29th December 2019

Several people have asked me about changes to the #IELTS listening test.  This screenshot from the official IELTS page explains these changes, which are minor and should not affect candidates.  The changes will take effect early in January 2020. As you can see, the only changes are: 1) removing the example before the very first…

23rd May 2019

I am often asked about scoring and whether the examiner will give half bands for each criteria in the writing and speaking test. I assume people ask this because they are hoping that 4 scores of 6.5 could then be ’rounded up’ to make an overall writing or speaking score of band 7.  I am…

18th April 2019

This post will clarify what I mean when I advise band 6.5 candidates to ‘discuss both sides’, and help you to understand when and where to write a counter-argument. I often find my advice about ‘discussing both sides’ being misunderstood or misinterpreted. Some people mistakenly believe that when I say that ‘you must always discuss…

18th March 2019

Common problem: People often tell me they don’t know what to write about in writing task 2 and they find it hard to get ideas. When candidates don’t know what to write about, the result is often at least one paragraph where the same idea is repeated over and over. This type of writing will…

IELTS Author Pauline Cullen

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