Improve your IELTS band by working on Speaking skills

Many students fear speaking section in IELTS. This is not because they have poor Language skills but because they have not practiced will. Here are few pointers for the speaking test of IELTS.

  • Get familiar with the British accent.

Try to reduce your local accent. Correct pronunciations and intonations are very important to deliver your speech clearly; it affects overall band score. It’s a fact that ¼ of your Band score depends on how you pronounce English words. The trouble is, we are more concerned with what we say, than how we say it. We rarely give our pronunciation a second thought, even though the way we pronounce words can make a perfect sentence sound like nonsense.

  • Go through the list of recent exams and familiarize yourself with the latest questions.

The best chances to get the same questions as before are good. So make it a habit of practicing at least one topic every day. Work on different answers to the same question. This will help you during the interview, in case an unfamiliar topic is asked, you will be able to come up with an answer quickly.

  • If you don’t understand the question do not hesitate to ask.

This is a speaking test and not a listening test. If you don’t understand the question, request the examiner to repeat or explain it. It would not be that affecting to your score. If you try to answer a question you do not understand, you will almost certainly become incoherent which definitely will affect your score.

  • Do not use hi-fi language.

In an attempt to do so students sometimes use incorrect or unrelated words, which is a mistake. Also in doing so they spend time trying to think of words due to which they do not sound fluent.

There are many more tips that can help you to increase your band score. Tune in every Wednesday to know more.

Have Great Evening!!!

When to use accept and except?

People seem to use these two words almost interchangeably. Let’s have a look at these two confusing words.

Accpet

Origin of this word from ad/ac + capio (to take) from Latin accepto (receive)

Verb

  1. To take or to receive
  2. To agree or to consent
  3. To respond or answer affirmatively
  4. To undertake the responsibility
  5. To receive or admit formally
  6. To accommodate
  7. To regard as true

How to use it?

  1. I hope you accept this by the time the baby is born.
  2. Give her a little time to accept the idea.
  3. Maybe she should accept a few dates now and then.
  4. He knew she would accept his family – unconditionally.
  5. With regret, she realized her father was right: no one could accept someone like her.

Except

It originates from exceptus (Latin)

Preposition

  1. used to indicate exclusion of something.

How it is used?

  1. There were all there except me.
  2. They didn’t have anything she didn’t possess – except
  3. Used to imply only
  4. Otherwise then

Conjunction

How it is used?

  1. I don’t believe in catch-and-release except if the fish is simply too small.
  2. well fortified except here

Three way to start thinking in English

You have been studying English for years. So why don’t you feel comfortable speaking in real conversations? Why is it that you can pass the TOEFL exam, but you keep freezing when it comes to speaking? Why do you still translate your native language into English in your mind before you speak?

Over the past few months I have spoken with many English learners to try to understand the biggest challenges that English students have. I found that “not being able to think in English” is one of the biggest challenges. If you are facing this problem, here are three steps to overcome it!

Learn words and phrases related to situations

Many people are lead to believe that good vocabulary is hard to come by. In order to speak you don’t need to understand every word of Shakespeare. Try to imagine everyday situations and learn few words related to it. For instance, if you are going for a movie, you should be able to explain him which popcorn flavours you would like to buy? Would you like a grilled or toasted sandwich? If you are a barber shop you should explain you want hair dressed short or just trimmed in shape?

Listen to good English via news, radio or movies

One of the main problems with non-native English speaking population is they are not exposed to good English. Hardly anybody around speaks commendable English. Listen to good English. You can subscribe to good news and documentary channels on television or YouTube. You can also subscribe to some of the radio channels which air really good shows. If you get bored and Hollywood excites you, watch movies which have quality English. These listening habits will automatically make you recall few clips in your mind which will definitely help you.

Spare few minutes to think in English

Before going to bed make it a point to spend some time thinking about how you spent your day. But make sure you are thinking in English. This will not only help you improve your speaking skills but help you plan your daily activities effectively.

Confusions with weather, whether and climate

Weather

Weather finds its origin in old English weder.

Noun

  1. The short term state of the atmosphere at a specific time and place, including the temperature, humidity, cloud cover, precipitation, wind, etc.
  2. It is also used to describe a strong wind and/or storm
  3. Also used to describe changes or vicissitudes in one’s fortunes

How it is used?

  1. The weather is supposed to be nice this weekend.
  2. With so many people in their house, it was fortunate that the weather was warm and dry so they could utilize the courtyard for the children.
  3. She remained a good friend in all weather.
  4. to expose to the weather; to withstand weather
  5. to discolour,disintegrate,or affect injuriously,as by the effects of weather
  6. to bear up against and come safely through(a storm,danger,trouble,etc)

Verb

How it is used?

  1. A XYZ company weathered losses before marketing their new product.
  2. These stones have weathered for centuries.
  3. She weathered a severe illness before she could participate in school sports activities.

Confusion with Whether

Whether is a conjunction used in English, to introduce the first of two or more alternatives.

  1. Used before the second or later alternative,usually with the correlative

“It matters little whether we go or stay. Whether we go or whether we stay, the result is the same.”

  1. Used as implied or understood, or some clause or element not  involving alternatives

“I doubt whether we can do it any better.”

Should you use climate or weather?

Climate is composite or generally prevailing weather conditions of a region, throughout the year, averaged over a series of years. Hence, in order to describe short period of atmospheric conditions use weather whereas, to describe atmospheric conditions over period of time use climate.

Climate is also used to describe a particular region and hence can be used as “I moved to much warmer climate”.

Word of the day: Belligerent

Belligerent

Origin of the word can be traced back to Italy. It comes from bellum (war) + gero (I lead or wage)

When used as adjective Belligerent means warlike.

  1. Belligerent speech
  2. Recently created situation by Pakistan because of cease firing, can be termed as Belligerent

When used as noun it can be used to denote state or nation at war.

Belligerent

How it is used?

  1. His belligerent attitude toward car driving became the reason for this thought provoking drama.
  2. She ignored him and he was going to pay for his belligerent
  3. It is belligerent nationalism that is haunting South Asia for 50 years.

Grammar in TOEFL

Grammar in TOEFL

Although ETS doesn’t test you on grammar, your grammar will be obvious in your speech and writing. Using a wide range of different grammatical constructions enriches your language.

According to ETS, a student should “demonstrate effective use of grammar” and “exhibit a high degree of automaticity, with good control of basic and complex structures.”

In each of the six tasks in the speaking section, you have to express your ideas on a given topic for one minute. Though time is short, you rather be able to speak confidently, expressing your ideas clearly and without obvious grammatical errors. Writing your essay you’ll have another chance to demonstrate your grammar abilities. This section is one which “displays consistent facility in the use of the language, demonstrating comfort with various syntaxes, appropriate word choice and idioms, though it may have minor lexical or grammatical errors.”

Studying Grammar

  1. At first test your grammar through mock tests to define what you know well and what you should review or learn.
  2. Having identified a difficult area of grammar, select reliable materials (books, CDs etc.) to study. Better is from EST TOEFL Official Guide.
  3. Firstly, read and understand the rules for the grammatical structure you’ve chosen to learn. Make a brief note of the rules.
  4. Complete one of the exercises. Look into the Answer Key. Check your answers; analyze mistakes and points you couldn’t understand before.
  5. Write down any sentences that clearly demonstrate the use of the grammatical structure. Try to understand and remember them.
  6. Having understood how the grammatical structure is used, refer to a book, a magazine or a newspaper and find examples of the structure in a real piece of writing.
  7. Revise the grammatical structure frequently for 1-2 weeks. Try to use it correctly while speaking and writing.

10 Tips to Improve Your TOEFL Essays

Through experience we have found that there are many ways to improve your TOEFL writing by just applying common sense. You don’t need studying at all.

  1. Precise answer to the question

    It is found that students write irrelevant matter. For instance, other’s opinions are written when asked for student’s opinion. Your grammar may be perfect and your ideas may be great. Even so, if you don’t answer the TOEFL question, none of that matters. So, concentrate on answering the question well first.

  2. Simplify sentences

    Many people are found overly eager to use recently mugged up GRE words. Good writers express complex ideas in a very simple way. If you are able to do this, you will demonstrate strong writing skills. More importantly, short and simple sentences means fewer grammatical mistakes.

  3. Everything has a beginning, a middle, and an end

    Concentrate on formal essay structure rather than pulling of a radical writing strategy. Your essay should have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. This structure helps organize your thoughts and easier to organize them in short time.

  4. Use topic sentences and narrate it

    A topic sentence is the first sentence of each paragraph in the essay’s body. Narrate it in your own words. It gives the evaluator two things: 1) a summary of what will be in the paragraph, and 2) an impression that the student has understood the topic well.

  5. Thesis statement

    The thesis statement is last sentence in the first paragraph (the introduction). It is the most important statement of your essay. It tells the reader exactly what your opinion is. I will help you bolster your structure.

  6. Do not begin with conjunction

    conjunctions are used to connect sentences-we almost never begin a sentence with one. The, but, and because are all conjunctions.

  7. Learn how to use the comma

    Using the comma correctly will give your writing its intended meaning. Learn the rules for using them in English as evaluator shall read the same sentence you wanted write.

  8. Be active

    In traditional writings passive voice is recommended. Still, we would advice to use active voice, as it is much stronger than the passive voice. Use the active voice as much as possible.

  9. Precise words and phrases

    Precise words and phrases make your writing easier to understand. They connect ideas and present them to the reader in a logical order. For instance: First of all…, In addition…, More importantly…, In closing…, In conclusion….

  10. Make good use of conditionals

    Ii was found that many students find it difficult to use conditionals. Learning the conditionals important than learning tenses. Conditionals are useful for expressing opinions and reasons. The two things you must do in the TOEFL independent writing tasks.

For best TOEFL Training click here.

Top 8 tips to rise above typical Resume Format

Do you think your resume is perfect and you don’t need help creating or updating your resume? If you think there is a scope for improvement you are at right place. Your resume is going to be reviewed by software as well as by hiring managers. These top resume tips is basic guide for  choosing a resume format, selecting a resume font, customizing your resume, using resume keywords, explaining employment gaps, and more tips for writing interview winning resumes.

Choose a Resume Font

Writing a resume in basic readable font is very important for both hiring managers and applicant management systems. Typically, you should use a readable, commonly used book print font such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri. You may choose alternative fonts, if you are applying to a position in graphic design or advertising (where resume layout and design might be part of your assessment).

Include All Your Contact Information

It’s important to include all your contact information on your resume so employers can easily get in touch with you. Include your full name, street address, city, state, and zip, home phone number, cell phone number, and email address. Including you LinkedIn profile URL can be a good idea in order to condense you resume.

Add a Profile or Objective

If you include an objective on your resume, it’s important to tailor it to match the job you are applying for. The more specific you are, the better chance you have of being considered for the job you are interested in, or consider using a resume profile, with or without a headline, instead.

Include Resume Keywords

Your resume should include the same keywords that appear in job descriptions. Applicant management systems are programmed to hunt down candidates with these key words.That way, you will increase your chances of your resume matching available positions – and of you being selected for an interview. Also include keywords in your cover letter.

Prioritize Your Resume Content

It’s important to prioritize the content of your resume so that your most important and relevant experience is listed first, with key accomplishments listed at the top of each position. As you compile the information for your resume, prioritize your accomplishments by importance, achievements, and relevance to the job you’re applying for.

Customize Resume for each application

Although it’s cumbersome to customize your resume, it’s worth the effort, particularly when applying for jobs that are a perfect match for your qualifications and experience. The simplest way to target your resume (without rewriting the whole resume) is to include a Summary of Qualifications, a Profile or Career Highlights section at the top of your resume.

Choose the Right Resume Style

There are several basic types of resumes used to apply for job openings. Depending on your personal circumstances, choose a chronological, a functional, combination, or a targeted resume. Take the time to customize your resume – its well worth the effort.

Send Your Resume by Email

It’s important to follow the employer’s instructions on how to submit your cover letter and resume. The employer may want your resume attached to the email message and sent in specific format, typically as a Word document or a PDF.

When applying for employment via email, copy and paste your cover letter into the email message or write your cover letter in the body of an email message.