success and will offer any help needed. We encourage you to discuss issues with your instructors and if necessary, reach out to the company Founder, Shannon Amaadar, at shannona@kingsenglishschools.com. Don't worry, we also offer a full refund if you’re truly unhappy with the program.

Starting February 25 2021, prepare for the IELTS academic test. Pre-register to make sure you reserve your place.


Shannon's office hours are Monday, Wednesday, Friday - 10am - 12pm GMT+1. This is when you can expect to have assignments assessed and messages answered.

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Duration: 160 hours
Lectures: 52
Video: 1 hour 40 mins
Level: Advanced

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