The third editions of my IELTS Speaking and IELTS Writing books provide candidates with the most accurate, most up-to-date and most wide-ranging information about the speaking and writing modules.
My IELTS Speaking book is divided into four sections. The first section deals with the test format and test criteria, clearly and in detail, providing candidates with all the information they need to take the test. Common problems that students encounter are dealt with too. This section includes numerous exercises for candidates in order that they may immediately practise the skills they need without referring to another source. An example of the speaking test is included so that candidates can see how the test operates. The second section contains 100 topics for Part 1, each with five or six questions of the kind that are asked in that part of the speaking test. Each question comes with suggestions on how candidates can answer. Some have useful vocabulary lists and a selected number have ’model’ answers. The third section deals with Part 2 of the speaking test. In this section, there are 200 questions, each with suggestions on how to answer. Again, some have vocabulary lists and a selected number have ’model’ answers. The fourth section of the speaking book deals with Part 3 of the speaking test. In this section, there are far more questions, usually divided into groups according to the various sub-topics that candidates may be asked about in Part 3 of the actual test. Some suggestions are provided, but candidates will have to make the effort to consider their own answers for Part 3, since the questions are generally more ’open’ to a variety of answers. At the end of the book, there is a vocabulary list of the most common English words. These words are also the ones that appear most frequently in the speaking test.
My IELTS Speaking book contains suggested preparation plans for three months, two months and one month. These plans give an outline of how much time candidates should spend on each section of the book. Many candidates claim that they do not have enough time to prepare for all the topics. They should be aware that if they get a topic in the speaking test that they have not prepared for, they are likely to get an average score at best. Candidates do not have to work through the topics in the order in which they are presented in the book. One alternative is to begin with familiar topics. This should help the candidate to build up their confidence. Then they can work on less familiar topics once they develop a ’feel’ for the various question types.
My IELTS Writing book is divided into three sections. The first deals with the format and criteria of the writing test. As with my speaking book, this section provides candidates with all the information they need to take the test, along with exercises for practising skills. As with my speaking book, common problems that students meet are discussed. The second section deals with the full range of Task 1 questions – data questions, process diagrams, maps and letters for General Training candidates. This section guides candidates through the writing process, providing advice, useful structures and appropriate vocabulary. Sample answers written by real candidates are provided, as are ’model’ answers. The third section deals with Task 2 questions, with a full range of topics being covered. Again, advice, structures and vocabulary are provided, along with sample answers by candidates and ’model’ answers. In addition, many questions also feature a brainstorming diagram, to illustrate to candidates how to develop ideas. The vocabulary list from my speaking book is also included, as these words are those most likely to be needed in the writing test.
The sample answers and ’model’ answers in my writing book have specific purposes. The main purpose of the sample answers is to illustrate how these questions are typically answered. A brief outline of the problems with these answers – and mention of the good points – informs candidates on ways to improve their writing. The ’model’ answers demonstrate how the questions might be answered in order to achieve high scores. In particular, candidates should notice the vocabulary and structures used in order to produce good writing.
Overall, these books provide candidates with a simple way to prepare for the speaking and writing tests, without the need for piles of different books. They are designed to be used equally easily by individual students, small groups without a teacher or classes with a teacher. My speaking book also ties in with the Spoken English Club and Kooke online practise tests offered by New Channel.