Getting ready for IELTS: useful tips

In order to succeed in the “interview” section on IELTS, you should know a few tricks. We talk about them in this article.

One trick is to keep an eye on the verb. Using the wrong time is a common mistake that is often made not only in the IELTS exam, but also in everyday speech.

Consider the following dialog:


“Hi, how are you?”, asked a longtime friend.
“I am very well, thank you”, answered the other.


“Where do you work?”, the friend asked again.

“I am working in the Isle of Man”, he answered.

At first glance, there are no mistakes here. But if we carefully analyze the proposals, we will see that the answer to the second question is incorrect. Let’s take a closer look.


From the point of view of grammar, there is no error in the answer to the first question, because the verb “am” is used here, which is consistent with the verb “are” in the question: both stand in a simple present tense.

However, the answer to the second question is incorrect from a grammatical point of view: the verb in the question is in a simple present tense (do), and the verb in the answer is in the present long tense (am working). In other words, the participant in the dialogue replied that he was working right now, although in fact he was talking to a friend. The answer should have been, “I work in the Isle of Man.” The verb “work” is consistent with the verb in question – both stand in a simple present tense.


Pay attention to the fact that the verb in the answer is at the same time as the verb in the question. Do not translate the answer from your native language, try to think immediately in English.


If you’re asked about a hobby, family, or work, use the simple present tense, but when it comes to what happened first, naturally refer to the past tense.


And one more thing: do not memorize possible answers. You cannot know in advance what the examiner will ask you. It is better to practice talking on topics that concern you personally, their examples are given above.


By following these tips and knowing the criteria for evaluating the oral section of IELTS, you will be two steps ahead of the rest.

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