IELTS exam in Latvia – April 2009 (Academic Module)

In this report S tells us all about her IELTS exam in Latvia. Here is what she remembers:

I took the IELTS exam and feel very confident that I’ll receive very good results. The one thing I understood is that you need to practice, practice and practice before the exam, otherwise you’ll panic – time pressure is enormous, especially during the writing part.

Listening test

Section 1: a woman and a man talk about on-line shopping. The woman explains to the man what she wants to buy, says that she is worried about payment and security. They discuss advantages and disadvantages of on-line shopping.

Section 2: A man calls the new library, the administrator tells about what type of services and books/CDs/DVDs he can have on the all 5 floors of the library, about the costs, time limits etc.

Section 3: Three students discuss the advantages (seating and engine capacity) and disadvantages (unsafe, can roll over in the accident, can smash the lighter vehicles in the accident) of SUVs (Sport Utility Vehicles), what people like about them (image, mothers think they are safe), how the number of SUVs can be limited (higher insurance costs)

Section 4: Talk about the passion fruits. Where they are grown, what they need to be grown, how they are exported and why Western people buy them. How the export of these fruits may affect the economy of the countries where they are cultivated.

Reading test

Section 1: About flowers’ scent. How the scent can help farming, how insects perceive the smell, how plants protect themselves from the insects.

Section 2: About the growth of traditional medicine in Australia. The text had some figures and the was a table which we had to fill.

Section 3: Very interesting text about the benefits of teaching hearing children the sign language. It was mostly about the teaching of American Sign Language. The title of the text was ‘Sign, baby, sign!’

Writing test

Writing Task 1 (report)
The bar chart showed the numbers of high-speed continuous internet connections per 1,000 people in South Korea, Japan, USA, Germany and Britain in 2001 and 2002. The table showed the change in the number of connections in percents.

Writing Task 2 (essay)
A number of people are increasingly changing their careers during their working life. Do you think this is positive or negative development? What reasons this tendency may have?

Speaking test

Interview
– Where are you from?
– Tell me about your flat or house
– What do you like about your flat?
– How long have you been living there?
– What is your favorite room in your flat/house?
– How could you improve your flat?
– Do you like traveling?
– What place that you have visited did you like most?
– What country would you like to visit? Why?

Cue card
You should talk about an interesting and impressive speech or talk you have heard, you should say:
– Who was the speaker
– Where have you heard the speech
– What it was about
Explain why did you like the speech and what impressed you so much

Discussion
– Why some people are good speakers and some are not?
– How can you develop or improve your speaking skills?
– What makes a speech interesting?
– What skills successful orator must have?
– Are visual aids helpful giving a speech?
– Are conferences related to integrating different cultures helpful?
– Which is more useful – a discussion or listening to a speech?

IELTS exam in Hanoi, Vietnam – April 2009 (Academic Module)

Here is what our friend from Vietnam remembers about his academic IELTS exam (thanks, H – we hope you get a great score!).

Listening test

The quality of sound was good, all voices were clear, so I did as well as when I had practiced at home. I missed two regrettable questions because one time in part 2 I moved to next question right after answering a former one while the talk moved gradually, another time was in part 3, when I was considering the answer for one question people in the dialogue moved to the content for next question. Fortunately, the forms of questions in part 4 (the most difficult part) were multiple choice (only 2 questions) and filling in the blanks in a table and outlines. These forms were easier than filling in the blanks of a paragraph.

Reading test

Section 1 was about general information of a new water solution project in a certain area. I was very easy to understand and its’ questions were easy, too.

Unfortunately, the second section was the most difficult one, it took me 25 minutes and I was still not happy with my answers. Its content was about two ways of planets’ formation.

Section 3 was easier than Section 2, so if I had chance to do the test again I would do section 3 before Section 2.

Writing test

Writing task 1 (report)
The task was to describe a bar chart comparing the world average literacy rate with selected regions in men and women separately.

Writing task 2 (essay)
The task was to discuss and give opinions about the idea that “people will buy products as long as they are good, and advertising should be a form of entertainment”.

Speaking test

Interview
The examiner asked me about 12 written questions separated in 3 topics: my work, art and museum, and gardening.
I did not have so many words in my vocabulary to talk about the 2 former topics so I responded generally. I went through this part relatively fast.

Cue card
Talk about a famous tourism place in Vietnam. You should say:
-What’s it name
-Where it is
-What does it have, what can you see and do there?
And you need to talk about why do you like the place.

This part is quite a bit of trouble for me, because I had not practiced much this kind of test. I went through this part in 1 minute 30 seconds, finishing because of lack of words to describe an event.

Then, examiner asked me one extended question before moving to Part 3. That was a simple and short question: “Do you wish to visit that place again?”

Discussion
The examiner read 4 more written questions from the exam material asking me about related issues of the topic in Part 2(Cue card). A surprise for me, the questions was not based on what I talked, but they had been written in the exam material.

The questions were:
– What advantages do you think tourism brings to Vietnam?
– When the government promotes tourism, what do you think negatively affects the society?
– How do you think the development of tourism changes Vietnamese culture?

 

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