IELTS Writing Marking Scheme for 9 Bands

Academic Writing Practice Test 1

Check to see how the candidates perform for 9 bands and 5 bands.

Task 1
In this report I will describe a bar chart that shows the estimated world illiteracy rates by gender and region for the year 2000.
First I will look at male illiteracy for the 6 areas shown. The lowest rates were in Developed Countries, Latin America/Caribbean and East Asia/Oceania with rates of 1% (approximately), 10% and 8% (approximately) respectively. The rates for the next three areas were much higher and quite similar to each other. Sub-Saharan Africa, the Arab States and South Asia had rates of approximately 31%, 29% and 34%.

Female illiteracy was much higher relatively in each area except Latin America/Caribbean where it was only slightly higher. The lowest rates for female illiteracy were again Developed Countries, Latin America/Caribbean and East Asia/Oceania with rates of approximately 2%, 12% and 20%. Again the rates for the next three areas were much higher and quite similar to each other. Sub-Saharan Africa, the Arab States and South Asia had rates of approximately 48%, 52% and 56%.
This ends my report.
(168 words) Estimated IELTS Writing Band 9

Commentary on the above answer.
This letter was written by an IELTS examiner to give an example of a good answer. Please remember that there are other ways of approaching this question that are just as good.
The Academic Task 1 Writing is marked in 3 areas. Let’s look at these.

Task Fulfilment 
This mark grades you basically on whether you have answered the question or not. To answer this question correctly the examiner looks to see whether a report has been written which wholly describes the bar chart with appropriate, accurate detail. Because there is not a lot of information on the bar chart, an appropriate amount of detail here would be all the figures for all the areas for males and females. Looking above we see a report has been produced and that all the detail required is there and it is all accurate. The word limit has also been achieved. This would mean a good task fulfilment band.

Cohesion and Coherence
These two are interrelated which is why they are done together. Cohesion is how your writing fits together. Does your writing with its ideas and content flow logically? Coherence is how you are making yourself understood and whether the reader of your writing understands what you are saying. To start with the structure helps cohesion. There is a small introductory paragraph saying what the report is about and there is a short closing sentence to finish the report. In between there are 2 paragraphs, one for male illiteracy and the second for female illiteracy. This is a good approach to describing this bar chart. The report also has good cohesion linguistically. It is sometimes difficult when writing these types of report with lots of numerical detail to make sure that the reader always understands which detail refers to which relevant item. Here the writer only describes 3 areas at a time and uses respectively to make clear the order. The coherence in the report is also very good. The reader notices bad coherence when he has to stop because he cannot understand what has been written for any reason. This report can be read straight through without stopping. The sentences are short and clear and none of the information is muddled or disorganised. The good grammar, word choices, structure and punctuation all help to giving the report good coherence. This report would get a very good cohesion and coherence band.

Vocabulary and Sentence Structure 
With Vocabulary the examiner looks at the range of words used and whether they are used in the right place and at the right time. With Sentence Structure, the examiner looks at the grammar. The word choices in this report are good. All the vocabulary is clear, used in the right way and spelled correctly. The grammar is also good. All the verb forms are accurate and all the other grammar is correctly used. The report would get a very good Vocabulary and Sentence Structure band.

Task 2
What young people should study at school has long been the subject of intense debate and this is a question that certainly does not have one correct answer.
We need to provide young people the best possible chance of doing well at school. In traditional curriculum there is a wide variety of subjects with a mix of academic and non-academic subjects. In this way a young person is formed with a rounded education. Non-academic subjects would include sports, cooking, woodwork and metalwork. I believe this is the best form of education. A young person should learn things other than academic subjects. Sport is particularly important. Young people have to learn to love sport so that they can be fit and healthy later in life. If not we will be raising an obese and unfit generation.
I totally understand the point of view that education is so important that students must be pushed as hard as possible to achieve their best. It sounds a good idea to only expose the students to academic subjects as then they can spend all of their school hours on studying areas that will get them into university and good jobs later in life. I just feel a more rounded education would produce a better individual. We must remember too that a lot of people, maybe even most people, aren‛t academically minded and would benefit more from a more vocationally based education. Forcing academic studies onto them would lead to failure and the student leaving school too early. Therefore I agree that although a wholly academic curriculum would suit and benefit some young people, I believe that for most students non-academic subjects are important inclusions still in today‛s syllabuses.
(283 words) Estimated IELTS Writing Band 9

This essay was written by an IELTS examiner to give an example of a good answer. Please remember that there are other ways of approaching this question that are just as good.
The Academic Task 2 Writing is marked in 3 areas. Let’s look at these.

Arguments, Ideas and Evidence
This band grades the essay on its content, how it structures its ideas and backs up the ideas with examples. When you look at the above essay, you are first struck by how the it is set out with the paragraphs. Firstly there is a short introduction. Then there are 2 paragraphs that provide the ideas and evidence on both sides of the question of the essay with the writer starting to put forward his point of view. Finally there is a conclusion where the question is answered by the writer with his point of view. The writer examines both sides of the argument and shows that it is not an issue that is black or white. The minimum word limit of 250 words has also been passed so that is not a problem. All these things would lead to a good band for Arguments, Ideas and Evidence.

Communicative Quality 
This mark grades the candidate on how easily the reader understands the essay. This depends on accuracy in grammar, punctuation and vocabulary, as bad grammar, punctuation and vocabulary will cause a breakdown in communication. Other things affecting communication would be structure, linking words, prepositions and agreements. The paragraphing is the first thing that helps the communicative quality. As said above the paragraphing is very good. It splits the essay up into easy-to-read chunks and separates the ideas of the essay into these chunks. The grammar, punctuation and vocabulary are all very good and all the linking words, prepositions and agreements are all correctly used. The Communicative Quality in this essay therefore is very good.

Vocabulary and Sentence Structure 
With Vocabulary the examiner looks at the range of words used and whether they are used in the right place and at the right time. With Sentence Structure, the examiner looks at the grammar. As pointed out in the section above, the Vocabulary and Sentence Structure are very good. All word usage is correctly used and spelt correctly. The grammar is all error free and the punctuation is good. The Vocabulary and Sentence Structure band would be very good.

Academic Writing Practice Test 2
Task 1
On graph on 1997 11 million dollar is sell on intrnet, on 1998 is small ris to16 million dollar, on 1999 is mor ris to 19 million dollar, on 2000 rise is mor smal 22 million dollar. The 2001 21 million dollar and 2002 24 million dollar. 1997 to 2003 is ris 13 million dollar. On chart is 4 parts most big is englnd 81% books bought on internet, next scotland 10% next wales 8%, last is northern ireland 1%. This mean that mor money is spend in england on books on intrnet.
(92 words) Estimated IELTS Writing Band 4

IELTS Examiner Commentary
This report was written by an Indian lady on an IELTS preparation course.
The Academic Task 1 Writing is marked in 3 areas. Let’s look at these.

Task Fulfilment 
This mark grades you basically on whether you have answered the question or not. To answer this question correctly the examiner looks to see whether a report has been written which wholly describes the chart with appropriate, accurate detail. The first thing that one notices is that the report is considerably under length. By not writing the required 150 words the writer is not answering the question and so is penalised under Task Fulfilment. If fewer than 150 words are produced then only a maximum band of 5 (less than 5 can also be given) can be awarded for Task Fulfilment. Apart from that the writer has made an attempt to describe the two charts. Unfortunately some of the detail that is included is inaccurate. The 2001 figure from the line graph is wrong and the writer has also mixed up two of the sections of the pie chart: Scotland is quoted at 10% and Wales at 8%. The financial detail given in the report is also all given in dollars while the graph gives the detail in pounds sterling. Because of all these errors this report cannot get a very good Task Fulfilment band.

Cohesion and Coherence 
These two are interrelated which is why they are done together. Cohesion is how your writing fits together. Does your writing with its ideas and content flow logically? Coherence is how you are making yourself understood and whether the reader of your writing understands what you are saying. Cohesion isn’t too bad in the report. There is so little writing that there is not much to join together. The writing consists of short sentences that are not elegantly put together. There aren’t many cohesion errors but there is little style in the writing. The coherence is very problematic. The lack of punctuation allows the sentences to run into each other and it is difficult for the reader to know when one sentence ends and the next begins. This with the big grammar and spelling errors make it very difficult to understand and read quickly. This report would get a poor Cohesion and Coherence band.

Vocabulary and Sentence Structure 
With Vocabulary the examiner looks at the range of words used and whether they are used in the right place and at the right time. With Sentence Structure, the examiner looks at the grammar. The vocabulary in the report is very limited in range but there are no very bad word choices. The grammar in this report is terrible. Most of the verb forms are inaccurate, there are inaccurate prepositions, plurals are missing, articles are missing, the verb to be is often missing and comparatives and superlatives are inaccurate. The problem with the punctuation is that there seem to be commas instead of full stops in many places. The Vocabulary
and Sentence Structure band would be very poor for this report.
The above report is useful as an illustration of how a bad report is written. Below you will find a good version written by an IELTS examiner answering the same question. Please remember that there are other ways of approaching this question that are just as good.

In this report I am going to describe 2 charts.
The first is a line graph that records the amount of money (in pounds sterling) spent on books on the internet in the UK from 1997 to 2002. In 1997 £11 million were spent. This rises by £5 million by 1998. The increase in money spent then rises less rapidly through 1999 (£19 million), 2000 (£22 million) and 2001 (£23 million) until 2002 when £24 million were spent. This gives a total increase from 1997 to 2002 of £13 million.
The second is a pie chart that shows the relative percentages of books bought on the internet in the UK individual countries. England is where by the far the most books are bought with 81% of the market. Wales comes next with 10% closely followed by Scotland with 8%. Northern Ireland lies last with only 1% of the market.
This ends my report.
(153 words) Estimated IELTS Writing Band 9

Task 2
Last 150 year the medecine make too much important cure for bad diseaze. Now you no hear of people dying of colere, tubercule or other killer. It is because the medecine to stop it is no expinsive and easily to find. Nowaday we have other diseaze for fight against for example the AIDS and the cancer. The drugs are use to treat this diseazes and slow there affects can be find in west but in more poor countrys the people cannot pay it so people are die for no reazon. I think drug companys should be obliged to make there products at smal prices in poor countrys or allow cheaper one to be made in those countrys. They are still make the mony and nevertheless they are make more of mony if many of people buys cheap copies rather than no one buying the expinsive one. Anyway if they dont, companys in the mor poor countrys will produce the copies anyway. In Inde many drugs are copy and sell ilegal. The people from more rich countrys go to there for buy the drugs they want with a more cheap price. Some drug companys have promissed that they will give the drugs at a more cheap price. A company promised for example anti AIDS drugs to South Africe. Nowaday it seems the promises are just the words in the air and no action or drugs go to the millions of AIDS sufferers there.
Therefor I am really believe that drugs companys should give the low cost drugs to mor poor countrys. It is a question of people die just to help the business dollar. It is imoral and indefendable no matter what companys say about there busines interests.
(284 words) Estimated IELTS Writing Band 6

IELTS Examiner Commentary
This essay was written by a Japanese IELTS student studying in the UK.
The Academic Task 2 Writing is marked in 3 areas. Let’s look at these.

Arguments, Ideas and Evidence 
This band grades the essay on its content, how it structures its ideas and backs up the ideas with examples. The structure with the one big paragraph and short conclusion means this is not set out as a proper essay should be. The content though is mainly directed at the question and has examples to back up the ideas. In the conclusion the writer draws on his essay to give his opinion and fully answers the question. The band for Arguments, Ideas and Evidence will be quite good though the structure does spoil it a bit.

Communicative Quality 
This mark grades the candidate on how easily the reader understands the essay. This depends on accuracy in structure, grammar, punctuation and vocabulary, as bad grammar, punctuation and vocabulary will cause a breakdown in communication. The Communicative Quality here is not that good. The structure does not help, with most of the writing being grouped in one paragraph. In addition to this the grammar and spelling are all quite poor and this makes reading the essay not as easy as it should be. Some of the sentences, expressions and vocabulary are a bit awkward too. This would lead to a middling Communicative Quality band.

Vocabulary and Sentence Structure
With Vocabulary the examiner looks at the range of words used and whether they are used in the right place and at the right time. With Sentence Structure, the examiner looks at the grammar. As stated above the Vocabulary and Sentence Structure are quite weak. The actual vocabulary choices are not too bad but a lot of the spelling is not very good (medicine; disease; colere; tubercole; expinsive; affects; mony etc.). There are actual vocabulary mistakes as well though (more of money; Inde; indefendable). With grammar the article use is often faulty (Last 150 year the medicine), plurals are sometimes wrong (countrys; companys; other killer; etc.) and verbs are at times wrong in tense choice and form (the medicine make; are use; can be find; are die; They are still make; etc.). Some negatives are wrongly expressed (Now you no hear; it is no expensive). There are other grammar weaknesses: pronouns (there affects; there products; there business interests;), comparatives (more poor countrys; more rich countrys), prepositions (go to there; with a more cheap price), the infinitive of purpose (for fight; for buy;) and adjectives/adverbs (and easily to find; this diseases; and sell ilegal). Some of the errors seem to come from the writer’s first language. There is though some good grammar in the essay and a lot of the vocabulary is well chosen. However there are really too many errors to get a good band for Vocabulary and Sentence Structure.

IELTS Speaking Marking Scheme for 9 Bands

Below are the standards which the examiner is checking to see in the examinee’s Speaking of English.
  1. Command over English
  2. Contents
  3. Knowledge
  4. Fluency
  5. Flow of sentences
  6. Grammar
  7. Face expression when explaining
  8. Arms, Hands, etc., and other gestures
  9. Interesting or not
  10. Overall Quality
Max. band = 8 for showing exceptional quality.

Sample IELTS Speaking Test Evaluation – 1 

Examiner’s Commentary

The student interviewed was Ilaria, an Italian female. The Speaking Test is in three sections. Let’s first look at the each of these sections in turn to identify the strong points as well as the weaknesses.

Section 1
Ilaria was very confident and gave full answers to all the questions. It started well when Ilaria gave a very full answer to the first question about her family and, without being prompted, went on to talk about where her family lived as well. This kind of full answer going further than the question asks is a good sign that the student is comfortable in English and can talk with easy fluency. The rest of Section 1 went equally well. Ilaria was not sporty so the questions from Topic 1 on Health and Exercise could not have suited her that well. In spite of this Ilaria gave full answers to all the questions. This is important as Ilaria showed that she could speak capably on a subject about which she knew little and had little interest in. On the other hand in Topic 2 Ilaria showed the examiner that she could answer the questions at length in English. Because of this Ilaria only needed 2 questions to be asked in Topic 2. Also in reply to the second question in Topic 2, Ilaria answers Yes, absolutely and then goes on to explain her answer without the need for the examiner to have to ask Why. This is often a good sign of a good, fluent candidate. Section 1 was very well answered by Ilaria and I do not feel that there were any bad points.

Section 2
Ilaria continued with the same fluency as Section 1. The examiner allowed Ilaria to talk for the full 2 minutes and she had no problem doing this. Not all IELTS interviews are this long but it is always up to the examiner to decide the length of the interview and not the candidate. Ilaria hardly took any of the one available minute for preparation. This is absolutely no problem. It is wholly up to the candidate to decide to take all or part of the minute. It does not affect the marking of the test in any way. However, the longer that a student has to prepare the talk, then the easier it will probably be for the student to speak well. Therefore I would always advise candidates to take advantage of the full minute. Ilaria does not talk that fast, says erm quite a lot and has frequent, short hesitations. None of these is a problem. It is not a mistake to speak slowly. Indeed, if candidates talk slowly, then they are less likely to make any fluency, grammatical or vocabulary errors and subsequently are more confident and comfortable. The hesitations and erms are only normal features of someone who has to talk for 2 minutes on a quickly prepared subject. Ilaria talked with some fluency on the subject in the question and covered the areas that the question asked to be talked about with detail and relevant examples. Finally the examiner asked a question to finish off Section 2. Ilaria gave a short answer to this and that is all that is required. This Section 2 is shorter than a lot of others but this is because Ilaria did not use the minute available for preparation. Again there are no bad parts in this section.

Section 3
In Topic 1 Ilaria’s answers were not as full as earlier. She does say though often that she didn’t know much about the subject. Despite this she still managed full answers to all the questions. However, as long as a student answers each question to some extent, the student can then wait for the question(s) that they can really take advantage of and speak longer about. Then in Topic 2 she had more to say and spoke at greater length in reply to the questions. So, although some answers were shorter than others, there are no bad parts to Section 3.

Marking
The marking of the IELTS Speaking Test is done in 4 parts. Below is how the examiner evaluates this student.
Pronunciation
Ilaria’s pronunciation of English is excellent which allows her to be easily understood at all times. There is a trace of an accent in her English but this does not interfere with intelligibility at any time.
Grammatical Range and Accuracy
Ilaria accurately and appropriately uses a wide range of grammatical structures.
Lexical Resource
There is the occasional slightly inappropriate word choice but this does not happen very often and it does not affect the listener’s understanding.
Fluency and Coherence
Ilaria’s fluency and coherence is very good. Ilaria’s language is appropriate and the joining language is all correctly used. Ilaria’s answers to questions are logically developed and there is little repetition or self-correction.
Estimated IELTS Speaking Band: 9

Sample IELTS Speaking Test Evaluation – 2

Now compare the above candidate with this one and see the difference!


Examiner’s Commentary

The student interviewed was Sandra, a Colombian female. The Speaking Test is in three sections. First of all let’s look at each of these sections in turn to identify the strong and weak parts of the interview.

Section 1
Sandra was a little bit nervous and not very confident in her speech. She answered all the questions but some of the questions, particularly in Topic 2, could have been longer and better developed. Most people find that Section 1 of the IELTS Speaking Test is the easiest section and therefore students should take the opportunity to talk as long and as fully as they can while the questions are at their simplest. For example, the examiner asks Sandra about the advantages and disadvantages of living in her area. She talks about the climate as an advantage, which is good, and then mentions that her area is near other good places but she does not talk more about this. She could talk about other good things regarding her area and she did not even mention one disadvantage. This was wasting an opportunity. On the other hand she answered most of the questions quite well and this was certainly no disaster.

Section 2
In Section 2 Sandra managed to get over the one minute mark without any problems but it appeared as though it would have been hard for her to go any longer than she did. Like Ilaria in the recording for the Academic Speaking Test 1, Sandra did not make use of the one minute preparation time. It sounds as though the examiner got her started early but it was Sandra who indicated that she was ready to begin. By not taking the time to make notes on each part of the question, Sandra’s talk was a bit disjointed and lost coherence at times. Here is an example where using the one minute preparation time would have had great benefit. On the other hand Sandra did manage to answer most parts of the question. Looking at her actual speaking, Sandra often had long hesitations as she searched for things to say and to connect her ideas. The connections were not always clear and she shifted subject a couple of times in one sentence. If she could have finished each of the sentences by developing the subjects of each sentence and then change the subject coherently, it would have been a much better talk. Again, preparation would have benefited her. She did not lose marks for not preparing but the lack of coherence in her talk that the lack of preparation caused affected her score.

Section 3
Section 3 started very well with Sandra giving long and full answers to the questions in Topic 1. In Topic 2 however the answers were not as long and could have been better developed, speaking about the subjects in more depth. For example the last question was not really answered properly at all with Sandra only saying that holidays would change by having more amenities. If Topic 2 could have been answered as fully as Topic 1 then she would have made a much better
impression.

Marking
The Marking of the IELTS Speaking Test is done in 4 parts. Below is how the examiner evaluates this student.

Pronunciation
Sandra’s pronunciation was not that clear. There were areas where there were no problems but there were also times when her strong accent, intonation and stress problems caused difficulties for the listener.

Grammatical Range and Accuracy
Sandra’s grammar was often faulty. Sandra’s basic sentences were controlled fairly well but more complex grammar often broke down. There were lots of mistakes scattered throughout her speech as well, some of them quite basic.

Lexical Resource
Sandra’s vocabulary was good enough to discuss familiar and unfamiliar topics but she had limited flexibility. There were quite a few pauses where she had to stop to search for the right word and not always with success.

Fluency and Coherence
Sandra’s fluency and coherence was sometimes quite good and she showed the ability to talk independently and at some length to questions. On areas that she was not so sure about though her fluency and coherence sometimes broke down and this led to quite a lot of hesitation and a bit of repetition.

Estimated IELTS Speaking Band: 5

IELTS Band Formula

You will be given a mark between 0 and 9 for each of the 4 Sub-tests (there are no half marks in the Writing and Speaking Sub-tests). Your Overall Band Score is an average of the 4 Sub-test Band Scores, with fractional scores rounding up or down to the nearest x.0 or x.5 score (with x.25 and x.75 rounding up.)

Therefore, if you score
6.5

in the Listening Sub-test

5.0

in the Reading Sub-test

7.0

in the Writing Sub-test

6.0

in the Speaking Sub-test

___


Your total score is
24.5



By averaging the scores (dividing the total score 24.5 by 4) in the example above, you would achieve an overall Band Score of 6.0 (which is 6.125 rounded down).



the raw score.The overall score is the average of all 4 sections. If the average score is in
decimals, then it is rounded to the nearest half decimal. As an exclusion ,For writing section the half band is not applicable. It is illustrated as an example.

For example ,
In reading section ,if the candidate got 30 correct answers out of 40 questions, then his score in
Reading section is 7.


If a candidate got the following score in the 4 sections

Sections
Raw score achieved by the candidate in each section
IELTS  
Score
Overall IELTS Score
Listening
33 out of 40
7.5
(7.5+7+6+8)/ 4


=7.124
Rounded off  nearest half decimal
The final Score is
7
Reading
29 out of 40
7
Writing
23 out of 40
6
Speaking
36 out of 40


What is Half Band?

The IELTS Score with Half decimal (0.5) is known as Half band score. Eg. 7.5 .
The IELTS Score without decimal is known as Full band Score. Listening,Reading &
Speaking is recorded in full band and Half band score .Writing is recorded only in full band
score.

English Vocabulary for IELTS – 100 Words

These words are indespensible for IELTS Examination. You need to use these words in your Seaking and Writing Test. These words will greatly impact your IELTS Score. You will be able to impress your examiner with these words in Writing and Speaking Tests.
Aberration
(n.) something that differs from the norm (In 1974, Poland won the World Cup, but the success turned out to be an aberrationand Poland have not won a World Cup since).
Abhor
(v.) to hate, detest (Because he always wound up getting hit in the head when he tried to play cricket, Marcin began to abhor the sport).

Acquiesce
(v.) to agree without protesting (Though Mr. Pospieszny wanted to stay outside and work in his garage, when his wife told him that he had better come in to dinner, he acquiesced to her demands.)
Alacrity
(n.) eagerness, speed (For some reason, Simon loved to help his girlfriend whenever he could, so when his girlfriend asked him to set the table he did so with alacrity.)
Amiable
(adj.) friendly (An amiable fellow, Neil got along with just about everyone.)
appease
(v.) to calm, satisfy (When Jerry cries, his mother gives him chocolate to appease him.)
Arcane
(adj.) obscure, secret, known only by a few (The professor is an expert in arcane Kashubian literature.)
Avarice
(n.) excessive greed (The banker’s avarice led him to amass an enormous personal fortune.)
Brazen
(adj.) excessively bold, brash, clear and obvious (Critics condemned the writer’s brazen attempt to plagiarise Frankow-Czerwonko’s work.)
Brusque
(adj.) short, abrupt, dismissive (Simon’s brusque manner sometimes offends his colleagues.)
Cajole
(v.) to urge, coax (Magda’s friends cajoled her into drinking too much.)
Callous
(adj.) harsh, cold, unfeeling (The murderer’s callous lack of remorse shocked the jury.)
Candor
(n.) honesty, frankness (We were surprised by the candor of the politician’s speech because she is usually rather evasive.)
Chide
(v.) to voice disapproval (Hania chided Gregory for his vulgar habits and sloppy appearance.)
Circumspect
(adj.) cautious (Though I promised Marta’s father I would bring her home promptly by midnight, it would have been morecircumspect not to have specified a time.)
Clandestine
(adj.) secret (Announcing to her boyfriend that she was going to the library, Maria actually went to meet George for aclandestine liaison.)
Coerce
(v.) to make somebody do something by force or threat (The court decided that David Beckham did not have to honor the contract because he had been coerced into signing it.)
Coherent
(adj.) logically consistent, intelligible (William could not figure out what Harold had seen because he was too distraught to deliver a coherent statement.)
Complacency
(n.) self-satisfied ignorance of danger (Simon tried to shock his friends out of their complacency by painting a frightening picture of what might happen to them.)
Confidant
(n.) a person entrusted with secrets (Shortly after we met, he became my chief confidant.)
Connive
(v.) to plot, scheme (She connived to get me to give up my plans to start up a new business.)
Cumulative
(adj.) increasing, building upon itself (The cumulative effect of hours spent using the World English website was a vast improvement in his vocabulary and general level of English.)
Debase
(v.) to lower the quality or esteem of something (The large raise that he gave himself debased his motives for running the charity.)
Decry
(v.) to criticize openly (Andrzej Lepper, the leader of the Polish Self Defence party decried the appaling state of Polish roads.)
Deferential
(adj.) showing respect for another’s authority (Donata is always excessively deferential to any kind of authority figure.)
Demure
(adj.) quiet, modest, reserved (Though everyone else at the party was dancing and going crazy, she remained demure.)
Deride
(v.) to laugh at mockingly, scorn (The native speaker often derided the other teacher’s accent.)
Despot
(n.) one who has total power and rules brutally (The despot issued a death sentence for anyone who disobeyed his laws.)
Diligent
(adj.) showing care in doing one’s work (The diligent researcher made sure to double check her measurements.)
Elated
(adj.) overjoyed, thrilled (When he found out he had won the lottery, the postman was elated.)
Eloquent
(adj.) expressive, articulate, moving (The best man gave such an eloquent speech that most guests were crying.)
Embezzle
(v.) to steal money by falsifying records (The accountant was fired for embezzling €10,000 of the company’s funds.)’
Empathy
(n.) sensitivity to another’s feelings as if they were one’s own (I feel such empathy for my dog when she’s upset so am I!)
Enmity
(n.) ill will, hatred, hostility (John and Scott have clearly not forgiven each other, because the enmity between them is obvious to anyone in their presence.)
Erudite
(adj.) learned (My English teacher is such an erudite scholar that he has translated some of the most difficult and abstruse Old English poetry.)
Extol
(v.) to praise, revere (Kamila extolled the virtues of a vegetarian diet to her meat-loving boyfriend.)
Fabricate
(v.) to make up, invent (When I arrived an hour late to class, I fabricated some excuse about my car breaking down on the way to work.)
Feral
(adj.) wild, savage (That beast looks so feral that I would fear being alone with it.)
Flabbergasted
(adj.) astounded (Whenever I read an Agatha Christie mystery novel, I am always flabbergasted when I learn the identity of the murderer.)
Forsake
(v.) to give up, renounce (I won’t forsake my conservative principles.)
Fractious
(adj.) troublesome or irritable (Although the child insisted he wasn’t tired, his fractious behaviour – especially his decision to crush his jam sandwiches all over the floor – convinced everyone present that it was time to put him to bed.)
Furtive
(adj.) secretive, sly (Claudia’s placement of her drugs in her sock drawer was not as furtive as she thought, as the sock drawer is the first place most parents look.)
Gluttony
(n.) overindulgence in food or drink (Helen’s fried chicken tastes so divine, I don’t know how anyone can call gluttony a sin.)
Gratuitous
(adj.) uncalled for, unwarranted (Every evening the guy at the fish and chip shop gives me a gratuitous helping of vinegar.)
Haughty
(adj.) disdainfully proud (The superstar’s haughty dismissal of her co-stars will backfire on her someday.)
Hypocrisy
(n.) pretending to believe what one does not (Once the politician began passing legislation that contradicted his campaign promises, his hypocrisy became apparent.)
Impeccable
(adj.) exemplary, flawless (If your grades were as impeccable as your brother’s, then you too would receive a car for a graduation present.)
Impertinent
(adj.) rude, insolent (Most of your comments are so impertinent that I don’t wish to dignify them with an answer.)
Implacable
(adj.) incapable of being appeased or mitigated (Watch out: once you shun Grandmother’s cooking, she is totally implacable.)
Impudent
(adj.) casually rude, insolent, impertinent (The impudent young woman looked her teacher up and down and told him he was hot.)
Incisive
(adj.) clear, sharp, direct (The discussion wasn’t going anywhere until her incisive comment allowed everyone to see what the true issues were.)
Indolent
(adj.) lazy (Why should my indolent children, who can’t even pick themselves up off the sofa to pour their own juice, be rewarded with a trip to Burger King?)
Inept
(adj.) not suitable or capable, unqualified (She proved how inept she was when she forgot two orders and spilled a pint of cider in a customer’s lap.)
Infamy
(n.) notoriety, extreme ill repute (The infamy of his crime will not lessen as time passes.)
Inhibit
(v.) to prevent, restrain, stop (When I told you I needed the car last night, I certainly never meant to inhibit you from going out.)
Innate
(adj.) inborn, native, inherent (His incredible athletic talent is innate, he never trains, lifts weights, or practices.)
Insatiable
(adj.) incapable of being satisfied (My insatiable appetite for blondes was a real problem on my recent holiday in Japan!)
Insular
(adj.) separated and narrow-minded; tight-knit, closed off (Because of the sensitive nature of their jobs, those who work for MI5 must remain insular and generally only spend time with each other.)
Intrepid
(adj.) brave in the face of danger (After scaling a live volcano prior to its eruption, the explorer was praised for his intrepidattitude.)
Inveterate
(adj.) stubbornly established by habit (I’m the first to admit that I’m an inveterate cider drinker—I drink four pints a day.)
Jubilant
(adj.) extremely joyful, happy (The crowd was jubilant when the firefighter carried the woman from the flaming building.)
Knell
(n.) the solemn sound of a bell, often indicating a death (Echoing throughout our village, the funeral knell made the grey day even more grim.)
Lithe
(adj.) graceful, flexible, supple (Although the dancers were all outstanding, Joanna’s control of her lithe body was particularly impressive.)
Lurid
(adj.) ghastly, sensational (Barry’s story, in which he described a character torturing his neighbour’s tortoise, was judged too lurid to be published on the English Library’s website.)
Maverick
(n.) an independent, nonconformist person (John is a real maverick and always does things his own way.)
Maxim
(n.) a common saying expressing a principle of conduct (Ms. Stone’s etiquette maxims are both entertaining and instructional.)
Meticulous
(adj.) extremely careful with details (The ornate needlework in the bride’s gown was a product of meticulous handiwork.)
Modicum
(n.) a small amount of something (Refusing to display even a modicum of sensitivity, Magda announced her boss’s affair to the entire office.)
Morose
(adj.) gloomy or sullen (David’s morose nature made him very unpleasant to talk to.)
Myriad
(adj.) consisting of a very great number (It was difficult to decide what to do on Saturday night because the city presented us with myriad possibilities for fun.)
Nadir
(n.) the lowest point of something (My day was boring, but the nadir came when my new car was stolen.)
Nominal
(adj.) trifling, insignificant (Because he was moving the following week and needed to get rid of his furniture more than he needed money, Kim sold everything for a nominal price.)
Novice
(n.) a beginner, someone without training or experience (Because we were all novices at archery, our instructor decided to begin with the basics
Nuance
(n.) a slight variation in meaning, tone, expression (The nuances of the poem were not obvious to the casual reader, but the teacher was able to point them out.)
Oblivious
(adj.) lacking consciousness or awareness of something (Oblivious to the burning smell emanating from the kitchen, my father did not notice that the rolls in the oven were burned until much too late.)

obsequious
(adj.) excessively compliant or submissive (Donald acted like Susan’s servant, obeying her every request in an obsequious manner.)
Obtuse
(adj.) lacking quickness of sensibility or intellect (Political opponents warned that the prime minister’s obtuse approach to foreign policy would embroil the nation in mindless war.)
Panacea
(n.) a remedy for all ills or difficulties (Doctors wish there was a single panacea for every disease, but sadly there is not.)
Parody
(n.) a satirical imitation (A hush fell over the classroom when the teacher returned to find Magdalena acting out a parody of his teaching style.)
Penchant
(n.) a tendency, partiality, preference (Fiona’s dinner parties quickly became monotonous on account of her penchant for Indian dishes.)
Perusal
(n.) a careful examination, review (The actor agreed to accept the role after a three-month perusal of the movie script.)
Plethora
(n.) an abundance, excess (The wedding banquet included a plethora of oysters piled almost three feet high.)
Predilection
(n.) a preference or inclination for something (James has a predilection for eating toad in the whole with tomato ketchup.)
Quaint
(adj.) charmingly old-fashioned (Mary was delighted by the quaint bonnets she saw in Romania.)
Rash
(adj.) hasty, incautious (It’s best to think things over calmly and thoroughly, rather than make rash decisions.)
Tefurbish
(v.) to restore, clean up (After being refurbished the old Triumph motorcycle commanded the handsome price of $6000.)
Repudiate
(v.) to reject, refuse to accept (Tom made a strong case for an extension of his curfew, but his mother repudiated it with a few biting words.)
Rife
(adj.) abundant (Surprisingly, the teacher’s writing was rife with spelling errors.)
Salient
(adj.) significant, conspicuous (One of the salient differences between Alison and Helen is that Alison is a couple of kilos heavier.)
Serendipity
(n.) luck, finding good things without looking for them (In an amazing bit of serendipity, penniless Mark found a $50 bill on the back seat of the bus.)
Staid
(adj.) sedate, serious, self-restrained (The staid butler never changed his expression no matter what happened.)
Superfluous
(adj.) exceeding what is necessary (Samantha had already won the campaign so her constant flattery of others wassuperfluous.)
Sycophant
(n.) one who flatters for self-gain (Some see the people in the cabinet as the Prime Minister’s closest advisors, but others see them as sycophants.)
Taciturn
(adj.) not inclined to talk (Though Magda never seems to stop talking, her brother is quite taciturn.)
Truculent
(adj.) ready to fight, cruel (This club doesn’t really attract the dangerous types, so why was that bouncer being so truculent?)
Umbrage
(n.) resentment, offence (He called me a lily-livered coward, and I took umbrage at the insult.)
Venerable
(adj.) deserving of respect because of age or achievement (The venerable High Court judge had made several key rulings in landmark cases throughout the years.)
Vex
(v.) to confuse or annoy (My boyfriend vexes me by pinching my bottom for hours on end.)
Vociferous
(adj.) loud, boisterous (I’m tired of his vociferous whining so I’m breaking up with him.)
Wanton
(adj.) undisciplined, lewd, lustful (Joanna’s wanton demeanor often made the frat guys next door very excited
Zenith
(n.) the highest point, culminating point (I was too nice to tell Emily that she had reached the absolute zenith of her career with that one top 10 hit of hers.

IELTS Practice Test: Listening Test Section 1

IELTS Listening Test
Section – 1

Questions 1-3
Choose the correct letter, A, B or C.
Example

Which sport is the woman interested in?

A gymnastics
B swimming  
C tennis

1 How long is the heated pool?
A 15 metres    
B 25 metres   
C 50 metres
2 Which of these is free for all members?
A the beginners swimming class
B the training session
C the keep-fit class
Questions 4-10
Complete the notes below.
Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER for each answer. 

Yoga classes
• held on Monday  4 ____and ___mornings
• weekend evenings from 5 ____to  _____
• attend 6 _____per week
• see instructor to change 7 ___________ .
• cost £1.50
Meet John 8  ___________________
Office located on firs  floor
Meet at 9 ______________ tomorrow
Tel: 10 ________________.


Look at the following extracts from the conversation and underline the tenses that the speakers used.
1.       I’m wanting/want to do some sports activities.
2.      Our tennis team are always looking/always look for new people.
3.      Are members having to /Do members have to pay to use the pools?
4.      We’re not actually allowing/don’t actually allow anyone to book the swimming lanes or the gym equipment.
5.      What time is suiting / suits you?
6.      Great, well, I’m thinking / think that’s everything.
   
        Answers
         Questions 1-3: multiple choice
         1 A   2 A  3 C
        Questions 4-10: notes completion
        4 Tuesday; Friday   
          5 6.00/six (pm); 7.30/seven thirty  7 levels/classes 8 Doherty   9 11:00/ eleven (am)   10 0117965478  

IELTS Practice Test: Listening Section 2

Listening Section
Section 2


Questions 1 and 2

Choose the correct letter A, B or C.
1 How far away is the nearest big town to Greenville?
A 10 kilometres
B 25 kilometres
C 500 kilometres

2 Which service came to the town recently?
A fire service
B medical service
C weather station
Questions 3 – 10
Complete the notes below.
Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER for each answer.
Volunteer Storm Spotters
Duties:
·         Need to 3 __________.  the weather station as soon as the storm has passed
·         Fill in a 4__________.  
·         Attach extracts from 5__________.  
What to report:
·         Hail which measures 6 __________.  across or larger
·         Wind damages e.g. 7__________.   that have been brought down.
·         Flooding caused by heavy rainfall
How do I become a volunteer?
• There will be a 8 __________.  day next month
• Contact local 9__________.   if you want to attend
• Important to sign up before 31st 10__________________. 
Answers1 C    2B
3 contact / call/telephone 4 report card  5 (local) (news) paper 6 two centimeters/ 2cm
7 large/big trees  8 training  9 police  10 October

IELTS Practice Tests: Academic Listening Section 3

Academic Listening
Questions 1-3
Complete the sentences. Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER for each answer.
1 Solar towers create energy from moving__________.
2 The first ever recorded use of this type of energy was in the__________.
3 The location of the first solar tower was__________.


Questions 4-8
Complete the flowchart. Write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS for each answer.
Solar tower flowchart
Towers are built using extra strong 4____________. At the bottom they have a sunlight collector made of 5 ____________
spread over a large area of ground.
         6
The sunlight collector warms the air beneath it and operates in a similar way to a 6__________________________.
         6
The air 7 __________.through the tower causing the turbines to turn.
         6
The turbines create
8 _____________megawatts of electricity.

Questions 9 – 10


Circle TWO letters A-E.
What are TWO disadvantages of solar towers?

A they are too expensive to run
B heat escapes from the solar collector
C they require a great deal of land
D they cannot produce electricity at night
E they need to be able to withstand high winds

Answers: 1 (columns of) (hot) air
2 seventeenth/17th century  3 Spain  9 and 10 B, E in any order