Category Archives: IELTS

#EngTips: Overview (IELTS Writing Task 1)

Hello, fellas. In this session we will discuss the overview in IELTS Writing Task 1.

An overview is not a conclusion. A conclusion is a final judgement or opinion. On the other hand, an overview simply describes the main points. It summarizes the information depicted in the graph.

An overview can be put either right after the introduction or in the last paragraph. It does not matter where you place it as long as it is written in your report. However, it is recommended that the overview be put at the beginning because if you run out of time and do not write an overview at all, you will be unable to get a band 6 or higher for your task achievement.

To write an overview, you need to look at the most noticeable feature – what changes occurred from the beginning to the end. You do not need to state numbers because they are included in the specific details. Features like ‘overall change’, ‘highest’ and ‘lowest’, are mentioned without specific figures.




Overall, it is clear that the UK produced the most emissions per capita of the 4 nations over the period although the levels fell slightly. The amount of CO2 emitted per person dropped more markedly in Sweden while levels rose in Italy and Portugal.


Alireza Ramedani, IELTS Writing Compact: GRAPH REVIEW (Academic Task 1)
IELTS buddy, IELTS Made Easy: Step-by-step guide to writing a Task 1
IELTS Writing Task 1 Simon
Bayside, IELTS Academic Writing Task 1: band 9 sample,

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Friday, April 12, 2019

#EngTips: 3 Sentence Structures to Describe Trends (IELTS Writing Task 1)

Hello, fellas. In this session we will discuss one of key elements in IELTS Writing Task 1. It is a variety of sentence structures to describe trends.

To achieve a high score, you should learn to write sentences using different patterns. However, students tend to use only one of those. Consequently, their answer sounds ‘mechanical’. By varying how your sentences are structured, you can show your wide range of grammar.

It is essential that you get word forms right. Verbs can change into nouns and adverbs change into adjectives depending on the structure you choose.

The patterns are:

1) Noun + verb + adverb
Example: The consumption of oil rose steadily in 2008.

2) There + be + adjective + noun + in + noun
Example: There was a steady rise in the consumption of oil in 2008.

3) Time + saw/experienced/witnessed + adjective + noun + in + noun
Example: 2008 saw a steady rise in the consumption of oil.

IELTS buddy, IELTS Made Easy: Step-by-step guide to writing a Task 1

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, March 31, 2019

#EngTips: Opinion in IELTS Writing Task 2

Hello, fellas. Are you going to take the IELTS test? In this session we will learn how to answer one kind of questions in IELTS Writing Task 2. The question is about our opinion. Here is a sample question:

Space exploration is much too expensive and the money should be spent on more important things. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

An answer in IELTS Writing Task 2 is generally structured into 4-5 paragraphs. They are introduction, 2-3 body paragraphs and a conclusion.

1) Introduction

a. Paraphrasing the question
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “paraphrase” means “to say (something that someone else has said or written) using different words”.

Several people believe that space research is a waste of money and the fund should be allocated on more urgent issues.

(More on paraphrasing:

b. Thesis statement
This statement is used to state whether you agree or disagree with an opinion.

Example: I disagree with the statement for two reasons.

(More on thesis statement:

2) Body Paragraphs
Each body paragraph is written to support your thesis statement. It is comprised of a topic sentence and some supporting sentences.

First of all, many of the technologies we take for granted today were originated thanks to space research. Take satellite technology, for example, which we depend on for broadcasting and weather forecasting. Without satellites, we would not be able to follow global events as they happen, nor give populations any warning of approaching storms. Space research has also led to the development of new lightweight materials that offer us heat protection and enable food preservation. Therefore, the challenge of sending human beings into space has often driven the development of new technologies that benefit our everyday lives.
Second, we cannot foresee the distant future, so we ought to develop the capability to escape from the earth. Gradually, we are learning how humans can survive for long periods in space and even travel to other planets in the future. If space exploration is halted, this valuable knowledge will never be acquired. It is true that environmental destruction is also a serious issue, but it is also true that we remain dependent on our environment if we never accept the challenge of exploring other worlds.

3) Conclusion
The concluding paragraph restates the thesis statement and summarizes the body paragraphs.

In conclusion, while we undoubtedly face serious problems on our own planet, it is imperative that we continue to explore space. This will promote further technological advances as well as provide a possible means of escape should earth become uninhabitable in future. Ideally, all nations should cooperate in the advancement of space research.

(More on writing an essay:

IELTS Academic, IELTS Writing Task 2: Opinion Essay with Sample Answer,
Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Alice Oshima and Ann Hogue, Introduction to Academic Writing: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, February 17, 2019

#EngTips: Complex Sentences in IELTS Writing Task 1

Hello, fellas. How is life today? In this session we are going to learn the use of complex sentences in IELTS Writing Task 1.

In terms of IELTS Writing and Speaking, a band score is equally awarded for each of areas, one of which is grammatical range and accuracy. We need to use complex sentences if we aim to score Band 5 or above for grammar. A complex sentence can be made by joining two simple sentences using an –ing form. A comma is put before the –ing clause.

This kind of complex sentences can also be used to add more information about a trend or describe trends that hit a low, reach a peak or stabilise.


  1. The number of households rose in Canada. It reached 11.8 million in 2004. (The number of households rose in Canada, reaching 11.8 million in 2004.)
  2. Standards in hospitals increased in the 1960s. They showed a 20% improvement over the previous decade. (Standards in hospitals increased in the 1960s, showing a 20% improvement over the previous decade.)

IELTS Writing Task 1 Simon
Anneli Williams, Collins English for Exams: Writing for IELTS

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, December 10, 2018

#EngGrammar: Active vs Passive (IELTS Writing Task 1 Process)

Hi, Fellas. Last week we learned how to structure our writing about a process in IELTS Task 1. In case you missed the session, you can read the article in this link. Today we will focus on when to use active voice or passive voice in such kind of writing.

Active Voice

Active voice is used to describe natural processes or events occurring autonomously in nature, where humans are not involved, such as rain and formation of clouds. For example

task 1 rain


Beginning at the evaporation stage, 80% of water vapour in the air comes from the oceans. Heat from the sun causes water to evaporate, and water vapour condenses to form clouds. At the second stage, precipitation, water falls as rain or snow.

Passive Voice

Passive voice is used to report processes of manufacturing a product in a factory or workshop. In passive voice, the action is more important than the person performing it. As an illustration,

task 1 bricks


At the fourth stage in the process, the clay bricks are placed in a drying oven for one to two days. Next, the bricks are heated in a kiln at a moderate temperature (200 – 900 degrees Celsius) and then at a high temperature (up to 1300 degrees), before spending two to three days in a cooling chamber. Finally, the finished bricks are packaged and delivered.


  • Ebrahim Tahasoni, Master IELTS Visuals (Academic Writing Task One): Course Materials & Supplements for Academic Candidates
  • Diana Hopkins and Pauline Cullen, Cambridge Grammar for IELTS with answers
    IELTS Writing Task 1 Simon
  • Alireza Ramedani, IELTS Writing Compact: GRAPH REVIEW (Academic Task 1)

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @englishtipsforyou on Tuesday, July 10, 2018




#EngTips: Process (IELTS Writing Task 1)

Hello, Fellas. To prepare for IELTS Writing Task 1, you do not only need to practice writing based on data, but also diagrams describing how a process occurs. Here is the outline of the task.

bee process



Similar to the other types of IELTS Writing Task 1, the first paragraph constitutes an introduction. It comprises of the paraphrase of the questions and an overview.

a. Paraphrase of the questions

The first sentence tells what the diagram is all about. It can be made by paraphrasing the questions. For example, the question above can be changed into:

  • The diagram illustrates the various stages in the life of a honey bee” 

If you want to know more about paraphrasing, you can read the article by followint this link .

b. Overview

The overview states at least the number of stages. You can also add information on the duration of the process and how it starts and ends.


  • There are five stages in the development of the honey bee, from an egg to a mature adult insect. The life cycle takes between 34 and 36 days to complete.”

2) Body Paragraphs

Body paragraphs are where the steps are described. Break the description into two paragraphs to make it more organised. Do not forget to include the initial and final steps mentioned in the overview, but describe them in more detail or in a different way.


The life cycle of the honey bee starts when the female adult lays an egg. It typically lays one or two eggs every 3 days. Between 9 and 10 days later, each egg hatches and the immature insect, or nymph, appears.

During the third stage, the nymph grows in size and shed its skin three times. This moulting first takes place 5 days after the egg hatches, then 7 days later, and again other 9 days later. After a total of 30 to 31 days from the start of the cycle, the young adult honey bee emerges from its final moulting stage, and in the space of only 4 days, it reaches full maturity.

Sequence Words and Phrases

To show the order of a process, sequence words and phrases can be used.

  1. The First Stage
    • Example:
      • “First,”
      • “In the first stage,”
      • “At/In the beginning,”
      • “The first stage is when…”
      • “The process begins/starts/commences when…”
      • “The process begins with” + <noun/noun phrase>
  2. Middle Stages
    • Ecample:
      • “Next,”
      • “Then,”
      • “Before,”
      • “After,”
      • “After this/that,”
      • “Afterwards,”
      • “In the following stage,”
      • “In the stage after/following this,”
      • “In the stage that follows,”
  3. The Last Stage
    • Exanple;
      • “Finally,”
      • “Ultimately,”
      • “Eventually,”
      • “The last/final stage is when…”
      • “The process ends when”
      • “The process ends with” + <noun/noun phrase>


Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @englishtipsforyou on Tuesday, July 3, 2018




#EngGrammar: Tenses for IELTS Writing Task 1

Hi, Fellas. Today we are still going to discuss IELTS Writing Task 1. However, this discussion will focus on the use of tenses.

Past Tenses

  1. Past Simple Tense. This tense is used to report events or trends occurring in the past.
    • Example:
      • “In 2008, British parents spent an average of around £20 per month on their children’s sporting activities.”
  2. Past Perfect Tense. Past perfect tense is used when we report what happened before a particular time in the past. It can also be used to mention an event or trend taking place earlier.
    • Example:
      • “By 2000, 12.4% of the US population had reached the age of 65 or more.”

Present Simple Tense

Present simple tense is used to describe a process.


  • The cycle of the honey bee begins when the female adult lays an egg; the female typically lays one or two eggs every 3 days. Between 9 and 10 days later, each egg hatches and the immature insect, or nymph, appears.

Future Tense

  1. Simple Future Tense. Simple future tense is used to describe events or trends which will occur in a particular time in the future.
    • Example:
      • “The proportion of foreign students will reach a peak at 60% in 2020.”
  2. Future Perfect Tense. Future perfect tense is used to describe events or trends which will occur before a particular time in the future.
    • Example:
      • The number of cars will have increased significantly by 2024.”

In formal writing, expressions other than will are used to predict the future, e.g. “be likely to,” “be predicted to,” “be projected to,” and “be going to.”


  • “The population is predicted to rise to 22 million in 2025.”
  • “By 2021, the population of Australia is projected to have reached 23.3 million.”


Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @englishtipsforyou on Thursday, June 14, 2018.



#EngTips: Numbers and percentages in IELTS Writing Task 1

Hi, Fellas. How is it going? Today we will talk about IELTS Writing Task 1. As we know, we must usually write an article based on data given in the test. Due to the fact that the data are expressed in numbers or percentages, it is essential that we know other ways of expressing them.


Sometimes, data in IELTS Writing Task 1 are expressed in percentages. To avoid repetition, percentages can be replaced by fractions. For example:

  • 75%= three quarters
  • 67%= two thirds
  • 50%= a half
  • 33%= a third
  • 25%= a quarter
  • 20%= a fifth


  • “75% of global expenditure was spent on food in 1990, while only 20% was allocated on education.”
  • “75% of global expenditure was spent on food in 1990, while only a fifth was allocated on education.”

If the percentage is, for example 51% or 23%, we can use approximations (“approximately,” “around,” “almost,” “about,” “nearly,” “just above/over,” “just below/under,” “a little/slightly more than” or “a little/slightly less than”)


  • “The proportion of foreign students experienced an increase from 25% to 31% in 2004.”
  • “The proportion of foreign students experienced an increase from 25% to just below a third in 2004.”

Comparisons using “half,” “twice,” “three times,” etc. with “as many”/”much…as”


  • “In the 2004 Olympic Games, China won 32 gold medals, while Japan won 16 gold medals.”
  • “In the 2004 Olympic Games, China won twice as many gold medals as Japan.”

“Double,” “treble,” “quadruple,” etc.


  • “The number of businesswomen was 20 in 1994 and it rose to 60 in 1998.”
  • “The number of businesswomen was 20 in 1994 and it trebled four years later.”

“Twofold,” “threefold,” etc.


  • “In 1998, the proportion of unemployed people was 15%. 2 years later, it increased to 45%.”
  • “In 1998, the proportion of unemployed people was 15%. 2 years later, it saw a threefold increase.”


  • Ebrahim Tahasoni, Master IELTS Visuals (Academic Writing Task One): Course Materials & Supplements for Academic Candidates
  • Diana Hopkins and Pauline Cullen, Cambridge Grammar for IELTS with Answers
  • Alireza Ramedani, IELTS Writing Compact: Graph Review (Academic Task 1)

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @englishtips4u on Thursday, June 14, 2018



#EngTips: Paraphrasing

Hi, Fellas. How is it going? Today’s discussion is about one important element of writing, which is paraphrasing. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “paraphrase” means “to say (something that someone else has said or written) using different words.” It is essential that we understand paraphrasing to avoid plagiarism and prepare for IELTS test.

There are several methods of paraphrasing, they are:

Using synonyms

This is probably the most commonly used method. Words can be replaced by their synonyms with no change in meaning. Remember, you do not need to change all words in a sentence.


  • “Parents should teach their children to cooperate.”
  • “Parents should educate their kids to collaborate.”

Changing active voice into passive voice, or vice versa

This method cannot be used for all kinds of sentences because only transitive sentences (sentences containing objects) can be changed into passive voice.


  • “Deforestation causes global warming.” (active voice)
  • “Global warming is caused by deforestation.” (passive voice)


According to Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, nominalization is “the process of making a noun from a verb or adjective”.


  • “The price of oil rises.” [rise (verb)]
  • “There is a rise in the price of oil.” [rise (noun)]

Incorporating Data

This is a method of paraphrasing related to numbers.


  • “From 1990 to 2000, the population of Indonesia increased significantly.”
  • “In ten years, the population of Indonesia increased significantly.”
  • “In a decade, the population of Indonesia increased significantly.”

Adding Information

In order to paraphrase by using this approach, it is better if you add information, which is general.


  • “Many Indonesian scholars study in London, Paris, and Berlin.”
  • “Many Indonesian scholars study in European cities.:

Joining Sentences Using Conjunction

Conjunction is a part of speech connecting words, phrases, clauses, or sentences, for instance, “and,” “but,” “because,” “although,” etc.


  • “Students learn English. They want to pursue their education abroad.”
  • “Students learn English because they want to pursue their education abroad.”

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, May 24, 2018.



#EngTips: IELTS academic writing task 1 (chart data)

Hello, Fellas. How are you? Time flies so fast, doesn’t it? It’s already February.

Today, I’m going to give some tips about performing IELTS academic writing test. For you who have some additional tips, either based on your own experience or the tips and trick guidance you’ve read, are free to share it..

I had actually shared the tips of paraphrasing, which acts as the introduction of your essay, some times ago. If you missed the session, you can read it through this link

In this session, we will discuss planning the structure of the essay based on data chart. This might seem difficult, but I personally think that writing an essay from data chart is simpler than the others, such as maps and processes.

I read Barron’s Writing for The IELTS as a guidance. It suggests us to make some a list to determine and at the same time classify the data from the chart.

Firstly, we need to make a list that includes general information of the data, such as the object, the recorded time and place(s), and others.

Here is the illustration:


(Source: Barron’s Writing for The IELTS)
  • Title: Average daily sales, by number of servings
  • What (object): Average daily sales
  • When: winter and summer
  • Where: Vista cafe

Next step, you can make a comparison as well as the details from the object you have figured out.

For example:

Object comparison:

  1. Median daily sales (serving) of foods and beverages in winter


  • The highest serving: hot coffee (above 70)
  • The second highest serving: soup (50)
  • Medium number of serving: salad and ice cream (25 for each item)
  • The lowest serving: ice coffee (below 5)
  1. Median daily sales (serving) of foods and beverages in summer.


  • The highest serving: ice coffee (40)
  • The second highest serving: ice cream (35)
  • Medium number of serving: hot coffee (30)
  • Lowest number of serving: salad and soup (25)

From the details given, you can start writing your essay by comparing the data and also describing the details’ information (discussion). According to the example, you can compare the highest and the lowest food/drink serving in each season.

Lastly, make your conclusion. This part can be put either before the or after the discussion. Besides, you can write your conclusion by using the comparison information in general. For illustration, “Overall, hot coffee and soup are the most purchased items in winter while Ice coffee and ice cream reached the highest servings in summer.”

Compiled and written by @mettaa_ for @EnglishTips4u on Thursday, February 1, 2018

#EngTips: IELTS Academic Writing task 1 (paraphrasing)

Hi, Fellas. Are you currently studying for your IELTS test? If you are, then you and I are on the same boat. I started to prepare it since the end of February and I used to think that the hardest part of IELTS test is speaking. However, apparently each session are complicated. Speaking session might be scary, but it is not as difficult as writing session.

We have actually discussed IELTS academic writing task before. If you missed it, you can read it on this link (

In the previous article you might find the general tips to accomplish IELTS academic writing test and in this occasion I would specially share some tips to perform the task 1 of the test.

In this part, there are some types of visual task you probably get, they are:

  • Pie chart
  • Bar chart
  • Flow chart
  • Diagram
  • Line chart, and
  • Map

According to my experience of attending online course hosted by University of Queensland, your writing must contain an introduction, the overview, and the information of the data to complete this task with satisfying score.

To make an introduction you can rephrase the given instruction in your own words. You can replace some of the keywords with their synonyms. This work is called paraphrasing. Here is an example to demonstrate it.


There are some steps you can follow to write the introduction:

1. Find the keywords.

From the instruction, there are some keywords we can underline such as ‘The diagram shows’, ‘how rainwater is collected’, ‘drinking water’, and ‘Australia’. They are the clues to develop your explanation on the displayed diagram.

2. Find the synonyms or the related words.

After you determine the keywords, next step is try to find the synonyms of them. Special for ‘diagram’, ‘chart’, or ‘graph’ I suggest you to make no change in introduction paragraph.

The next keyword is ‘show’. Instead of writing ‘show’ you can replace it with

  • Illustrates, or
  • Gives information about.

Now we are facing the complicated keywords, ‘how rainwater is collected’ and ‘the use of drinking water’.

To paraphrase them we have to take a look at the diagram. What do you see? I might say a process. The process of what exactly? Rainwater treatment or rainwater conversion.

If you get a bar chart or another chart which contains numbers, you can use one of the following phrases to paraphrase:

  • The amount of
  • The percentage
  • The change of (you can use this if you get line chart)

3. Write your paragraph

After you finish analyzing the visual and finding the synonyms, you can start to write the paragraph. According to the illustration, we can write:

“The diagram illustrates the process of rainwater treatment into drinking water in Australia.”


“The diagrams gives information about the rainwater conversion process into drinking water in Australia.”

Compiled and written by @mettaa_ for @EnglishTips4u on Tuesday, March 21, 2017.



#EngTips: IELTS vs. TOEFL (2)

If we are not an English native speaker but we are planning to study or work abroad, in some stage of the application, we will need to also attach our IELTS or TOEFL score to our application. Both tests aim to assess our English proficiency and make sure that we are able to communicate well in English.

What are IELTS and TOEFL?

International English Language Test System (IELTS) is an English language test that is used for educational, immigration and occupational purposes, and is accepted by over 9,000 institutions across 130 countries worldwide. Jointly administered by the British Council, University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations and IDP Education Australia, IELTS uses British English, and is more likely to be favoured by UK and institutions in Commonwealth nations such as New Zealand and Australia. Depending on the entry requirements of the program, we might need to take either the Academic or General Training IELTS exam.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) tests our ability to communicate in English in specifically academic, university and classroom-based settings. It is accepted by over 8,500 institutions across 130 countries, including the UK, USA and Australia, as well as all of the world’s top 100 universities. TOEFL is administered by US-based organization, the Education Testing Service, and so is conducted in American English. This test is more likely to be favoured by American institutions.

Similarities between IELTS and TOEFL

Both test our four main language skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. IELTSn Indonesia is similar to other countries, and so is TOEFL, that is why the scoring system is consistent all over the world.

Both tests also cost within the same price range, USD 150 – USD 250 per test per person.

Differences between IELTS and TOEFL

1. Scoring system

IELTS band score ranges from 1 to 9. The score report is valid for two years. We will generally aim to 6.5 to 7 to be considered as a ‘competent’ to ‘good’ user of English language.

TOEFL scores come in two versions. TOEFL Internet Based Test (TOEFL iBT) is more progressive, but test administration in some countries still uses the Paper Based Test (PBT). iBT score ranges from 0 to 120, while PBT ranges from 310 to 677.

The following spreadsheet shows the link between IELTS and TOEFL iBT score.

IELTS & TOEFL scoring system

2. Reading module

The IELTS test has a wide range of question types, while TOEFL test is multiple choices only. IELTS reading test lasts 60 minutes. Reading in TOEFL takes approximately 60 to 80 minutes.

3. Listening module

The IELTS listening test is 30 minutes, while TOEFL is 60 minutes. IELTS has a range of different questions including sentence completion, matching headings, and True, False or Not Given. The TOEFL test is multiple choices only.

We will also hear a range of different accents from English speaking countries such as Ireland, Wales, Scotland, the USA, Canada and Australia on the IELTS test whereas the TOEFL test will always be standard American English.

4. Speaking module

IELTS speaking test consists of 3 sections and its total duration is 15 minutes. In the test, we will have a face-to-face conversation with native English speaker.

In TOEFL speaking test, based on more recently used iBT, we will be talking to the computer. For those who don’t really have time to conduct IELTS, because it’s usually conducted during office hours, taking TOEFL iBT might be more suitable. The test will last for 20 minutes.

5. Writing module

IELTS has two different types of writing test: writing for Academic Training and General Training. Academic is suitable for those hoping to attend university, while General Training is mostly used for immigration purposes.

Both types have total duration 1 hour. In the Academic paper, we will be required to write a short essay based on a given graph, chart, map or cycle diagram. In the General Training paper, we will be asked to write a letter and a short essay on a particular topic.

TOEFL writing test consists of two tasks. The total duration is 50 minutes. In the first task, we need to read a text and then listen to a 2-minute lecture on the same topic. We must then write a short response to a specific question on that topic. The second task is a longer discursive essay on a particular issue, similar to a university style academic essay.

Which test to take?

Normally, the institutions we are applying to would specify which test to take. If they can accept either, the following table can be your consideration.

I like talking to people one-on-one. I prefer talking to a computer.
I like to write by hand. I am better at typing than handwriting.
I can understand a variety of English-speaking accents. I find American accents easy to listen to.
I find it difficult to concentrate for long periods of time. I can concentrate for long periods of time.
I prefer shorter tests. I can easily follow a lecture and take notes.
I prefer different types of questions. I like multiple choice questions.


Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, March 6, 2017

Related post(s):


#EngQuiz: Analogies

Here’s how we play it: you are presented a sentence, then to choose another one with the most suitable relationship.

Here is an example:

Necklace is to beads as __________
mosaic is to tiles
Why? Necklace consists of beads; mosaic consists of tiles
pebble is to mountain
caterpillar is butterfly
baseball is to glove

Okay, let’s start!

1. Topaz is to yellow as __________
diamond is to carat
amber is to blue
sapphire is to red
amethyst is to purple
Why? Topazes are yellow; amethysts are purple.
2. Walk is to legs as __________
gleam is to eyes
chew is to mouth
Why? Walk is a movement of the legs; chewing is a movement of the mouth.
cover is to book
grind is to nose
3. Chronological is to time as __________
virtual is to truth
abnormal is to value
marginal is to knowledge
ordinal is to place
Why? Chronological means in order of time, as ordinal means in order in place.
4. Waitress is to restaurant as __________
actor is to role
teacher is to school
Why? A waitress works in a restaurant; a teacher works in a school.
driver is to truck
author is to book
5. Rain is to drizzle as __________
swim is to drive
hop is to shuffle
run is to jog
Why? To drizzle is to rain slowly; to jog is to run slowly.
juggle is to bounce
6. Depresses is to sad as __________
neat is to considerate
exhausted is to tired
Why? Depressed is an intensification of sad; exhausted is an intensification of tired.
progressive is to tired
rapid is to plodding
7. Finale is to musical as __________
inning is to baseball
mystery is to novel
barista is to coffee
homestretch is to race
Why? The finale is the final part of a musical. The homestretch is the final part of a race.
8. Optimism is to pessimism as __________
success is to failure
Why? optimism is the opposite of pessimism; success it the opposites of failure.
food is to hunger
motivation is to dedication
maturity is to youth

Compiled and written by @AnienditaR at @EnglishTips4u on Saturday, November 28, 2015


Related post(s):



#EngTips: Basic etiquette in writing letters and emails

Imagine the following situation and tell us what you think.

There’s a new email in my inbox from some unknown address, with a blank subject? Do you think it’s worth reading?

Okay. So, curiosity got the better of me and I read it anyway. Nothing was written in it, save for 1 file in the attachment. What would you do?

@DaLonGxxi: it looks suspicious .. it might be a link some hacker has created to hack the account ..

@AwesomeChaser: A big no. I will just delete it even without opening the email.

People used to hand-write their letters and send them by post. However, to save cost and to cut on the use of papers, more prefer to correspond by emails nowadays. Letters and emails alike are tools of communication. Think of them as written communication.

Letter writing is an important life skill, especially in the digital era. It has the potential to affect your reputation and credibility. So, check out these basic e-mail etiquette.


1. State the purpose or main issue of your email in the Subject box.

Subject is the first thing people see, they would either read your email or ignore it altogether. It gives a brief idea of what your email is about.


2. Always start with a salutation.

In verbal communication, “salutation” is the part where we greet someone. This simple point can help build a good first impression. The most common salutation used is “Dear…,”.

  • If you only know the gender of the recipient, not the name, you can start with “Dear Madam/Sir/Miss,” Do pick one of the three.
  • If you know the name of the recipient, you can write his/her name with a title. Example: “Dear Mr. Jones,”
  • If you aren’t writing to a specific contact person, or if you have no idea whom you’re writing to,  you can start with “To whom it may concern,”
  • If you’re writing a semi-formal letter you may use “Hello,” or “Hi,” or even “Hey,” for informal greetings.


3. Depending on whom you’re writing to, you might start by asking after his/her well-being.

Or if you’re writing a more formal email, you might want to skip the small talk and get straight to the point.


4. Organize your thoughts and put them into writing.

If you can help it, divide the content into paragraphs, grouped by topics/ideas. That would definitely help keep the reader’s attention.


5. Thank the recipient.

For the time and effort to read your email, it wouldn’t hurt to add a “thank you” on the last paragraph of your email.


6. Be polite and use a complimentary close.

To end your letter on a good note, use a complimentary close. Of course, followed by your name.

  • For formal letters, stick to “Sincerely yours,” “Kindest regards,” or “Best wishes,”
  • For semi-formal letters, you can end them with “Sincerely,” or “Regards,”.
  • It’s not unheard of to end letters with “Love,” “Affectionately,” or “Fondly,” especially in ones for loved ones or close friends.


All these points might either sound a lot or even trivial for some people, but believe me, these basic etiquette not only shows how well-mannered and civilized you are, but also how much you respect, care about and appreciate the recipient. Yes… Even if you’re only writing to friends or relatives.


Do you have any other pet peeves when it comes to emails? Or do you have other tips on how to write a ‘good’ email? Feel free to mention us on Twitter or leave a comment in the box below.


Compiled and written by @Miss_Qiak at @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, August 14, 2014





#EngTips: Academic IELTS writing tips

In this post, we will specifically talk about the academic writing test in IELTS.

As you know there are 2 versions of IELTS, the Academic version & the General Training version. However since most of our readers are students, we will focus more on the Academic version of IELTS.

The writing module in the academic version consists of 2 tasks. You will have 1 hour to complete both tasks.


2 tasks in 1 hour

In task 1, candidates are to describe a given graphic such as diagram, bar chart, line graph, pie chart or table. You will have to identify important information, compare and contrast different figures or maybe describe a process. You will be expected to write a passage with minimum of 150 words.

Whereas in task 2 of the writing module in the academic version will ask candidates to respond to an argument. Candidates are asked to present their opinion on a statement about a fairly open topic such as: “Smoking should be banned.” Task 2 requires a minimum of 250 words. The essay would be on a general academic topic and in formal style.


Scoring system

Your score is based on 3 criteria:

  • Content: How well do you present your arguments, ideas and evidence? The writing test expects you to give both pro and contra arguments about the topic with examples.
  • Quality: How effectively are you able to communicate your ideas and thoughts?
  • Technical aspects: How correct is your grammar? How rich is your vocab? How varied are your sentences?

This is important! Task 2 is worth twice as much as Task 1. So, manage your time carefully. It is advisable that you spend about 20 minutes on Task 1 and approximately 40 minutes on Task 2.


Managing your time

Time is short! So plan your moves.

  • Spend 2 to 5 minutes to plan.
  • Analyze each task and spend some time making notes.
  • Plan your answers.
  • And once you have arranged your thoughts, put them in writing.

Consider what position you will adopt, how you’re going to expand on the topic and in what order you will present your ideas. Make sure you focus on what you have to do and use paragraphs clearly; put one idea in each paragraph.


Important tips:

1. Write in full sentences. Do not write in note form or in bullet points, otherwise you will lose marks. And do not repeat ideas using different words. Always keep to the topic; do not write about unrelated subjects.

2. Count the number of words in your passage. You’ll lose marks if you write less than 150 words for Task 1 or less than 250 words for Task 2.

3. Grammar and vocabulary will also be assessed. Make sure you check your writing for verb tense agreement. Also check for prepositions, word order, sentence patterns, structure, and range of vocabulary.

4. Avoid informal language. Do not use slang at all. In the academic section of the IELTS, avoid contractions, a clear symbol of informal writing.

5. And if you have some spare time, spend several minutes re-reading and correcting your answers.

The best of luck for you who are planning to take IELTS test!


Compiled and written by @miss_qiak at @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, February 2, 2013


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#EngTips: IELTS vs TOEFL

Hi fellas! Did you follow our #EngTips on TOEFL test (#EngTips: #TOEFL) last week and IELTS test (#EngTips: IELTS) the week before?

Today, admin will give a little recap on IELTS & TOEFL tests. And as I promised, I’ll highlight some of their differences. Ready?

RT @lulyprastuty: @englishtips4u min, what’s the difference of TOEFL & IELTS? Thanks :)

RT @ferisha_: @EnglishTips4U min, IELTS itu bedanya apa ya sama TOEFL? Jelasin dong. Trims~

RT @irtyo: @EnglishTips4U so, what is different between IELTS and TOEFL?

RT @khairunnisaonly: @EnglishTips4U which one is better ?

RT @ATKusuma: @EnglishTips4U IELTS vs TOEFL which is better?

Do you have the same questions as those I’ve just RTed? What’re the differences between IELTS & TOEFL? Which is better?

Let’s do a quick recap to start :) IELTS & TOEFL are tests of English proficiency.

IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System & TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language. Both IELTS and TOEFL iBT tests assess your English reading, writing, listening & speaking skills. IELTS & TOEFL are needed if you wish to study overseas or to apply for scholarship in overseas universities. At the completion of IELTS or TOEFL, you would get a score and the certificate is valid for 2 years.

Now, let’s move on to the differences, shall we?

Different intent
IELTS & TOEFL generally differ in intent.

IELTS & TOEFL test whether you can speak, read, understand and write English well enough to attend college in an English-speaking program.

While TOEFL mainly focus on academic purposes, the IELTS test comes in 2 versions: academic & general training.

Say you wish to migrate to UK, Australia or other commonwealth countries, you can take the General Training version of IELTS. The general training version of IELTS is for those who are looking to head to an English-speaking country for work/immigration.

Different style

TOEFL is designed for North American speakers & hearers. Whereas IELTS is designed to fit a variety of accents & situations.

The spoken portions of TOEFL are read by native North American speakers. The questions are based on North American English.

The writing styles and accents in IELTS tests are designed to mimic the accent & style of many different countries. This makes IELTS ideal for those who are looking to test their ability to speak and read English, but not necessarily need to speak and read North American English.

This difference will have a larger effect because spelling counts and that is one area where Britain and US do not always see eye-to-eye.

Different method of scoring

The score calculation of IELTS & TOEFL also differ.

IELTS tests are rated by so-called ‘band’ scores from 0 to 9. Every module will be awarded a score from 0 to 9, and then averaged for the IELTS band score.

In TOEFL, numeral scores are assigned to different test parts and then totaled for the final TOEFL score.

Different types of questions

The TOEFL test is almost entirely made up of MCQs (multiple choice questions). On the other hand, IELTS has much wider range of question types including MCQs, gap fill, matching exercises, etc. If you do not feel comfortable with MCQs, the TOEFL is not the test for you.

For the reading and listening sections, TOEFL gives you MCQs, whereas IELTS generally expects you to copy down words from the text or from text or conversation word-for-word.

The good thing about MCQ is that it is easy to pick out wrong answers. Whereas the good thing about copying down is that the answer is sitting there in the text. You just need to find it & repeat it.

Different test duration

If you tend to become nervous during a test and want the test to end sooner, you should take the IELTS test.  The TOEFL exam lasts approximately for 4 hours, whereas the IELTS test is significantly shorter, about 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Different style of speaking module

Another large difference is how the speaking section is carried out. In TOEFL, your answer will be recorded and assessed. Whereas the speaking module in IELTS is carried out in front of a native speaker, in an interview format.

Some people might feel more relaxed to just record your answers into a computer because it feels like no one is listening. Because IELTS is done in an interview format with native speaker present, you might get nervous or feel being judged. Or perhaps you might feel more relaxed in a conversation, with a person there to explain if you don’t understand a question or simply having a face to look at, instead of a computer screen.

If you like talking to people, IELTS is a better bet. If you want to be alone and not feel judged, TOEFL will be more comfortable for you.

Different grading criteria

The speaking and writing sections of TOEFL are graded holistically. The grader gives you a score based on the overall quality of the essay, including vocabulary, logic, style and grammar.

The IELTS by contrast is marked by individual criteria and you are scored individually for grammar, word choice, fluency, logic, cohesion, and many others. #EngTips

In other words, if you write well but have a lot of small grammar mistakes, your TOEFL score might be quite good because graders will ignore small mistakes if the overall essay is logical and detailed. The IELTS will not overlook bad grammar.

However, if your grammar and vocabulary are strong but you have trouble expressing your opinion or organizing an essay, you could end up with a low TOEFL score but the IELTS will give you good mark for language use.

If you don’t feel comfortable writing essays but you think you have excellent grammar and vocabulary and overall are a decent writer, the IELTS test will probably be easier for you.

So, which one is better? IELTS or TOEFL?

The final question which usually bothers the majority of candidate is which of the two is more difficult, IELTS or TOEFL. There really is no definite satisfying answer because it depends on your knowledge and preparation, as well as the test itself. Mind you, IELTS & TOEFL change every time they are taken.

Nevertheless, such a question is largely irrelevant, since most educational institutions clearly state what test the students must take in order to enroll in their university, which means students usually know what they have to prepare for and should not lose time by developing fear for any test section.

That’s all, fellas! I hope today’s #EngTips could help you better understand IELTS & TOEFL tests. :D

Compiled and written by @miss_qiak at @EnglishTips4U on January 26, 2013

#EngTips: IELTS

Are you planning to get a scholarship and study or work in Australia, UK or Canada? In this post, we will introduce you to IELTS. It is something very important if you wish to study, work or migrate to countries mentioned above.


What is IELTS?

IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. It’s an internationally standardized test of English proficiency. IELTS is generally used in Australia, UK, Canada, New Zealand, and commonwealth countries. However, these days, universities all over the world take both IELTS and TOEFL to make it easy on international students. The test aims to assess your English skill and make sure that you are ready and able to communicate well in English.

There are 2 versions of IELTS test: Academic Version and General Training Version. The academic version of IELTS is intended for candidates who want to enroll in universities & institutions of higher education. The general training version is intended for those planning to work or migrate to Australia, UK, Canada, New Zealand, etc.


IELTS modules

Both modules contain 4 modules:

  • Reading,
  • Writing,
  • Listening and
  • Speaking.

Reading & Writing modules are different for both academic and general version, but Listening & Speaking modules are the same. Let’s have a look at every module that you will find in an IELTS test. We’ll start from the Reading module.


Reading Module

Candidates have 60 minutes to finish the Reading module. Materials may be from academic textbooks, newspapers or magazines.
The Reading module of the academic version comprises of 3 sections, followed by 13 or 14 questions for a total of 40 questions. The Reading module of the general training version also has 3 sections, however with shorter texts.

One of the three sections will always be an opinion piece whereby you will be asked to give an argument and explain your opinion. The variety of questions is quite broad, and not every text will have every question type.

You might be asked to do one or more of the following:

  • to match headings to paragraphs in the text,
  • to fill in a table or chart or picture from the text,
  • to complete a summary using words from the text,
  • to choose from multiple-choice questions that ask you about key details,
  • to match words and ideas,
  • to give short-answers which are to be taken directly from the text, and/or
  • to state whether a given statement is true, false or not included in the text.


Writing Module

The writing module in the academic version consists of 2 tasks.

  • In task 1 candidates are to describe a diagram, graph, process or chart. You will have to identify important information, compare and contrast different figures or maybe describe a process.
  • Whereas in task 2 of the writing module in the academic version will ask candidates to respond to an argument. Candidates are asked to present their opinion on a statement about a fairly open topic such as: “Smoking should be banned.”

In the 1st task in general training, candidates will write a letter or explain a situation, and in task 2 they write an essay.

Candidates are given 60 minutes to complete the writing module.


Listening Module

The IELTS test has 4 listening sections. Each section can be either a monologue or dialogue.

  • The 1st section is a transactional conversation (such as applying for an ID card) or asking for information.
  • The 2nd section is an informational lecture of some kind such as a dean explaining the rules of the university.
  • The 3rd may be a conversation in an academic context and
  • The last (4th) section will be an academic lecture.

For all sections, you may be asked to: fill out a summary, fill in a table, answer multiple-choice, questions, label a diagram or picture, or classify information into different categories. You will be expected to fill out answers as you listen.

In the listening module, candidates will have 40 minutes, 30 minutes to listen to the recording and answer questions and additional 10 minutes to transfer the answers to the answer sheet.

The first 3 modules of IELTS test (Listening, Reading & Writing) are completed in one day and taken with no break in between. Last but not least, there’s the most interesting part of IELTS test… The speaking module.


Speaking Module

This part will only take 15 minutes. The speaking module is a key component of IELTS. It is conducted in the form of a one-to-one interview with an examiner. The speaking module may be taken, depending on the test centre, in the period of 7 days before or after the other modules.

The speaking module contains 3 sections:

  • The 1st section is an interview. Candidates may be asked about their hobbies, interests, reasons for taking IELTS, and other general topics such as computer, free time, music, film or family.
  • In the 2nd section, candidates are given a topic card and a few specific questions to address. Candidates will have 1 minute to prepare and then speak for 2 minutes on the given topic.
  • The 3rd section is a discussion on questions relating to the theme already spoken about in section 2.

The examiner will assess the candidate as he or she is speaking and the session will be recorded for monitoring. Since the speaking module is done in an interview format, you can ask the interviewer to explain if you don’t understand a question. Getting feedback can be helpful in order to correct mistakes and improve during the test.



Most of you must wonder whether you should take TOEFL or IELTS test. Worry not! Most universities take both TOEFL & IELTS. However you should still check with the specific university you want to apply to. Most educational institutions clearly state what test the students must take in order to enroll in their university.

Don’t worry too much about the test. Practice, prepare yourself and be confident!



A special thanks to @inararirurero for making this —> IELTS #EngTips @EnglishTips4U

Compiled and written by @miss_qiak at @EnglishTips4U on Tuesday, January 8, 2013


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