Creating a Positive Impression Lesson 2

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    DonnaMillen(content) Web:http://www.ieltsontrack.comDesign&layoutbyIELTSBlog.com Web:http://www.ieltsblog.com

    IELTSBlog.compresents:

    HowtogetahigherIELTSscore

    bybuildingapositiveimageintheexaminersmindThisseriesoflessonswaspreparedbyDonnaMillenespeciallyforthereadersofELTSBlog.comI .ThelessonsarebrilliantandwilldoamazingthingsforyourIELTScoreifyoustudyandimplementthem.s

    Youwilllearn:

    Lesson#1: ositive,psychologicalimpressiononyourHowtocreateapIELTSassessors.

    Lesson#2:HowtowriteaTask1reportthatwillimpressyourassessors(AcademicModule).

    Lesson#3: rthatwillimpressyourassessorsHowtowriteaTask1lette(GeneralTrainingModule)

    Lesson#4: linfluenceyourassessorsHowtowriteaTask2essaythatwilpositively(AcademicandGeneral).

    esson#5

    L : testscorebyHowtoimproveyourSpeakingconnectingwithyourassessor.

    Lesson#6:HowtooptimizeyourperformanceintheListeningandReading

    tests.

    DonnaMillen,coauthoroftheCentreforEnglishLanguageintheUniversityofSouthAustraliasIELTSonTrackseriesofbooks(ieltsontrack.com)talksaboutwhatmaycreateapositivepsychologicalimpressiononassessorswhomaybescoringtheWritingandSpeaking(interview)componentsofyourIELTStest.

    http://www.ieltsontrack.com/http://www.ielts-blog.com/http://www.ielts-blog.com/http://www.ielts-blog.com/online-ielts-course-sign-up-here/http://www.ielts-blog.com/online-ielts-course-sign-up-here/http://www.ielts-blog.com/online-ielts-course-sign-up-here/http://www.ielts-blog.com/online-ielts-course-sign-up-here/http://www.ielts-blog.com/online-ielts-course-sign-up-here/http://www.ielts-blog.com/online-ielts-course-sign-up-here/http://www.ieltsontrack.com/

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    DonnaMillen(content) Web:http://www.ieltsontrack.comDesign&layoutbyIELTSBlog.com Web:http://www.ieltsblog.com

    Lesson#2:HowtowriteaTask1reportthatwillimpressyourassessors(AcademicModule).

    BeforebeginningLesson#2,hereisashortsummaryofwhatwelearnedlastweek.SummaryofLesson#1.

    owerto:IntheIELTSWritingandSpeakingtestsyouhavesomepi essionthatyoumakeontheassessorb ychologicalimpressionintheassessorsmindofthesortofnfluencetheimpruildapositive,pspersonYOUare.

    IntheIELTSWritingtestyoucanimpresstheassessorby:

    wellorganisedwayturelyandwithprecision

    presentingyourwritingneatlyandinawritingsentencesthatexpressideasmaavoidingbabyishsimpleexpressions.IntheIELTSSpeakingtestyoucanimpresstheassessorby:behavingasanequale afriendlyandopenwayt thingsaboutyourlifeandculture

    xpressingyourpersonalityinellingtheassessorinteresting(whenitisrelevanttodoso).

    NowletsmoveontoLesson#2.

  • Importantbackgroundissues

    eforelookingspecificallyatthisweekslessononIELTSAcademicWritingTask1,etsexploreoneortwoimportantbackgroundissuesintheWritingtest.Bl

    Dontbecomeaclockvictim

    TheIELTSAcademicWritingtestputseverycandidateunderagreatdealoftimepressure.Candidatesknowthattheyhavetorespondtotwotasksbywritinga150word,andthena250wordanswerinonlyonehour.Undersuchconditions,itiseasyforcandidatestoseethemselvesaspowerlessclockvictims.

    WhatisanIELTSclockvictim?andidateswhospendtoomuchtimeeithercountingwords,clockwatchingorbeingovernxiousabouttimecanbedescribedasclockvictims.CaCutdownonwordcountingAvoidlosingtimebycountingwordstoofrequently.Instead,workouttheapproximate,averagenumberofwordsyounormallywriteonaline,countthenumberoflinesyouhaverittenandmultiplythemtogether.AfullIELTSAnswerpagehasabout20lines.Ifyouormallywriteabout10wordsoneachlineyouwillwriteabout200wordsonafullpage.

    wnWhattodotopreventfeelingsoanxiousintheIELTSwritingtestTo youneedto:

    canincreaseyourabilitytocontrolthishelptomanagefeelingsofanxiety

    seeyourselfinamorepositivewaysothatyouchallengingwritingtestsituation.beco ebetteratorganisingyourwrittentext. m

    OW?H

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    DonnaMillen(content) Web:http://www.ieltsontrack.comDesign&layoutbyIELTSBlog.com Web:http://www.ieltsblog.com

    CreateasuitabletestpersonafortheIELTSwritingtestItisimportantfortesttakerstocreateasuitabletestpersona(asortoftestidentity)withwhichbothtomanagetheirtestperformanceandtobuildtheconfidencetoconnectpositivelywithandmakeapositiveimpressionontheassessor.Beingapanickytesttakerisnotasuitabletestpersona.

    http://www.ielts-blog.com/ielts-preparation-tips/ielts-writing-how-your-band-score-is-calculated/

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    DonnaMillen(content) Web:http://www.ieltsontrack.comDesign&layoutbyIELTSBlog.com Web:http://www.ieltsblog.com

    Whatmightbeasuit

    maginethiscontext:

    abletestpersonafortheIELTSAcademicWritingtest?I

    Youareworkingwithasenior,universitylectureronsomesocialresearch.Thislecturerhasaskedyoutopresentthemwithabriefreportonsomedataandtogivesomeoutlineviewsonasocialissueasbackgroundmaterialtobetakentoatwoday,academicseminaroverseas.Thelecturerisflyingoverseasforthatseminaratlunchtime.

    Timeisimportantalsointhisimaginarycontext,butitisimportantinthiscasebecauseofyourcolleaguesschedule,soyouarehelpingsomeone.Alsoanacademiccontextisaprofessionalcontextinwhichyouwouldbeexpectedtowriteinamature,considered,clear,preciseandprofessionalmanner.Thisprofessionalandacademictestpersonaisamoresuitableoneforyoutoimagineyourselfinthanjustbeingatestcandidate;itestablishesamuchstrongerenseofrelationshipbetweenwriterandreader,andthisgivesyourwritingastrongerocialpurpose.ssButImtakinganIELTSlanguagetest,notworkingforauniversity.erhapsthisiswhatyouarethinkingrightnow.PerhapsyouthinkthisideaofaP

    professional,academictestpersonaisalittlebitcrazy.OK,thenthinkaboutitthisway.Evenifyouarenottryingtodoso,ornotawareofdoingso,almosteverythingyouwritetoanotherpersoncarriesanimpressionofYOUwithinit.If,forexample,yourwritingisdisorganised,looksmessy,isoffthepoint,offersinaccurateinformation,thenallofthesefeaturestellthereadersomethingnegativeaboutYOU(thewriter)asaperson.ThereaderstartstoimaginewhatYOUarelikefromhowyouwrite,notjustfromwhatyourlanguageislikegrammatically.Thismeansyourwritinghasthepowertoinfluencetheimpressionyoumakeinmanydifferentways.Soyouneedtotrytoommunicatepositiveimpressionsofyourselfinyourwriting.c

    Howelsecananxietyorpanicbemanaged?

  • Planningbeforewriting

    OftencandidatesreceivetheirIELTSwritingtestpaperandthenbeginwritingtheiranswersalmostimmediately.Why?

    Becausetheyaresoscaredoftime.

    Aprofessionalperson,incontrast,learnshowtoplanandmanagetimeinthemosteffectivewayinordertoachievethegoalstheyhaveestablishedforwriting.Planningisessentialtoaprofessionalapproachinworkinglife.Ifyougotomeetabusinesslientyoupreparethenightbeforesothatyouareclearaboutwhatyouwanttoachievecandthebestwaytoachieveit.ThesameistrueinIELTSWriting.OneofyourprimegoalsistogetabetterIELTSscorebybuildingapositiveimpressionintheassessorsmind.InIELTS,planningtime(even23minutes)iseffectivebecauseitelpsyoutodevelopasystematicandwellorganisedanswer,andthiscreatesarofessionalimpressionofYOUinthemindoftheassessor.hpImaginethis:Let sa twopeopleofthesameEng sh

    s yyoudidsomeresearchandmadeavideorecordingofritingtask1BUT:

    planningtheanswerli levelansweringthesameIELTSW onepersonspentabout3minutes theotherspentnotimeplanning.

    Myguessisthatwhenyouplaybackthevideooftheonewhodidntplan,itwillshowthathiscandidatestopstothink,orstopstocrosssomethingout,moreoftenduringthe

    thanthecandidatewithaplan.perhapseven3minutesmore!ttwentyminutesInotherwords,itmaybejusttestanxietywhichcausesyoutothinkthateveryossiblesecondhastobeusedaswritingtime.ItmayalsobeamistaketobelievethathebestTask1answersarefromcandidateswhohavewrittennonstopfor20minutes.pt

    areaboriting

    Someonewhoplansandorganiseswellisshowingthattheycbeingsystematicaboutorganisingthecontentofwhattheyarew

    ut:

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    DonnaMillen(content) Web:http://www.ieltsontrack.comDesign&layoutbyIELTSBlog.com Web:http://www.ieltsblog.com

    helpingthereaderoftheirworktoreaditaseasilyaspossible.hisactofplanningdemonstratesanimportantbasicvalidationofthereaderwriterelationship,whichisimportanteveninalanguagetestsituation.Tr

    http://www.ielts-blog.com/ielts-preparation-tips/tips-by-ielts-examiner/

  • CreatingagoodimpressioninyourWRITINGACADEMICWritingtask1

    AcademicWritingtask1involvesrespondingtoagraph,chart,tableorotherdiagram.Theassumptionisthatyouarewritingasortofsummarisingreportwhichdrawsoutandcompareskeyfeaturesandpresentstheminaclearandprofessionalmanner.TobuildapositiveimpressioninthemindoftheassessortherearemanythingsyoucandowhenchoosingthelanguagetousewhilebuildingyourTask1response.

    7TipstoWritingaSuccessfulReport1.TakecarewiththeaccuracyofinformationWhatever llyndlookat ely

    thematerialanddatapresentedtoyouinTask1,youneedtostudyitcarefueachcategoryornumbercarefullysothatyoureportonthemaccurat

    hydoit?Accuracycreatesagoodimpressionofyouasa iter.professionalreportwraW2.Writeaboutthemostimportantpatternsandtrendsnotabouteverythinghydoit?Anappropriateselectionofkeyinformationshowsevaluationskills,andthisisprofessionalstyle.Wa3.Avoidshoppinglistwriting,whichmeansjustlistingobviousfiguresoneafteranother.In tstead,trytoidentifykeytrendsandcompareandcontrastpatterns,donjustrepeatlistsoffactshydoit?Comparing/contrastingshowsmorematureevaluationofmaterial,whichisW

    moreprofessional.Remember,too,thatlanguageusedtoconnectideasatthebeginningofasentencecansignalthiscomparativewritingnicely.Forexample:Similarly,Conversely,Anexceptiontothistrendis,Comparedto,Thispatternchangedfromto.)(

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    DonnaMillen(content) Web:http://www.ieltsontrack.comDesign&layoutbyIELTSBlog.com Web:http://www.ieltsblog.com

    4.DontmakepersonalcommentsaboutthestatisticalmaterialWhydoit?Beingprofessionalwhenyoureportondatarequiresyoutobefactualandobjective.

    http://www.ielts-blog.com/ielts-preparation-tips/writing-tips/ielts-academic-test-tips-for-writing-task-1/

  • 5.UseasystematiclayoutHaveanintroductiontoyourreportonthedataandincludeinitperhapsaverygeneralstatementaboutthemostdominanttrendinthedata.Createandarrangeotherparagraphslogically.Whydoit?Rememberintermsofyourtestpersona,anacademiccolleaguemightnotaveverymuchtimetoreadyourreportandneedstofindandclassifyreportinformationasily)he6.UseaprofessionalwritingstyleandformaltoneThisisnoteasytoachieveifyourlevelofEnglishisnotveryhigh.Neverthelessitisstillpossibletoshapeyourtone(whichmeansyourattitudetothecontentthatthereadergetsromyourTask1writingandhowappropriatethattoneisbothtothegenre(type)ofriting,andtotheexpectationsthatthereaderhasofareportofthistype.

    fwYoucantrytoachieveanappropriateformal,professionalreportstyleby:

    avoidinglazylanguageexpressions(egetc,orandsoontheyarenotprofessional,areusedmoreinspokenlanguage,andsuggestthewriterdoesntcareenoughtofinishasentence

    properly)

    avoidinginformalexpressions(egalot,wasOKtheyarenotprofessionalenoughforareports

    tyle)

    avoidingrepetition(tooboringandmakesthewritersoundverylimited.Useappropria esynonyms,orreferencinglanguage(egthis,itw ossible)

    t hereverp

    avoiding(wherepossible)overuseofgeneralexpressionsthatlackprecision(egthing,do,is,big,nice)

    7.ReducesimplegrammarmistakesOfcourse,anyonetakingtheIELTStestislikelytomakenumerousgrammarmistakes.However,somemistakescreateamorenegativeimpressionthanotherswhenreadbyanativespeaker.Ifyoucanreducethenumberoftheseyoucanhelpapositiveimpressiontospreadtootherpartsofyourwriting.

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    DonnaMillen(content) Web:http://www.ieltsontrack.comDesign&layoutbyIELTSBlog.com Web:http://www.ieltsblog.com

  • 4TypesofGrammarMistakesThatAnnoyanAssessortheMost

    MistakeType#1VERBTENSE

    a)TalkingaboutthedataUsuallyIELTSTask1susedatafromparticularyeardates.YoumustusethePASTtensewhendescribinginformationfromthepast.Similarlyiftheinformationisaboutthefuture,useappropriateFUTUREtenseforms.b)TalkingabouttheactualgraphordiagramyoucanseeinfrontofyouonthetestpaperYouusethePRESENTtenseformstosayThegraph/chart/tableshows/indicates/reportson.becausethegraphitselfisalwaysthesameandalwaysinthepresent.MistakeType#2SUBECT/VERBagreementInEnglish,wesay:Thegraphshows;Thestatisticsshow;ThepopulationofthehreeAsiancountriest ischanging;ThenumberofpeoplewhositIELTSisincreasingtheheadnounspopulationandnumbercontroltheverbagreement);(MistakeType#3WORDFORMSAdjective/Noun/Adverb

    andidatesneedtocontrolandmanageeffectivelytheEnglishwordformstheyuse.CLookatthese4 s:example

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    DonnaMillen(content) Web:http://www.ieltsontrack.comDesign&layoutbyIELTSBlog.com Web:http://www.ieltsblog.com

    eissomeTher oubtfuld aboutthed ounform d

    The thefiguresisat ( n ee ed)

    accuracyofa X doubtn

    doubt (Xa oubtful )djectived neededItisdoubtfullythatthefiguresareaccuracy(XXadjectivesdoubtful&accurateneeded)

    increasedThepopulation rapidduring2000 (Xadverbrapidlyneeded)Insimpleterms,errorsthatrelatetobasicrulesofEnglishgrammarleaveamorenegativeimpressionthanotherkindsofmistakesbecausetheassessormayassumethatyoulearntaboutthesebasicruleswhenyouwereyoungandhavehadplentyoftimetolearntousethemcorrectlysincethattime.

  • So,ifyoustillmakethesebasicerrorsyougivetheimpressionofbeinglikeanimmatureschoolchild,evenifyourownnativelanguagecausesyoutomaketheerrorsbecauseitsverbsystemismuchsimplerthantheEnglishverbsystem,oritstranslatedwordformsarelessvariedthanthoseinEnglish.Theassessorformsanimpressionofyoufromyourwritingandisntinfluencedbysuchcomplexitiesasfirstlanguageinterference.heIELTStest,remember,isbasedultimatelyoncomparingperformancewithanativenglishspeakerequivalent.

    TEMistakeType#4SentenceBOUNDARIESandOMISSIONSfromsentencesCandidatesneedtobuildsentencescarefullyandrespectwhatasentenceisandwhatthepartsofasentenceare,otherwisethereaderhastokeepreadingandrereadingthe

    them.Thisleavesanegativeimpressionontheexaminersentencestotrytounderstandbecause:a)itisfrustratingandboring,b)itdamagestherelationshipbetweenwriterandreader.Lookatthese2examples:1)Thefiguresshowthefoodpreferencesofmenandwomentheyareintwotables.

    .2)Thetableshowsthepopulation.IntheAsiancountriesrosealotinthetenyearperiodfteryoureadeachexampleabove,itisdifficultnottorereadeachofthembecausethey

    unicateeitherclearlyoreffectively.Nowlookattheseimprovedversions:AdontcommExample1

    otables.Thefiguresshowthefoodpreferencesofmenandwomen.TheyareintwOR,moresimply,

    otables.ThefiguresshowthefoodpreferencesofmenandwomenintwR,evenmoresimply,

    ablesshowthefoodpreferencesofmenandwomen.OThetwotExample2ThetableshowsthatthepopulationintheAsiancountriesrosesignificantlyinthetenarperiod.

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    DonnaMillen(content) Web:http://www.ieltsontrack.comDesign&layoutbyIELTSBlog.com Web:http://www.ieltsblog.com

    yeOAccordingtothetable,thepopulationintheAsiancountrieswentupmarkedlyinthetenyearperiod.

    R

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    DonnaMillen(content) Web:http://www.ieltsontrack.comDesign&layoutbyIELTSBlog.com Web:http://www.ieltsblog.com

    Remember,alltheseexamplesrepresentjustasmallsampleofpossiblegrammaticalorothererrorsinlanguageuse,buttheyareonesthatmaysignificantlyaffectthepsychologicalimpressionthatyouranswerhasontheexaminer.

    Tosummarise

    WiththeIELTSAcademicWritingtestTask1itisimportantto:trytobeaconfidentmanageroftimenotaclockvictim.pc

    lanbeforeyouwritetohelpyouranswertobewellorganised.reateanIELTStestpersonafortheWritingtestthathelpsyoumoreeasilytoseeyourselfaswritingforaprofessionalpurposetoanacademiccolleague,notasapanickytestcandidate.

    YoucanhelptocreateapositiveimpressioninWritingTask1if

    goriesofinformation

    you:

    ticsorcateskilfully

    areaccuratewhenreportingstatisselectandcomparekeyinformationresistmakingpersonalcommentsc alstyleandtoner marmistakesthatassessorsmightthinkarefromyourearlydaysofreateaprofessioneducethosegramlearningEnglish.

    Inthenext,shorterlessonIlllookatcreatingapositiveimpressionwhenwritingyourresponsetoIELTSGeneralTrainingTask1.H

    opeyoulljoinmeforLesson#3.

    2009DonnaMillenandieltsontrack.com

    Thisarticleiscopyrighttoieltsontrack.com,andmaynotbereproducedorcopiedwithoutthepermissionofieltsontrack.com

    ThedesignandlayoutofthisseriesoflessonsarecopyrighttoIELTSBlog.comandmaynotbereproducedorcopiedwithoutthepermission

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