BAND 9.0 Essays: Reasons and Opinion – Gender Preferences in Studying (Real Test 2017)

In schools and universities, girls tend to choose arts while boys like science. What are the reasons for this trend and do you think this tendency should be changed.

Gender Differences 2

THINGS TO REMEMBER
  1. For difficult topics (like this one maybe!), focus on a clear structure and just 1-2 ideas that you can explain clearly (with an example from research or your own experience)
  2. Make your you answer ALL parts of the question. You MUST say (i) the reason(s) for this trend and (ii) should the tendency be changed.
  3. This type of essay can have a 4-paragraph structure (i) Introduction (ii) Body paragraph one [“Reasons”] (iii) Body paragraph 2 [“Should it be changed”] (iv) Conclusion

Gender Differences

STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

NOTE – Synonyms and advanced vocabulary are in bold. Linking vocabulary is in italics.

STEP 1 – Introduction

TOPIC – In schools and universities, girls tend to choose arts while boys like science. What are the reasons for this trend and do you think this tendency should be changed.

SAMPLE – “It is apparent that there are gender preferences when it comes to choosing a course of study. The primary reason for this is biology, although this fact does not mean that people of differing genders should not be free to pursue whatever subject interests them.

TIPS – (i) Your introduction should be 2 sentences. In the first sentence, paraphrase the topic. In the second, state your plan i.e. discuss the reasons and say whether the tendency should be changed.

Step 2 – Body

The ultimate reason for differences in study choices is that boys and girls are not the same at a biological level. In every culture, there are variations in the likes and dislikes of each gender. A clear distinction is that boys tend to be more aggressive and, as a result, seek out physical sports in order to release their aggression. Similarly, boys seem to be more attracted to subjects – like those in the science field – that require problem-solving and analytical thinking. A clear example of this is countries where gender equality in subjects is enforced. For example, Norway has a policy to get equal numbers of men and women into subjects, such as engineering, but the results are clear. Even when women are guaranteed places in these courses and have their tuition paid for by the government, they choose to study traditionally “female” subjects.

TIP – If you can only think of one idea/reason, that’s OKAY. Explain it clearly and give an example. Use advanced, academic vocabulary and a range of grammatical structures, and you will be fine.

However, although there are clear differences between genders, it does not mean that girls should not be able to follow a career in science or that boys should be discouraged from studying art-based ones. There are many girls who want to study science or engineering, and they should be given the same opportunity as boys to do it and can be just as successful in those fields.

STEP 3 – Conclusion

The contrasting subject choices between different genders is an obvious result of the fact that men and women are not identical. Nevertheless, everyone should be treated fairly and have the chance to chase and reach their dreams. (295 words)

TIP – Your introduction needs to do TWO things for the reader (i) Restate the reason(s) for different subject choices (ii) Show why your opinion is a good one (“…everyone should be treated fairly…”)

Boy and girl and their favorite subject in school.

FULL SAMPLE ANSWER

It is apparent that there are gender preferences when it comes to choosing a course of study. The primary reason for this is biology, although this fact does not mean that people of differing genders should not be free to pursue whatever subject interests them.

The ultimate reason for differences in study choices is that boys and girls are not the same at a biological level. In every culture, there are variations in the likes and dislikes of each gender. A clear distinction is that boys tend to be more aggressive and, as a result, seek out physical sports in order to release their aggression. Similarly, boys seem to be more attracted to subjects – like those in the science field – that require problem-solving and analytical thinking. A clear example of this is countries where gender equality in subjects is enforced. For example, Norway has a policy to get equal numbers of men and women into subjects, such as engineering, but the results are clear. Even when women are guaranteed places in these courses and have their tuition paid for by the government, they choose to study traditionally “female” subjects.

However, although there are clear differences between genders, it does not mean that girls should not be able to follow a career in science or that boys should be discouraged from studying art-based ones. There are many girls who want to study science or engineering, and they should be given the same opportunity as boys to do it.

The contrasting subject choices between different genders is an obvious result of the fact that men and women are not identical. Nevertheless, everyone should be treated fairly and have the chance to chase and reach their dreams. (295 words)

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BAND 9.0 Essays: Opinion – Investing in Science (Real Test 2017)

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BAND 9.0 Reports: Pie Charts – Waste Disposal

T1 Pie Charts - Waste Disposal

GENERAL TIPS –
  1. Each chart has 9 parts. You do NOT have enough time to write about each one.
  2. The charts compare changes over time (1960-2011), so write about the significant changes (and similarities!)
  3. Make sure your details are comparing information. If you just list the data, you will not get a good mark. READ the instructions!
  4. Your structure should include (i) an introduction (ii) an overview (iii) 1-2 body paragraphs with a clear topic (e.g. one paragraph for “differences” and one for “similarities”)

 

T1 Pie Charts - Waste Disposal

STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

NOTE – Synonyms and advanced vocabulary are included in bold. Linking vocabulary is included italics.

Step 1 – Introduction

The charts give information about different types of waste disposed of in one country in 1960 and 2011.

[Paraphrase] “The charts provide data relating to different methods of waste disposal in a particular country in 1960 and 2011.

TIPS – (i) Common phrases like “give information” should always be replaced with a synonym (ii) If you can’t think of a synonym (sometimes there is not a good one), then change the grammatical structure. In the above example, “waste disposed” has been changed to “waste disposal”.

T1 Pie Charts - Waste Disposal

Step 2 – Overview

Your overview needs to tell the reader the key points from the chart(s). When there are many parts (this one has 9) it can be difficult to clearly report the necessary information. Therefore, let’s write out the data in a list and look for interesting information (big ones, small ones, similarities, and differences)

Paper (1960) 25% (2011) 15%

Green Waste 9% –> 9%

Metal 8% –> 9%

Glass 5% –> 5%

Plastic 8% –> 18%

Wood 4% –> 8%

Food 12% –> 21%

Textiles 17% –> 11%

Other 12% –> 4%

Now we can see that over the period, people disposed of less paper, textiles, and other waste, while they disposed of more plastic, wood, and food. Of course, the other categories remained the same (or almost the same). Now, we can write the overview

SAMPLE – Over the period, the amount of paper, food and other waste that was disposed of fell noticeably. On the other hand, people got rid of a larger percentage of plastic, wood, and food. Finally, disposal of other items remained roughly constant.

T1 Pie Charts - Waste Disposal

Now, use the data to make your overview clear to the reader. Make sure you use comparative language.

SAMPLE – [Body paragraph 1 – Less] “In 1960, paper made up one quarter of total waste disposal, but by 2011, this had fallen to slightly less than one-sixth. Moreover, the percentage of textiles also experienced a considerable drop, decreasing from 17% to 11%. Lastly, the proportion of textiles discarded in 2011 was three times lower (4%) than it was in 1960 (12%).

In contrast, the percentage of food discarded in 2011 (21%) was substantially higher than the figure of 12% in 1960, while the figure for wood was twice as high, at 8% compared to 4%. Another notable increase was in the percentage of plastic thrown away, which by 2011 (18%) was more than double the 1960 figure (8%).

NOTE – So far, this report is around 170 words. If you have time, you can write about the ones that did not change in a quick paragraph like below.

Last but not least, the disposal of green waste, metal, and glass stayed mostly unchanged, with proportions of approximately 9% for the first two and 5% for the latter.

T1 Pie Charts - Waste Disposal

FULL ANSWER

The charts provide data relating to different methods of waste disposal in a particular country in 1960 and 2011.

Over the period, the amount of paper, food and other waste that was disposed of fell noticeably. On the other hand, people got rid of a larger percentage of plastic, wood, and food. Finally, disposal of other items remained roughly constant.

In 1960, paper made up one quarter of total waste disposal, but by 2011, this had fallen to slightly less than one-sixth. Moreover, the percentage of textiles also experienced a considerable drop, decreasing from 17% to 11%. Lastly, the proportion of textiles discarded in 2011 was three times lower (4%) than it was in 1960 (12%).

In contrast, the percentage of food discarded in 2011 (21%) was substantially higher than the figure of 12% in 1960, while the figure for wood was twice as high, at 8% compared to 4%. Another notable increase was in the percentage of plastic thrown away, which by 2011 (18%) was more than double the 1960 figure (8%). (173 words)

Last but not least, the disposal of green waste, metal, and glass stayed mostly unchanged, with proportions of approximately 9% for the first two and 5% for the latter.” (202 words)

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Band 9 Speaking: Part 1 – Colours

THINGS TO REMEMBER

Speaking Part 1 is a casual conversation

DON’T use academic vocabulary

DON’T speak too formally

TRY to speak for 3 sentences (but NOT longer)

Colours

NOTE – Synonyms and advanced vocabulary are in bold. Linking vocabulary is in italics.

QUESTION 1 – What is your favourite colour?

SAMPLE ANSWER – “Um, I don’t know if I have a favourite colour. I guess I like natural colours, like brown and green. I don’t like things that are too bright.”

TIPS – (1) There is no “correct” answer. You just need to show that you can speak casually about some common topics. If you don’t have an answer, then that’s what you should say (with reasons!) (2) Try to give specific examples for general statements. For example, say what you mean by “natural colours”.

Colours 1

QUESTION 2 – Are there any colours you don’t like?

SAMPLE ANSWER – “Like I said before, I don’t really like bright colours. I’m kind of an introverted person, so bright colours give me a headache. I especially don’t like pink and yellow”

TIPS – (1) If you repeat an idea from a previous answer, then link your speaking with a phrase like, “Like I said before” or “As I mentioned earlier” (2) Use casual language like “kind of” to make your speaking sound more natural.

Colours 2

QUESTION 3 – What colours are popular in your country?

SAMPLE ANSWER – “Red is a meaningful colour in my country. It’s a symbol of luck. You can see a lot of it at special occasions, like weddings.”

SAMPLE ANSWER 2 – “Hmmm, I don’t know if there are any colours that are particularly popular. I think it depends on each person’s personality. Some people like bright colours, while others prefer dark ones.

TIP – You can say anything as long as you answer the question and are clear.

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BAND 9.0 Speaking: Part 3 – Gifts

THINGS TO REMEMBER –

(1) Part 3 is the most difficult part of the speaking test.

(2) Focus on structure and being clear before you worry about vocabulary and grammar

(3) Try to say 3-5 sentences.

(4) Organize your answer like a body paragraph in a Task 2 (Writing) essay (i) A clear topic statement (ii) Explanation of the statement (iii) An example (if you can) (iv) Link to a new idea.

Gifts 4

NOTE – Synonyms and advanced vocabulary are in bold. Linking vocabulary is in italics. Questions you need to answer for the examiner are in […]

QUESTION 1 – Why do people give gifts in our society?

SAMPLE ANSWER – “I think people give gifts for many reasons. One of the main ones is to celebrate a significant event [Like what?], such as a anniversary or maybe a graduation. People also like to give gifts to show their appreciation to someone (For what?). I mean if someone has done a good job or helped someone in some way then they might be given a gift as a “thank you”.”

TIP – When you have to list reasons, you can start with a simple sentence to give you some time to think – something like “Um…there are a lot of reasons….”

Gifts 6

QUESTION 2 – Why do some people like to give hand-made gifts instead of purchasing them in a store?

SAMPLE ANSWER – “I think it’s because something made by hand is more personal than something bought in a store [How?] It shows that the person giving the gift cares about the person and is happy to put in some effort to make something nice for another person. It’s the thought that counts!”

TIPS – (1) Rephrase the question with some synonyms. In the above example, “hand-made gifts” has been changed to “something made by hand” and “purchasing” has been changed to “bought” (2) Make sure your main ideas a clear [a keyword or phrase] such as “personal” in the above example (3) If you can, use some common English expressions like in the last sentence [“It’s the thought that counts”]

Gifts 5

QUESTION 3 – What kind of educational gifts can be given to children?

SAMPLE ANSWER – “Hmmm, I’m not sure about that. Um, I think books are a good gift for children because they are a great way to learn about the world [How?] Books can be about anything. Also, because many children now have a smartphone or internet-connected device, maybe some kind of educational apps would make a good gift.”

TIPS – (1) If you need some time to think (1-2 seconds!) then use a phrase like in the first sentence above (2) You don’t need to be a genius/expert to get a high mark. Just focus on making your ideas clear – What’s a good way to learn? Um…books? That’s all you have to think of.

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BAND 9.0 Essays: Opinion – Investing in Science (Real Test 2017)

TOPIC –

The government should invest more money in teaching science than other subjects for a country’s development and progress. To what extent do you agree of disagree?

GENERAL POINTS –

(1) When the question says “[T]o what extent”, your view can be anywhere from “totally agree” to “completely disagree”. You can “partly agree” or “somewhat agree” or just stay “in the middle”. As long as you make your view clear in your introduction, you will be fine.

(2) Even if you “totally agree” (or “totally disagree”), it is a good idea to mention both sides of the argument. For example, when you give your view in the introduction, you could write something like – “Even though living with a partner before getting married is looked down on by some people, I completely disagree that there is anything wrong with this.” Another example – “While many believe that school uniforms are an unnecessary requirement, I strongly believe that students should be forced to wear them.”

(3) Your essay should be 4-5 paragraphs. If you have FOUR, the structure should be (i) Introduction (ii) Supporting Idea 1 (iii) Supporting Idea 2 (iv) Conclusion. If you have FIVE, you can add an extra body paragraph with a view from the other side. However, as long as your body supports your view from the introduction, you can get a high mark with any structure.

Science Investment 2

STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

NOTE – Synonyms and advanced vocabulary are included in bold. Linking vocabulary is included in italics. Questions that you need to answer for the reader are included in […]

Step 1 – INTRODUCTION

TOPIC – The government should invest more money in teaching science than other subjects for a country’s development and progress. To what extent do you agree of disagree?

The advancement of science, and its application in a wide range of areas, has improved the lives of almost everyone around the world. As a result, it is essential that governments should devote additional funds to teaching science, although other subjects still have their importance.

Businessman Carrying A Briefcase And Coming Out Of An Eggshell Clipart Illustration Image

Step 2 – Body
TIP – Make sure you link your ideas directly to the topic: investment in science –> helps a country’s progress. If you just write about how science is good in general, you will not get a good mark because you haven’t answered the question properly. Notice how both body paragraphs (and the conclusion!) mention “social/national progress/development”.

The primary reason for this view is that scientific education teaches critical thinking [How?] Science is based on asking questions about the world that can be tested in order to find answers that anyone can find for themselves. Without a sound scientific education, people are more likely to believe superstition, old wives’ talesand the beliefs of their ignorant ancestors [What’s the negative result of this?], which makes it easier for them to be deceived and taken advantage of by governments and by people in general.  The fact is that developed societies have high levels of scientific knowledge, while less developed ones do not.

Of course, it is also necessary for students to study other subjects so that they can become well-rounded individuals [Why?] Science helps us to explain the world, but we also have to live in it [So what?] Being able to appreciate art, music, and literature helps us to understand each other and lead more satisfying lives. An advanced society needs both science to progress and art to make life worth living.

 

Step 3 – CONCLUSION

TIP – (1) Summarize the view from your introduction (and any supporting ideas from your body). Make sure you paraphrase (don’t use the same words!) (2) Try to finish with a memorable/powerful sentence that tells the reader why your view is important.

In summary, science helps a nation to advance by allowing its citizens to think independently and make decisions that are supported by evidence. Without a basic understanding of science, the world would be – and was – a much worse place.

Science Investment 1

FULL SAMPLE ANSWER

The advancement of science, and its application in a wide range of areas, has improved the lives of almost everyone around the world. As a result, it is essential that governments should devote additional funds to teaching science, although other subjects still have their importance.

The primary reason for this view is that scientific education teaches critical thinking [How?] Science is based on asking questions about the world that can be tested in order to find answers that anyone can find for themselves. Without a sound scientific education, the average person is more likely to believe superstition, old wives’ talesand the beliefs of their ignorant ancestors [What’s the negative result of this?], which makes it easier for them to be deceived and taken advantage of by governments and other people in their daily lives.  The fact is that developed societies have high levels of scientific knowledge, while less developed ones do not.

Of course, it is also necessary for students to study other subjects so that they can become well-rounded individuals [Why?] Science helps us to explain the world, but we also have to live in it [So what?] Being able to appreciate art, music, and literature helps us to understand each other and lead more satisfying lives. An advanced society needs both science to progress and art to make life worth living.

In summary, science helps a nation to advance by allowing its citizens to think independently and make decisions that are supported by evidence. Without a basic understanding of science, the world would be – and was – a much worse place. (261 words)

 

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BAND 9.0 Reports: Processes – Hydropower

T1 Processes - Hydropower

THINGS TO REMEMBER FOR PROCESSES –

(1) Often the process will contain some words that are unfamiliar. Don’t worry. They are often unfamiliar to native speakers too. For example, in the above process, almost no native speakers will know what a “Penstock” is. To solve this problem, simply use an appropriate verb and write the unknown term with correct grammar. In this example, it seems like “water flows into/enters the penstock”, so that’s ALL you need to write.

(2) Processes are a series of steps, so make sure you use a variety of linking vocabulary (No repetition if you can). See the sample below for examples.

(3) Processes normally require you to use the present passive tense. This is because something is being done to something. For example, “bread is made by the baker” NOT “The baker bakes the bread” because the process is about baking bread not bakers. The exception is natural processes where the present simple tense is used. Do NOT use “will” or other future tenses.

(4) A good description/report is one where the reader can picture/imagine what the diagram looks like (and even re-draw it) without having seen it.

T1 Processes - Hydropower

STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

NOTE – Advanced vocabulary and synonyms are included in bold. Linking vocabulary is included in italics.

Step 1 – Introduction

TITLE – The diagram shows how electricity is produced by a hydroelectric dam.

SAMPLE (paraphrase the title) – “The diagram illustrates the production of power through the use of a hydroelectric dam.

TIP – you don’t need to think of a synonym for “hydroelectric dam”, but always try to have synonyms for “shows” and common words like “produce” (e.g. “generate”) and “electricity” (e.g. “power”)
Step 2 – Overview

SAMPLE – The process begins with water in a reservoir and ends with the transmission of power via long-distance power lines.

TIP – In the overview for your process, you can report how many stages there are or – if it’s unclear (like this one!) – you can mention the start and end points of the process.
Step 3 – Body

“In order to generate hydroelectricity, the first step is to collect water in a reservoir. When power generations begins the water passes through an intake in the bottom of the dam and then enters a long tunnel called a penstock. On the other hand, when power is not being produced, the intake is blocked by a large gate that prevents the flow of water. However, when the intake is opened, the water flows down the penstock and the pressure it creates is used to spin a turbine, which is connected to a generator in a place referred to as the powerhouse. At the same time, the water that has gone through the turbine flows out into the river below the dam. Finally, the generator in the powerhouse is connected to power lines which are used to transport the electricity over long distances.

T1 Processes - Hydropower

FULL SAMPLE ANSWER

The diagram illustrates the production of power through the use of a hydroelectric dam.

The process begins with water in a reservoir and ends with the transmission of power via long-distance power lines.

In order to generate hydroelectricity, the first step is to collect water in a reservoir. When power generations begins the water passes through an intake in the bottom of the dam and then enters a long tunnel called a penstock. On the other hand, when power is not being produced the intake is blocked by a large gate that prevents the flow of water. However, when the intake is opened, the water flows down the penstock and the pressure it creates is used to spin a turbine, which is connected to a generator in a place referred to as the powerhouse. At the same time, the water that has gone through the turbine flows out into the river below the dam. Finally, the generator in the powerhouse is connected to power lines which are used to transport the electricity over long distances. (175 words)

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BAND 9.0 Reports: Bar Charts – News Sources (Real Test 2017)

T1 Line Graph -Internet Habits

GENERAL POINTS –

(1) Learn as many words and phrases you can use for ANY report you have to write. Read the example below for more details

(2) You MUST paraphrase the introduction (don’t copy it). Learn some words and phrases you can use for any situation (as mentioned above and shown below).

(3) You MUST include an overview. Try to look for the most important points, which are normally: highs, lows, big changes, no change, similarities, and differences. You will NOT get above Band 5 without an overview.

(4) Organise your answer into 4 paragraphs (usually). This should be (i) an introduction (ii) an overview (iii) 2 body paragraphs with a clear focus e.g. one paragraph for “highs” and one paragraph for “lows”. WARNING – in this example, there are THREE body paragraphs because it helps to make the information clearer. However, each paragraph still follows the rules of a clear focus and relevant use of data from the chart.

STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

NOTE – Synonyms and descriptive/comparative words/phrases (e.g. “climbed significantly” or “most common”) are included in bold. Linking vocabulary is written in italics.

Step 1 – Introduction

TIPS – Use synonyms for common words/phrases (“gives information” “types” “different” “one”) and rephrase the topic(s) if you can. In this example, “media…used to get daily news” has been changed to “news sources”

TOPIC – The chart below gives information about the types of media that people in different age groups used to get daily news in one country in 2011.

SAMPLE (paraphrased topic) – The chart provides data relating to the kinds of news sources used by various age groups in a particular country in 2011.

T1 Line Graph -Internet Habits

STEP 2 – Overview

TIPS – (1) Look for the biggest, smallest, and changes over time (2) Don’t forget that you need to compare as well! (3) Also, do NOT include any specific data in your overview (numbers/figures)

SAMPLE – A quick overview of the chart reveals that radio was the most common source of news for all ages, except for the youngest category (10-17 years old). Moreover, internet-based media (social media and micro-blogging) was considerably more popular among younger age groups.

T1 Line Graph -Internet Habits

STEP 3 – Body

TIPS – (1) The job of the body is to make the overview clear. Use data from the chart to support the points you’ve made in the overview (2) Use a variety of ways to report data e.g. instead of “80%” you can write “four-fifths” or “four out of ten people” (3) You do NOT have to (and should not) write about every piece of data. Only mention things that help to make your overview clear.

SAMPLE – 88 to 95 percent of people in age groups above 17 listened to the radio for their news. In contrast, only 4 out of 10 people younger than this used the radio for the purpose of getting news.

On the other hand, 80% of people under 29 got their news from social networks, while this figure dropped dramatically to 45% for people aged 30-49 and to only 10% for people in the oldest category (65+).

Finally, micro-blogging was the least common news source in all age groups, but was still most popular among the 10-17 and 18-29 age groups. However, like the use of social networks, this percentage experienced a significant fall in the older age groups, plummeting from 13% in 30-49-year-olds to only 2% in those over 65. (189 words)

T1 Line Graph -Internet Habits

FULL SAMPLE ANSWER

The chart provides data relating to the kinds of news sources used by various age groups in a particular country in 2011.

A quick overview of the chart reveals that radio was the most common source of news for all ages, except for the youngest category (10-17 years old). Moreover, internet-based media (social media and micro-blogging) was considerably more popular among younger age groups.

88 to 95% of people in age groups above 17 listened to the radio for their news. In contrast, only 4 out of 10 people younger than this used the radio for this purpose.

On the other hand, 80% of people under 29 got their news from social networks, while this figure dropped dramatically to 45% for people age 30-49 and to only 10% for people in the oldest category (65+).

Micro-blogging was the least common news source in all age groups, but was still most popular among the 10-17 and 18-29 age groups. However, like the use of social networks, this percentage experienced a significant fall in the older age groups, plummeting from 13% in 30-49-year-olds to only 2% in those over 65. (195 words)

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BAND 9.0 Speaking: Part 3 – Houses and Homes

Homes

NOTE – Synonyms and advanced vocabulary have been included in bold. Structural vocabulary (linking words/phrases) have been included in italics.
Notes for what the speaker should explain/add have been included in […]
1. What are the differences between a new house and an old house?

SAMPLE – “Okay, let me see. Well, houses that have been built more recently generally have more modern conveniences [like what?]. They might have some time-saving appliances like dishwashers . Moreover, newer homes are often constructed in a better way [How?]. They often have better insulation, which means they are warmer and drier, and there occupants are more comfortable and healthier.

TIPS – (1) Aim for some synonyms from the question. In this example, “built more recently” and “newer” [comparative vocabulary] have been used instead of “new” (2) Express your exact meaning with words like “generally” (3) Try to add some topic-specific and/or advanced vocabulary.

Homes 1

2. How are people wasting energy at home?

SAMPLE – “People waste energy around the house in numerous ways. I think, in most cases, it’s just because it’s easier to do nothing and it doesn’t seem like a major problem at the time [can you make it clear with an example?]. For example, someone might leave the light on instead of switching it off when they leave the room. Another common lazy habit is leaving the tap running when someone is brushing their teeth.”

TIPS – (1) Many Part 3 questions require you to list some “reasons” or “ways” or “types”. You can begin your answer with a general statement (like above) and then give some specific details (2) Simple changes like “at home” to “around the house” can help to boost your score (3) Make sure you link your different points with appropriate vocabulary. In the Speaking Test, it is best to use simple words like “Also” or “Another thing”.

Homes 2

3. How can solar heaters help to save energy?

SAMPLE – “Do you mean something like solar panels on the roof of the house? [Examiner – “Yes.”] …Okay, um, solar power is a great way to conserve power because instead of using electricity from the local grid people can simply use energy from the sun. This is especially important in countries where the power supply is not stable [what do you mean?] – I mean there are frequent power cuts.”

TIPS – (1) This is a difficult question. If you are not sure exactly what is being asked, you can ask the examiner to clarify the question (like in the sample above). However, the examiner is NOT able to explain words for you (2) This is an example of a question where you need to have a good vocabulary to answer it well. It is a good idea to read and learn about as many “modern” topics as you can before you take the Speaking Test.

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Band 9.0 Reports: Tables – Renewable Energy (Real Test 2017)

 

T1 Table - Renewable Energy

GENERAL POINTS –

(1) Many Task 1 topics are about energy/power production or something similar. Make sure you have a good range of synonyms relating to these topics. For example, “renewable” can be “non-fossil fuels/non-fossil fuel sources”.

(2) Organise your report in a clear way. Remember with ALL Task 1 reports, the reader should be able to “see/imagine” what the chart looks like without seeing it. Your descriptions should make the key information clear.

(3) You can always follow the structure of (i) Introduction (ii) Overview (iii) Two body paragraphs with a clear main point and then data to support the point.

(4) You MUST include an OVERVIEW (summary of the main details) or you will NOT get above Band 5.

(5) Tables can be difficult to write about as there is often a lot of information and it can be hard to organise. To make it simple just look for the BIGGEST, the SMALLEST, SIMILARITIES, and DIFFERENCES.

T1 Table - Renewable Energy

STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

Note – synonyms and advanced vocabulary are included in bold. Linking/structural vocabulary is included in italic

Step 1 – INTRODUCTION

The table shows the percentage of energy produced from renewable sources in the UK and the number of employees in 2009.

“The table displays the proportion of power generated from non-fossil fuel sources and how many people were employed in each sector in 2009.”

TIP – Instead of repeating the term “employees” the structure has been changed to past passive (“were employed”). Changing the grammatical structure is a good way to improve your score, especially if you can’t think of a synonym!

Step 2 – OVERVIEW

A brief assessment of the table shows that, although wind and hydro-electric power were the most used sources of renewable energy, they employed the fewest number of people. Conversely, electricity produced from sunlight provided the lowest amount of energy, yet the solar industry had by far the highest level of employees.

TIP – You don’t have to write about EVERY category in your overview. Just focus on highs, lows, similarities, and differences.

T1 Table - Renewable Energy

Step 3 – BODY

TIP – Think of a clear way to organise your body. In this example, the first body paragraph is going to be about “highs and lows”, so it will focus on describing and comparing “wind”, “hydro”, and “solar” power. The second paragraph will focus on similarities and differences, so it will be about “geothermal” and “tidal” power.

“In 2009, 13.7 percent of energy production in the UK came from hydropower, while the figure for wind was slightly lower at 10.2 percent. Moreover, these sectors employed similar amounts of people, with 1013 employees for the former and 1198 for the latter. In contrast, solar energy made lowest contribution to power production (3.6%), although solar provided jobs for 12,450 people, which was almost three times greater than the next biggest (geothermal).

With respect to the remaining sources of renewable power – tidal and geothermal – they provided almost identical percentages of 6.8 and 6.9 percent respectively. On the other hand, while geothermal energy production employed just over 4,500 people, tidal power employed a little less than half this number (2,034).

FULL SAMPLE ANSWER

T1 Table - Renewable Energy

The table displays the proportion of power generated from non-fossil fuel sources and how many people were employed in each sector in 2009.

A brief assessment of the table shows that, although wind and hydro-electric power were the most used sources of renewable energy, they employed the fewest number of people. Conversely, electricity produced from sunlight provided the lowest amount of energy, yet the solar industry had by far the highest level of employees.

In 2009, 13.7 percent of energy production in the UK came from hydropower, while the figure for wind was slightly lower at 10.2 percent. Moreover, these sectors employed similar amounts of people, with 1013 employees for the former and 1198 for the latter. In contrast, solar energy made lowest contribution to power production (3.6%), although solar provided jobs for 12,450 people, which was almost three times greater than the next biggest (geothermal).

With respect to the remaining sources of renewable power – tidal and geothermal – they provided almost identical percentages of 6.8 and 6.9 percent respectively. On the other hand, while geothermal energy production employed just over 4,500 people, tidal power employed a little less than half this number (2,034). (195 words)

FEEL FREE TO POST ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS YOU MIGHT HAVE.

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Band 9.0 Essays: Opinion – Online Courses

Some universities offer online courses as an alternative to classes delivered on campus. Do you think this is a positive or negative development?

Online Courses

GENERAL POINTS –

(1) This is an opinion essay. You can strongly agree, strongly disagree, partly agree…and so on. However, REMEMBER even if you have a strong view, it is useful to show the reader that you have at least thought about the other side.

(2) STRUCTURE – This essay can be four paragraphs (i) an introduction with your view (ii) first supporting idea (iii) second supporting idea (iv) a conclusion where you restate your view and finish strongly.

(3) Link your ideas with a variety of transition words and phrases e.g “Moreover”, “In contrast” “On the other hand” “Finally” “In summary” etc.

(4) Use some synonyms from the question (see the words/phrases in bold). Also, try to add some advanced academic vocabulary related to the topic.

Online Courses 1

TOPIC – Some universities offer online courses as an alternative to classes delivered on campus. Do you think this is a positive or negative development?

NOTE – Synonyms and advanced vocabulary are included in bold. Linking words and general essay vocabulary are in italics (remember you should use these for ALL essays!) Questions that you need to answer for the reader to make your argument cohesive are included in […]

The advent of widespread internet access has made it possible for students to study online as opposed to face-to-face in a traditional university setting. While this option brings with it attractive benefits, it also has some potential drawbacks that must be kept in mind.

NOTE – the writer has used synonyms for the key topic words AND “advantages/disadvantages” ALSO, note how the writer’s view is clear. They are “in the middle”. ALSO, notice how both sides of the topic [online studying vs. university studying] are mentioned.

The appeal of studying via one’s internet connection is that it is flexible [What do you mean by flexible?] In the modern world, many people are forced to juggle their studies with work [How does online studying help], which means they are often not free to attend classes during daytime hours. By being able to study at their leisure, they can advance their education without suffering in other areas. Moreover, the worldwide coverage of the internet means that people who do not live within the vicinity of a university can also access vital educational resources which can make a massive difference in their lives and the lives of those in their communities.

On the other hand, the benefit of university extends further than being able to learn directly from a lecturer [What are the other benefits?] College campuses are places where young people can develop their teamwork and group skills, while also being the place where people establish relationships that will help them find jobs and be successful in their future careers. As the old saying goes – “It’s not what you know. It’s who you know.”

TIP – If you can include a relevant quote, idiom, or expression, it will help your essay seem more advanced. Try to include a specific example if you can too.

Overall, the existence of online studying provides an exciting opportunity for people to learn who would otherwise not be able to. Nevertheless, it must be remembered that the advantages of attending a university campus reach far beyond the academic knowledge that one learns there. (275 words)

Online Courses 2

FULL SAMPLE ANSWER

The advent of widespread internet access has made it possible for students to study online as opposed to face-to-face in a traditional university setting. While this option brings with it attractive benefits, it also has some potential drawbacks that must be kept in mind.

The appeal of studying via one’s internet connection is that it is flexible [What do you mean by flexible?] In the modern world, many people are forced to juggle their studies with work [How does online studying help], which means they are often not free to attend classes during daytime hours. By being able to study at their leisure, they can advance their education without suffering in other areas. Moreover, the worldwide coverage of the internet means that people who do not live within the vicinity of a university can also access vital educational resources which can make a massive difference in their lives and the lives of those in their communities.

On the other hand, the benefit of university extends further than being able to learn directly from a lecturer [What are the other benefits?] College campuses are places where young people can develop their teamwork and group skills, while also being the place where people establish relationships that will help them find jobs and be successful in their future careers. As the old saying goes – “It’s not what you know. It’s who you know.”

Overall, the existence of online studying provides an exciting opportunity for people to learn who would otherwise not be able to. Nevertheless, it must be remembered that the advantages of attending a university campus reach far beyond the academic knowledge that one learns there. (275 words)

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